PageMaker 6.5 / 7.0 Windows 2000 FAQ 1.14


This FAQ began as simple “howto” for getting Pagemaker 6.5 to run on Windows 2000. That over 100,000 unique visitors have viewed this page is telling that the transision from Windows 95,98 etc. to Windows 2000 and XP has been a difficult one for users of DTP applications. This essay is based on supporting clients who count on reliable workstations for DTP, as well as supporting users on Adobe’s User to User forums. The sources of this FAQ come from structured testing, patient and tolerant clients who depend on reliable DTP performance, my colleagues on Adobe’s forums, and the highly recommended mailing list:

Running PageMaker trouble-free on Windows 2000 or XP needs neither black magic nor requires blessings from above. Please read this throughly before you jump into fixing your PageMaker problems or starting the installation. Hopefully, the non-tech reader will find some guidance in which questions to ponder when making an upgrade or a new purchase for DTP. The object is to avoid problems from the beginning. Comments and other tips you might have discovered are welcome. Please send comments, flames, water balloons, donations to our vacation fund to :

The Important Stuff You Need to Know First

  • We strongly prefer Windows 2000 vs. XP for DTP. Om equivalent hardware it is usually faster and more stable. Most importantly, the Win2K postscript driver seems to be less troublesome for Pagemaker and other DTP apps.
  • DTP applications like Pagemaker, Photoshop, Indesign, Corel Draw and Acrobat are some of the most demanding applications which run on a PC. Period.
  • A clean, customized installation of the operating system is essential for maximum performance and reliabilty.
  • Similarly, good hardware is also essential for DTP applications to run reliably. Hence, there are very specific recommendations for you to consider when purchasing a new desktop or upgrgading your existing hardware.
  • Lastly, while Pagemaker is an old program, it is relatively bug free – in the sense that crashes on a properly setup system are rare. Bad files, fonts or images will cause crashes. There are specific problems with image formats and other issues, but most are well known and there are reasonable workarounds for most.

The Larger Picture

Judging by the number of questions posted on newsgroups, surely it has been frustrating for non-technical users grappling with many hardware/software issues relating to DTP and Windows 2000 to continually have random and or seemingly un-solvable problems or are not easily understood. This not been helped by the lack of documentation by Microsoft of important features like postscript printing and settings. Even the programmers documentation of postscript is a bit lacking.

Moreover, many perfectly competent system administrators and computer technicians do not have a grasp of the subtleties of DTP apps. Experience from supporting users these DTP apps, has taught the special attention needed when installing and configuring in ways which are very different from typical office software. What a DTP professional needs is in many respects, a setup akin to an engineering workstation in terms of performance and configuration. The setup of a DTP needs a meticulous installation to operate reliably for DTP.

We also know designers and editorial people want to get on with their work and not fuss with the hardware or software. Reading through this document one can comprehend without too much jargon how different Windows 2000 is compared to previous version of Windows and its strengths vis a vis the Mac. If understood properly this document will help the user to comprehend the technical demands of DTP applications, as well as help the network administrator, understand the unique needs of DTP in a network environment. PageMaker, Photoshop and the like are different animals from Office and e-mail.

This FAQ, addresses version PageMaker 6.52, 7.0 and 7.0.1. Even though 7.0.1 is out, some users will stick with 6.52 for their own various reasons. 7.0 is a revision to accommodate needed changes to run on Windows 2000/XP,plus updated import filters and a much improved Acrobat Distiller 5.0. The core code of PM 7.0 and 7.01 is still based on the old Aldus 6.5 code.

The few new issues with PM 7.0 seem to be are not new bugs, but issues related to the interaction between PM 6.5/7.0 and the new version of Acrobat 5 and the postscript printing system in Windows 2000. PM 7.0 shares many of the same issues with 6.52, except for fixes and compatibility issues with Windows Me, Windows 2000 and XP. An important distinction – Pagemaker 7.0 is compatible with Windows 2000 /XP, but not certified as a Windows 2000 / XP application. The difference? A compatible application works without functionality problems. A certified application has to pass Microsoft tests for working within the more restrictive network policies of Windows 2000, as well as passing tests for power management and install routines among others.

