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Written by: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Posted: February 15, 2000
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. If you have very small partitions (512 MB. or less), the Drive Converter won't convert your drive. However, there is a way around this:
-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.
It is important to be careful when performing this optimization - because you ARE reformatting your hard drive after all. 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 Geforce 256 and Voodoo3 Tweak Guides) that will increase your overall game performance.
Dan (editor): "Phew, lots of shameless plugs!"