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Windows 2000 Hard Drive and Memory Tweak Guide (Page 5/9)

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

Other Performance Options Continued...

Jeff, a very ‘patient’ reader, was kind enough to spend a great deal of time helping me get some of the kinks out of this guide, and sent me this table to illustrate this point and explain some of the background elements to priority settings:

Priority Class
Real-Time      High  Normal    Idle
Thread  Time Critical      31 15 15 15
Priority Highest    26 15 10 6
Above Normal       25 14 9 5
Normal    24 13 8 4
Below Normal       23 12 7 3
Lowest   22 11 6 2
Idle               16 1 1 1

It also should be mentioned that many times, when a user attempts to set a program to the real time priority they will fail and the program will be defaulted to the high priority class because the program is lacking a special security token allowing it to run at the real time priority class.

Registry Settings

Win2K is a really easy operating system to kill. In fact, it is actually easier to trash an install of a WinNT-based OS than it is to trash a Win9x-based OS, even with the added stability of WinNT. There are a variety of reasons for this that I won't go into here, but before you continue on with your tweaking (editing registry settings and fooling around with system services), make sure you have an Emergency Disk made and a copy of your registry backed up on your hard drive.

If you would like to modify any of the following registry settings by hand as opposed to using the supplied registry files, they can all be found under the HKLM/System/CurrentControlSet/Control/Session Manager/Memory Management key. To use the registry files, right click on the link and select open, and then agree with the dialogue box that asks you if you want to add this information to the registry.

ClearPageFileAtShutdown – This setting is a security setting that clears and overwrites the pagefile on your computer during shutdown. This setting will not change the performance of your computer but it will slow the shutdown procedure a bit. However, if you are paranoid about security, this is definitely something to enable. Enable the setting with this registry file or disable the setting with this one.

DisablePagingExecutive -- When enabled, this will disable paging the NT Executive files to the hard disk and force them to remain resident in the RAM. Enabling this setting will increase overall system performance, but it is only recommended for people with 128 MB of RAM or more because of the load that it puts on your system RAM. Enable this setting with this registry file or disable it with this one.

IOPageLockLimit -- This is one tweak that you may or may not get anything out of because it has high volume IO file systems in mind. If your computer has a lot of IO traffic it could definitely boost performance substantially. I personally don't recommend you even attempt this tweak unless you have at least 128 MB of RAM, but I will be including 1, 2, and 4 MB registry files for you to play with anyway. Most users will find that they will get significant performance increases with a setting between 8 and 16 MB assuming they have 128 MB of RAM. Systems with even more RAM than that may receive a performance increase with an even higher setting. Windows defaults this setting to 512KB, or 0.5MB.

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