Not-to-be-missed Windows tricks

Question: You always have great Windows tips in your column that answer specific questions. Can you write about your favorite tricks that we may not know about? – N.P.

Answer: There are a few features that I like to use in Windows. Most of these apply to both Windows 98 and 95, but some work only in Windows 98.

  • To change the welcome screen in Windows, create a .BMP file (a graphic/image in bitmap format) with Windows Paint and rename it to logo.sys and place it in the C: directory. In the C:Windows directory you’ll find the names of files that start with logo and then a letter and have a .sys extension. These are the exit screens. You can do the same with them. You might want to copy any of the files that you are going to rename to another directory, so that they don’t get overwritten, in case you want to restore everything to the way things were beforehand.
  • This works in Windows 95 and 98: To bypass the logo at boot-up, edit the msdos.sys file and add the line LOGO=0 to the options section.
  • Navigation in Windows 98 is a lot easier than in Windows 95. Move around the screen and its dialogue boxes with your Tab key. Open and close windows with Ctrl-F4 or move between running programs with the Alt-Tab key combination. Also, open the Start menu with Ctrl-Esc and select your program with the arrow keys. Instead of clicking OK, use the Enter key.
  • Find out about different programs on your system. Search for a file called msinfo32.exe — it lets you see a bunch of information about different applications.
  • Put an icon to your A: floppy disk drive on your desktop. Double-click the My Computer icon. Then right-click on the 3.5 floppy icon and drag it to the desktop and select Create shortcut here.
  • Avoid the recycle bin by holding down the Shift key when you delete a file. It will cause the item(s) being deleted to skip the bin and be permanently deleted immediately.
  • If your system hangs, and holding down the Ctrl-Alt-Del keys doesn’t work, try Ctrl-Esc. It may bring up the Start menu, allowing you to shut down your system safely.
  • When opening, closing, maximizing, or minimizing windows, they zoom with animations. This can be annoying after a while. It also uses valuable processor power. To turn these off, install TweakUI, which can be installed from your Windows 98 CD ROM (it’s in the ToolsReskit Powertoy folder) or you can download them from Microsoft’s website at

Finally, a couple of things you can do to speed up the process of connecting to the Internet with a modem.

  1. Double-click on the Dial-Up Networking icon in My Computer. Right-click on the icon that represents the connection you use. Select Properties. Choose Server Type and switch off support for NetBEUI and IPX/SPX, but leave TCP/IP checked on. Also be sure that Log on to network in the same box is turned off. Click OK twice. Do this for each Dial-Up icon you’ve set up.
  2. Double-click on the Network icon in your Control Panel. Select the Dial-Up Adapter so it’s highlighted, then click the Properties button. Click on the Bindings tab, and uncheck all items in the list except TCP/IP. Click OK twice.

Both these tips should make the connection process a lot faster.