Operating Systems - Windows - Tips and Tricks - Organising Files

Adding items to the Start menu

You can add shortcuts to files or folders in the Start menu by going to "Start/Settings/Taskbar and Start Menu/Advanced" (or by going to "c:\windows\start"). Windows 98 even lets you drag a program to the Start menu and place it wherever you want, and this automatically creates a shortcut.
This action won't work if you try to create a shortcut to elements like the Recycling Bin or the Control Panel. However, all you need to do is rename the directories you create as follows:

  • Control Panel. {21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}
  • Printers.{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}  
  • Recycle Bin. {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}  
  • Dial-up networking. {992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD010CCC48}
  • Briefcase. {85BBD920-42A0-1069-A2E4-08002B30309D}
  • Exchange. {00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}   (Microsoft Exchange)
  • History. {FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000} (Pages visited on the Internet)

Restore the original Start menu

If you make a mistake, or if you want to recreate the original Start menu that existed when Windows was installed, just run (Start/Run) the command:

Deleting items from the Start menu

Open Regedit and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer. You can set options by putting the following character strings after 01:

  • Noclose: Stops Windows from shutting down
  • Nodesktop: Deletes the Desktop icons
  • Nofind: Removes the "Search" option from the Start menu
  • Norun: Removes the "Run" option from the Start menu
  • NoSetTaskBar: Disables Taskbar settings
  • NoStartBanner: Removes the start banner ("Click here to begin") from the Taskbar
  • NoStartMenuSubFolders: Deactivates the Start menu's subfolders
  • NosaveSettings: Stops settings from being saved when Windows is shut down

Settings in the msdos.sys file

The c:\msdos.sys file lets you configure some settings related to loading Windows. It is a text file containing lines of the format:
Which allows start options to be defined in a binary manner (i.e. on or off)

This is a read-only system file, so caution must be exercised when changing these files' attributes.

It is risky to edit this file, so it is best to save a backup copy and have a boot disk ready just in case.

There are several line-delimited sections in this file:
  • Section [Paths]
    • HostWinBootDrv= : Indicates the boot drive
    • WinBootDir= : Designates the folder which contains the files needed for Windows to boot.
    • WinDir= : Shows which drive Windows has been installed in
  • Section [Options]
    • BootDelay= : Shows the period of time (in seconds) during which the F8 or F5 key may be pressed while Windows 95 is booting (the default value is 2)
    • BootFailSafe= : Lets you always boot in Safe mode (0 for normal mode (default), 1 for safe mode).
    • BootGUI= : 1 boots the graphical user interface (called Windows), 0 boots command-line mode (Called DOS).
    • BootKeys= : Allows Function keys (F5, F6 and F8) to be disabled during startup (0 disables them (the BootDelay option then becomes moot), 1 enables them).
    • BootMenu= : Enables the Startup menu (equivalent to pressing F8). The default value is 0.
    • BootMenuDefault= : Shows the chosen default Start menu (3 normally, 4 for a computer on a network).
    • BootMenuDelay= : Number of seconds during which the Windows start menu is displayed (30 seconds by default).
    • BootMulti= : Enables multiboot (default 0 indicates that multi-boot is deactivated; 1 activates it).
    • BootWin= : When 0 is shown, lets you boot an older version of DOS (if Windows is installed on top of it).
    • DblSpace= : The (default) value 1 loads the driver dblspace.bin.
    • DoubleBuffer= : The value 1 enables double-buffering for SCSI controllers. The default value is 0.
    • DrvSpace= : The (default) value 1 loads the driver dblspace.bin.
    • LoadTop= : Allows command.com and/or drvspace.bin to be loaded in top memory.
    • Logo= : The value 0 deactivates the animated Windows start-up logo.
    • Network= : Enables booting in Safe mode with network support.
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