M:\Desktop Library\027 PC Repair\02705700\Tbl

M:\Desktop Library\027 PC Repair\02705700\Tbl
Study Unit
Understanding Windows
9x and Me
This study unit will focus on the Microsoft 9x and Me OS
products. Windows Millennium Edition (Me) is the most
current representative of the Windows 9x product line.
Windows Me is currently supported by Microsoft on its
update site. This support isn’t expected to continue much
further into the future because of the release of Windows XP
Home Edition that’s targeted at the same market. However,
as a well-rounded PC repair technician, you can expect to be
called upon occasionally to support these operating systems.
When you complete this study unit, you’ll be able to
•
List the good and bad points of the Windows 95, 98, 98SE,
and Me operating systems
•
Install the Windows 9x/Me OS onto your PC
•
Set up your PC to start and run the way that’s logical for
you
•
Configure the Windows 9x/Me OS to look and work the way
you want it to
•
Use diagnostic tools and software to find and fix problems
with the OS
•
Use the Windows 9x/Me OS features to install and remove
software and hardware from a PC
•
Use the OS’s tools to troubleshoot software and hardware
installation problems
•
Work inside the Registry
•
Identify and use the features included with the operating
system
Pr eview
The personal computer (PC) that
you’ve been working with is more
than just the hardware and applications you’ve installed. One of the
major components of a good functioning PC is its operating system (OS).
This normally transparent part of the
PC is the major interface between you
and your applications. The OS also controls how the hardware interacts with the person using it.
iii
1
Definition
The Core
Features
History
1
3
4
15
INSTALLING AND CUSTOMIZING THE
OPERATING SYSTEM
Installing the Windows 9x OS
Installing Windows Components
Installing and/or Updating DirectX
Optimize the Operating System
Customize the Look and Feel of Your PC
Dealing with Fonts
Special-Needs Setup
Practical Exercise 1
WINDOWS 9X OPERATING SYSTEM PROCESSES
Startup
The Registry
Windows Update
SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE SUPPORT
Software
Hardware
Practical Exercise 2
TROUBLESHOOTING AND SUPPORT
The Command Prompt
Support from Microsoft
Help and Support
Windows 9x and Me Common Tools
Windows 9x Specific Tools
Windows Millennium Edition Specific Tools
Diagnostic Software
PROGRAMS INCLUDED WITH THE OPERATING
SYSTEM
System Monitor
Browsers
Outlook Express
MSN Messenger (Windows Me)
NetMeeting
Games
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19
26
28
30
40
59
64
70
72
72
91
96
100
100
108
116
118
118
119
120
121
146
158
164
170
170
171
173
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Contents
INTRODUCTION
v
Windows Media Player
Practical Exercise 3
SELF-CHECK ANSWERS
vi
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184
187
Contents
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
INTRODUCTION
This study unit focuses on the Windows 95, Windows 98,
Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), and Windows Millennium
Edition (Me) operating systems (Figure 1). These operating
systems have been marketed by Microsoft since 1995 and are
still installed on a large number of home and business PCs.
FIGURE 1—Windows
Products Covered by This
Study Unit
Definition
An operating system (OS) is the low-level software that handles the interface to peripheral devices, schedules tasks, sets
up the random access memory (RAM) and read-only memory
(ROM) devices on the PC, and is the interface to the PC you
see when no applications are running.
Windows 95 was Microsoft’s first completely new operating
system since MS-DOS. All versions of Windows before this
were really a graphical user interface (GUI) running on top
of MS-DOS. Windows 95 was designed to support the new
Intel Pentium architecture with a true 32-bit OS. Windows
95 eliminated the 640 KB memory limit and moved toward
eliminating 16-bit code.
Random access memory
(RAM) is the place in a
PC where the OS,
application programs,
and data currently
being used are kept so
that they’re quickly
accessed by the PC’s
processor. The data in
RAM stays there only
as long as your PC is
running. When you
turn your PC off, RAM
loses its information.
Read-only memory
(ROM) is built-in PC
memory containing
data that can only be
read, not written to.
ROM contains the programming that allows
your PC to be booted.
Unlike with RAM, the
data in ROM isn’t lost
when the computer
power is turned off.
1
This was one of the first Microsoft OS products that broke
with the philosophy of being totally backward-compatible.
The Windows 9x OS could use older software in a DOS shell,
but had problems with older hardware items. The OS also
had requirements for considerably more RAM and hard drive
resources than used by MS-DOS or Windows 3.x.
Professional Tip
The Windows 9x /Me OS won’t run on the oldest Intel CPUs
(8088, 8086, 80186, 80188, and 80286) and is barely
functional on 80386 and 80486 computers. The minimum
listed requirements are a 80386DX processor, 4 MB of RAM,
45 MB of hard drive space, a VGA monitor, and a mouse or
other pointing device. To have the OS function well, it’s recommended that you have a Pentium MMX processor with at least
8 MB RAM and a 48 MB hard drive to support the networking
functions.
The Windows 9x/Me operating system supports
Direct access storage
device (DASD)—A
general term for
magnetic disk storage
devices that include
hard disk drives and
floppy disk drives for
PCs. The “direct
access” means that all
data can be accessed
randomly, taking about
the same amount of
time, rather than
sequentially.
Registry—A database
repository for information about a computer’s
configuration. The
Registry contains information that Windows
continually references
during operation.
• An easy to implement interface for standard external
devices called Plug and Play (PnP). This includes external
devices and internal PCI and ISA cards, which makes it
easier to install devices.
• Disk access and formatting tools for direct access storage
devices (DASD)
• ActiveX and the Component Object Model (COM)
compatibility
• The Registry, a central location for program configurations, replacing “INI” files in Windows 3.1
• Multitasking, which allows multiple applications to be
run at the same time
• Memory allocation functions, which ensure that applications access memory correctly to prevent crashes
• Enhanced network capabilities, which increase the ease
of connecting computers and other networking devices
together
• A visual interface to the file system and application
programs (GUI)
2
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
The Core
At the core, Windows 9x/Me uses three components: the
user, the kernel, and the GDI (Table 1).
Table 1
CORE COMPONENTS
Component
Files Holding the
Functions
Type of Code
Name
Component
User
User.dll
Controls the ports, including the
Mainly 16-bit code because it
User.exe
mouse and keyboard. Controls the
uses less memory than its 32-bit
desktop, including the position of
counterparts.
icons, dialog boxes, and windows.
Kernel
Kernel32.dll
Controls the basic OS functions
Mainly 32-bit code. The
Krnl386.exe
such as managing memory, file
remaining 16-bit code is used
I/O, and executing programs.
as entry points for 16-bit
applications.
GDI
GDI32.dll
Draws screens, graphics, lines,
Split 16-bit and 32-bit code to
GDI.exe
and prints them.
maintain compatibility with 16-bit
application programs.
The core connects to users, hardware, and applications software using the components shown in Figure 2. Windows 9x,
like its predecessors Windows 3.x and DOS, uses a shell for
applications. It also has a group of interface tools, like the
Registry, to help configure both software applications and
hardware. The Registry will be covered in more depth
throughout this study unit.
Besides the core and the Registry, there are four major components for handling the connection of the user, applications
software, and hardware.
• Virtual Memory Manager (VMM)—This component manages the memory used by an application and other
components in a virtual machine environment. Virtual
machines are covered later in this section.
• Installable File System (IFS)—This component manages
all disk access.
• Configuration Manager—This component deals with the
Plug and Play features and other hardware configuration
tasks. Plug and Play is also covered in depth later in this
section.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
3
• Win32 Driver Model (WDM) Driver Manager—This component (part of the Windows 98, 98SE and Me operating
systems but not Windows 95) is in charge of the administration of new 32-bit device drivers.
FIGURE 2—Windows
Architecture
Applications
Software
User
WINDOWS 9x
User Interface Tools and 32-bit Applications Shell
Core
(User, GDI, Kernel)
VMM
IFS
Manager
Registry
Configuration
Manager
WDM Driver
Manager
(Windows 98
Only)
Hardware
The core programming for Windows 9x/Me also includes
MS-DOS. Windows 95 through 98SE have DOS 7.x, while
Windows Me uses DOS 8.x. This is an important component
of the OS that controls functions like formatting hard drives
and defragmenting the files in a volume.
Features
The features an OS provides, and its general design, are
extremely strong influences on the programming for the
machines on which it runs. A graphically based OS (Windows)
will lead to the creation of graphically oriented programs
(multimedia). Multimedia programs weren’t developed for the
less graphically oriented MS-DOS OS.
4
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
16/32 Bit Programming
Components of the Windows 95 OS, and all subsequent
Windows OS versions, are written using a combination of
16- and 32-bit code. Programs using 32-bit code use more
RAM but are generally faster than 16-bit programs. The
Windows 9x/Me OS supports both 16- and 32-bit application
programs, but often relegates 16-bit applications to a DOS
virtual machine, limiting them to a 640 KB workspace.
Professional Tip
Use 32-bit device drivers whenever available. These device drivers are considerably faster than the 16-bit versions. A second
advantage of using the 32-bit device driver is that it can be
stored in extended memory, leaving more of the first 1 MB of
RAM for application programs. Also, 32-bit device drivers are
dynamically loaded, which means that they’re loaded only when
needed, and removed when not needed.
To understand the desirability of 32-bit application programs, you need to look at how application programs are
handled. The term 32-bit application program came about
because MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows were originally
written for the Intel 8088 and 80286 16-bit microprocessors.
These microprocessors were designed with a segmented
address space so programs with more than 64 KB of code
and/or data had to switch between segments quite frequently. This operation was quite time consuming and the application program’s performance would suffer.
The shift from 16-bit to 32-bit application programs happened first on IBM PC clones with the Intel 80386 microprocessor (IBM didn’t support the 80386 chip set). This
microprocessor and its successors supported a segmented
address space with 16-bit and 32-bit segments or linear 32bit address spaces. This arrangement allowed a program to
run without segment switching.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
5
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Windows 95 introduced the graphical user interface, or
GUI, which has become a mainstay of all Windows versions
(Figure 3).
FIGURE 3—Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI)
The GUI has a Start button that offers access to all of the
Windows system utilities as well as the application programs.
The GUI also has an area designated at the bottom of the
screen called the taskbar. This area contains icons that represent the programs that are currently running as well as
other information about the OS.
The desktop provides an area to run application programs,
configure the OS, and manipulate files. Access to these functions is accomplished in three ways. The first way is to click
on Start, click on Run, type in the program name, and click
6
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
on OK. The second way is to click on Start, point to
Programs, and click on the desired program. The third and
final way is to double-click on the desktop icon representing
the program.
Another feature of the desktop is the Windows Explorer. This
feature can be used to manage files and directories (folders
in Windows language) as well as access control panels, run
programs, and navigate through just about any other
Windows feature.
ActiveX and the Component Object Model (COM)
Compatibility
ActiveX is a set of object-oriented programming (OOP) technologies and tools. The main technology for OOP is the
Component Object Model (COM), which is Microsoft’s (and
therefore Windows) framework for developing and supporting
program component objects.
ActiveX gives the OS a standard way for objects to communicate with each other. Objects, such as folders, icons (and
almost anything else you can see on the desktop) consist of a
series of definable properties. With ActiveX, these objects can
be dragged and placed inside of any visible component on the
desktop. For example, an icon identifying an application program can be selected and dragged into the Start menu.
ActiveX, along with COM, also allows for the creation of
shortcuts on the desktop. The properties of these small
ActiveX objects point to the location of applications and folders. Windows also added to the functionality of the Start
menu by defining it as an ActiveX object, allowing it to
access programs and the OS.
To create a folder, the OS defines the area where a directory
resides in storage and fills it with the data and file names
of the selected files. Just double-click on the icon that represents a directory (folder) and it opens. To the OS, the process
of opening a folder is a bit more complex. The ActiveX technologies allow the folder’s component to reside within a
compound document (the desktop). The mouse-driven pointer
on the desktop can interact with this component. Using the
buttons on the mouse itself, the mouse-driven pointer is
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Icon—A small picture
intended to represent
something (a file, directory, or action) on a
GUI. This is one of the
ways Windows uses a
system that depends
on visual organization
and upon the use of
images. When an icon
is clicked on, some
action is performed,
such as running a program or opening a
directory. Icons are
usually stored as
bitmap images with the
.ico file type.
Object-oriented
programming (OOP) is a
concept in computer
program development
that’s organized around
objects rather than
actions, data rather
than logic.
Component—This is a
reusable program building block that can be
combined with other
components to form
an application. A single
radio button on a GUI
decision screen and
a Windows’ shortcut are
examples of components. One of the main
advantages of a component is that it can
be reused by many
applications.
7
Compound document—A
collection of components
that are combined into a
single environment.
allowed to control the position of, and access to, the folder.
By pushing on the mouse’s left button twice, a command is
given to the OS to display the contents of the folder within
the defined space of the desktop.
Plug and Play (PnP)
One of the nicest hardware features ever to be introduced
was Plug and Play (PnP). PnP permits the OS to automatically detect new hardware and determine essential information
about the device. Information is gathered about what device
drivers are required as well as what resources (memory and
IRQ) the hardware needs to link to. To use this function, the
hardware needs to have some built-in features that allow the
OS to determine this information. PnP turned the process of
installing new hardware from a multi-hour, trial-and-error
chore to a defined process that takes just a few minutes.
Professional Tip
Not all hardware is PnP compatible. This is particularly true of
hardware produced before Windows 95 was widely used. If you
plan on using non-PnP compatible hardware on a PC with
Windows 9x/Me, it may be wise to change your plans. The time
spent making this hardware work will often cost more than a
new hardware device.
Registry
Windows 95 was the first Microsoft product to centralize the
storage of information pertaining to how hardware and software is configured. Named the Registry, this database stores
this configuration information as well as other data needed
to keep the OS and applications running. This central location is required in order to have the ActiveX and COM features work.
The Registry database stores the information listed in Table 2.
8
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Table 2
REGISTRY DATABASE
Registry Section
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
Description
File associations and ActiveX / Object Linking and Embedding
(OLE) information
HKEY_CURRENT_USER
All preferences set for current user
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Settings for hardware, operating system, and installed
applications
HKEY_USERS
All the current user information for each user of the system
HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIGURATION
Settings for the display and printers
HKEY_DYN_DATA
Performance data
Windows applications write data to the Registry, at least
during installation. You can edit the Registry directly by
using the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
CAUTION
Object Linking and
Embedding (OLE)—This
is Microsoft’s framework for a compound
document technology.
Care should be taken when editing the Registry. Always make a
copy of this database before changing any entries. Errors in the
Registry will disable a PC.
To open the Registry Editor, do the following:
1. Click on Start and then click on Run.
2. In the dialog box, type regedit.
3. Click OK.
Multitasking
Windows 9x/Me perform two types of multitasking, cooperative and preemptive. For 16-bit applications the OS uses
cooperative multitasking. For 32-bit applications Windows
9x/Me uses preemptive multitasking.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Multitasking—A
technique used in
an operating system
for sharing a single
processor between
several independent
jobs.
9
Cooperative multitasking. This is a form of multitasking
where it’s the responsibility of the currently running task to
give up the processor to allow other tasks to run. Beyond
this, Windows uses a task supervisor that detects stuck
tasks and gives you an option of ending the task without
restarting the OS.
Cooperative multitasking requires programmers to place calls
at suitable points in their code to allow tasks to be interrupted or suspended (swapped out). If a task doesn’t allow itself
to be swapped out, all other tasks on the system won’t
respond.
Preemptive multitasking. In this type of multitasking, the
scheduler can swap out the currently running task in order
to start or continue running (swap in) another task.
The tasks under preemptive multitasking can be written as
though they were the only task, and the scheduler decides
when to swap them. The length of time for which a process
runs is known as its time slice and may depend on the task’s
priority or its use of resources such as memory and I/O.
Networking
Web browser—A
program that allows a
person to read hypertext markup language
(html) documents. The
browser gives a means
of viewing the contents
of nodes (or “pages”)
and of navigating from
one node to another.
10
For the first time, Microsoft included network drivers as part
of the OS in Windows 95. These network drivers support the
use of modems and allow a PC to gain remote access to a
network or the Internet. This networking code, written as a
32-bit application, allows communication to other operating
systems over a network. Other features include support for
Web browsers and Web server software and the ability to
share PC resources over the Internet.
Another feature in the Windows 9x/Me product is dial-up
networking (DUN). This feature allows for network access but
also gives an option to set up a PC as a DUN server. With a
connected modem, a DUN server can answer the phone,
authenticate the caller, and allow the caller to have access to
the resources of the server PC.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
The final new networking feature on the Windows 9x/Me OS
is the built-in support for fax communication. The OS has
drivers that permit the sending and receiving of fax traffic,
with the only requirement being a modem that can handle
fax messages.
The Windows OS, starting with Windows 95, supports the
following communication standards and protocols:
• Internetwork Packet eXchange (IPX)
• Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
• Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP)
• Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
• Windows Sockets (Winsock)
Internetwork Packet eXchange (IPX). A network layer
protocol used as the basic protocol in its Novell NetWare file
server OS. A router using IPX can interconnect local area
networks so that Netware clients and servers communicate.
Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). The Internet standard protocol for the transmission of network layer datagrams (IP packets) over serial point-to-point links.
PPP is designed to operate over asynchronous and bit-oriented synchronous connections. PPP can configure connections
to a remote network, and test that the link is usable.
It can also be configured to encapsulate different network
layer protocols.
Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP). Software allowing the
Internet Protocol (IP), normally used on Ethernet, to be used
over a serial line, like a RS232 serial port connected to a
modem. A SLIP connection needs to have its IP address configuration set each time before a connection is established.
SLIP doesn’t provide error detection; therefore, SLIP on its
own wouldn’t be satisfactory on an error-prone (noisy)
dial-up line.
Datagrams—A selfcontained, independent
entity of data, carrying
sufficient information
to be routed from the
source to the destination computer without
reliance on earlier
exchanges between this
source and destination
computer and the
transporting network.
Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol
(TCP/IP). A protocol developed for the Internet to get data
from one network device to another.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
11
Defense Advanced
Research Projects
Agency (DARPA) was
established in 1958 in
response to the Soviet
Union’s launch of
Sputnik. DARPA has
the mission of keeping
U.S. military technology ahead of its enemies. It accomplishes
this using a $2 billion
budget and approximately 240 personnel
(about 140 of them
technical).
Application program
interface (API)—The
interface an application
program uses to
accesses the OS and
other services on a PC.
Hang—In computing,
this is a program waiting for an event that
will never occur. It can
also mean waiting for a
specific event to occur;
to hang around until
something happens.
12
Internet Protocol (IP). The network layer for the TCP/IP protocol used on Ethernet networks. IP is a connectionless packet-switching protocol. It supplies packet routing, fragmentation, and reassembly.
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). The most common
transport layer protocol used on Ethernet and the Internet.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
developed TCP. TCP is a connection-oriented protocol built on
top of IP, and is nearly always seen in the combination
TCP/IP (TCP over IP). It adds reliable communication using a
retransmission strategy to ensure that data won’t be lost in
transmission. TCP also uses hardware flow control and provides full duplex, process-to-process connections.
Windows Sockets (Winsock). A specification for Microsoft
Windows network software that describes how applications
can access network services, particularly TCP/IP. Winsock is
intended to provide a single application program interface (API)
for application developers and software vendors.
Virtual Machines
A major improvement over Windows 3.x is the support of virtual machines. In Windows 3.x there was limited virtual
memory support for 16-bit applications, but this feature had
important enhancements in Windows 9x. Virtual machines
(VM) within the Windows environment act as several different
computers within one physical PC (Figure 4). This is similar
to the concept of several drives being defined within a single
hard drive.
In Windows 9x/Me, 16-bit and 32-bit applications are supported by the system virtual machine while DOS applications
run in their own virtual machine. This is because DOS programs don’t share resources and expect to control the hardware of the whole PC, memory included. Using virtual
machines, the OS gives the DOS program its own “machine,”
allocating as many virtual memory addresses as it needs. The
OS also provides virtual hardware for the DOS program within its own virtual environment. This is a virtual machine. If a
DOS program makes an error, it only hangs the virtual
machine it’s using.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
SYSTEM VIRTUAL MEMORY
Win 32
app
Win 32
app
Operating
System
Kernel
GDI
User
Win 16
app
Win 16
app
DOS
Virtual
Machine
DOS
Virtual
Machine
Dos
app
Dos
app
FIGURE 4—The Virtual
Machine Concept
Non-DOS 16-bit programs often expect to be able to access
other programs and their data. The Windows 9x/Me OS
places these programs within the system virtual machine so
they can share this information, but groups them together.
This way, if one 16-bit program hangs, it affects only the 16bit programs currently running. These errors are called
Window protection errors or general protection faults.
Memory Paging
To allocate virtual machines to DOS and 16-bit Windows
programs, the Windows 9x/Me OS must allocate virtual
memory addresses. This is done by memory paging, which is
controlled by the virtual memory manager. Virtual memory
addresses aren’t part of the system’s physical RAM that
resides on SIMMs and DIMMs. These addresses are contained in swap files on the hard drive.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
13
Virtual machines are allocated up to 4 GB of virtual memory
addresses by the Virtual Memory Manager (Figure 5). In this
example, the DOS application is allocated its own 4 GB virtual machine, while the 16-bit Windows applications share a 4
GB set of memory addresses. The 32-bit Windows program is
given its own 4 GB set of addresses. Notice that the DOS, 16bit and 32-bit programs use a combination of RAM and swap
files defined by the page table.
Virtual
Memory
Addresses
16-bit
Windows
Application
Page
Table
4 GB
16-bit
Windows
Application
Swap File
0
4 GB
SIMM
DOS
Application
Virtual
Memory
Memory
SIMM
0
4 GB
RAM
32-bit
Application
0
FIGURE 5—The Virtual Memory Manager allocates memory addresses.
The page table maps all used RAM and swap files on a system. The memory manager controls the page table, moving 4KB blocks of data in and out of physical memory (RAM) as
the program requests the information.
The action of getting data from a swap file and placing it
into RAM is called a page-in. If your PC spends a lot of time
using this process, you’ll notice an increase in the hard drive
usage. This problem, called disk thrashing, can negatively
affect system performance and hard drive life.
14
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
To reduce disk thrashing,
• Reduce the PC’s multitasking
• Reduce the number of programs running
• Add more RAM
History
Windows 95, known as “Chicago” during development, is
Microsoft’s successor to Windows for Workgroups 3.11, the
previous Windows release aimed at home users. The
Windows 95 release was originally scheduled for late 1994
but eventually happened in July of 1995 and included
• No requirement to install a separate version of MS-DOS
• A redesigned GUI
• Windows Explorer replacing the File Manager
• Plug and Play hardware compatibility
• 32-bit design
• Preemptive multitasking
• Long file name (more than eight-character) support
The successor to Windows 95 is Windows 98. One reason for
this upgrade was to provide integration with the World Wide
Web. Support was added to display Web pages on the desktop without additional software application programs. A place
to insert Internet addresses was added to the address bar
that’s included near the top of many windows. The FrontPage
Express application was also added to create and edit Web
pages. Windows 98 also added
• The FAT32 file system
• Support for the Universal Serial Bus (USB)
• Power management for devices that support this feature
• Support for DVD drives
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
15
• An Update Wizard that connects to the Microsoft Update
Web site to download new device drivers, OS service
packs, patches, and fixes
• Support for TV tuner cards and Microsoft WebTV for
Windows, which allows people to watch TV on their monitor while they work with other programs
• The Registry Checker utility used to back up and restore
the registry
• Support for multiple monitors
• A Maintenance Wizard, used to regularly schedule PC
maintenance tasks
• Enhanced multimedia support
Bug—In computing, an
unwanted and
unplanned property of
a program or piece of
hardware, especially
one that causes it to
malfunction. The identification and removal
of bugs in a program is
called debugging.
Asynchronous Transfer
Mode (ATM)—This is a
dedicated-connection
switching technology
that organizes digital
data into 53-byte cell
units and transmits
them using digital
signal technology.
Instead of releasing a service pack for Windows 98, Microsoft
decided to release an upgraded version of Windows 98 called
Windows 98 SE (Second Edition) in 1999. To receive the bug
fixes and small improvements in a service pack, customers
were required to purchase the upgrade, as Microsoft considered it a new level of its OS. Windows 98 SE released these
changes:
• Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) that allows networked
Windows 98 SE computers to share a single Internet
connection
• Internet Explorer 5
• Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) over Asynchronous Transfer
Mode (ATM) was added
• Support for wake-on-LAN (local area network) connections that allows a PC to be in a low-power state until its
network card detects activity from another PC on the
LAN
• Year 2000 (Y2K) updates
The final version in the Windows 9x line was Windows
Millennium Edition (Me). This operating system was first
available in September 2000. Produced as another small
upgrade, Windows Me had a “softer” look and feel aimed
primarily at the home market. Windows Me was also greatly
16
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
simplified for the benefit of users who are unfamiliar with
Windows or PCs in general. This upgrade to Windows 98SE
also added:
• Built-in video editing. This allows video images to be
copied from a camcorder to a PC and be edited by splicing, adding graphics, or adding additional sounds.
• Digital camera utilities. This allows images from
digital cameras to be imported to a PC and stored or
distributed.
• Integrated support for digital music. This feature allows
music to be copied from CDs and other sources.
• A System Restore feature. System Restore allows the
user to bring the system back to its original configuration if anything goes wrong. It backs up the Registry and
other important files during idle time, or after 10 hours,
whichever comes first.
• System File Protection. This protects important system
files from being erased.
• Simplified home network setup. This feature lets people
with limited knowledge about PCs benefit from home
networks that allow network gaming, file sharing, printer
sharing, and a shared Internet connection.
• Additional levels of the OS required to get to the DOS
prompt. This in effect eliminated the ability to boot the
PC to the DOS prompt.
Professional Tip
To boot a Windows Me PC directly to DOS you’ll need to make
a boot disk. On a floppy disk, copy the IO.SYS and COMMAND.COM files from the \Windows\Command\EBD folder.
This disk will boot the PC in DOS mode.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
17
Self-Check 1
At the end of each section of Understanding Windows 9x and Me, you’ll be asked to pause
and check your understanding of what you have just read by completing a “Self-Check”
exercise. Answering these questions will help you review what you’ve studied so far.
Please complete Self-Check 1 now.
Match the items on the left with their descriptions on the right. Indicate your answers in the
place provided.
______ 1. Cooperative multitasking
a. Permits the OS to automatically
detect new hardware
______ 2. Preemptive multitasking
b. A central location for Windows and
application configuration settings
______ 3. Plug and Play
c. The currently running task has the
responsibility to give up the
processor.
______ 4. Registry
d. Controls the basic OS functions
______ 5. Kernel
e. A scheduler can swap out the
currently running task and swap in
another task.
Check your answers with those on page 187.
