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Restart of System without Restarting, Defragmentation, Performance, DDR vs SDR

I have three questions regarding performance of windows xp.

Q.1.       What is defragmentation and how much it effects the overall performance of system. There are four types of files allocation shown by disk defragmentater:

Fragmented files      Contiguous files       Unmovable files            Free space

Can someone explain these types one by one.

Q.2.      In the Performance Option of Windows properties in the Advanced tab. There is a virtual memory. Please guide me through this performace option. What is paging in detail. How it works. If I have 450 genuine intel processor with 256 of RAM then CAN paging optimize the performace.

Q.3.      What is the differnce between SDR Ram and DDR Ram and what is 100 bus speed and 133 bus speed of a Ram.

Q. 4.       Some programs required rebooting of system. Is there any way to do this without restarting the whole system and just refresh the system like closing the explorer.exe and running it again as I think the objective is refreshing the windows registry.
Muhammad Ahmad Imran
Muhammad Ahmad Imran
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1 Solution
Q.1 To answer fragmentation and defragmentation of files the best description I have is think of a record player and how the needle runs across the record in a straight line to play the long this would be considered (contiguous ) meaning a continuous line of the same (data, music etc..) Now if you took that record and moved the position of the needle that would move the position of the song... You hard drive does the same thing their are read and write heads and when they read files they go side to side in a sweeping motion. Now fragmented means that the file is broken up it is NOT contiguous (it is not one continous line of the same data) which if we use the record example it is like 30 seconds of song 1 is at the outside of the record the next 30 seconds of the song is in the center and the next 15 seconds is inbetween those two points... Now as you can see this would cause a lot more movement of the needle. This is fragmentation on a hard drive the files are all over the place instead of say an application being all in one place it is in several places on the drive. The heads have to "seek" out the data more then if it is in a complete line which this causes the application to load slower.

Fragmented - Means the files are not in a straight line they are all over the place and the heads are sweeping and seeking more to find the applications or data you request

Contigous Files - Files that are the same all in one straight complete line (actually a circle because a hard drive platter is circular, think of it like lines on a record).

Unmoveable files are files which are either your Master Boot Record or partitions these cannot be moved they are in specific places on your hard drive and have to remain there. They will never move.

Free Space is the amount of free space on your hard drive so lets say you have a 100GB drive and it reports 50GB free then you have 50GB of space left on the drive and you have used 50GB of space on the drive
some conversions
1024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte    (a floppy diskette is equal to 1.44MB)
1000 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte   (A CDR is equal to 650 - 700MB)
1000 Gigabytes = 1 Terrabyte

Q2. Virtual Memory

Virtual Memory is when your computer uses a space on your hard drive that is called a swap file (virtual memory). Normally all of your applications are loaded from the hard drive into the computers RAM. However when too many applications, processes are in RAM the computer uses the hard drive as a temporary storage place instead because their is no room left in RAM) Basically if you have 256MB of RAM think of it as a hotel you have 256 rooms [MB RAM]... It's a friday night and everyone has rented out all of your rooms (windows XP took 64 Rooms [RAM] ) (Microsoft word took 32 Rooms) Internet Explorer took 32 Rooms)  ( Excel, Powerpoint, Access and Publisher took the remaining 128 Rooms)  but their is one problem you still have more people that want to get in (AOL instant Messenger is requesting 16 Rooms, Norton Anti Virus is requesting 32 Rooms) so far you have 48 Rooms requested that you don't have the solution ???? = Virtual Rooms (Swap Space) Now things are moved out of the way and an area is established to house these other guests) If other guests come along their will still be more room up to a maximum of at least 2.5 times the Normal Rooms [Physical RAM]

You PC will do paging whenever you have used all of your 256MB of Physical Ram, you really do not want your PC to do paging of applications etc... This leads to fragmentation, high cpu utilization and slowed performance.... think of it once again as a hotel if you keep getting guests and keep having to make room but you are the only one working and now your guests that paid the full price for the regular rooms need room service you are answering two different bells at the same time in two seperate areas versus if you had more rooms say 512 [MB RAM] you would have that many more rooms to offer in the same area and could pay attention to all the needs from that area of the hotel. (i.e. your processor will not have to be tending to the requests of the Hard Drive and Inputting / Ouputting things in Memory (RAM).

However if you want to set the paging file to be less of a hog choose to manually configure it and set the maximum for 2.5 times the physical ram you have so if you have 256 * 2.5 = 640MB and set the minimum for 256MB

Q. 3 In regards to ssd Ram and DDR Ram

SDR-RAM, SDR-SDRAM, Single Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory) RAM or SDRAM that transfers data on only one clock transition (0-1 or 1-0), in contrast to DDR-RAM.

Most desktops and laptops use one of the two most popular types of synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) for the main system memory. Single data rate (SDR) SDRAM is the older type of memory, commonly used in computers prior to 2002. The more current type of memory, double data rate (DDR) SDRAM hit the mainstream computer market around 2002 and can be found in most new computers.

DDR SDRAM is a straightforward evolution from SDR SDRAM. The big difference between DDR SDRAM and SDR SDRAM is that DDR reads data on both the rising and falling edges of the clock signal, so the DDR module can transfer data twice as fast as SDR SDRAM.

