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Getting Windows 98 back up to speed

by Yumpin_Yimminie / April 10, 2005 6:23 PM PDT

I have a HP Pavillion with Windows 98 I purchased new several years ago. I still have the OEM disks that came with it. As time has progressed it seems to be slowing down. An assumption of mine is that between downloading software and removing it. That the registry file is probably a real mess.

Is there something that can be done to correct registry file problems without going in and trying to directly edit the registry file, or just completely putting in the disk that gets the computer back to the exact same configuration as when it is purchased new.

Thank you,

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Start here
by Blue_Zee / April 10, 2005 11:26 PM PDT

Run Windows own registry fixing tool:

Start > Run > type "SCANREG /FIX" (no quotes - note space between G and /)

Press enter and reboot when the process completes.

This tool will fix and optimise the registry.

See if that helps.


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Re: speeding up Windows 98
by Kees Bakker / April 11, 2005 5:25 AM PDT

I don't beleive that cleaning the registry (there are quite a lot of freeware and shareware registry cleaners, even one from Microsoft itself) influences the performance of a machine more than an insignificant trifle unmeasurable aamount.

Speed is influenced by things like like:
- speed of CPU
- amount of RAM (in relation to what you do)
- speed of video card (especially for games)
- background programs running
- virusses and spyware running in the background
- virtual memory settings
- defrag state of hard disk
- for certain things: amount of files in temp-folder and IE cache

Things to do:
- check with antivirus + antispyware
- disk cleanup wizard
- good look at unnecessary background programs running
- defrag
- set virtual memory fixed
- add RAM

Tell (or ask) more if needed.


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Speedo...(old doowop song)
by reefurbb / April 11, 2005 9:11 PM PDT

1. I also haven't noticed much help by cleaning-optimizing registry.
2. As noted, msconfig is a good place to turn off unneeded startup stuff, except some stuff puts itself back in; which is where I use System Mechanic ( to disable startup stuff and it mostly keeps repeats from adding back in. Even after the 30 day trial, changes stay,unless you uninstall it, but nothing new can be done.
3. a few years ago, 32mb ram was on the margin of ok. Now with all the extra stuff needed, 48mb is minimum and 64mb is better. I have BHO Demon, Avast antivirus, Zone Alarm, and a few other things running in the background. I've seen the rise in use of virtual memory.
4. I use WinTop from Win95 Power toys to check processor useage. I don't see a lot using it up. I use Norton Utilities 2002 to check ram and other useage, but it doesn't tell me what is using % of ram. Device Manager-Performance doesn't tell reality of ram useage.
5. two speeds, bootup time and speed of operation. I walk away for 5 minutes now at bootup. All other stuff mentioned in previous post is good. I've seen noticeable speed increase with a faster processor but not as much as maybe worthwhile (500mhz instead of 200mhz for example). 4mb video instead of 2mb is noticeable. Ram seems the biggest diff.
6. I've accepted W98SE as an inherently slow OS, with all the modern stuff, compared to XP. It can't be as fast as before unless you fresh install and don't add anything new (dangerous).

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Agree with slight variance......
by tobeach / April 12, 2005 3:57 PM PDT

The BIG problem with 98SE is the limited cache size. I liken it to stuffing your mouth with bite after bite without swallowing. Soon you'd chew slower and have more problem moving the resultant mass around in the space available. The answer is to reboot (swallow) whenever you find slowdown noticable.
Spyware is a major cause of slowdown along with software conflicts. I often found that programs (poorly written) that said ok for 95/98/me/ & (across the great devide to) NT/XP often did major harm to performance.
Another major ill was loading newer programs designed for XP space availability and found best to always chose smallest program available. This means Avg instead of Norton AV, Kerio firewall instead of Norton or Sygate. Avoid system hogs.
Initally I did alot of config changes via MS config which helped alot as almost all programs could be left off and activated by putting an icon on desktop to click. You lost perhaps 3-5 seconds waiting for an infrequently used program to load but but allowed for much faster boot up and general overall speed improvement. Later I preferred to turn them off using Spybots Tools (Advanced under mode tab) start-up list to easily turn off or re-tick if a problem occurred.
This allowed me to get full boot up in only 35 Seconds v/s previous 1 minute, 40 seconds or more. Pacmans Portal.Com of England used to have a great start-up list of un-necessary items for start up in 98.
1 last point: 98SE is an extremely secure OS given the following items:
1) Get Mozilla or other browser w/ Sun Java . Use IE only for Microsoft updates (pretty moot now)
2) Disable all active-X!
3) Disable ALL Messenger including in OE (Adaware has add-on to stop both kinds).
4) Visit Gibson Research Corp ( for other ideas to toughen 98 (turn off file&printer sharing,un-needed network holes, disable net-bios etc).
P.S: 98 will crash with to big HD. Limit to max 120G for safety and 98 caches is only 64 so 512mb Ram is a waste of money. No noticable improv. over 256mb.

