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March 2001 Issue


Below, find our archived issue of the 5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter.


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August 2000 September 2000 October 2000 November 2000 December 2000 January 2001
February 2001 March 2001 April 2001 May 2001 June 2001 August 2001
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April 2003 June 2003 December 2003 January 2004 March 2004 April 2005
May 2005 July 2005        

5 Star Support Monthly Newsletter  

March 2001 Issue

Inside this issue:

1) Notes from the editor
2) Windows ME and DSL
3) Optimizing the Windows swap file
4) Helpful Web Sites
5) Windows 95/98 Tips
6) HTML Tips
7) Questions and Answers
8) Contact Information

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[1] Notes from the editor:

First, 5 Star Support has added 3 new technicians to the team. 1) Keith Stevenson from London, England. 2) David Rinere of Mars, Pennsylvania. 3) Our third technician would like to remain anonymous, but I'll tell you he is also from Mars. Two Martians on staff...who woulda guessed! :-)

It sure is nice to know that there are people out there that are willing to give up some of their free time to help others in need! Many thanks to you all. I hope you learn a great deal from the challenges the guests will give you. You can read about these new techs and the others at:

Secondly, I am very happy to announce, 5 Star Support was put in for the "Golden Web Award" Well, we WON! Thank you to whoever put 5 Star Support up for that award, that was very special!  It is proudly on display at:

Lastly, If you have been on 5 Star Support recently, you will have noticed the new site design. I have the new design up and running only on 3 pages. I am just waiting to see what sort of responses I'll get before I
incorporate it into the entire site. Please email me with your thoughts, Good-Bad-Ugly...I can take it :-)

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[2] Windows ME and DSL: 

If you're a prospective buyer of Windows ME and are currently using DSL (digital subscriber line) to access the Internet, contact your local ISP before upgrading to ME! Many ISPs have not yet created updated drivers for Windows ME and many have found that their current drivers don't work with ME.

Many providers have Web sites with FAQs or downloadable drivers. Check there, then if you still cannot find anything helpful, contact your provider by the old fashioned method: the telephone.

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[3] Optimizing the Windows swap file:

Windows 98 uses a special file on your hard disk called a virtual memory swap file (or paging file). With virtual memory under Windows 98, some of the program code and other information are kept in random access memory (RAM), while other information is swapped temporarily to virtual memory. When that information is required again, Windows 98 pulls it back into RAM and, if necessary, swaps other information to virtual memory. This activity is invisible, although you might notice that your hard disk is working. The resulting benefit is that you can run more programs at one time than the computer's RAM would usually allow. 

The Windows 98 swap file is dynamic, so it can shrink or grow based on the operations performed on the system and based on available disk space. A dynamic swap file is usually the most efficient use of resources. It can also occupy a fragmented region of the hard disk with no substantial performance penalty. 

Tip: The single best way you can ensure high swap file performance is to make sure that the disk containing the swap file has ample free space so that the swap file size can shrink and grow as needed. 

The Windows 98 swap file (Win386.swp) is not a permanent file. However, Windows 98 can also use a permanent Windows 3.1 swap file. In this case, the file cannot shrink below the permanent size set for it in Windows 3.1, although the file can grow bigger if required. 

Under Windows 98, the swap file can reside on a compressed drive if a protected-mode driver (that is, Drvspace.vxd) controls the compressed drive. DriveSpace marks the swap file as uncompressible and places the swap file as the last file in the sector heap (to reduce the risk of fragmentation), allowing room for the swap file to grow. 

Although the system defaults usually provide the best performance, you can adjust the parameters used to define the swap file. For example, to optimize swap file performance on a computer with multiple hard disk
drives, you might want to override the default location of the Windows 98 swap file. The swap file should be placed on the drive with the fastest performance, unless that disk is overused. If a user usually loads all
software from the same drive in a computer that has multiple drives, performance might be boosted by placing the swap file on one of the drives that is not as busy. 

Caution Completely disabling virtual memory might cause the computer to stop operating properly. You might not be able to restart the computer, or system performance might be degraded. Do not disable virtual memory unless instructed to do so by a product support representative. 

To adjust the virtual memory swap file  In Control Panel, double-click System, click the Performance tab, and then click Virtual Memory.  To specify a different hard disk, click the Let me specify my own virtual
memory settings option. Then specify the new disk in the Hard disk box. Or type values (in kilobytes) in the Minimum or Maximum box. Then click OK  If you set the maximum swap file size in the Virtual Memory dialog box to the amount of free space currently on a drive, Windows 98 assumes that it can increase the swap file beyond that size if more free disk space becomes available. If you want to impose a fixed limit on the swap file size, make sure that the limit you choose is less than the current maximum. 

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[5] Windows 95/98 Tips:

FYI (for your information) Folder:

If you are surfing and run across some information that you would like to save for a later date. Create your own FYI folder to file away those tips, tricks or general information. Here's how:  Create a new .TXT file in WordPad, and name it FYI or whatever you like. Any time you find new information worth saving, write a description of it in your FYI.txt file. 


