Tips To Increase Printing Speed In Windows

This information was provided by Claris Corporation on 16 March 1998, and incorporated into Apple Computer's Tech Info Library.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Here are three quick tips to speed up printing in Windows:

1. Set Fast Printing Direct to Port Printing
2. Set TEMP to a RAM Drive
3. Set Stacks=0,0

Here's how:
1. Fast Printing Direct To Port
In the Windows control panel under printers, highlight your printer and click connect. Check fast printing direct to port. Unselecting it you will bypass the Windows Comm driver and will print through DOS, as if you were printing to LPT1.DOS.

2. Directing temporary swap files to a RAM drive
Setting TEMP to a RAM Drive Printing speed is partly determined by the speed of the drive in which the Temp file is located. Many applications send data to the printer from a temporary file on the hard drive. Therefore, the temporary file can send its data only as fast as the hard drive can transfer data. By putting the temporary file in a RAM drive, the data transfer speed increases making printing faster. Depending on how your network is set up, printing may be fastest with just a RAM drive, just a print spooler, or both. You will need to experiment to find the combination that works best for you. If you run a shared copy of Windows and want to put your temporary files on a RAM drive, place the RAM drive on the server, not the workstation.

3. Changing The DOS Stacks setting
Setting Stacks=0,0 MS-DOS reserves some storage space -- a stack -- for interrupt-handling code for hardware interrupts. Under MS-DOS 5.0 there are nine default stacks, each 128 bytes in size. This memory space is usually empty, waiting to hold interrupt code if there is a hardware interrupt. Multiple stacks slow down the system. Stacks decrease execution speed not only because they take up memory, but also because they spend time swapping interrupt code into and out of memory each time they're used. The STACKS command, which sets the number of stacks and their size, can also disable the stacks altogether. In the CONFIG.SYS file, specify:

Stacks=0,0

This setting forces interrupts to be handled by whatever stack happens to be loaded when the interrupt occurs. Removing the MS-DOS stacks forces MS-DOS-based applications to provide their own stacks; those that do not can cause stack overflows. Verify that your MS-DOS-based applications are don't need this before removing all stacks.
Last Modified: Feb 18, 2012

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