As for clients’ experiences with 7.0, has been all positive, with no unusual problems or errors. They have have opened about and worked on more than 1000 or more files with no problems making changes or re-saving in 7.0 format. This FAQ will also cover a lot of detail about hardware, as it is sometimes difficult to really distinguish what all those specs on the box mean. We have also found the 7.0.1 update to have no adverse affects and for many it cures a number of issues with Exporting to PDF and plug-in errors.

Why Windows 2000, Not XP ?

In our considered opinion, Windows 2000 is an excellent platform for running PM and for any modern DTP or image editing programs in general. Windows Me is to be avoided at all costs. A good solid 98SE setup is less problematic for DTP. XP is currently at Service Pack 1 level, but we continue to recommend waiting until SP2e is released before many should upgrade, especially in a production environment (where you make your money). Our clients were given this advice when upgrading to Windows 2000 and it kept the heartburn to a minimum when we migrated to Windows 2000. In DTP your first need is reliability, not the bleeding edge of new untested software. The concepts and suggestions below would also apply in those in need of a reliable workstation for demanding professional video editing and/or graphics applications like Photoshop, InDesign even Quark.

First time NT or Windows 2000 users migrating from Win9x or Mac need to understand the concept of permissions. No, you cannot simply delete or move files willy nilly. Either your network administrator or the operating system itself will do a very good job of preventing the user or a wayward installation program from this. Occasionally, when things don’t work with Win2k there is a permissions issue, meaning you as a user cannot either read or modify an existing file, folder or registry settings. In some cases, you won’t even be able to see certain files. On a hard drive formatted with the NTFS file system, the properties dialog box of any file will quickly show a whole bunch of new settings for security and permissions. Don’t be tempted to play unless you are exactly sure of what you are doing.

Win2k has a very robust mechanism to protect important system files from poorly designed installation routines. (You would be surprised how many really bad ones are out there.. This is probably one of the major reasons for instability with Windows 9x computers and keeps many companies busy!) One should vehemently disagree with some of Microsoft’s choices as to what are truly important to the system. i.e. Pinball? Go ahead, try to delete the folder. Microsoft made it a system folder..Fax services for computers with no fax modem? A bit about this later on.

Why Windows 2000? Not a Mac?

Agreed, the Mac is popular with design and pre-press community. However, OS X is still too new and too fragile, in our opinion, for a working environment. Application and device driver support is not there yet and legacy programs like PM have even more problems sometimes. Moreover, OS 9 and 9.1 will never ever have the reliability and uptime (time between reboots) of Windows 2000. The underlying architecture of the original Mac OS makes this goal impossible. This opinion comes from users / sys admins who have used IBM OS/2 through 3 versions, suffered through Windows from 1.x to 3.11 to 9x, wrote 90% of this on Linux and never could considered Mac haters.. Why?

Windows 2000 is very stable and mature. It is in fact the 4th revision to the Windows NT operating system family. That means for non geeks, it runs without needing a half dozen reboots a day just to be productive. In fact, one should almost never have to reboot, unless one is updating a device driver or updating important system files. What benefit does stability bring? This simply means fewer lost or corrupted documents, because of the inherent weaknesses of the operation system. A continually crashing workstation is a sign of bad memory, hardware or bad or conflicting device drivers. It is very difficult to bring down the whole operating system from a bad program crash. This also means fewer times you will need to run various utilities just to keep things in order. (Virus scanning and defrags excepted – automatic, if you read on…) We have clients who run Windows 2000 workstations for two plus months without a single reboot or restart.

Regretfully, this means you will have no excuse for your boss or your client: “The computer crashed and I can’t get it to start.” Some numbers? One of our clients has, by rough estimation, transferred or saved about a close to a terabyte of PM / Photoshop data without a single crash or operating system error. Zero. Or to put it otherwise, we dared them to tape the power switches on while on vacation without a power off or reboot… How many ‘9x/Mac users enjoy that kind of dependability?

