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In Top 24 Tweaks

Top 24 Speed Tweaks #1

Top 24 Speed Tweaks #2

Get a 20% - 100% speedup boost (part 2)

Many of these speed tweaks will take a little longer than those in the previous Page. Nevertheless they are important for your computer optimization.

Full explanations, and many more speed tweaks to increase computer performance, are in the Sections (see Menu).

Defrag       Drivers       Updates
Virtual Mem       HD Setup       Modems
DUN13 12       Phone cable       Overclocking
BIOS       PC Speeds

If your computer has suddenly started to underperform, you should go to Cure Sudden or Progressive Computer Slowing >>


Defragment OFTEN and use the FULL option. Most files you use from the Hard Disk are continuously and progressively fragmented every time you use the computer - parts are splattered in different areas all over the disk.

Accessing all these pieces slows performance. Defragmenting puts them back in neat sequential order for greater efficiency. It also reduces the risk of corrupted or lost data.

Defrag is in Start • Programs • Accessories • System Tools • DiskDefragmenter

Just 3% fragmentation of a Hard Disk may seem insignificant. That 3% may, however, represent most of the files you use regularly.

Ignore Windows. Do a full defragmentation once monthly or weekly. If permitted by your own Defragger, put frequently altered files towards the end of the disk (to minimize fragmentation) and put commonly accessed files towards the start (for faster access).

Use the much faster Win Me Defrag utility in Win98/SE. Download (freeware, 98 KB) which contains Me's Defrag plus installation instructions.

Scandisk is slow and tedious, so set 'Automatically fix errors' ON, and use 'Standard' scan for one drive each month. Use 'Thorough' scan on need (possibly overnight!).

Ensuring adequate free memory will reduce fragmentation, and increase speed.

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COMPUTER-ROLE        Intermediate / Read Moretweaks / ROLE

Server-Role is faster than Computer-Role

Change the Role from Desktop to Server if you have 24MB of RAM (or more).

This will optimize the File System which is quite small for Desktop Role.

Right-click My Computer and then select:
Properties • Performance • File System • Hard Disk

Enable Network server, even though you have a normal desktop PC

Your overall operation as a stand-alone 'Desktop' PC is not affected

If you have the original Windows 95, or 95a (OSR1), you MUST APPLY a Registry bug-fix before making this change. ( Read Role in Moretweaks / video )

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These are 4KB buffers that store frequently repeated data in main memory for faster access when next required.

Obviously a larger memory buffer storage area will enhance by alleviating the need to (frequently) access the slow Hard Disk.

Backup System.ini

• Use Notepad to view system.ini
• locate the [386Enh] section, and change (or edit in)


Use values of 4, 8, 16, 32, possibly 64.
The default is 4 which represents 4 x 4KB

Using a value of 32 would allocate 128KB (0.128MB)

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32-bit versus 16-bit drivers:
Win98/95 is designed to work best with 32-bit drivers. The speed at which information travels between your PC and its various peripherals greatly affects overall system performance. If a device has an out-of-date driver, it may be running in real mode (another name for 16-bit or Windows 3.x mode). This will result in a sluggish system.

Select Control Panel • System • Properties • Performance, and look for the words Your System Is Configured for Optimal Performance. That's OK.

However . . .
1. If you see a different message such as Some Drives Are Using MS-DOS . . . , then you have a serious problem; your PC's performance is slower than necessary because it sometimes uses 16-bit code. Look for 32-bit replacement drivers immediately. You will be delighted with the improved performance.
2. ADVANCED USERS: Now switch over to Device Manager • Hard Disk Controllers. If you see yellow exclamation marks, you may have a quite common Windows 9x problem. You need to force Windows to use its native 32-bit drivers for disk access. Run Regedit; use Find to locate the Key called NoIDE. If NoIDE is present, use Export to save that Registry part, and now right-click on NoIDE key and Delete it. Reboot. You should see an immediate, dramatic improvement in disk performance.

[Soon]         Get the latest device drivers for all your peripherals - especially for the Video card.
Newer drivers nearly always have improved performance, greater compatibility, more functionality, and bug-fixes. Vendors regularly release new, free, versions of drivers.

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Windows UPDs are important, if not essential
Get the main Windows UPDs, especially the Service release(s).
You may want the Security fixes for the Net - this includes Windows 98 and IE 4/5

• OR use the online findDownload Wizard at Microsoft's site (registration is required)

Drivers updates are essential - it's worth repeating!

Always update the software file(s) that comes with your hardware.

Video is vital.

Newer drivers are faster, are safer, have greater compatibility, have more functionality, and have less bugs. Advanced users should go directly to the chipset developer, others to the supplier's Web site.

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VM - placement

If you have Windows 95 and less than 48MB, or Windows 98 and less than 64MB of RAM, then try to:

• Keep VM away from the Windows disk/partition,
• and away from the partition holding commonly used software

• Put VM on a fast drive
• and give VM its own small partition

• Place VM as the first item on the disk for faster access
• and mark VM as an immovable file

If you have buckets of free RAM then these are of lesser significance as VM would rarely be used - the ideal situation, perhaps!

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HARD DISK configuration        Read HD SETUP

The manner in which the hard drive(s), and other hardware, are physically installed can often have a dramatic effect on performance.

