Speed Tricks2

File System:

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.


Graphics Tips:

If you want to get the best out of your graphics card, right-click the My Computer icon and go to properties. Go to the Performance tab and click on the Graphics button. If you'd like your graphics card to perform at its best, put the slider at Full. If you are having problems with your computer graphics or your computer crashes when playing games, try moving the slider more to the left.

You might also be able to enhance your graphics by right-clicking an empty part of your desktop (wallpaper) and clicking properties. This will bring up the Display Properties window. Go to the settings tab where you can change the resolution of your screen, and the number of colours that your computer displays. 32 bit is the best. You might also be able to click on Advanced... to finetune your graphics further. Just flick through the various tabs and see what is there. If you need help, just e-mail me! The options contained in these windows can vastly improve your graphics performance (if set correctly of course). 

If your computer has DirectX, a component that enhances your graphics especially in games, you might wish to run the DirectX diagnostic tool. To do this, go to start>run and type "dxdiag". There are a number of tests and tweaks in this program.

One of the best things that you can do to improve your graphics (besides upgrading your card, of course!) is to upgrade the driver for your card. Visit the manufacturer's website and download the latest driver to get the best out of your graphics card. Downloading the latest DirectX is also recommended. But try not to download any "Beta" versions of drivers. These are used by the manufacturers for ironing out bugs.


Temporary Files:

Temporary files are files which Windows puts on your computer for a certain task or as backups. However, when that task is over, Windows often does not delete the temporary files.

Temporary Internet files are all the webpages and images that you have visited on the Internet. These can easily accumulate, and can soon take up as much as 70MB and more in hard drive space! Temporary Internet files are supposed to speed up your Internet, but they can eventually slow it down too, because Windows is spending more time looking for the file than it would take to download it again.

Temporary Internet files can be deleted in Internet Explorer by going to tools>Internet options. Under the General tab there is a button which says "Delete files...". If you wish to clean out your entire cache, click ok when prompted. If you wish to delete your offline content as well, check the box that says "Delete all offline content". If you have Internet Explorer 6.0, the latest version, there is also an option to "Delete Cookies". It is a good idea to delete them every now and again or they can pose a security risk.

Ordinary temporary files are found in the c:\windows\temp directory. I delete these files about once a week, and I have never yet had a problem with deleting something I shouldn't have. If you prefer to err on the side of caution however, you can send them to the Recycle Bin and leave them there for a week. If there are no problems after a week, you can safely delete them (you hope).



Firstly, the link above is finally the correct one! Sorry about the old link, which went out of operation.

This is a great program that I found on the Internet. One of the things that this program has is a registry healer. A registry healer is a program that scans your registry for invalid entries and then deletes them if you want to. This is really great, and I found over 600 invalid entries on my first scan!! However, I advise you to first back up your registry before you start fiddling with this program. I haven't ever had a problem with it though.

Take great care when using some of the features, such as the unnecessary file finder. Delete files with extreme caution. Remember, if in doubt, don't delete! It's not likely to kill you or your hard drive if you don't delete a 50KB file "unnecessary file". If you do delete it however, it may be catastrophic...

Make sure that it is set so that the deleted files go into the Recycle Bin. That way if you do delete something important, it doesn't matter so much.

I found that this program greatly improved the speed of my computer, and the number of hours that I could leave it on without having to reboot.



Windows uses 3 types of resources: User, system and GDI. If you wish to view these resources, you can go to start>programs>accessories>system tools>Resource Meter. A message might pop up explaining how this program works. Just click ok and tell it not to show it to you again.

You should now see in your systray (area in the bottom right of your toolbar next to the time) a little beaker. If you double-click the icon, or hover your mouse over it, it will tell you what percentage of each of the resources you have left.

Since I tweaked my virtual memory, my resources have greatly improved. Defragmenting regularly also helps.

Contrary to popular belief, RAM and resources are two separate and different things. You can increase RAM, by getting a RAM recovering program, but your resources will remain the same. You can't really increase the resources, because they eventually just drain from programs that do not return resources. 

Well-written programs give back most of or all your resources, but unfortunately some badly written ones do not. Closing all your programs retrieves resources, but very rarely do you get back all the resources you started with! Due to this, resources go lower and lower and cannot be retrieved without restarting. My semi-reboot trick in the Secrets page manages to retrieve quite a bit of resources, however.



There are a number of things  to do with how you display your menus, icons etc. that can slow down your performance. First of all is the "active desktop". This was a feature added in Windows 98 to make your desktop act like a website. You could even add in animated images and web content to your desktop. However "nice" this may be, it is a resource hog and it slows down your computer (not to mention consuming memory for your graphics card that could be better used).

