Getting Your Windows Squeaky Clean

Breathing new life into Windows 3.x

to its minimum. If you have less memory, you should try a larger swap file.
To access your swap file settings, open the Control Panel, double click on the 386-enhanced icon and click the virtual memory button. This displays the current swap file settings. To make changes, click change. Select permanent and use the recommended size for the file. A permanent swap file allows Windows to run faster because it occupies an unbroken stretch on your hard disk and ensures that Windows never runs out of space for the swap file, guaranteeing space for virtual memory.

Before you adjust your SMARTDrive or set up a permanent swap file, Brennan suggests running CHKDSK, a defragmenting program that helps prevent corruption m the system by retrieving errant data. This errant data can occur when you turn your computer off without properly shutting down or you frequently install and delete software. “A `defrag’ is the best method to monitor your SMARTDrive and swap file components,” says Brennan. “You don’t want to have extra memory lying around somewhere.”

To run CHKDSK, exit Windows and switch to your DOS directory. Enter CHKDSK/F at the DOS prompt. If CHKDSK finds any lost data, it will ask you if you want it converted into a file. Type N if you want the data deleted. Type Y if you’d like to keep it. If you Type Y, CHKDSK will save the information into one or more files named something like FILE0000.CHK. You can later view these files through the Windows Word Pad or Write applications to decide whether you really need them. Run CHKDSK at least monthly.

Also make a habit of sifting through all data files stored more than a month or longer. Copy the ones you think you’ll use someday onto a floppy and delete the rest. You can do this through your File Manager. You’d be surprised at how much space you have available. You can find many solutions to specific Windows 3.1 problems in the Knowledge Base page at

But if you can afford it, the best way to optimize your system’s performance would be to upgrade to Windows 95. “Windows 95 is more user- friendly, flexible and dynamic than 3.1,” says Brennan.
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