18
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
INSTALLING AND CUSTOMIZING
THE OPERATING SYSTEM
The operating system of a PC is the program that manages
all the other programs in a computer. The size of the
Windows 9x OS programming requires it to be installed onto
the hard drive of your PC. Since there’s a great variety of PCs
and users that will be using the Windows 9x products, the
OS is also customizable during and after installation. Some
of the customizations are changes to the OS, while others are
changes and updates of the operating system’s supporting
programs. This section of the study unit covers the installation and customization of the Windows 9x products and their
supported programs.
Installing the Windows 9x OS
Installation of the OS falls into two categories:
1. Update of an existing Windows or MS-DOS OS
2. A clean installation of the OS on a PC that doesn’t have
an existing Windows or MS-DOS OS
This study unit will focus on operating-system updates. The
update process has a few extra steps not required for clean
installations. Clean installations of the OS are unusual
because the PC manufacturer often does them before you
purchase the PC.
If you’re doing a clean installation, most of the steps detailed
in this study unit will also apply to you. You won’t need to do
the hard drive preparations outlined in the following section.
Preparing for Installation
Before installing any of the Windows 9x/Me products, make
sure you have a PC that meets the minimum system requirements. Table 3 lists the minimum and recommended hardware configurations for the four operating systems covered
by this study unit.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
19
Table 3
HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS
Processor
System RAM
Hard Drive Storage
Operating
System
Windows 95
Minimum
Recommended
Minimum
Recommended
Minimum
Recommended
386 D X
Pentium
4 MB
8 MB or more
45 MB
150 MB
16 MB
24 MB
140 MB
500 MB
16 MB
32 MB
1 GB
2 GB
32 MB
64 MB
320 MB
2 GB or more
75 MHz
Windows 98
486 D X
Pentium MMX
66 MHz
100 MHz
Windows
Pentium
Pentium
98S E
120 MHz
200 MHz
Windows Me
Pentium
Pentium
150 MHz
300 MHz
Other considerations should be made for how the OS is supplied to you. Most new versions of the Windows OS are supplied on CD-ROMs, so a CD-ROM device is a requirement for
most Windows 9x/Me installations. Windows updates are
provided over the Internet, so a modem (or a network card)
and its associated software could be a useful part of the
hardware requirements. The boxed versions of most
Windows products have critical patches and fixes available
at the Windows Update Web site.
Most installations of an OS are really an upgrade from a previous level of the Windows product line. The upgrades don’t
need to be sequential; for example, you can upgrade
Windows 95 to Windows Me.
If you’re installing an upgrade of the OS onto a system that
already has a Windows OS (Windows 3.x or latter), the PC on
which you’re updating the OS should be free of unnecessary
files. The hard drive should also be in the best condition
possible for the installation. In addition, you should make
sure you can go back to the last working version of an OS on
your PC if you need to. Before updating your PC to a new
OS, do the following:
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
1. Make sure you have enough free hard drive space to
install the OS. See Table 3 for minimum hardware storage requirements.
2. Delete all files from the recycle bin and temporary
directories.
3. Run ScanDisk (Windows 9x/Me).
• Close all windows and DOS application programs.
• Right-click on the desktop and then click on
Properties.
• Click on the Screen Saver tab. On the Wait: option,
type in at least 180 minutes. Click on the Power . . .
button (not available with Windows 95).
• Set all of the Settings for home or office to Never
and close all of the open dialog boxes.
• Click on Start, point to Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, and click on ScanDisk.
• Select the Thorough option.
• From the list, select the drive on which you’re placing
the upgraded OS and then click on Start.
Or (in Windows 3.x):
1. Run CHKDSK ?: /R (Windows 3.x), where “?:” is the
drive on which you’re placing the upgraded OS.
• Close all application programs and windows.
• From the Program Manager, click File and then Exit
to get to a MS-DOS prompt.
• At the DOS prompt, type CHKDSK ?: /R.
2. Defragment your drive:
• Close all windows and DOS application programs.
• Right-click on the desktop and then click on
Properties.
• Click on the Screen Saver tab. On the Wait: option,
type in at least 180 minutes. Click on the Power . . .
button (not available with Windows 95).
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
21
• Set all of the Settings for home or office to Never
and close all of the open dialog boxes.
• Click on Start, point to Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, and click on Disk Defragmenter.
• Type the letter of the drive on which you’re placing
the upgraded OS, followed by a colon (:) and then
click on Start.
Or (also in Windows 3.x):
1. Run DEFRAG ?: /F /H /SKIPHIGH, where ?: is the drive
on which you’re placing the upgraded OS.
• Close all application programs and windows.
• From the Program Manager click File and then Exit
to get to a MS-DOS prompt.
• At the DOS prompt, type DEFRAG ?: /F /H
/SKIPHIGH.
2. Run a current version of your antivirus software.
3. To ensure you can go back to an earlier version of
Windows, do the following:
• Save the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files onto
a floppy disk or CD.
• Copy all files with an .ini or .grp extension from the
\Windows directory to a disk or CD.
Professional Tip
You can backtrack to Windows 3.x from a bad Windows 9x/Me
installation by reinstalling Windows 3.x and copying the .ini and
.grp files back to the \Windows directory.
4. If you’re connected to a LAN, make sure the connection
is working. This will allow the upgrade process to
reestablish the LAN connection at the end of the setup.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
5. If you’re installing Windows on a compressed drive,
be aware that you can’t use the compressed drive for
swap files unless it’s compressed using protected-mode
software.
Professional Tip
Think twice about running a hard drive in compressed mode.
With the cost of hard drives falling (under $100 for a 100 GB
drive), the expense of the trouble caused by a compressed
hard drive is commonly more than a larger hard drive.
6. Check the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files for
possible problems. This would include calls to Terminate
and Stay Resident (TSR) programs. Type REM in front of
the line containing these calls.
7. Figure out if you want to use FAT16 or FAT32 for the
file system. If you’re installing a version of Windows
other than the original Windows 95 (OSR1), it’s recommended that you use the FAT32. This supports larger
hard drives and files. The disadvantage of FAT32 is that
it’s incompatible with the MS-DOS and Windows NT
operating systems.
If you’re having problems with the current OS or application
programs, it’s recommended that you do a clean install
instead of an upgrade. A clean install requires you to install
all of your applications software after you install the OS. To
do a clean install:
A Terminate and Stay
Resident program is
set up to be loaded and
then remain in computer memory so that it’s
quickly accessible when
a user presses a certain
keyboard combination.
TSR programs work on
Windows 3.x because
it’s essentially a DOS
OS with Windows running on it. They aren’t
needed on multitasking
operating systems such
as Windows 9x/Me.
1. Make sure you have good backup copies of all of the
data on the hard drive.
2. If you’re upgrading from one Windows 9x product to
another, make a rescue disk in case of installation
failure.
3. Verify that you have the floppy disks or CD-ROMs of all
of your application programs.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
23
4. Format the hard drive. If you suspect a boot sector virus
is causing your problems, use the FDISK/MBR command to rewrite the master boot sector on your drive.
Be aware that doing a clean install requires a full copy of the
OS, not an upgrade copy. The price difference between these
two types of copies can be significant.
Perform the Installation
Now you should be ready to install your OS.
If you’re performing a clean install, boot the PC from the
floppy drive.
1. If you’re installing the OS from disks, boot the PC from
the Windows 9x/Me Disk 1 and enter SETUP.EXE at the
A: prompt.
2. If you’re installing the OS using a CD-ROM, boot the PC
using the included floppy disk. This will boot the system
and open the wizard for installing the CD drive. Follow
the instructions given on the screen to install the drive.
Then type D:\, then type SETUP.EXE at the D: prompt.
(If your CD reader isn’t the D: drive, substitute the drive
letter for your CD drive.)
If you’re doing an upgrade, do the following:
1. Start the PC using the current OS.
2. Close all applications that open automatically when the
PC boots, including antiviral software.
3. Insert the CD-ROM into the CD drive, or if you’re
installing the upgrade from floppy disks, insert the
Windows 9x/Me disk into the floppy drive.
4. If upgrading from Windows 3.x to Windows 9x/Me, open
the File Manager and type ?:\SETUP.EXE, where ?: is
the drive where the CD-ROM or floppy disk with the
upgrade resides.
5. If upgrading from Windows 95 to Windows 98/98SE/Me,
open the Run dialog box and type ?:\SETUP.EXE, where
?: is the drive where the CD-ROM or floppy disk with the
upgrade resides.
6. Follow the instruction on the setup screens.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Whether you’re doing a clean install or an upgrade, you’ll be
presented with the option to install Windows’ components for
one of the four different types of setup models:
1. Typical—This option installs the most common configuration of Windows components. This is the recommended
choice for desktop PCs.
2. Portable—This option installs a configuration for notebook or laptop computers. This configuration installs the
power options but eliminates some other, space intensive
programs.
3. Compact—This option installs the minimum components
required to run Windows. This should be used only if
you’re very short of hard drive space.
4. Custom—This option lets you choose what components
you want installed during this process. This is used
when you know you’ll be using features (like foreign language support) not included in the typical installation.
The Windows 9x/Me installation begins in real mode. During
this time the OS does most of the things you were asked to
do in preparation for installation. Having already done these
items makes this process easy and smooth. The setup program then starts Windows (if not already started) and displays the Windows startup screen for your new product.
Setup then creates the Registry. This is where the hardware
information will be stored. It then searches for Plug and Play
(PnP) hardware and loads the device drivers that come with
the OS. If the device driver isn’t part of the OS, it will request
the device driver from the CD-ROM or floppy disk that came
with the hardware.
The installation continues with the writing of the boot
records for the new version of Windows 9x/Me. The PC will
normally reboot at this point, displaying the new opening
screen. If you’re upgrading the OS from a Windows 3.x
product, the setup continues by changing some of the DOS
applications to be able to run under the Windows 9x/Me
environment. Depending on the devices you’ve installed, the
PC may reboot to load the device drivers.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
25
Don’t be surprised if Setup fails to make it to the end the
first few times you run it. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence when installing or upgrading an OS. Microsoft took this
into account and has the Setup program keep a log of what it
accomplished before it crashed. This file, named Setuplog.txt,
registers all of the finished tasks. When you restart the Setup
program, it reads the Setuplog.txt and starts from there. If
you want to force a full restart of the Setup program, delete
the Setuplog.txt file.
The Setup command, like most DOS commands, has
several switches. Table 4 lists these switches and describes
their function.
Table 4
SWITCHES FOR THE SETUP COMMAND
Sw itch
Description
/?
Display all switches, their syntax, and usage for this command.
/D
Don't use the existing version of Windows to begin Setup. This switch is used when you suspect
that the existing version of Windows may have corrupted system files.
/IC
Perform a clean boot. Use this when you believe the device drivers that are loaded from the
AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS files are causing an installation problem.
/IH
Run SCANDISK in the foreground so you can see the results. Use this switch if you have reason to
believe a hard drive problem may be halting the installation.
/IL
Load the driver for a Logitech Series C mouse.
/IN
Don't set up the network.
/IS
Don't run SCANDISK before installation. This switch is often used when installation previously got
past the SCANDISK part of setup and you're forcing a full restart.
/PI
Keep hardware settings that aren't default settings. This switch is used when a Windows 3.x
hardware device failed during installation.
Installing Windows Components
Windows components can be activated during the original
setup or after this process is finished. To install Windows
components during the installation process, select the
“Custom” setup model and select the components you need.
If you need to add a Windows component after the original
installation, do the following:
26
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
1. Have your original Windows installation CD-ROM or
floppy disks available.
2. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
3. Double-click on Add/Remove Programs.
4. Click on Windows Setup on the Properties dialog box
(Figure 6).
5. Select the Windows components you wish to install. The
dialog box will display the amount of hard drive space
required to install this component and the amount of
free space.
6. If you have enough free space, insert the installation CD
or floppy disk and click Have Disk . . .
FIGURE 6—Windows Components
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
27
Installing and/or Updating DirectX
Besides the Windows OS, Microsoft supports their DirectX
software product with a Web site. The OS uses DirectX to
support graphics and sounds. With the explosion of products
released into the multimedia and game markets, Microsoft
has found that the DirectX product is quite dynamic, requiring frequent updates. When purchasing graphics or soundintensive software, it’s a good idea to check the level of
DirectX required to support the software. The level of DirectX
the software requires is often supplied on the CD or disks
that contain the application, but sometimes you need to
download and install an updated level of DirectX to have
the new software function. DirectX is available, at no cost
to the user, on the Microsoft DirectX Web site
www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.asp. Many
multimedia devices connected to a PC access DirectX and its
components. Access to the multimedia devices is accomplished by clicking on Start, Programs, Accessories, and
Entertainment.
To display the level of DirectX on your PC, do the following:
For Windows 95, 98, and 98SE:
1. Double-click on Windows Explorer.
2. Click on My Computer, Local Drive (C:), Program
Files, and DIRECTX. (If your system drive isn’t C:, substitute the correct letter.)
3. In the Setup folder, double-click on Dxinfo.exe
(Figure 7). The level of DirectX installed on your system
is listed here. The level of DirectX is the number that’s
two decimal places right of the 4. In our example,
4.06.00.0318 represents DirectX 6.
Note: Depending on the version of DirectX installed,
there may not be a Dxinfo.exe file in the DirectX folder.
In Windows 98 and up, the designation “dxdiag” may be
used. To get to this, click on Start > Run. Type Dxdiag
and click OK.
28
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 7—Windows 95, 98,
and 98SE DirectX
Information
For Windows Me:
1. Click on Start, then Run.
2. Type dxdiag.
3. Click OK (Figure 8).
4. Click on the System tab. The level of DirectX installed
on your system is listed here.
FIGURE 8—Windows Me
DirectX Diagnostic Tool
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
29
Optimize the Operating System
There are many performance enhancers on the market. This
study unit won’t list all of these products and their features;
instead, we’ll review the procedures you can perform that will
enhance the speed of your PC. In this part of your study unit,
we’ll tell you how to modify the startup items on your PC and
how to use the Performance options on the Systems
Properties screen.
Startup Items
When your system first boots up, a number of programs start
functioning. All of the programs that have been called out in
the CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT, SYSTEM.INI, and WINDOWS.INI files are started. Each of these programs take up
system resources. Modifying the list of devices and programs
that are always running on the PC can increase speed and
free up valuable resources for other applications. A tool discussed earlier, the System Configuration Utility (Figure 9),
can set which programs run when the system is booted.
FIGURE 9—Startup Tab on
the System Configuration
Utility
30
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
To start the System Configuration Utility, do the following:
1. Click Start, then Run.
2. Type msconfig and click OK.
3. Click on the Startup tab.
From this location, you can select which items are initialized
when you boot your machine by simply putting a check mark
or removing a check mark from an item. Many items listed
are obvious as to their function, but not all. You may get
information on an item by right-clicking on it and selecting
the appropriate item. Changes made on this screen don’t take
effect until your PC is rebooted. This utility is available in
Safe Mode in case you remove a critical program from the
startup list.
Performance Options on the System Properties
Screen
Another place that the performance of the system can be
modified is on the Performance tab of the Systems Properties
screen. To get to this screen, do the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on System and then the Performance tab
(Figure 10).
From this window, you can set up the file system properties
for all of your drives, the speed of your graphics accelerator,
and the virtual memory settings.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
31
FIGURE 10—System Performance
File system. Changes on the File System Properties screen
(Figure 11) will affect how Windows uses drives. Changes in
the settings in this area will change the size of the System
Restore area allocated on your prime disk, as well as readahead optimization of the hard drive that Windows
resides on.
FIGURE 11—File System Properties
Hard Drive Settings
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
For floppy drives, you can have the operating system look for
new floppy drive devices on startup. This also forces the OS
to look for new device driver files; specifically, protected
mode device drivers for the floppy disk drive.
For CD drives, the size of the device buffers and the standard
speed of the drive can be modified (Figure 12). When
installing an upgrade or new drive, make sure the standard
speed setting is set for the maximum speed of the drive being
installed.
The options for modifying the
actions for other removable
media drives (CD/DVD
drives) are the same as the
ones offered for the CD drive.
This is presented on a different tab to allow for different
settings on two different
drives. For example, your CD
reader may support 16⫻
speeds while your CD/DVD
R/W drive only supports 4⫻
speeds. The last option on
the File System Properties
screen is for troubleshooting
FIGURE 12—File System Properties CD-ROM Settings
the drives on your system.
This topic is covered later in this study unit.
Graphics. One change that some users may need to make
is the graphics accelerator setting. PC users have experienced problems using graphics acceleration while playing
some PC games. To disable the graphics accelerator, select
Graphics . . . on the Performance tab of the System
Properties screen (Figure 13) and slide the bar to the left.
This will disable the graphics accelerator. You need to reboot
to have this option take effect.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
33
Virtual memory. The other
performance option that will
help speed up your PC is the
Virtual Memory . . . option. To
change the virtual memory
settings, you must be familiar
with memory allocation. The
virtual memory settings have
an option of having Windows
manage the settings. This
setting is recommended for all
but the most experienced user.
FIGURE 13—System Properties Advanced Graphics Settings
If you plan to change the virtual memory from the recommended settings, the change can
increase or decrease the performance of all applications.
The one case when you may want to change the virtual memory settings is when the hard drive shows a lot of activity, as
if it’s continually accessing data (grinding). If this grinding is
happening on the PC you’re working on, and if the affected
PC has 128MB or more of system RAM, the following procedure is something you may want to try. The constant access
of the hard drive can also impinge on the life span of the
drive.
The problem of your hard drive grinding away is caused by
the way Windows handles memory. When an application
starts to run out of RAM, Windows uses the hard drive it’s
installed on for virtual memory. This stopgap measure is an
attempt by the OS to keep the application from crashing
because of low-memory problems. By default, the settings
Windows will allocate for virtual memory is zero for the minimum size and no limit for the maximum size (Figure 14).
The part of the drive allocated is treated like RAM, and the
application reads and writes to it as it would to any system
RAM. This writing to the hard drives works and does solve
memory shortages in emergencies, but it’s slow. Most PCs are
set up with the default setting, which is OK until the hard
drive fills up and there’s no space for Windows to use as virtual memory.
34
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Another hard drive issue that
affects virtual memory performance is that the hard drive
gets messy. When writing data,
Windows doesn’t write it in an
organized fashion on the drive.
The problem of this disorganization is called fragmentation.
Most users are used to using
the defragmentation tool,
which can be found by clicking
Start, Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, and clicking on
the Disk Defragmenter. This
program organizes the files on
your hard drive, creating a
FIGURE 14—System Properties Virtual Memory Settings
faster access time and freeing
up space. Because of the way
Windows handles the space for virtual memory (it locks it),
this space isn’t defragmented and remains disorganized. This
continued disorganization is one of the reasons the hard
drive grinds.
CAUTION
If you don’t have at least 128 MB of RAM in your PC, don’t
attempt to defragment your hard drive’s virtual memory
segment. Using the procedure listed below on a system with
less than 128 MB of RAM will cause your PC to fail without the
ability to restart.
Defragmenting your virtual memory is accomplished by following these steps:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on System and click on the Performance
tab.
3. Click on Virtual Memory . . . as shown on Figure 14.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
35
4. Click on the Let me specify my own virtual memory
settings radio button and then click in the box to check
the Disable virtual memory (Not recommended)
option. This is done so you’ll be able to defragment the
part of the hard drive reserved for virtual memory.
5. Restart Windows and turn all programs off in memory by
closing all programs and turning off all of the items in
the system tray. The icons on the right side of the task
bar list these items.
6. Next, hit the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys to bring up the Close
Program box.
7. Select the items in the list, one at a time, and click on
End Task. Some programs will just stop; others will ask
you to confirm the End Task option before terminating
the program. Simply click End Task again in the new
box to confirm. The only programs you should keep are
Explorer and SysTray. Your computer will now be running with the theoretical minimum of programming in
memory.
8. Run ScanDisk as the first part of the defragmentation
process.
• Click on Start, point to Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, and then click on ScanDisk.
• Select Thorough scan since you’re cleaning up the
hard drive. If time is a concern, choose the Standard
option.
• Click in the Automatically Fix Errors check box
before you start the ScanDisk program.
9. Run the disk defragmenter.
• Disable the Screensaver:
• Right-click on the Desktop and select
Properties.
• Click on the Screen Saver tab.
• On this screen, in the Screen Saver box, scroll
up to and select [None].
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
• Disable the power management options for the PC:
• Right-click on the Desktop and select Properties.
• Click on the Screen Saver tab.
• In the Monitor Power area of this screen, rightclick on the Power . . . button.
• This will open the Power Options Properties
control panel. Click on the Power Schemes tab.
• Under Power Schemes, select the Always On
option.
• Check to make sure all of the other settings are
set to Never.
• Start the disk defragmenter by clicking on Start,
pointing to Programs, Accessories, System Tools,
and then clicking on Disk Defragmenter.
• Choose the drive that Windows resides on to defragment (this is normally Drive C:).
• At the end of this process, reboot the PC.
10. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
11. Double-click on System and click on the Performance
tab.
12. Click on Virtual Memory . . . as shown on Figure 14.
13. This time click on the Let me specify my own virtual
memory settings radio button.
14. Set this value to about 150% of the RAM installed on
your PC. For example if you have 128 MB of system
RAM, this value should be set to 192 MB. This value
should be both the minimum and maximum setting for
your virtual memory.
15. If the calculation results in more than 250 MB, then set
a minimum and maximum of 250 MB.
16. Reboot the PC again. Your PC should be optimized as far
as the virtual memory aspect and should resolve any
hard drive grinding problems.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
37
Technical Note
Windows will use only the drive it’s installed on for virtual memory. If you’re using more than one hard drive in your system,
make sure the drive with Windows installed on it has adequate
free space (more than 250 MB). Having less than the set
amount of hard drive space available for virtual memory can
adversely affect the performance of all application software. If
using the “Let Windows manage my virtual memory settings
(Recommended)” option, we recommend that you keep 5% of
the hard disk space available for virtual memory. Any less than
this amount will usually influence processing speed.
Optimizing Software
As stated before, there are multitudes of optimizing software
applications available from many sources. These applications
won’t be covered in this study unit, but two software applications that will be covered fit loosely into this category. These
products are used to eliminate small programs that run on
the PC to save information and send it to information collection companies when you connect to the Internet. These
small information-collecting programs, often called spyware,
can cause your PC to progressively slow down as more programs are added to the system. The software items covered
are designed to find and eliminate these spyware programs.
Spybot—Search & Destroy. Spybot—Search & Destroy is a
free program produced by PepiMK Software (Figure 15). It can
be downloaded from a variety of Web sites, all accessible from
the Spybot Web site http://spybot.safer-networking.de/.
The program scans your drives and memory and then lists all
of the spyware it has found. A detailed description of these
programs is given as well as an option to eliminate them from
the PC.
We recommend running this program once a week if you’re
on the Internet often.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 15—Spybot:
Search & Destroy
Ad-aware. Another spyware-eliminating program is Adaware from Lavasoft (Figure 16). This is also a free program
for home users and can be downloaded using links available
from the Lavasoft Web site www.lavasoftusa.com/.
We also recommend running this program once a week if
you’re on the Internet often.
FIGURE 16—Ad-aware
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Customize the Look and Feel of Your PC
The Windows 98 and 98SE OS have some business users,
but their main clients are the home PC users. The Windows
Me OS was released exclusively for home users. It’s a fact
that most PCs using the Windows 9x/Me operating systems
will be home-based. Many of the home PC owners want their
PC to have a more individualized look and feel. Keeping this
in mind, you should know how to set up the way a PC looks
and works.
The Desktop
After the Windows OS boots, you’re presented with the desktop on your display. One of the best ways to make your PC
more functional is to manage this environment so it works
the way you need it to. This means having easy access to the
programs and folders you use the most. It also means having
the desktop, Start menu, programs, and folders organized in
a logical way for your use of the PC.
Taskbar. The taskbar is the entry point to all of the items
that aren’t displayed on the desktop. The taskbar includes
the Start menu, quick-launch items, and notification items.
These items can be controlled using the Taskbar Properties
control panel (Figure 17). This control panel is accessible by
doing one of the following:
• Right-click on the taskbar and click on Properties.
Or:
• Click on Start, point to Settings and then click on
Taskbar & Start Menu . . .
The options on the two available tabs are slightly different
between operating systems, but the functions are the same.
The General or Taskbar Options tab will allow you to customize how the taskbar is presented and how the Start menu
will look. Click on the options and then on Apply to see how
these features affect the look of your PC’s desktop.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 17—Taskbar
Properties
The Start Menu Programs tab will allow you to add or remove
items from the Start menu without removing them from your
PC. This is handy for “hiding” tools you seldom use or programs that you’ve installed but don’t want everyone to have
instant access to from the Start menu. The other options on
this screen allow you to clear the items from the Documents
list, and select which items are displayed on the base Start
menu, like Logoff or Favorites.
Adding items to the quick launch area can also modify the
taskbar. To do this, select the icon for a program or shortcut
from the desktop or any folder, and drag it to the quick
launch area. If the item was a shortcut, this process will copy
the shortcut to the quick launch area. If the item was an
application, this process will create a shortcut on the quick
launch area.
By right-clicking on the taskbar, you can also change the
way that open windows are displayed. Options for window
display are Cascade (default), Tile Horizontal, or Tile Vertical.
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41
The final change that can be made to the taskbar is changing
its size and location. Changing the taskbar’s size is done by
clicking and dragging the double arrow that’s displayed when
you put the cursor on the edge of the taskbar. Changing the
taskbar’s location is accomplished by right-clicking on the
taskbar and dragging it to one of the four edges of the desktop. The default placement for the taskbar is on the bottom of
the screen displaying one line of information.
Start menu. The Start menu allows access to the
programs loaded on your PC and to the Windows OS tools
and features. Two processes can modify this menu and its
submenus.
The first process is opening the Taskbar Properties control
panel, shown in Figure 17, using one of these processes:
1. Right-click on the taskbar and click on Properties.
2. Click on the Start Menu Programs tab.
Or:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings and then click on
Taskbar & Start Menu . . .
2. Click on the Start Menu Programs tab.
This control panel allows you to alter the main Start menu
items as well as the items listed in the Programs list.
The second process is to open the C:\WINDOWS\START
MENU folder and modify the main menu items that are listed. To change the program lists, open C:\WINDOWS\START
MENU\PROGRAMS and move the program shortcuts into
folders that group similar applications. An example of this
type of grouping that comes with the Windows 9x/Me OS is
the Games subfolder already created in the
C:\WINDOWS\START MENU\PROGRAMS folder.
Individual program items can be moved on the Start menu
programs list by right-clicking and dragging the listing into a
place in the programs list.