Try adhering to these principles:

• Keep similar drives on the same cable
• Do not put a slow item (e.g. CD-ROM) on a cable with a fast Hard Drive
• Keep the most important software (the OS) on the fastest Hard Drive
• Set the most important Hard Disk Drive as Master
• If you have BUS Mastering capability, then make sure you have the driver, have it enabled (use Device Manager), and NOT enabled for non-capable devices. Or don't bother with it.

• Put Windows 95/98 on the fastest drive
• Give Windows 95/98 its own partition (allow plenty of free space)
• Put VM & caches on their own partitions and drive
• Keep important software, and backups, away from the Windows drive
• Use the slowest Hard Drive for real storage and for software not speed dependent
• Ensure all components are correctly installed with no conflicts (Device Manager)

Unfortunately much of the above will apply only when you are recontructing your entire system.

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MODEM 4 - UPDATES     Read Modem / DUN12 & 13 • Winsock2

Install these updated and improved Microsoft 'Net' files (no registration required)

95 It is best to install them in this order:
  1) get UnimodemV 467KB [reboot]
  2) get DUN12b 964KB [do not reboot] - this also contains a new Winsock (wsockupd.exe)
  3)  Now install the new wsockupd from _:\Windows\Msdun\, [now reboot]
  4) get Winsock2, 1.4MB [reboot]

• Remember to install the wsockupd.exe before you run DUN12 for the first time
• Now check ALL the settings in Dial-up Networking, Networks, and Modems.

If you prefer, you can try the newer DUN13 (instead of DUN12) and then set packet size to 'small' in Control Panel • Network • Dial-up Adapter (hopefully you will not need the MTUSpeed utility to alter the MTU).

98 Windows 98 already has the above updates (DUN13 and Winsock2)
  1) getDUN14 is the latest Dial-Up Networking - for Windows 98/SE only


That home phone cable can be the cause of line noise and poor signals resulting in slow downloads and even disconnections. Try using these principles:

1. Take the shortest practical route - very long cables deteriorate signals.
2. Avoid crossing (or near) any high-powered electrical, magnetic, or fluorescent item (& its cables). Avoid physical damage.

3. Ensure there are no loops anywhere in the cable.
4. Use a new single continuous wire with just one connector

5. Use phone-specific cable - a thin solid-core wire / high conductivity / low resistance
6. Hardwire the new cable into the main home phone box - make a good connection

7. Connect the other end to a (new) phone connector box - the sole connection.
8. Prevent the Serial cable looping around the PC's electrical cables

9. Finally, for external modems, use the correct Serial Cable (original, or a new one).

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OVERCLOCKING Hardware       Read Overclock MENU


Advanced users can Overclock, or 'tweak', the CPU, Motherboard BUS, Graphics card, BIOS, and main memory. They can safely achieve a substantial overall system speed improvement of about 5 - 25% (and perhaps more).

Overclocking the CPU & BUS works but is safe only in competent hands. Four, of many, prime ingredients are full research, extreme caution, control of heat, and prior backup of important data.

There are NO GUARANTEES with Overclocking. Overclocking is best left to those who are prepared to risk the loss of files and have a spare CPU (and graphc card, and .... ).

Worthwhile system Overclocking requires moderate overclocking of both the motherboard BUS (first) and the CPU (second). Most overclockers also try improving the memory timings, and for some overclocking this is essential.

In some cases it will be necessary to increase the CPU voltage to achieve overclocking - very very cautiously.

You will need to read the Overclock section.

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DUAL-BOOT   Windows 9xs, or Win9x + [XP, 2000, NT]

Dual-booting is a huge 'speed tweak' for most home PC users.

With just a little work you can boot into either of two different Windows (dual-booting), or into one of three or more Windows (multi-booting). For the majority of home users, this is a major tweak that equals even overclocking! Its need will vary considerably between different users.

It's like having a number of computers each with its own specific Windows 9x.
Here are just some reasons for dual-booting or multi-booting:

You need a 'slim, trim, and beautiful' Win9x, specifically for games
You need a second (clean) installation of the same Win9x for special use
You need a standard Win9x plus a 98Lite installation
You need a 'family' Win9x installation plus your own 'private' Windows
You need to use WinME but you have software/games that only run in Win98
You need Win95 for backward compatibility with older software/games
You need a Win9x for safely testing tweaks, 'trial' programs, shareware, etc
You need to get away from Profiles on a shared PC - a second Win9x is vastly superior
And so on . . . The advantages will be clear to you - and they can be very substantial.

You can use THPC's utilities, DualWins (Dual-boot) or AddAWins (multi-boot). Both are freeware.

Read Dual-Boot & Multi-boot for details & free downloads.

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BIOS        Read Overclock / BIOS

General BIOS Settings:
These are too extensive to deal with on this page. Read Advanced

RAM timings in BIOS:
Your main memory has a range of operational speeds which is set in the BIOS. Computer suppliers often set the main memory timings on the conservative side as a precaution against occasional errors.

Faster RAM will always produce a faster system. Most Home users would gladly risk a slight rise in occasional errors in exchange for a better system.

Advanced users can access the BIOS to decrease the Wait setting, and others.

A very minor alteration has a large effect. The gain is sometimes very substantial.

The friendly shareware utility TweakBIOS is convenient to use, and works with a large variety of BIOS types.

get it here TweakBIOS Freeware, 134KB, Zip

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Speed Tweaks Centre >>

• Basics of PC Optimization

• Top 24 Speedup Tweaks #1

• Top 24 Speedup Tweaks #2

= or =

• Cure Sudden or Progressive Computer Slowing

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

Copyright © LarryM 1998-2015