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3D Spotlight : Tweaking : Tweaking your System Memory (Windows 2000 edition)

Tweaking your System Memory
Last Updated on July 18, 2000 by Thomas McGuire - Page 2/9

Hard drive setup (Cont.)

Disable Synchronous Transfers: There are 2 methods of transferring data over SCSI cables, Synchronous & Asynchronous mode. Asynchronous mode transfers use an interlocked handshake method where a device (adapter or drive) cannot do the next data transfer operation until it receives positive acknowledgment that the other device received the last data transfer properly. Synchronous transfer mode permits the sending device to send multiple data packets without receiving acknowledgment that the receiver actually received every data packet sent. As a result, more data can be sent/received before acknowledgement is required. You should only tick this if you are experiencing problems with a hard drive(s), e.g. overlapped requests, as performance is slower when Synchronous Transfers is Disabled. Leave it unticked.

Enable DMA support on your drives. Right click on My Computer, select Properties. Select the Hardware tab, then the Device Manager button. Open IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, then open Primary & Secondary IDE Channel. Select the Advanced settings tab.

For Transfer Mode you should select DMA if available. PIO Only is much slower than DMA transfer rates & the Page File benefits from a faster data transfer rate, assuming the hard drive(s) support it. Click Ok & reboot your system for the changes to take effect. NOTE If you have no other IDE devices on an IDE channel, then selecting None will reduce boot time.

Enable ATA/UDMA 66 support, assuming your hard drive(s) supports it that is. By default in Windows 2000, support for ATA/UDMA66 is disabled (On Intel chipsets at least). Click on Start, Run, type in regedit & hit Enter. Go to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\
. Add a New DWORD value entitled EnableUDMA66 & give it a value of 1 to enable support for UDMA/ATA 66, 0 disables it. This can greatly improve hard drive performance if supported, remember the Page file is located on your hard drive(s) too; the faster the data transfers the faster your Page File is. NOTE This is not the same as enabling DMA support as shown previously.

Memory dumps

Windows 2000, much like previous versions of NT, will dump the contents of memory to Memory.dmp in the event of a Stop, or other fatal error. You can then use this Memory.dmp file for debugging the cause of this error. If this is your sort of thing you'll need to have your Paging File set to (at least) RAM + 12MB for the file to be created.

Personally, I don't find this of much use to myself, nor should it be of much use to most users out there. To edit the Memory dump settings, right click on My Computer, select the Advanced tab, then the Startup and Recovery button. You should concern yourself with the settings under the Write Debugging Information heading.

Depending on the option you select you can have No memory dump, to a Complete memory dump. If you select the Complete Memory Dump option then you will need to have set your Page File to RAM + 12MB or more. With Kernel Memory Dump you may get away with less than this.

I'd personally recommend setting it to (none) unless you are into debugging crashes. Ask you System/Network Administrator for more information if possible.

Why concern yourself with this? Well, if you have your machine setup to write these Memory dumps you need a certain amount of Page File in order to do so, hence it effectively limits what you can do with your Page File settings. If you select Complete Memory Dump then follow the recommended Minimum of RAM + 12MB for the Page File, or use RAM * 1.5. You should also skip the Calculating Paging File size section.

For those of you who selected another Memory dump option you can read the Calculating Paging File size section, which will help you discover more optimal Page File settings.

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