Icons. Icons are shortcuts to an application, folder, or file
that belongs to an application.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Desktop icons with a little arrow in the lower left corner identify shortcuts. These shortcuts point to file and location on
your PC. Right-clicking on a file and selecting Create
Shortcut can create these shortcuts. They can then be cut
and pasted onto your desktop for easy access later. Deleting
an icon doesn’t remove the program or folder from your PC;
it just eliminates a way to access it quickly.
Desktop items without an arrow are icons that represent a
file, folder, or application. The My Documents icon represents
a folder, and the Internet Explorer icon belongs to an application. Tossing these icons into the trash will eliminate files
and or applications from your PC.
More on shortcuts. Shortcuts themselves can be modified
to make them more functional as well as enhance the look of
your desktop. To change a shortcut, right-click on the shortcut’s icon and select Properties.
The General tab lists the information on the shortcut. The
top area lists the name given to the shortcut. Clicking on the
name and changing the information can edit this. The name
of the shortcut doesn’t have to correspond to the file name
being pointed to. For example, you can rename your shortcut
from “My Music” to “Tunes” without changing the function of
the shortcut.
The Shortcut tab allows you to modify the place the shortcut
points to, called the target (Figure 18). Changing this information will have the PC look in a different location for the
file. Changing this setting is often more troublesome than
creating a new shortcut that points to the correct location
(if you know it) or using the Find Target. . . function.
The Shortcut Properties screen also has a place where you
can direct the OS to open the file in a specific location, open
the file using a selected keystroke or combination of keystrokes, and display the file in a particular manner when it
opens.
The Shortcut dialog box also allows you to change the icon
for many shortcuts. Changing icons can help individualize
your desktop. If you’re connected to the Internet, many
Web sites are dedicated to distributing interesting icons
(some of these icons are free for home users). Just click on
the Change Icon . . . box and select the desired icon from
anywhere on your PC.
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43
FIGURE 18—Shortcut
Properties
Display
The easiest way to personalize the look of your PC is by
changing the background picture the display uses as wallpaper. This can be done by simply choosing a different background picture from the small assortment of pictures included with the Windows OS. Another easy way is to use a photo
you’ve taken with a digital camera, copy it to the PC, and use
it for your wallpaper. Alternatively, you could scan a photo
and use it for your wallpaper. Other options include using
the search engine on the Internet to find appropriate background scenes, copying these scenes onto your PC (usually
into the My Pictures directory), and then using them for the
wallpaper.
There are two major ways of changing the look and performance of your display. These features are controlled either
by the Display Properties control panel or by the use of
Desktop Themes.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Technical Note
Before changing the display’s wallpaper in a business setting,
review your company’s policies regarding what can or can’t be
used as a background on PCs.
Display properties. The options on the Display Properties
control panel will control most of the changes you’ll want to
make on your PC’s display (Figure 19). This window can be
accessed using one of the following procedures:
• Right-click on the desktop (not an application or folder)
and then click on Properties.
Or:
• Click on Start, point to Settings, Control Panel, and
then double-click on Display.
FIGURE 19—Display
Properties
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45
The first tab, Background, is where you can select the
picture you want for your wallpaper. You can look at the
pictures available in the default C:\WINDOWS and C:\MY
DOCUMENTS\MY PICTURES directories, or look for other
images on your PC by clicking on the Browse . . . button.
There are three options for displaying the object you selected.
• Center—This option centers the picture in the middle of
the display with a border of the color that was selected
as the desktop color on the Appearance tab.
• Tile—This option repeats the photo on the screen with
the first full-sized picture in the upper right corner. This
option is commonly used for small photos that make a
pleasant pattern when repeated. Windows supplies a few
of this type of picture for your use.
• Stretch—This option stretches the selected picture to fit
the entire screen. This stretching doesn’t preserve the
aspect ratio, so it shouldn’t be used for portrait-oriented
pictures.
The Screen Saver tab allows you to select the screen saver
you want to use when the PC is idle for a set period. This tab
also allows you access to the properties screen of the screen
saver, where you can set the way the screen saver itself performs (speed and colors). The setting for how long the PC is
idle before starting the screen saver is also managed on this
screen, as well as an alternate location for setting up the
power management schemes. The setup of power management settings is discussed later in this study unit.
The Appearance tab sets the appearance of all of the items
on your PC’s display other than the wallpaper. This includes
the colors and sizes of all of the windows, as well as the fonts
that are used on the different parts of the display of the
Windows environment. There are some preset schemes that
you can choose from, or you can define all the elements in
the Windows environment to make a truly unique look.
Available in the list of schemes are some that fit the “high
contrast” definitions discussed later. These “high contrast”
schemes are designed for visually impaired users.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
The options listed under the Effects tab allow you to modify
the icons used to identify the basic objects on your desktop.
Check-off options are also included for transition styles, font
smoothing, icon size/color, drag options, and navigation indicator display. Some of these options can be quite memory
intensive, so you should try them out when you’re not in critical need of system resources.
The Web tab allows you to have your home page, or any
Internet page you choose, constantly displayed on the desktop. This is also the place you can control the items you have
on your active desktop. Many companies create active desktop items that are synchronized to a Web site when the PC is
connected to the Internet. This feature is particularly interesting to people who are constantly connected, like DSL and
cable connected Internet users. The Active Desktop feature
isn’t supported on PCs with Internet Explorer 5.5 or later
because of security concerns with the active desktop.
The last display property is the Settings tab. Under the
options on this tab, you have the choice of screen resolution
and color depth support. The higher the resolution and color
depth, the more video memory that’s required. For example,
changing the setting from 800 ⫻ 600 video resolution with a
16-bit color depth to 1024 ⫻ 768 video resolution and a 24bit “True Color” color depth will change the required video
RAM from 1 MB to 4MB. If you notice a performance change
when you change these settings, then you may need to install
more video RAM or settle for the lower settings.
Professional Tip
Though most applications either support multiple display
settings or change these settings automatically when they’re
started, some older DOS-based programs require specific
display settings to work properly. You need to have either the
Start menu or the desktop available to change the display
settings, and some applications leave you access to neither of
these items. You should make a list of the programs that have
specific display settings required so you change the settings
before you start these DOS programs. It may be convenient to change the name of the
program to include this information. For example, instead of using the name “Coolgame,”
you may want to change it to “VGACoolgame.”
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Desktop Themes. Another commonly used item to change
the look of a display is the Desktop Themes option
(Figure 20). Like many features discussed in this study unit,
this feature is included with the Windows OS but isn’t
installed with the standard product. You must first log on at
the administrator level of privileges and then click on Start,
Settings, Control Panel, and then double-click on
Add/Remove Software. On this screen, select the Windows
Components tab and the check the Desktop Themes
component.
FIGURE 20—Desktop
Themes
After this component installation, the desktop themes are
accessible by clicking on Start, Settings, Control Panel, and
then double-clicking on Desktop Themes. By selecting this
feature, you’ll be able to install desktop themes developed by
Microsoft and other manufacturers/distributors. A few of
these desktop themes are installed as part of the Windows
9x/Me OS. When you choose one of these themes, many display, sound, and mouse pointer options will be changed.
The first noticeable change you’ll see when you click on the
Apply button is that the desktop theme will change the background image and appearance of the desktop components.
These changes are quite global, changing everything from
the font used on your desktop to the icons used to identify
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
standard desktop components. Changing the desktop by
using a desktop theme can also force the display setting to
shift into a different color depth. As explained earlier, this
change can have a negative impact on the performance of
your PC if you don’t have enough video memory.
The second visual difference you may notice is that the
screen saver used on your PC is changed. You may preview
the screen saver by clicking on the appropriate box. You may
want to change the screen saver settings after the theme is
installed. You can change these settings without changing
any of the other options set by the desktop theme. To do this,
go to the Display Properties screen, and modify the screen
aver or its properties as explained earlier. The desktop
themes’ change of the screen saver doesn’t change any of the
power options you may have set earlier.
Third, the sounds that are generated by Windows to indicate
certain events are changed. For example, what used to be a
beep may now sound more like a train horn.
Finally, the pointer used by the base Windows product often
changes. Pointer changes commonly don’t affect the cursors
and pointers used in data input intensive applications.
Many people like these global types of changes that truly
make their PC unique. The great thing is all of these changes
are removable and changeable, so you can alter them as
often as you desire.
Scanners and Cameras
The individualization of the look of the display’s background
picture can be dependant on the acquisition of unique photographic source materials. This is a good place to discuss
how Windows handles image-creation devices like scanners
and cameras.
The setups of scanners and cameras are some of the most
device-dependent attachments that can be made to a PC.
Many of these devices have proprietary device drivers or
setup programs that need to be installed, even if they consider themselves a Plug and Play device.
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49
When installing a camera or scanner, we can’t stress enough
that the instructions that come with the device must be faithfully followed. If you’ve already installed one of these devices,
don’t assume that the next installation will be the same.
Almost every installation is unique to the scanner or camera
you want to connect to your PC.
The first thing you need to be concerned with is the actual
physical installation. Is the device attached using a Universal
Serial Bus (USB port), a shared parallel port with the printer,
a Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) connection to a
Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) card, a PC Card
port (notebook PCs), an infrared port (mainly cameras), or a
proprietary PC interface card? Next, when the PC is turned
on, Windows may automatically detect the device and do a
preliminary installation. To finish the installation, you’re
often required to run the setup software that came with the
scanner or camera. This setup software will install programs
that can be used to run the device and display the pictures it
has created. Finally, you’ll need to set up Windows to accept
the pictures in a way that’s the most logical to you.
Now let’s discuss the specifics of installing cameras and
scanners to your PC.
Cameras. The Windows 9x/Me OS offer full support for the
type of digital imaging devices that plug into your PC to
transfer images. Even with hot-swappable devices, you may
need to turn off your PC, attach the device, and turn the PC
back on the first time you connect a device. Make sure you
follow the instructions included with your imaging device
before you attach or detach it from the PC. Some devices,
specifically cameras, require you to flip a switch on the camera before it’s connected to, or disconnected from, a PC.
After you’ve run through the device’s setup program(s),
Windows will list the device on the Scanners and Cameras
control panel. Doing the following accesses this panel:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Scanners and Cameras.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
This will open a window that displays all of the installed
devices, their connections, and properties. A troubleshooting
option is also available to check on how the device is functioning. In the case of cameras, Windows will also give you an
option of placing an icon for a camera in the desktop and
task bar.
You can transfer your pictures from the connected external
device to your PC using the Picture Acquisition Wizard as
follows:
1. Right-click on the camera icon on the desktop or on the
Scanners and Camera window and select Use Wizard.
2. Click Next.
3. Thumbnails of the pictures stored in the device appear.
Click on the pictures you want, or click on Select All
and then click Next.
4. Enter a name prefix for the selected pictures in the
Name box. The pictures will be numbered sequentially
with the prefix you enter (such as Pic001.jpg, Pic002.jpg,
and Pic003.jpg).
5. Enter a destination for the pictures in the Destination
drop-down list or right-click on Browse . . . for a new
location. The default is C:\MY DOCUMENTS\MY
PICTURES.
6. If you want to delete the images from the camera after
you transferred the ones you want, check the Delete
copied pictures from the camera box and then click on
Finish. This “delete copied pictures” feature isn’t available with all cameras.
Scanners. Imaging is a special-purpose graphics tool that’s
part of the Windows 98, 98SE, and Me OS. This program is
designed to run scanners, display images, and annotate
scanner files that are in .awd (fax), .tif, and .bmp formats.
The Imaging program can display images in a wide variety of
formats but can only annotate files for these formats. To
access the Imaging program, do the following:
• Click on Start, point to Programs, Accessories, and
then double-click on Imaging.
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To have the program run the scanner, on the File drop-down,
select Scan New. If this option isn’t available, select the
Select Scanner option and set up your scanner for use with
the Imaging program.
After the image is scanned, this program can make marks or
notes on the image, known as annotation. The tools are
named appropriately enough that most users have no problems using them. If the tools aren’t available, the file format
of the image isn’t one that Imaging supports. This program
does the job of annotation well, but has very limited imageediting features. If you require extensive image editing, use
Paint or the editing software that’s often supplied with the
scanner.
Keyboard
To change the way a PC feels commonly requires changing
the keyboard settings. These settings can be modified using
the Keyboard Properties control panel. To open the Keyboard
Properties control panel, do the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Keyboard to display Keyboard Properties
(Figure 21).
The Keyboard Properties control panel has three tabs:
1. The Speed tab offers you a choice on setting how long a
delay occurs before a key will repeat. You can also define
how fast the character is repeated and set the cursor
blink rate.
2. Under the Input Locals tab are choices for primary and
secondary language, keystroke combinations (hot-keys)
for these language changes, and a choice of what key will
disable the Caps Lock function.
3. Under the last tab, Hardware, is a list of all hardware
devices installed that serve a keyboard function. This list
will include standard keyboards, USB keyboards, and
other devices connected to the PC that function as a
character input device.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 21—Keyboard
Properties
Mouse
The other device that can be modified to change the feel of
your PC is the mouse. Many options that change the way the
mouse functions are available on the Mouse Properties control panel. To open the Mouse Properties control panel, do
the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Mouse to display the Mouse Properties
control panel’s mouse options (Figure 22).
This relatively small device has a surprising number of
options that can be set for your comfort. The figure shows
the properties screen for the Logitech MouseWare Control
Center. This version of mouse properties includes additional
setup features for your mouse.
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FIGURE 22—Mouse Properties:
Logitech MouseWare
The basic features for the Mouse Properties screen are more
limited, but will give you a chance to have your mouse work
more comfortably for you (Figure 23).
Now let’s discuss the tabs available on the Mouse Properties
screens (Figures 22 and 23).
The first tab, available only with MouseWare (Figure 23), is
the Quick Setup tab, allows you to set up the mouse the way
you want. When you click on the Device Setup box, you’ll be
guided through windows that will set up your mouse for
right-hand or left-hand use as well as what the middle button or scroll device (if installed) will do. Trying all the options
on the setup will get the mouse to work the way you want it.
The Pointers tab is used to change the look of the cursors
displayed during the different modes of operation (i.e.,
“insert” or “wait”) while using the Windows OS. This option
was addressed when we discussed Desktop Themes.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 23—Mouse Properties:
Basic
The Buttons tab is used to change the button assignments
on your mouse. This tab also gives you access to control the
double-click speed for your mouse as well as an opportunity
to test the speed to see if it’s appropriate for your applications. Also included is a feature for mobility-impaired individuals and others who don’t or can’t hold down the mouse
button to drag items on the screen. If you have MouseWare
installed, the Buttons tab is used to verify and/or change the
button assignments you’ve selected for the mouse, as well as
how far the mouse moves when you turn the scroll button (if
installed).
The Pointer Options tab (Figure 23), called “Motion” if you’re
using the MouseWare Control Panel (Figure 22), allows you to
change how fast (or slow) the mouse will move the screen
cursor when you move the mouse. It also lets you decide
whether you want the mouse to move faster the more you
move it (a feature known as “Acceleration”). Other options on
the Motion tab have to do with the SmartMove function,
which moves the cursor to the highlighted button on a
screen, and how fast the select button repeats.
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The Orientation tab, also available only with MouseWare, is
used mainly for trackballs, but can be useful if up and down
aren’t straight moves because of where your mouse is.
The Devices tab, available only with the MouseWare Control
Center, tells you what mouse-type device is installed. This
tab will display the devices you currently have installed as
well as devices you’ve installed in the past. This list includes
any mouse-type device including some tablets used in high
definition input, as well as two button (standard), three button (wheel), USB mice, trackballs, and other mouse-like
devices.
Sounds and Multimedia
Changing how your PC handles sounds is another way to
add functionality as well as individuality to your PC. To
access the Sound Properties control panel, do the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on the Sounds (Windows 9x) or Sounds
and Multimedia (Windows Me) icon. This will
display the Sound Properties control panel for your
PC (Figure 24).
Windows 9x
Windows Me
FIGURE 24—Sound Properties
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
The first tab, Sounds, is the only tab available on the
Windows 9x OS. It lists the sounds the PC makes during certain, predefined events. These sound events will play a .wav
file stored in the default directory C:\WINDOWS\MEDIA.
You can select any of the listed sound schemes, or make
your own out of .wav files you’ve created and saved on the
PC. Another option is to use a desktop theme, and its
sounds, for your PC’s sound scheme.
The Audio tab (Windows Me only) allows you to select the
devices you choose to handle the sounds used on your PC.
These choices include the devices used for playback, recording, and MIDI interface. These devices are commonly, but
not always, parts of the sound card installed in your PC. In
some applications that are sound intensive, such as home
entertainment audio, different devices may be used for sound
recording and playback, and interfaces may be listed that
are application specific and must be changed when applications are changed.
The Hardware tab (Windows Me only) lists the devices that
support sound on the PC. These aren’t all traditional hardware devices. Included in this list are the audio and video
COmpressor/DECompressor (CODEC) programs that are
installed, as well as the audio drivers supported by your PC.
You can view the properties of these drivers and CODECs as
well as troubleshoot their interactions from this location, but
you aren’t able to modify any options. Modification of these
drivers and CODECs is limited to install, uninstall, and
update. This is controlled through the hardware or software
wizards that are covered in their respective sections of this
study unit.
Power Options/Power Managment
By changing the power settings for your PC, you can control
how the PC acts when no one is using it. To access the
Power Options or Power Management Properties control
panel, do the following:
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57
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Power Options or Power Management
to open the dialog box (Figure 25). These options are
particularly important to set up a notebook or laptop
computer.
FIGURE 25—You can adjust
the power settings via
Control Panel.
These options, when properly set, will power down your
computer if it hasn’t been used for a specific period. The
computer defines “used” as the acquisition of new input, or
continued output to an outside source. As stated earlier in
this study unit, running the Disk Defragmenter doesn’t qualify as the computer being “used” and will malfunction when
the power goes off if options are set in a conservative fashion.
Under the Power Schemes tab, you can select a predefined
power scheme or make up your own. The predefined schemes
work well for most PCs and can be used as a starting point
for developing your own personalized schemes. Notice that
notebook PCs go into hibernation or shut down quite quickly,
while the “presentation” scheme will never power down a PC.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
The Advanced tab allows you to set the behavior the PC
exhibits when it goes off standby and what happens when
you hit the power button on your computer.
The final tab, Hibernate, gives you control of the hibernation
feature that’s important on notebook and laptop computers.
For a PC of any type to support the hibernate feature, both
the PC and all of its components must support hibernation.
The PC sets aside hard drive space for storing active data
files when the PC moves into the hibernate mode. When the
PC comes out of hibernate mode, everything that was in
memory is restored and the system returns to its previous
state.
Dealing with Fonts
Let’s start with the definitions of the terms “font” and “typeface.” Typeface is the term for the shape of each character
that’s produced on your screen or printer. For example, Arial
is a typeface. Font describes not only the typeface, but also
the pitch, sizing, spacing, and attributes. Within the Arial
typeface, there are many fonts to choose from. They can be
different sizes, italic, bold, condensed and black, regular, or
combinations of these attributes. Because of their extensive
use on PCs, the terms font and typeface have become almost
interchangeable. In this study unit, the term font will be used
as a synonym for typeface to reduce confusion, even though
this is an incorrect substitution of terms.
The more fonts you’ve installed, the more choices you have
available to any application that supports text. This allows
you the freedom to create documents that look the way you
need them to. The Windows OS comes with some base fonts
installed. These fonts include most of the ones that are used
on Web sites and enough variety to produce documents that
have a look that’s distinctive enough not to be perceived as
mass-produced. Many text application software programs
include fonts that you may install to give yourself more
options pertaining to the look of your text documents.
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Display Fonts
You can look at the installed fonts that may be used globally
by doing the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Fonts.
This window displays the fonts you’ve installed on your system in one of four different views, three of which you’ll be
familiar with.
• Large Icons—This displays the fonts as icons sorted
alphabetically. This is the default setting.
• List—This will display the fonts in a list preceded by
small icons.
• Similarity—This is a special view available in the Fonts
window only. With this view, you’re able to select a font
and then view the rest of the fonts you’ve installed based
on similarities. This option can help you to sort out fonts
that are similar to allow you to decide if you want them
on your PC (Figure 26).
• Details—This choice will display the font as well as the
details such as size and date of last modification.
Note that the viewing options are displayed as buttons on the
toolbar in the font folder instead of a drop-down menu used
in other folders. One other difference in this folder is that one
other viewing option is available. You may set the default for
viewing fonts so you don’t view the variations for each font.
For example, you’ll have Arial listed instead of Arial, Arial
Bold, Arial Bold Italic, and Arial Italic. This reduces the
screen clutter if you’re using the “large icon” or “list” options.
To access this feature on the fonts folder, select the View
drop-down list and select Hide Variations.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 26—The similarity option compares your fonts.
Types of fonts. There are, at the time of this writing, four
major types of fonts a PC and its input/output (I/O)
devices support. Four different icons in the fonts folder
represent them.
• “A”—The A designator is usually red on PCs that support
color. This designation is used for non-TrueType fonts.
The attributes for these fonts may vary significantly from
one font designer to another.
• “a”—The a designator is usually red on PCs that support
color. This designation is used for Adobe Type-1 fonts.
Adobe Type Manager (ATM) is required for PostScript
font support, basic font installation, and rendering of
these fonts. In addition, if you use Adobe’s multiple master typefaces and want to create custom font instances,
ATM or ATM Light is required. The Light version of the
ATM product is available free at
http://www.adobe.com/products/atmlight/
main.html.
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61
• “O”—This designator is usually green and black on PCs
that support color. This is the designation for OpenType
fonts. OpenType is the attempt by Microsoft and Adobe
to unify the competing formats of TrueType and Type 1
fonts. OpenType fonts have a “digital signature,” which
aims to prevent casual modification of the font.
• “TT”—This designator, with the two Ts overlapping, is
usually displayed in blue and gray on PCs that support
color. This is the designation for TrueType fonts.
Lossless—This is a
compression style in
which every bit of data
that was originally in
the file remains there
after the file is uncompressed. All of the
information is completely restored.
All of the above listed fonts use some sort of compression to
keep the hard drive storage down to a reasonable size.
TrueType uses MicroType Express, Agfa’s lossless font compression technology that claims 90% compression largely due
to using a subset of the font for display. Type 1 fonts use
Adobe’s Compressed Font Format, which averages a claimed
45% reduction without subsetting. With all of this compression, decompression, and the need for the characters to be
individually drawn onto a display or I/O device, the more and
faster memory you have, the better a text-intensive application will perform.
With the possible exception of the fonts designated with an
“A,” these fonts are all scalable, meaning that the font is
available in any size that will fit on the output device you’re
using. These fonts are also embeddable when using some
applications, meaning that another PC will be able to display
the correct font information even if it doesn’t have the font
installed. Because of font copyright law and other factors,
this embeddable feature isn’t available for Web page display.
If a font isn’t installed on the receiver’s computer, the look of
a Web page with uncommon fonts will be altered. If you’re
creating documents that are intended for display on an
Internet Web page, use the fonts that came with the basic
Windows product to ensure correct display on the largest
number of PCs.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Professional Tip
When working with a professional printing service, it’s best
to use the fonts they support directly by having them installed
on their system even if your application software package supports the embedding of font information. This is of a particular
concern if the printing service uses PostScript devices for final
output. This will ensure that the documents will look the way
you produced them. Check with the printing service for exact
font support requirements.
Install Fonts
If you get new fonts, they commonly come with their own
installation utility. Even if the fonts came with a piece of
applications software, the software that installs the application will allow you to choose what fonts you want installed.
In the rare instance when you need to install a font through
Windows, a utility is available on the Fonts folder. You can
get to this utility by doing the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Fonts.
3. Click on the File drop-down list and select Install
a New Font.
4. An Add Fonts dialog box will open allowing you to select
the source drive, the fonts you want to install, and
whether you want the font copied to your PC.
Occasionally, you won’t want the default option of the font
being copied onto your PC. This may be because you plan to
use the font on a very limited basis or the number of fonts
you’ve already copied onto the PC has become unmanageable. When you make the choice of not copying the font onto
the computer, you need to have the disk or CD for the font
available each time you have a document that wants to print
or display it.
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63
Though it would seem to be a good idea to have the maximum amount of fonts available for your applications, the
installation of too many fonts slows the performance of textoriented programs. This slowdown is caused by the program’s
need to sort the font information when displaying options on
the application, as well as the predictable slowdown caused
by a PC that has a full hard drive.
Delete Fonts
If you need to remove a font from the PC, simply delete it
from the fonts folder like any other file. Removing the font
from this folder will remove it from the list of available fonts
on all of your text applications that use the fonts folder.
Special-Needs Setup
Windows 95, 98, and 98SE were released as an OS that
could be used in both homes and offices. When Windows Me
was released, it was targeted for the home market; businesses were supported by the Windows 2000 product line.
All of the Windows 9x/Me products have features developed
with the “at home” consumer in mind. OS features you may
need to set up right after installation include tools and
options that make the computer more usable depending
upon the user’s abilities. These features fall into two groups:
• Accessibility Tools—These items, set up by the
Accessibility Wizard allows you to configure the Windows
OS for special vision, hearing, and mobility needs.
Accessibility Tools aren’t installed by default when you
install the Windows OS.
• Accessibility Options—These options configure the OS for
specific changes in the devices connected to it.
Accessibility Options are installed by default when you
install the Windows OS.
It’s possible that one or both of these components aren’t
installed on your PC. To install these features, they must be
installed as a Windows component. The instructions for
installing Windows components were presented earlier in this
study unit.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Accessibility Tools
Windows 9x/Me is packaged with a group of components
called Accessibility Tools that are intended for special-needs
individuals. The Accessibility Wizard configures this group of
Windows’ components. This “one stop” wizard will set up all
of the accessibility options you need so you won’t have to
configure the options one at a time. To start the Accessibility
Wizard, do the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Programs, Accessories,
and Accessibility.
2. Click on the Accessibility Wizard (Figure 27).
FIGURE 27—Accessibility Wizard
Follow the onscreen prompts to change the accessibility features you need to modify. There are options for visual, hearing, and mobility needs (Figure 28). By placing a check mark
in any of the items, you’re guided to a set of screens that will
set up the features needed. This screen also gives the operator the choice of resetting the PC to its original setting as
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
65
defined by the base Windows 9x/Me OS product. Remember
that when you reset these options, it affects the accessibility
for all users, so be considerate of the needs of others.
FIGURE 28—Accessibility
Wizard Options
Depending on your version of Windows, at the end of the
session you may be asked if you want to save the setup to a
disk (Figure 29). This is a desirable option for any person that
uses more than one PC. By installing this file on another PC,
you’ll be able to use the settings that you configured on your
first computer without going through the configuration again.
FIGURE 29—Accessibility
Wizard Save Options
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
All of these features can be changed manually. This will be
explained in the next section.
The utility manager can set
other options that may be
needed in special situations.
