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Windows 7: A few tips about performance etc.

20 Jun 2010   #1

W7-Enterprise + WS-2008 (Converted to Workstation)
A few tips about performance etc.

A few tips about how to save space, increase performance, reduce defragmentation, and make life a lot easier when upgrading Operating Systems.

I use 8 partitions:
1. W7
2. Windows Server-2008 (WS2008)
3. Programs
4. Documents & Media
5. W7-Pagefile 1
6. WS2008-Pagefile 1
7. W7-Pagefile 2
8. WS2008-Pagefile 2

the drive-letters:
Running W7: W7=C, WS2008=D, Programs=E
Running WS2008: WS2008=C, W7=D, Programs=E

To reduce defragmentation on the system-partition, I have separate partitions for “Programs” and “Documents & Media”.
I also have the pagefiles on their own partitions, and to increase performance they are on 2 other harddisks.
W7-#1 & WS2008-#1 are on harddisk 2, W7-#2 & WS2008-#2 are on harddisk 3.

Saving space
As you can see above both O/S´s see the Program-partition as “E”, so here is a little “trick” I use,
when i install a program under fx. W7, I install it on “E”.
fx. Program “ABCD” is installed on E:\program files\ABCD\
if i want to have the same program also on WS2008, i ONCE AGAIN install it to the SAME folder on “E”.
This saves a lot of space, instead of installing the programs on both the W7 & the WS2008-partition.
And since many programs keeps their settings in their “own” folder i don´t have to change the same settings 2 times.
For all those programs that don´t need to be "installed", just create a shortcut to them on fx. the Desktop / Taskbar.

Another small “trick” to have both O/S´s “synchronized”,
I create a shortcut to the program in a “menufolder” on “E”, in both W7 & WS2008 i create a desktop-shortcut to that “menufolder”.
If I later make any changes to the “menufolder” then it´s updated for both W7 & WS2008.

Saving time when upgrading O/S

I previously used XP & Vista, when W7-beta was released I replaced XP with W7, and since I have all 3rd-party programs on “E”, i could almost immediately use fx. Firefox, Opera, Foxit etc.
Since some programs put their settings on the system-partition, all I had to do was copying the settings from Vista (C:\users\) to W7.
I had them “synchronized”, all settings for fx. Firefox where identical on both partitions.
Later when W7-RC was released I made a clean install as recommended, and had everything up and running in just a few minutes.
And when i recently replaced Vista with WS2008, after doing the conversion to a workstation, i once again could use everything almost immediately.

Enhance performance
Install a Ramdisk.
It makes a BIG difference to have the tempfiles & browser-cache on a ramdisk instead of the harddisk.

One FREE ramdisk that works perfectly with XP, Vista, WS2008 and W7 i
s AR-Soft´s Ramdisk

But, you have to install it in “Compatibility-mode” for windows 2000.
Note: if you use Online Armor, then you have to change “Operating-mode” to “Emulate a Local Harddisk”, otherwise it will not start.

For ramdisks bigger then 127 MB, you have to change “sector size” to 1024 bytes per sector.
Select a drive-letter.
Restart the computer.

Another ramdisk that is even better is DataRAM´s Ramdis
k: RAMDisk - Software - Server Memory Products & Services - Dataram

i decided to test Data-RAM´s Ramdisk, so i replaced AR-Soft with DataRAM a few hours ago.
it´s really good software, to my big surprise it not only supports FAT16, but also FAT32 & NTFS !

since i use a ramdisk primarily for my browsercache i selected FAT32,
because it gives better performance with a lot of small files.

it´s working very well, to my surprise i have noticed a BIG improvement in speed, not only when surfing but in general !
it also has internal support for saving the content on the ramdisk when you shutdown your computer,
it creates an image on your harddisk which can later be restored when you restart.

that´s a lot faster then my previous method of copying the files back to the ramdisk !
when my computer has started and i have logged in, the browsercache is already on the ramdisk,
and i also haven´t noticed any delay in the boot-process.


If your ramdisk isn´t big enough you might get problems when installing new software, i use a small bat-file, so i don´t have to change the settings back just for the installation.

