Excel turn off screenupdating
For Win NT 4.0 you can get DKLITE (Executive Software) disk defragmentation for Win NT 4.0 (build 1381) free [ charge for non-network use). Results of running Diskeeper Lite (Free Version) after running over 24 hours: Diskeeper has completed a defragmentation run on this volume and there remain 22 fragmented files and/or directories and 99 excess fragments. A format in this case means each combination of font characteristics. Font type, font size, font color, interior color, bold, underline, pattern, number format, height, width, etc. Eliminating unused custom cell formats might also help.
Documentation: NT 4.0 does not come with a defragmenter. (There were 1339 excess fragments before the defragmentation run, and now there are 92% less.) -- Picture of diskeeperlite result 78KB -- still looks like a mess. The practical limit may be about 3K rather than 4K mentioned in Q213904 -- XL Err Msg: "Too Many Different Cell Formats".
And to think I massacred a bunch of newsgroups to gain a few MB of storage here and there, but if I really needed them I suppose I wouldn’t have deleted those newsgroups.
With a lot of stored file content and even though I had over 20GB free on my harddrive and 7GB for internet file, I could not view the source, or get into Front Page from IE except by deleting all temporary internet files "each" time I wanted to view the source. Defragmenter, with Win98 you get a defragmenter, with Win NT you will have to install one.
The journaling feature of Outlook logs many actions taking time from Excel, and eventually, the journal files become quite large, and performance is slowed.
The general recommendation in the Excel groups (and MS KB Q167081) is to turn journaling off.
So suggest also deleting the stored files occasionally to make sure that you are not storing documents you don’t want.
A bad HP print driver install caused intermitent print problems and following an uninstall that had mapped but not removed a z: drive.
The non existant z: drive left behind interferred with Save As process in ANY Office Application (like in Excel 2003) reported by Huvants Tuneau in email 2005-04-06.
Unwanted Task Pane comes up on right side when trying create a new file (#taskpane) There is a Registry change that did not work for me (Ron de Bruin, misc, 2003-06-17).
Alternately Dave Peterson has four macros involved in adding another entry to the file menu to bring up the old menu (misc, 2004-07-14) Changes to later windows systems, and later Excel versions is invariably going to have much higher memory requirements, from others sounds like you should have 512MB RAM and turn off features.