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Windows ME Tweak Guide (Page 3/4)

Posted: September 28, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

"The Big One" Revisited

Well, you now have two options when it comes to aligning your files on the hard disk so they can be loaded as easily as possible into memory (with the least overhead). The first, and easiest way, is using a program called Otuneup.exe that comes with Microsoft Office 2000 (I know it's in the Professional Edition, I'm not sure about the Small Business Edition). If you have it, use it - it's safe and easy. The second option, which there are a lot of reported problems with (it's a risky tweak - I take no responsibility if it screws up your computer), is to use walign.exe. Here are the instructions that I included in one of this guide's predecessors:

Here's the tweak that drove me to re-write this tweak guide. It can improve operating system and application speed by up to 10% by aligning your files for Windows to make them run faster (the computer dynamically aligns all files loaded into memory anyway, so doing it beforehand saves CPU time) - so listen up. Windows has a little program that is included with it called walign.exe. Originally this guide included step-by-step instructions on a variety of ways to use this program, but since then several things have come to my attention. The first of these things is that if you don't have Office 95/98 installed (that I missed because I have the full version of Office installed), the program will not work properly for you. There is, however, a registry trick that will fix this problem for you. So why did I remove the step-by-step instructions? Because there is an even easier way to align your files. Windows Magazine has written a little batch file and registry patch package that works wonders. It even includes an undo option of the optimization fails. Here's how it works:

- Download and extract the package to it's own directory.
- Merge the registry patch to your own registry unless you have a FULL copy of Office 95/98 (not Small Business Edition or stand-alone Word/Excel). Office 2000 includes it's own optimization program, so if you are using that, you will need to install the patch as well.
- Move the batch file to the directory you wish to optimize.
- Open a DOS window and go to the directory you wish to align and type in wmalign *.dll *.exe.
- Check the WMAlign.txt file to see which files didn't align properly and restore those from the UNALIGN directory. Also keep this directory in case you ever need to patch the program because the aligned files are not patchable.
- Defragment your disk to optimize the newly written files.

Cool, huh? Special thanks to "Random Kaos" for this information. If you want to take a look at the original Windows Magazine article, you can check it out here.

Either way will work (I've done both), but the first way is easier and safer. However, at the same time, the second way allows you to include your own files to be aligned by either using the command line or editing the winali.ini file - so it's up to you. Either way, good luck!

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