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Windows 95 and Windows 98 Guest Operating System Performance Tips

This section offers advice for configuring a Windows 95 or Windows 98 guest operating system for better performance inside a VMware Workstation virtual machine.

Note: This document pertains to the guest operating system that is running inside a VMware Workstation virtual machine. It does not describe actions that should be taken on the host.

Guest Operating System Selection

Make certain you have selected the correct guest operating system in the virtual machine settings editor — VM > Settings > Options.

VMware Tools

Make certain VMware Tools is installed. VMware Tools provides an optimized SVGA driver and sets up the VMware Tools service to run automatically when the system starts. Among other things, the VMware Tools service allows you to synchronize the virtual machine's clock with the host computer's clock, which can improve performance for some functions. You can install VMware Tools by choosing VM > Install VMware Tools.

DMA Mode for IDE Disks

Windows 95 OSR2 and later (including Windows 98) can use direct memory access (DMA) for faster access to IDE hard disks. However, this feature may not be enabled by default.

You can turn on DMA access using the guest operating system's Device Manager.

1. Right-click My Computer and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.

2. Click the + sign beside Disk Drives to show your virtual machine's individual drives.

3. Right-click the entry for each IDE drive to open its Properties dialog box.

4. Under Settings, check the box labeled DMA and accept any warning Windows displays.

5. Restart Windows for the new settings to take effect.

Full Screen Mode

Run your virtual machine in full screen mode. Click the Full Screen button on the VMware Workstation toolbar.

Swap File Usage

In your system.ini file, in the [386enh] section, add the following line:

ConservativeSwapFileUsage=1

Visual Effects

Windows 98 has a number of visual effects, designed to be attractive, that place unnecessary demands on the graphics emulation in VMware Workstation. Some users have seen performance improvements when they turn off these special effects.

To modify these settings, right-click on the desktop of your virtual machine, then select Properties from the pop-up menu. Click the Effects tab and uncheck the Animate windows, menus, and lists check box.

Also, if you have Show window contents while dragging checked, try unchecking that check box.

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