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Windows ME Tips

Display full path in title bar Scrolling list of programs
Add Floppy Shortcut to Desktop Change file association
Add your favorites to your taskbar Remove Documents from Desktop
Add pop-out lists to Start Menu Windows 2000 VS Windows ME drivers 
Choose your search engine Modem not detected by Windows ME
Running Win 95/98 programs on WinME Keeping your system clean
Optimize your  Hard Drive Speed up your reboots
Alphabetize your Start Menu Using Dr. Watson
Rename your Recycle Bin Fatal Exception 03H
System File Protection Compressed Folders Feature
Open With command How to make a startup disk
Folder options command Repair help and support center
Create a new file type Personalized Menu's
Error Messages in Mmsystem.dll or Rundll32  


Use the below information at your own risk.  See "Terms of use"

Display full path in title bar

From any Explorer window, select Tools> Folder Options. Select the View tab under Advanced Settings,
select "Display The Full Path In The Address Bar", then click OK. Similarly, you can display the full path in a folder window's title bar. Follow the steps above, but under Advanced Settings, select "Display The Full Path In Title Bar".  Now when you hold your mouse pointer over a window's Taskbar item, the path appears.


 Folder Options Command

The Folder Options Command is no longer in the "View" menu as it was in Windows 98. You will now find it in the "Tools" menu of an open folder window.


 Add Floppy Shortcut to Desktop

If you use floppy disks in your routine of storing & retrieving data, place a shortcut to your floppy drive on your desktop.  Here's how:

Double-click "My Computer", hold your mouse arrow over the floppy drive icon then click once and hold the click.  Now drag your floppy drive icon onto the desktop. Let go of the click, and click "Yes" to confirm that you want to create a shortcut. The next time you have a floppy in the drive, just double-click this new shortcut on your desktop to view its contents.


Scrolling list of programs

In Windows ME, you have multiple columns of programs to view as the default setting. If you want to revert back to the scrolling list of programs like what Windows 98 had as its default setting, here's how:

Select Start> Settings> Taskbar> Start Menu, and click the Advanced tab. Under Start Menu and Taskbar, select Scroll Programs, then click OK. Now when you click that double arrow (at the bottom and top of the Programs list), you will have a scrolling list of programs.


Add your Favorites to your Taskbar

If you want your Internet Explorer Favorites to be accessed from your Taskbar from your start menu, here's how to do it:

Go to Start> Settings> Taskbar> Start Menu. Click the Advanced tab, and under Start Menu and Taskbar, select Display Favorites. Click OK. The next time you click Start, you will see Favorites in the resulting menu.


Change your file association

If you would like to open up a file to an application of your choice, here's how:

From any open Explorer window, select Tools> Folder Options. In the resulting dialog box, click the File
Types tab, then scroll down the list of registered file types and select the file extension that you wish to change. Click the Change button, select your application then click OK.  Then, close the Folder Options window.  The next time you double-click that file type, it will open in the chosen application.


Add pop-out lists to Start Menu

If you have ever added a pop-out folder such as; "Printer", "Control Panel" or "Dialup Networking" to Windows 95/98 start menu, the you know how handy they can be. You can easily add these folders to Windows ME, here's how:

Go to Start> Settings> Taskbar and Start Menu, click the Advanced tab. Under Start Menu and Taskbar, select the appropriate "Expand" option(s) (IE: Control Panel, Printers or Dial-Up Networking), then click
OK.  Back in your Start menu, select Settings, and you will see arrows next to the folders you chose to expand. Select one, you will now see your selected folder.


Remove Documents from Desktop

If you do not want your Documents folder on your desktop, you can easily remove it.  Here's how:

From inside any folder window, select Tools> Folder Options, and click the "View" tab. Under Advanced Settings, deselect "Show My Documents On The Desktop", and then click OK. If and when you want it back, just reselect the same option.


Choose your search engine

If you would like to use your favorite search engine in the search pane of your browser, here's how:

Inside the search pane, click the Customize button. In the Customize Search Settings dialog box, select "Use One Search Service For All Searches". Select a service, then click OK. 

Note: The selected search engine will not appear until you close and reopen the search pane.


Windows 2000 VS ME Drivers

Even though Windows ME has inherited some of the same look and feel as of Windows 2000, the drivers are not compatible. Windows ME is based on the Windows 95 kernel and Windows 2000 is based on the Windows NT kernel.


Running Win 95/98 programs on Win ME

Because Windows Me shares so many common features and inherent programming structure with Windows 95/98, most, if not all, programs and applications from the previous versions of Windows 95/98 will work under Windows Me. However, contacting your software vendors and/or Microsoft for software application compatibility before purchasing Windows Me is a good idea.


