Windows 98 Optimization Guide (Tricks Tips and Tweaks)

Windows 98 Optimization Guide:

This tweak guide was written for advanced users. Smart users, who change one of these settings at a time, will find it useful… Those of you, who change all of these settings and then reboot, will watch their PC melt down before them (maybe not, but don’t try and sue me if this doesn’t work either ok?).

Wait…Back up the Registry

Before you begin tweaking the h*** out of your OS, you need to first back up your existing registry just in case any mishaps occur when you make the inevitable changes.

Powerful PC

This registry tweak will enable you to add another option called "Powerful PC". This option will enable the system to remember twice as many files as the Network Server setting, which will result is a substantial performance enhancement.

Download this key here.

WAlign

The guys over at Windows Magazine, Created this tweak so that those of us without Office 95/98 installed will be able to optimize our files. All it requires is a little registry tweaking and a download. Follow the below instructions:

Download the walign.exe file and extract it to a new directory.

Once that’s done, right-click the wmakeys.reg file and select merge from the context menu to merge the file with your registry (don’t forget to backup your registry first).

Now, move the wmalign.bat file into the directory that will be optimized and open MS-Dos Prompt. While in MS-Dos Prompt, type in the directory in which the batch file is located and type wmalign *.dll *.exe.

Once the directory has been aligned, open the wmalign.txt file to see which files had problems with the aligning of an application. If some files did not align properly, restore them from the Unalign directory that was created.

The program, as well as I, recommend that you only align large, slow-loading files and to run the aligned application a few times, as well as disk defragmenter for best performance.

Increasing Mouse Performance:

By default your PS/2 Mouse refreshes at 30hz. This results in inaccurate pointing, and a lot of flicker when it moves. Using PS2rate you can set this refresh as high as 200hz. Much smother and with fewer flickers. (USB has a refresh of 120hz)

Download PS2 Rate here.

Eliminating Startup Files

This is a rather widely known tweak, but someone reading this guide might not know that you can stop files from loading when you boot your system. There are several ways to do this; all of them can be done quickly and easily. The best method to prevent files from loading at startup is to click Start/Run, and type msconfig. Head to the Startup folder and deselect any applications you would don’t want to load at Startup. Another method is to right-click the Start button, click Open, Programs, and Startup. Delete any shortcuts to the files you don’t want loading. This is probably the most inefficient way to prevent files from loading, as I only saw two shortcuts to startup files with this method, while the previous method displayed over 15 files. The last method we’ll talk about for deleting Startup files is to edit the registry. Go into Regedit and make your way to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RUN. Delete any entries to programs you wish to not load during startup.

Force Windows to Unload DLL’s from Memory
Windows Explorer will usually try and cache DLL’s by keeping them in memory even after the application using them has been closed. This can cause performance problems on low memory systems, and can be annoying when developing on Windows and the DLL’s remain in use.

Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer].

Create a new sub-key named ‘AlwaysUnloadDll’ and set the default value to equal ‘1’ to disable Windows holding the DLL in memory.

Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Registry Settings:
Key:
HKLM\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AlwaysUnloadDLL]
Value Name: Default
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Data: (1 = enable)
Remove Task Scheduler
Task Scheduler is automatically installed in some versions of Windows, and also when you install Internet Explorer. This tweak will remove it from your system.

Open your registry and find the key below.

There should be a value named ‘SchedulingAgent’ which is set to equal ‘mstask.exe’, this is the entry that loads the Task Scheduler. Delete this value to stop the task manager loading again.
Registry Settings:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices]
Value Name: SchedulingAgent
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Data: mstask.exe

Configure the Contiguous File Allocation Size
This setting optimizes the contiguous file allocation size for the file system. This is especially useful for disk intensive applications.

Open your registry and find the key below.

Create a new DWORD value named ‘ContigFileAllocSize’, set the value to equal ‘200’ (in hex).

Close the registry and restart the computer for the change to take effect.

For example, the setting may look like:

Name

Data

D

ContigFileAllocSize

0x00000200 (512)

Registry Settings:
Key:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem]
Value Name: ContigFileAllocSize
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Data: 200 (hex) or 512 (decimal)

Display the Windows Splash Screen While Loading
When Windows is loading normally you see the Windows clouds splash screen, this can be disabled to show the background DOS boot process.

1. Change the attributes for MSDOS.SYS so it is not ‘Read Only’, MSDOS.SYS is found in the root directory of your C:\ drive. Open the file using Notepad or another text editor (not Microsoft Word or any word processor).

2. Change the value of ‘Logo=’ to ‘Logo=1’ for splash screen enabled or ‘Logo=0’ for disabled.

3. Changes will take place on the next reboot.

Control the Windows Animation Function
Although the Windows animation function, can look good it can slow down your PC if you have a slower graphics card. This settings allows you to control the Windows animation function.

Open your registry and change the value of ‘MinAnimate’ found in the key below, set the value to ‘0’ for disabled or ‘1’ for enabled.

If the value doesn’t already exist simply create a new string value and name it ‘MinAnimate’.

Registry Settings:
Key:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
Value Name: MinAnimate
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Data: (0=disable, 1=enable)

Force Windows to Unload DLL’s from Memory
Windows Explorer will usually try and cache DLL’s by keeping them in memory even after the application using them has been closed. This can cause performance problems on low memory systems, and can be annoying when developing on Windows and the DLL’s remain in use.

Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer].

Create a new sub-key named ‘AlwaysUnloadDll’ and set the default value to equal ‘1’ to disable Windows holding the DLL in memory.

Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Registry Settings:
Key:
HKLM\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AlwaysUnloadDLL]
Value Name: Default
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Data: (1 = enable)

Control the Size of the Disk Cache
This tweak allows you control the minimum and maximum amount of memory being allocated as disk cache. It can be used to speed up your system and possibly avoid some memory problems.

Using notepad or another text editor, open your SYSTEM.INI file from your Windows directory.

Find the section starting with [vcache], and add the following two lines, or modify them if they already exist.

MinFileCache=0
MaxFileCache=4096

These values set the amount of memory in kilobytes to be used for disk caching, if you have more the 16Mb of RAM you may want to increase the MaxFileCache size, to about 25% of your total RAM (i.e. if you have 128Mb use "MaxFileCache=32768")

Restart Windows for the change to take effect.