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Students Click Here

Resource Issues

Basics - How to Clean Up Win95/98 by cdogg
Posted: 8 Feb 03 (Edited 6 Mar 03)

Please try every step in this FAQ before posting in the forum about "low resources"

SYSTEM RESOURCES should always be above 50% on a stable system.  Of course, the higher the reading, the better.  

To check:
-  right-click My Computer
-  click Properties
-  go to the Performance tab  

Immediately after booting up your computer, there should be at least 75% free (80+ is better, and 90+ is preferred).  If you discover that yours are low, hopefully the following will help:

            - Please have all apps/programs closed before proceeding -

1)  Go to Start -> Find -> Files and Folders.  Search the C: drive for *.tmp and delete all results.  If time permits, do the same for:
  • *.chk
  • *.temp
  • *.~mp
  • *.00*

2)  Go to Start -> Run, type command, and hit OK.  At the prompt, type set and hit enter.  Record the paths for TMP= and TEMP=.  Usually, the two equal C:\Windows\Temp, but not always.  Navigate to the locations you recorded and delete all subfolders/files in the folder, but don't delete the folder itself.

3)  Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel.  Double-click Internet Options.  Click the "Delete Files" button.  Tick the option "Delete all offline content..." and hit OK.  Wait until the cursor turns back into an arrow, hit OK and close the control panel.  
** Note:  The time it takes depends on the speed of your system and the amount of junk it's removing (up to 4 min is not uncommon if it's pretty bad).

4)  Go to Start -> Programs -> Startup.  Delete any shortcuts that you don't need by right-clicking and choosing 'delete'.  Some common examples of ones you don't need include Fast Find and Microsoft Office.  Do some research if you're not sure.  Usually, you don't need anything in this folder.

5)  Right-click icons in your system tray (bottom-right corner next to your clock).  Attempt to access their settings and disable them from loading with Windows.  Some apps won't have this option, but many will.  Select it for each one if it exists.

6)  Empty your recycle bin and reboot into Safe Mode.  You can get there by hitting F8 just before the Windows Logo appears at bootup.  Run scandisk followed by defragmenter.
** Note:  If you have issues with either one completing, see FAQ615-1622 and/or search around on the net    

After rebooting back to Normal Mode, hopefully you'll notice an improvement in resources.  A 5-10% increase would be above average.  It just depends on how long the system has gone without a tune-up (the longer it's been, the better the results).  If it's still not up to par, try these last suggestions:

    Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL right after booting up.  It will show you what's currently running.  In this
    "Close Program" box, count the number of processes.  You want this number to be under 15, and
    preferably under 10 if possible.  Assuming you followed steps 4 and 5 above, the next step
    would be to run msconfig:

        7)  Go to Start -> Run, type msconfig and hit OK.  On the startup tab, you'll see what's loading
          with Windows.  Only uncheck items you recognize that aren't necessary and post in the forum if you're not
          sure.  Each one you uncheck will save resources at startup.

        8)  Search for and download Ad-Aware 6.0 and/or Spybot.  They will remove any spyware that might be
          eating resources in the background.  It almost always finds something!

Additional Suggestions (not all are directly related to resources):

-  Of course, defrag periodically.  Defragging normally speeds up disk access time (i.e. loading apps, storing data, etc.), but doesn't usually affect how fast your resources drain.

-  If your system seems to lose resources rather quickly over a short period of time, you might have a serious memory leak.  To find where memory leaks are coming from, simply use the "process of elimination".  Maybe for 1 day, go without your antivirus utility running in the background.  Another day, try going without another app.  Do this with all your main apps until you find the culprit that's draining resources - there may be more than one.

-  Try setting a contiguous swap file that stays static in size.  I recommend at least 128MB swap file, but you may want up to 384MB.  It depends on the amount of RAM in your system.  Normally, you won't need more than 384MB for your swap file in Win95/98.  Opinions will vary and there is a ton of info on the net.

-  Try partitioning your hard drive leaving a small system partition (C:) with less than 10GB for system files and critical programs.  Use another partition (D:) to store the swap file, data, and all other programs/games.  It might be best to go ahead and format/reinstall 98 while you're at it to get a fresh start.

Good luck!      

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