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Win98 for gaming/XP for Apps

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*** This guide is meant for folks who have the hard drive space to support a dual-booting system setup.


** This tweaking guide will help u guys configure Win98se for optimal performance and speed with games. While WinXP will be configured to work faster with apps w/o sacrificing too much eye candy that XP is known for.


*  This guide is pretty much straightforward and brief, explanations will only be given on the settings that I haven't already discussed on my other/past sections. Consulting my older sections like my Win98se or Memory Tweaking guide might help my new visitors understand some of the settings that will be mentioned here. May it be for Win98 or WinXP 'coz there are times that my Win98 settings still apply with the newer OS (XP).




= Partitioning And File System =

I recommend that you divide ur hard drive where the Win98se partition is 25% bigger than WinXP's. Mainly because we're goin' to install all our games under Win98se (not unless some of ur games cannot run under Win98 ... or better under WinXP) w/c eats a lot of HD space. Selecting between FAT32 or NTFS under Win98se is a no brainer since Win98se doesn't work under that file system. But what file system to use for WinXP confuses most folks who runs both games and apps on the same OS. Here are some pros and cons for both file system to better help u decide what file system will work best for ur needs:



Pros: Complex directories and the number of files within it doesn't affect performance.

Small size files gets accessed faster

Supports compression and security features

Better fault tolerance

Lower fragmentation


Cons: Slow access on large sized files

Slow HD's greatly degrades performance (more than FAT32)

HD's that are almost filled with files slows down performance

Low system RAM degrades performance




Pros: Works well even with systems with low physical RAM

Works well w/ average size files


Cons: Fragmentation greatly affects disc performance

Works slow on directories with huge amount of files



= Configuring Win98se For Gaming =

* Some of the tweaks here may not agree with some of my previous Win98se and/or Cacheman settings. Mainly because my older guide was meant to give u guys better performance on both games and apps. Settings that are not mentioned here will automatically mean that my past Win98se/Cacheman settings still apply.


Control Panel




Background: > Wallpaper:

Select: None


Effects: > Visual Effects:

I recommend that u disable/remove the check marks on all boxes/options.




Performance: > File system
Tab: Hard disk: Typical Role: Network Server (for comps w/o "Cacheman" program)

Read Ahead Optimization:
Set to Full for better gaming performance.



= Misc. Tips =


-Minimize the amount of icons displayed on ur desktop and shortcut bar.


-Only install additional softwares if u find it necessary. Like an AV program. But if don't have any plans of browsing the net, check emails and/or open/install any other progs/softwares other than ur games, then u can skip the installation of an AV prog as well. If u do however install one, do not load it at start-up, only enable it before opening/installing progs or logging in to the net.


-Go to start>run>type in "msconfig" (w/o the quotation marks): under the start-up tab I recommend disabling everything except system tray and scan registry. You can even disable scanreg if u wish and just back-up ur registry manually inside system info.


-Defrag at least once a month.


-Disable devices that are not needed inside control panel>system>device manager tab. Devices like firewire, usb 2.0, or any other device that is not used when ur playing games are better left disabled.


-Only install OS updates if necessary. Most windows updates sacrifices performance in exchange for stability, or slows down ur system b'coz of the additional features that are applied. The only update that I installed for my Win98 is the patch that resolves the scandisk issue wherein the OS will run scandisk everytime u shutdown under Win98. This is b'coz ur HD is not given enough time to shutdown due to newer/faster systems. Installing the patch fixed my prob, but I skipped on installing the rest of the updates 'coz I find them unnecessary.



= Cacheman =


Disk Cache min/max:

128mb or lower machines: 2,048kb

256mb or higher: 12,288kb (or 2,048kb)


**Note: Newer games now require quite a ridiculous amount of RAM to run smoothly. And giving ur HD a respectable amount of disk cache no longer gives ur games the boost they need to run smoothly. Newer games now want to use all the RAM they can have for themselves. For that reason, I'm recommending those who only have 128mb RAM in their system to set both the min/max disk cache setting to only 8mb (8,192kb). While 256mb and above users have the option to set it at 12mb (12,288kb) or higher. Again, balance is the key. You may start with my recommended setting/s and try it out with the game/s u have. If slowdowns occur, try increasing the value 2-4mb increment at a time. The only noticeable diff with most games will be the slight increase in loading times. 12mb should be enough so that the loading time increase will not be noticeable with "most" games. 


Read-Ahead Threshold: Set to max setting.


