What modifications can I make to the Windows configuration to improve stability and performance?

By July 22, 2012 No Comments

General suggestions:

Scala 5 is supported on the following Windows Platforms:

All Scala 5 products will be supported Windows 7 32 bit with Release 5.1. Windows 7 64 bit is targeted to be supported sometime shortly after Release 5.1.

Scala Designer 5 and Player 5 are supported on Windows Vista Business Service Pack 1 or Windows Vista Ultimate Service Pack 1 is required. Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, and any Vista 64-bit editions are not supported. Content Manager is not supported on Vista.

All products are supported on Windows 2003 32 bit Server SP2.  Web Edition or R2 is suggested for small to medium networks. Standard or Enterprise for large or enterprise networks.

All Scala 5 products are supported on Windows XP SP3.

Install Internet Explorer 7 or 8.
Set the OS “Task Scheduler” to run “Automatically” on boot up and use the “Schtasks” command to schedule weekly computer reboots–Sunday at 05:00 a.m. is popular!

Set the system up with four hard disk partitions.

A 2000 MB FAT32 C: “Recovery” drive with a *minimal* Win2K “recovery install” (typically NO Accessories, unnecessary services, games, fonts, artwork–VGA only). Include all appropriate Installation, Device Driver, and Service Pack/Hotfix files

A 2.0-4.0 GB NTFS D: “Root” CompleteWin2K Installation.

A 2-4 GB NTFS E: “Swap” for ALL of your TEMP/TMP/SWAP/Spool directories and files–make sure to alter all OS registry keys and environmental variables so that these files are placed on this partition!!!

A F: “Scala_DATA” partition that is all your normal stuff–Scala, Other Apps, Artwork, Scripts. Exclusive holding area for large file MPEG uploads.

If you are going to have a LOT of large files (>>200 MB) that are sent to the Player system often–e.g. a set of MPEG files that get updated daily/weekly you may be well off to configure an additional NTFS partition with a large “cluster size”, (32 KB or more), that is used exclusively as the “holding area” for the MPEG files. If your MPEG files are to be larger than 500 MB it is advisable to have a totally separate hard disk drive specifically for these files!

Removable drive letter advice:

One tip that can save you a lot of grief with the Jazz drive:

Make sure that the Jazz drive and the CDROM drive are configured to use drive letters that will not impact your hard disk drive partitions.

You may choose to make your hard disk drive letters to be:

Primary EIDE (or SCSI) HDD RAID Pack:
Partition #1 C: == RECOVERY FAT32
Partition #2 D: == ROOT NTFS
Partition #3 E: == SWAP NTFS
Partition #4 F: == SCALA_DATA NTFS

On the Secondary EIDE bus:
Additional L: == JAZZ, ZIP, or CDRW.

An additional comment on the use of a system with a “Parallel” set of Win2K installs:

When you have a computer set up with two Win2K installs you have a very powerful tool. When you boot into the “RECOVERY” installation the “Primary/BOOT” version of Win2K is totally closed down–you can completely and safely back it up using a simple tool like “WinZip, InfoZip” or any other file archiver. If you ever have a problem with corrupted files, viruses, bad device driver updates, etc.–you can recover with a simple “unzip” operation.

Lock Desktop and Playback to Same Resolution Mode:

“Lock” the Playback resolution and the computer’s desktop to the SAME video mode! (e.g. if your ScalaScripts are going to be 800x600x32bpp@60Hz–the most common setting for NTSC Broadcast TV–make the Desktop run at the exact same mode–Display Properties/Settings)