Windows ME won't detect Modem

If Windows did not do a complete installation of the communications components, Windows ME will say that it can't detect a Modem on any COM port.  To see if Windows did or did not do a complete installation of this component, follow the steps below:
  1. Go to Start> Settings> Control Panel. 
  2. Click on Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel. 
  3. From the Add/Remove Programs window, click on the Windows Setup tab. 
  4. Scroll down until you see the communications component. 

Windows did not do a complete installation of important communications software if there is no check in a white box or if there is a check in a gray box. Click on the box until it is white with a check and click OK. Restart the computer and the Modem should now be detected.


Optimize your Hard Drive

Using the Disk Defragmenter tool in Windows ME takes advantage of new technology that reorders the clusters of the most frequently accessed program files and optimizes them. Once optimized, Windows will find the files much faster. When you use the Disk Defragmenter for the first time, you will see an optimization wizard that will show usage for the program files that are most often used.


Keep your system clean

Check your hard disk for errors, clean out the cache from your browser, remove temporary files and defragment your hard drive on a regular basis. The Windows Maintenance Wizard is a Windows Me utility that can perform all of these functions at  scheduled times.  To schedule maintenance:
  1. Go to Start> Programs> Accessories> System Tools> Maintenance Wizard. 
  2. Choose Express, and follow the prompts to set the time and frequency. 
  3. Click OK, and watch as the Task Scheduler icon appears in the Taskbar's system tray. 
  4. Remember to leave your computer running at the scheduled time, and the system will do the rest.

Note:  Once you've entered your options, you can run the Maintenance Wizard at any time by going to:
Start> Programs> Accessories> System Tools> Maintenance Wizard and selecting "Perform Maintenance Now".


Alphabetize your Start Menu

If you have Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher installed, here's how to alphabetize the Start Menu:
  1. Go to start, move the mouse cursor over Programs
  2. Slide the pointer over an item on the list. 
  3. Right-click and select "Sort By Name" from the pop-up menu.

Note: New items appear in the order they are added, not alphabetically, as in Windows 95.


Speed up your reboots

If you think that Windows ME is taking much to long to reboot.  You can remove the 2 second delay in the startup sequence.  Here's how:
  1. Under the Start button, select Search> For Files and Folders.
  2. Enter msdos.sys in the "Named" box and C: in the "Look In" box, then click "Find Now".
  3. When the file appears, right-click it and select Properties from the resulting menu.
  4. Click to remove the check marks from the "Read Only" and "Hidden" attributes, then click OK.
  5. Right-click msdos.sys, select "Open with" from the resulting menu, choose Notepad as the opening program, and then click OK.
  6. Under "Options", enter BootDelay=0 or BootDelay=1 on its own line. (This represents delays of zero and one second, both of which are faster than the default.)
  7. Close Notepad saving your changes.
  8. Return msdos.sys to its original ("Read Only" and "Hidden") state. 
  9. Quit and restart Windows.

Note:  Make sure that you have backed up your system files prior to making any changes to it.


Rename your Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin is a system icon and cannot be changed using the right-click and selecting the "rename" option like most of the other icons on your desktop.  It can, however, be changed in the Windows Registry.  Here's how:
  1. Go to Start> Run and type "regedit" (with out the quotes) in the text box. Click OK.
  2. Open HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and locate CLSID (the Class ID option). Scroll down to the {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} key and click it.
  3. In the right pane, double-click (Default) and change the name from Recycle Bin to whatever you like.
  4. Click OK and close RegEdit.
  5. To see your new name, click once anywhere on the desktop and press the F5 key.

Warning: Make sure that you have backed up your registry prior to making any changes as a precaution.


Using Dr. Watson

If you're getting a lot of system errors, Dr. Watson can help. It will diagnose problems, intercept errors from your software, and prescribe a course of action. To run Dr. Watson, you must go to your Windows folder and open the Dr. Watson (drwatson.exe) program. Until all the bugs are worked out, it may not be a bad idea to have Dr. Watson load on Startup. To do this, drag the program or a shortcut to your Startup folder.


System File Protection

This new feature in Windows ME guards against critical system files being replaced or deleted when installing programs.  So if you accidentally delete one of these files, it will be replaced automatically.  This is particularly handy when a virus that is cloning a system file would not be allowed to be installed. 


Fatal Exception 03H

Any one of the applications listed below could cause you trouble with your Windows ME installation. They seem to create a corrupt file that will make it impossible to log on to ME. You may get an error that reads: "Scandskw caused Fatal exception 03H in module user32.dll". If this happens to you, get the remedy at:

Note: If and when this problem does occur, you will need to boot and reinstall ME using your Windows Emergency Boot Disk. So, if you haven't made one, please do so soon.  You will find instruction on making an Emergency Boot Disk in the next tip below.

