This guide assumes you have a stable install of Windows, and offers some tweaks and settings that will help speed up operations and increase stability.
Setting your PC as a Network Server computer role.
Right click on My Computer. Select Properties, then select the Performance tab. Click on File System. Under Advanced Settings click on File System. In Typical Role of this Computer select Network Server. While here, click on Virtual Memory. Select Disable Virtual Memory (donít worry, weíll come back and reset it). Ignore the warning. Reboot.
Do the Defrag
Now do a Scan Disk and a Defrag. Double click My Computer and right click on your hard drive, select Properties and then click on the Tools tab. Under Error Checking Status click on Check now. When thatís done, click on Defragment now. When that is complete, reboot. Go back to Virtual Memory and select Let Me Specify My Own Virtual Memory Settings. I recommend setting both Maximum and Minimum to 256 or 384. Again, ignore the warning. Reboot. You now have a hard drive thatís defregmented, plus your virtual memory area on the hard drive is also defragmented.
Giving you the Power
Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double click Power Management. In Power Schemes, select Always On in the drop down list. In Settings for Always On Power Schemes, select Never in the System Standby, Turn off Monitor, and Turn Off Hard Disks.
Never see a Windows Start Up or Shutdown Screen again.
Right click my computer, select Explore. Find msdos.sys in your root directory, usually C:\ Right click msdos.sys and select Edit. If you see Open With instead of Edit, select that and use Notepad to edit msdos.sys. Under OPTIONS set the 1 and 0 (zero) as follows.
LOGO=0 Turns off start up and shutdown screens.
Autoscan=0 Disables autoscan when windows reboots after a improper (ehem) shutdown.
Now for something really cool. A Shutdown Shortcut.
Tired of selecting Start, Shutdown, selecting Shutdown and then OK?
Right click on your Desktop, select New, then select Shortcut. In the Command Line type, "C:\windows\rundll.exe user.exe,exitwindows" without the Quotes. Click on Next. Select a name for your new Shortcut, I simply called it Shutdown. You can call it something like Die you Bastard, or whatever you like. Click on Finish. You should now have a Shortcut in the center of your Desktop. Double click it for a speedy shutdown.
Disable default sound settings
If you havenít done this by now, shame on you. Click on Start, Settings, Control Panel. Double click on Sounds. Set all Sound Events to None.
Disable Task Scheduler
Click on Start, Programs, Systems Tools, Scheduled Tasks. Click on Advanced in the Menu bar and select Stop Using Task Scheduler.
Getting a better View
Double click My Computer. Under the View menu, toggle As Web Page off. Select the View menu again, choosing List instead of an Icon view. Again from the View menu, choose Folder Options to bring up a tabbed dialog box. First, choose Classic Style and click the Apply. Then choose Custom Based on Settings You Choose and click the Settings button. In the new dialog box that appears, choose the Open Each Folder in the Same Window option under the Browse Folders as Follows section and then click the OK button.
Next, click the View tab and select the Show All Files option, uncheck the Hide File Extensions option, check the Remember Each Folder's View Settings, Show Map Network Drive Button and Show Pop-up Description options. Under the Visual Settings area, uncheck Hide Icons and Smooth Edges of Screen Fonts and check the Show Window Contents While Dragging options. Click the Apply button then click the Like Current Folder button near the top of the screen. If a pop-up box asks if you really wish to do this, confirm by clicking the Yes button. Click the OK button and close the My Computer folder by clicking the X button in the upper right corner of the folder view. While this establishes a default look for folder views, Windows may try to change things back to the way it was originally programmed, particularly if you try to access the Program Files, Windows and Windows System folders. If it does, repeat the steps above to force these screens to adhere to these new view preferences.
When these changes have taken effect, you should now have a more user friendly viewing configuration that will work in low screen resolutions in the event that your video driver flakes out. It will also give you access to the names of all the files and folders you may need to work with to help get your system back on its feet if things do go wrong.
Most of this should work for Windows ME as well, but naming conventions could be a bit different.