This feature is started by
pressing the WinKey + U
(Figure 30). (Clicking on
Start, pointing to Programs,
Accessories, Accessibility,
then clicking on the desired
feature can also open these
utilities.) This screen controls
the three devices displayed.
These devices have control
panels and settings that can
be adjusted to the needs of
the user. Simply select the
options needed by clicking
on the features desired.
FIGURE 30—Utility Manager
Accessibility Options
Accessibility Options are controlled
using the Accessibility Properties control panels (Figure 31). This utility
allows you to set each of the features
that the Accessibility Wizard configures. To open the Accessibility
Property control panels, do the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings,
and then click on Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Accessibility
Options to open the Accessibility
Properties control panels.
Most of these features have two things
that can be set. First, you can check a
box that turns the feature on or off.
FIGURE 31—Accessibility Properties
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67
Second, there’s a Settings button that opens a dialog box, to
let you configure the feature.
We’ll discuss each of the Accessibility Options features that
can be modified: the keyboard, sound, display, mouse, and
general features.
Keyboard. You can control how the keyboard behaves by
altering any of these keyboard options:
• StickyKeys—This feature treats the Ctrl, Shift, and Alt
keys as toggle keys. Each time you press them, they toggle on and off. This way, if you want to use key combinations, like Alt + F to open the file menu, you don’t have
to hit the two keys simultaneously.
• FilterKeys—This feature allows the Windows keyboard
interface to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes that may
occur with certain types of mobility impairments.
• ToggleKeys—This feature plays a sound when the Caps
Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock keys are pressed, so you’ll
know when you’ve pressed them.
Sound. The features under the Sound tab address how additional visual information will be presented for hearingimpaired users.
• SoundSentry—This feature allows Windows to generate
visual warnings onscreen whenever the PC normally
makes a sound. This option includes extending the visual warning feature to any programs that support its use.
• ShowSounds—This feature turns on an option that
works like closed captioning on TV. The OS and programs that support this feature will “read” the speech or
sounds being generated.
Display. The only feature you can access under this tab is
the Use High Contrast check box. This feature will set the
display to use fonts and colors that are designed for easier
reading. This is especially convenient for visually impaired
users. This option can also be set using the Display Propties screen, which we’ll discuss later in this study unit.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Mouse. The only feature you can access under this tab is
the Use MouseKeys option. This feature allows you to use the
arrow keys on the numeric keypad instead of using a mouse.
This option is convenient for individuals who have mobility
impairments that make using a mouse difficult. If you use
this feature, you should also use the FilterKey option.
General. Under the General tab are more options you may
wish to customize:
• Automatic Reset—This feature resets the PC, turning off
all accessibility features after a set amount of time. This
doesn’t turn off the check box on the Accessibility
Options screen, but merely suspends the feature until
it’s turned back on. You may, of course, reselect any
accessibility option at any time by reselecting it on the
Accessibility Options screen.
• Notification—This option displays warning messages on
the screen and plays sounds when an accessibility feature is being turned off.
• SerialKey Devices—This option allows Windows to access
alternative keyboards and pointing devices that are used
for handicapped individuals. Instructions for the setup
and use of these devices are included with the device’s
documentation.
If you’ve any additional needs or concerns about using the
Windows 9x/Me accessibility options, Microsoft has set up
a Web site for individuals that need these special services.
The Microsoft Accessibility Web site is available at
www.microsoft.com/enable/.
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69
Practical Exercise 1
We strongly suggest that you test your skills by performing
the following practical exercises.
Check your answers against those on pages 188–191.
Practical Exercise 1A—Install the OS
Prepare your PC for a normal installation of the Windows OS.
Practical Exercise 1B—DirectX
Check your version of DirectX against the latest version
available from Microsoft.
Practical Exercise 1C—Defragmenting the Virtual
Memory
Defragment the virtual memory segment of your hard drive if
the system memory is 128 MB or higher.
Practical Exercise 1D—Fonts
Display all of the fonts on your system using the similarity
feature. Which font(s) are listed as most similar to Arial
Black?
Practical Exercise 1E—Changing the Wallpaper
Using your search engine, find and install appropriate wallpaper on your PC.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Self-Check 2
1. List three procedures you need to do before installing a Windows 9x/Me upgrade on a
PC.
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
2. True or False? To install a font, just copy the font’s file(s) to the C\Windows\Font folder.
3. List the three special-needs conditions supported by the Windows 9x/Me OS.
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
4. The Virtual Memory settings on your PC should represent _______ % of the system RAM,
with a maximum value of _______ MB.
5. An easy way to make global changes to a PC’s look is to apply a _______ _______.
Check your answers with those on page 187.
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71
WINDOWS 9X OPERATING
SYSTEM PROCESSES
If you’ve finished the preceding section, you should have gone
through the steps required to install and customize the operating system on your PC. Next, we’ll cover the processes the
OS is responsible for and the configuration of files that control these processes.
Startup
This section of the study unit will focus on what happens
when Windows 9x/Me starts up. Included are instructions on
how to configure the startup so it does what you need it
to do.
The Startup Process
Real mode—This is
an execution mode
supported by the Intel
80286 and later processors. In real mode,
these processors imitate
the Intel 8088 and 8086
microprocessors. A program running in real
mode normally requires
access to system data.
Real-mode programs are
usually part of the OS.
Windows 9x/Me first loads in real mode, then in protected
mode. IO.SYS is responsible for the real-mode segment of the
startup. During this process MSDOS.SYS and CONFIG.SYS
are checked for switches and parameters that control the way
the OS boots. Other real-mode core components are then
read into the system. Next, the OS enters protected mode.
VMM32.VXD is responsible for the protected-mode part of the
startup process. When the system enters protected mode,
IO.SYS is terminated. For a complete overview of the loading
process, see Figure 32.
Protected mode—An
execution mode in
which each program
can be allocated a certain section of memory.
The memory used by
each program is protected from interference
by other programs.
Protected mode supports multitasking and
allows programs to
access extended memory and virtual memory.
As illustrated, starting up Windows 9x/Me is a five-phase
process. Let’s take a closer look at each of these five phases.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
PHASE
DESCRIPTION
BIOS Boots PC
BIOS
1 Bootstrap
POST
PnP BIOS Configuration
LO.SYS
MSDOS.SYS, CONFIG.SYS Checked
DOS Drivers
2 and TSRs
COMMAND.COM, AUTOEXEC.BAT Loaded
WIN.COM Loads Real Mode Core Components
(LO.SYS Terminated)
Real Mode
3 VxDs Loaded
VMM32.VXD Creates Virtual Machines
Load Status VxDs Named in Registry and
SYSTEM.INI and Found in \WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VMM32.VXD
Shift to Protected Mode
Protected Mode
4 Switchover and
PnP Configuration
Load PnP Configuration Manager
PnP Loads Dynamic Drivers
LOAD:
Loading
5 Remaining
Components
Kernel (KERNEL32.DLL, KRNL386.EXE)
GDI (GDI.EXE, GDI32.DLL)
User (USER.EXE, USER32.DLL)
Fonts
WIN.INI is Checked
Shell and Desktop Built
In a Network Environment, Logon
Prompt Appears
Startup Directory is Processed
FIGURE 32—Windows Loading Process
BIOS bootstrap. The whole startup process is started with
the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). BIOS performs the
POST and saves information that the Configuration Manager
uses later to configure the hardware. If the BIOS is a Plug
and Play (PnP) BIOS, it looks in CMOS memory for information about PnP hardware devices and then configures these
devices.
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73
DOS drivers, TSRs, and environmental controls. When
ready, the BIOS turns control over to IO.SYS, which creates
a real-mode environment. IO.SYS loads drivers, sets variables, and executes any commands in the CONFIG.SYS and
AUTOEXEC.COM files. These files’ entries are executed for
backward-compatibility reasons.
IO.SYS now checks the MSDOS.SYS file for boot parameters
and then loads HIMEM.SYS, IFSHLP.SYS, SETVER.EXE, and
DRVSPACE.BIN/DBLSPACE.BIN if they’re available.
• HIMEM.SYS—Grants access to extended memory.
• IFSHLP.SYS—This file is used by 16-bit programs to
access the file system.
• SETVER.EXE—Allows backwards compatibility for DOS
programs that use the DOS version number.
• DRVSPACE.BIN or DBLSPACE.BIN—These files are used
for hard drive compression. In order to be loaded, the
corresponding DRVSPACE.INI or DBLSPACE.INI is in the
root directory.
IO.SYS doesn’t automatically load EMM386.EXE. If you have
any 16-bit programs that use emulated, expanded memory,
you need to load the EMM386.EXE file from the CONFIG.SYS
file by adding the following line:
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS
IO.SYS now sets many environmental variables to default
settings. The default settings are
FILES=60
LASTDRIVE=Z
BUFFERS=30
STACKS=9,256
SHELL=COMMAND.COM
FCBS=4
IO.SYS can’t be edited, but these variables can be set to different values using the CONFIG.SYS file. The CONFIG.SYS
file overrides these default variables set by IO.SYS.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Next, the IO.SYS loads the COMMAND.COM and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. The default settings contained in the IO.SYS
file are
TMP=C:\WINDOWS\TEMP
TEMP= C:\WINDOWS\TEMP
PROMPT=$p$g
PATH=C:\WINDOWS; C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND
As stated before, IO.SYS can’t be edited, but these variables
can be set to different values using the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
The AUTOEXEC.BAT file overrides these default variables set
by IO.SYS.
Finally, IO.SYS loads WIN.COM, which contains other real
mode components.
Static VxDs. IO.SYS’s control of the startup process is now
finished. Control is turned over to the Virtual Memory
Manager component of VMM32.VXD along with some Virtual
Device Drivers (VxDs). The VMM32.VXD file is unique to the
PC it’s installed onto, since it was written during the original
installation of the Windows 9x/Me OS. The VMM32.VXD file
has imbedded information that’s essential for a successful
boot process.
The VxDs job is to provide hardware access to applications
software running on a virtual machine. These files have a
.vxd file extension and are loaded into memory at this time
while still in real mode. Since they load and stay resident,
they’re called static VxDs. These static VxDs reside in four
locations on the PC. They can be imbedded into the
VMM32.VXD file, stored as a .vxd file in the
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VMM32 folder, named in the
Registry, or called out in the SYSTEM.INI file. The sequence
of how VxDs are used is as follows:
1. VMM32.VXD—Imbedded VxDs are loaded first.
2. .vxd file—A .vxd file in the
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VMM32 folder will be used
instead of the imbedded file. This is a good place to add
a file if you think there’s a problem with one of the
imbedded components of the VMM32.VXD.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
75
3. Registry—VxD drivers are listed here and take precedent
over the VMM32.VXD imbedded components and .vxd
files installed in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\VMM32
folder.
4. SYSTEM.INI—Final control is given to the SYSTEM.INI
file. Entries in this file override even Registry entries.
Protected-mode switchover and PnP configuration. The
startup process now switches to protected mode, still under
the control of VMM32.VXD. VMM32.VXD loads the
Configuration Manager, which is responsible for configuring
hardware devices. It will use the information the BIOS stored
at the beginning of startup to configure these devices.
VMM32.VXD then loads its imbedded 32-bit VxDs for
PnP devices.
Remaining OS components. The VMM32.VXD now loads
the user, GDI, and kernel components. Fonts are loaded as
well as other associated resources. The WIN.INI file is read
and any commands stored there are processed to ensure
backwards compatibility. The shell and desktop (GUI) are
now loaded. If the PC is part of a network, the network log-on
is requested. After log-on, any items stored in the STARTUP
folder are performed. The PC has finished the startup and is
now ready for use.
The Startup Menu
During a normal startup process, the Windows logo is displayed and the OS is loaded. If you have serious system
problems, the startup process is interrupted and a menu is
presented with eight startup options. These options are also
accessible (using default settings) by pressing the F8 key during the first two seconds of the startup process. The Startup
menu options are as follows:
1. Normal
2. Logged (\BOOTLOG.TXT)
3. Safe mode
4. Safe mode with network support (Available only with
Windows 95. This option is displayed only on PCs
connected to a network. The options following it
are renumbered.)
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
5. Step-by-step confirmation
6. Command prompt only
7. Safe mode command prompt only
8. Previous version of MS-DOS (Not available on Windows
98SE or Windows Me)
The MSDOS.SYS file, covered later in this study unit, controls the way the Startup menu is accessed and how long it
will be displayed. The explanations of what these Startup
menu options do are presented next.
Normal. The PC will start in the normal way. Depending on
how you’ve configured the MSDOS.SYS file, the PC will boot
to Windows 9x/Me or DOS.
In normal mode, the commands in the AUTOEXEC.BAT and
CONFIG.SYS files will be executed.
Logged (/BOOTLOG.TXT). This is the same as normal mode
when booting to Windows 9x/Me, except the BOOTLOG.TXT
file will be created. This file will contain information on
Windows 9x/Me startup activities. This option is good for
troubleshooting Windows 9x/Me startup problems but
doesn’t log any information on DOS startup.
Safe mode. This mode causes Windows 9x/Me startup to
use the minimum default configuration. This is the mode
that Windows 9x/Me automatically reverts to when there are
significant problems with the system configuration. This
option gives you the opportunity to correct these problems
individually and then reboot the PC. The most common error
that lands you in safe mode is a problem with a PnP device
driver. The solution to this problem is to find the device
that’s not functioning and reload the driver.
Safe mode can also be entered by choice by pressing F5 in
the first two seconds of the startup process. This may be useful if you know there’s a problem and you want to correct it
using the standard VGA driver. A good example of this is if
you changed the display’s foreground and background to the
same color and can’t see anything on the screen.
In safe mode, the commands in the AUTOEXEC.BAT and
CONFIG.SYS files aren’t executed.
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77
Safe mode with network support. This is useful for
Windows 95 PCs when the OS is stored on a network server.
This option is the same as safe mode, plus it allows network
access for downloading changes from the network to the PC.
Step-by-step confirmation. This option asks you to
confirm all commands in the IO.SYS, CONFIG.SYS, and
AUTOEXEC.BAT files before execution. This is a way to
sequentially test these commands if you believe there’s a
problem in one of these files. This mode is also accessible
by pressing Shift + F8 during the first two seconds of the
startup process.
Command prompt. This option executes the commands in
the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files but doesn’t start
Windows. A DOS command prompt is provided to access the
system in DOS mode. To start Windows type WIN at the command prompt. The WIN command offers two switches that
can be handy during troubleshooting:
• WIN/D:F—This switch turns off 32-bit disk access.
• WIN/D:M—This switch starts the Windows OS in safe
mode.
Safe mode command prompt. This option does the same
thing as the command prompt option but doesn’t execute the
commands in the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files.
Previous version of MS-DOS. This option will load a previous version of DOS if one is present on the PC. This option is
also accessible by pressing F4 during the first two seconds of
the startup process.
Table 5 reviews the keystrokes that access special features
during the first two seconds of startup.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Table 5
ACCESSING SPECIAL FEATURES DURING SETUP
Keystrokes
Description
F4
Load the previous version of DOS (Not available on Windows 98SE or Me)
F5
Safe mode
F6
Safe mode with network (Windows 95 only)
F8 or Ctrl
Display the Startup menu
Ctrl + F5
Command prompt without compressed drives
Shift + F5
Command prompt
Shift + F8
Step-by-step confirmation
Configuring a PC’s Startup
Five files can change the way your PC starts up. These are
the AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, PROTOCOL.INI, SYSTEM.INI, WIN.INI, and MSDOS.SYS files. Other files controlled by the OS also affect the way your PC starts and were
discussed under “Customizing the Look and Feel of Your PC”
earlier in this study unit.
The AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS were files created for
MS-DOS and Windows 3.x as a way to load files required for
memory, devices, and the OS to run properly. These files are
required for Windows 3.x to load. Since Microsoft has turned
away from DOS, these files aren’t required with the Windows
9x/ME OS, but are sometimes used.
PROTOCOL.INI, SYSTEM.INI, and WIN.INI are initialization
files. Windows, or application software running in the
Windows environment, use these files to store information
needed during the loading of the OS or application.
The AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, PROTOCOL.INI, SYSTEM.INI, and WIN.INI can be edited using the System
Configuration Editor (Figure 33). This editor is available on
the Windows 9x/Me OS. The following process accesses this
editor:
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79
FIGURE 33—System Configuration Editor
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type SYSEDIT and then click OK.
The MSDOS.SYS file is also a throwback to the days of MSDOS, but this file serves a new function in the Windows
9x/Me OS. The MSDOS.SYS file can contain entries that control how the OS boots. This file isn’t edited using the System
Configuration Editor.
AUTOEXEC.BAT. Although it’s recommended that you use
the System Configuration Editor, the MS-DOS command file
Edit can also be used to edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. To run
the System Configuration Editor program, click Start and
then Run. In the Open: box, type SYSEDIT and click on
OK. To use MS-DOS Edit to modify this file, use the
following process:
1. Click on Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type COMMAND.
3. At the DOS command prompt, type EDIT C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
One of the easiest ways to edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT is to
remark out the entry that you believe is causing problems
with your system. Typing REM in front of the entry accomplishes this. The next time the PC is booted, this line will be
ignored. This makes it easy to reactivate the command if you
need it back in the file.
The following is an example of what an autoexec may look like:
@echo off
SET SOUND=C:\PROGRA~1\NOISY\SOUND
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 E620 T6
SET PATH=C:\WINDOWS;C:\
LH C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX.EXE /D:123
LH C:\MOUSE\MOUSE.EXE
DOSKEY
CLS
WIN
Table 6 explains the lines in this AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
If any changes have been made to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file,
you must reboot your PC for the changes to take effect.
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81
Table 6
AUTOEXEC.BAT FILE ENTRIES
Command
Description
@echo off
Tells the OS to read the lines but not to print them on the screen.
SET
This example is for PC's sound card. SET SOUND is telling the PC to send all
SOUND=C:\PROGRA~1\NOISY\-
sound events to the NOISY\SOUND directory.
SOUND
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5
This is a good line for game players. If you have this line in your
P330 E620 T6
AUTOEXEC.BAT you'll know all settings for your sound card. This line tells the
PC to set these sound blaster settings. (A220 = port address 220, I5 = IRQ 5,
and D1 = DMA 1 are usually the settings you'll need for any game out on the
market.)
SET PATH=C:\WINDOWS;C:\
Sets the directory the PC looks in when a DOS program isn't found.
LH
Line used for the CD-ROM. If you have Windows 9x, the MSCDEX will always
C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSC-
be in the C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND. The /D:123 is the name of the driver name
DEX.EXE /D:123
that loads in upper memory (this is usually /D:MSCD0001). This isn't an actual
driver; it's just the name for the driver. If you change this line, make sure that you
change the corresponding line in the CONFIG.SYS file to match. If the two aren't
the same, your CD-ROM drive won't load.
LH C:\MOUSE\MOUSE.EXE
This line will load the mouse driver from the identified folder. The mouse driver is
commonly MOUSE.COM or MOUSE.SYS. If it's MOUSE.SYS, it will need to be
listed as a DEVICE in the CONFIG.SYS file.
DOSKEY
A DOS command used to load DOSKEY into memory so when you're in DOS
you don't have to load it.
C LS
MS-DOS command to clear screen.
WIN
Used for Windows 3.x, this line will load windows when booting the computer.
Remark out this line for Windows 9x/Me.
CONFIG.SYS. The CONFIG.SYS is also editable using the
MS-DOS command file Edit. To edit this file, get to the DOS
command line and type EDIT C:\CONFIG.SYS.
As with the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, if you have Windows 9x/Me
it’s suggested that you use the SYSEDIT command. To run
this program click Start and then Run. In the Open: box,
type SYSEDIT and click on OK.
The following is an example of what the CONFIG.SYS may
look like:
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
DOS=HIGH,UMB
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS
FILES=30
STACKS=0,0
BUFFERS=20
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\ANSI.SYS
DEVICEHIGH=C:\MTMCDAI.SYS /D:123
LASTDRIVE=Z
FCBS=8
Table 7 explains the lines in this CONFIG.SYS file.
If any changes have been made to the CONFIG.SYS file, you
must reboot your PC for the changes to take effect.
Using the following commands will allow your PC to load programs into memory more proficiently. This will allow you to
have more memory for MS-DOS programs running on the
Windows OS.
At the beginning of your config.sys file include
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
DOS=HIGH,UMB
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS
Placing the DOS=HIGH,UMB on the second line can save
memory by loading DOS into upper memory before loading
the memory manager. Another possible memory saving technique is to load all the devices in the CONFIG.SYS and
AUTOEXEC.BAT files into high memory.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
83
Table 7
CONFIG.SYS FILE ENTRIES
Command
Description
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.-
This line loads device drivers into high memory. This line is required on PCs
SYS
running Windows 3.x.
DOS=HIGH,UMB
This line will load DOS into high memory in an upper memory block. This line is
best placed after HIMEM.SYS.
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM38-
This line loads the Extended Memory Manager. Be aware that some MS-DOS
6.EXE NOEMS
applications won't run without the NOEMS statement.
FILES=30
The files line allows Windows to load up to 30 files at the same time. The
number 30 works the best, specifically on PCs with limited RAM and hard drive
resources. This line must be typed without any spaces.
STACKS=0,0
The stacks line is used to swap the stack whenever an asynchronous hardware
interrupt occurred. The STACKS statement has a range of 8–64 for the first
number and 32–512 for the second. If higher values are entered, you'll receive
an Internal Stack Failure, System Halted error message on the "blue screen of
death."
BUFFERS=20
This line loads the designated number of buffers into memory, allowing Windows
to load.
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\CO-
The ANSI.SYS line is a DOS driver allowing you to have different colors, sizes,
MMAND\ANSI.SYS
and special characters at the DOS prompt.
DEVICEHIGH=C:\MTMCDAI.SYS
This line is the name of the CD-ROM driver on the particular system. The /D:123
/D:123
is the name of the driver name that loads in upper memory (this is usually
/D:MSCD0001). If you change this line, make sure that you change the
corresponding line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to match. If the two aren't the
same, your CD-ROM drive won't load.
LASTDRIVE=
This line allows you to specify the last drive installed on the computer. This line
will cause problems with Windows 9x/Me OS and will be remarked by Windows
automatically. If this isn't remarked out, do so now.
FC B S =
Line used to specify the number of file-control blocks for file sharing. This line
should be used only when programs require it, and today it's generally not used
or required. FCBS can utilize between 1 and 255.
As stated earlier, the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files
are run during the boot process to load drivers and other
information. The calls to load this information isn’t immune
to input and format errors. It’s also possible to create
device conflicts using these files. To determine whether
there are conflicts in the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT
file, do the following:
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type MSCONFIG, and then click OK.
3. Click Selective Startup.
4. Click the Process Config.sys file check box and the
Process Autoexec.bat file check boxes to clear them
and then click OK.
5. You’ll be prompted to restart the PC. Click OK.
If your computer doesn’t start or shut down correctly, determine which line in the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file is
causing the problem. To determine which line is causing the
problem do the following:
1. Restart the computer.
2. As the computer starts, press and hold down the CTRL
key.
3. Select Safe mode from the Startup menu. (It may take
the computer longer than usual to start.)
4. Click Start and then Run.
5. In the Open: box, type MSCONFIG and then click OK.
6. Click Selective Startup.
7. Click to clear the check boxes on the Config.sys tab and
Autoexec.bat tab for lines that don’t include Windows
icons.
8. Starting with the CONFIG.SYS FILE, click one check box
to select it and then click OK.
9. You’ll be prompted to restart the PC. Click OK.
If the computer starts or shuts down correctly now,
enable another line. Continue to enable lines, first in the
CONFIG.SYS file and then in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file until
the problem reoccurs. Once you’ve determined which line is
causing the problem, contact the manufacturer of that program or device driver for more assistance.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
85
PROTOCOL.INI, SYSTEM.INI, and WIN.INI. As stated earlier, the PROTOCOL.INI, SYSTEM.INI, and WIN.INI files are
initialization files. Like all initialization files, they’ve the .INI
file extension. These files are used to store the configuration
data for programs. The Windows 9x/Me OS stores its configuration data in the WIN.INI file. Application software may
have its own .INI file or store its data in the WIN.INI file.
System configuration data is stored in the SYSTEM.INI file
(Figure 34).
Section Name
Keyname
Value
FIGURE 34—Sample SYSTEM.INI File
As you can see, this information is organized into sections.
In these sections variables are assigned values using this
format:
[SECTION NAME]
KEYNAME=VALUE
Any value entered with the KEYNAME becomes available to
the Windows OS or application software. In this way the
KEYNAME acts in the same way as the SET command in the
AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
The Windows 9x/Me OS uses the SYSTEM.INI file extensively
for setting the PCs environment, including language, keyboard, and font settings. The two most important sections
involved with the boot process are [BOOT] and [386Enh].
Windows 9x/Me uses the WIN.INI file only for backwards
compatibility with 16-bit application programming.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
.INI files are read only when Windows or an application
program using an .INI first starts up. If you change the .INI
file for an application or the OS, you need to restart the
application or OS before the change will take effect. If you
need to change a line in an .INI file, the easiest process is to
turn the line into a comment line by placing a semicolon at
the beginning of the line.
The maximum size of an .INI file is 64 KB but it’s recommended that they remain below 32 KB. The larger files
occasionally cause problems with application programs.
Professional Tip
You can manually edit any .INI file, but it isn’t recommended
that you manually edit the SYSTEM.INI or WIN.INI files. Any
errors in editing these files could render the OS inoperable.
Editing application program .INI files will only affect the program and changes are easily reversible if you make an error.
MSDOS.SYS. The MSDOS.SYS file is a hidden system readonly file created on the root of the boot drive. To edit the file,
you must use the DOS ATTRIB command to change the file’s
attributes to a file you can open and change. As always,
make a backup copy, lest you mistakenly cause problems
with the OS after you’ve edited this file. To change attributes,
make a copy, and edit the MSDOS.SYS file, do the following:
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type COMMAND and then click OK.
3. At the DOS command prompt, type ATTRIB -h -s -r
MSDOS.SYS. The “h” stands for hidden, “s” for system,
and “r” for read only. A minus symbol (“-”) turns off the
attribute. A plus symbol (“+”) turns it on.
4. At the DOS command prompt, type COPY MSDOS.SYS
MSDOS.BK. (This will make a backup copy of the file.)
5. At the DOS command prompt, type EDIT MSDOS.SYS.
This will display the MSDOS.SYS file (Figure 35).
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
87
FIGURE 35—An Example of a MSDOS.SYS File
6. After the editing is done, at the DOS command prompt,
type ATTRIB +h +s +r MSDOS.SYS to return the file to
its original hidden, system, and read-only file status.
