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Windows 9x Tweak Guide

Posted: April 27, 1999
Written by: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Calling all tweaking fanatics - Welcome to the realm of the Tweak. Tweak is a wonderful realm where everything runs at light-speed. You'll never have to worry about upgrading again - Then you woke up.

Now that you are awake, let's get down to the reality. Things are never quite fast enough, and the only way to fix that is through an endless cycle of upgrading that would drive even the least money conscious person insane. But what would you say if I told you there was another way, a way to break out of that endless cycle. The first step in breaking out of the upgrade cycle is to tweak your operating system - and currently, the most popular one just happens to be Windows 98.

System Startup

System startup optimization can determine how well your computer will run while it's cruising through all your applications and games. Luckily, Dan has written a kickass "System Startup Tweak Guide" that includes a great deal of information on optimizing system startup. Here are a few other ideas for your tweaking pleasure.

Begin by creating a file called MSDOS.BAT. Then open sysedit (start menu/run) and move all of the entries from the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files into the MSDOS.BAT file. This should speed up boot-speed considerably, and if there is a problem, you can always restore your old settings.

To delete leftover temporary files from the computer at startup, place the following lines in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file:

@DelTree /Y C:\WINDOWS\Temp

To speed up Windows, try adding the following setting to your CONFIG.SYS file:


File System Optimization

FAT32 is probably the biggest performance booster in the entire Windows 98 upgrade. Use the Drive Converter to convert your partitions to FAT32 and gain performance. However, if you have very small partitions (512 Mbs or less), the Drive Converter won't convert your drive. However, there is a way around this. Warning: This is a dangerous procedure.

-Backup all the files on the drive.
-Restart the computer in MS-DOS mode.
-Type Fdisk /fprmt. This will start up the program with support for FAT32 for small hard drives.
-Use Fdisk to delete your drive partition (called a logical drive).
-Then use the program to create a logical Dos drive using the freed hard disk space. Make sure that the FAT32 file system is selected.
-Exit to the DOS prompt and type format /[drive:] /Z:512 to format the drive with a sector size of 512 bytes. If this is too small, any multiple of 512 should work.

Other Hard Drive optimizations can be found in the Hard Drive / Memory Tweak Guide.

Windows 98 System Tweaks

Installing new drivers for your hardware is imperative to top-notch performance. Check out Drivers Headquarters for links to the driver support pages for most (if not all) PC hardware distributors.

Most Win98 settings tweaks are covered in the CD-ROM Tweak Guide, the Hard Drive / Memory Tweak Guide, the Modem Tweak Guide, the System Startup Tweak Guide and the Windows Shell Tweak Guide. Here are some other ones for your tweaking pleasure.

First start by disabling system sounds. To do this, go to the control panel/sounds applet. Under the Schemes section, select "No Sounds" and click ok. This will speed up your system dramatically. Also, removing your desktop background and any unnecessary icons should free up a lot of system memory.

You might also want to check out the CPU and Motherboard Tweak Guide for information on some tweaking programs that will further increase your performance. Also, we have several tweak guides for video cards (including the mammoth Riva TNT Tweak Guide) that will increase your overall game performance.


I know this one was short... but you expected me to rewrite all the info that is posted at Tweak3D? Gimme a break. A special thanks goes out to Michael "Cyprex" Fowler, who wrote the original Win98 Tweak Guide.

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