Windows ME in the test: The biggest failure since Windows existed
The DOS kernel
Unlike Windows 2000, Windows Me still relies on the outdated DOS kernel, which has hardly changed compared to Windows 95 or 98 Has. What is new about Windows Millennium Edition (Me), however, is that the DOS kernel only works in the background of the system, but it cannot be called directly. The only way to get into a command line DOS environment would be the MS DOS prompt, which can be executed under Windows, as well as a boot floppy disk, which also uses DOS in Windows Millennium.
Even if the real DOS is no longer explicit appears, the 'DOS roots' help Windows Me to be compatible with older games or older software in almost all cases. However, this compatibility is at the expense of stability, since Windows Me allows direct access to the hardware, which can quickly lead to a system crash in the event of faulty programs. Because in most cases the software companies are involved in product developmentrequire a Windows environment for your software, the plus point for the support of old DOS programs becomes more and more negligible.
The System start
The new thing about the system start of Windows Millennium is that the Autoexec.bat and the Config.sys, if they still exist, are no longer processed. Even if these two files still exist in the root directory, they are ignored at startup. All settings that influence the startup behavior of Windows Millennium can only be configured in the following way: Under Start »Run» enter 'msconfig', and a system configuration program will appear in which you can influence the startup behavior of Windows Millennium, see above as was previously possible using the individual F keys during the start phase.
- Normal start »All software and device drivers are loaded.
- Diagnostic start» All software and device drivers interactively load. This corresponds to the earlier option of individually confirming each driver that is to be loaded, which has contributed immensely to troubleshooting
- Autostart selection »This option was previously not available via the F keys. It saves the experienced user having to edit the system files. Various settings can be made, e.g. which programs should be executed at start-up, which static VxD should be loaded or just whether the environment variables (Path, Temp, Prompt) should be processed.
This system configuration program also offers thePossibility to exclude or change individual drivers and environment variables when loading. What used to be laboriously edited by hand can now be set comfortably on a graphical user interface. Here you can explicitly set the directory in which the temporary files are to be stored, and by clicking on various check boxes you can determine whether one or the other file should be executed at startup. It is just as easy to configure the language settings, e.g. to change the keyboard layout. The only question that remains is what does not processing the startup files bring us?
Well, Windows Millennium loads the settings that were previously transferred in Autoexec.bat and Config.sys directly from the registry, which can speed up Windows startup by up to 50%. The start of Windows Millennium is generally faster, and getting coffee during the startup phase is a thing of the past. A freshly set up PC can start the system in about 15 seconds, and even if you have installed various programs, the start is delayed, but not nearly as much as in the previous versions of Windows Millennium. All in all, as always, a new Windows, a new start screen and a little fine-tuning.
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