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Monday, June 4, 2001

Windows should have been Gates instead
Vipul Verma

IT's time Bill Gates, changes the name of the popular operating system from Windows to Gates. When it was being launched, it was indeed a window to the world of computers. However, in the present day world it has become a floodgate of information, opportunity and features. The latter justifies the power of the operating system more than anything else.

These tips and tricks are tested features, which you may not find in general Help columns.

Changes in setting

Most often we use the default settings of the Windows and thus do not get the optimum performance, which we can get by simple changes in your settings. The first setting, which could pep up your computer, is the hard-disk setting. In order to do this, simply go to the Control Panel and click on the System Icon. This will open the System Properties Window on your computer screen. Now in the System Properties dialog box click the Performance tab. Under Advanced settings, click the File System button. You will find three choices here, under the Typical role of the computer. Set the role to Server, regardless of whether you use it as a server or not, provided that you have 32 MB or more of RAM. Also set the Read-ahead Optimisation slider to Full. This will enhance the overall performance of your hard disk.



Another aspect, which is often ignored but merits due attention is the optimisation of CD ROM. Normally, computer-users hardly ever look at the features and properties related to the CD ROM. But necessary changes in settings to overall optimise the performance of your PC are must. For changing the settings of your CD ROM, click on the Start>Control Panel and then again click on the System Icon. This will open the System Properties Window on your computer screen. Now in the System Properties dialog box, click the Performance tab. Under Advanced settings, click the File System button. Select the CD ROM tab. Set the Optimise access pattern setting to Quad-speed or Higher and the Supplemental cache size to maximum. This will boost the performance of your CD ROM.

Anti-virus program

Often people come across many problems like system hanging, problem of shutting down of your computer, the problem of light glowing continuously in the floppy drive etc. All these problems to a large extent can be associated with the anti- virus program. Though anti-virus programs are an absolute necessity these days taking into consideration the threat of virus, which looms large on the Internet users. However by changing some settings of your anti-virus program, you can enjoy the sense of security of the virus scanner without disturbing the performance of your PC. The most common and important change is to disable the automatic option on your anti-virus utility. You can always run it manually when you want and can even plan to run at regular intervals. Disabling the automatic option will save you from a lot of botheration. You must also disable the default setting of checking your floppy drive, while shutting down. However, one more very important point related to virus scanners is their regular updation. It is often seen that the un-updated or old virus scanners often create big problems in your PC. Thus ideally, you must regular update your virus scanner.

Virtual memory

Another important setting, which also requires due attention, is management of the computerís virtual memory. For changing the virtual memory settings, right-click on My Computer icon, select Properties, choose the Performance tab and click Virtual Memory. Now select "Let me specify my own virtual memory settings" option. In the option box set the same value for the minimum size and the maximum size. The Size of the virtual memory should be around two and one-half times the amount of installed RAM in your system. Thus if you have 64 MB RAM, then you can set your virtual memory to160 MB.

Virtual cache

Similar to virtual memory, necessary changes as per the configuration of PC are needed in the virtual cache to boost the overall performance of your PC. Thus for effecting the necessary settings related to virtual cache, open notepad by clicking Start>Programs>Accessories> Note Pad. Now open the file C:\ WINDOWS\ System.ini. If you have installed your Windows operating system in some other directory, then you must search this file in that directory. Now search for a section labelled [vcache]. If itís not there, add a [vcache] line at the end of the file. Below this line add the following two lines: MinFileCache=xxx MaxFileCache=xxx For the values, substitute a number for "xxx" according to the following, 16MBRAM - 1024 - 4096, 32MBRAM - 2048 - 6144, 64MBRAM - 4096 -16384, 128MBRAM - 4096 - 32768. It is important that the values correspond to your system RAM. However there is a word of caution. Since this exercise is editing your registry, then you must always back up a copy of your registry before doing this editing in your registry. This will help you in case if something goes wrong. Thus managing the virtual cache this way will also enhance the performance of your PC.

Better performance of your PC just does not include better running of your PC, but also includes faster booting of the system also. Though the faster booting of the system is a result of many things, which include very few programs in Windows start up and not too many memory resident program present in your system etc. The mentions of a few such things, which can reduce the time taken in the booting process, have been mentioned in the previous articles on Tips and Tricks.

Faster booting up

There is one more tip, which can help making the booting process even faster and this is disabling the search for new floppy disk option each time your computer starts. You can do this by clicking on your Control Panel and then double clicking the System icon. Now click the Performance tab, under Advanced settings and then click File System. Now click the Floppy Disk tab, and uncheck the Search for new floppy disk each time your computer starts option.

You may have the latest and fastest computer but it will still be slowed by all kinds of stuff you donít need or use. The best and cheapest way to improve your computerís performance is to get rid of unwanted files, folders, and programs. However, you need to be extra careful while doing this, as your object is to delete the things that your computer doesnít need. This could include .bak, .tmp, .chk files and other files like .jpg, .GIF, etc present in the cache of your browser. Moreover you can also choose to delete unnecessary graphics files, sound clips, and video clips, which otherwise take up a great deal of space and are usually unneeded. Thus in order to delete all such files conduct an extensive search by selecting Find, then Files and Folders, select your hard drive, select or type in the specific file type. Double click on the file to see what it is and delete if desired. You can use the * symbol for generating better results using find option. Thus, if you have to delete all the *.Bak files present in your system. Then you should *.bak in the named box and should choose My Computer in the looking box. You can also choose the specific drive in the lookin box.

Itís a good idea to keep you PC clean as the more it is cluttered, the more resources are wasted in useless files.