Table 8 contains a list of command line variable names.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Table 8
COMMAND LINE VARIABLE NAMES
Path Variables
Variable Name
Description
HostWinBootDrv=
Location of the boot drive root Directory (normally C)
WinBootDir=
Location of necessary startup files
WinDir=
Location of the Windows9x/Me directory
Options Variables
Variable Name
Description
AutoScan=
Allows Windows 95 OSR2 and above to run ScanDisk on the hard drive if the
computer was improperly shutdown.
2 - Run ScanDisk on the hard drive, no prompt.
1 - (Default) Prompts user for running SCANDISK, if no input for 60 seconds
scan begins automatically.
0 - Don't run SCANDISK on the hard drive.
BootConfig=
Allows processing of the current boot setup.
1 - Perform the current boot setup.
0 - Perform an alternate boot setup.
BootDelay=n
This sets the initial delay to n seconds before starting Windows. This is to give
you enough time to press the F4 or F8 keys. The default is 2 seconds.
BootFailSafe=
Includes the safe mode on the Startup menu.
1 - (Default) Include safe mode in the Startup menu.
0 - Don't include safe mode in the Startup menu.
BootGUI=
This enables the automatic graphical startup into Windows.
1 - (Default) Boot to Windows 9x/Me with the GUI
0 - Boot to DOS command prompt. AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS are run
and then you'll be in real-mode DOS. Type WIN to start Windows 9x/Me.
BootKeys=
This enables/disables the function keys during boot (F4, F5, F6, F8, Shift+F5,
Ctrl+F5, or Shift+F8).
1 - (Default) Enable function keys during boot.
0 - Prevents any function key input during boot. (This may be used to help
secure a PC.)
BootMenu=
Enables the automatic display of the Windows Startup menu.
0 - (Default) Don't display the Startup menu. You need to press F8 in the first 2
seconds (Default) to see the Startup menu.
1- Always display the Startup menu.
BootMenuDefault=n
Sets the default menu item that's selected on the Startup menu to n. This can be
set to 1 through 8 (default is 1).
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
89
Table 8 (continued)
Options Variables
Variable Name
Description
BootMenuDelay=n
Sets the number of seconds to show the Windows Startup menu to n seconds
before running the default menu item (see previous item). The default is 30
seconds.
BootMulti=
Allows booting to a previous operating system.
1 - Allows for a dual boot. Press F4 to start in a previous version of DOS or F8
to use the Startup menu.
0 - (Default) Boot only to Windows 9x/Me.
BootSafe=
Force Safe Mode startup.
1 - Enable forced safe mode at startup.
0 - Disable forced safe mode at startup.
BootWin=
Chooses Boot options.
1= (Default) Boot to Windows 9x/Me.
0= Boot to previous version of DOS.
BootWarn=
Enables/disables safe mode without a warning.
1 - (Default) Display warning message when the PC boots into safe mode.
0 - Don't display warning message when the PC boots into safe mode.
DblSpace=
Controls the loading of the DBLSPACE.BIN module (if present) during boot.
1 - (Default) Load DBLSPACE.BIN (used for hard drive compression).
0 - Don't load DBLSPACE.BIN.
DisableLog=
Controls the creation of the BOOTLOG.TXT during the system boot.
1 - (Default) Create the BOOTLOG.TXT file.
0 - Don't create the BOOTLOG.TXT file.
DoubleBuffer=
Controls the loading of a double-buffering driver for a SCSI controller (if
required).
1 - Load the driver.
0 - (Default) Don't load the driver.
DrvSpace=
Controls the loading of the DRVSPACE.BIN module (if present) during boot.
1 - (Default) Load DRVSPACE.BIN (used for hard drive compression).
0 - Don't load DRVSPACE.BIN.
LoadTop=
Controls the location where COMMAND.COM or DRVSPACE.BIN is loaded.
1 - (Default) Load COMMAND.COM or DRVSPACE.BIN at top of conventional
memory.
0 - Don't load COMMAND.COM or DRVSPACE.BIN at top of conventional
memory
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Table 8 (continued)
Options Variables
Variable Name
Description
Logo=
Enables/disables display of the Windows 9x/Me logo.
1 - (Default) Enable the display of the logo at startup. If you want another logo,
get a bitmap (.bmp) of the image you want for an opening screen, change the
files name to LOGO.SYS, and copy this file into the root directory. This will
overwrite the current logo file and display your new logo on startup (if enabled)
0 - Disable the display of the logo and leave the display in text mode.
Network=
Enables/disables Safe Mode with Networking as a menu option.
1 - (Default on PCs with a network installed) Enable Safe Mode with Networking
item on the Startup menu.
0 - Disable the Safe Mode with Networking item on the Startup menu.
SystemReg=
Scan System Registry modules upon startup.
1 - (Default) Enable System Registry scan.
0 - Disable System Registry scan.
WinVer=
Controls the display of Windows version information.
1 - Enable the display of Windows version information.
0 - Disable the display of Windows version information.
The Registry
Before Windows 9x, there were many .ini files scattered all
over the hard drive, which were used by Windows and
applications. To replace these files, the Windows 9x OS has
the Registry.
Registry Organization
The Registry is organized as a hierarchical database with a
treelike design. All types of information are stored in the
Registry including user settings, system configurations, applications software settings, hardware settings, and Device
Manager settings. The Registry is a single database that’s
contained in two hidden read-only system files, SYSTEM.DAT
and USER.DAT, in the C:\WINDOWS folder.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
91
The Registry is similar in design to the SYSTEM.INI file
shown in Figure 34, but allows the keys to cascade to several
levels on a tree (Figure 36). The items to the left are called
keys in the Registry and are similar in function to the bracketed items in the SYSTEM.INI file. The right part of the window is filled with value names followed by the value data
assigned to the name. To continue with the analogy with the
SYSTEM.INI file, the value names are similar to the key names
in the SYSTEM.INI file, and the value data is similar to the values assigned to the key names in the SYSTEM.INI file.
FIGURE 36—Windows 9x Registry
There are six major keys (or branches) of the Registry tree as
outlined in Table 2.
Recovering the Registry
Being such an important part of the OS, the Registry is
backed up the first time your PC successfully boots up each
day. If the OS has problems loading and starts only in safe
mode, the Registry isn’t backed up.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
The backup is contained in two files called SYSTEM.DA0 and
USER.DA0 stored in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSBCKUP folder.
These files are stored incrementally (STSTEM.DA0-SYSTEM.DA4 and USER.DA0-USER.DA4), with a normal number of incremental backups being five and the latest copy
being the SYSTEM.DA0 and USER.DA0 files. When Windows
9x/Me doesn’t find a SYSTEM.DAT file, it automatically
replaces it with the SYSTEM.DA0 file.
If both the SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT files are missing, or
the WinDir= statement is missing from the MSDOS.SYS file,
Windows 9x/Me will inform you the Registry files are missing
and start the PC in Safe Mode. Next, the Registry Problem
dialog box is displayed. Click on Restore From Backup and
then click on Restart. This will force the system to restore
the Registry from the SYSTEM.DA0 and USER.DA0 files. If
none of the SYSTEM.DA0-SYSTEM.DA4 and USER.DA0USER.DA4 files are present on your PC, the best option
available to you is to run the Windows 9x/Me Setup.
Using Registry Checker (Windows 98 and later)
The use of the Registry Checker tool is discussed earlier in
this study unit. The use of this tool as well as the Nuts &
Bolts Registry Wizard for Windows 95 PCs simplifies the fixing and restoring of corrupted or missing Registries.
Modifying the Registry
The Registry is changed automatically each time you make a
change in the Control Panel or Device Manager. Automatic
changes are also made to the Registry each time you install
a new program or hardware device.
This section of the study unit is designed to instruct you on
how to edit the Registry in those rare occasions when a manual change is required. We don’t recommend manually altering this database unless you have no other choice. With this
disclaimer made, let’s go through the steps required to modify this database.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
93
The first step to editing the Registry is to backup the SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT files using the Registry Checker
tool (Windows 98 and later). This process is covered thoroughly in the “Registry Checker” section of this study unit. If
you’re using Windows 95, copy these files onto a floppy disk.
Now that the Registry is backed up, the next step is to run
REGEDIT. There are two ways to start this program, as
described below:
1. Use Explorer to open the C:\WINDOWS folder.
2. Double-click on REGEDIT.EXE.
Or:
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type REGEDIT, and then click OK.
This will open the Registry Editor dialog box displaying the
major keys (Figure 37). By clicking on the plus (“+”) it will
open the key; conversely, clicking on a minus (“-”) will close
a key. Note: REGEDIT is the Registry editor for 16-bit and 32bit Windows. However, for 32-bit Windows (98, 2000, XP),
you may also use REGEDIT32.
FIGURE 37—The Registry
Editor Dialog Box
To search for an entry, click Edit and then Find. This will
open the Find dialog box (Figure 38). The search function on
a large database like this is very helpful. You can search for
keys, values, or data.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 38—Use the Find
dialog box to search for
specific entries.
Using the following example, we’ll go over the way to edit an
entry in the Registry. In this example, suppose the fonts on
your system aren’t available for any programs after you
loaded a new text-editor program. You’ve uninstalled and
reinstalled the program, but you still don’t have any system
fonts. The following is a list of steps to verify the setting for
system fonts and reset it if necessary:
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type REGEDIT, and then click OK.
3. Click on Edit and then Find.
4. In the Find what: box, type Fonts, place a check mark in
Values, and click on Find Next.
5. This should bring you to the Shell Folders area of the
Registry, and more specifically the Fonts value name.
6. This value’s data should be the name of the folder where
your system fonts reside. In this example, the folder is
C:\WINDOWS\FONTS.
7. If this value’s data doesn’t point to the correct folder,
select the Fonts line by right-clicking on it and selecting
Modify.
8. Change the data to the correct location and click on OK
(Figure 39).
9. Close all of the open windows and reboot the PC to have
the change take effect.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
95
Value
Name
FIGURE 39—Edit String
Windows Update
Windows 98, and all other versions of Windows released after
it, has an icon included on the Start menu called Windows
Update. Windows Update is an Internet based service that
allows you to download files for your OS. Microsoft supports
this Web site for all supported Windows OS updates at
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/. If you have a
Windows 98, 98SE, or Me OS and an open Internet connection, all you need to do is click on Start and then click
Windows Update. The files you can download include fixes,
updates, and feature enhancements to the OS, plus hardware
device drivers. There are two main parts of the Windows
Update Web site: Product Updates and Support Information.
Product Updates
This is the part of the Windows Update Web site that checks
to see if there are any product fixes or updates available for
your OS.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
The Windows Update Web site will query your PC to see if
the latest version of Windows Update is installed, and give
you an option to install the latest version of the update software. If security levels are installed on your PC that don’t
allow the installation of software, log off and sign on as a
user that has administrator privileges.
After the Windows update software is checked and updated if
necessary, the copy of the Windows OS installed on your PC
checks the Microsoft database for updates of the OS that
haven’t been installed on the PC. If there are updates available, you’ll be offered a chance to download the update. It’s a
good idea to install all critical updates. The other updates
and device driver files are optional and are more user-specific. There are some products available at the site that may
not apply to you and the way you use your PC at all. The
language support options are a good example of this; if you
have no need to translate a specific language, don’t download
and install the files. Files such as these take up valuable
space on your PC’s hard drive, so be selective.
Many of the updates available are listed as “recommended.”
Overall, security updates should be installed to protect your
PC from newly found issues or flaws. Other device or application updates should be evaluated, taking into account the
new feature(s) being added as well as the loss of any feature(s) you’ve already installed. Some, but not most, recommended updates can be removed from your system using the
Update Wizard Uninstall (covered later in this study unit) or
at the Windows Update site. Uninstall doesn’t apply to most
critical updates. If an update doesn’t support uninstall, a
disclaimer will be included during the update process. To
remove an update, select the Display Installed Updates tab
on the Windows Update window. An option to remove a specific update is available if this feature is possible.
Another resource for updating your OS, or device drivers, is
the Windows Update catalog (Figure 40). This Web site is
part of the Windows Update site. Included on the catalog
page is a list of all critical updates and service packs, language support features, and recommended updates for your
OS. These updates can commonly not be uninstalled.
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97
FIGURE 40—Windows Update Catalog
Support Information
This section of the Windows Update Web site is aimed at new
users of the site. Included in this area is a list of frequently
asked questions (FAQs) about Windows Update as well as a
place to ask specific questions if the answer provided in the
FAQ area wasn’t adequate. Another section covers known
issues with your OS. Other support options are offered
though with the Windows 9x OS, these options are limited.
The Support Information area is where you may also find new
versions of device drivers for your hardware. Only device drivers that apply to the PC that logged into the Windows Update
Web site will be listed, so if you have multiple PCs with different hardware, log each PC onto the Windows Update Web
site. There are also updates for Microsoft software products
you’ve installed on your PC.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Self-Check 3
Match the items on the left with their descriptions on the right. Indicate your answer in the
space provided.
______ 1. Protected mode
a. Where configuration data is stored
______ 2. Product Updates
b. Causes Startup to use the minimum
default configuration
______ 3. SYSTEM.INI
c. An execution mode in which each
program can be allocated a certain
section of memory
______ 4. Safe mode
d. The first step of the Windows 9x/Me
startup process
______ 5. BIOS bootstrap
e. Web site that checks to see if there
are any fixes available for your OS
Check your answers with those on page 187.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
99
SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE
SUPPORT
When you bought your PC, you realized that you couldn’t
afford all of the options and applications installed on the PC
when you first got it. You also realized you have some good
applications that still operate on the new OS you just
installed. This section will focus on the constant process of
installing software and hardware on your PC.
Software
One of the first things required after you install the OS is to
install applications software. The updating and installation of
new programs is one of the most cost effective ways to
enhance the capabilities of a PC. This fact alone makes the
installation of application software one of the most common
tasks you’ll be asked to perform on a PC.
Prepare to Install the Software
Before you install any software on your PC, there are a few
items you need to do. Even though this is a relatively
straightforward project, it’s best to check on a few things
first.
Check your PC’s available resources. Before you install
any software, make sure your PC has the resources available
to run the program. These resources include
• Sufficient hard drive space. Remember, you can’t
completely fill your hard drive with programs and data.
• The minimum requirements for memory
• The correct CPU and video card
You should check this information when purchasing the software. These prerequisites are commonly listed on the side of
the box the software comes in.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Protect the original copy of your software. If installing a
program from floppy disks, write-protect the floppy disks
before installing the software. After you’re done, keep the
floppy disks or CD that contain the program in an easy-toaccess but safe place.
Back up the Registry and system configuration files.
Many programs make entries into the CONFIG.SYS,
AUTOEXEC.BAT. WIN.SYS, and/or SYSTEM.INI file during
installation. The installation process may also add entries to
the Windows Registry. Before you do an installation of a
program, back up these files. The easiest way to do this is
as follows:
1. Click on Start and then on Run.
2. In the Open: box, type SCANREGW/BACKUP, and then
click on OK.
Install the Software
If the software you’re going to install was developed for the
Windows 9x/Me OS, it will be a 32-bit application.
Installation of these software products is quite straightforward, often supported by the software’s own setup or install
file. If it will be a 32-bit application installation, insert the
floppy disk or CD into the drive, open the drive and click on
the Startup or Install executable file. Some software products are so self-installing that all you need to do is insert the
floppy disk or CD and the installation starts automatically.
If the 32-bit software doesn’t have a Startup or Install utility
included, you need to use the Add or Remove Programs wizard. Doing the following accesses this wizard:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Add or Remove Programs to open the
wizard that will install your software (Figure 41).
Follow the instructions and you’ll have your application
installed, shortcuts made, and Start menu items created.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
101
FIGURE 41—Add or Remove
Programs
Delete all of the files and folders in the C:\WINDOWS\TEMP
folder. This will conserve hard drive space and eliminate a
possible cause of errors the first time you run the program.
Professional Tip
If the serial number of the software isn’t on the floppy disk or
CD, write it on the floppy disk’s label or CD case. This will be
helpful if you misplace the documentation that has the serial
number on it.
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Remove (Uninstall) Software
The remove process is even easier than the install process. If
the program has its own uninstall program, just run it from
the Start menu. This will remove most traces of the program
from your PC. If the program doesn’t have its own uninstall
program, you’ll need to use the Add or Remove Programs
wizard. To use the wizard, do the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Add or Remove Programs to open the
wizard shown in Figure 41 that will uninstall your
program.
3. Scroll down the list of installed programs, then highlight
the program you wish to remove and click on
Change/Remove.
4. The wizard will go through a series of screens that
require a few decisions on your part and uninstall the
program.
At times, the uninstall process will leave a file folder or item
on the Start menu that you’ll need to delete manually. The
same may be true of shortcuts you have in the Startup folder
or the desktop.
Troubleshooting Software Problems
Even with the most sophisticated programs developed for
Windows, problems can arise. The easiest solution to programs not working is to uninstall and reinstall the program.
This process will often eliminate the problem, so try it first.
Other program problems that don’t have as straightforward
a solution are listed below.
Software conflicts. Assume that Windows 9x/Me OS has
been running correctly and your existing programs have
been working well. If you start to experience problems
(specifically General Protection Fault errors) with any program—existing or new—after installing something new, you
can usually find the problem in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM
folder (Figure 42).
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103
FIGURE 42—Shown here are some of the DLL files in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder.
This folder contains files that are used by the OS and other
programs. Most of the files are Dynamic-Link Library (DLL)
files that have the .dll extension. These library files perform
common tasks for many programs so new code doesn’t have
to be written each time you use a drop-down menu from the
toolbar. Windows comes with many of these DLL files as part
of the OS, but programs add many of these files when they’re
installed. It’s possible that the existing DLL file, which was
working fine with all of your programs and the OS, was overwritten by a more recent version of the DLL supplied on the
program floppy disk or CD. This is done automatically, without any screen prompts to allow you to choose if you want
the file overwritten.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
The interesting part of this problem is that the standard solution won’t work. Reinstalling the program won’t overwrite a
DLL with the same or newer date. The uninstall process
won’t work either because DLL files that reside in the
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder aren’t (and shouldn’t be)
removed during the uninstall process. Also, looking for this
troublesome DLL can be like looking for the proverbial needle
in the haystack because file dates aren’t updated as they’re
written, and the typical C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder has
over a hundred DLL files.
So, what can you do to fix this problem?
If this problem has already occurred you can restore the
system to the level you backed up before you installed the
program. If this is the same day as the installation, and
you haven’t created another backup level, use the following
procedure:
1. Click on Start and then on Run.
2. In the Open: box, type SCANREGW/RESTORE and then
click on OK.
3. A list of backup files is listed. Choose the most current
backup file, and select OK.
If the OS has automatically made a new backup file, or if
you’ve created a new backup file, choose the file with the
date that’s just before the installation of the program. If more
than five Registry copies have been created since the installation of the program, you’ll need to use some of the tools that
are part of the OS.
Using Dr. Watson. Start Dr. Watson and then start the program that’s not working correctly and reproduce the error.
Dr. Watson will record a detailed report of the system errors
that occur and what program caused the error in a log file.
This log file is written to C:\WINDOWS\DRWATSON\WATSONxx.WLG, where xx is the incremental number of the log
file by time and date. View the latest (highest number) log file
using the Diagnostic tab. To access Dr. Watson, do the following:
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
105
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and click on System Information.
2. Click Tools and then Dr. Watson.
Or
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type DRWATSON, and then click OK.
Use the recorded information to simplify the search for the
modules or files that cause the error. You can try going to the
Microsoft Web site www.support.microsoft.com to see if this
error has happened often enough to have a solution listed at
this site.
System directory. If you plan to do extensive additions to
the programs on your PC, and have enough free space on
your hard drive, backup the entire C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM
folder. This will supply you with a copy of all of the DLL files
that may have been changed by the hardware installation.
You’ll need to compare the files in the old SYSTEM folder
with the new one and swap one DLL file at a time to discover
which one is causing the problem.
Monitoring the OS during software installation. The ultimate option to the software conflict problem is to install a
program that tracks the changes to the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder during installation. Norton Utilities and McAfee
System Mechanic are good examples of these types of programs. You just need to hope they install without causing
any problems with the DLL files.
Special Consideration Software Installations
Most people who use the Windows 9x/Me operating systems
use a variety of application software products, some of which
they’ve used in the DOS environment before the upgrade to
Windows 9x/Me. While most applications install easily using
the Windows 9x/Me OS, these MS-DOS application installations require extra steps to install them correctly.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
DOS programs. Under the Windows OS DOS, programs
install and uninstall the same way as 32-bit programs but
are managed differently by the OS. DOS programs have their
settings listed in the [PIF95] section of the APPS.INF file. If
you want to change the settings for a DOS program, you can
use the following process:
1. Right-click on the filename in Explorer and select
Properties. If you don’t know where your file resides,
use the Windows Search function.
• Click on Start and then Search.
• Enter the filename in the appropriate box and click on
Search.
• You can right-click on the filename here and select
Properties. (In this example, we’ve selected the file
MSD.EXE.)
2. Click on the Program tab and then click on the
Advanced . . . button.
3. Select the MS-DOS mode check box (Figure 43).
4. Select either Use current MS-DOS configuration (which
will run the DOSTART.BAT file when the program is
opened) or Specify a new MS-DOS configuration. If
Specify a new MS-DOS configuration is chosen, you
can enter information that will be run for this program’s
DOS mode only. A typical entry would be to load
SmartDrive when the program is run, to speed up
disk access.
Changing the DOS settings as outlined above will create an
individual Program InFormation file (PIF) for the DOS program
that will be run before the program. If there isn’t a PIF or an
entry in the [PIF95] section of the APPS.INF file, a new entry
will be made using default values.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Program InFormation
File (PIF)—A type of file
that holds information
about how the
Windows OS should
run a non-Windows
application. A PIF file
can contain instructions that include the
amount of memory to
use, the path to the
executable file, and
what type of window to
use. PIF files have a .pif
extension.
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FIGURE 43—Advanced Program Settings for DOS Programs
16-bit Windows programs on Windows 9x/Me. 16-bit
Windows programs install and uninstall the same way as 32bit programs. The Windows 9x/Me OS handles these 16-bit
programs by placing them into their own virtual machine,
just like 32-bit applications.
Hardware
Hardware installation, like software installation, is quite easy
using the Windows OS tools as long as all of the hardware
devices on your PC were designed to be Plug and Play (PnP)
compliant. If even one of the devices on your PC isn’t
designed around the Windows PnP specification, you can
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
experience some problems with hardware installations. These
problems can be bothersome, but are easy to circumvent if
you know what hardware devices you’ll need to configure
separately.
Plug and Play (PnP)
To reiterate some of the information that was presented in
the beginning of the study unit, PnP is used by the Windows
9x/Me OS to automatically detect new hardware and determine essential information about the device.
How PnP works. Information is gathered about what device
drivers are required as well as what resources (memory and
IRQ) the hardware needs to link to. This information is then
used by the OS to configure the hardware device. To use this
function, the hardware needs to have some built-in features
that allow the OS to determine this information.
The PnP BIOS. The PnP BIOS stores all of the PnP information that has been gathered, and each time the PC is booted
it presents this information to the OS for further processing.
There’s also Extended System Configuration Data (ESCD)
BIOS that does all of the things a PnP BIOS does. The ESCD
BIOS also creates a list of all of the manual configuration
changes that you’ve made during the installation of non-PnP
compliant devices. This information is also stored on the
BIOS so even if your hard drive fails, all of the hardware
configuration data is stored on the BIOS.
Install Hardware
The process used to install PnP-compliant hardware devices
is straightforward and simple. After the device is installed
turn on the PC and it will launch the Add New Hardware
Wizard (Figure 44). The wizard will configure the new hardware and prompt you for the required software (device driver)
to complete the process.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
109
FIGURE 44—The Add New
Hardware Wizard
If the device is PnP compliant, but not recognized by the OS
during the boot process you’ll need to do the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Add Hardware to open the Add New
Hardware Wizard.
3. Continue on to the screen shown in Figure 44. Select
Yes (Recommended).
4. If the hardware is recognized as PnP compliant, the wizard will configure the new hardware and prompt you for
the required software (device driver) to complete the
process.
5. If the device is recognized, but not PnP compliant, the
Add New Hardware Wizard will open a screen where
you can manually configure the device (Figure 45).
Suggestions are offered for resources required by the
device. On the other hand, if the hardware manufacturer
recommends it, you can select your own resources.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 45—The
Windows OS suggests
resources for your nonPnP compliant device.
The last thing that can happen when you start the system
with a new hardware device installed is that the Add New
Hardware Wizard doesn’t detect the hardware device at all
(Figure 46).
FIGURE 46—The Add New
Hardware Wizard doesn’t
detect the hardware
device.
When you click on Next on this screen, you’ll be offered a list
of devices (Figure 47). Select the device that best matches the
one you installed.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
111
FIGURE 47—Device Types
A list of supported manufacturers and models is displayed
(Figure 48). If your device is manufactured by one of the companies on the list, then select it. Then select the model from
the list on the left. If you have a floppy disk or CD from the
manufacturer, click on Have Disk.
FIGURE 48—A List of
Manufacturers and Models
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Remove Hardware
Unlike removing a program, there’s no special process needed
to remove a hardware device; just remove it. The device driver
will remain on your PC in case you reinstall the device in the
future.
Troubleshooting Hardware Problems
Newly installed hardware devices rarely cause the PC to not
boot properly. The only exception to this may be a hard drive
on which you set the jumpers to “master” during installation.
In this case, the PC will try to boot from a blank hard drive
and won’t succeed. To resolve this problem, reset the
jumpers on the hard drives on your system, so the drive that
has the Windows OS installed on it is the master, and the
new blank drive’s jumper is set to the “slave” position.
The OS usually identifies any other problems with hardware
during the BIOS bootstrap phase, which is when the PnP or
ESCD BIOS information is processed by the OS. When a conflict occurs with a hardware device, the OS informs you of a
resource conflict or worst case scenario, the device doesn’t
work as expected.
The Device Manager can be a powerful troubleshooting tool in
locating and resolving resource conflicts. Do the following to
open the Device Manager:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on System and then click on the Device
Manager tab.
A list of devices is displayed. Six different symbols may be in
front of a listing for a hardware device.
• A plus (+) indicates the device has a list of types, models,
and/or manufacturers for it. Click on the plus (+) to
open the list (Figure 49).
• A minus (-) indicates the list of devices is already
expanded. Click on the minus to collapse the list.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
113
• An open diamond (◊) indicates the device is a SCSI
device.
• A red X through the device’s name indicates a disabled
device. This may be a device that has been removed from
your PC.
• A yellow circle with an exclamation point (!) indicates a
problem with the device.
• A Blue “I” on a white background indicates the device
has been manually configured. This doesn’t indicate a
problem.
To expand on the explanation
of a problem, click on the
device to select it and then
click on Properties. This will
open the Device Properties
dialog box, which may have
some useful information about
solving the problem.
Information on the property
dialog box includes the
device’s I/O addresses, direct
memory access (DMA) channels, and interrupt requests
(IRQs). Also included is a list
of other devices that are trying
to use these resources.