Generally speaking, motherboards are built to support one type of memory. You cannot mix and match SDRAM or DDR memory on the same motherboard in any system. They will not function and will not even fit in the same sockets. The right type of memory to use is the one that your computer takes! We always recommend that you use the Crucial Memory Selector to find exactly the right memory for your computer.
What do the numbers in PC100, PC133, PC1600, PC2100, PC2700, and PC3200 stand for?

Rather than give memory modules catchy names, modules are referred to by their specifications. If you don't know a lot about memory, the numbers can be confusing. Here's a short summary of the most popular types of memory and what the numbers refer to.

DDR PC1600, PC2100, PC2700, and PC3200 (DDR400)
In DDR modules, the numbers that come after the "PC" refer to the total bandwidth of the module. For this type of memory, a higher number represents faster memory, or more bandwidth. Occasionally DDR is referred to as "DDR400" or "DDR333," for example. When written this way, the numbers after "DDR" refer to the data transfer rate of the components.

PC1600 memory is DDR designed for use in systems with a 100-MHz front-side bus, (providing a 200 mega transfers per second (MT/s) data transfer rate). The "1600" refers to the module's bandwidth (the maximum amount of data it can transfer each second), which is 1.6 GB. PC1600 has been replaced by PC2100, which is backward compatible.

PC2100 memory is DDR designed for use in systems with a 133-MHz front-side bus (providing a 266 MT/s data transfer rate). The "2100" refers to the module's bandwidth (the maximum amount of data it can transfer each second), which is 2.1 GB. PC2100 is used primarily in AMD Athlon systems, Pentium III systems, and Pentium IV systems.

PC2700 memory is DDR designed for use in systems with a 166-MHz front-side bus (providing a 333 MT/s data transfer rate). The "2700" refers to the module's bandwidth (the maximum amount of data it can transfer each second), which is 2.7 GB.

PC3200 (commonly referred to as DDR400) memory is DDR designed for use in systems with a 200-MHz front-side bus (providing a 400 MT/s data transfer rate). The "3200" refers to the module's bandwidth (the maximum amount of data it can transfer each second), which is 3.2 GB.

SDRAM PC100 and PC133
In SDRAM modules, the numbers that come after the "PC" refer to the speed of the system's front side bus.

PC100 memory is SDRAM designed for use in systems with a 100-MHz front-side bus. It is used in many Pentium II, Pentium III, AMD K6-III, AMD Athlon, AMD Duron, and Power Mac G4 systems.

PC133 memory is SDRAM designed for use in systems with a 133-MHz front-side bus. It is used in many Pentium III B, AMD Athlon, and Power Mac G4 systems.

Older memory technology such as PC66 SDRAM, FPM, and EDO
PC66 memory is SDRAM designed for use in systems with a 66-MHz front-side bus. It is used in the Pentium 133-MHz systems and Power Macintosh G3 systems.

FPM and EDO speeds are written in nanoseconds (ns), which indicates their access time; the lower the number, the faster the memory (it takes fewer nanoseconds to process data).

It may seem confusing, but faster memory will not necessarily make your system faster. You can't speed up your computer by adding faster memory if other components in your computer (your processor or other memory modules) operate at a slower speed.

The numbers match your Front Side BUS speed with 100 and 133.
A brief explanation of the frontside bus: It is the bus that connects the CPU to main memory on the motherboard. I/O buses, which connect the CPU with the systems other components, branch off of the system bus.
The system bus is also called the frontside bus, memory bus, local bus, or host bus

Q. 4 Refreshing the system is not possible with some programs because you are dealing with the registry and DLL's (Dynamic Link Libraries) Certain aspects of the computer may have certain files in use by the operating system or other applications one example of this is in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE-Software-Microsoft- Windows - Current Version - Run is the startup keys for applications that launch when windows launches these applications when they launch use certain files just like anti virus programs lock out the kernel and other crtical operating system processes and files. The only way for the program to install is to run itself before windows loads that way those drivers that load during startup do not have the files locked because they are in use. This also has a lot to do with many other aspects sucgh as plug and play, Plug and play may have to be reintialized, now it can be reintialized by plug and play most of the time there are sometimes when you have to reboot to get Plug and Play to pick up a new device.

Basically in a nutshell windows has to reboot to be able to write to certain system folders, DLL's and registry keys because they may be in use by another program so the only way is by rebooting the system through the installation of the application and install the remaining components after a reboot before all of the windows drivers, devices, and registry load.
here is some links to more info.


Defragmentation   this applies also to XP although it is about windows 2000


Explanation and diagram of paging...

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Muhammad Ahmad ImranDatabase DeveloperAuthor Commented:

Bad Answer :-) See my resume while I am reading....

Sorry, didn't mean to offend you, but we're not allowed to help someone doing his/her homework.
Muhammad Ahmad ImranDatabase DeveloperAuthor Commented:
I don't mind. Would you like to chat using messanger.

bad answer ? was that to me or jvuz ?
Muhammad Ahmad ImranDatabase DeveloperAuthor Commented:
@ briancassin

Don't wory your answer is simply the best.

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