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Windows 95/98/ME

2. Why does windows keep wildy accessing my hard drive for no apparent reason?

Lots of users have complained, that while using their PC, Windows goes off on to a planet of its own seizing up for up to a minute because of random, pointless disk activity which is due to the way that windows is set to handle disk caching and virtual memory. Although windows instructs you to "let Windows handle disk cache settings" for best results, this obviously does not give the best results.

You can stop windows randomly accessing the hard drive and improve the performance of your system. There are a number of ways to combat this:

Windows Virtual Memory

Right click on My Computer, and select Properties.
Click the Performance tab, and then click Virtual Memory
Choose Let me specify my own virtual memory settings.
If you want to choose a different drive for your swapfile, run Disk Defragmenter first.
Specify the same value for the Minimum size and the Maximum size, so windows won't spend so much time resizing the file. A good size is roughly 2 1/2 times the amount of installed RAM (i.e. create a 40MB swapfile if you have 16MB of RAM).
Press OK, and then OK again, and confirm that you want to restart your computer.

Defragmenting the Swapfile

Once you've set the swapfile size to be constant you won't have to worry about a fragmented (broken up) swapfile again.
However, you'll need to defragment it at least once for it to remain that way in the future.

If you have more than one partition or hard disk in your system, defragment all drives first. Then, move the swapfile to another drive, defragment the first one, and then move it back.
Although it's also possible to disable the swapfile entirely while you defragment the drive (and then re-enable it so it will be recreated whole), it isn't advisable because windows may not start without a Swapfile.

Virtual Cache (Only for those that have more than 16Mb of Memory)

Open SYSTEM.INI for editing.
Add the following two lines to the [vcache] section (If it's not there then add the section)
These values, in kilobytes, regulate the size of the VCache, so you can stop it from filling up all available RAM and paging all loaded apps to disk. If you have more than 16 MB of RAM, then set the above values (both of them) to about 25% of the amount of installed RAM.


If you can afford it, add more memory. The more memory you have, the less frequently windows will use your hard disk, and the better your system performance will be.








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