Windows Survival Tips

The following are the 10 most common things users will probably want to do to optimize Windows 95 immediately after installing it. (If your computer has a small screen and this page appears distorted, maximize your browser window to restore proper formatting.)

Quick MS DOS-Prompt

1.     Right-click and open the Start Menu.
        Drag a copy of the MS-DOS Prompt
        icon to the first level. (See figure
        at right.)

Add Accessories

2.      Open the Add/RemovePrograms
         object from the Control Panel and
         install useful accessory features
         that were not included in your
         setup: Clipboard Viewer, Document
         templates, Quick View and System
         Resource Meter under Accessories,
         Dial-Up Networking and Direct Cable
         Connection under Communications,
         Backup under DiskTools, and
         Microsoft Fax.

Startup Disk

3.     Make a Startup disk if this wasn't
        done during installation. Open
        Add/Remove Programs to the Startup
        Disk tab and click the Create
        Disk button.

Adjust Screen Resolution

4.     Adjust your video resolution above
        the default 640x480. Open the
        Control Panel Display applet to the
        Settings tab and use the Screen
        Area slider. (See figure at right.)

Install Your Modem

5.     Install your modem if this wasn't
        done during Setup. Open the
        Modems applet in the Control
        Panel, and click the Add button.

Install Your Printer

6.     Install your printer if this wasn't
        done during Setup. Open the
        Printers folder under Settings in
        the Start Menu, and click the
        Add Printer Button

Verify Dial-Up Networking

7.     If you intend to use Win95 or 98
        to get on the Internet, you must
        first install Dial-Up Networking.
        In Windows 98, this is done
        automatically in a default setup.
        In Windows 95, you must enable
        Dial-Up Networking manually.
        Additionally, you must install
        the TCP/IP network protocol (a
        separate operation) to connect to the
        To check whether TCP/IP is
        active on your computer, open the
        Control Panel->Network applet.
        Make sure that the TCP/IP protocol
        is linked to the Dial-Up Adapter
        in the Components list in the first
        screen (Configuration tab). See the
        screen at the right.    ---)
        If you don't see TCP/IP in the list
        click the Add button, and choose
        For more detailed help on installing
        the TCP/IP protocol, click here.

Optimize CD-ROM Drive

8.     Check the configuration for CD-
        ROM speed. Open the Control Panel
        System object to the Performance
        tab, click the File Settings
        button, and select the CD-ROM
        tab. If Win95/98 has configured
        the default to Single Speed
        Drives, select the "Optimize access
        pattern" drop-down list, and
        choose a setting appropriate for
        your CD-ROM drive. You can also
        adjust the Supplemental Cache
        size on this screen.

Verify 32-Bit Performance

9.     Open the Control Panel System
        object to the Performance tab and
        examine the settings for File System
        and Virtual Memory. If these settings
        do not say 32-bit, you are not getting
        optimum Windows performance.
        You may be using a third-party
        disk controller driver, or have
        other unnecessary real-mode drivers
        (for sound cards, CD-ROM drives,
        or SCSI devices present in
        can improve performance by
        removing any unnecessary device
        drivers from your DOS configuration

Unhide system files

10.   Unhide system files and allow
        Explorer/My Computer to view
        DOS file extensions. In Windows 95,
        select View->Options View; from
        Explorer's pull-down View menu.
        In Windows 98, choose View->
        Folder Options->View. Select the
        option to Show All Files and
        deselect the option to hide
        file extensions for known