Icon Cache: Set to 100 (increase if having probs loading/displaying icons)


Name and Path Cache: Disable


RAM > Optimization tab: Limit Available RAM to 512 Mbytes: enable if ur using Win98 and have more than 512mb RAM. This will enable Win98 to run w/o stability issues on a system w/ more than 512mb of memory.


=Advanced Defragging Methods=

Instructions can be found inside my PC Protection and Maintenance section.






= Configuring WinXP for Apps/Softwares =


**This guide will contain some of the most basic, safe, and easy to follow WinXP tweaks. For a more advanced set of WinXP tweaks (services disabling and reg hacks), visit my WinXP Pro section!



 Control Panel Tweaking




Appearance tab > Effects button:

The "use the following method to smooth the edges of screen fonts" is set at "standard" by default. Selecting "clear type" should increase the overall smoothness of screen fonts but may have a blurry effect on some monitors. Experiment and see what works best with your monitor.


Settings tab > Advanced:

Troubleshoot tab > Enable Write Combining box is enabled by default. If you experience graphics corruption or inaccuracies, disable the said feature.



Administrative Tools:


Computer Management: On the left hand pane, double click on "Services and Applications". Then right-click on "Indexing Service" and select "All task > Tune Performance". Select "Customize" and hit its button. Selecting "Lazy" for both Indexing and Querying will help increase speed when ur system uses the said feature because it uses less amount of resources.





Advanced: > Settings

Visual Effects: Reducing the number of enabled effects (or disabling all of them) should slightly increase performance.


Advanced: > Virtual Memory:

I recommend that you follow my usual Win98 guide to accurately determine the exact setting for your VM and set it on the same partition where u installed WinXP. U can try using Win98's FAT32 partition for ur VM since its faster though.


Startup and Recovery: > Settings:

I recommend disabling the automatically restart option to avoid ur system to restart w/o giving any warning and makes u lose ur un-saved data.


Hardware: > Driver Signing:

I recommend that u select ignore to disable the warning message that pops up every time u install a driver that is not digitally signed by Microsoft.


> Device Manager:

-Double click "Disk Drives" followed by ur Hard Drive. Go to Policies tab and enable the "write caching on the disk" feature. The explanation underneath it is pretty precise.


-Double click "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers". If either one of ur IDE Channel isn't filled with HD/CD/DVD-drive then double click on them. Go to the Advanced Settings tab and select "None" on the Device Type drop-down menu.


**It is also recommended to disable other devices/slots that are not used. Like unused USB, serial, parallel, game ports etc slots.


***But WinXP without the proper patch and/or SP1 may give u a checkdisk at start-up problem when u enable this feature. XP's critical update and/or SP1 is said to address the said bug, but it didn't fix the checkdisk at start-up bug with my system. So I disabled it 'coz the increase in performance was making me lose my settings, files and time while waiting for the checkdisk to finish. You are free to try the said setting though. This note is a "just in case" warning. So you'll know what to do.


System Restore:

Disable monitoring of ur Win98 partition. Monitoring of ur Win98 partition is useless since while ur working inside Win98, XP is not able to detect any changes or activities that is going on there since it is not loaded. You can reduce the amount of Hard Drive space reserved for the said feature by clicking the settings button to reduce disk space consumption.


You can further save disk space by deleting all ur previous restore points and saving only the latest one. You can do it by right clicking ur HD > select properties > select Disk Cleanup > More Options tab > and selecting "System Restore's" cleanup button.



= Misc. Tips =

To decrease the menu pop-up delay:

Go to start> run> type in "regedit" (without the quotation marks). Navigate hkey_current_user> control panel> desktop. On the right hand pane, select menushowdelay and double click it to modify. Give it a lower value (or 0 for no delay) to reduce the menu pop-up delay.

You can also disable the transition (fade and scroll) effect by going to Control Panel > Display > Apperance tab > Effects button.


 To decrease the boot-up time:

Go to start> run> type in "msconfig". My Win98 tip still applies here but I just want to mention that Win98s scanreg is now called updreg under WinXP. All of the other available start-up items are optional, but is/are not required and may just slow down ur booting time.


Compatibility Fix:

There are still a few number of programs (including older progs) that are having probs running smoothly under WinXP. One way of solving this is enabling WinXP's compatibility feature. To enable it, go to the programs directory, right click its .exe file, then head into the compatibility tab and select the enable compatibility box, then select the OS in which the program is specifically made to run. Or the OS that u already used the program and experienced zero probs.

If ur experiencing graphic corruption ... enabling the disable visual themes box might fix the problem.