Win2K performs very well on modern (18 months or so newer) equipment. Getting this reliability is helped with a careful, precise installation and configuration of Windows 2000 in the very beginning. Currently, it takes about 6-10 hours to configure and thoroughly test an optimal installation of Windows 2000 with applications, color profiles and Postscript printer setup for a DTP workstation. The time spent in the beginning will save many hours and frustrations later on. (Things always break at deadline…) Most of this essay is concerned with the things you need to do before you drop in the PageMaker CD and click setup. For those less technically inclined, you can follow the link below for a PDF, print this out and hand it to your network administrator or a local system builder.

Caveat Emptor – Some of these steps, surely are not supported by either Adobe and or Microsoft, so a fair warning at first. In addition, some of the steps suggested, use other applications, which can be problematic if used incorrectly. You may have different experiences and results than ours and our clients and it would be interesting to hear from you. It is very important to understand when working with Win2K out of the box, it is optimized for security minded corporate network settings; sometimes its design will work at cross purposes for a DTP workstation.

Part One

Hardware Considerations

The first consideration for a Win2K migration/upgrade is assessing the hardware. We have read in many different forums and newsgroups issues about applications problems, which were in the final answer hardware or driver related. PM, Photoshop and InDesign in particular are some of the most demanding applications to run on a PC. When you are using these you are exercising your system in ways that few programs do regularly. Applying filters is very processor and memory intensive. Opening or saving high res tiffs and large PM files puts a lot of load on the hard drive subsystem. Mediocre hardware or a sloppy install can cause all kinds of random problems and crashes. Any kind of weakness in the combination of hardware, drivers or configuration will sooner or later show up. Previous version of Windows were more tolerant of weak hardware or buggy device drivers.

An Intel OEM, Asus, Abit, Tyan or other top brand motherboard should be under the hood. Forget office supply store chains, generic brands or the dreaded “SOHO” workstation with a bunch of “light” or SE software bundled. For the professional, your workstation and applications are your tools, get the best. That means an “enterprise” or “managed” PC from one of the major vendors or a local builder who can build a custom workstation. If we were spending our own money for a DTP machine, we would seriously consider a dual processor Asus or Tyan motherboard with one of the latest AMD processors and DDR (Double Data Rate) ram. The ones we specify for clients are detailed down to the cooler fans…It is that important for reliability.

Memory / CPU – We consider 256 MB or more the minimum for Windows 2000 for a DTP workstation. Ram is so cheap you have no excuse otherwise. If you are buying a new workstation, a top line motherboard with an AMD Athlon processor with 266 aka 2100 DDR ram will be very quick and is probably the ideal price/performance point right now. The Rambus ram (RDRAM), which is often used with the Pentium 4 is much more expensive and will truly not offer much performance enhancements for your purposes. We have yet to find any demonstrated incompatibilities with AMD processors and Adobe applications. Anyone trying to tell you otherwise really does not truly understand modern microprocessors or compilers.

The packaging: An adequate power supply (250+ watts rating), good cooling in the case with software which can monitor your important bits like fan rpms, CPU temps and hard drive health. It should also come with complete documentation and the disks which have important drivers and machine specific info. It may also include a restore disk, but you should avoid using them, as they often add a lot of useless software and default to a single partition setup, which will be discussed further on.

Graphic Cards – For the untrained, most of the effort by today’s video card vendors focus on 3D game performance. PM and most business applications do not need 3D, but 2D performance. The 3D benchmarks you might see in computer magazines and advertised are meaningless for DTP. What you should consider is 2D performance, accurate color rendering and optionally, multiple monitor support by the card. Our preferences are the high end ATI cards, and Matrox. Matrox has historically emphasized 2D performance and stability of the device driver software which works with the card. Our experience with ATI cards and their downloaded drivers have shown decent color rendition, if a general tendency to display colors a little darker and bit “richer”. Under Windows 2000, we have yet to see video related crashes in PM with this combination. Always seek out and install the latest drives on the vendor’s web site. Recently, we have installed several high end Nvidia based cards and they have shown no ill effects with the latest drivers.

