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4-1-2] What's all this about Win9x VCACHE settings?




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This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (fadden@fadden.com) with numerous contributions by others.

4-1-2] What's all this about Win9x VCACHE settings?

(2001/07/09)

One problem with Win95 is that by default the size of the file cache is
unrestricted. This means that all available memory will eventually get
filled up with file data, which will cause the virtual memory system to
start swapping out pages from executing applications. When something needs
to be executed from a page that has been swapped out, it takes time to pull
it back in off the disk. While this is happening, the CD recorder's buffer
could drain completely.

The procedure is simple:

(1) Open the file SYSTEM.INI with a text editor. This file is usually
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI.
(2) Find the section labeled "[vcache]".
(3) Add the following lines *after* the "[vcache]" line:
MinFileCache = 16384
MaxFileCache = 16384
(4) Save the changes to the file, and reboot.

The above values are recommended for a system with at least 64MB of RAM.
A common rule of thumb is to set "maxfilecache" to 25% of your RAM, up
to a maximum setting of 16MB. Because of (actual or perceived) bugs in
Win95, some people recommend setting "minfilecache" and "maxfilecache" to
the same value.

If you have an older system with only about 16MB of RAM, you might want
to use instead:

MinFileCache = 512
MaxFileCache = 4096

The [vcache] change has reportedly cured severe buffer underrun problems
with some versions of CDRWIN and removed popping noises during digital
audio extraction with Easy CD Creator. It's a good thing to do to any PC
running Win95. It's not necessary for WinNT. It's not clear whether this
will help with Win98, but it doesn't seem to hurt.

If you are uncomfortable tweaking your SYSTEM.INI file, try CacheMan at
http://www.outertech.com/. It allows you to modify the above settings,
and a few more besides.


 

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