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MISCELLANEOUS RAM TWEAKS

Use those appropriate to your own situation.

Remember the rest for future use.

Some of these memory speed tweaks can be very helpful for those users who have a shortage of main memory and are reluctant to buy more for the moment.

MEMORY TYPES

Mixing Memory Types

Getting more RAM? Great! You will have a definite performance boost, the degree depending on the current quantity of RAM.

Many motherboards allow you to concurrently use DIMMs (faster SDRAM) and SIMMs (slower EDO or slowest FPM) on the same motherboard (must be in separate memory banks).

However DIMMs use different addressing than SIMMs and utilize faster memory devices. Having both types causes your system to actively switch between the two types of memory, causing a performance hit!

In general it is best not to mix the memory types. If you can afford it, then switch entirely to the higher performing DIMMs; if not, then stay with SIMMs only.

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REAL-MODE DRIVERS     Intermediate Users

Older Software

Older programs/games use Real-mode drivers. These slow Windows 95/98. If possible get new 32-bit updates. If this is impossible then you may have to fix a possible VMM32 Memory Leak due to these drivers.

Over time, real-mode drivers, which are added to VMM32, might not be releasing memory. To check your system, type MEM /C /P (from a DOS Prompt) and check the size allocated to VMM32. It should not be much more that 2K, and not growing.

If it is larger, and/or growing:
Rename both your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT file and Reboot
Rename them back again and Reboot again
Run MEM /C /P again to note any change is size. If memory is not being released then update the guilty driver(s) to a 32-bit version, or remove it (using Notepad, put a REM followed by a space at the start of the line)

Note: This Site has not had personal experience of this but it does seem highly reasonable.

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CLEAN START

Have a clean start

What state is your system in when you start a large program or go online? Have you other programs running and utilizing your resources? How many TeMPorary files are hanging around? How much of memory has Microsoft, and other, programmers claimed for themselves? Perhaps too many, and too much, for comfort!

Give yourself a good clean platform by restarting Windows 95/98 - holding down the Shift key when clicking 'Restart' will help you reload Windows 95/98 more quickly - start clean before going online to browse.

And you could empty the browser's Cache prior to re-booting, unless you expect to return to very recently visited sites (in which case you SHOULD NOT empty it because those Pages are stored in the Cache).

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BROWSING

Browsing the Web

When browsing have only two programs open; your server connection and the browser. Make the browser as slim as possible or use an earlier version (4.x browsers are memory hogs).

Empty the browser memory cache. Decreasing the browser's memory cache size may help. However if you make it too small you will slow your browsing.

Do not use Get Images, and text-only will come down very fast.

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COLORS &WALLPAPER

Wallpaper

Every additional item you have running uses memory. Use a simple Color for the desktop background - we do not really need fancy Wallpaper. Never use a Bitmap (.bmp) - they tend to be very large files. Use simple colours

The 256 colour screens use less memory than 16, 24, or 32-bit and improve responsiveness in many areas. Much will depend on the kind of video card installed.
For the fastest performance, set the screen resolution, and number of colours, as low as possible. This needs to be balanced against your viewing comfort and efficiency.
The most basic configuration is 640x480 resolution with 16 colours. Many computer users prefer higher resolutions and at least 256 colours for displaying graphics.
If you can, then use 16-bit as a general-purpose mode. Using 256 colours for some games may actually slow them down; so try Hi-color for games.

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CLIPBOARD & TSRs [6]

TSRs

If you do not use the CD ROM from DOS, then remove the lines from your Autoexec.bat which loads the CD-ROM driver for DOS. Windows 95/98 loads its own driver, so the extra one is not required.

If you have other TSRs loading, seriously consider removing them.


Clipboard and Copy

When Copy is used the selected item is copied to the Clipboard, and retained in memory so it is immediately available.

If something large is in the Clipboard, and it is not required again, then select a single letter and Copy it . The small file replaces the large one, thereby freeing up all that memory

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BARE MINIMUM

If short of memory, use only the bare minimum

Avoid loading anything not to be used, including drivers. Programs in the background are non-active, but still open - and using vital memory. When practical, Close one program before Opening another.

Do not install or activate extra, and usually unnecessary, parts of any software e.g. the extras in IE 4 or 5. Turn off Desktop Themes, CD Auto Play function (with TweakUI), Animated Icons, Sounds, Animations, reduce the number of installed Fonts, others.

If you use your mouse only in Windows, remove any commands that load mouse drivers from your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files Windows 95/98 does not need them there. Likewise for Share (windows 95/98 uses VShare) - you will save some memory.