Cybermedia's Oil Change
Uninstaller version 5 and earlier
Guard Dog version 2.5 and earlier
First Aid 97, 98 and 2000
McAfee Utilities 3.0
McAfee Office version 2
McAfee Office 2000 (version 3.0)


Compressed Folders Feature

  • To see if this feature is installed on your system, right-click your desktop and see if there is a Create Compressed Folder command.  If it is not there, open the Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs, and on the Windows Setup tab, double-click System Tools. Select Compressed Folders, then click OK twice to proceed with the installation. 
  • To create a new compressed folder, right-click on the desk top and choose New> Compressed Folder. Type a name for your folder and press Enter.
  • To add files to your folder, drag and drop them inside. You can email this folder and the recipient will be able to use any unzipping software to access the files inside.
Note: This is a great way to archive files while saving valuable hard disk space by storing data in a compressed form. To extract files from the compressed folder:
  • Right-click the folder and select "Extract All". Choose a destination folder by browsing to a select location , click Next, and then click Finish. Or, you can drag and drop a single file from your compressed folder to a desired location.


Open With command

Much like the previous Windows versions, this versions "Open with" command has a couple of neat twists to it.  The Open with command will now appear in the standard right-click window instead of having to Shift>right-click.  Also, once you select "Open with" a resulting menu will appear listing the previously selected programs.


How to make a startup disk

When you are installing Windows ME, you are given the option to create a startup disk. This disk is used in in the event you are not able to boot Windows ME. It boots your system and provides some utilities so that you will at least be able to have an opportunity to troubleshoot and hopefully fix whatever the problem may be. In the event that you skipped that step when installing your Operating System for whatever reason, you can make that disk at any time. Here's how:
  1. Locate a blank, formatted disk. 
  2. Open the Control Panel (select Start, Settings, Control Panel). 
  3. Double-click Add/Remove Programs. 
  4. Select the Startup Disk tab. 
  5. Click the Create Disk button. 

Now just follow the instruction given  as Windows Me guides you through the disk creation process. When it finishes, label the disk and store it in a safe place. 


Repair "Help and Support" center

When trying to access the Help and Support center applet or "PCHealth", you may get a white screen stating "this page cannot be displayed". This can happen due to files on the help system being corrupt. If you are experiencing this trouble, click the "Download Now" button below and download fresh files for PCHealth.

Instructions:  Download the reg. files.  Then double click on the file to load it into your system.

Download Now


Creating a new file type

If you have a lot of work documents that you would like to be able to stand out, you can create a different file extension rather than the normal .DOC file format.

Here's how it's done:

  1. Go to Explorer and select Tools/Folder Options. 
  2. Select the File Types tab
  3. Click New Type and the "Add New File Type" box will appear. (You may have to click the Advanced box to continue with the process.)
  4. Fill out the description however you want 
  5. In the "Associated extension" box, type Work (or whatever you want). Do not use spaces or periods in the name.
  6. Click the New Button and the "New Action" box appears. 
  7. In the Action box, type "Open" 
  8. Click the Browse button to find the application you want to use to open your files (Word, in this case).
  9. Click Open, and then click OK. 

Now you can select some additional options such as "Enable Quick View" (if supported), "Always Show Extension," and more. You can also choose to change the Icon. OK, all done. Now your new file type will appear in the Folder Options Box.


Personalized Menu's

When the Start menu is clicked, you may see short menu items loaded with small arrows next to the menu items.  When clicked, the entire menu will show. Here's how to disable this feature in later versions of ME:
  1. Go to Start 
  2. Then Settings 
  3. Choose the Taskbar and Start Menu option. 
  4. Select the General Tab
  5. Deselect the Use personalized menus option. 

Now all menus and sub-menus will be visible when the menu items are accessed. 

Note: The feature will not work with older versions of Windows ME...sorry!


Error Messages in Mmsystem.dll or Rundll32

If you receive any of the following error messages:
  • You may receive random general protection (GP) fault error messages in Mmsystem.dll.
  • Rundll32 - This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
  • Rundll - This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
  • RUNDLL32 caused a General Protection Fault in module MMSYSTEM.DLL
  • RUNDLL caused a General Protection Fault in module MMSYSTEM.DLL at 000a:00000032

These error messages listed above have been known to be caused by a missing "drivers=mmsystem.dll" line from the [boot] section of the System.ini file.

To resolved this issue:

  1. Using a text editor such as Notepad, open the System.ini file.
  2. Add the following line to the [boot] section of the file.


  1. Save the changes and close the System.ini file.
  2. Reboot your computer.


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