Resolution of the problem
requires you to assign unique
resources to the device that’s
having a problem.
FIGURE 49—Clicking on the + next to “Hard disk controllers” yields a
list of the types of controllers used by your system.
Special Consideration Hardware Installations
Legacy—As it applies to
PC technology, legacy
refers to applications
and hardware items
inherited from earlier
than current technology.
114
When a device fails to configure correctly after installation,
you’re notified during the BIOS bootstrap phase of the startup. 16-bit device drivers and legacy hardware devices are
commonly the cause of these problems.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
16-bit device drivers. If you have a hardware item that
uses a 16-bit device driver, a copy of the device driver file(s)
are written to the hard drive and the appropriate entries are
made to the Registry. Windows 9x/Me will also make entries
into the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files to have the
device driver boot as part of the OS. If Windows has a difficult time finding or installing these 16-bit drivers, you have a
few options:
• Contact the hardware devices manufacturer and see if
there’s an updated or 32-bit driver for the device.
• Use a substitute driver recommended by the
manufacturer.
• Install the device driver at the DOS prompt if this is supported by an install or setup program supplied by the
manufacturer with the device.
Any of the choices listed above will usually install the device
drivers and write the appropriate lines in the
AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. If this isn’t the case,
you can manually add the lines to these files or purchase a
new device (recommended). The time spent to modify the
AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files, as well as make the
Registry entries, make this venture costly.
Legacy devices. If you’re installing a hardware device that
worked well under Windows 3.x and not under Windows
9x/Me you have a resource conflict. You’ll need to set the
jumpers on the device to force it to use a different set of
resources. Refer to the documentation that came with the
device for jumper and Dipswitch settings. The use of
Dipswitches to assign resource requests was eliminated by
PnP technology.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Dipswitch—A series of
tiny switches built into
circuit boards.
Dipswitches enable you
to configure a circuit
board for a particular
type of PC or application. Dipswitches are
always toggle switches,
with two possible positions, on or off. The DIP
part of the name indicates the shape of the
switches. Dipswitches
have the same rectangular shape as dual
in-line package (DIP)
chips.
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Practical Exercise 2
We strongly suggest that you test your skills by performing
the following practical exercises.
Check your answers against those on pages 191–192.
Practical Exercise 2A—Using the Microsoft Update
Web Site
Visit the Microsoft Update Web site and check the catalog for
recommended updates. Install any updates that seem appropriate.
Practical Exercise 2B—Install a New Monitor
Describe the steps required to install a new monitor.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Self-Check 4
1. _______ ________ _______ permits the OS to automatically detect new hardware.
2. True or False? Erasing the shortcut for a program effectively removes the program from
a PC.
3. List three things you should do before installing software.
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
4. What does a red X on the Device Manager screen indicate?
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
5. The [PIF95] section of the APPS.INF file contains settings for _______ _______.
Check your answers with those on page 188.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
117
TROUBLESHOOTING AND
SUPPORT
The OS is installed and is running. The startup has been
configured to boot the PC in the way you want it to. The files
that are involved with the startup process have been edited to
match your PC’s unique configuration. Now it’s time to discuss supporting the OS and troubleshooting problems using
tools included with the Windows 9x/Me products.
The Command Prompt
A useful tool when Windows 9x/Me crashes or won’t boot
correctly is the command prompt. When the Windows’ GUI
isn’t functioning, you’ll need to work from the DOS command
prompt. There are four ways to get to this prompt. The reason for using one method over another is determined by
when your PC stops processing information correctly. To
access the command prompt:
• Boot from a boot disk (not the rescue disk that you created with Windows).
Or:
• As previously discussed, during startup, press the F8 or
CTRL key to access the Startup menu. On this menu,
select either the Command Prompt or Safe Mode
Command Prompt mode.
Or:
• If Windows is running, click on Start and then Run.
• Type COMMAND in the Open: box and click on OK.
Or:
• Again, when Windows is running, click on Start,
Programs, Accessories, and then click on MS-DOS
Prompt.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Be aware that all of the network drives you’re used to seeing
as part of the LAN the PC is connected to, may not be available through the command prompt. Also note that some of the
drive letters are different than when you use the Windows GUI.
For further information on DOS commands and their
structure, refer to the MS-DOS Users Guide available from
Microsoft press or any of the numerous books published on
this topic. One Web site that supplies information on DOS
commands is www.computerhope.com/msdos.htm.
Professional Tip
If you’re a service technician responsible for a variety of OS
problems, we suggest that you purchase one of the MS-DOS
guides.
Support from Microsoft
Support and troubleshooting help is also available directly
from Microsoft. The Microsoft Product Support Services
Knowledge Base, shown in Figure 50, is available at
http://support.microsoft.com/ after clicking on Search
the Knowledge Base. Articles at this site contain information
on troubleshooting, software utilities, and enhancements.
There are also books available for working on the Windows
9x/Me OS, though many of the Windows 9x books are out of
print and new copies are unavailable. Check online for used
copies or at your public library for these books.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
119
FIGURE 50—Microsoft Product Support Services Knowledge Base
Help and Support
In Windows Me, there’s an additional utility for helping users
to troubleshoot and support a PC. The Help and Support
utility is part of the Windows Me OS, and is accessible
through a taskbar shortcut on most Windows Me PCs. If not
resident on the taskbar, this utility is accessible using the
following procedure:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and click on System Information.
2. This will bring you to the System Information screen.
Click on Home at the top bar of the screen.
The Help and Support screens are menu driven and have
an easy-to-use interface. Tutorials on the use of the OS and
its features are also offered. The final option is for help and
support (Figure 51). This option requires connection to your
ISP.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Questions can be directed to Windows support personnel for
response within one business day as long as they’re supporting the Windows Me product. This is a nice feature when all
other options are exhausted. Be aware that you’ll need to
supply Microsoft with the make and model of your system
and your OS information.
FIGURE 51—Windows Me Help and Support
Windows 9x and Me Common Tools
When working on a PC, even the most experienced PC users
can run into problems. The good thing is that the Windows
9x/Me OS has many tools to resolve the inevitable problems
that crop up when working on a complex device like a PC.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
121
The tools that are common to Windows 9x and Me are found
using the following procedure:
• Click on Start, point to Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, and then click on System Information.
From this point, you can use the drop-down menu under
Tools to select the troubleshooting and support tools covered
in this section (Figure 52).
FIGURE 52—Common System Tools
Update Wizard Uninstall
Update Wizard Uninstall is a tool that you can use to
remove a patch, driver, or system file that you installed
using Windows Update. This process will also restore the
previous version of the file. To remove a file installed from
Windows Update and restore an earlier version:
1. Click Start and point to Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, and click on System Information.
2. Click Tools and then Update Wizard Uninstall
(Figure 53).
3. Click Windows Update.
4. Click Product Updates.
5. Click Device Drivers, and then click Restore.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 53—Update
Wizard Uninstall
You can also remove a patch, driver, or system file and
restore the previous version of the file using the Windows
Update Web site. Connect to the site and follow the instructions to uninstall. You should use Update Wizard Uninstall if
you don’t have an Internet connection running when you
want to restore a previous version of the file.
Signature Verification Tool
The Signature Verification tool (SIGVERIF.EXE) can be used
to identify unsigned drivers on a PC. This information can be
helpful when you’re troubleshooting system instability.
Instability can present itself as the following:
• The computer stops responding while running an
application.
• You start receiving STOP error messages.
• You’re unable to put the computer into Standby or
Hibernate mode.
• You experience many other unusual errors.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
123
Microsoft has been promoting driver signing as a means to
advance the quality of drivers. Microsoft began digitally signing drivers for the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system.
The signed drivers needed to pass the Windows Hardware
Quality Labs (WHQL) tests. Although an unsigned system
driver may work, it can cause problems in Windows.
To find unsigned system drivers in the Drivers folder (most
system drivers are loaded from this folder) on your PC, do
the following:
1. Click Start and point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click Tools and then Signature Verification Tool
(Figure 54).
3. In the Look for: box, select Not Signed Files.
4. Leave the Named: box in the Name & Location area
blank.
5. In the Name & Location area’s Look In: box, type
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS (where C is the
drive letter where Windows is installed).
6. Click Find Now.
7. A list of unsigned drivers in the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS folder is displayed.
8. Click Close.
FIGURE 54—Signature
Verification Tool
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Doing the following will also start the File Signature
Verification tool:
1. Click Start, and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type SIGVERIF.EXE, and then
click OK.
This tool also supports an option to
run the scan without user interaction on Windows Me. In the Open:
box, type SIGVERIF.EXE /DEFSCAN (Figure 55). When you use this
command, a log file (SIGVERIF.TXT) is
created and saved in the \WINDOWS
folder.
You can use the list of unsigned
FIGURE 55—The File Signature Verification Tool can also be
run without user interaction in Windows Me.
drivers as a starting point for troubleshooting issues in Windows. For
example, WHQL signed drivers must support power management. Some unsigned drivers don’t contain power management support, so you may experience power management
problems if you install this driver on Windows.
After you find the unsigned drivers, you can disable the drivers one by one using any of the following methods:
• Uninstall the software that installed the unsigned driver
using the Add/Remove Programs tool.
• Disable the device in Device Manager. To do this you
may have to click View, click Show hidden devices,
and then disable the device under Non-Plug and Play
Drivers.
• Rename the driver in the WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS folder.
• If disabling a driver resolves the problem, contact the
manufacturer of the product using an unsigned system
driver for an updated version that’s designed to run with
Windows.
It’s possible to scan the entire Windows system drive for
unsigned drivers. This can help you find and troubleshoot
problems such as mismatched Dynamic Link Library (DLL)
files, old driver support files, and other issues.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Dynamic Link Library
(DLL)—This is a collection
of small programs that
can be called when needed by a larger program.
The small program is
often packaged as a DLL
file. DLL files that support specific device operation are known as
device drivers.
Device driver—This is a
program that controls a
particular type of device
that’s attached to your
PC. There are device drivers for printers, monitors,
mice, and so on.
125
Registry Checker
Once daily, when you successfully start your PC, the
Windows Registry Checker (SCANREGW.EXE) creates a
backup of system files and Registry configuration information. This way the Registry backup information is updated
each day the computer is on. Files that Windows Registry
Checker backs up include SYSTEM.DAT, USER.DAT, SYSTEM.INI, and WIN.INI.
This protected-mode version of the Windows Registry
Checker tool (SCANREGW.EXE) creates a backup of the
system files and scans the Registry for invalid entries and
empty data blocks. If invalid entries are detected, it refers to
the real-mode version of the Windows Registry Checker tool
(SCANREG.EXE) for a resolution. If invalid Registry entries
are detected, the real-mode version of the Windows Registry
Checker automatically restores a previous day’s backup. If
no backups are available, the real-mode version of the
Windows Registry Checker tries to make repairs to the
Registry. If the Registry contains more than 500 KB of empty
data blocks, the real-mode version of the Windows Registry
Checker automatically optimizes it.
You can configure the Windows Registry Checker using
the SCANREG.INI file. Both SCANREG.EXE and SCANREGW.EXE use settings in the SCANREG.INI file. Settings
that you can configure include
• Enabling or disabling the tool or its features
• The number of backups maintained
• The location of the backup folder
• Settings to add additional files to the backup set
The SCANREG.INI file contains the variables described in
Table 9 that determine how the Registry Checker tool makes
backup copies of your Registry. To edit the SCANREG.INI file,
use any text editor (such as Notepad).
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Table 9
SCANREG.INI VARIABLE
Variable
Description
Backup=
Enable/disable the creation of a backup copy of your Registry to be made the
first time you start your computer on any day (as determined by the system
clock).
1—Enable the Registry backup (default).
0—Disable the Registry backup (not recommended).
Optimize=
Enable/disable the automatic optimization of the current Registry if it contains
500 KB of unused space.
1—Optimize the current Registry (default).
0—Don't automatically optimize the current Registry by removing unused space.
MaxBackupCopies=
Controls the number of Registry backups stored in the WINDOWS\SYSBCKUP
folder.
5—Saves the last 5 Registry backups.This value can be between 0 and 99.
(Default—No more than five is recommended.)
BackupDirectory=
Used to change the location in which Registry backups are saved. By default,
this entry doesn't contain a value, and Registry backups are automatically saved
in the WINDOWS\SYSBAKUP folder. To change this location, type the full path
to the folder.
For example, if you want to save Registry backups in the
C:\WINDOWS\REGISTRY\BACKUP folder, change this line to read:
BackupDirectory= C:\WINDOWS\REGISTRY\BACKUP
NOTE: If Registry Checker can't save a backup in the location you specify, the
backup is saved in the Windows folder.
Files=
This variable is used to specify additional files you want to back up in the .cab
file.
To specify additional files to be backed up, type:
Files=<folder code>,<file name>, where
**<folder code> is the numerical code for the folder in which the file you want to
back up is located.
** <file name> is the name of the file you want to back up.
If you want to back up multiple files in the same location, separate each file
name using a comma (,) and no spaces.
The following is a list the folder codes:
10—WINDOWS
11—WINDOWS\SYSTEM (for example, Windows\System)
30—Root folder (for example, C:\)
31—Root host folder (for example, C:\)
For example, if you want to back up the LEARNING.TXT and SAVEGAME.SCR
files located in the Windows\System folder, type the following:
Files=11,LEARNING.TXT,SAVEGAME.SCR
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The Registry Checker tool can be started in two ways. To
access the Registry Checker tool through the System
Information screen, do the following:
1. Click Start and point to Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click Tools and then Registry Checker (Figure 56).
FIGURE 56—Registry
Checker Tool
To access the Registry Checker tool through the DOS command prompt, do the following:
1. Click Start, and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type COMMAND and then click OK.
3. At the DOS command prompt, type SCANREG.EXE (real
mode) or SCANREGW.EXE (protected mode).
By using the DOS command prompt, you’re able to use command-line switches for these programs. Table 10 lists the
syntax and available switches for the SCANREG.EXE (realmode) or SCANREGW.EXE (protected mode) programs.
The Registry Scan Results dialog box appears when you use
the SCANREGW.EXE command without any command-line
switches. If no Registry errors are found when you run
SCANREGW.EXE, you’re prompted to create a backup copy
of your current Registry.
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Table 10
SCANREG.EXE AND SCANREGW.EXE PROGRAMS
Syntax—Real-Mode Version
Scanreg.exe [/backup] [/restore] ["/comment=<text>"] [/fix]
Scanreg.exe [/backup] [/restore] ["/comment=<text>"] [/fix] [/opt]
Syntax—Protected-Mode Version
Scanregw.exe [/backup] ["/comment=<text>"] [/autoscan] [/scanonly] [filename]
Sw itch
Description
/backup
Backs up the Registry and related files without displaying any prompts.
/restore
Displays a list of available backup files, sorted by the date and time the backup
was created.
"/comment=<text>"
Enables you to add a descriptive comment to the Registry backup.
/fix
Repairs any damaged portions of the Registry, and optimizes it by rebuilding it
without unused space.
/autoscan
Automatically scans the Registry and backs it up without displaying any prompts
if there's no backup for that date.
/scanonly
Scans the Registry and displays a message if any errors are found. This switch
doesn't back up the Registry.
filename
Scans the Registry file specified and displays a message indicating whether or
not any errors were found. This switch doesn't back up the Registry.
/opt
The /opt command-line switch causes the Registry Checker tool to optimize the
Registry by removing unused space.
The “/comment=<text>” switch can be used by itself or with
the /backup switch. For example, you can type either of the
following lines at a command prompt:
• SCANREG.EXE “/COMMENT=This is a Registry backup”
• SCANREG.EXE /BACKUP “/COMMENT=This is a
Registry backup”
The first command line starts the Registry Checker tool GUI
and prompts you to create a Registry backup. The second
command line creates a backup copy of your Registry and
adds your comment without starting the Registry Checker
tool GUI.
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129
To use the Windows Registry Checker tool with the /restore
parameter, you must run the tool from the command prompt.
When you do so, you can choose up to five Registry backup
files listed for you to restore.
To restore individual files, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files Or
Folders.
2. In the Named box, type rb0*.cab, and then click Find Now.
3. Double-click the cabinet file that contains the file that
you want to restore.
4. Right-click the file that you want to restore, click
Extract, and then choose the folder where the new file is
to be placed. We recommend that you place the file in
your Temp folder.
5. Restart your computer in MS-DOS mode using the
Windows Me OS restart with the Windows Millennium
Edition Startup disk.
6. Copy the file that you extracted to the appropriate folder.
Note that Registry .dat files are normally marked as hidden and read-only, so you need to use both the Attrib
and Copy commands to replace the existing file with the
newly extracted one.
There are known problems caused by using the Registry
Checker tool. For example, the Registry Checker doesn’t
repair a Registry if it contains an entry for a file (such as a
.vxd file) that no longer exists. This can cause the following
error messages when you start Windows:
(1) Can’t find a device file that may be needed to run
Windows or a Windows application.
(2) The Windows registry or SYSTEM.INI file refers to this
device file, but the device file no longer exists.
(3) If you deleted this file on purpose, try uninstalling the
associated application using its uninstall program or setup
program.
(4) If you still want to use the application associated with this
device file, try reinstalling that application to replace the
missing file.
(5) <filename>.vxd
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Errors caused by this aren’t usually damaging, and you can
manually remove the entry for this file using the Registry
Editor. The use of this tool is outlined later in this study
unit.
Another error that can happen while using the Registry
Checker involves memory. The amount of conventional memory that’s required by Registry Checker is determined by the
size of the Registry. Registry Checker may require 580 KB or
more of free conventional memory to complete the repair
process. If you encounter an “Out of Memory” error message,
optimize your conventional memory.
To determine how much conventional memory is currently
available for MS-DOS-based programs, type mem/c at the
DOS command prompt and press Enter. View the value on
the Largest Executable Program Size line. If the value on the
Largest Executable Program Size line is smaller than the
amount of conventional memory required by the Registry
Checker (580KB or more), the program won’t run until you
reconfigure your computer.
Increasing the amount of conventional memory that’s available for the Registry Checker typically involves removing
unnecessary drivers and programs from the CONFIG.SYS or
AUTOEXEC.BAT files, replacing real-mode drivers in the
CONFIG.SYS file with protected-mode versions, or loading
drivers and programs into upper memory instead of conventional memory.
You can make an attempt to determine if a driver or program
is necessary by temporarily disabling the line in the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file that calls for the driver or
program. If your PC, its devices, and its programs all seem to
function properly after you disable a line and reboot the PC,
the driver or memory-resident program may not be necessary. Before you modify the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT
files, you should make backup copies of the files. Don’t
remove any hard disk drivers, disk-partitioning drivers, or
disk compression drivers.
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131
Replacing real-mode drivers in the CONFIG.SYS file with
protected-mode versions is another way to increase the
amount of free conventional memory. Windows, as well as
many hardware manufacturers, include protected-mode drivers for many devices. To try to install a protected-mode driver
for a device installed on your computer, follow these steps:
1. Click Start and point to Control Panel and then click on
Add New Hardware.
2. Click Next and verify that Yes (Recommended) is selected.
3. Click Next, and then click Next again.
If the Add New Hardware Wizard doesn’t detect the device
and install a protected-mode driver for the device, you can
attempt to install a protected-mode driver for the device manually. To do so, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, point to Control Panel and then click on
Add New Hardware.
2. Click Next, click No, and then click Next.
3. Click the type of device for which you’re attempting to
install a protected-mode driver in the Hardware Types
box, and then click Next.
4. Click the manufacturer of the device in the
Manufacturers box.
5. If the specific device appears in the Models box, click the
device, and then click OK to install the protected-mode
driver.
If the manufacturer of the device doesn’t appear in the
Manufacturers box, or the specific device doesn’t appear in
the Models box, you don’t have a protected-mode driver for
the device. To determine if the hardware’s manufacturer provides a protected-mode driver for the device, contact the
manufacturer of the device.
Loading drivers and programs into upper memory is the last
option for freeing up conventional memory space. To attempt
to load drivers or memory resident programs from the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file into upper memory, make
sure that the CONFIG.SYS file contains the following lines (in
order):
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DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS
DOS=HIGH,UMB
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\
DRVSPACE.SYS /MOVE
Next, attempt to load device drivers in the CONFIG.SYS file
using the DEVICEHIGH command instead of the DEVICE
command.
Also try loading memory-resident programs in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file using the LOADHIGH command. If you’re loading
the MSCDEX.EXE file using AUTOEXEC.BAT, you can try to
load part of the MSCDEX.EXE file into expanded memory
using the /E switch on the Mscdex.exe command line.
You may also create a backup of the files that include SYSTEM.DAT, USER.DAT, SYSTEM.INI, and WIN.INI using the
Registry Checker tool at any time you want, but it will erase
the oldest copy of the Registry backup. We recommend that
you use the Registry Checker tool to create a backup of the
Registry before any changes are made to the Registry.
During a product upgrade, Windows Setup runs the Windows
Registry Checker tool to verify the integrity of the existing
Registry before it performs the upgrade. If it detects
Registry damage, it goes through the normal steps to fix it
automatically.
Automatic Skip Driver Agent
When a device driver prevents the system from responding
(the system hangs) when you start your PC, the Automatic
Skip Driver Agent tool (Asd.exe) identifies which driver is having problems, and offers instructions on how to fix it. The
Automatic Skip Driver Agent then disables this driver so that
it’s bypassed when you next start your computer.
The Automatic Skip Driver Agent tool isn’t available with the
Windows 95 OS.
The Automatic Skip Driver Agent tool can be started in two
ways. To access the Automatic Skip Driver Agent tool
through the System Information screen, do the following:
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133
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click Tools and then Automatic Skip Driver Agent.
To access the Automatic Skip Driver Agent tool through the
DOS command prompt do the following:
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type COMMAND and then click OK.
3. At the DOS command prompt, type ASD.EXE.
The Automatic Skip Driver Agent lists all device drivers
or operations that have failed to start. If Automatic Skip
Driver Agent is unable to locate any errors, you may receive
a message stating so, and you can then click OK to quit
(Figure 57).
You can also use the Automatic Skip
Driver Agent to enable a device driver
that it previously disabled. The OS
then tries to use the device driver when
you next start your computer. If this
driver doesn’t start correctly, your PC
FIGURE 57—Automatic Skip Driver Agent Tool
again stops responding. When you
then start your computer for the third time, the Automatic
Skip Driver Agent again prevents the device driver from running. When your computer starts, click Details on the
Automatic Skip Driver Agent screen to identify the device
driver or operation that doesn’t start correctly. Then, display
a suggested course of action.
Device drivers disabled by the Automatic Skip Driver Agent to
allow Windows to start are recorded in the ASD.LOG file.
Dr. Watson
Dr. Watson is a diagnostic tool with the ability to take a
“snapshot” of the computer system when a problem occurs.
This snapshot can include a description of what happened to
the system when a fault occurred, plus give the possible
cause of the problem. Dr. Watson includes an advanced view
that’s accessed by selecting Advanced View on the View
menu option. Many important tabs are available on the
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advanced view that can tell you what system features were
active when the fault happened. Using this utility can help
isolate the problem to a few drivers or modules and their
interactions.
Do the following to access Dr. Watson:
1. Click Start and point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click Tools and then Dr. Watson (Figure 58).
Or:
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type DRWATSON, and then click OK.
Dr. Watson isn’t automatically enabled when you boot your
computer. If you want to have Dr. Watson start every time
the system boots, you can create a shortcut to C:\WINDOWS\DRWATSON.exe and place it in the C:\WINDOWS\
START MENU\PROGRAMS\STARTUP folder.
FIGURE 58—Select Dr. Watson from the Tools menu.
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135
System Configuration Utility
To start the System Configuration Utility and view the
advanced troubleshooting settings, use the following steps:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then System Configuration Utility.
3. Click on the General tab and then click Advanced.
Or:
1. Click Start and then click Run.
2. In the Open: box, type MSCONFIG and then click OK.
3. Click on the General tab and then click Advanced.
The advanced troubleshooting settings allow you to
disable/enable OS features (Figure 59). This can help identify
what part of the OS configuration is causing errors.
Included below is a list of the advanced
troubleshooting settings and their
uses.
Disable system ROM breakpoint.
This setting specifies whether Windows
9x/Me should use the ROM address
space between F000:0000 and 1
megabyte (MB) for a breakpoint.
Windows normally searches this
address space to find a special instruction that’s used as a system breakpoint. If this address space contains
something other than permanently
available ROM, you should disable this
setting. This sets SystemROMBreak
Point=0 in the SYSTEM.INI file, which
is equivalent to starting Windows with
the command-line switch /d:s.
FIGURE 59—System Configuration Utility Advanced
Troubleshooting Settings
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Disable virtual HD IRQ. This setting prevents Windows
9x/Me from terminating interrupts from the hard disk controller and bypassing the ROM routine that processes these
interrupts. Some hard disk drives may require this setting to
be enabled for interrupts to be processed correctly. If this setting is enabled, the ROM routine handles the interrupts,
which can slow system performance. This sets
VirtualHDIRQ=0 in the SYSTEM.INI file, which is equivalent
to starting Windows with the command-line switch /d:v.
EMM exclude A000-FFFF. This setting prevents Windows
from trying to scan for unused memory address space and
also disables the RAM and ROM search instructions for the
memory address space. Scanning for unused memory
address space can interfere with some devices that use the
same memory addresses. Using the EMM Exclude A000-FFFF
setting in the advanced troubleshooting settings sets the
same values in the SYSTEM.INI file which is equivalent to
starting Windows with the command-line switch /d:x.
Force compatibility mode disk access. This setting prevents all 32-bit protected mode disk drivers from being
loaded except the floppy driver. You may want to enable this
setting if your computer doesn’t start due to disk peripheral
I/O problems. If you enable this setting, all I/O uses realmode drivers or the BIOS. Also, all disk drives that run in
protected mode only no longer function. This is equivalent to
starting Windows with the command-line switch /d:f.
VGA 640 ⴛ 480 ⴛ 16. This setting causes Windows 9x/Me
to use the standard VGA driver. This disables the existing
display.drv= line of the SYSTEM.INI file, and adds the
display.drv=vga.drv line to the [boot] section of the
SYSTEM.INI file.
Use SCSI double-buffering. This setting causes Windows
9x/Me to add the line Doublebuffer=2 to the MSDOS.SYS
file. Some Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) drives
may require that this setting be enabled. Windows should
detect whether or not this setting is needed, so you should
only enable this setting if there’s a disk access problem. This
setting is unavailable if a Doublebuffer line already exists in
the MSDOS.SYS file.
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137
Disable Scandisk after bad shutdown. This setting adds
the line Autoscan=0 to the MSDOS.SYS file. This can be useful when you troubleshoot shutdown issues, because it
decreases startup time after a bad shutdown.
