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Need help freeing System Resources

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I have a PIII 450 running Win98 and am trying to wring the last bit of performance out of this computer before upgrading to a new P IV rig. I want to see if I can maximize the amount of system resources available on this PC before I do, so that this one can become a peripheral computer in a multi-pc, multi monitor set-up.I've already been into MSCONFIG and use a selective start-up. Under start-up I have removed all but Explorer, the SYSTRAY, the mouse driver, and Scan Reg. I have no anti-viral software running in the background. My CD-R is disabled unless I call for its program. I have my computer set as a network server, and the desktop has a bitmap background that I can close, though it makes no difference in resources available. Active desktop is not set in a Web mode, as I understand it can reduce resources.As a result of the above Resources Available is at 88%, not bad. But I have seen others report numbers in the mid 90's. Is System Resources available a valid measure? Perhaps not. But I have experienced better overall performance as the backgrouond load has been reduced.Any thoughts on additional steps?Thanks, Rick

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Kurt:Thank you for the supplieed links. The first one was especially helpful since it provided a great deal of background into how best to view the process of managing memory and resources.It looks like I've exhausted everything outlined in the links, and am still wondering if there are settings in windows or within the computer itself that I can access and influence in order to gain more of the processors "free time".Keep the ideas coming. Rick

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Having read through the excellent articles that Kurt provided, the only setting I found that I could change was in the [386enh] section of the system.ini file, which wasConservativeSwapFileUsage=1According to the information I read, this setting does not need to be enabled in Win98 since Microsoft updated the way that swap files are managed, alleviating some of the problems present in Win95. After setting this selection to =0, I noticed that when switching from cockpit to spot view, a portion of the instrument panel remained on the screen as an artifact, taking up to 20 seconds to slowly diasppear. Other artifacts were present when changing views while in the cockpit as well. I reset this function to =1 and everything again worked just fine.In the articles provided by Kurt, the author also made a strong argument for allowing Win98 to managed the virtual memory, as it does a very efficient job at it. Having changed the virtual memory setting several times in the past without noticing any improvement, I'm inclined to agree.Still looking for more ideas.Thanks, Rick

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Ed:I know that the icons can be accessed through the Start->Settings->Task Bar and Start Menu path, but is there a problem with removing them. The object is to prevent them from displaying, without inadvertently deleting the program they are associated with in the process, correct?Just trying to be clear in my mind so that I don't disable a program because the icon is lost.If I remove them, will there be much of an improvement? I've always viewed them simply as icons. I do not have any shortcut icons on the screen, only direct program ones, IE, Recycle Bin, Network, My Computer.Rick

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I asked about setting setting the computer as a network server instead of as a desktop PC. I also asked a friend of mine who has been a system administrator...and here is his answer:"I don't think that recommendation holds much water for a few reasonssince:- On any OS (including Windows, Mac and UNIX) turning on any additionalnetwork services or file services required to be a network server (or ANYother services) consumes additional memory and processor cycle resourcesthereby reducing availability of these resources for "workstation" relatedapplication use.- on any Win9x machine (including Windows Me) given the architecture ofthose OS platforms they are not efficient servers anyway.- if you upgraded to Windows 2000 or XP (which are both based on the NTgenerations of OS platforms) you would end up with a better "server", butthose machines would still be faster for workstation application use ifserver related services were turned off.For the typical home user the easiest ways to improve performance are:- make sure you have adequate RAM for your particular OS- routinely defrag your hard drive- turn off unused background tasks and services (including shared fileservices and unused network protocols)"sherm

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Hi Rick,A couple of years ago, I was surprised how much memory is taken by the icons. I have a p3 500 with 128 ram so I need everything I can get. Disabling most icons does not disable the program as they can be accessed as you mentioned. I have everything disabed except "my computer", like to have it handy. When I start my machine, the system resources are 96% free. I am running WinMe, but I don't know if this makes a difference or not.Hope this helps,Edhttp://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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Ed:Thanks for the reply. Not wanting to belabor the point, but how specifically do you disable the desktop icons? If you right click and select "delete" some will ask if you are trying to delete the entire program.I did find an article on line that will hide the icons from the desktop itself. Is this what you are talking about? I tend to think that it is not, but it does state to do the following:1. Run Regedit2. Access: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMICROSOFTWINDOWSCURRENT VERSIONPOLICIESEXPLORER3. Next double click the "NoDesktop" value. If no such line entry exists, create it.4. Enter =1 for the value, then click OK. Refresh the desktop with F5 and the icons will be gone.This will remove the icons from view, but will not disable the fact that they are there at start-up. Still wondering how to physically disable the desktop icons altogether.Thanks, Rick

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Sherm:Thanks for the reply. I wish that I could recall where the suggestion to set the computer as a network server came from, but it was described as a means to make your computer more efficient. It has always seemed a dubious sugestion to me for a stand-alone PC. If this were true, the computer would default to the network server setting unless some specific application required that it be used otherwise.This suggestion may have fallen into the same category of urban myth as setting a specific virtual memory size in Win98.Thanks, Rick

