Gary's Windows™ 9x, ME, XP Tips

These suggestions were tested on Windows 95b, Windows 98SE, Windows ME and Windows XP Operating Systems. If there is a qualified distinction, it will be noted. As with anything, use at your own risk!


Adding a program (Windows™ or MS-DOS) to Win9x (Shortcut)
BigFin for Windows™ Financial Program Shareware Version
Creating an MS-DOS Prompt in XP
Dual OS Booting Using Win9x and XP (for example)
Error Message Miscellaneous Solutions
ERU Diskette Emergency Recovery Utility Diskette
Explorer Switches interesting and useful Win9x Explorer tips
My Computer and other information
Remove Internet Temporary Files IE 5.x
Win 9x StartUp Create a Windows™ 9x, ME Startup Diskette
Win XP Disk Management Manage XP Disks
Win XP StartUp Create a Windows™ XP Startup Diskette
Win XP Tips Windows™ XP Tips
Win9x Tips Miscellaneous Tips
Windows™ 98 Second Edition Quick Tips at the Microsoft Web Site
Word for Windows™ Tips Download Cheet Sheets

Adding a Program (Icon) to Windows™ 9x

The following process enables you to add a program (MS-DOS or Windows™) to Windows™ 9x. There may be a caveat or so with your version of Win9x (this also works on Win95 SR2 (the B) release). Also, Win9x is intuiative, so you are encouraged to experiment. Regardless, be careful.

That does it! BigFin (or any other executable program) will be available when you select it from the PROGRAM folder. Note: I have not had any problem running BigFin under Windows 9x, ME, NT 4.x (on a FAT partition), 2000, or XP.


Dual OS Booting

This is a suggestion to allow dual Operating System (OS) boots (works for me). First, you must be able to select the sequence/order of (booting) in your BIOS. If you can do that, you must have your HARD DRIVES set to cable select, and each have hard drive have installed the OS from which you want to boot.

When you want to use an OS, go to your BIOS and change the BOOT selection to the hard drive on which that OS resides. That is it!

As noted above, it works fine with Windows 98SE on one hard drive (80G), with XP Pro (or Linux) on another hard drive (40G).


Error Message/Solutions

Windows 98SE - Error 31 (Control Panel -- ODBC Data Source)

This message is an enigma. I did not have a clue... until I downloaded the Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 8 update. An obscure message in the installation said that the MDAC (Microsoft Data Access Components) must be install after the Jet service pack. So... install the Jet 4.0 service pack, then installed the appropriate MDAC component (again... if necessary). This will resolve installation errors (for programs that use the ODBC drivers to update the Registry).

In this order:

Secure the latest data module download at:

Note: You must download the MDAC and Jet 4.0 updates individually. They are no longer a single update.


Emergency Recovery Utility (ERU) Diskette

If you don't believe you will ever need to RESTORE your Windows™ enviroment, do not read any further... in fact, just turn off your computer and walk away from all this now!

Those who want to be prepared for the unexpected... do the following:

Having a BACKUP of your system will help in an emergency. This may not be everything you need, but it is a really good start.


Explorer Switches

Explorer (part of Win9x) (from PC Magazine, Feb 22, 2000, pp 93+)

These switches are applied via the Properties, Shortcut Tab, Target entry.


Creating an MS-DOS Prompt in XP

Like Windows™ 95, and 98(SE), the MS-DOS prompt must be created and placed on the DeskTop of Windows™ XP.

Use this process:

You can modify the Properties of the icon with a right-click.

Once you've completed that. You can add a few more things. Right-Click on the newly created DOS Icon. Select Properties. Modify the Start In location to start in the folder/directory of your choice. And, on the command line be sure that a /k exists and add (in Quotes) "Prompt $P " [Please note the extra space].

Line example: Windows Directory\System32\cmd.exe /k "Prompt $P "


My Computer


Remove Internet Temporary Files for Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer temporary files are easily cleaned with this command (create an MS-DOS "batch" file to make this process easier, or type it in at the RUN dialog box from the Start menu):

C:\WINDOWS\Command.COM /C DelTree /Y "C:\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\*.*"

This process is dependent on where "Command.COM" and temporary internet files reside, so check that out before you use this procedure. Include the "quotes" when you type in the command line. Do not have "Internet Explorer" open when you do this.


Create a Windows™ 9x Startup Diskette

Follow the screen instructions... progess will be noted on the screen.

You need to create at least one of these diskettes to use as a BOOT if you ever have system problems. Update this diskette whenever you upgrade your OS.


Manage Windows™ XP Disks

1) At the Run type diskmgmt.msc

2) Right-Click My Computer; Select Manage; Under Storage Select Disk Management

This provides an easy way to reassign drive letters or other simple disk management items. Note: Do not try to tweak things for which you do not understand. You can cause a lot of damage.

What this allowed me to do was to reassign drive letters for my CD-ROM (set up as E: and my Zip-100 Drive as D: by XP. The E: was initially switched to F:; then switched the E: to the desired D: (CD-ROM); then switched the Zip Drive from F: to the desired E: as my other systems have always been.


Create a Windows™ XP Startup Diskette

Insert a disk into your floppy disk drive and Run Windows Explorer (Explorer is found in the Windows folder).
Right-click the Drive A icon and choose Format.
In the Format dialog box, select the check box labeled Create an MS-DOS startup disk and click Start.
Once the warning dialog appears, click OK.
When format is complete, click OK in the Format Complete dialog box. Click OK to close the dialog box.

The formatted disk contains the following files:

Next, copy Ntldr and to the floppy.

With a text editor, add a basic boot.ini file:

Note: This diskette does not allow viewing of the NTFS partition.


Miscellanous Windows™ Tips

Determine Win9x Version. Place the mouse cursor over the My Computer icon on the destop then right click. Select Properties from the dropdown menu. The Win9x version information is on the General tab. (Note: This is the same information display from the System icon on the Control Panel.

Mouse Less Copy, Cut, and Paste. For those who are not rodent friendly, or who want a faster way to get things done under Windows™ compatible programs... read on!

Copy, Cut, and Paste without a Mouse

Mark the area you want to copy, or cut... that is... hold down the Shift key, then use the arrow, or cursor keys (Page Up, Page Down), or... if you want to copy the entire document... simply press Ctrl+A. Once the desired area is marked, press Ctrl+C (or, to cut (remove/delete) it... Ctrl+X). Switch to the place (window) you want to paste the text.. press Ctrl+V. It's that simple!

While surfing the net... when you find something you like, and want to keep... you (normally) can press Ctrl+A, then switch to (let's say) Note Pad... once there... press Ctrl+V... the page is inserted in a text format that can be saved. This works exceptionally well for coping e-mail messages, or portions thereof.

Shrinking windows, or Changing Between Programs (windows)

When you have multiple programs (windows) open, and you want to shrink one without using the rodent, simply:

Another fast way to toggle (change) to a different program is to press Alt+TAB. By holding down the Alt key, and toggling (releasing and pressing) TAB, you will move between the various applications (windows) you have open.


Word for Windows™ Tips

Instead of showing various tips for Word for Windows™, download v 6.x or download Office 2000; or these PDF files: download v 6.x (PDF Format) or download Office 2000 (PDF Format) cheats sheets. Hope these (cheat sheets) are helpful.



Update: April 30, 2015

Site Map
Gary's Software Page
BigFin Information Page] Microsoft XP Web Page] Microsoft Win98 Web Page
Windows Program Installation Tips
DOS and Windows 3,1x Tips Page
CD Player Download and Information Page
DCopy Download and Information Page
Gary's Writing Page
Windows™ XP Tips