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Advanced users

Make life a little more bearable with these enhancements (Win9x).

Backup the Registry (twice!).

Record current setting(s).

Make ONE change at a time - Reboot & Test it.


Use at your own discretion   Do NOT complain, if it goes wrong!


Many users prefer to use a Reg file (text file with a .reg extension) to make alterations to the Registry. This is double-clicked after every bootup or placed in Autoexec.bat.

It is extremely easy to accidentally alter the Registry by unintentionally clicking on a file with a .reg extension. Its importation into the Registry is without confirmation, is immediate, and there is no Undo. Here are two methods designed to prevent a possible calamity:

1 Use .TXT Any reg file you create can be given an added extension of .txt. For example my.reg would become my.reg.txt and clicking on it will open it in your text editor (Notepad, usually).
It will never be imported into the Registry until the .txt is removed (and replaced after use, please!). These files are easily located by using *.reg.txt in Find

2 Change Default action taken when any .reg file is double-clicked.
a) Open Windows Explorer and select View • Options • File Types tab
b) Scroll down the registered file types until you find Registration Entries and highlight it
c) Click Edit. There should be three actions in the Actions box : Edit, Merge and Print.
d) Highlight Edit and click Set Default, Edit should become Bold
The next time you double-click on a .reg file, Notepad should open instead.
You can still import a .reg file by right-clicking on it, and selecting Merge

1. AUTOREFRESH      Windows 9x     THPC favourite

Improve Windows' Autorefresh Rate

When a change is made in Windows Explorer, it is normally necessary to press F5 to refresh the left pane.

You don't need to. This alteration makes it happen automatically.

Backup the Registry, open Regedit, and locate the Key below

In the right pane, make a new Value Name and call it UpdateMode
Give UpdateMode a Value Data of 00 (that is two zeros)

  Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion\Setup]  

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2. ANIMATION     Windows 9x

Control the Windows Animation Function

The Windows animation function can look good, but it can slow down your PC especially if you have a mundane graphics card.

This alteration allows you to switch On or OFF the Windows animation function.

Backup the Registry, run RegEdit, and locate the Key below

In the right pane, change the Value Data of MinAnimate to:
  1 for enable, or
  0 for disable

If the MinAnimate does not already exist, create a new String Value in the right pane, name it MinAnimate and give it a Value Data of 1 (to enable).

  Key: [HKEY_CURRENUSER\Control Panel\Desktop]  

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3. CD AUTORUN     Windows 9x

Control the CD-ROM AutoRun Feature

This will permit, or prevent, applications auto-launching when you insert a CD-ROM disc into your drive.

Backup the Registry, run RegEdit, and locate the Key below
(If the sub-key CDRom does not already exist, then create a new DWORD sub-key in the left pane, and, in the right pane create the following Value Name and Value Data)

Change the Value Data of AutoRun to:
  0 for disable, or
  1 for enable

  Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CDRom]  

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4. COMMAND PROMPT HERE     Windows 9x

For regular DOS users

For those who use the DOS prompt regularly this creates a new Right-click option that will open a command prompt window at your current directory.

In future, when you Right-click on a folder, the new option of Command Prompt Here should appear in the list of available command options.

Backup the Registry, run RegEdit, and locate the Key

Under this Key, create a new sub-key and call it CommandPrompt as in
  [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\CommandPrompt]   and change the value of (default) within this key to   Command Prompt Here

Under this new sub-key, create another new sub-key and name this sub-key command as in:
  [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\CommandPrompt\command]   and change the value of (default) within this new key to /k cd "%1"  

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Windows 98 and Double Buffering

Windows 98+ includes Double Buffering support for Hard Disks.

Some computers may require Double Buffering to work properly. Some systems may have an incompatibility between the computer's BIOS and the Dblbuff.sys file.

In general, you need not bother with this alteration unless you have a specific reason.

Backup the Registry, run RegEdit, and locate the Key below

In the right pane, alter the Value Data:
  0 for disable
  1 for conditional enable (for Hard Disk Controllers that require it)
  2 for unconditional enable (even if the Controllers do not require it)

  Key: [MSDOS.SYS]  

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6. DOWNLOAD DEFAULT DIRECTORY Windows 9x     THPC favourite

Name your own Download Directory

For convenience, most users prefer to nominate their own default download directory.

