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Windows 98
Valuable Tools

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Q & A

Valuable Tools

Microsoft System Information
Gathers and displays detailed system configuration information. To start Microsoft System Information go to Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools / System Information. You can use the Tools Menu in this app to access many of the other tools available.

System File Checker
Watches over critical system files; if any are moved, overwritten or deleted, lets you restore them from the CD. To start this tool open Microsoft System Information and select System File Checker from the Tools menu.

Registry Checker
Finds and resolves Registry problems, and regularly backs up the Registry, keeping five backups. Registry Checker runs automatically when Windows starts, but you can run it manually by selecting it from the Tools menu in Microsoft System Information.

System Configuration Utility
A new version of the old SYSEDIT which lets you troubleshoot system problems, create and restore configuration file backups. The tool can be started from Microsoft System Information.

Version Conflict Manager
Detects whether file version conflicts exist among installed drivers and programs; can reinstall the Win98 version of a driver. Start from Microsoft System Information's Tools menu.

TweakUI (short for "tweak user interface") is a utility that allows you to change desktop settings beyond the basic. It gives you control over animation, desktop icons that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to modify (such as the Recycle Bin and Network Neighborhood), the mouse, Explorer windows, and other desktop features. It is available on the Windows 98 CD, but not automatically installed. To install TweakUI:

  1. Open the Windows 98 CD in My Computer and locate the Tools/Reskit/Powertoy folder.
  2. Right-click tweakui.inf and click Install.

Once installed, to use the program, open TweakUI from the Control Panel.

System File Checker
If Windows 98 isn’t operating the way you think it should, there’s a handy utility called System File Checker that sifts through vital system files and informs you of the ones not installed correctly or corrupted. System File Checker restores files with a backup for what it replaces. Best of all, you can customize System File Checker to monitor your important files. To start System File Checker:

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, and System Tools, and click System Information.
  2. From the Tools menu, click System File Checker.
  3. Select Scan for altered files and click Start.

Accessibility Wizard
If you have trouble seeing small icons, text, and windows on your screen, new Windows Accessibility Wizard can be of great benefit. You can set your menus, windows, and icons to default to a larger size. Also, the Microsoft Magnifier can show you a magnified view of the area where your cursor is scrolling at the top of the screen. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, and Accessibility, and click Accessibility Wizard. Then follow the instructions in the wizard.

NOTE: If you don’t see Accessibility Wizard, it’s not installed. To install the wizard, insert your Windows 98 CD and follow these steps:

  1. From the Control Panel, open Add/Remove Programs.
  2. Click the Windows Setup tab.
  3. Select Accessibility and click Details.
  4. Select Accessibility Tools, and click Apply and OK.
  5. Restart your computer to make the change take effect.

Maintenance Wizard
When you first install Windows 98, you should get a prompt to set up the maintenance wizard for the first time, setting the schedule for when you want your PC to automatically perform ScanDisk, Disk Defragmenter, and Disk Cleanup. If not, or if you want to run it another time:

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, Accessories, and System Tools, and click Maintenance Wizard.
  2. Select Perform Maintenance Now and click OK.

Net Watcher
Windows 98 comes with a system tool called Net Watcher. You can keep track of who is using files on your computer and which files they have open and for how long. You can view sharing permissions for your computer’s drives and folders, monitor usage on a different computer, or disconnect users from your computer. To use Net Watcher, click Start, point to Settings, Programs, Accessories, and System Tools, and click Net Watcher.

NOTE: If Net Watcher is not installed, open Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel, click the Windows Setup tab, and select System Tools to install.

Disk Cleanup
Temporary files, Internet file caches, empty folders, and defunct shortcuts can quickly add up to a large amount of hard-disk space that's useless and wasted. But it can be scary to start deleting files willy-nilly. So, Windows 98 has made it easy for you. The Disk Cleanup system tool will help you locate and delete all unnecessary files. To use the Disk Cleanup tool, click Start, highlight Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, and click Disk Cleanup.

NOTE: You can use Maintenance Wizard to schedule this function to happen automatically on a regular schedule when you are not using your computer.

Dr. Watson
Dr. Watson is a system tool that will give you a comprehensive picture of your software environment so that, when a problem occurs, you can use this information in conjunction with Technical Support to identify the source of the error. To generate a system snapshot with Dr. Watson:

  1. Click Start, highlight Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, and click System Information.
  2. Click Tools and click Dr. Watson.
  3. Type a brief description of the steps you took that produced the error.
  4. From the File menu, click Save As, type a name for the error log, and click Save.

