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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   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > various

Win9X/ME/2k/XP Tips

Make Win9x/ME use your Physical Memory:

Add the following line to the [386Enh] section of the SYSTEM.INI file: ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1. This forces Windows to use up all the physical memory before turning to theswapfile.

Fix Win9x/ME Driver Bug:

Windows '9x / ME does not install some vxd files in your system directory by default, adding them manually has proven to help for a healthy setup with less crashes. To resolve 20 to 50% of the system errors in any Win9x build, extract these vxd files manually from cab 47 and 48 into c\windows\system\vmm32 and c:\windows\system\ The following files should be extracted: vcomm.vxd, vdmad.vxd, configmg.vxd, vdd.vxd, vmouse.vxd, ntkern.vxd, vflatd.vxd. Extract these files and reboot. Your system will love you for it. Note: In Windows 98SE, the files are located in CABs 53 and 54.

Boost HDD Performance:

Often I hear my friends complaining about slow hard drives. Yesterday one of my classmates asked me how to boost the performance of his new harddrive. I told him about a simple and very easy tweak, that would significantly increase the performance of his hard drive.

Win9x sets DMA to OFF by default. You have to switch it on. In theory, enabling DMA increases UDMA Hard Disk access to 33.3 MB/sec. In practice, speed will increase substantially from the old standard of 16MB/sec. Furthermore, DMA uses only 25% of CPU resources compared to 40% normally. Nearly all 5400rpm/7200rpm, and some lower speed, drives, support DMA.

Now I'll tell you about it. Ready ?

Right-click on "my computer". Now click on "properties". Now search for "devide manager" and click properties of your hard drive. It should have an option called "DMA". By enabling this, your hard drive should show an increase in performance. Also, this method can increase the transfer rate of your CD-ROM or CD-Writer, possibly eliminating those under buffer run errors.

Again, an easy tweak which could improve you hard drive's performance

Win2k/XP L2 Cache Tweak:

First open up Registry Editor go to this location...
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE->System->CurrentControlSet->Session Manager->Memory Management. In there find SecondLevelDataCache. There enter the size of your cache in decimals. So if you have a Athlon because the size of L2 cache is 256KB, enter 256. For a Duron, enter 64 for 64KB.

Disable Paging Executive
In normal usage, XP pages sections from RAM memory to the hard drive. We can stop this happening and keep the data in RAM, resulting in improved performance. Note that only users with a large amount of RAM (256MB+) should use this setting. The setting we want to change to disable the ’Paging Executive’, as it is called, is called DisablePagingExecutive. Changing the value of this key from 0 to 1 will de-activate memory paging.

System Cache Boost
Changing the value of the key LargeSystemCache from 0 to 1 will tell Windows XP to allocate all but 4MB of system memory to the file system cache, basically meaning that the XP Kernel can run in memory, greatly improving it’s speed. The 4MB of memory left is used for disk caching, but if for any reason more is needed, XP allocates more. Generally, this tweak improves performance by a fair bit but can, in some intensive applications, degrade performance. As with the above tweak, you should have at least 256MB of RAM before attempting to enable LargeSystemCache.

Input/Output Performance
This tweak is only really valuable to anyone running a server - it improves performance while a computer is performing large file transfer operations. By default, the value does not appear in the registry, so you will have to create a REG_DWORD value called IOPageLockLimit. The data for this value is in bytes, and defaults to 512KB on machines that have the value. Most people using this tweak have found maximum performance in the 8 to 16 megabyte range, so you will have to play around with the value to find the best performance. Remeber that the value is measured in bytes, so if you want, say, 12MB allocated, it’s 12 * 1024 * 1024, or 12582912. As with all these memory tweaks, you should only use this if you have 256MB or more of RAM.Win2k/XP Shutdown Fix:First of all open RegEdit, if you dont know how do do this its simple Go to Start,
click on Run (should be in the bottom right hand side) and type Regedit.

Navigate your way to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then ---> SYSTEM then --->CurrentControlSet then --->Control
Click on control and in the right window you will see this key WaitToKillServiceTimeout

It should be set to 20000, what this means i do not know, but lower it to 200, i did this safely with no problems.Make XP Browsing faster:This make broswing a lot faster, but if you use scheduled tasks, don't do this, Open up the Registry and go to :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace

Under that branch, select the key :


and delete it.