Old File Manager:

If you would like to use the old file manager go to Start> Run>, type in: winfile Now you will see the file manager used prior to Windows 95/98 Explorer.


Windows 95/98 Installed Components:

For a listing of all components that are (and are not) installed during the Typical, Custom, or Portable setup of Windows 95 and Windows 98 follow the links below: 
(Windows 95) 
(Windows 98) 

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[6] HTML Tips:

Modification Date:

To automatically include the modification date on a Web page, you can add
this little piece of JavaScript code:

<!-- Hide from old browsers
document.write("Page last modified on "+document.lastModified);
// -->


Freeze Your Background:

To set your background image so that it remains static while the rest of your page scrolls over it, use the BGPROPERTIES="fixed" command in your BODY tag. Your background image will remain on a single screen and any longer text scroll over your background.

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[7] Questions and Answers:
Generated from 5 Star Support

(This guest used the "Solution Center")

floppy drve/would read from DOS but not windows/poss 2 different techs/one on 1/13-one on 1/14/misplaced my e-mail/sorry


Your suggestions were extremely helpful. They really narrowed down my problem to a few things, but nothing seemed to work. Actually found the solution from one of your links. Windows 98 annoyances/web site. Go into device manager and remove the floppy drive then reboot letting the computer reinstall it.the windows tried to read back to the floppy every time I ran a different program. When the computer reinstalled the drive problem went away. I would like to thank all of you at 5 star support for your time and help.
k bushnell



I attempted to install additional memory. When I booted the system, I received a memory error size message. I removed the additional memory and attempted to reboot.  During the boot process, there is a two beep error code. The system will only start in safe mode. What must I do to get it to start in normal mode?


A two beep code suggests that your new memory needs to be set in the BIOS. When you reboot, hold the F1 or the Delete key to enter the BIOS. It should do its thing and configure your new memory. It should prompt you to verify the amount of RAM that you have just installed. After it has completed, just exit saving the changes if prompted. You should be good to go!



If I open and run Outlook, it eventually changes the font size on my home page to one size larger than I usually use. It will also change my dial up connection icon on my desktop. Instead of the usual icon it might
change it to the icon for WORD or for ULeads PHOTO IMPACT or for FRONTPAGE--it seems to be random in its choice of which icon to change it to. It doesn't affect the use of the dial up connection--it just changes the icon


This is almost always caused when your system begins to accumulate too many icons to fit into the limited Windows icon cache. The best solution is usually to:
1-- increase the icon cache size to 4096 or higher, and then 
2-- rebuild the icon cache.

ActivIcons is a free utility which does both of these. You can download a copy from (it also allows setting other desktop configurations). Sometimes, you need to reboot before Windows will recognize that the cache has been reset.

TweakUI has a "Repair Icons" feature, but unless you increase the cache, the problem will crop up again. 
Download a copy of TweakUI here:



All of the sudden my windows explorer has nothing on the right side. I did find an MS article q192/3/15.asp but i don't quite understand it all. It seems all I have to do is delete that one line?.. I was using IE and messing around trying to save a web page but gave up. I did delete Wallpaper (it was just a black screen) in Web folder and somewhere I saw a bunch of *.art images that were worthless and deleted them. It was right
after that I went to winexp and found no folder info. Please help. oh, toejumper sent me.
Sincerely, Joan Sheldon


Hi Joan,

1) When in Details view mode, left-click in the now empty right pane.  Press "Ctrl and +" using the "+" from the numeric keypad.

2) If you either see only partial information or no information at all when trying to use the Details view in Explorer, odds are the columns are screwed up.  Just use your mouse, and resize them by moving the arrow until it changes to a horizontal resize arrow, between the column headings. Then, click down and drag the columns until you can see all the information.  If you click on the column headings themselves, it will sort the window accordingly. Double-clicking the column separators will automatically adjust the column widths so that all the information is displayed.  If you don't see any columns, they've all been squeezed to the left. Just
take your mouse, and move it slowly around the upper-left portion of the window until the double-arrow (for resizing) appears.

Or, try this article:

Solution Center:

got rid of tool bar and finally could see arrow all the way to right (off screen) dragged the arrow and resized then used C+sign on numeric and columns were right. thank you so much. no need to use registry.



I have nearly 300 fonts in C:\WINDOWS\FONTS: I would like to eliminate quite a few of them, but I know there are certain fonts Windows requires, but I am not sure of all of them......


Here is a link that will inform you of what fonts come with Win 98:

Here is a link that will show you how to remove fonts safely:




Additional information:




Take a look at the following MS Knowledge Base article/s for help:
Blank Page Is Printed in Internet Explorer 5.5 [Q271583]

Additional Blank Page When You Print in Internet Explorer 5.5 [Q270841]

Print or Preview May Generate Blank First Page [Q257097]

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