You Asked Us: February 1998

by Alan Zisman (c) 1998; first published in Computer Player, February 1998

Raymond van der Holst asked:

In the Win95 Software Screen you can (un)install software. BUT I've got quite a lot of 'old' software in that list that isn't on my HD anymore, the uninstall didn't work properly (especially with a lot of shareware) and now these programs are in the list annoying the hell out of me.

Do you know where I can remove these non-existing program's from this list?

Alan replied:

Two ways:

1) The hard way: Open REGEDIT, the Registry Editor, by typing Regedit at the Start Menu's RUN line... In the Edit menu, use the FIND command to search for instances of the program name; delete each instance. Pressing F3 will repeat the search. Continue until there are no instances of that program in the Registry, repeat for the next program.

2)  The easy way: Get a copy of Microsoft's free POWERTOYS add-ins for Win95 (available on their Web site), or separately obtain the TWEAKUI Powertoy. TweakUI has lots of useful functions for working with the Win95 User Interface, including the ability to easily remove program names listed in the Add/Remove list. TweakUI has a lot of useful functions, as we?ll see in the next letter?

Gary Ailes queried:

I installed MSN to take advantage of the free month of use, and then promptly uninstalled it.

Since that time, the MSN "shortcut" has been on the desktop, and I cant get rid of it.

I've attempted to delete every aspect of MSN in the registry and have succeeded in making the icon a standard "Folder", but am still unable to delete it.

Am I forever stuck hiding it behind the start bar?

Alan answered:

You can get rid of it, along with most other persistent desktop icons,
using Microsoft's multi-talented TweakUI add-on.

TweakUI?s Desktop feature lets you easily remove persistent icons from the Desktop.

Wayne Field wondered:

When I click START and PROGRAMS my list overflows the screen. How can I combine them? For example instead of seeing all the programs of OFFICE, I'd like to see only OFFICE, and click that to get the program list in OFFICE. There are others I'd like to combine, too.

Is there an easy way to do that?

Alan responded:

Yes... too many programs insist on creating silly, top-level Programs
sub-folders, filled with the Program EXE file, a help file, and a

And users who've upgraded from Win 3.x typically again get too many
sub-folders corresponding to Program Manager groups.

There are several ways to customize the Start Menu/Programs list... my
favorite is to right-click on the Start button (the secret to Win95 success
is 'when in doubt, right-click on anything in sight')... and choose OPEN
from the pop-up menu.

You'll get a My Computer-like large icon view of the Start Menu, with a
folder labeled Programs. Open it to see the sub-folders that correspond to
sub-menus. Create new folders, copy, delete to your heart's content, using
standard W95 file management techniques.

The results will immediately appear in the Start Menu.

Daniel Mueller asked:

Does you know how to copy the WIN95 Files from the CD-ROM to a floppy disk. I've managed to get all the NON CAB files to one disk but the rest WIN95_??.CAB of the files are toooooo big for my 1.44 floppy.

If I wanted to backup my win95 CD how could I do that if the files are then the disk and ZIPPING them makes them larger since they?re already compressed?

Alan answered:

Depending on the version of your Win95 CD, you?ll find most of the installation files (*.CAB compressed ?cabinet? files) are either 1.7 meg or 2.1 meg in size? too large to fit on a standard 1.4 meg floppy. And you?re right?since they?re already compressed, programs like PKZIP can?t compress them further.

There are a number of shareware programs which can be used to format 1.7 meg floppies, but that won?t help if you have the 2 meg CAB files. But you can still use PKZIP to create a compressed set of disks from the entire Setup folder.

Use PKZIP?s -& option, which enables you to zip items across multiple
floppies... if you type:


at a DOS prompt, you will create a set of floppies with a zipped backup of
the entire contents of that folder.

-- Note that it doesn't do a good job of error checking... test the backup
set by unzipping it onto your hard drive (which you'd need to do to use
it), before assuming you can rely on it!

Terry Barker asked:

Can I run any 16bit or Dos games or programs on the newer windows 32bit machine? I hear that it would crash the hard drive if I ran 16bit?

Alan expounded:

Very much untrue!

Win95 will run nearly all (16-bit) DOS and Win 3.x programs...

Note the following:

1) DOS/Win 3.x disk utilities should be avoided since they are unaware of
Win95 long file names, and can inadvertently destroy the long file names
(this may the reality behind the rumour you heard).

2) Some DOS programs (typically older games) need to be run in so-called
MSDOS Mode, allowing them near-total control over the hardware.

3) A few Win 3.0 programs won't run without being tricked.. there is a
MKCOMPAT.EXE (Make Compatible) program in C:\WINDOWS for that purpose.

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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan