How do I free up more system resources on my Windows 98SE system?
This question was answered on December 9, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
Freeing up System Resources (Not Recommended for the NOVICE! - Give this information to your technical friends to do!)
(The following assumes the O/S is Win98 or ME Win95 users will not have all steps available.)
(An alternative way of removing startup items is to uncheck them in Msconfig, but this leaves you in a permanent state of "Selective" startup which I consider undesireable It is easier to undo if you make a mistake, though...)
(1) From a fresh system restart, right click on "My Computer" and select "Properties" Click on the "Performance" tab and make a note of your "System Resources" Ideally, this number should be in the 90's If it is 75% or less, you definately have some work to do.
(2) Click on "Start", "Run", and type "scanregw" and click "OK"
If you get a message asking if you want to back up your registry, click on "Yes" After you get the "registry has been backed up" dialogue box, click "OK".
(3) Click on "Start", "Run", type "msinfo32" and click "OK".
Open the "Software Environment" branch and select "Startup Programs".
This will show you all the programs that are launching during startup and where they are loading from Some of them are required for functionality such as "Power Profile", "system tray", "Task Monitor", and "Scheduling Agent" Any Anti-Virus software will also be listed here Everything else is generally not necessary and can be trimmed out There will be 3 areas to do this These are the StartUp folder, the "Win.ini" file and in the registry itself.
(4) To clean up the StartUp folder, right click on the "Start" button and choose "explore" Select "Programs", right click in the righthand pane and create a new folder called "Disabled StartApps".
Select the "StartUp" folder, select all desired applications and drag them into the "Disabled StartApps" folder Make sure you "Move" them, not just copy Close the Explorer window when done.
(5) To clean up "Win.ini", click on "Start", "Run", type "sysedit" and click "OK" Select the "Win.ini" window and normally the first section will be the [WINDOWS] section If not, locate this heading.
Insert a semi-colon (or "rem") at the beginning of the "Load" and/or "Run" lines Close the "sysedit" windows and click on "Yes" to save changes Typically printer/scanner utilities are loaded here and you may lose some "features" on these devices If you must have them, or lose function of these devices, remove the semi-colon or Rem to restore them.
(6) To clean up the registry, click on "Start", "Run", type "regedit" and click "OK" Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version and look for \Run or \RunServices Before changing anything, select the key (Run or RunServices), click on the menu bar "Registry" and select "Export registry key" Create a name for the file (I use HCURUN and HCURUNSVC) and save it to the desktop Do this for each key you plan to modify This gives you a safety-net if you remove something critical Double-clicking on these .reg files will enter the information you are going to remove back into the registry.
Remove any entries in these 2 keys that you do not want to start with Windows Sometimes these 2 keys may not exist in HKEY_CURRENT_USER This is OK.
Repeat this procedure for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE being careful to "export" backups first Do not remove "systray", "Power profiles", "Task Manager" or "Scheduling Agent" Once you are satisfied, close regedit and restart your system.
(7) Once your system is back up, check your system resources again by right clicking "My Computer" and selecting the "performance" tab.
Hopefully this number will be higher than the original result Optimally it is in the Mid to Upper 90% range If you recieve any error messages or a device isn't working now, click on the appriopriate .reg file and open it to "undo" those changes.
(8) You're done! Typically on most systems that I perform service on, I am able to get initial System Resources up to 96% or better OEM systems (such as Compaq, HP, IBM, etc.) usually fare a little worse because of all the "chrome" the manufacturers like to put in to remind you incessantly that you have a Compaq, HP, IBM, etc As if you need to be reminded since you have already discovered many of the unique "features" of these systems after your first call to tech support But I digress Anyway, this will not only make your system a little quicker responding and more stable, it prolongs the point that Windows will eventually reach when it starts getting flaky and locking-up as memory leaks and non-recoverable resources get your system down to 40% or so.
As we always say, it is not a question of if Windows will crash, but when...
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Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on December 9, 2000
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