SUMMARY: A few tips to get the most out of Windows 3.1 running on legacy hardware.
Performance Tuning - Remove Fonts For Speed
Fonts, especially TrueType fonts, use quite a bit of system resources. For optimal performance, trim your fonts down to just those that you need to use on a daily basis and fonts that applications may require. Copy unneeded fonts to a temporary directory (how about C:\FONTBKUP?) just in case you need or want to bring a few of them back. The more fonts you uninstall, the more system resources you will gain.
Performance Tuning- Clear Unused Areas from INIs
If you are using Windows 3.1, you should do everything that you can to increase your system performance. One trick is to prune unneeded sections from your .INI files. Close Windows and get to a DOS prompt. Edit the .INI files in your C:\WINDOWS directory.
Every section of an .INI file starts with a bracket, the section name, and a closing bracket. For example, the SYSTEM.INI file has a "[boot]" section, a "[drivers] " section, an "[mci]" section, and so forth. Underneath the section names you will find lines in the form "name=value." If you see a section name followed immediately by another section name (or a blank line or two and then the next section name), you probably can safely delete the first section name of the two as it is unused. The smaller your .INI files are, the less memory and time Windows will have to devote to loading and evaluating the entries.
Before doing this tip, make sure you backup your files in case you make mistakes, causing Windows 3.1 not to boot!
Startup - To Boot or Not to Boot Windows
If you decide that you do not wish to boot to Windows automatically when you turn on your machine, and if you are not using a multi-boot menu, just edit your AUTOEXEC.BAT file in your boot drive's root directory. Usually the following command works fine.
Find the line that says "win" and put a REM in front of it, so the line says "REM WIN". Now, resave your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. When your system reboots, you should be placed at the DOS prompt, not the Windows GUI.
Performance Tuning - System Resources-Wallpaper
If you frequently run out of system resources, something that seems to happen to most people, take a look at your wallpaper. Take a real good look at your wallpaper. Then think - do you really like your wallpaper that much? If you turn off your wallpaper from the "Desktop" Control Panel, you will gain back some of your system resources. If you are browsing the web or performing another activity that uses a lot of resources, this is highly recommended.
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