Window Manager: Using Dual Processors

SAN MATEO (04/03/2000) - Microsoft Corp. is reportedly coming out with its first service pack for Windows 2000 sometime around June. This should satisfy companies that have been waiting to see if there are any major bugs before rolling out W2K.

The initial reaction to the new OS has been good, despite reports of "63,000 bugs" (see "Microsoft refutes reports of 63,000 bugs in Win2000," www.infoworld.com/printlinks). I haven't seen this list -- and those who spread the rumors don't seem to have seen it either.

But it reminds me of the list of "18,000 issues" that I talked a Microsoft source into giving me years ago -- just before the release of Windows 3.1. This list turned into a Page One story in InfoWorld at the time.

However, most items, far from being bugs, were merely desirable features beta testers were requesting. It was more of a wish list than a bug list. We did, of course, find a few glitches, such as Windows' File Manager reporting file sizes incorrectly in some cases.

So far, Microsoft has released only two significant bug fixes for Windows 2000.

These patches fix security weaknesses in Indexing Services and the version of Internet Explorer that comes with W2K. (This flaw also affects IE 4.0 and higher.)Microsoft has also released a "February 2000 Compatibility Update." This primarily enables a few dozen Windows games to run under W2K, but also helps out Microsoft's own FrontPage 98. To get these upgrades (and others for Windows 3.1/9x/2000, NT), go to www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/default.asp and pick your operating system.

There are, to be sure, a few interesting wrinkles in Windows 2000. I'm particularly interested in reporting problems with upgrading to Windows 2000, so you don't hit these the hard way. The following item may be of help.

Dual-processor fun with W2K

Reader Jim Roscovius reports that Windows 2000 recognizes dual processors just fine when upgrading from NT 4.0. But a "clean install" of W2K sees only one processor. This cuts your PC's performance. In NT, the Uptomp.exe utility adds multiprocessor support. But in Windows 2000, you fix the problem using Device Manager.

Step 1. Log on to the W2K machine with Administrator privileges.

Step 2. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel, and open the System applet.

Step 3. Click the Hardware tab, then click Device Manager. Expand the Computer branch. You see a line describing a single-processor PC.

Step 4. Double-click this line, then click the Driver tab, then Update Driver, Next. Display the list of known drivers, then click Next and click "Show all hardware of this device class." Select the same type of computer you have, but choose a "multiprocessor PC." Click Next, then Finish, and you're done.

Microsoft says W2K also sometimes does not recognize dual processors when it's installed over Windows 98 across a network. The same steps may help you in that case.

Microsoft cautions that you shouldn't perform this change to support a new BIOS. For example, if you upgrade an older BIOS to a new one that supports the ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface), you must reinstall Windows 2000 as an upgrade.

For the correct procedure, read about dual processors at search.microsoft.com/us/default.asp. Search for Q237556 and Q234558.

Got RAM? Make Windows 98 faster

Kenneth Cornetet has found a way to restore to Windows 98 some of the snappy performance in Windows 95. If you have more than 64MB of RAM, he says, add the following line to the [386enh] section of Windows 98's System.ini file using Notepad.

ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1

Microsoft confirms this line will make Win98 write to its swap file the way Win95 does (less often). They say this may hurt performance, but if you have enough memory, it can improve it. For Microsoft's explanation, go to search.microsoft.com/us/default.asp and search for Q223294.

Roscovius and Cornetet will receive free copies of Windows 2000 Secrets.

Brian Livingston's latest book is Windows 2000 Secrets (IDG Books). Send tips to brian_livingston@infoworld.com. He regrets he cannot answer individual questions.

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