Windows Update
Windows Update in Windows 98 allows you to keep your computer up to date with the latest service releases, drivers, system files, and more. Click Start, point to Settings, and click Windows Update. When you reach Microsoft’s Update Web site, click Product Updates to get started.

NOTE: You need to register your copy of Windows 98 before you can take advantage of Windows Update.

Windows 98 Resource Kit Sampler
The Windows 98 CD comes with some free tools and utilities in a sampler called the Resource Kit. These allow you to do such things as compare files and folders, check and delete obsolete shortcuts, read text and hypertext markup language (HTML) code in the Text File Viewer, and more. These tools don’t load automatically when you do a standard installation, but they’re easy to install:

  1. Insert your Windows 98 CD into your CD-ROM drive.
  2. Click Browse This CD.
  3. From the Tools\Reskit directory, run Setup.exe.

Once installed, you can access these tools from the Start menu. Click Programs, point to Windows 98 Resource Kit, and click Tools Management Console. Below is an explanation of some of the useful utilities found in the Recourece Kit.

The Resource Kit contains a utility called WinDiff that allows you to quickly compare the contents of two folders. After you’ve installed the Resource Kit (see the above tip), to use WinDiff:

  1. From the Start menu, point to Programs and Windows 98 Resource Kit, and click Tools Management Console.
  2. Go to the \Tools A to Z\U to Z directory and double-click WinDiff.
  3. From the File menu, click Compare Directories and type the path of the folders you want to compare.
  4. Click OK and WinDiff will give you a line-by-line list of the differences between the contents of the folders.

Text File Viewer
Another tool in the Resource Kit is a utility called Text File Viewer that opens a special two-pane Explorer window to quickly show you the contents of any file with a .txt or .htm extension. This can be useful, for example, if you need to read several Readme.txt files for programs you’re installing, or if you create and edit Web pages frequently. You double-click the file in the left pane, and the contents will be displayed in text format on the right. For HTML files, the Text File Viewer displays the original source code, rather than how the page appears in a Web browser. After you’ve installed the Resource Kit (see above tip), to use the Text File Viewer:

  1. From the Start menu, point to Programs and Windows 98 Resource Kit, and click Tools Management Console.
  2. Go to the \Tools A to Z\S to T directory and double-click Text File Viewer.
  3. From the File menu, click Compare Directories and type the path of the folders for which you want a comparison

   Remember Clipbook from Win95? Windows 98's ClipTray applet takes this functionality one step further. You insert a ClipTray entry using a pop-up menu that sits in the tray of your Taskbar. ClipTray is part of the Windows 98 Resource Kit Sampler, located on your installation CD. If you've installed the entire sampler (by running setup.exe in the CD's tools\reskit folder), you can start ClipTray as follows: Select Start, Programs, Windows 98 Resource Kit, Tools Management Console; click Close to exit the Tip of the Day; navigate your way to Tool Categories\Desktop Tools; then double-click ClipTray in the right pane. If you prefer to install only ClipTray, copy the three ClipTray files from the installation CD's tools\reskit\desktop folder to your location of choice. To run ClipTray, double-click ClipTray.exe. Using ClipTray is a piece of cake. Let's assume you have a paragraph of text on the currently active Word document that you want to be able to paste into multiple documents. Assuming ClipTray is already running (its icon will appear in the tray of your Taskbar), select this text and press Ctrl-C (or select Word's Edit, Copy command). Click the ClipTray icon, select Add, type a name for the entry--such as "letter closing"--click the Paste button, then click Close. Whenever you want to insert that exact paragraph, click the ClipTray icon and in the pop-up menu, select that entry by name. The paragraph is now on the Windows Clipboard. Place the cursor where you want the text, press Ctrl-V (or select Edit, Paste), and it's in there!
   If you have a whole slew of ClipTray entries, the list that appears when you right-mouse-click the ClipTray icon (in the tray of your Taskbar) will be quite long. And unless you have a very good memory, you may forget exactly what's what, even if you've used what you think are descriptive names. To eliminate any confusion, turn on Preview Mode: Right-mouse-click the ClipTray icon, select Options, then select Preview Mode. Now, right-mouse-clicking the ClipTray icon and selecting an entry presents a preview of that entry. If it's the right one, click OK and go ahead with the paste. If not, click OK and preview another entry until you find it. (from


Copyrightę 1998 of The Code Name: Windows 98 Team