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9/96 WinTips

Win95 Tips of the Month

Fastest E-Mail

Sometimes you need to dash off a quick e-mail message but don't want to load the whole bloated Exchange program. Here's how to open only a Create Message window: Make a shortcut on your Desktop (or wherever you want it) and type in the path to the file EXCHNG32.EXE, followed by a space and /n. Give the shortcut a name, and voilˆ! (Note that the message won't actually be sent until you launch Exchange.)

You've Got It All, Kid

You can use the Windows 95 upgrade even if you don't have Windows installed on your system. Though the box says "Upgrade," it's really the full version. If you're installing Win95 on a formatted hard disk, Win95 will tell you it "cannot find any of the qualifying products listed on the Windows box," then give you an opportunity to show it where that version is. Just put Disk 1 of any previous version of Windows into the floppy disk drive, click on the Locate button and point the installation program at the floppy. The installation will continue, and you'll have a full version of Win95 ready to run.

DOS Boot

Unlike Windows 3.x, Win95 launches the GUI automatically. But you can shut it off and boot straight to DOS each time you start Windows 95 by editing a file called MSDOS.SYS. Launch Notepad, open the file C:\MSDOS.SYS, find the entry BootGUI=1 and change the 1 to a 0. Exit, save the file and reboot.
Jonathan Lauer, via the Internet

More .BMP Icons

Any bitmap file can serve as an icon, and it doesn't have to be moved, resized or renamed. When you're in any shortcut's Change Icon dialog box, simply click on the Browse button, select All Files from the Files of Type box and double-click on the .BMP file of your choice.
Bob Coplin, via the Internet

Make Your Own Internet Shortcuts

The Win95 versions of Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer allow you to drag and drop Web links directly to your Desktop. Those links become shortcuts that can be e-mailed and shared over a network. Both types of links will work with either browser. Here's something you may not know: These shortcuts are simple text files that you can edit or create with Notepad. To edit, just open a link in Notepad and change the URL to whatever you'd like it to be. To create a new shortcut, open Notepad and type [InternetShortcut] on the first line, then URL= followed by the URL of your choice on the second line. Save the file and give it a .URL extension.

Easy HTML Pages

Microsoft offers a free Win95 printer driver that outputs not to a printer but instead creates HTML files. The driver works with most applications, and it supports basic tables and other formatting options. Download HTML Driver Version 1.0 from the WINDOWS Magazine Web site at

Free Phone Tips

Microsoft offers free tips and information by phone: 800-936-4200.

Whither Welcome Screen?

When you first installed Win95, a Welcome Screen popped up, offering tips, a guided Win95 tour and a few other things. If you deselected the "Show this Welcome Screen next time you start Windows" option, you haven't seen it since. To get it back, simply call up the Run dialog (Start/Run), type WELCOME and click on OK.
Li Yu, via the Internet

Track Conventional Memory

You can download a free utility developed by the Win95 Kernel team that tracks conventional memory. It's on the WinMag Free Win95 Software page:

Fix the Inbox

If you use the Inbox, you might want to run the Inbox Repair Tool once in a while to prevent lockups and problems in the future. The file looks for errors in the document that stores all of your Inbox messages. You can find the file on your Start menu (Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools) or by launching the Find utility and searching for SCANPST.EXE. Warning: If you've got multiple megabytes of messages, it will take a while to scan and repair them.

Got a hot tip? Send it to or Mike Elgan, Windows Magazine, One Jericho Plaza, Jericho, NY 11753.

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