Microsoft KB Archive/140583

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Article ID: 140583

Article Last Modified on 7/23/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 95

This article was previously published under Q140583


This article explains how to set CD-ROM caching in Windows 95 for optimal system performance.


Use the steps below to configure CD-ROM caching:

Determine Driver Type

Determine if your computer is using protected-mode (native) Windows 95 32- bit CD-ROM drivers or real mode (MS-DOS) CD-ROM drivers. Caching is configured differently for each type of driver.

To determine the type of cache configuration, do the following:

  1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double click the System icon.
  3. On the Performance tab, examine the Performance Status screen.

If the setting in the File System section is 32-bit, you are using 32- bit CD-ROM drivers.

If the File System setting is:

Some drives are using MS-DOS compatibility, examine the area below the listed items for detailed information.

If the drive letter for your CD-ROM is listed, then you are using real mode drivers. If your CD-ROM letter is not listed, then you are using 32-bit drivers.

Use the steps below to optimize your type of cache configuration.

32-Bit Caching

  1. On the Performance tab in System Properties, click File System (in Advanced Settings).
  2. Click the CD-ROM tab.
  3. In the Optimize Access Pattern For: section of the Setting window, select the entry corresponding to your CD-ROM drive. For example, if you have a double speed drive, select Double-Speed Drives.

NOTE: If you only have 4 MB of RAM or are using hardware caching, you may want to select No Read-Ahead. This is the recommended setting if RAM memory is needed for other uses.

  1. In the Supplemental Cache Size area, move the slider to the desired setting. The Small setting frees up RAM for other uses, while the Large setting gives the best CD-ROM performance.
  2. Click OK, and then click Close. If you are prompted to restart Windows, click Yes.
  3. Edit the Autoexec.bat file and check for any references to SmartDrive (Smartdrv or Smartdrv.exe).

For more information about how to accomplish this task in Windows, see your Windows printed documentation or online help.

If none of your drives are using MS-DOS compatibility mode, do the following to turn off Smartdrv:

- At the beginning of the line containing the Smartdrv entry, type:


Follow REM with a blank space.

If any of your drives, such as your hard drive, are using MS-DOS compatibility mode, you can turn off SmartDrive CD-ROM caching by adding "/u" at the end of the Smartdrv line.

For more information about the "/u" command, please see your Windows printed documentation or online Help.

Caching for Drives Using MS-DOS Compatibility Mode

Install Microsoft SmartDrive to cache CD-ROM drives using Real Mode drivers.

To install SmartDrive, do the following:

  1. Using a text editor such as Microsoft Notepad, edit the Autoexec.bat file and add the following line if it does not already exist:


    NOTE: SmartDrive version 5.0 and above does not require the LoadHigh command. By default, SmartDrv loads into Upper Memory if space is available.

    Place this line after the line for Mscdex or Mscdex.exe

  2. Save the changes to Autoexec.bat, and restart Windows 95.

For more information about SmartDrive, type the following at the MS-DOS prompt:

   smartdrv /?


   help smartdrv

For more information on editing Autoexec.bat, please see your Windows printed documentation or online Help.

Troubleshooting CD-ROM Problems

If you are having problems running compact disc-based programs, use the following caching configurations for troubleshooting purposes:

  • Disable all references to smartdrive or smartdrv /u in the Autoexec.bat file.
  • Turn off read-ahead for 32-bit CD-ROM drivers. If you are already using No read-ahead, change to the setting that corresponds to your CD- ROM drive (single, double, triple or quad-speed).
  • Turn off all third-party disk caching software.
  • Turn off hardware caching if the option is supported by your CD-ROM controller. For more information about how to accomplish this task, see your CD-ROM user's guide or contact your CD-ROM manufacturer.

Additional query words: multi media multimedia multi-media mmtitles kbmm kbhowto 95core 1995

Keywords: KB140583