is where your gaming and hardware needs are met. Be all that
you can be or get out of the game! This won't be a forum for
techno-geeks to find more ways to impress their non-technical
friends, it's for plain folk who need help to better their
gaming experience. But don't blame us if you blow your machine
sky high; we're offering tips, not the Bible on computers.
The mailbag is alive and well - send in those questions to TechTips.
Streamlining Windows for more gaming power!
ready to make your Windows system scream! The first thing to consider
when optimizing your system is if you want to play Quake or look
at your 500 animated icons and wallpaper of a scantily clad Paula
Abdul. If your icon tray extends to the start button, become accustomed
to low framerates. Our point here? Turn that extra stuff off!
If you want all the resources available for your game, settle
for the plain old desktop and no wallpaper. Changing the color's fine, and if you absolutely feel the necessity
to be flamboyant, there are some really annoying patterns available.
What about all those "handy" icons on your desktop?
Ditch 'em and begin using your start menu.
Tap the old
3-fingered salute (ctrl-alt-del) to take a look in the task manager
and see what is running in the background. An infamous program
that causes havoc with gameplay is the "Findfast" utility
from Microsoft Office. How do you get rid of it? Right-click
on start, then click on explore and browse down
to the start menu. While you're there check for other CPU-eating
culprits. Advanced users can run a program called TweakUI, which
is included in Windows95 Power Toys By Microsoft, on the Windows98
CDROM, or can be downloaded
here. It will show you everything including what you didn't
know was running in the background. In Windows98 TweakUI is basically
built-in. Go to Start Menu > Programs > Accessories >
System Tools > System Info > Tools > System Configuration
Utility. There is what loads during your startup, uncheck
what you dont need. For instance, Diamond's InControl Tools
places a desktop manager there that runs all the time to manage
your desktop crap for you. Since the control panel is always
available, take In Control out of your start up menu. Take anything
out that you dont use on a regular basis (just be careful,
as there may be programs Windows needs to run, but you've never
heard of before). If you can use it by clicking on it when you
need it, great, otherwise it's just a drain on resources. Many
times before a game you may find it advantageous to right-click
on the various items in your icon tray and close them to unload
memory / cpu hogs down there.
you have toned down the fluff, its time for a cleaning.
Hopefully using Scandisk and Defrag are not new to you. They should
be a part of your computer's regular diet. Run them regularly if you want your
PC to be in top shape. Defrag should be ran weekly as a minimum,
and scandisk no less than monthly. This will help keep all of
the corrupted files and clusters from hardening the arteries of
your machine, which in turn will raise your blood pressure. Another
important item as a gamer is a virus scanner. If you are a frequent
flyer on the Internet, dont leave home without a virus scan
(but it would help to turn it off while gaming). The first time
it saves your hard drive it becomes the most valuable purchase
you ever made. Recommended brands are Symantecs Norton Antivirus
and McAfee. Again, run and update regularly.
Now for the juicy stuff
the ones that Windows always puts up that warning to you that
your computer may not run... well, we dont guarantee it
either, but we certainly recommend trying these for better performance.
ANYTHING, back up the registry. To Backup your Windows 95/98 Registry
Explorer in Windows 9X, in the View Menu, choose Options
and be sure that the box "Show all file types" is checked
For Windows 98, in the View Menu, choose Folder Options
and click on the View tab, and see that "Show all
files" is checked under Hidden Files.
2.Be sure the box "Hide MS-DOS file extensions" is UNchecked
in both Windows 95/98 and hit OK.
3.Now, back in Windows Explorer, go to the Windows folder, probably
4.Copy system.dat and user.dat to a separate directory, like "C:\Backup"
The quicker fixer upper
click on "My Computer", choose properties > Performance
tab > File system. Under "Hard Disk", "Typical
role of this computer", change it to "Network server".
Click OK, but do not reboot yet.
2. In "Graphics", if you have an excellent system (with
plenty of memory) put the slider at full acceleration. If you
have problem with a jerky mouse, move it down one notch. Now click
ok and reboot.
Before you change this, it is recommended that you defragment
your harddrive first. Windows stores the swap file in one huge
chunk of drive real estate, so to make efficient use of your drive
it would be good to give it one large contiguous block to write
in "My Computer", Properties > Performance >
Virtual Memory. The best setting for your virtual memory is
twice the amount of RAM you have. For example, If you have 32
megs, set it to 64 (minimum and maximum) Also, if you have more
than one harddrive, it is recommended that you choose the harddrive
that is the fastest to save the swap file to.
Mine is set to: (128 megs of ram)
Also, the drive you choose here should be the harddrive with the
largest available space. The more room to cache into, the better.