Increasing Program Priority:

Press ctrl+alt+del .. or .. ctrl+shft+esc then head on to the "Processes" tab. There u will be given the list of programs that are currently running. Right clicking one of them and highlighting "Set Priority" will enable u to give the selected program more or less priority. Selecting "High" will make the program run smoother than all of the other programs available. For example, if ur currently encoding MP3's, and also doing something else and there are other programs running, giving the encoding program a High priority will allow the program to run w/o being too much affected of the other tasks ur doing. So its encoding speed isn't goin to be too much affected even when multitasking. Selecting "Realtime" will let windows automatically determine whether a program needs more cpu priority. The rest are pretty self explanatory.


Save HD space:

If u have installed SP1, then u probably still have the backup/unused setup files on ur HD. Go to C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386. There u'll find the files that is approx 275mb in size. It is safe to delete.

But if u use IE's Install on Demand feature, do not remove the said folder b'coz doing so will prevent IE's Install on Demand to function and download updates.


Bigger IE6 Viewable Area:

Press F11 to enable "full screen" view. This will remove the title and status bar so that u will have a bigger view of the website ur browsing on. If u need to enable the menu and address bar, simply right click a blank area on IE's taskbar and select them. U can also autohide IE's taskbar so that u will have 100% full screen view of the website ur visiting. U can also reduce the size of the scroll bar to have a wider view by going inside Display > Apperance > Advanced and clicking on the scroll bar and decreasing its value.

Very useful for folks who only have a small monitor at 800x600 res! Works for both Win98 and XP!


= CachemanXP =

Information Tab: I recommend that u disable "Auto Recover Ram" along with the "Load Cacheman XP Tray" under Options Tab. Why? B'coz although Outertech assured us that CachemanXP uses very low resources and almost zero cpu utilization, the effect when the program is enabled can still be easily noticed. Hiccups often times occur when I have this program running on background.

On the right hand side, there is a list of running processes. Looks pretty much like Window's Task Manager huh? But there is an extra feature added there when u right click a process. U have an option to "lower RAM usage" on a process of ur choice. This will temporarily lower the RAM usage of the given process by moving it to pagefile. The length of lower RAM usage varies per softwares though. And I only recommend using this feature on background apps.

Cache Tab > File Cache Management: I recommend setting this to "CachemanXP Controlled".

Misc > Icon Cache: If u have less than 256mb RAM, set this to 100 (or lower). Only increase if displaying becomes slow or if wrong icons gets used on shortcuts. If u have 256mb or more RAM, set this to 200 (or higher).

Cache File Timeout: the default value of "10" should be enough. Only decrease the value if u only have 192mb RAM (or lower) on ur system.

Tweaks Tab: Only put a check mark on the ff boxes (for optimal perfomance): Creation of short filenames (can be disabled if ur no longer using 16bit apps, Norton Systemworks, and/or Catalyst drivers); Font Smoothing; Windows key (unless u don't want to use it); Autoend tasks; Defragment HD while idle; Unload Dll's from memory.

**The rest can be enabled/disabled depending on the users preference.

Hung and Wait to Kill Application Timeout: I recommend giving them both a value of "3".

Wait to Kill Service Timeout: I recommend a value of "2".


= Tweak UI =

On the left hand pane select "General" and make sure that "Optimize HD when Idle" is enabled inside the settings box.

Select Explorer > Thumbnails: If u are happy with the default thumbnail size, or selected to further decrease its size for faster loading, I highly recommend that u drag the Image Quality slider all the way to the left since the difference is unnoticeable. You only need to move it to a higher setting when u increased the thumbnail size. Otherwise, the lowest setting will do.

> Customizations: Folders to remember. I recommend giving this a low value of 50 (or lower) to save memory.

**Descriptions on what the said tweak does are available on the program itself. Feel free to play along with the other UI related tweaks to customize ur own desktop/settings.


= Windows Update =

Newly installed WinXP may seem to be stable the first time u install it. But after using it for days/weeks, u'll start to experience different kinds of probs that is most of the time confusing 'coz most of them doesn't happen under Win98. Visiting windows update website will give u a chance to install fixes for specific problems: . U may also want to visit ur hardware's websites for an updated driver that is fully compatible with WinXP.


=Advanced Defragging Methods=

Instructions can be found inside my PC Protection and Maintenance section.


= Last Updated: 050704 =



***I will not be held responsible to any damage this tweaking guide might cause your system.

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**Any errors/corrections, comments, and/or additions to my 98/XP tweaking guide are welcome and will be greatly appreciated

*Contact me if u have any comments and/or suggestions. Tnx!