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  Windows XP Memory Tweak Guide

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BIOS Settings

By default most BIOS settings are configured for compatibility over performance. As such, it’s worth checking your BIOS settings to determine whether any options can be altered to allow for improved performance. In particular RAM settings: latency timings, as well as Hard Drive related, e.g. ATA Transfer mode) without adversely affecting system stability. BIOS options vary greatly depending on the age of the motherboard, the manufacturer and chipset; options may also be added or removed depending on the BIOS revision used. As such I’d recommend checking the Definitive BIOS Optimization Guide (or skip right to the Free version) for optimal setup tips: the Memory Subsystem section alone covers 70 options!

 

Memory Dump Options

Before adjusting the Page File size you’ll need to check Memory Dump options as they affect exactly what you can do with the Page File and its size. Open System Properties, select the Advanced tab, then the Startup and Recovery Settings button.

Note – For the purpose of the guide we’re only interested in the Write debugging information option.

Write debugging information. This drop-down menu specifies the data to be dumped (useful for troubleshooting purposes) in the event of a STOP error occurring, 4 options are available:

(none). Selecting this option specifies that no data is dumped. This places no limitations on Page File configuration, although makes it more difficult to diagnose the source of system crashes in the event they occur.

Small memory dump (64KB). Selecting this option dumps minimal system information for troubleshooting purposes when a STOP error occurs. This requires a Page File of 2MB or greater located on the Boot volume, i.e. the Drive XP is installed. This option is recommended as it makes it easier to diagnose the source of system crashes in the event they occur e.g. Forum users can post their minidumps for others to examine or yourself by using Microsoft Debugging Tools WinDbg (Thanks Shiv).

Kernel memory dump. Selecting this option dumps kernel memory for troubleshooting purposes when a STOP error occurs (This provides more detailed information than Small memory dump). This requires a Page File of 50-800MB located on the Boot volume.

Complete memory dump. Selecting this option dumps the entire contents of system memory for troubleshooting purposes when a STOP error occurs (This provides the most detailed records of the system state when the STOP error occurred). This requires a Page File of RAM + 1MB on the boot volume.

Click Ok when you’ve made your choice, and restart the PC for the changes to be applied.



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