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Install The Desktop Update With Secret Switches
Are you running Windows 95 or Windows NT 4 and want to have the Desktop Update with Internet Explorer 5.x? As you probably know, the Desktop Update isn't installed with IE5 by default, it's only preserved if IE4 is already installed with the Desktop Update. Well, you don't have to sit and take that! You can override this default behaviour either during the initial installation, or after the fact by running ie5setup.exe with some sneaky command line switches, or by editing iesetup.ini in the source directory.

If you are installing from an IE5 CD ROM or with the source files on the hard drive (such as C:\Windows Update Setup Files\), or even doing the initial download, launch IE5setup with the following command line, from Start/Run or a DOS Prompt Window:

"C:\Windows Update Setup Files\ie5setup.exe" /c:"ie5wzd /e:IE4Shell_WIN /I:Y"

Use the correct path to IE5Setup.exe and the quotes as shown. Now, if the source files are already there, it will only have to download the components it needs for the Desktop Update, a megabyte or two. If IE5 is already installed, without the desktop update, this command line will launch IE5setup, and download the files it needs and implement the Desktop Update with Active Desktop (which you can turn off if you wish and still have the Quick Launch toolbar and other goodies). In this case, after using the command line above, pretend you are reinstalling IE5, with the same options you did before and it will download and implement the Desktop Update. It doesn't take very long because it doesn't reinstall the whole kit and kaboodle, only the desktop update.

If you already have the source files on your hard drive, there is yet another way. You can edit iesetup.ini in C:\Windows Update Setup Files. Open the file with notepad and look for the following section:


See the Shell_Integration=0 line? Change the zero to a 1 and save the file. Now, when you run IE5setup.exe, it will download and install the desktop update. Note that the Options section may look different depending on the distribution of IE5, but the Shell_Integration line will be there.

After the reboot, you'll have the Desktop Shell Integration for IE5, all without having IE4 installed previously!
(Special thanks to Grogan, Rick and Al for this tweak.)

A Fix For Disappearing Web Sites in Win9x
If for some inexplicable reason, you suddenly cannot get to certain web sites anymore from your PC, yet they work fine from another PC, you might have a bad host file on your PC. Here's the likely cause and what you can do to set it right.

Some ISPs are trying to limit the amount of work they have to do in order to relieve the load on their systems and work more efficiently. For that reason, they store the IP address for commonly visited web sites in a small file locally on your PC called Hosts. When you type in the web site address, the browser actually checks first if such a hosts file exists before it talks to your ISP's domain name server (The DNS is the server that processes your request for a web site when you use a name rather than a series of numbers, like ""). If it finds the information it needs in there, it will take the IP address from this file and use it to go to the site. This eliminates the need to check with the ISP's DNS server first and shaves off valuable milliseconds of your browsing time. Again, this works most of the time and can be very efficient, but if the IP address (the numerical address) for the site has changed, even if the name remains unchanged, you of course have a problem since you will be directed to the wrong web server. The only way to remedy this problem is by editing the Hosts file. Replace the old IP with the new one, or remove the entry for that site completely, or by renaming or removing the Hosts file so that the browser is forced to inquire with the DNS server to find out the correct IP address each time you request a web page. To find your Hosts file, go to Start/Find/Files or Folders, type in Hosts (no extension) and hit Enter. If it finds the file, you can right-click on it, choose Open with... and select Notepad. Now you can edit the file. Look for the site that you have problems with and either remove the entry for that site or replace it with the new correct IP address.

If you don't know the correct new IP address, you can find it by going to Start/Run, type command and hit Enter. In the resulting DOS window, type ping and hit Enter. One of the first lines that appears will show you the correct current IP address. after you are done editing the file, save the file and exit Notepad. Now fire up your browser and try again, you should be able now to visit the site.

Disable A Stubborn Task Scheduler
If you're reading this it's probably because you've tried to disable your Win98 Task Scheduler and found, much to your dismay, that it was back in your System Tray after a reboot. You've already launched Task Scheduler and clicked the Advanced pull down menu, and then clicked Stop Using Task Scheduler, and it didn't work. Well then, try the following:

  1. If you've installed Critical Update Notification from Windows Update, now would be a great time to uninstall it. Also, delete all scheduled tasks from Scheduled Tasks in My Computer. Disable Task Scheduler again, using the method outlined above.
  2. If it's still there after a reboot, go to Start/Run and type msconfig and hit Enter. On the Startup tab, uncheck the Task Scheduler and apply the change and reboot when prompted.
  3. Still stalked by Task Scheduler? Go back and disable the Task Scheduler as above, to unload it. Open Windows Explorer and go to C:\Windows\System and rename Mstask.exe to Mstask.bak (or whatever you want). That will definitely rid you of the annoyance.
  4. Enjoy! Thanks Grogan.

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