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August 13, 2001

Fast-find option may slow down PC
Vipul Verma

SPEED does matter in the world of computers. For most of the persons, the speed of computer does not come up to their expectation. This is especially true in case of assembled computers. Though the assembled computers are not inferior in terms of hardware yet due to settings of the operating system and also of some software, the speed of the computer can be optimised. These settings can be found in branded computers, which comes preloaded with default operating system and necessary software, whereas in the case of assembled computers, these settings are normally not touched.

Normally computer assemblers simply assemble all hardware and make a PC out of it. However, without proper fine-tuning of the system, the PC never gives the desired performance.


For example, under the default setting, the Ultra DMA is not enabled for the hard disk. In the case of assembled computers, unless you are aware of it, do not use this feature. However, by enabling it simply in the BIOS feature setup of CMOS utility you can get better performance. Similarly many persons complain that computer takes too long to boot up. Normally, there are many factors that are responsible for this.

However, the most prominent ones are presence of anti-virus program like Norton anti-virus on your system, enabled boot up floppy seek feature in BIOS feature set up in CMOS Utility etc. If you have Norton anti-virus installed on your system, then it takes a lot of time to boot your machine. As the anti-virus scans the floppy drive and other system files at the time of booting, which increases the booting time.

You must disable the floppy disk scan feature in the options menu for boot viruses on access and while shutting down Windows. Also if you disable the feature "Start Norton Program scheduler when Windows starts up" in the scheduling option of the Options Menu, then this will also improve the performance of your PC. Moreover if you put the command, rem immediately before the line that contains the details of the anti-virus in the Autoexec.bat file, then this will stop anti-virus from being a part of initial booting process and will thus reduce the booting time of the PC.

However a word of caution if you are get a lot of data from outside source in the form of floppies, CDs, then the security concerns could be more important rather than the speed of the computer and in this case disabling these features may not be desirable.

Now the second factor i.e. the boot up floppy seek at the time of booting is also a measure, which can make the booting process faster by almost 10 seconds. Simply disable the feature boot up floppy seek in the BIOS feature setup in COMS utility. This will stop seeking floppy at the startup. However despite disabling this setting, you will still be able to use the floppy drive in normal way, thus it does not affect the normal functioning of the floppy drive.

Another factor, which could slow down the PC is the Fast find option that has a file caching utility. It keeps track of the files you open the most. So if you save a file to the floppy disk, FF will then create the file in memory and when it goes to refresh it will cause the floppy to seek. The easiest way to solve this problem is to remove Fast Find from the Start-up group or use msconfig (Start / Run type: msconfig then click OK) in the Startup tab remove the check mark for Fast Find.

Another factor, which can affect the performance of your PC, is the registry of your computer. It is always advisable to keep the registry of your PC slim and trim as large registry not only slows down your PC but it may also create problems for you. There are many registry-cleaning software available, which you can use to clean the registry of any unwanted files and thus keep the PC healthy. Another way of improving the performance of your PC is not to install too many memory resident programs on your PC. It not only clutters your PC but also consumes a lot of valuable resources like Memory etc. while loading them.

Some other tips, which may prove helpful in boosting the overall performance of your PC, are mentioned here under.

Normally we take the default settings of the PC as the best settings and do not change them ever. Though, this could be a good option for the novice computer users, but for the experts, the options to improve the performance of the PC need to be explored.

As the default settings, the typical role of a computer is being set as a Desktop computer. However, if you are not facing any type of shut down problems, then you can boost the performance of your PC by making it a network server. Remember, if you have problems in your PC related to the shut, then you should not make it a network server and should let it remain the desktop computer.

You can change this setting by clicking on My Computer> Control Panel>System and then click on Performance Tab. Now select file system and change the typical role of this computer to network server. Using the typical role of the PC as network server allows the operating system to use more resources for the applications that it runs. This in turn boosts the performance of your PC.

There is also one good advice for the PC users; donít just enable all settings that come your way as additional settings uses more resources and thus brings down the performance. The best example of this advice is screenwriters, as less video information processed by the processor, the faster is the file execution. So, you should not enable all options in your display settings and should disable whatever is not necessary. Thus go to> My Computer> Control Panel> Display>Effects and remove the check marks next to the following items. 1) Show icons in all possible colours 2) windows animation 3) smooth edges of screen fonts etc. This will also boost the performance of your PC and will come into effect the next time you start it. Also in order to have better and faster performance from PC, use the lower refresh rate frequency, as higher refresh rate frequency would decelerate your PC. Though this setting would largely depend n your VGA card and Monitor, yet ideally the refresh rate frequency of 60 per cent is most ideal.

Last but most importantly run scan disk regularly and also follow it by defrag after a regular interval of time. This should keep your PC healthy and running optimally.