Free Computer Tips & Tricks
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You can find here a number of Free Computer Tips & Tricks. These tips will help you to maintain and Operate your computer freely.



Even if your modem is apparently working well, the baud rate of your COM Port might not allow you to reach top-speed. To improve your port's speed: 1. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel > System. 2. Click the Device Manager tab, and click on the "+" sign next to Ports (COM & LPT). 3. Select the port your modem uses, click Properties, then click the Port Settings tab and set the Bits per second to 115200 bps. That way you won't have a sort of filter on the Port.

Trace the route 

A great utility included with Windows 98 is a program called Trace Route. Open a DOS window and type tracert . The location name can be any IP address or Internet domain like tracert The program will then trace the route from your Internet service provider to that location, and show you every server along the way. This could be useful for when you can't connect to a site - it will show you if some server is down along the way


Dial-Up Networking provides for automatic redial. 1. Open Dial-Up Networking. 2. Select your connection. 3. From the menu select Connections > Settings. 4. Enable Redial, select the number of times to redial and Click OK

Speed-up your Connecting time 

To Speed-up the time it takes for Dial Up Networking to establish a connection with your ISP: 1. Open Dial-Up Networking. 2. Right-click your connection and choose Properties. 3. On the Server Types Tab, under Advanced Options, make sure that the check-box for Log on to network is unchecked. 4. Under Allowed network protocols select only TCP/IP and uncheck NetBEUI & IPX/SPX

Stay Connected 

If you get disconnected frequently, try this extra modem setting: 1. Open Control Panel > Modems. 2. From Modems select Properties, select the Connection Tab and click the Advanced button. 3. In the Extra settings dialogue box, enter ATS10=250.

Icon spacing and Resizing 

Changing icon size & spacing is handy if you have a desktop clustered with dozens of icons. 1. Right-click on the Desktop Choose Properties from the context menu. On the Appearance tab look in the Item list box. 2. Once you find Icon you can choose the size from the Size box. 3. Similarly, locate Icon Spacing (Horizontal) and Icon Spacing (Vertical) and you can choose different values for each. 4. Once you are satisfied, click OK to exit the dialog box. 5. Press F5 to refresh the Desktop.

Select your Monitor 

Windows 98 might not always detect your Monitor accurately. This affects display and refresh rates. To select your monitor manually: 1. Right-click on the Desktop. 2. Choose Properties from the context menu. On the Settings tab press the Advanced button. Select the Monitor tab. If your monitor is not listed (correctly) here, click on Change. 3. Select your Monitor from the list, or if you have a driver disk for your monitor, select have Disk. 4. Click Apply, and follow any other instructions on screen.
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Change the Refresh rate of your Graphics Adapter 

Refresh rate of your monitor determines how fast the screen is updated. Generally, the higher refresh rate the monitor can support, the better. Optimum refresh rates can be set manually for flicker-free display, if Windows hasnÂ’t already configured it. Right-click on the Desktop, click on Properties and open Settings > Advanced > Adapter. Depending on your graphics card and monitor, you will get different choices for the refresh rate. Click on Apply after setting the appropriate refresh rate. Click through the warning messages to change the refresh rate. If, for some reason the display becomes garbled, donÂ’t do anything ? Windows will restore the original refresh rate.

Adding items to Send To 

Send To is an option available when you right click any file in Windows. It can greatly simplify file management, especially routine tasks. 1. Browse to the \Windows\SendTo Folder using Windows Explorer. 2. Right-click an empty space on the window and click on New > Shortcut. 3. In the Create Shortcut window, enter the source of the program or the directory (e.g. C:\My Documents\) in the Command line box. 4. Click Next and Finish to create the shortcut. You can use the Send To feature not only for copying or moving files, but also for quickly opening files with programs they are not associated with. For example, you could create a shortcut to Notepad and send any ASCII text file (like .HTM files) to Notepad. Similarly, you could use a shortcut to an image viewing program to quickly view images.