Limit memory to <x> MB. This setting limits memory usage
on your computer to the first <x> MB, where <x> is a number
of megabytes. This setting adds the MaxPhysPage=<nnn>
line to the SYSTEM.INI file, where <nnn> is a hexadecimal
value of the amount of memory to be used. If this setting is
too low (16 MB or lower), it will prevent Windows from starting normally.
Disable fast shutdown. This setting disables Windows
9x/Me shutdown performance enhancements. This can be
useful to troubleshoot problems shutting down Windows
9x/Me.
Disable UDF file system. This setting disables support for
the Universal Disk Format (UDF) file system for all CD and
DVD drives. This setting can be used to troubleshoot problems with proprietary DVD players that may be incompatible
with UDF.
Enable Pentium F0 (Lock CmpXchg). This setting provides
a method to work around an erratum in the Intel P5 series of
processors (Pentium and Pentium MMX). The processor
hangs if a particular illegal instruction sequence is issued. If
this setting is enabled, Windows 9x/Me enables a protection
routine to avoid hanging. This setting shouldn’t be used while
debugging programs.
Norton Utilities 3.0 SpeedDisk and UnErase Wizard tools lock
the computer if used with this setting enabled. If you have
Norton Utilities, it’s recommended that you don’t use the
Enable Pentium F0 setting.
If you’re running Windows Millennium Edition (Me), the following options are available on the Advanced tab:
• Enable Startup menu
• Enable Deep Sleep
Enable Startup menu. This setting enables the use of the
Startup menu on the next restart by adding the line
BootMenu=1 to the MSDOS.SYS file.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Enable DeepSleep. This setting provides for a sleep state
also known as Stand-by. The Registry key for the DeepSleep
control implementation is
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Service
s\VxD\CONFIGMG
The flag is named DeepSleep.
Beyond the above listed advanced troubleshooting settings,
the System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG.EXE) automates
routine troubleshooting steps that you can use when diagnosing Windows configuration issues. You can use this tool
to modify the system configuration through a process of
elimination with check boxes, thus reducing the risk of typing errors.
To use the System Configuration Utility, you must be logged
on as an administrator, a member of the Administrators
group, or have been assigned administrative responsibility to
a user, computer, group, or organization. If your computer is
connected to a network, network policy settings may also
prevent you from using the utility.
CAUTION
It’s strongly recommended that you don’t use the System
Configuration Utility to modify the BOOT.INI file on your computer
without the direction of a Microsoft support professional. Doing
so may render your computer unusable.
To use the System Configuration Tool to troubleshoot a
problem, you first need to create a clean environment to do
the troubleshooting in. To perform this first step, do the
following:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then System Configuration Utility.
3. Click on the General tab and then click Diagnostic
startup—load basic devices and services only.
4. Click OK and then click Restart to restart your
computer.
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139
After Windows starts, determine whether the symptoms are
still present.
If a problem still exists after you perform the diagnostic startup, investigate the possible causes as follows:
• A file is missing, corrupted, or has been replaced. If
using Windows 98 or 98SE use the System File Checker
tool to investigate this option.
System files—Files
used by Windows to
load, configure, and
run the operating
system. Generally,
system files must
never be deleted or
moved.
• One or more of your system files or your Registry may be
corrupted. If you perform regular backups, you may be
able to restore these files from a recent version. See
Windows Backup.
• Your computer may be infected with a virus. Restart
your PC in safe mode and run your virus-scanning
software.
• An upgrade from a previous version of Windows was
unsuccessful. This should be suspected if an OS
upgrade was just performed on your PC. If this is the
problem, try rerunning the product upgrade.
If the problem disappeared after you performed the diagnostic
startup, use the other System Configuration Utility tools to
troubleshoot the possible causes.
To isolate problems using Selective Startup options, do the
following:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then System Configuration Utility.
3. Select the General tab and then click Selective Startup.
Clear—To turn off an
option by removing
the “X” or check mark
from a check box.
You can clear a check
box by clicking it, or
by selecting it and
then pressing the
spacebar.
140
4. Clear all of the subsequent check boxes. You won’t be
able to clear the Use Original BOOT.INI check box.
5. Starting with the first available check box (Process SYSTEM.INI File), select each check box one at a time, and
restart the computer as prompted until the problem is
reproduced.
6. Once the problem reappears, click the tab that corresponds to the selected file. For example, if the problem
reappears after selecting the WIN.INI file, click on the
WIN.INI system file tab.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
System File tabs will be available for all of the system files
running on your PC during startup. For example, if your PC
doesn’t use an AUTOEXEC.BAT file during startup, it won’t
be offered as a tab. If the file is present, but empty, it will be
offered as a tab. To identify problems using System File
tabs, do the following:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then System Configuration Utility.
3. Click on the tab of the identified system file.
4. The system file tabs identify sections with check boxes.
Entire sections can be temporarily removed by clearing
the check box for the corresponding section.
5. Troubleshoot your PC using this utility by clearing the
check marks for possible problems and then restarting
the computer.
6. Continue this procedure until the section causing the
problem is identified.
To isolate problems using System Startup options, do
the following:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then System Configuration Utility.
3. Select the General tab and then click on Selective
Startup.
4. Clear the Process SYSTEM.INI File, Process WIN.INI
File, and Load System Services check boxes. The Use
Original BOOT.INI option won’t be available.
5. Make sure the Load Startup Items check box is selected
and then click OK.
6. Restart the computer as prompted.
The Startup tab lists items loading at startup from the
Startup group, WIN.INI load= and run=, and the Registry.
To isolate problems using the Startup tab options, do
the following:
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141
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then System Configuration Utility.
3. Click the Startup tab.
4. To begin troubleshooting, clear all check boxes.
5. Starting with the first check box, select the check boxes
one at a time.
6. Restart the computer as prompted until the symptoms
can be reproduced.
ScanDisk
During normal use, your hard drive can become cluttered
and messy. Folders can become cross-linked and file names
can contain invalid or unknown characters, become damaged, and disassociated with their files. ScanDisk can fix
these and other problems for you (Figure 60). It’s a good
idea to run ScanDisk on a regular basis—once a week for
Standard, and once a month for Thorough.
The Standard test checks the files and folders on the selected
drives for errors.
FIGURE 60—ScanDisk
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
The Thorough test will give you further options. It performs
the Standard test plus checks your hard disk drive for physical damage. You can even specify to scan areas of your disk
containing only data files, or just the areas with system files,
or both.
Both Standard and Thorough have a set of Advanced options
that help you to deal with lost file fragments, invalid files,
and files that overlap the same disk space. You can also
choose to keep a log file of what ScanDisk finds.
To start ScanDisk, use one of the following procedures:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then ScanDisk.
3. Select the drive you want to scan and choose either the
Standard or Thorough test.
4. Click Start.
Or:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on ScanDisk.
2. Select the drive you want to scan, and choose either the
Standard or Thorough test.
3. Click Start.
Or:
1. Click Start and then click Run.
2. In the Open: box, type ScanDisk and then click OK.
3. Select the drive you want to scan, and choose either the
Standard or Thorough test.
4. Click Start.
File System Troubleshooting
Another place where tools that affect the way the OS handles
devices during startup is found as part of the performance
options on the System Properties screen (Figure 61).
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143
FIGURE 61—System
Properties File System
Troubleshooting
This screen can be reached by doing the following:
1. Click on Start, point to Settings and then click on
Control Panel.
2. Double-click on System and select the Performance tab.
3. Click on File System . . . and select the
Troubleshooting tab.
This opens a list of the files that are involved with the file
system of the PC. Place a check in the box in front of the feature you want to disable and restart the PC. If the problem
remains, disable the next item in the list. Repeat this procedure until the file system error is found.
CAUTION
Disabling some File System options can cause the hard drive or
other device to stop functioning. Be sure you have a bootable
disk or CD before disabling any of these options.
The Troubleshooting tab’s dialog box gives you the following
choices:
Disable new file sharing and locking semantics. This
setting controls the file-locking mechanisms in Windows.
Disable this setting only if you’re currently experiencing
problems with specific programs.
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Disable long name preservation for old programs.
Windows normally preserves the long file names of files that
are accessed by older programs. You can disable this functionality if you’re experiencing long file name errors with an
older program.
Disable protected-mode hard disk interrupt handling.
This switch allows Windows to terminate interrupts from the
hard disk controller, bypassing the ROM routine that handles
these interrupts. Some hard disks may require that this setting be disabled for interrupts to be processed correctly.
If this setting is disabled, the ROM routine handles the
interrupts.
Disable synchronous buffer commits. This setting manages the function calls to the File-Commit API to return
immediately without checking to see if the data was correctly
written to the drive. By default, Windows uses synchronous
buffer commits. You can change this setting to enable asynchronous buffer commits for programs that may need this
function.
Disable all 32-bit protected-mode disk drivers. This setting determines whether fixed-disk access is performed with
Windows protected-mode drivers or real-mode drivers and
BIOS routines. If you’re experiencing drive input/output (I/O)
errors, enabling this setting may be a possible solution and
may help you determine if 32-bit protected-mode drivers
aren’t working correctly.
Disable write-behind caching for all drives. Write-behind
caching is used by Windows to write data to the fixed disks.
This increases performance, but also means that in the event
of a system problem, there’s a possibility that data may not
be completely written to the disk. If you need to make sure
that data is written directly to the disk, you can use this setting to disable the write-behind caching functionality.
Disable System Restore (Windows Me only). System
Restore is used by Windows to reset the system to a previous
working level. By disabling this option, you won’t be able to
revert the OS to any previous level.
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Windows 9x Specific Tools
Beyond the common tools, Windows 9x has tools specific to
the OS. These tools are found using the following procedure:
• Click on Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
From this point you can use the drop-down menu under
Tools to select most of the troubleshooting and support tools
covered in this section (Figure 62). Other tools are located in
other folders on the hard drive. Instructions on opening these
folders will be given with the individual tool.
FIGURE 62—Windows 9x Specific Tools
Internet Explorer Repair Tool
The Internet Explorer Repair Tool, shown in Figure 63, has
the following features:
• Identifies problems with Internet Explorer that are
caused by files that are out of date.
• Fixes problems that are caused by the incorrect or
incomplete registration of Internet Explorer files.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
• Restores or repairs the desktop or Start menu shortcut
commands for Internet Explorer that have been deleted
or don’t function properly.
To use the Internet Explorer Repair tool,
use one of the following procedures:
1. Click Start, point to Programs,
Accessories, System Tools, and then
click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then Internet
Explorer Repair Tool.
Or:
1. Click Start, point to Settings, and
click Control Panel.
FIGURE 63—Internet Explorer Repair Tool
2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
3. Click on the Install/Uninstall tab and click Microsoft
Internet Explorer x, where x is the version of Microsoft
Internet Explorer installed on your PC.
4. Click Add/Remove, click Repair the current installation of Internet Explorer, and then click OK.
Or:
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type rundll32
setupwbv.dll,IE5Maintenance “C:\Program
Files\Internet Explorer\Setup\SETUP.EXE” /g
“C:\WINDOWS\IE Uninstall Log.Txt”, and then click
OK.
Note: Type carefully; this command is case-sensitive.
If the Internet Explorer Repair tool detects an error, you may
receive an error message that’s similar to the following error
message:
Internet Explorer 5 cannot be repaired. Please reinstall
Internet Explorer 5.
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If you click Details, you may receive an explanation for the
problem. For example, you may receive any of the following
explanations:
Internet Explorer 5 cannot be repaired due to the following
errors: File file_name is missing.
Or:
Internet Explorer 5 cannot be repaired due to the following
errors: Version 4.72.3110.0 of file file_name exists but
needs to be greater than 5.0.808.1000.
To resolve the problems that are associated with these error
messages, it’s recommended that you reinstall Internet
Explorer. The result of the repair process is logged in the
“FIX IE LOG.TXT” file that’s located in the Windows folder.
If you need to replace a bad file from the original Internet
Explorer or Windows OS media, use the System File Checker
tool’s Extract tool to extract the file. More information about
this tool is provided later in this study unit.
Windows Report Tool
The Windows Report Tool (WINREP) is an Internet-based
reporting tool (Figure 64). It allows you to submit Windows
problems and their cause to Microsoft. Windows Report Tool
contains an interface used for composing reports, HTTP file
uploads, and e-mail confirmation for submitted reports.
The tool takes a snapshot of the system’s settings and the
applications that deal with the problem.
To launch the report, do the following:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then Windows Report Tool.
Or:
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type WINREP and then click OK.
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FIGURE 64—Windows Report Tool
The next step is to enter information about the problem in
the areas provided. The Windows Report Tool has three areas
for the documentation of problems:
1. Problem description—A precise-as-possible description of
the error that occurred. Don’t leave any details out, even
if it seems self-evident. Include any error messages in
their entirety.
2. Expected results—What did you expect Windows to do
when the error happened? Either enter a detailed
description of what it did in the past or what the program documentation says should have happened.
3. Steps to reproduce the problem—Give a step-by-step
account of what’s required to reproduce the problem on
your PC. Don’t skip any steps. It’s a good idea to number
the steps to give a complete account. Also, any information on what you did to resolve the problem could be
entered here.
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Click on File and then click Save to keep a record of this
file. The file will be saved in the WINDIR\HELPDESK\WINREP folder.
It’s important to remember that the Windows Report Tool
(WINREP) takes a snapshot of the system. If the problem is
fixed before WINREP is run, the snapshot sent to
Microsoft won’t reflect the system’s files when the problem
was happening.
WINREP takes a picture of the following files:
Asd.log
Detcrash.log
Msdos.sys
Setuplog.txt
Autoexec.bat
Detlog.old
Netlog.txt
System.ini
Bootlog.txt
Detlog.txt
Protocol.ini
Verback.log
Ccp.txt
Drvspace.ini
RunOnceExLog.txt
Win.ini
Config.syst
Hwinfo.dat
Setup.old
Dblspace.ini
Ios.log
Setuplog.old
Since the Registry files and Dr. Watson are very large, they’re
not included.
You do have the option of limiting the files that Windows will
take a snapshot of. To choose these files, click on Options
and then Collected Information (Figure 65). Check all of the
files you don’t want submitted to Microsoft in the report.
Microsoft recommends that the person submitting the problem include as much information about himself or herself as
possible. To access the place to insert this information, click
on Options and then on User Information (Figure 66).
Microsoft asks for this information so they can get the report
confirmation back to the person who submitted it. A minimum of the e-mail address and phone number is required.
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FIGURE 65—Collected Information
FIGURE 66—User Information
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151
To submit the report, make sure you’re connected to the
Internet. Click on the Submit option on the File menu. This
will take you to the Microsoft Web page. Once here, verify the
information you wrote in the report. If it’s correct, click on
Submit and Microsoft will receive the information.
If you’re having trouble sending the report, first make sure
you’re connected to the Internet.
If you’re using proxy settings on a network, go to the Options
menu then click on User Information. Select the Use
Internet Explorer browser setting before connecting to the
Internet.
Points to remember:
• The Windows Report Tool (WINREP) should be used
during unusual situations where normal troubleshooting
techniques fail.
• Be very explicit in typing the problem description,
expected results, and steps to reproduce a problem.
• Ensure there’s enough user information entered for
Microsoft to contact you if necessary.
• Make sure you can connect to the Internet from the command prompt. If you can’t, save the report to a floppy
disk, take it to a PC that has an active connection, and
send the report to Microsoft from there.
System File Checker
The System File Checker (SFC) tool checks for damaged or
replaced system files, and then allows you to replace any files
that don’t match the original Windows 98 files. The System
File Checker can also be used to restore Windows OS files if
they’re corrupted. It also offers a convenient way to extract
compressed files (such as drivers) from installation disks. To
keep your files in good shape, run the System File Checker
after installing any new software. You must be logged on as a
member of the Administrators group to run SFC. You can
start the System File Checker by doing the following:
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1. Click Start, point to
Programs, Accessories,
System Tools, and then
click on System
Information.
2. Click on Tools and then
System File Checker
(Figure 67).
Or:
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type
SFC and then click OK.
The SFC command, when used
on the Windows command
FIGURE 67—System File Checker
prompt, can use the switches
listed in Table 11.
Table 11
SFC SYNTAX AND SWITCHES
Syntax
SFC [/scannow] [/scanonce] [/scanboot] [/revert] [/purgecache] [/cachesize=x]
Sw itch
Description
/scannow
Scans all protected system files immediately.
/scanonce
Scans all protected system files once.
/scanboot
Scans all protected system files every time the computer is restarted.
/revert
Returns the scan to its default operation.
/purgecache
Purges the Windows File Protection file cache and scans all protected system
files immediately.
/cachesize=x
Sets the size, in MB, of the Windows File Protection file cache.
/?
Displays help at the command prompt.
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FIGURE 68—System File
Checker Settings
By clicking on the Settings . . . button, you’re able to configure the System File Checker (Figure 68).
The following options are available:
• Back up the existing files before restoring the original files.
• Customize search criteria based on folder and file extension.
• Choose a different backup location.
• Choose a different verification data file.
• Restore the default system information. This option is
used when you experience severe problems. When this
option is selected, the System File Checker will prompt
you about any system files that have changed since you
installed Windows.
• Create or view a logfile.
We recommend that you enable Check for changed files and
Check for deleted files, as well as selecting Always back up
before restoring. Also, manually change the default settings
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to include the subfolders of C:\Windows and C:\Program
Files. To do this, follow these steps:
1. Select the Search Criteria tab.
2. Select C:\Windows then click on the Include Subfolders
button.
3. Select C:\Program Files then click on the Include
Subfolders button.
It’s possible that you’ll receive the following error message
when you attempt to extract a new copy of a Windows 98 file
using the System File Checker tool:
The file was not found. Verify that you have selected the
correct “Restore from” location and try again.
For this error message to be displayed, one of the following
conditions occurred:
1. You specified the wrong path to the Windows 98 cabinet
files. To resolve this error, do the following:
• Click Browse in the Restore File dialog box.
• Locate the folder in which the Windows 98 cabinet
files are located and click on that folder. (The
Windows 98 cabinet files are located in the \Win98
folder on the Windows 98 CD-ROM.)
• Click OK and then click OK again.
2. The file you attempted to extract was created during
Windows 98 setup and isn’t located in a Windows 98
cabinet file. To resolve this error, do the following:
• If you need a new copy of a file that was created during Windows 98 setup, install Windows 98 again. You
can install Windows 98 on top of itself without losing
any data. Some Windows OS values might be reset
to default values. The files listed in Table 12 are created during Windows 98 setup and aren’t located in the
Windows 98 cabinet files.
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Table 12
FILES CREATED DURING WINDOWS 98 SETUP
Classes.zip
Intro.dcr
Mstask.cnt
Qtw.ini
Tclasses.zip
Computerinfo.ocx
javaee.dll
Mstask.dll
Ripaux.dll
Telephon.ini
Control.ini
Javasntx.dll
Mstask.exe
Rnaph.dll
Vmm32.vxd
Crypt32.dll
Jsproxy.dll
Mstask.hlp
Selectfiledlg.ocx
Vsrevoke.dll
Drvidx.bin
M5drvr32.exe
Mstask.inf
Setup.inf
Wavemix.ini
Exchange32.ini
M5drvr32.rst
Mstinit.exe
Setup.old
Wininit.ini
Icwscrpt.exe
M5if32.dll
Ndislog.txt
Site.ini
Winoa386.mod
Ie32dsw.ocx
Msbatch.inf
Powerpnt.ini
Swadcmpr.x32
Wintrust.hlp
Ie32dsw.txt
Msmail.ini
Progman.ini
Swastrm.x32
Xobglu16.dll
Index.dat
Msoffice.ini
Protocol.ini
Sysagent.exe
Xobglu32.dll
3. You specified a path to a shared Windows 98 CD-ROM
on a network. To resolve this error, do the following:
• Since the System File Checker doesn’t support
extracting files from a network shared Windows 98
CD-ROM, copy the Windows 98 files to the hard disk.
It’s also possible for the System File Checker to extract the
wrong version of a system file from a Windows 98 cabinet
(.cab) file. This problem will cause a failure to start Windows,
or you’ll receive a Windows Protection Error message in both
normal and safe mode. This problem was fixed in Windows
98 SE.
Version Conflict Manager
Use the Version Conflict Manager tool to troubleshoot
problems that may occur after you install a program.
During the installation of a new program (including
Windows 98), files on your hard disk may be detected
and replaced with older versions. If Windows 98 Setup
detects a newer version of a file, a version conflict occurs.
For example, if you upgrade a Windows 95 PC that uses a
newer version of the COMMDLG.DLL file to Windows 98,
the newer COMMDLG.DLL file is backed up and the older
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
COMMDLG.DLL file is copied to your computer. The newer
version of the file is backed up into the \Windows\VCM
folder. This problem was corrected in the Windows 98SE OS.
The Version Conflict Manager (VCMUI) tool lists all the backup files, the dates they were backed up, the version number
of the backed-up files, and the version number of the file currently in use. When you use the Version Conflict Manager
tool to restore a backed-up file, the file that’s currently in use
by Windows 98 is backed up, and the backup file is restored.
Those files can be viewed with Version Conflict Manager. The
determining factor in identifying an older file is the file version, not the file date.
To launch Version Conflict Manager and restore a backed-up
file, do the following:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then Version Conflicts Manager
(Figure 69).
3. Click the file that you want to restore, and then click
Restore Selected Files.
FIGURE 69—Version
Conflict Manager
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157
Or:
1. Click Start and then Run.
2. In the Open: box, type VCMUI.EXE and then click OK.
3. Click the file that you want to restore, and then click
Restore Selected Files.
When Version Conflict Manager restores an older file, the
older file is moved in the \Windows\VCM folder with its
extension changed to .000. You can then use Version Conflict
Manager to determine the original configuration.
Windows Millennium Edition
Specific Tools
Like Windows 9x, the Windows Me operating system has its
own group of tools for troubleshooting problems with the system. The tool list is slightly different (and more extensive)
than the one offered in Windows 9x (Figure 70).
FIGURE 70—Windows Me
Specific Tools
In Windows Me, the major group of tools that are part of your
OS are found using the following procedure:
1. Click on Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
2. From this point, you can use the drop-down menu under
Tools to select the troubleshooting and support tools covered in this section.
System Restore
One very convenient utility that’s available on the Windows
Me OS is System Restore. This utility allows the user to take
a snapshot, called a Restore Point, of the entire system and
store it in case of a catastrophic failure. As stated on the
main window, you can use this utility to undo changes you
made to the system (Figure 71). The System Restore feature
doesn’t affect any data files, so you can use the utility without fear of losing any newly created data. However, System
Restore does affect newly installed applications software and
OS updates. Newly added software and recently installed
updates will be removed and will need to be reinstalled on
the PC in order to function. The Registry is also rolled back
to the level it was at the restore point; this won’t always be
the most recent backup of the Registry. Any changes made to
the Registry after the restore point selected, won’t be present
on the system, and will need to be input again.
FIGURE 71—System Restore
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Crash—On a computer,
a serious failure. A
computer crash means
that the computer itself
stops working or that a
program aborts unexpectedly. A crash signifies either a hardware
malfunction or a very
serious software bug.
The system will make a restore point for almost every day the
PC is on, but as stated earlier, this isn’t always enough.
Following the recommendation of creating a restore point
every time you install software, update your system, or
change the Registry is time consuming but well worth it if
your PC crashes after a change. This utility is menu driven,
and it’s easy to follow the onscreen instructions.
To launch System Restore do the following:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then System Restore.
If you’re servicing a PC with Windows Me, this utility can
save you time in resolving problems with major system
changes. Find the restore point just before the change and
select the Restore my computer to an earlier time option
shown on Figure 71 to reset the PC to a functional level of
performance.
Faultlog
The Faultlog, shown in Figure 72, is a text file that tracks
general protection faults (GPFs). A GPF is a computer condition that causes a Windows application to crash. When a
GPF is encountered, an entry is made in the Faultlog, indicating the fault address. Together with Dr. Watson’s log, this
information is valuable in troubleshooting hardware and software conflicts. The FAULTLOG.TXT file is located in the
C:\Windows folder, where C: is the primary drive where the
OS is installed.
To verify a fault address after a GPF, do the following to open
the Faultlog:
1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Information.
2. Click on Tools and then Faultlog.
3. The FAULTLOG.TXT file is opened, with the most recent
fault information at the end of the file.
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FIGURE 72—Fault Log
Network Diagnostics
Another feature on the tool list is the Network Diagnostics
utility (Figure 73). This tool will test the network you’ve set
up on your PC. It will check all of the network connections
and report on their status.
FIGURE 73—Network
Diagnostics
This is a diagnostic utility, so it has no options to fix any of
the problems it encounters. Often, knowing what connection
is causing a communications fault is a very good first step in
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161
solving the problem. This utility has a handy feature so you
can print a copy of all of the setup services and connections
for reference when you’re actively troubleshooting the PC.
DirectX Diagnostic Tool
Another diagnostic tool available to help troubleshoot problems is the DirectX Diagnostic Tool (Figure 74). This utility
helps isolate problems with multimedia applications. By
using this tool, you can test all of the devices and device
functions supported by DirectX as well as find out information on the level of the DirectX files and modules installed on
your system.
FIGURE 74—DirectX Diagnostic Tool
Like the Network Diagnostics utility, this utility has no
options to fix problems it encounters. But unlike Network
Diagnostics, this tool does have the option of disabling certain features supported by the DirectX programming and can
directly access the help menus on Windows Me. The DirectX
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Diagnostic Tool also has a feature that allows you to
save and then print a copy of all of the features and cards
supported. This is good reference material when you’re troubleshooting the actual system hardware and/or applications.
WMI Control
Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Control
(Figure 75) is a tool that enables you to configure WMI settings on a local computer or a remote computer.
FIGURE 75—Windows
Management
Instrumentation Control
For more information on WMI, go to the Microsoft Web site
that offers an overview of WMI at https://www.microsoft
.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/prodtec
hnol/windowsserver2003/proddocs/datacenter/windows_wmi_overview.asp.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Local computer—The
computer that you’re
currently using. More
generally, a local computer is a computer
that you can access
directly without using a
communications line or
a communications
device, such as a network adapter or a
modem.
Remote computer—A
computer that you can
access only by using a
communications line or
a communications
device, such as a network card or a modem.
163
Using the WMI Control, you can
Namespace—A naming
convention that defines
a set of unique names
for resources in a
network.
• Authorize users or groups and set permission levels. You
enable an individual user, group, or namespace to access
network objects and perform WMI tasks and services.
For example, you can enable a group to manage WMI’s
Common Information Model (CIM) objects on their local
computers.
• Configure error logging. You can turn error logging on or
off and, if turned on, set it to report errors only (the
default) or all actions (verbose). Error logging can help
you troubleshoot WMI problems. You can also define a
maximum size for log files and their folder location.
