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3D Spotlight : Tweaking : Tweaking your System Memory (Win 98 & Millennium edition)

Tweaking your System Memory
Last Updated on September 26, 2000 by Thomas McGuire - Page 2/8

Hard drive setup

As you may know, the Swapfile exists on your hard drive, which is much slower than using RAM. So speeding up your hard drive can improve Swapfile performance a lot. Although more RAM is highly recommended, having a faster hard drive will suffice. First off run Scandisk to fix any errors on the hard drive.

System Properties contains some important settings which can be used to improve hard drive performance, or simply for troubleshooting purposes.

Right click on My Computer, select Properties. Select the Performance tab. Now hit the File system button. Go to the Troubleshooting tab. Some of these definitions were obtained via the MS Knowledge Base, although only the important ones are covered here.

Disable new file sharing & locking semantics. This setting controls file-locking mechanisms in Windows. Tick (Disabled) this setting if you are currently experiencing problems with some programs, although this should be seen as a last resort, your system will perform optimally with this setting Unticked (Enabled).

Disable synchronous buffer commits. This setting manages the function calls to the File-Commit API to return immediately without checking to see if the data was correctly written to the drive. By default, Windows uses synchronous buffer commits. You can change this setting to enable asynchronous buffer commits for programs that may need this functionality.

Disable write-behind caching for all drives. When enabled (Unticked), your computer sends an enable-write-cache command to the hard disk activating the hard disk write-back cache, & if you disable (Tick) this feature, the hard disk write-back cache is deactivated. When enabled disk I/O performance may improve, although if you experience system failure e.g. Power loss, you could experience drive/file corruption. I'd recommend leaving this Unticked unless your system is prone to bad shutdowns/power failure.

Disable System Restore (Windows Millennium only). Ticking this setting will semi-disable Windows Millenniumís system restore capability. I say semi as it still replaces/rebuilds some files, e.g. autoexec.bat. Although the benefit of Ticking this setting is that it will lessen the amount of hard drive accessing caused by System Restore. Leave this setting Unticked to fully-enable System Restore features. This may reduce system performance slightly as a result of the extra hard drive usage.


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