Ten Tune-up Tips For Windows 98 Performance
Tip 8. Cleaning Up Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (and Netscape too!).
If you’ve been performing regular maintenance on your Windows 98 installation and are sitting there still wondering where all that hard drive space is going, maybe this next tip will make some sense.
If you spend a good deal of time on the Internet, there’s a good chance that the Internet Explorer cache is taking up a big chunk of hard drive space. Consider this, when you visit a Web site, the pages you are viewing are made up of multiple components such as HTML code, graphics, sound files, and scripts. Before Internet Explorer can display anything, all of these files must be first stored on your hard disk in what is referred to as Internet Explorer’s cache. Sometimes this caching of Web page content is good because it allows the page to be viewed more quickly as some of the page components already reside on your hard drive. Most of the time though, this caching only tends to take up needed hard drive space as well as slow your system down.
There’s a way of getting some of that lost disk space back, and here are the steps. By the way, this can be done either on-line or off-line:
- First, open Internet Explorer
- Now at the top of the Internet Explorer window, select Tools, then select Internet Options
- Next you will see the Internet Options properties sheet. (Figure P) Select the General tab, if it isn’t already selected for you. In looking at the properties sheet, you will see three areas, Home Page, Temporary Internet Files and History, with buttons in each area.
- Clicking the Delete button in the Temporary Internet Files section will cause all of the Temporary Internet Files to be deleted from your system. These are all of the cached Web pages that are stored on your system.
- To prevent this cache from filling back up, click the Settings button. This will bring up the settings window, where you can control the maximum amount of hard disk space that the Internet Explorer cache is allowed to use. If the current number is too high, lower this number to meet your needs. You also can use the Move Folder button to move or relocate this cache to another hard disk with more free space if you have more than one hard drive.
- Now, if you look just below the section for the Temporary Internet files, you’ll see the History section. Here you can click the Clear History button and remove even more accumulated old information. You can also decide how much Web site history you want Internet Explorer to save for you.
Clearing that Netscape cache
If you are using a typical Netscape installation, your Temporary Internet files are located in the following directory on your hard drive:
You can empty this cache from within Windows Explorer, or by creating a small batch file or you can use the Autoexec.bat file as explained in Tip #7.
Tip 9. Update the Drivers for various hardware items.
Since most of these tips are directed towards new users, and even some no so new but maybe unfamiliar with what makes their computers tick, it may be helpful to have a better understanding of some of the things that are necessary to make your computer work as it should.
You’ve no doubt read the term more than once, “Device”, but not entirely understood what the term means. The term device means a component or components that performs one or more functions as part of your computer. For example, on our Web site, we refer to the large printed circuit board in your computer as the main board or motherboard. To your computer though, the motherboard consists of many “devices”, such as the hard disk controller, floppy disk controller, universal serial bus (USB), printer port, serial port, power management controls, PCI bus etc. There are other components in your computer that are devices as well, such as an internal or external modem, video card, sound card, network card, CD-ROM drive and CD-ROM writer, just to name a few. Each of these devices, no matter what they are, requires a driver. A driver is a software program that enables Windows to activate and use the device. Without correct drivers, the device may operate inefficiently or not at all.
Some devices, such as the main board or motherboard, may work well with the drivers that are built into Windows 98. However, in most cases the motherboard requires special drivers directly from the manufacturer. Other devices, such as your network card, video card or sound card, will most times always work better with the third-party drivers provided by the manufacturer. We recommend that you use the manufacturers latest available drivers for all such devices whenever possible. In the case of systems that we build, the latest available drivers ship with the system, however this is not always the case with other manufacturers. Additionally, if your system is more than six months old, it is very possible that the device manufacturer has updated their drivers for a given device to improve performance.
For most brand name device products, you can download the latest driver versions directly from the Internet, and you should do so periodically. Again, new drivers usually perform better than old drivers, and they often contain fixes for previously detected bugs or problems. You will find most of the drivers you need right in our Technical Support Department.
Let’s take a look at the final Tip in this series Defragging Your Hard Drive
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