What are the best ways to speed up Windows 98?

I’m interested in hearing what everyone thinks are the best ways to speed up their computer that is running Windows 98.

I’ve found that it is very helpful if you have very few programs that actually are on your desktop, instead using the quickstart bar on the lower left to run all your main programs.

Of course, defraging regularly is good to.

What do you find works?

Here’s some links that might be handy:

Win98 - Performance & Troubleshooting
Win98 - Reducing Clutter

The site, annoyances.org, is actually a very good site for all kinds of Windows 98 questions and tips; one of my ports of call when I have a problem or when someone posts one here.

Defrag early, defrag often.

Empty the recycle bin.

Do a search for *.tmp, delete the files it finds.

Reduce your browser cache file. If you have a high-speed connection, make the cache 1MB or less.

Uninstall unneeded apps, especially those that start up automatically (Realplayer does this, as does AOL).

Reformat your hard drive and reinstall Windows. It does wonders.

Defrag again.

um… offhand I would say buy a faster computer, more ram, faster processer, more rpms and less seek time on the old hard drive and so on.

If you haven’t already done it, this helps a little

Select Control Panel
Select System
Select the ‘performance’ tab
Select ‘File System’
Under Typical role of this Computer – select ‘Network Server’ Click OK

Plus: clean & defrag the registry…You’d be surprised how many old links it has.

Upgrade to Win 2K.

There is a utility out there that lets you uninstall Internet Exploiter and speeds things up alot. I thouht it was called Winlite, but the search didn’t turn up what I expected, so it must be something else.

Or you could upgrade to Linux.

There’s a few useful utilities I can think of…if you have your original Win98 CD to hand, install the Windows 98 Resource Kit, which has a host of tools, and also download TweakAll and/or TweakUI from the web – they’re both user-friendly editors for some of the “hidden” settings.

“Upgrade to Win 2K”

It lacks drivers for many many things that we need. The home version of 2000 is called Whistler & should be out soon.

Handy, how does one go about “cleaning and defragging” the registry??

re: cleaning & defragging the registry

There are utilities available to do this. Try Regclean. Be VERY careful doing this. Usual disclaimers about making backups apply.

Also, check out 98Lite. This is a 3rd party utility that allows the user greater control over Win98 installation options, such as making Internet Explorer an option, diabling native web support or even substiting the Win98 explorer with the old Win95 explorer for a real speed boost. I’ve been running the lite version for a few months now and have been quite impressed with the speed and performance enhancements.


Personally, I think the easiest way to do this is to

Click Start, click Run.

Type msconfig and press enter.

Choose Selective Startup.

Remove the checks next to Process Config.sys file, Process Autoexec.bat file, and Load Startup group items.

Click Apply, then OK, and let it restart.
Once you restart, you’ll notice that you don’t have many of the icons that you had in your system tray (down by the clock). All I can say is boo-hoo. You don’t need all that crap anyway, and those things usually muck up your system performance anyway. If you really need some things back, it’s cool. You can run msconfig again and click the startup tab in the upper right hand corner. Then you can add the checks you need, such as things for anti virus or winmodem and stuff like that.

Whammo, I wouldn’t do registry cleaning without a third party program like System Suite 2000 or Nortons. You can of course try RegClean but pay attention to how to undo it.

download.com might have some better free registry cleaners.

messiah - Thanks for the tip on switching the setting to network server. It gave me quite a bit more speed.

Enabling DMA on your HD and CDROM should give quite a performance boost if your setup will allow it.
This is particularly important with a DVDROM if you want good quality video.

Rambooster is a useful utility as well.
Downloading one of the many free process monitors (to kill greedy processes) can help too.

tweak3d.net is another good place to look for general windows tweaking. Very game-oriented, but a pretty good place to look, nevertheless. There are a number of handy hardware/windows specific tweaking guides posted.

Be sure to disable sounds and bulky background graphics if you have less than 96 mb of ram. Check to make sure you have as few “riders” in your system try as possible (e.g. virus scanners, multimedia programs such as winamp and realplayer and so on).