Be happy as 98s' maintence requirements only take about 1/10th as much time as XPs! Missing my 98se! Sad

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A "humble" opinion:
by Cursorcowboy / April 13, 2005 12:29 AM PDT

1. Is there something that can be done to correct registry file problems without going in and trying to directly edit the registry file

The likelihood of you knowing what has been added and is now extraneous -- even if you could ascertain what -- would be close to nil. My suggestion is to not even try. However, it could be that Kees has some good suggestions in that some registry cleaners can get rid of stuff that is simply setting there unused -- which would make the file shorter but not necessarily useful.

2. or just completely putting in the disk that gets the computer back to the exact same configuration as when it is purchased new.

Provided you have backups of your data and also backups of device drivers for those items which were added since the system was purchased, it would most likely be the safest and most efficient means of correcting the anomalies now experienced. Just remember however this means the hardware system is now exactly as it was when bought. If not, anything added since would most likely need removing/disconnecting and afterwards added back with the appropriate software installed so they work again.

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Thank you all
by Yumpin_Yimminie / April 13, 2005 3:35 PM PDT

Wow, how did all of you get so smart? I had gotten lax about running a spyware scan. Boot times were up around 10 to 15 minutes (no kidding). So today I sat down and updated both my anti-virus program and the spyware detection software that I am using. I had just updated the anti-virus software about 5 days ago and ran a scan. Which produced nothing. Today as the anti-virus was running I got the message that I had run out of buffer space and the program was terminating. After that message left the screen the anti-virus software kept doing it's thing producing nothing.

I then ran the spyware detection software and it yielded several concerns. But the big shocker was one of the programs that came with my scanner was listed as spyware.

I am now in the process of updating another spyware program and then I will run that one, and then I will get a third one. After running the last two, I will run the anti-virus again.

Sure will be nice when there is a comprehensive software package for spyware detection. Something that falls along the lines of Symantec. Where a person can purchase it for a year and have updates.

Once again thank you all!

Have a Great Day,

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On the spyware topic
by Blue_Zee / April 13, 2005 5:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Thank you all

First of all, download NOW this Winsock fix (FREE):
If you lose internet access after the cleanup, run this tool.

After that, download the fully functional trial version of Spy Sweeper:
Install, UPDATE and run.
You may need to reboot and run again to clean all the nasties that cannot be deleted at once ('in use').

Download Ad-Aware (FREE) from here:
Install, UPDATE and run.
You may need to reboot and run again to clean all the nasties that cannot be deleted at once ('in use').

Also excellent is SpyBot Search & Destroy (FREE) available here:
Install, UPDATE and run.
You may need to reboot and run again to clean all the nasties that cannot be deleted at once ('in use').
You should also apply the 'immunize' function, since it blocks roughly 1900 known 'bad' runs/apis/apps.

Even if Ad-Aware and SpyBot S&D are similar, they do clean different things. You should have both of them and use REGULARLY.

You can also install 'preventive' software that will help you control these nasties:

SpywareBlaster (FREE):
Prevents the installation of Active-X based spyware, malware, dialers, etc
Currently protects you against 3450+ nasties.
Advantage: no system resources used!!!
Just download, install and UPDATE.

All of them extremely useful but you must keep them UPDATED.

Suggestion: Make sure you can see all files and folders and run Ad-aware and Spybot S&D in Safe Mode.


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Thanks for the info..
by 1patrick / May 23, 2005 9:19 AM PDT
In reply to: On the spyware topic

I was just surfing by after posting a question relating to McAfee and a two minute stall out problem when trying to open My Computer on my desktop. After I uninstalled McAfee and installed AVG, the problem was fixed. I read this post and as I already had Ad-Aware installed I thought I would try the SpyBot S&D as well as Spyware Blaster. To my surprise I was invaded by spyware and other nasties that these two cleared up. I ran SpyBot S&D first and although it took some 40 minutes to scan, it cleared over 200. Then ran Spyware Blaster and it cleared the remaining couple. Computer runs great now. I didn't run in Safe mode, should I be worried at all? Thanks again..

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You're welcome
by Blue_Zee / May 23, 2005 9:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the info..

Yes, considering the quantity of nasty entries, I would certainly scan in Safe Mode.


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