To turn off the active desktop, right-click anywhere on the desktop except on an icon, and move your mouse to the top option, Active Desktop. Then in the sub-menu, make sure that view as website is unchecked (not ticked).

Next, we will rid the computer of some "eye-candy" stuff that doesn't make any difference to the look of the computer, but makes it run much quicker.

Right-click anywhere on the desktop except on an icon, and select properties. Select the effects tab. I only have "show icons using all possible colors" selected because in my opinion that is the only option that makes a considerable improvement to the looks of your computer, without compromising speed. Here are the other options and what they do:

1. Use large icons: Rather than large, they should have said "Gigantic". These icons are really huge! This feature is useful if you've got very bad eyesight. I don't think that it affects performance very much, but the average user won't want this enable anyway.

2. Show icons using all possible colors: Makes your icons look far more interesting, and it doesn't slow down the computer much. Only disable if really desperate for speed!

3. Animate windows, menus and lists: This "feature" causes windows and menus and lists to slide down, rather than jump down, however, this seems to use resources more, and it slows down your computer anyway. Who needs to see sliding windows?? You just want to see them instantly (well, I do anyway!).

4. Smooth edges of screen fonts: This makes your fonts look quite a lot smoother. You will not instantly see a difference, even if you ok it, but if you minimize a window with text in it, then maximize it again, you will see the difference! It took me a while to realize that this is why I couldn't notice any difference at first. After you have closed (or minimized) all your windows and re-opened (or maximized) them, you will notice the difference.

5. Show window contents while dragging. This is useful, but not essential. It forces your graphics card to redraw the window for every single pixel that you move it. This slows things down quite a bit, and uses up resources and RAM. I prefer just seeing the window outline when dragging, but that's just my personal preferance.


CacheMan :

This is an excellent program that will optimize your computer's various caches to make your computer run faster, more efficiently and more stable than ever! I've also noticed, since I set the VFAT Contiguous Allocation Size under Miscellaneous caches, my hard drive is hardly fragmenting at all! 

I only defrag once every 1-2 weeks, after heavy use, and I find that defragging takes under 10 minutes!! This is very quick for me, and it proves that the program is working. Another thing, although it may be related to my recently formatting my hard drive, but my system is very stable over weekends, and I get excellent resources :) 

This program also has the best RAM recovery utility that I have ever used. There are many extra tweaks in this program that make it well worth getting!

Optimize Windows Folders

This trick will help you if you are finding that your folders in My Computer are running rather sluggishly.

The strangest thing happened to me the other day, and as I was about to go berserk and format my hard drive, I found the solution. Basically, the problem was that suddenly my folders had gone extremely slow. What I mean by this, is that every time I opened up a folder in a folder, or went up a level, my computer was taking progressively longer to do so. Eventually it was taking me about 20-30 seconds just to open a folder, or to go up a level! Rebooting the computer helped to get it back to normal, but before long it would once again get slower and slower.

The problem was a real odd one, and the solution is also rather vague and unhelpful, but it works. First you need to have TweakUI (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsme/guide/tweakui.exe). Navigate to the Repair tab, click the dropdown menu and select Repair System Files. You will have to reboot before it takes effect, but you can really notice the difference in speed. My folders once again open instantly!

Upgrade Motherboard Chipset Drivers

NB: This section is recommended only for relatively advanced users, and potentially can render your computer unusable if not correctly done.

A little while back, I never even knew that motherboards had drivers at all! I used whatever had come with my machine, and that was that. However, I can honestly say that the difference in speed, especially in games, between my original chipset drivers and my new ones, is the difference between the game hardly running at all at all, or running superbly!

Please note that the maker of your motherboard and the maker of your chipset are two different things. E.g. I have a Gigabyte motherboard, but my chipset is VIA. You can find out your make of chipset if you still have the box your motherboard came in, or you can get Sisoft Sandra, which will tell you things about your computer that you never knew!

NB: Please ensure that you find correctly identify your chipset. Installing the drivers for the wrong chipset potentially can render your computer unusable!

When you have discovered your make of chipset, you then must find the manufacturer's website. If you have a VIA chipset, like I do, you can go to http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=2 and download the latest driver if you are running a new Operating System, or get the 4.35 version if you are running Windows 95, 98 or 98SE.

If you have an Intel or SiS driver, I'm afraid you'll have to look around to find the page for downloading the drivers. Make sure you download the correct drivers for your version of the chipset! If you have a VIA chipset, the drivers work for all versions of the chipset.

Now just run the driver installation program, and voila! Your computer should be more stable, much faster in games, and you should be really happy.

By fiddling around with different versions of the drivers you may find that some work better than others. It's all about experimenting for your machine. VIA have a forum where you can ask questions or solve problems if you have any.

Your computer should now be fully optimized and running quickly and efficiently!

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