Get back Bandwidth in XP:

The following tweak applies only to Windows XP Professional edition.

The default system behavior is that all 100% bandwidth is available, however, if there is a running application that indicates to the OS it needs to send high priority/real time data, then as long as it has the socket open, Windows XP will restrict “best effort” traffic to 80% of the bandwidth so that high priority traffic can be accommodated. Basically, applications can make this request to the operating system for QoS support using the QoS application programming interfaces (APIs) in Windows and this only applies if a specific app is requesting QoS.

If you'd like to change how much bandwidth is reserved for QoS (the default is 20% of the total bandwidth), do the following:

1. Make sure you're logged in as "Administrator" (not just any account with admin privileges).
2. Navigate to START>Run and type: gpedit.msc
3. Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Network > QOS Packet Scheduler
4. In the right window, double-click the limit reservable bandwidth setting
5. On the setting tab, check the enabled setting.
6. Where it says "Bandwidth limit %", change it to read 0 (or whatever percentage you want to reserve for high priority QoS data)
7. Click OK, close gpedit.msc

Under START > My Computer > My Network Connections > View Network Connections, right-click on your connection and under Properties (where it lists your protocols), make sure QOS Packet Scheduler is enabled.

You need to reboot for changes to take effect.

Remove Dummy programs in Add/Remove Programs in Win2k:

On occasion, you'll find that an application listed in Add/Remove Programs even after you've uninstalled it from your computer. You can remove such applications from Add/Remove Programs by editing your computer's registry. Begin by running Registry Editor and accessing the key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstall".

You'll find keys listed below the Uninstall key that correspond to the applications you see listed in Add/Remove Programs. You remove an application from this list by selecting its key in Registry Editor and then deleting it.

Change the Logon Message in Windows XP:

Start regedit.


In the key LegalNoticeCaption enter the Title you want to give the window.

In the key LegalNoticeText enter whatever message you want to display at logon.
Close regedit. restart your computer.

Removing Menu Delay:

To remove any delay from menus sliding out. use regedit The key to change this is located in HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop. The actual key is called MenuShowDelay - all you have to do is change the value to 0. and re-boot your computer.

Stop Windows Explorer from expanding the folder tree:

Tired of Windows XP Explorer's hard-drive tree be expanded by default?

Right click on Windows XP Explorer and select "properties" then select the "shortcut" tab.

Change the target line to this (cut and paste):

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n,/e,C:\,/select

Nice and easy. Now your hard-drive tree should be collapsed and easier to navigate

Repair Windows XP:

Have sfc check the system files by running the command sfc /scannow from the Command Window (Start > Run). Put XP disk in, click on exit when it comes up on screen, leave disk in, type in run box off Start sfc /scannow and click OK. (Space between c and /)

This is actually not a tweak, but we think it deserves a look at...

About these tips:

I've actually used most of the tweaks above for my home system and they really did boost my system performance quite a bit. If your computer has become a bit sluggish with the newer applications perhaps one of the tweaks above can breath new life into your rig.

We really have to thank all those who took part in the contest we got a lot of valuable tips that will surely help out in our system performance!

If there's a killer tweak that we missed that you know about, please feel free to drop by our forums and let us know! I and the rest of the members would surely appreciate it, we all love getting free performance! =)

An Archive of the Remaining Tips:

On the next few pages are many of the other tweaks which were posted in the Forums. These tweaks and tips are completely untested by us, but we have made an effort to remove the ones that are blatantly wrong. They are included here as an archive of the contest entries and so that you can browse through them, maybe get an idea about how to tweak a certain parts of your system, or perhaps what direction to look toward if you are experiencing similar issues. The same disclaimer applies to these untested tweaks.

DISCLAIMER!!! We have not tested all the tweaks listed in this article and some of them may in fact degrade your system performance or render your OS inoperable. We will not be held responsible for what happens to your operating system/computer if you apply these tweaks. Use at your own risk.

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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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