Installing or Reinstalling Windows 95/98/ME or NT4 Optimally for Pagemaker 6.5 / 7.0

Steps to help you setup your workstation to be more reliable Pagemaker and other DTP applications.

Related Pages: Kernel32.dll Errors with Pagemaker and Photoshop

This is a less extensive FAQ than the Pagemaker 6.5 / 7.0 Windows 2000 FAQ. That article has extensive coverage of hardware considerations and workarounds for incompatibilities with the newer operating systems. There are numerous suggestions and recommendations for hardware that work well for DTP applications.


Always backup all your data, format the hard drive and install to freshly formatted partitions. Woe to those who only have a “system restore” disk. This will restore your system to its original just out of the box setup and usually deletes all user data. Restore disks also complicate your setup as most of them will install all kinds of applications which automatically start at boot up. (These are either marketing crap or some sort of diagnostic software which is usually useless at fixing real problems and causes slowdowns and uses resources, You want the absolute minimum of programs running with Pagemaker or any other DTP application like Photoshop.

Most new computers will boot directly from the CD ROM drive and begin the installation of Windows.

First after going through the step by step Wizards and all the reboots, when you get to the normal desktop, right click My Computer and select Properties > Device Manager. Look in there to ensure there are no yellow circles with exclamation points,r yellow question marks which indicate a problem device driver. Red X’s mean a device has been disabled for some reason. Fix these now or you are will have problems later on.

2) For Windows 95 and 98, go to the Microsoft web site and get Internet Explorer 5.01 – Service Pack 2 (SP2) download and install following the directions. Not 6.0 or 5.5. This is to automate and make it easier to get updates for the operating system and security patches. Once, you have upgraded IE, go to and check for product updates. On Windows 98 and NT4 , get all the ones for Y2K and Customer Service Packs. If you have NT4 – you are strrongly recommended to install the SP6a service pack. This has a number of bug fixes and generally makes NT4 even more reliable. Click the (+) plus sign and read each selection carefully. The other choices you want to select are anything to do with security or networking. Do not worry about updating multimedia, Internet Explorer or drivers. Just the network and security updates. Leave that for later.

3) Download TweakUI from Microsoft. Search for it on the downloads page linked from the Microsoft home page with the keyword powertoys. The version you are looking for is 1.33. Install this and then this becomes a control panel icon. Open the Control Panel > Select TweakUI and go through the various options. The most important are the ones in the explorer tab. Disable anything with Active Desktop. It is vile and a resource hog. You can also speed the menu delay to zero and your sub-menus will snap open instantly.

4) Visual Effects. Do not use anything but a plain desktop (plain gray is the best for for judging color balance in photos). No themes or any other unnecessary cuteness. In folder options disable anything to do with HTML view or web view – use “classic” explorer.

Now your desktop will seem much snappier and it will help speed page redraws with Pagemaker and Photoshop.

5) Find the exact make/model of your video card and find the latest version of your model’s drivers. Install under safe mode and reboot set the resolutions etc. to taste. If you have ATI cards on a Dell, you can try the one’s provided by ATI instead of Dell. Your mileage may vary, but the ATI drivers tend to be refreshed and more up to date. Same goes for Nvidia.

6) Install the latest printer drivers from your vendor’s web site. If it is a postscript printer, there will be a .ppd file with the installation. You will need to put this into the PPD4 subdirectory where you install Pagemaker. This is a description file which tells Pagemaker the postscript capabilities for your printer.

7) Install the Adobe Postscript Driver from their website if you plan to create PDF’s from Pagemaker. This will be a “virtual” printer to work with Distiller.

8) Delete any temp files in \windows\temp. Run scan disk and then defrag to ensure you have a tidy hard drive.

9) If space allows, copy the entire Pagemaker CD ROM to a temp folder on the hard drive. Reboot into safe mode and install under safe mode from the temp directory. Make sure any virus software is disabled before starting the install.

When installing select custom and choose only the printer profiles and color profiles you need. This will speed up the launch time for Pagemaker. I also recommend not installing Quicktime from the 6.5 disk, as this is much older than the current version.

10) Do not load up on fonts. Avoid having than 150 fonts loaded and active at one time when working with Pagemaker. You can use the deluxe version of Adobe Type Manager, Bitstream’s Navigator (sometimes included with some Corel graphics applications) or other font management to create sets which can be activated as needed. The point is not to have hundreds active at one time.

By taking these steps, you have eliminated most of the things which cause problems with the install or Pagemaker itself and greatly enhanced your probability of a clean reliable install.

If you do not have 6.52, get the updates from Adobe’s download area and install. These updates fix a lot problems and there are also updated filters listed there as well.

You can follow the links about Windows 2000 / PM 6.5 for some more specifics about operating systems / hardware and Pagemaker. There is a lot of relevant info about system setup for DTP applications and installations

First Release 28 August 02

Updated 15 February 2020

This Document is offered to the public domain on the understanding that no sale of this information is undertaken by any recipient without authorization. Any reproduction of the information should be complete and entire and provide reference to the author.
The author takes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or misunderstandings. The information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. In no event shall the author of this FAQ or the distributors of this FAQ be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits, or special damages, even if the author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
Adobe, PageMaker, Photoshop, Acrobat and PostScript are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems. All other products mentioned in this file are trademarks of their respective companies.

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