For those in need of tweaking.

Win98 and WinME Tips and Tricks

1. System.ini
Edit your C:\\WINDOWS\\SYSTEM.INI file. Open it with your favorite text editor and enter these lines.



2. conservativeswapfileusage=1
This can significantly reduce Virtual memory use - it makes Windows use RAM before the (slow hard drive) Swapfile. This setting will tell Windows ME not to use the swap file at all until all of the RAM is used. After all of the RAM is used up, the computer will push most of the infrequently used data to the swap file so this is a very good adjustment (“tweak”). This is particularly beneficial for those with 256MB RAM or more.

3. MinTimeSlice=15
This is a weird one, if you set it to 1 it’ll smooth multitasking quite a lot, but performance might go down a bit, default is 20. Experiment with different values for they might work better for you. The option has to do with multitasking and lesser values are better for multitasking.

4. DMABufferSize=64
For tweaking DMA performance. This will conserve at least 64KB of memory to DMA (direct memory access) to reinsure that your DMA devices
always have enough memory allocated. Note that this tweak should only be used if you have one or more DMA enabled devices on your system.

5. PageBuffers=32
This setting tells the computer to dedicate a certain amount of RAM to buffer the hard drive rather than allowing the operating system to dynamically handle the buffer. Windows dynamic handling of most memory issues is very inefficient, due to the large difference Windows sets between minimum and maximum values. 32 is the highest setting the operating system allows, so it is recommended that you use this value.

6. MaxFileCache=16384 and MinFileCache=16384.
This setting, a well known hotline tip, is performed automatically when installing Cubase. But we do not agree with the cache size Cubase sets, in many cases it’s still too high. The memory Windows uses to cache the hard disks is much too high, reduces the usable RAM, and causes an un-predictable behavior of the hard disk for most audio software. Use the Editor to open the file system.ini in the Windows directory and add the following lines to the already existing topic ‘vcache’:

7. Chunksize=x.
Chunksize can effect performance. Vcache is a single block of memory that is divided into chunks. If the Chunksize is too small it will occupy to many chunks & when set too large it will occupy too few chunks.

A program can have more than one chunk, but if it doesn’t divide evenly into the size of the chunk, some RAM goes unused (i.e. is fragmented). On one hand, having a smaller chunk size allows for less wasted RAM in the vcache. On the other hand, a larger chunk size increases the access speed for the vcache. Common values are 128, 256, 512, 1024, and 2048 .

The rule of thumb is, if you have any newer monster multi-GigaByte size hard disk, you may want to set this value to “high”: 2048. The ideal value will lie in between two extremes. x represents a numeric value that is a multiple of 512, e.g. 512, 1024 & so on. Depending on your in/MaxFileCache settings a good starting value for x would be 512 or 1024. Default in the registry (void of actual entry line in Sys.ini is 512). If after all tweaks you still find the system sluggish, unstable, dropped frames and/or poor sync try 1024 up to 2048.

OS Based Tips & Instructions

8. Virtual Memory
Leave it alone (RME Audio Recommends this

9. Enable DMA for all ATA/ATAPI drives in the Device Manager.
Almost every new HardDisk and CD-ROM supports DMA).
Control Panel -> System -> Device Manager -> Disk Drives -> your HardDisk Properties -> Settings (check DMA=on)

10 Disable auto-insert notification for all CD-ROMs and other removable media.
Control Panel -> System -> Device Manager -> CD-ROM -> your CD-ROM Properties -> Settings (check AutoInsert Notification=off)

11. Change the file managing system from Desktop PC to Network Server. Control Panel -> System -> Performance -> File System -> Hard Disk
Change the typical role of this computer to Network Server.

12. Disable all window and menu animation effects
Control Panel -> Display -> Effects. Disable animations, but leave “font smoothing” on!)

13. Disable the Windows Active Desktop “web view”
Control Panel -> Display -> Web (deselect “show Web Content on my Active Desktop”)

14. Disable Floppy Check:
Open Control Panel ---> System ---> Performance Tab ---> File System ---> the Floppy Disk tab ---> uncheck the box so the system doesn’t check for a NEW floppy drive every time it starts.

