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Windows 2000 Hard Drive and Memory Tweak Guide (Page 2/9)


Posted: May 26, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Direct Memory Access Continued...

One of the nice features of Win2k is that you can enable DMA without any of the problems inherent to installing it on the Win9x platform. Why is that? It is because the system will dynamically check for compatibility if you set it to do so, rather than forcing the setting upon an incompatible hard drive. To enable DMA, you will need to once again get access to the Device Manager. Scan down to your IDE controller and select the Primary IDE channel. Go to the advanced settings tab. For each device, set its device type to Auto Detection, and its transfer mode to DMA if available (this works for your CD-ROM as well). Repeat the process for the Secondary IDE channel and then reboot. You should see a very nice performance boost.

Enabling UDMA/66

However, even after you have enabled DMA on your IDE channels, UDMA/66 is still disabled by default in Win2k. To enable it, it is necessary to play around with the registry a bit. If you would like to perform the operation manually, you can do it by browsing to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0000 key and adding a new DWORD value called EnableUDMA66. Set the value to 1 to enable UDMA/66 or to 0 to disable UDMA/66. Or you can use the following registry files [Enable UDMA/66 | Disable UDMA/66].

Disk Defragmentation

Finally, Microsoft saw fit to include a defrag tool (which is actually a modified version of the Diskeeper Lite program) along with Windows 2000. I've got one piece of advice for you -- use it, and use it often. Okay, so maybe that's two pieces of advice. The included defragmenter is notoriously slow, however, so be prepared to run it overnight. If you've got the extra cash to spare, and want as great a performance increase as possible, go for a program like Diskeeper. It will not only defragment your files, but it will also reorganize them and defragment your pagefile as well Ė oh, and did I mention that you can set it to run on time intervals, dynamically in the background, or on startup as well?

NTFS vs. FAT32

Both NTFS and FAT32 have their strengths and weaknesses. NTFS is a secure file system and is generally faster than FAT32 under Win2k on larger file partitions. However, unlike NTFS, FAT32 is compatible with Win9x as well and is plenty fast on smaller drives. My recommendation would be to use NTFS if you are only running Windows 2000 on your computer, but if you are dual-booting with Win9x or Linux, you have to have at least one of your partitions set to FAT32. If you are a real speed phreak, you could put your Win2k system files and pagefile on an NTFS partition (a small one), and all of your data files on a FAT32 partition for sharing between all of your OSes. Of course, if you do that, you canít share paging files between OSes Ė but thatís another issue.

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