NewDeal Technical Support Document 222


Suggestions to increase the speed performance of NewDeal software

NewDeal software runs relatively fast when compared to other graphical operating systems like OS/2 and Windows. However, here are a few suggestions for increasing the speed of NewDeal software on your computer.

Extra Memory

Adding additional memory (RAM) to your computer will give you the most dramatic speed improvement. NewDeal software will run with only 640k or 1 MB of RAM, but to do so it must frequently access your hard disk to store and retrieve information. Hard disks are much slower than memory. Additional memory gives NewDeal more space to hold information, meaning fewer trips to the hard disk. If your computer has only one MB or less, adding another MB of RAM will noticeably improve the speed performance of the software. If your machine already has 4 MB or more of RAM, then adding more won't make a significant difference.

Streamline your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files

No matter how much memory you have, make the most of it. Each TSR and device that loads from your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files takes up memory. If you aren't using a program, you can disable it by putting the word REM at the beginning of the line that loads the program.

You can use the NewDeal Text File Editor, or the MS-DOS Edit command, the Windows Notepad, or the DR-DOS Editor to edit your AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS files. Before you change them, make a bootable floppy disk (also called a system disk) and copy your original CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to the floppy so you can start your computer from this floppy in case of problems. If you aren't familiar with your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files, see technical support document 206 (AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS) for more information.

If you have a 386 or 486 computer and at least 2 MB of RAM, you should be using an Expanded Memory Manager and loading some of your TSRs and device drivers into upper memory. See your DOS manual or consult a computer software dealer for more information on expanded memory managers.

Tell NewDeal Preferences that you have additional memory

NewDeal software will take advantage of any memory you have. To enable your extra memory, launch Preferences and click on the Computer button. Under the section labeled Extra Memory Type, click on all three memory types: Expanded (LIM/EMS), XMS/HIMEM.SYS, and Extended (above 1 MB). Don't worry about whether or not you have all three types. Click on OK. When told that the software has to shut down, click on Yes. NewDeal will examine your memory setup and retain settings for the types of memory that you have available. If you later add more memory or change your memory configuration, you may need to repeat this process.

NOTE - QEMM users: If you are running QEMM in Stealth Mode, don't select Expanded (LIM/EMS). To see if you're running QEMM in Stealth Mode or not, you can check your CONFIG.SYS file for ST:M or ST:F in one of the QEMM lines. If you don't see ST:M or ST:F, you aren't running QEMM in stealth mode. If you are running QEMM and are unable to enter NewDeal Office after selecting the extra memory types, enter:

NEWDEAL /nomem
to start your NewDeal software. Then go into Preferences, Computer and de-select Expanded (LIM/EMS).

Increase the number of handles

NewDeal software uses "handles," which are pointers to blocks of memory where information is kept. If you have too few handles available, you may receive an error message about being "low on handles" or "bad handle passed to system." If you get such messages, try increasing the number to the maximum of 3500 in Preferences, Newdeal (or NewDOS or GEOS).

Change the Page Size and Max File Size settings

If you have at least 2MB of RAM and 8 MB free disk space, you may want to modify the Page Frame and Max File Size settings in the Newdeal (or NewDOS or GEOS) area of Preferences. The Page Size is the size of each "chunk" of data NewDeal swaps in and out of memory, or to and from your hard disk. Max File Size controls how large the swap file on your hard disk is allowed to become before NewDeal runs out of swap space. The Max File Size is in Kbytes. If you increase this setting, make sure you have enough free space on your hard disk to accommodate the larger swap file.

Some users have found that changing both the Page Size to 4096 significantly increases the speed of loading applications and documents. To change the setting, launch Preferences and click on the Newdeal (or NewDOS or GEOS) button. Change the setting, then click on OK, then click on Yes when informed that the software needs to shut down.

Keep in mind that changing this setting may not increase performance on your particular system. Whether or not it will help depends on many factors that are specific to your computer and your memory configuration. You will need to try it and see if it increases your performance. If so, great. If not, you can go back into Preferences and change it back to 2048.

Note: If you work with large bit map files or import/export files larger than 1 MB or if NewDeal frequently reports that you're out of memory, you may need to increase the Max File Size even more. Be sure you have free space on your hard disk equal to your choice for the Max File Size setting.

Redirect the swap file to a non-compressed drive

If you use disk compression software, especially DblSpace, change the section in Preferences, Newdeal that reads, Path: C:\NEWDEAL\PRIVDATA\SWAP to the root directory of the non-compressed or "host," drive. For example, most DblSpace users have a host drive of H:\, so they would change the Path section to read H:\SWAP. Be sure you have free space on the non-compressed drive equal to the Max File Size setting.

Defragment your hard drive

When you copy files onto your hard disk, DOS uses the fastest method of copying them, with no consideration for retrieval speed. Your hard disk is divided into many different sectors, and DOS doesn't always copy files onto consecutive sectors. This means that one piece of a file may be in one sector, the next piece in another, the third is in yet another, etc. Since the sections of the file usually aren't on consecutive sectors, your hard disk spends time looking for the next section of the file on the disk. There are utility programs that "defragment" your hard drive, which simply means that the files will be organized into consecutive areas of the disk. This makes the files on your hard disk load faster.

Some of the most common defragmentation utilities are Norton Utilities Speed Disk (SD), PC Tools' Compress, MS-DOS 6.0's Defrag, and DR-DOS Diskopt. Many people use a defragmentation utility at least once a month to keep their hard disk optimized.

WARNING: If you use disk compression, such as SuperStor, DblSpace, or Stacker, make sure that the defragmenting program you use is fully compatible with your compression software. Check your compression software's manual, or call the manufacturer of your compression software, before using a defragmentation program if you're not sure.

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Last Modified 17 Feb 1999