15. TURN OFF FILE WRITE-BEHIND CACHING (Tascam Recommends this)
Start / Settings / Control Panel / System Icon / Performance Tab / File
System / Troubleshooting / Check the Disable Write-Behind Caching For All Drives checkbox.

16. Turn off Automatic Updating (Win ME)
This will hog your modem for the first 30 minutes every day the first time you go on line if not turned off.
Start ---> Settings ---> Taskbar ---> Advanced ---> check Expand Control Panel ---> close it ---> click Start ---> Settings ---> Control Panel ---> Automatic Updates ---> turn OFF Automatic Updating.

17. Disable these Start menu settings
Msconfig and ---> press Enter. Click ---> the Startup tab ---> UNCHECK
PcHealth, StateMgr, SchedulingAgent and TaskMon. Finally reboot, so all
these changes can take effect.

TaskMon is VITAL for monitoring the loading of programs so that they can be optimized during Defrag for faster loading. Therefore I recommend NOT disabling it.” [Thank you Guy (dr_teeth@b...)!]
Set Read-ahead optimization to None or 50%
Control Panel -> System -> Performance -> File System -> Hard Disk.
The slider setting changes the amount of RAM used for read-ahead optimization.

Basically, Windows stores data temporarily to RAM versus your HD, since
access to data stored in RAM is faster than access to data stored on your HD. Changing the “Read-Ahead Optimization” setting to “None” will, however, prevent block-size chunks of data (in the range of 1-2K) from being cached.

Retrieving and reading this cached information interferes with high data rate playback. Selecting to None option causes the disk cache to flush continually. If you have problems with “realtime” transitions and/or drop frames in Premiere or av sync in capture. This is usually due to poor disk burst activity - setting to full will help. If have RAM > 128 MB try set to Full or 50 %.


With Utility from
Or Manually: Enjoy this original WinME tip courtesy of Conny Jonsson (conny@g...): conny/

Here is how to permanently uninstall the PCHealth and System Restore tools from Windows ME, to be able to prevent System Restore from making new backups, AND unprotect ALL “_Restore” folders and files, to allow their deletion (to rid your disk of bloat files), which would be otherwise impossible.

The only disadvantage is that the Help item from Start Menu and the Windows Help system has to go too [ ], but you can still access Help from your applications’ Help menu, or if you hit F1.

1. Launch Notepad, and cut & paste this:

------------------- Begin cut & paste here ----------------------------
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\C urrentVersion\\Policies\\Explor

------------------ End cut & paste here ------------------------------

Save this text file as NOHLP.REG. Double-click on it to merge this
information into your Registry. Reboot.

You may also have to delete the “VXDMon” value from the Registry before
going any further (and then reboot). Run Regedit and go to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\System\\CurrentControlSet\\Ser vices\\VxD\\VxDMon

2. To remove PCHealth from your system, copy the text below, paste it in the Start Menu ---> Run box, and then ---> click OK:
rundll.exe setupx.dll,InstallHinfSection Uninstall 132 windir%\\INF\\PCHealth.inf

This text string is found under this Registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\ CurrentVersion\\Uninstall\\PCHealth

This should suffice, but some PCHealth strings are left in the registry. They won’t do any harm, but you might want them out anyway.

3. With Regedit open, find and delete these strings:
“PCHealth” from: ---> HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\ Software\\ Microsoft
“PerUser_PCHealth” from: ---> HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\ Software\\ Microsoft\\ Active Setup\\ Installed Components and:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\ SOFTWARE\\ Microsoft\\ Active Setup\\ Installed Components

Then go to:
4B2C-95B0-713284FBC302} \\ToolboxBitmap32 and delete the text content in the right hand pane.

4. Finally search Regedit for StateMgr.exe and delete all matching keys. Done! This hack works fine for me and hopefully it will do the same for you, with or without any modifications to the steps above.”