Hard Drive – The spec to look for is IDE – ATA 100 or ATA 133 with 7200 RPM both for the drive and the hard drive controller on the motherboard. If you really want to spend money where it counts, an ATA Raid from Promise or a high-end Ultra 160 SCSI disk (Bring earplugs!) will give tremendous drive performance. Recently, we have installed some Maxtor 7200 rpm drives and they were models of refinement. Some brands feature software controlled acoustic management to quiet newer drives. To get maximum performance without too much extra noise, you can disable this with a special driver from the vendor’s web site. Even with acoustic management disabled, many newer models are very quiet and run cooler than in the past. 7200 or even 10,000 rpm SCSI hard drives will give you faster seek and write times, which is very important to PageMaker, Photoshop et al. Observation has shown us time after time with DTP applications that good hard drive performance is often more important than processor speed.

Mice / Keyboards – This is a matter of personal taste. If you get an upgraded mouse, do not be tempted to immediately install the included software. Why? Until recently, some mouse software has the ability to wreck a Windows 2000 installation. Why ? The mouse driver interacts and works in tandem with the keyboard driver. Thus, a bad mouse driver can render Win2k un-bootable. Make sure you have the very latest driver from the web and make sure it is compatible with SP-2 and SP-3 (Service Pack 2). When both SP-1 and SP-2 came out this issue caused no end of problems for some users. Suggestion: Let Windows 2000 detect the hardware and accept its settings. You can go to the Control Panel > Mouse > Advanced for fine tuning the mouse. This panel will allow you to get rid of that annoying fade effect with pointer. The same goes for keyboard drivers, read the readme files and double check for known conflicts.

UPS – Un-interruptible Power Supply

A real battery backup is vastly preferable to a plain surge protector. Meaning – no crashes after the power comes back on. Power drops followed by a crash, are one of the leading causes of corrupted registries in the Windows O/S family in our experience. Remember these simple formulas about electricity and computers:

Power surges = smoked hardware. ( $$$ or £££ or ¥¥¥ !)

Power drops = smoked software and files (your data – ouch!).

APCC and Best Power have simple but effective software built into the power control panel in Windows 2000 that allows the machine safely go into a hibernation (suspend to disk) state when the power goes off. The trickiest part is to set up your serial port correctly, so the UPS cable can signal your computer. In certain cases you will need to adjust the speed of the com port to get the UPS to make nice with the software. Some newer models work well with USB. For a graphics workstation and 17″+ monitor, you should look for a spec higher than 500 VA, 750+VA for a 19″ monitor.

Network Cards – In particular, we have seen good performance and quality device drivers from 3com and Intel. With 3com, always use the drivers from their web site. Experience has shown the drivers included with Windows 2000 to be slow performers. Intel is one of the few hardware companies which really knows how to write good device drivers, as well as keeping them up to date. If possible, go for a 100MB TX “switched” hub, versus a plain network hub. The extra cost is not much more, but a switch will provide the full duplex network bandwidth to each workstation on your network and avoid excessive data collisions which is inherent in a traditional network hub.

If you are purchasing a new workstation or scanner now, one should really consider the extra expense to go to fire wire, especially if you are setting this up by yourself. It is much faster than USB and easier than SCSI to setup.

What the above means is go get all this info and the drivers first, hopefully on Zip drives or suitable media. It is really important to know exactly the components and the precise versions of drivers needed to ensure a trouble free installation. For a more detailed look at something very similar which would be the ultimate DTP workstation, with suggestions included from the Linux gurus who did all that fabulous special effects rendering in Titanic: The Ultimate Linux Box In reading this article, remember IDE works fine with PM.

It is important to remember also while PM 6.52 was released in the era of Pentium 100’s, the complimentary programs which typically run along side PM today will need extra horsepower. What would be the minimum for today Windows 2000 + PM 6.52 or 7.0 ? Testing has shown PM with files up to 10 MB in size will run OK on a Pentium II 300 with 256 MB of ram, but again, fast hard drives and their associated controllers are even more important.

Part Two

Installing Windows 2000

One last suggestion before starting is to purchase the Windows 2000 Resource Kit and have a good look through. It has a CD included with some excellent tools and the complete text in HTML on disk, which can be helpful to diagnosing problems.