Opening files with multiple programs 

To be able to open a file with more than one program, do the following: 1. Select Start > Settings > Folder Options > File Types. 2. Locate the file type you want to work with and double click it. 3. In the Edit File Type dialog that opens, you will see a box marked Actions. This is where Windows 98 stores the various actions that can be implemented on a particular file type. 4. To add an entry, click New. In the New Action dialog box, type the name of the action in the Action box. Use the Browse button to find the Application that you want to open the file with. 5. The action that is set as default would be carried out when you double click the file. Other actions will be available on right-clicking the file.


To associate files of a certain type with a different program, hold down the Shift key while right-clicking on a file of that type and click on Open With... from the context menu. Select the program you want to open files of this type with and enable Always use this program to open this type of file. Henceforth, the file will always open with this program when double-clicked.

Adding a File Type to the 'New' Menu 

When you right-click on the desktop or in Windows Explorer, the New menu lists many options of registered file types. Clicking on any of these creates a blank file of that type. You can add more items to the New menu. 1. In the program that creates the file type you wish to add, create a blank document with any preferences you wish to use and save it. 2. Copy this file to \Windows\ShellNew ? this is a hidden folder. 3. Start the Registry Editor. 4. Open HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and locate the extension for the file type you wish to add to the New menu. 5. Right-click and click on New > Key from the context menu. Name it ShellNew. 6. Within this key, create a String Value and name it FileName. 7. Double-click the string and modify it to be the filename of the blank template you created, including the extension. 8. Exit the registry editor and restart Windows.

Cascading menus on clicking Start 

Cascading menus of folders like Control Panel or My Computer could be very handy to have at start up. HereÂ’s how to get them there. Right click the Start button and click on Explore. Create a new folder and type the following string, all on one line, replacing the words New Folder with this new line. You must type the period, the curly braces, all four hyphens, and the hexadecimal numbers exactly as shown. Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D} Briefcase.{85BBD920-42A0-1069-A2E4-08002B30309D} Dial Up Networking.{992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48} Fonts.{BD84B380-8CA2-1069-AB1D-08000948F534} Inbox.{00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} Internet Cache.{7BD29E00-76C1-11CF-9DD0-00A0C9034933} Network Neighborhood.{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D} My Computer.{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} Printers.{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} Recycle Bin.{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} Subscriptions.{F5175861-2688-11d0-9C5E-00AA00A45957} URL History.{FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000}

Back to old ways 

In Windows 98, when a menu is too tall to fit on your screen, you will see a scroll arrow at the bottom, allowing you to scroll further down. In Windows 95, a second menu would appear next to the first, where the entries which would otherwise not fit on your screen would be displayed. For Windows 95 like behaviour in Windows 98: 1. Start the Registry Editor. 2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Advanced. 3. Right-click an open area in the right pane and select New > String Value. 4. Name it StartMenuScrollPrograms. 5. Double-click this entry and add the value false. 6. Exit the registry editor. To restore Windows 98 behavior, simply change the value of StartMenuScrollPrograms to true.

Window and Menu Animations 

One of the desktop enhancements built into Windows 98 is the animation displayed when you minimise and maximise windows or when displaying menus. Disabling this makes navigating Windows a lot faster. Open the Desktop Properties dialog by right-clicking any blank area of the desktop and clicking on Properties. Disable Animate windows, menus and lists from the Effects tab.

F8 free start-ups 

Instead of hastily clicking on F8 at StartUp to display the start up menu, you can configure it to open automatically. 1. Use Explorer and locate Msdos.sys in the root directory ? it is a hidden file. 2. Maintain a copy of the Msdos.sys file in case of an error. 3. Open a command prompt window and strip the file’s attributes by typing attrib –h –s c:\msdos.sys 4. Edit the file in Notepad. Under the [Options] section, type: BootMenu=1 BootMenuDefault=1 BootMenuDelay=x where x is the delay in seconds. Default value for x is 30. 5. Save the file. 6. Again, open a command prompt window and reset the file’s attributes by typing attrib +h +s c:\msdos.sys

Arrow-free Shortcuts 

Shortcut icons have a small curved arrow in the lower-left corner. To remove the arrow, follow these instructions: 1. Start the Registry Editor. 2. Locate the keys HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile and HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\piffile. 3. Delete the value IsShortcut under both these keys. 4. Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows. You can also do this using TweakUI.

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