One last tweak that I would consider is disabling bus mastering on all other non-audio cards (Video cards.. etc..) and also disabling 4x AGP mode in the bios. It is my assumption that this will reduce PCI bandwidth taken up by the AGP video card.

***I use all the tweaks above with good success
and have yet to use any of the Registry tweaks below.***


These are some registry tweaks which look interesting but I have NOT tested:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\System\\CurrentControlSet\\Ser vices\\VxD\\BIOS]


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\System\\CurrentControlSet\\Ser vices\\VxD\\VCOMM]


BIOS Changes possible for RAM - RAM tweaks

Seeing as RAM is a lot better performing than the Swapfile, it can help a great deal to optimize your memory settings. Restart your PC & enter the BIOS. The following settings, generally contained in the Advanced chipset features/Chip configuration section, can greatly improve memory performance &/or stability.

Bank 0/1, 2/3, 4/5 DRAM timing.
Use this to set the DRAM memory module
timing. Most BIOS’ default to 10ns. Other options available may be
(depending on BIOS) 8ns, Normal, Medium, Fast, Turbo. Selecting a different setting may improve RAM performance, but reduce stability. Turbo is the fastest setting; 10ns is the slowest (& most stable).

DRAM Clock.
With the VIA Apollo 133 based motherboards you have the option to change SDRAM speed. Settings available are Host CLK or +/-33. Host CLK allows the SDRAM to run at the same speed as the Ext. Clock (FSB). You can use the +/-33 if you want to run the RAM slower/faster than the Ext. Clock, e.g. If your Ext. Clock is 100Mhz you could use +33 to allow your SDRAM to run at 133Mhz. This is a great option for those of you with PC 133 SDRAM. Or alternatively you could run at a 133Mhz Ext. Clock while your RAM runs at 100Mhz by using the -33 setting. Or you could run PC133 RAM at 133Mhz on a 133Mhz Ext. Clock (aka FSB) by using the Host CLK option. As you can see this option allows for many possibilities.

Delay DRAM read latch.
The lower the value for this the better the memory performance, although stability may be affected. Higher values may improve system stability at the cost of performance.

DRAM speculative leadoff.
Enable this for better performance, although it could make your system unstable, disable it if it does.

Memory Hole At 15M-16M.
Some old add-in cards need this enabled to work
properly. If you have such a card then enable this, otherwise disable it.

Memory parity/ECC check/DRAM Data Integrity Mode.
In the unlikely event you have ECC (Error Correcting Code) memory installed then you should set this to ECC, otherwise set it to non-ECC. Most memory is non-ECC & not really recommended for most users unless the need the added stability (some claim it is slower when ECC is being used - I use it and do not experience it being lower).

RAS active time.
A high number will increase performance of the system’s SDRAM. Decrease if stability is affected.

RAS to CAS delay.
This should be set to a low number, although it is affected by the quality of you RAM, so set it higher if you have any difficulties afterwards.

Read around write.
This is a DRAM optimization feature. If a memory read is addressed to a location whose latest write is being held in a buffer before being written to memory, the read is satisfied through the buffer contents, & the read is not sent to the DRAM. Set this to Enabled for better memory performance.

SDRAM Bank Interleave.
For best memory performance set this to 4-bank/way, although lower settings may help improve stability.

SDRAM CAS Latency Time/SDRAM cycle length.
This sets the CAS latency timing of the DRAM system memory access cycle when SDRAM system memory is installed. Setting this to 2 will yield better performance, although may be less stable if your SDRAM is not CAS2 rated. 3 is slower & should be used when SDRAM isn’t CAS2 rated or you want to improve stability. NOTE - CAS2 can significantly improve performance in many ways.

SDRAM Precharge control.
When Enabled, all CPU cycles to SDRAM result in an All Banks Precharge Command on the SDRAM interface. Setting this to Enabled should improve RAM performance. NOTE - When overclocking, particularly when you have an AGP graphics card that’s running at non-spec AGP bus speeds Disabling this may improve stability.

Resources Quoted in This Tutorial :