Changing the Windows default is simple.

Backup the Registry, run Regedit, and locate the Key below.

In the right pane: In Value Data of Download Directory, alter the pathway to point to your preferred directory.
  Example:   E:\MyDirectoryName  

  Key: [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer]  

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Remove items from Find drop-down

Many users would like to remove the unused items from the drop-down list in Start - Find.

Backup the Registry, run RegEdit, and locate the Key below

Under Static in the left pane you will find a number of sub-Keys each representing one of the Find options and each having a its own sub-key with the number 0

For each option you wish to remove from Find, Rename the sub-key from 0 to 1 (use Right-click and Rename)

Note: InetFind refers to 'Find on the Internet' and Wabfind (Windows Address Book Find) refers to 'People'. 'Files or Folders' can not be removed.

Rename it back to 0 if you ever want to display one of the removed entries again.

  Hkey_Local_Machine\software\microsoft\windows\current version\explorer\findextensions\static  

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8. ICONS IN HI-COLOR     Windows 9x     THPC favourite

Icons in hi-color without Microsoft Plus! installed

You can have high-color icons displayed on your Desktop without having Microsoft Plus! Pack for Windows 95 installed on your computer.

If you like a bit more colour and detail in your icons then use this (provided your system is not already CPU or main memory stressed, and your video card can handle greater that 256 colors). The effect is quite noticeable and visually beneficial.

Backup the Registry, run RegEdit, and locate the Key below

In the right pane, create a new Value Name and call it Shell Icon BPP
Make the Value Data of Shell Icon BPP equal to the color depth supported by your video card.

Use 16 for 16-bit graphics cards (65,000 colors or High Color)
Use 24 for 24-bit graphics cards (16 million colors or True Color)
The default is 8 (256 colors). The number 4 is used for 16 colors. A 0 defaults to 256.

  Key: [HKEY_CURRENUSER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]  

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9. ICONS IN DLL FILES     Windows 9x     THPC favourite

Need to change an Icon?

It is all very well being able to Change Icon for your Shortcuts, but how to find the icons available?

This Registry alteration results in .DLL files showing they contain icon(s). Now any .dll that contains icons will display them in the Change Icon window (after you Right-click a Shortcut and select Properties, and then select the Shortcut tab and Change Icon).

Also, in Explorer, any DLL file containing icons will show a file icon different to the default.

Backup the Registry, run RegEdit, and locate the Key below
  (Note that there's no dot before dllfile - scroll down to it)

In the right pane, change the text in the Value Data of (Default) to %1 (that is 'percentage' and the number 'one')


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10. MENU DELAY     Windows 9x     THPC favourite

Menus are a bit slow in appearing

Windows normally delays menus before they are shown. Many users find this delay unnecessary. This alteration allows you to change the delay or remove it altogether.

Backup the Registry, run RegEdit, and locate the Key below

In the right pane, change the Value Data of MenuShowDelay according to the delay you would like before the menus are shown (0-999 milliseconds). Experiment to suit yourself; start with 20.

(If MenuShowDelay does not already exist, then create a new String Value Name and name it MenuShowDelay)

  Key: [HKEY_CURRENUSER\Control Panel\Desktop]  

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11. NEW EDITED - RIGHT-CLICK MENU      Windows 9x     THPC favourite

Slimming down the NEW drop-down menu list

The NEW option appears when you right-click the Desktop, or use Find - New in Windows Explorer. The list of available options in New can be very large and contain many unneeded items. Many applications leave their footprint here.

Try your version of TweakUI to slim it down to manageable proportions.
OR Backup the Registry, run RegEdit, and locate the Key below

Each sub-key involved must be found, and altered, separately
Highlight and right-click the Classes_Root branch
Select Find, enter ShellNew, check Keys (only), and click FindNext
The first ShellNew sub-key will show in the left pane below a file extension
In the right pane, if you find an unwanted item then Rename that ShellNew to something like ShellNewX (then you can easily return it to the original if you change your mind)
That item is now removed from the New options.

Press F3 to find the next ShellNew sub-key , and repeat for the other ShellNew sub-keys and repeat as above for those you wish to eliminate.

  [Hkey_Classes_Root]  \{file extension}\ShellNew  

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

Copyright © LarryM 1998-2015