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Tips and Tricks from the PCstats Forums

Tips and Tricks from the PCstats Forums - PCSTATS
Abstract: First we have the tips which which actually won, then we have the tips we think were pretty good runners up.... and finally a few pages of assorted tips from the contest.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: various Aug 09 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > various

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Configure MSDOS.SYS for faster bootups:

Find the msdos.sys file, usually in your main C:\ folder (it may be hidden). Open the file in any text editor. You will notice blocks of text underneath words in brackets. Look for the one that says [Options].

Add the following lines anywhere under that heading if they apply to you:

logo=0

This setting simply tells the computer whether or not to display the Windows logo while it loads programs in the background from the
command line! Disabling this will slightly increase the startup speed.

disablelog=1

This setting will tell the computer not to create a log file when your system starts. This will slightly decrease the amount of time it takes for your computer to boot. Note, only do this if you do not want or need a log file created when you boot! Most people have never used one anywase I suppose!

Configure SYSTEM.INI for better performance:

Find the system.ini file, usually in your main windows folder. Open the file in any text editor. You will notice blocks of text underneath words in brackets. Look for the one that says [386Enh].

Add the following lines anywhere under that heading if they apply to you:

ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1

If you are running Win98, this setting will force the computer to use the swap file in a more conservative way, like Windows 95 does. If you are running WinMe, this setting will tell Windows not to use the swapfile at all until all of the RAM is used. After all of the RAM is used, the computer will push off the most infrequently used data to the swap file. Note, this setting will have little or no effect if you are running Win95.

DMABufferSize=64

This setting will tell the computer to reserve a buffer in system memory for DMA. If you are using any DMA enabled pieces of hardware on your system at all, then you should set this equal to 64 Kb.

MSCONFIG:

This tip can help your computer bootup faster and can even help reduce the "lagginess" of your operating system. However, I believe it only works in windows 98 and above, but I could be wrong. In Windows, click the Start button, goto Run, and type msconfig. Hit Enter, and a small window should pop-up. Click on the Startup tab. You will then see a long list of programs which will startup and run in the "background" while your computer is on. If you have alot of these programs running, it can reduce system performance. Items with a check mark in their corresponding box will turn on when your system boots up, items not checked will not (duh). Some of the programs you see here should be allowed to run, such as the registry scanner, the system tray, and any real-time virus scanners. If you see anything that you don't really think you need, try turning it off. You can always turn it back on again later. On my system, for example, I turned off my Realplayer and Quicktime programs because I didn't really need them, and I can still run them through the start menu anyways.

Incrase File System Performance:

Here are two tips to increase your computer's File System:

1 ) The file system is basically how Windows configures your computer to store recently used files and directories. Different types of computers e.g. laptops, servers etc. have different needs. To change your file system, right-click the My Computer icon and go to properties. Go to the Performance tab and click the File System button.

It says: Typical role of this computer. I have found that I get the best performance and resources from my computer by setting this to network server. I don't know what the best setting for your computer will be, but just adjust this until you are happy. I have also set Read-ahead optimization to Full. You will need to reboot your computer after changing any of these settings.

2 ) In the Device Manager, go to the settings your Hard Drives and CD ROMs. If any of them will allow a DMA box to be checked, you can try it. I've seen it decrease my CPU utilization.

Too many files open:

The kernel's out of file handles. Go to /proc/sys/kernel and look at
"file-max" as compared to "file-nr" as well as "inode-max" compared to
"inode-nr". I think "nr" is the number currently in use... but I could
swear I've seen it go higher than "max".

Anyway, the solution is just to put larger numbers in the "max" files. In
my /etc/init.d, I've got a file called "setmaxfiles.sh" that contains:

echo "4096" > /proc/sys/kernel/file-max
echo "12288" > /proc/sys/kernel/inode-max

Then, I made a symlink to it from /etc/rcS.d/S37setmaxfiles.sh so that it
will update the kernel structures every time it boots (as it goes through
single-user mode).

Fast URL Entry:

Hey, don't bother typing in the "www." and the ".com" anymore in IE, just type in the main body of the address and then hit Ctrl + Enter!

Excel Tips:

Here are two tips to help you manage your data in Microsoft Excel.

Sometimes when you import data, multiple data points are entered in a
single cell. To separate the data points so they are sorted into
separate cells, perform the following steps:
1. Select the cells you want to format.
2. Click on the Data menu.
3. Select Text to columns. A Wizard will run. Follow the Wizard to
properly format your data.

Once your data is formatted, you can sort it. To perform a sort:
1. Select the cells you want to sort.
2. Click on the Data menu.
3. Select Sort. Chose the cell you want to sort by, and the order.

Word Tips:

The easiest way to open new documents in Word, with your own custom settings, is to create a template design. A template design will allow you to get to work faster on those documents you regularly use, without wasting time with simple formatting issues. Follow one of these two methods to learn how to create a template design.


Method No. 1


Open Word.
Hit CTRL + N (or File > New).
On the pop-up window, mark the Template box under 'Create New.'
Hit OK.
This is your new template design, and anything you do to it will always be the same every time you use it.
Finally, save (CTRL + S) the template.
Name the template and hit OK.

Method No. 2


Open a blank document.
Set all format requirements as you normally would before you start working.
Hit CTRL + S (or File>Save).
Choose Document Template next to the 'Save as type' feature.
Name the Template and hit OK when finished.

There is only one thing to remember when you go to use the new template you just created: You must hit CTRL + N (or File > New) in order to prompt the window that gives you the different template options available in Word. If you hit the Blank Paper button thinking you'll get yourself a template page, you're out of luck.

Snapshot in Windows:

Have you ever wanted to take screenshots of your windows desktop, or whatever happens to be open? Well it's very simple! All you have to do is press the "Print Scrn" button on your keyboard and then paste it in MSPaint or whatever program you prefer by pressing Ctrl+V and them simply save the file.

So... now you might be going ... "Well I don't need all this other junk in the screenshot, just the active window that is open." Well that can be done too. Just click on the window which you want to take the screenshot of and press "Alt+Print Scrn" then simply paste it in your favourite application.

Faster Win9x boots:

When Windows 95/98 loads, it loads every application whose shortcut you've placed in the StartUp folder. Sometime, however, you might not want all these applications to load, but you do want them to load the next time you boot up your system. In that case, tell Windows to avoid loading them during that startup only. When you see the Windows logo on-screen, hold down Shift until the operating system finishes loading, and then let go. Those StartUp applications are nowhere to be found!

Faster Shared Window Views:

This is a great tweak.
Before I found it, I was always smashing my head against the table waiting to view shares on other computers. Basically, when you connect to another computer with Windows XP, it checks for any Scheduled tasks on that computer - a fairly useless task, but one that can add up to 30 seconds of waiting on the other end - not good!
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to disable this process. First, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace in the Registry.
Below that, there should be a key called {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}. Just delete this, and after a restart, Windows will no longer check for scheduled tasks - mucho performance improvement!

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Contents of Article: various
 Pg 1.  Tips and Tricks from the PCstats Forums
 Pg 2.  Good Overall Tips
 Pg 3.  Win9X/ME/2k/XP Tips
 Pg 4.  Everything else
 Pg 5.  more.....
 Pg 6.  more.....
 Pg 7.  — more.....
 Pg 8.  more.....

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