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Resolve Compatibility Mode and Performance-Limiting Drivers
Windows 95 is intended to use specially-designed, 32-bit drivers to interface to all of its hardware, for maximum performance. However, Windows will also use older 16-bit DOS drivers if they are loaded before Windows starts, or if they are needed because an appropriate 32-bit driver cannot be found. Microsoft made the system work this way to maximize compatibility and minimize problems with older hardware and software.
An older driver is sometimes called a "compatibility mode" driver for this reason. You want to minimize these as much as possible, because they are less efficient. Usually, if the system is using one of these it points to one of two causes: either an older driver is being loaded in the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file, or there is a driver conflict or hardware problem with one of the devices in the system. The PC will probably still work with compatibility mode drivers in place, but performance will be reduced.
Checking for compatibility mode drivers is relatively simple: right-click the "My Computer" icon on your desktop and select "Properties", or double-click the "System" icon in the Control Panel. Then select the "Performance" tab. What you want the system to say in the middle of the box is "Your system is configured for optimal performance". If it doesn't say that, a list of compatibility mode drivers or other causes of optimization problems will be shown in a white box.
Here are a few ideas for resolving these compatibilities. These are just guidelines; you'll need to address the specific cause of the problem in most cases, and there are so many that I couldn't begin listing them here. However, I can give you the general idea of what you are looking for and where to find the source of the problems:
Note: One common cause of
loading DOS drivers in a Windows 95 installation is upgrading Windows 95 over Windows 3.x,
which will leave the old DOS drivers in place. I do not recommend installing Windows 95
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