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Rick,Maybe I should have explained this further. I use tweak ui for disabling the windows icons. This little program can do a lot with the Windows system that you can't do otherwise. If I want to enable the icons all I do is open tweak ui and add a checkmark. The icons themselves are what use the resources. Tweak ui can be downloaded here. http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/3000-2341-2...3.html?tag=listEdhttp://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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Thanks Ed:I've downloaded the tweak, and will give it a try when I get home this evening. I had read something about that utility in my travels on the internet today.Will let you know how it turns out.Rick

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Rick, I'll buy my friend a beer tonight and tell him it was from you...:-)I love this hobby!sherm

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Thanks Sherm! I owe you two. One for checking on the applicability of the idea in the first place, and the other for taking care of the source of the info.Cheers!, Rick

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Following the excellent link that Ed provided I downloaded and attempted to install the Tweak.UI to remove the icons from desktop. During installation, done by right clicking on the INF file and selecting Install, I received an error message stating that a device on my system was not functioning properly, and the install aborted.Next I tried the following.1. Run Regedit2. Access: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMICROSOFTWINDOWSCURRENT VERSIONPOLICIESEXPLORER3. Next double click the "NoDesktop" value. If no such line entry exists, create it.4. Enter a value of 1, then click OK. Refresh the desktop with F5 and the icons will be gone.After completing the items listed above and restarting the computer, the desktop icons were removed, but my system resources available remained at the 88% value I started with. The desktop icons are now restored. The computer is set to be a Desktop PC, the only programs launched at start up are: Explorer; Systray; the mouse driver; and Scan Reg. I am still wondering if there is a way to get to a higher percentage of system resources available on my PIII 450.Thanks again for any previous and future assistance.Rick

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The only program you need at startup is explorer. I have eliminated systray and did not notice any difference so I put it back in. Your mouse driver and scanreg must be using 8% resources. On my Win98 system I boot to between 94% and 97% with the same configsys settings of just explorer and systray in task manager.As asked above, try unchecking your mouse driver and see if you still have mouse control. That driver is probably just an icon that allows quick changes of mouse settings and not the driver itself. Scanreg is not needed at all if you want to remove it. You can boot every once in a while with scanreg checked if you want it to function.Also worth noting here for some that do not do this. Before you fly MSFS2002 or any gaming software reboot your system to free up resources. Windows 98SE (and maybe others, I don't know) will continually soak up resources each time you open up another program. For instance, Outlook Express if opened leaves me with 92% resources free. Then if I open up IE5 or NS4.7 I lose another 4% resources. If I open up more windows programs and close them I have seen as low as 69% with NOTHING currently running in task manager except explorer and systray. So reboot to free up resources before gaming or even on a regular basis to free up resources for your other applications.If anyone is computer literate and can update this thread on WinME Win2000 and WinXP please do so for the rest of us to learn.Thx,

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Ed and Smiley:Ed: I will check through the site you gave me. The Bios on my HP allows for very limited changes to be made. Hopefully your link will provide a pearl of wisdom.Smiley: Thanks for the follow-up. I disabled the 3D mouse in msconfig start-up. It enables the scrolling feature only, and the rest of the mouse functions as before. That got me to 92%. Disabling Scan Reg made no difference in terms of resources, and it remains enabled.One other entry in start-up, that I believe is important is:MMHID Rundll mmhid.dll,StartMmHidIt is still enabled. I'm going to do a search to see what it does specifically, but recall that it assists other applications in running if I remember correctly.I'm getting closer with your help, and the results are showing in improved performance.Back to the hunt. Rick

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Just make sure you NEVER use Windows ME! This OS eats up all the system resources in a flash, and those Free-up-RAM software are no good at all. (Once I have freed up 32mb of RAM and the system resources remained near 0%.)

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Decided to uncheck MMHID Rundll32 mmhid.dll,StartMmHid in start-up as it is used to call and or create batch files. For my efforts I gained 2 more percent and the system is now at 94% system resources available. Explorer, Scan Reg, and Systray are the only items left running as we speak.With this I now have all settings maxed except: Terrain Mesh 60, Autogen normal, scenery very dense, cloud density 50, AI traffic 40. Screen resolution is 1024x768x16. Frames are locked at 11. DirectX 8.2 loaded. A Leadtek GF3 Ti500 with 22.80 drivers. Justin Tymes landclass a very nice touch. Symflyers Orlando knocks the sim to its knees at 4.5 frames on the ground, 6-6.5 on approach. On a positive note I can shoot all of the approaches to minimums I want and maintain 11 FPS into the flare. But it kills the thrill of the landclass and all that Autogen. Compromises.A number of people have contributed to getting me here, and I thank you. Ultralight, my experience matches yours where the software to free RAM is concerned, as they have created problems for me in the past. It is time to seriously consider a new and much faster set-up. Goodnight all. Rick

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What I'm about to suggest is drastic, but well... I noticed that wiping off the HD (Fdisk, partition etc...) and doing a clean install seemed to improve processing speed. Only a total wipe out can get rid of the zillions of bits and pieces of stuff here and there...

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