Y: #2
"E:\Program Files\TCC\tcc.exe" #4

#1 folder on another partition, NOT on my system-partition as i want to reduce defragmentation !
#2 changes disk
#3 switches to my download-folder
#4 starts TCC-LE, a much better commandshell then CMD.

Take Command Product Information

i REALLY recommend TCC-LE, it supports all commands from CMD plus has many more new commands.

the main reason i use it is that i´ve used the predecessor 4DOS for many years and i really like all the "extras".

but the BIG advantage fx. in this case, while installing new software is this:
press F7 and it lists all the files in the folder in a new popup-window, scroll to the file you want
to install and press "Enter", then it puts the file on the commandline, then just press "Enter" again
and your installation starts...
if you enter the first letter of your files name before you press F7, then it lists all files that starts with that letter.

when your installation has finished, close the window.

of course you can use CMD, but then you have to type the filename.

using install.bat is a lot easier then having to change the 2 TEMP-variables twice,
twice because you must first change back to C:, run the installation, and then once again change them to your ramdisk.

BUT, the install.bat-file above doesn´t work for some software, fx. when installing Microsoft Office 2007,
then you MUST change the Temp-variables back to C: or another harddisk, unless you have a really big ramdisk, it doesn´t work with a 500MB ramdisk...

Move tempfiles

Control panel System Advanced system settings.

Move the browsercache
Firefox: open a new tab, enter “about:config”, enter “”
Opera: open a new tab, enter “opera:config#UserPrefs|CacheDirectory4”
change the drive-letter to the ramdisk
fx. “R:\Firefox”

IE8: Tools Internet options Browsing history Settings Move folder, select the ramdisk

Google chrome: right-click on the shortcut to Chrome properties, in the target-window add “--disk-cache dir=”
if you also want to specify the size: add” --disk-cache-size=XX”
XX=size in MB
Example: "E:\PROGRAM FILES\GOOGLE CHROME\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --disk-cache-dir="R:\chrome" --disk-cache-size=100

added: For all those programs that don´t need to be "installed", just create a shortcut to them on fx. the Desktop / Taskbar.

Update 2
added new info about
DataRAM´s Ramdisk.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install

TY for the great tips and advice. To supplement may I present the forums own tutorial.

Optimize Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #3

MS Windows 8

Am newbie here....would you mind explaining what is ramdisk for?
and another thing, how would you change the pagefile for windows 7 to another disk?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Jun 2010   #4

W7-Enterprise + WS-2008 (Converted to Workstation)

rbeldua: didn´t you read this above ?

"Enhance performance
Install a Ramdisk.
It makes a BIG difference to have the tempfiles & browser-cache on a ramdisk instead of the harddisk."

to get faster surfing, faster computer....

it makes a BIG difference, at least on my computer...

Move Pagefile

if you want to follow my tip, then create a new partition on another harddisk first.

Control panel
System Advanced system settings → under performance: → settings → advanced → virtual memory: → change

unmark C:
select the new harddisk, you can also set the size
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #5

MS Windows 8

hackerman1; yeah I read it, but its still doesnt explain how it works...anyway thanks, another thing I didnt clear myself there when I meant how to move the pagefile...what I meant to move the a flash disk or SD card...I once move the pagefile to a SD card in windows XP using the same old method system properties, advance, performance, settings then virtual memory.. then choose the SD card or flash disk...but in windows 7 I could not see the SD card..maybe you could help me out...the system is much faster if move to SD card or flash disk..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #6

W7-Enterprise + WS-2008 (Converted to Workstation)

a ramdisk is a virtual disk in your computers memory, that´s why it´s a lot faster then your harddisk.

if you want a more technical explanation then Google...

you can´t put the pagefile on any USB-memory, SD-card etc.
that´s because those are not available to the O/S when booting, they are seen "too late" by the O/S.

but, you can use a CompactFlash to IDE-adapter & a CompactFlash-card, IDE-units are available early in the boot-process
so the O/S sees the CF-card as a harddisk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2010   #7

MS Windows 8

hackerman1; ahh ok...that explains why i could not move the pagefile to a SD card...i was worried something is wrong with my OS..thanks for your time
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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