• Back up the repository. You can configure the WMI
Control to back up your repository on a regular schedule, or you can do it manually at any time. The repository is the database of objects that you can access through
WMI. You can also restore a previous version of the
repository.
• Change the default namespace for scripting. You can
change the default namespace that’s targeted in WMI
scripts.
• Connect as a different user. You can log on under a different user name to change WMI Control settings. For
example, if you’ve defined an administrative user
account on several workstations, you can connect to
those workstations under that user name.
Diagnostic Software
There are two other tools that we recommend you use for
assistance in troubleshooting problems. These products are
Nuts & Bolts and Sandra.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Nuts & Bolts
Nuts & Bolts, like the Windows tools described above, can
display the configuration of your PC. For PCs using Windows
95, 98, and 98SE, it can also be used to work with the
Registry. The Nuts & Bolts Registry Wizard can back up and
restore the Registry, as well as clean the Registry of unneeded data, search for and repair Registry orphans, and tune up
and optimize the Registry (Figure 76).
FIGURE 76—Nuts & Bolts
Registry Wizard
Most of these features were included with the Windows Me
OS. Using either the OS or Nuts & Bolts gives equal results.
Ease of use and familiarity with the product should be the
determining factor for which product you use.
Sandra
The other recommended product for troubleshooting the OS
and newly installed items is Sandra. This software is downloadable for free by contacting the SiSoftware site at
www.sisoftware.net. The free copy of this software is available from SiSoftware partners and does have advertising
included in the download. The minimized version of the
Sandra product that’s downloaded for free will provide
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165
reports on most system functions and save them in a printable file on your PC. The advantage of this type of troubleshooting is having the hardcopy available for reference
during repairs. Use the following directions with the
SiSoftware Sandra software to get a printout of the devices
you select.
1. Click Start, Programs, SiSoftware, and then click
SiSoftware Sandra MAX3 Standard. This is the standard directory in which the Sandra product installs.
2. Select the Create a Report Wizard from the list of available options. After reading this screen, click on the Next
arrow at the bottom of the screen as shown in Figure 77.
FIGURE 77—Sandra Report
Wizard Introduction Screen
3. Under the Configuration screen (Figure 78), select Make
choices and generate report under the Type option,
then click on the green Next arrow.
4. Select the reports you need from the list of options on
the Information Modules screen and then click on the
Next arrow as shown in Figure 79.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
FIGURE 78—Sandra
Report Wizard
Configuration Screen
FIGURE 79—Sandra
Report Wizard Information
Modules Screen
5. Select the items required on the Benchmarking Modules,
Listing Modules, and Diagnostic Modules screens. Some
of these modules are available only on the full-featured
Sandra that requires the purchase of this diagnostic
product. Then click on the Next arrow.
6. Add any comments you would like on the Comments
screen (no comments are required). Then click on the
Next arrow.
7. On the Delivery screen, leave the Delivery option on Save
to Disk and click on the Next arrow.
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8. On the File Type screen, leave the Format option on
Standard / Text format (.txt) and the Encoding option on
ANSI (native). Select the desired options on the bottom of
the screen and then click on the Next arrow (Figure 80).
9. On the Save Report to File screen, leave the file name as
SystemReport.txt and click on the green check mark on
the bottom of the screen. At this point, the Create a
Report Wizard will write a report in the My Computer
/Local Disk/Program Files/SiSoftware/SiSoftware
Sandra MAX3 directory. The file will be called
SystemReport.txt. You can now open and read, or print,
this system report file.
FIGURE 80—Sandra File
Type Options
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Self-Check 5
Match the items on the left with their descriptions on the right. Indicate your answers in the
place provided.
______ 1. Registry Checker
a. Checks for damaged or replaced system files
______ 2. System File Checker
b. Tracks GPFs
______ 3. Fault Log
c. Allows you to submit Windows problems and
their causes to Microsoft
______ 4. WINREP
d. Identifies device drivers causing boot problems
______ 5. Automatic Skip Driver Agent
e. Creates a backup of the system files and
scans for invalid entries and empty data
blocks
Check your answers with those on page 188.
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169
PROGRAMS INCLUDED WITH THE
OPERATING SYSTEM
Microsoft has included various programs with the OS. Some
of these programs are designed to enhance communications.
Other programs include the tools we covered earlier that are
designed to help you troubleshoot your PC. The rest of the
programs included with the OS fall into the category of entertainment. This section of the study unit will focus on the programs included with the OS that haven’t been covered by this
study unit up to this point.
System Monitor
The System Monitor is used to monitor system resources
being used by applications and processes. Using the System
Monitor, you can track five key areas of performance:
1. File system
2. Memory
3. The kernel
4. Printer sharing services
5. Network performance data
The System Monitor isn’t installed as a Windows Component
during standard OS installation. To install the System
Monitor, use the following procedure:
1. Have your original Windows installation CD-ROM or floppy disks available.
2. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
3. Double-click on Add/Remove Programs.
4. Click on Windows Setup on the Properties dialog box.
5. Select System Monitor. The dialog box will display the
amount of hard drive space required to install this component and the amount of free space.
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
6. If you have enough free space, insert the installation CD
or floppy disk and click Have Disk . . .
With the System Monitor is installed, use the following procedure to run it:
• Click on Start, point to Programs, Accessories, System
Tools, and then click on System Monitor (Figure 81).
FIGURE 81—System Monitor
Under the File menu, you’re able to add items to and remove
items from the monitor. The most common use of the System
Monitor is to check programs for excessive memory use and
network access. Be aware that the System Monitor itself uses
some system resources. Take this into account when your PC
is running programs that tax its resources.
Browsers
If you’ve “surfed the Net,” the interface between your PC and
all of that information is the browser. There are two options
included with the Windows 9x/Me products for displaying the
information presented on the Internet. These are the Internet
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171
Explorer browser and the Netscape browser. These programs
are distributed free because of the advertisements and media
groups they support. Each of these browsers, partly because
of the ISPs they’re designed to support, has its supporters
and detractors. Both of the browsers, like almost any heavily
used program, are updated occasionally. These updates are
available for free on the Internet.
The Microsoft Internet Explorer is available at
www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.asp (Figure 82).
This site provides updates and support for this browser.
FIGURE 82—Internet Explorer Browser
The Netscape browser is available at
http://channels.netscape.com/ns/browsers/download.jsp
(Figure 83). Support and answers to frequently asked questions are also available at this site.
Information regarding the use of these browsers and their
specific features is available at their Web sites.
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FIGURE 83—Netscape Browser
Outlook Express
If you’ve looked out on the Web, you’ve probably realized that
there are a large number of good e-mail programs out there.
Most of these programs are free because of the advertisements they support or because the companies that produce
them offer a trial version that’s downloadable from the Web.
The current list of popular products includes Eudora,
Incredimail, Netscape Mail, and Pegasus. Each of these
programs, because of its list of special features, has its
supporters and detractors. For example, Pegasus is popular
in a business setting because of its filtering capabilities,
whereas Incredimail has great stationary sets and e-cards for
home users.
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173
Microsoft has a good e-mail program available called
Microsoft Outlook. This program is included in the Microsoft
Office group of programs. It handles e-mail as well as tasks
and calendars. Another product that Microsoft created to
handle e-mail is Outlook Express. This is a scaled-down version of the Microsoft Outlook product that comes free with
the Windows 9x and Me OS. Outlook Express handles e-mail
and newsgroup management only.
As a learning tool, let’s focus on the installation of Outlook
Express (Figure 84). The basic instructions for setup and
support of any e-mail program will be similar no matter what
program you use. By focusing on the program that comes
free with the OS covered in this study unit, you’ll learn the
basic skills needed for the installation of any e-mail program.
The differences in setting up these programs are more in the
process than in the technical skills needed.
FIGURE 84—Outlook Express
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
If you did a standard installation of the Windows OS, there
will be an Outlook Express button on the Quick Launch toolbar. This button has the picture of an envelope with arrows
circling it. When you click on this button, Outlook Express,
by default, will open to the introductory screen as shown in
Figure 84.
This program won’t work as an e-mail connection until you
use the Internet Connection Wizard to set up your Internet
service provider (ISP). The information you supply the
Connection Wizard will be used by Outlook Express to configure the Local Folders information.
If you plan on supporting more than one Internet mail
account, you’ll need information about the Internet service
provider (ISP) that controls the account. The minimum list of
information required to set up an additional e-mail client
includes the file protocols the ISP uses for sending and
receiving mail, the address of the mail server of that ISP,
your e-mail address as the ISP lists it, and your password for
that address. You’ll need this information for each additional
e-mail address you want to support with the Outlook Express
product.
The following instructions will guide you through the setup of
additional mail accounts:
1. On the Outlook Express screen, go to the Tools rolldown menu and click on Accounts . . .
2. Click on the Add box and then select Mail . . .
This will bring you to the Internet Connection Wizard.
3. Follow the directions and type in your name and then hit
Next >.
4. An option window will come up and will ask if you would
like to use an existing e-mail address or sign up for a
new Hotmail account. For this example, we’ll say you
want a new Hotmail account. When the Sign up for a
new Hotmail account option is selected, you’ll be forwarded to Microsoft’s Hotmail account setup screen.
5. Follow the directions to get a Hotmail address and then
return to Outlook Express.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
175
When installed, Outlook Express has one message in the
Inbox; this doesn’t mean that Outlook Express is already set
up to send and receive mail, or that there’s a valid Internet
connection available for Outlook to use. This just means that
there’s a file present in the folder that’s designated as the
Inbox by Outlook Express. This file is an advertisement for
some of Microsoft’s partners as well as a thank-you note for
choosing Outlook Express as your default e-mail program.
MSN Messenger (Windows Me)
If you’ve friends that use their PC as a communication
tool, you’ve probably been told about the world of instant
messaging (IM). Most of these programs are free because of
the advertisements or ISP they support. The current list of
popular IM products is small because of the network-intensive services this technology requires. AOL Instant Messenger
and MSN Messenger are the two current standards of the IM
product groups. Each of these programs, because of the ISPs
they support, has its supporters and detractors.
We’ll discuss the MSN Messenger
briefly because of its automatic installation on your PC when you use
Outlook Express. When you install the
Outlook Express program and choose
to have a Microsoft Network (MSN)
Hotmail account, the MSN Messenger
will be installed and will place an icon
on the system tray. Each time you
access the Outlook Express program,
the system tray icon becomes active.
The MSN Messenger is a free instant
messaging (IM) program that can be
used to communicate one-on-one
worldwide (Figure 85).
FIGURE 85—MSN Messenger
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
For the MSN Messenger to function, you must have a MSN
Hotmail account available for free at www.hotmail.com or
sign up for a Microsoft .Net Passport also for free at
www.passport.net/Consumer/default.asp. The signup for
these accounts require your e-mail address and some personal information (i.e. zip code and birth date) to complete the
account setup. Fill in the required information, follow the
onscreen prompts, and you’ll get an MSN Hotmail account or
Microsoft .Net Passport.
The MSN Messenger program doesn’t work like public newsgroups or chat rooms. All communications are private and
are held in real time. One limitation is that only two people
can participate in an IM conversation. It also requires that
both parties be signed onto MSN Messenger to communicate.
The startup MSN Messenger window lists all of your selected
contacts, and their availability.
Once you have a Hotmail ID or Microsoft .Net Passport,
you’re ready to set up your MSN Messenger as follows:
1. Double-click on the MSN Messenger icon on the system
tray or click on Start, Programs, and MSN Messenger
Service. A welcome box appears. Click on Next.
2. If you don’t have a Hotmail account, you may use this
opportunity to sign up for a Microsoft .Net Passport.
Simply click on the Get a Passport Button and follow
the instructions. If you have the necessary Hotmail
account or Microsoft .Net Passport, click Next.
3. Enter your sign-in name. This is your Hotmail account
(minus the @hotmail.com) or your .Net Passport ID.
4. Enter the password you selected when you created your
account, in the Password box.
5. Open the Provided by list and choose what type of
account this is. Then click Next.
6. Click Finish and the MSN Messenger will open.
Now is the time to add contacts to your messenger. To chat
with someone else, the other person must be signed up for
the service. If you know the person’s Hotmail or Passport ID,
then just add them to your Contacts list. You can also search
the MSN Messenger directory, but you don’t need to be part
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
177
of the directory to use the MSN Messenger service, so this
won’t always work. It may be worth taking a chance if you
don’t have the exact ID, but it’s just that, a chance. The steps
to add a contact are as follows:
1. Open the MSN Messenger and click the Add button.
2. Choose from the By e-mail address, By Passport, or
Search for a contact options and follow the directions.
• By e-mail address. Choose this if you know the e-mail
address. Click Next and you’ll have a place to enter
the person’s e-mail address. Insert it and then click
Next. If the person has the required Hotmail account,
then you’ll see the “Success!” message.
• By passport. Choose this option only if you know the
Microsoft .Net Passport ID for the person you’re
adding. Click Next and you’ll have a place to enter the
person’s sign in name. Insert it and choose from
either the Hotmail or passport option under the
Provided by list and click on Next. If the person has
the required Microsoft .Net Passport you’ll see the
“Success!” message.
• Search for a contact. Choose this option if you don’t
have information required by the other two options.
Click Next and you’ll have a place to enter the person’s name and country. Enter the other information
you know about this individual and click Next again.
A list of matching entries from the Hotmail member’s
directory will be offered for you to choose from. If one
matches all of your parameters, select it and then
select Next.
3. You have a choice to send e-mail to the person you just
added, advertising the MSN Messenger service, and giving the recipient the instructions to install the MSN
Messenger program. Choose Yes or No and click on
Next.
4. If you have more contacts to add, click on Next; if not,
select Finish.
When you’re connected to the Internet and have the MSN
Messenger running, you’ll appear online to the people that
have selected you as a contact. These people can initiate a
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
conversation with you at any time. If you don’t want to be
disturbed, you have the choice of shutting down the MSN
Messenger program or you can set your status to indicate
you don’t want to talk. To set up MSN Messenger to show
that you’re busy, click on your name on the status area at
the top of the window and select Busy. When you want to
show you’re available, simply change your status to Online.
You can also have the MSN Messenger program automatically
change your status to Away when the PC hasn’t been used
for a set number of minutes. The default is 14 minutes, but
can be set to a different value by selecting the Tools rolldown menu and clicking on Options. On this window, you
can select the number of minutes, or even deselect this feature on the screen under the Preferences tab.
Professional Tip
If you’re using a graphic-intensive application that needs to change the screen resolution
of your PC to run, any IM program can cause your PC to switch back to the base screen
resolution and terminate the application without saving any new data. This problem is often
encountered with graphic-intensive game programs. If you plan to run one of these applications, turn off the IM or set your availability to display an Away message.
Chatting with a person on the contact list is as easy as double-clicking on the person’s name and typing your message
on the newly opened window. If you wish to communicate
with more than one individual at the same time, simply double-click on another contact. Another window will open for
communication to this contact. Remember, the information
typed in one window won’t replicate itself on the other
opened windows; you need to “cut and paste” your message
or retype the information for each contact. MSN Messenger
supports attachments, like photos, so you can use it instead
of conventional e-mail for most Internet communications. It
also provides support for verbal communication, which works
like most phone connections, but both people can’t talk at
the same time. Also, the amount of the pause between speaking and sending is dependent on the speed of the Internet
connection on both ends.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
179
NetMeeting
A higher level of MSN Messenger was developed for business
use. This product, called NetMeeting, has all of the
Messenger’s chat functions with the additional ability to run
applications, support video feed, draw on a “blackboard,” and
talk using a microphone (a newer MSN Messenger feature).
This program can be installed by doing the following:
1. Have your original Windows installation CD-ROM or floppy disks available.
2. Click on Start, point to Settings, and then click on
Control Panel.
3. Double-click on Add/Remove Programs.
4. Click on the Windows Setup on the Properties dialog
box.
5. Select NetMeeting. The dialog box will display the
amount of hard drive space required to install this component and the amount of free space.
6. If you have enough free space, insert the Windows
Millennium Edition CD or floppy disk and click Have
Disk . . .
This isn’t a Windows Component and needs the OS disk for
installation. A downloadable copy of this program is also
available for free from Microsoft at www.microsoft.com/
windows/netmeeting/.
Games
Included with the OS is a small group of games. The games
fall into two categories.
The first category contains games that you can play alone on
your PC. Included in this list are the Solitaire, Minesweeper,
Hearts, and Spider (Windows Me only).
The second group has games you can play against another
person over the Internet. Obviously, an Internet connection is
required. Information about your PC will be sent to the MSN
Gaming Zone (http://zone.msn.com/).
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Windows Media Player
The Windows Media Player is Microsoft’s interface for all of
the audio and video CODECs installed on the PC. The Media
Player will play music in a variety of formats as well as most
videos that you can display on a PC. Conventional music CDs
can be played using the CD Player accessed by clicking
Start, pointing to Programs, Accessories, Entertainment,
and then clicking on CD Player. The CD Player doesn’t offer
all of the features of the Windows Media Player.
Like many Microsoft products, Windows Media Player and its
associated support software has gone through a number of
revisions, each having advantages and disadvantages. For
example, the Windows Media Player 9 Series includes a
stripped-down version of Roxio’s CD creation software but
excludes users from accessing the list of songs from a .net
radio station. Evaluation of the advantages of this type of
trade-off must be done individually each time the Windows
Media Player product is upgraded. This product is available
to download, free, from Microsoft at www.microsoft.com/
windows/windowsmedia/default.asp.
The Windows Media Player can be a connection to many
news and entertainment Web sites when you’re connected to
the Internet. The opening screen can be user set; but by
default is the Windows Media Web site (Figure 86). From
here, you can connect to many news and entertainment sites
that offer both audio and video source materials. One of the
nice features of the Windows Media Player is the software’s
ability to handle “streaming” audio and video sources. This
allows the user the ability to listen to Internet-only radio stations and watch national news broadcasts that have video
content.
The Windows Media Player has additional features. One of
the favorites is playing audio and video files that are stored
on your PC. This includes compressed files, like .mp3 audio
files and .mpg video files, which can be copied onto your PC
for play at a future time. The Windows Media Player can
automatically access the CODECs required for the decompression of these files and play them without any direct intervention on your part.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
181
FIGURE 86—Windows Media Player
Another nice feature of this media program is the ability to
create playlists of your favorite music. Unlike a standard
music album, this playlist can include many different artists
and genres from different music producers.
The Windows Media Player can be used to search your entire
PC for music that fits a set of search parameters. For example, selecting Search on the Media Library window toolbar
and typing in Bing Crosby may return the song “White
Christmas” if the song resides anywhere on any of the drives
supported by your PC (this search can include network
drives). Video files can also be found and included in a
playlist in the same way.
The Windows Media Player will also sort and categorize the
audio and video files on your PC without changing the location of these files. For example, if you have a copy of a song
that’s on a CD, the Media Player will store the song’s information, including the file name that includes the drive letter
of the device where it resides. The Windows Media Player can
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
also sort music by Album, Artist and Genre, or Video by
Author. This feature is particularly convenient when creating
a playlist of songs or video clips.
The Media Library also lists the Radio tuner presets of the
stations you’ve selected as your favorites. This feature works
a little like the push buttons on your car’s radio.
The following is a quick review of the options on the left-hand
side of the Windows Media Player:
• Now Playing. Displays the current actions of the
Windows Media Player.
• Media Guide. Connects the user to Windows Media.com
if the PC is connected to the Internet. If the PC isn’t connected, this will cause an error message that says the
Web site you’re trying to connect to isn’t responding.
• Copy from CD. Will list information about an audio CD
that’s currently inserted in the PC’s CD drive. You can
then choose to copy the songs from your CD to your PC.
• Media Library. As explained above, this will list audio
and video files as well as radio presets.
• Radio Tuner. Selecting this will bring you to another
part of Windows Media.com. This part of this Web site is
dedicated to the selection and playing of available
Internet radio stations. These stations are sorted by
genre and connection speed. Also listed are featured stations and selected “hit” songs.
• Copy to CD or Device. This option will allow a person to
copy music from your playlists to a CD or portable
device, like an MP3 player, that’s connected to the PC via
one of its ports.
• Skin Chooser. With this option, users can modify the
way the Window Media Device looks on their PC. There
are many options for “skins,” though only a few are
originally installed with the OS. By clicking on the More
Skins option when you’re connected to the Internet,
you’ll be directed to http://windowsmedia.com/
9series/Personalization/Skins.asp? where you can find
many different skins for the player.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
183
Practical Exercise 3
We strongly suggest that you test your skills by performing
the following practical exercises.
Check your answers against those on page 192.
Practical Exercise 3A—Using Dr. Watson
Initiate the Dr. Watson diagnostic tool and then start an
application program.
Practical Exercise 3B—Internet Radio
Using the Windows Media Player, tune into the National
Public Radio Net-only radio station.
Practical Exercise 3C—MSN Messenger
Using the MSN Messenger, search for a person to add to your
contact list (for example, a high school classmate).
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Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Self-Check 6
1. Outlook Express is used for ___________.
2. The business version of MSN Messenger is called _______.
3. List two Internet browsers.
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
4. Real-time communications over the Internet is accomplished using ___________.
5. What Windows Me feature would you use to play MP3 files?
__________________________________________________________________________
Check your answers with those on page 188.
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
185
NOTES
186
Understanding Windows 9x and Me
Self-Check 1
1. c
3. a
4. b
5. d
Self-Check 2
1. Choose from the following:
• Verify the PC meets the minimum hardware requirements
• Run ScanDisk Windows 9x/Me
• Run Chkdsk (Windows 3.x)
• Defragment the hard drive
• Delete all unnecessary and temporary files
2. False
3. Vision impairment, hearing impairment or loss, mobility
impairment
4. 150%, 250 MB
5. desktop theme
Self-Check 3
1. c
2. e
3. a
4. b
5. d
Answers
2. e
187
Self-Check 4
1. Plug and Play (PnP)
2. False
3. Check your PC’s available resources, protect the original
copy of your software, and backup the registry and
system configuration files.
4. A disabled device
5. DOS applications
Self-Check 5
1. e
2. a
3. b
4. c
5. d
Self-Check 6
1. e-mail
2. NetMeeting
3. Internet Explorer, Netscape, Avant Browser, MyIE2,
Opera, Mozilla, Mozilla Firebird, and many more.
4. MSN Messenger or NetMeeting
5. Windows Media Player
Practical Exercise 1A
This process will help optimize your PC even if you aren’t
installing a new version of Windows today.
The complete instructions are listed in the study unit, but
let’s review the key steps.
188
Answers
1. Make sure you have enough free hard drive space to
install the OS.
2. Delete all files from the recycle bin and temporary
directories.
3. Run ScanDisk (Windows 9x/Me) or CHKDSK (Windows
3.x).
4. Defragment your hard drive.
5. Run a current version of your antivirus software.
6. To ensure you can go back to an earlier version of
Windows, copy AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files
onto a floppy disk or CD.
7. If this were a real installation, you would need to copy all
files with an .ini or .grp extension from the \Windows
directory to a disk or CD.
8. Check the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files for
possible problems. This would include calls to Terminate
and Stay Resident (TSR) programs. Type REM in front of
the line containing these calls.
Practical Exercise 1B
Answers will vary on which version of DirectX is installed.
To check for the latest version available for your PC, connect
to the Internet and go to www.microsoft.com/windows/
directx/default.asp.
To install the latest version, follow the instructions on the
download page.
Practical Exercise 1C
This process is only supported on PCs with at least 128MB of
RAM. Step-by-step instructions are given in the study unit.
These are the key processes required to accomplish this task.
1. Select the Disable virtual memory (Not recommended)
option on the Virtual Memory Performance dialog box.
2. End all programs except Explorer and SysTray.
Answers
189
3. Run ScanDisk.
4. Run the disk defragmenter.
5. Select the Let me specify my own virtual memory settings option on the Virtual Memory Performance dialog
box.
6. Set the virtual memory settings to about 150% of the
RAM installed on your PC or 250MB, whichever is
smaller.
7. Reboot the PC.
Practical Exercise 1D
Answers will vary depending on the fonts installed. Most of
the other Arial fonts will be listed as “Fairly Similar.”
Practical Exercise 1E
Answers will vary depending on your taste.
An easy way to find wallpaper on the Internet is to use the
Google web site (http://google.com) and switch to the image
search. Typing in “wallpaper” or “background” for the search
will result in many options.
You should copy the file onto an easily accessible directory.
Follow these steps to copy the image onto your PC.
1. If using Google, click on the image to open the web site
the image resides on. If using another search engine,
open the Web site in the way the search engine requires.
2. Right-click on the image and select the Save picture
as . . . option.
3. Save the image into any directory you choose. Using
JPEG (.jpg) and bitmap (.bmp) images usually gets the
best results for wallpaper.
4. Close your search engine.
190
Answers
5. Open the Display Properties screen and select the new
image for your background. Selecting an image that
matches the resolution you’ve chosen for your display
will give you the best image reproduction. For example, if
you’ve set your display to 800 ⫻ 600 pixels and 24-bit
color, choose an image that matches these parameters.
6. Apply these changes to your display properties and close
the window by selecting the OK box.
Practical Exercise 2A
Answers will vary depending on your OS and on how your
system is configured.
Practical Exercise 2B
Use the following steps to install a new monitor on a PC:
1. Set the display properties to the default levels using the
following procedure:
• Right-click on the desktop and select Properties.
• Select the Settings tab and select the values for the
base VGA settings (640 ⫻ 480 dpi and 16 colors).
2. Connect the monitor to the PC and power source using
the documentation supplied by the monitor.
3. Power on the monitor.
4. Reboot the PC; your monitor should be automatically
selected.
5. Verify that the correct monitor was selected by doing the
following:
Right-click on the desktop and select Properties.
Click on the Settings tab. If your monitor is listed on
this screen, your monitor was correctly detected.
6. If your monitor isn’t detected automatically, continue
with the following:
Answers
191
• Click on the Advanced tab.
• Click the Monitor tab to display the Properties dialog
box.
• Click the Change tab to open the Update Device
Driver Wizard dialog box.
• Click Next.
• Select Display a list of all drivers in a specific location so you can select the driver you want, then
click Next.
• Select Show all hardware.
• Select the manufacturer and model of your hardware
device and click Next.
• When you see the message “Windows has finished
installing the driver you selected . . . ,” click Finish.
• If your monitor isn’t listed, go to the manufacturer’s
Web site for the device driver.
Practical Exercise 3A
Many answers are possible. Your answers will vary depending
on your OS and which application was loaded.
Practical Exercise 3B
This station can often be found on the featured selections list
when the WindowsMedia.com radio station guide first opens.
If the NPR station isn’t listed here, go to the News & Talk list
and look for it there.
Practical Exercise 3C
Answers will vary depending on the amount of information
you have on the individual you’re looking for, and whether
this person uses the MSN Messenger service.
192
Answers
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