Disconnect all external peripherals except for your mouse and keyboard. You should have your setup as basic as possible. The time to add these is later on when you have the base setup correct and working properly.

At this point you may be considering an upgrade install. The simple and correct answer is forget it. Upgrading from ’95 to ’98 was a much simpler task. You will save yourself much aggravation and heartache by doing a clean install to freshly formatted partitions. Windows 9x, Windows 2000, even Linux can coexist nicely if needed. Instructions are further on.

Make sure you have the latest version of your manufacturer’s BIOS. These are machine specific. If you install the wrong one you now have a large expensive paperweight. Virtually all newer workstations have the newer ACPI BIOS. Make sure this setting is enabled before installation. Win2k is vastly better than Win9x with power management and IRQ management. Win2K likes ACPI. (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface – a specification for newer computers) You can install as a “Standard PC”, but this can cause problems later on if you really have ACPI. Check you system manual carefully. Installing Win2k can be done by booting directly from the CD if it is enabled in your system BIOS. This is probably the simplest and fastest for most. It can also be installed from a network share, but that is beyond this FAQ and needs to have a server setup with certain services running.

The first boot-up screen is in text mode and will offer you the chance to push the F6 key to add a device driver, usually a hard drive controller. On the first version of Windows 2000, as well as Service Pack 1, some ATA 100 hard drive controllers are either not recognized or will default to ATA-66. You will need a floppy disk with the specific drivers. If your drive is only running ATA-33, don’t worry, this can be fixed later on as Service Pack 2 + 3 resolves this issue.

Next is asking about which drives and partitions to set up. This is a very important step, which needs some thought, especially for standalone workstations or smaller workgroups. We recommend setting up two or three partitions C,D and optionally, E: for the following reasons:

  1. We much prefer to have a separate logical drives for the OS, programs and data. This allows you to separate almost all your data from programs. This makes backing up and restoring much easier. Thus, if you have a serious OS issues, you can reinstall the OS and programs without worrying about affecting your data. This also allows you to optionally take that drive out of a problem workstation and plug into another workstation and easily retrieve your data. Note: Most Microsoft programs like Outlook Express and Office will insist on storing your data buried deep within your Documents and Settings sub-folders. This can be changed later on, with a program called X-Setup, if you wish.

  2. This allows you to install your OS and data on NTFS, which is much less prone to corruption and is more secure than FAT32. NTFS is much more resistant to corruption. As a test, unplugging a workstation while installing Service Pack One, exactly at the time it was copying important system files was as good as any. A perfect way to completely trash the operating system. Yet, on restarting, the machine booted perfectly and ran perfectly. A complete reinstall was coming, but it was good to know the file system was that solid.

  3. We discovered and it is probably not documented well, but some older win32 programs prefer to reside on a FAT32 partition, especially PM 6.52. The first time we installed PM on Win2k for a workgroup setting we began to have some performance problems with PM installed on NTFS drives and really fast hardware. Even simple copy text and paste operations would hang for several seconds. A few hours later on some trace routines showed that PM was being seemed to be hanging on read/writes to the disk it was installed on. So, on a hunch a small FAT 32 was set up on a partition on one workstation as a test and then re-installed PM on FAT32. After that PM was back to normal. You should store files on NTFS, just make sure PM 6.52 is installed on a FAT32 partition if you work in a network setting.

  4. We often take the additional step of completely segmenting the C drive for the OS and swapfile alone. Much to our chagrin, MS and some really dumb installation programs will try to foil this. You copy the complete Program Files folders to the D drive and change every registry with a .reg file exported with the settings to reflect the new location. This is only recommended if you really know what you are doing. This must be done in a certain sequence or you can really foul it up. This may be covered is in the next revision of this FAQ. This takes a bit of work, but allows you to completely segregate everything and help with dual boot needs as well.

  5. You can also, optionally, have a dual boot system, if you have other legacy applications that do not run well on Win2k. Thus, you could have c: for Win9x, d: for Winnt (2000) and drive e: for data. It is also very easy to dual boot between the two, but don’t try to run two operating systems on one drive. Simply install Win9X first, then 2000. The details can be found in the knowledge base from Microsoft. Windows 2000 has a built-in boot loader which will allow you to choose between operating systems at boot-up. Go here:

Once the partitioning is done, setup will format the drive(s) as specified, then a reboot.

