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Windows, in addition to the RAM, uses a part or parts of the hard disk for storing temporary files and information. These are data that are not required immediately. For example, when you minimize a window, or have an application running in the background. Although Windows management of the virtual memory has grown more efficient, it still tends to access the hard disk very often. Most times absolutely unnecessarily, because it is programmed to keep the RAM free. With a little bit of tricking, you can optimize this access, not only making sure that Windows uses this feature sparingly and sensibly but speeding up file access generally.
Before you do the following steps, run the Disk Defragmenter, and save and close all open data. Click on My Computer, select option Properties. Click on the tab Performance, then on the button Virtual Memory. Activate the second option Let me specify my own virtual memory settings. Set the Hard disk to your fastest drive if you have more than one hard disks installed on your computer.
Rule of the Thumb Method
Double click the entry under Minimum and multiply the amount of RAM you have onboard with 2 and enter the result here. For example, if you have 32 MB RAM, enter 96; for 64 MB RAM, enter 192 and so on. Enter 3 times the RAM you have for Maximum. Click on OK to save the settings. Windows normally flashes a warning at this stage. If you get cold feet after reading it, press Cancel or if you are feeling daring enough press OK to proceed. You will be informed that Windows needs to be restarted. If you have unsaved work open, then do not restart Windows immediately. First save and close the files you have open and then restart Windows.
Start the System Monitor (START > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Monitor). If you do not have the option, then you need to install the System Monitor from the Windows CD. Click on START > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs. Click on the Tab Windows-Setup then double click on System Programs and then check the box in front of System Monitor. With a click on OK, the program will be installed onto your computer. Please have the Windows CD at hand, it will be required for the installation. Run the System Monitor. Click on Edit and then on Add Source. Double Click the Memory Manager on the right hand side, then choose the Minimum Swap file and Maximum Swap file options and click on ok. The graphs on the System Monitor window will adapt accordingly. Over the next days, note down the values where the daily minimums and maximum peak. Take the average maximum value and set it as your minimum and double it to attain the maximum value.
The second step is to delay the accessing of the hard disk, reserving it for the occasions where it is really needed. To do this click on Start then on Run. Type in System.ini. Click on OK. Once the System.ini file is open, press F3. Type in 386Enh and click on Search. Close the search window by pressing the ESC key. You will see the entry [386Enh] highlighted. Press the key End. Press the Return (Enter) key to insert a new line after the [386Enh]. Type in ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1. Double check the entry for Typos. The text should look like this:
When you are sure that is correct, close the System.ini and save the changes. The changes will take effect after the next start of Windows