by April 1, 1998 0 comments

Hard disk: A well
maintained hard disk not only ensures that your data is
kept safe, but also ensures that it is retrieved faster.
Invest in a good diagnostic and repair tool like Norton
Utilities. Ensure that you diagnose your hard disk
regularly with a utility like the Norton Disk Doctor for
best performance. Also use disk defragmenting tools to
ensure good file retrieval speeds. If nothing else, use
Scan Disk and Disk Defragmenter provided with Win 95
(Start/ProgramFiles/Accessories/System Tools).

Virtual memory: By
default, Win 95 uses a swap file of variable size, which
is a very inefficient way of handling the swap file, as
it gets spread out all across the disk. You need to
specify a swap file of fixed size, and also optimize it
while running your disk defragmentation utility. To do
so, open the System Properties control panel and select
the Performance tab. Click on Virtual Memory and select
Let me specify my own virtual memory settings. Now, set
the same value for both minimum and maximum size. You can
run the system resource meter in Win 95 to check your
swap file usage. If it frequently goes beyond 90 percent,
it’s time to increase your swap file (or upgrade
your RAM). Tools like Norton Utilities let you defragment
and optimize the swap file also.

BIOS settings: One
way to reduce booting time is to change the boot sequence
in the BIOS to C, A, from the default A, C. If your BIOS
supports it, then disable floppy seek on boot up. This
also eliminates the possibility of getting your system
affected by virus infected floppies which are accessed
during boot-up. Enabling all available caches on your
motherboard will also give you a significant performance
boost.

Display: Use
resolutions fit for the size of your monitor screen. For
example, if you have a 14″ or 15″ monitor, then
a resolution of 800 x 600 would be ideal. Higher
resolutions on smaller screens not only eat up memory and
slow down your system, but they also cause a lot of eye
strain. Setting a higher color depth (Control
Panels/Display Properties/Settings/Colour Palette) can
also reduce your overall system performance. If you are
not doing much of graphical work, then there is no need
to go for 16- or 24-bit color.

IE 4: Internet
Explorer 4 is quite a memory hog and is to be avoided on
systems with 16 MB or lesser memory.

Screen savers: These
days, screen savers are more a work of art, and hog huge
amounts of processing capacity. While some like AfterDark
and the Simpsons can be fun, the drag on your CPU is also
as real. If you insist on having screen savers, then at
least increase the time for which the system waits before
setting the screen saver active.

Registry: The
System Registry in Win 95 keeps track of installed
programs, and as it gets bigger, it can degrade system
performance. Utilities like RegClean help keep your
Registry and your PC nimbler. While removing applications
under Win 95, use the Add/Remove Programs control panel.

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