Do not use such as Active Desktop, animated cursors, the sound schemes that came with Windows 95/98, or especially themes from the Plus! Pack. If you use TweakUI then select General Effects. Now disable Window animation and Smooth scrolling. Click OK. Your display will be faster.


If you are not using Double Space or Drive Space, free up some memory by taking out the dblspace.ini and dblspace.bin files from your root directory - rename them. If present, these files cause their drivers to be loaded, using up some conventional ram.

If you are comfortable doing so, you can tune your Windows 95/98 initialization files (Win.ini and System.ini). These files can contain leftover instructions for your computer from programs that you have deleted - fonts, duplicate drivers, etc.

Also look in the [386Enh] section of System.ini for an EMMExclude= line. It may be a leftover from a real-mode device that is using memory space. If you do not need it then you can erase it. If in doubt, temporarily disable the exclusion by placing a semicolon at the beginning of that line. Read Real-mode drivers (above).

You can disable some hardware you don't use in Windows. Think of items like Joystick ports, MPU-401 (compatible)-port, CD-ROM Controllers on your soundcard if you don't use them. Disable them in Device Manager and Reboot. Disabling unused devices will result in more RAM and more system recourses being free for other uses.

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MONOCHROME MODE

Turn OFF Monochrome mode

If you never use the VGA adapter's monochrome mode then you can free up an extra memory block.

Add this line to the [386Enh] section of your SYSTEM.INI file.

VGAMonoText=Off

Save, and reboot

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CONVENTIONAL MEMORY

LocalLoadHigh

If you need to free more conventional memory for DOS programs, then make sure you load as much as possible into Upper Memory (in Config.sys and Autoexec.bat).

If you still use Buffers, FCBS, Lastdrive, Stacks commands in your Config.sys, make sure that you are using the BuffersHIGH, FCBSHIGH, LastdriveHIGH, StacksHIGH commands.
These are not required for software running under Windows 95/98. If you don't need them, then remove what is not necessary.

If you need more memory when running DOS programs in a dos-window, make sure LocalLoadHigh=1 is in the [386Enh] section of System.ini. This is the same as having DOS=HIGH or DOS=HIGH,UMB in Config.sys

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BOOT FILES: CONFIG.SYS & AUTOEXEC.BAT

Save 8KB of Memory

Windows 95/98 itself does not need Config.sys or Autoexec.bat.

Removing them would save you about 8KB of memory. If you need this small amount then you probably need more memory anyway.

In the context of today's software/games, 8KB is very small indeed. Yet it just might help.

First test your emergency Startup Disk. Also make sure it has copies of both files
Then rename the two files with a different extension, like Config.sos

Now try Rebooting. If it works then try it for some days

If it does not work then Reboot using the Startup Disk to DOS and rename both files back to their original extensions i.e. Config.sys and Autoexec.bat

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AUTO INSERT

CD Auto Insert Notification

This can cause reduced performance on some PCs, especially if there is no CD in the drive. Windows 95/98 checks the drive every second or so to see if you've put in a disc, and that can slow the whole system.

First try putting a CD into the drive to see if that solves the problem.

If necessary, you can turn AutoPlay off completely. Right-click on My Computer, select Control Panel / System / Device Manager +CDROM. Double click your CD-ROM drive. Under the Settings tab, disable the Auto Insert Notification box.

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TOOLBARS & FONTS

Turn off Toolbars

Toolbars and button bars use loads of memory. If you don't need one, turn it off.

You wont get lost - applications provide access to all functions via menus or keystrokes.



True Type Fonts

You can reclaim a little memory for your own use by adding the Headline Threshold parameter to the [TrueType] section of WIN.INI. Set it equal to between 1 (slower rendering but uses less memory) and 300 (faster rendering but uses more memory).

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MEMORY MANAGERS

Say NO to memory compression software

You are likely to pay little more for extra RAM as you are for Memory Managers such as SoftRAM 95, MagnaRAM, or Agent 97 - and you would also have a guaranteed performance boost. It is debatable as to whether or not these utilities have any worthwhile benefit under Windows 95/98.

What you are really getting with these utilities is the ability to load more and/or larger programs or files (compressed) into memory, not a great increase in speed.

If you haven't run into an out-of-memory message within Windows 95/98, then you probably don't need RAM compression. If you regularly receive such messages, then you should concentrate on the Tips on these pages, or consider more memory.

This Site suggests you should spend money on more real memory rather than on one of these utilities.

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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 1998-2013 thpc@mail.com