Next, will be the graphical part of the setup and it will ask you a few questions about networking, time zones etc. passwords etc. This will vary according to your own needs. One of the good things in Win2k is the ease in sharing files with a MAC. It has Apple Talk in the box. A Windows 2000 server can run Services for Mac and network file / print sharing problems are history. A Windows 2000 workstation can run Apple Talk as well and access files from almost any modern Mac running TCP/IP. When installing in the beginning set yourself up as an administrator then change your user profile to a power user afterward for everyday use. This will make your life much easier in the beginning and help prevent those “ooops” events in your computing life.

If you are on a real client-server network with a dedicated server and log-ins, make sure you are set up as a local power user at least. PM 6.5 and 7.0 will really have problems if you are set up as a restricted user and will refuse to load with a weird error message. Depending on the system policies on your network, you may or may not be able to install programs later on without administrator privileges. The procedure recommended to network admins to temporarily set the daily user as an administrator and install all DTP apps under the users name and login. This eliminates issues with creating shortcuts on legacy programs like PM. For details on networks see below for links.

You’ll have one or two reboots and then the first real boot up in 2000. Now the fun begins.

What’s a “Service Pack?

An explanatory note: A Service Pack is a comprehensive update to the operating system files. Included in a service pack are the collected to date bug fixes, patches and additional device drivers rolled into a single install. A note of caution, service packs can themselves introduce new bugs or incompatibilities. Unless, you have a burning need, wait a few weeks to see if other users have had problems. Rarely do they include major new features. They are cumulative, meaning if you have Service Pack 2, you do not need to install Service Pack 1 first. This same note of caution is also very useful when considering upgrades to Internet Explorer through Windows Update. You really don’t need Internet Explorer 6 right now if DTP is your bread and butter. ** We have tested the recently released Service Pack 3 and see no adverse effects on any DTP application.**

The next recommended step is to install Service Pack 3, if your disk came with SP-1,2 or first release. These Service Packs fixes a number of problems: PM seems to crash less often and the OS uses less memory – typically 8-12 Mb less. After you do this, install the recovery console, which can allow you to make system repairs if you ever have a serious disaster strike. To install the recovery console, you rerun setup from the installation disk with the switch /cmdcons i.e. Winnt32.exe /cmdcons

At this point you will have a stock system. Now you need to go to My Computer > right click> Properties > Hardware > Device Manager > View > Show Hidden Devices. Do you see any yellow splats with a ! in the middle or a red X. If yes, you need to figure out if you need if some hardware is mis-identified or if the Windows 2000 installation disk does not have the correct driver file. No? Then proceed.

Now give yourself a rescue boat. Go to Program > Accessories > System Tools and create a registry backup. The MS backup in Win2k will allow you to make a rescue floppy, followed by backing up the system state (=Win9x registry) to the hard drive if something goes wrong. You can then boot to safe mode and restore the previous version. You can even do this during each hardware device driver change, if something goes horribly wrong, Of course, you read the readme files first?? This is very sound advice in general. Anytime you have a new program or driver look for the readme files on the disk, print them out and give it a careful look. This will save you no end of troubles in the future.

Next is updating device drivers. Generally, the preferred order is low level drivers like special IDE controllers, USB drivers etc., anything related to the motherboard. Then network drivers, sound cards and any other add-in cards. Lastly, video. The safest and most reliable way to change any of these is to boot into safe mode, install and reboot when prompted. One thing is important to look at is the video card settings. With the latest video drivers, there will probably be a bunch of settings for gamma and color balance. Leave them to their default or a neutral setting or you will foil any color management software that creates device profiles, such as Wiziwyg, X-Rite or Adobe Gamma.

What are services?

The idea of a service is new to most 9x and Mac users. Services are basically programs which run in the background and provide elements like networking, virus scanning, Internet connection sharing etc. Services will even run if you boot the computer and then not login. Services under Windows 9x do exist, but are buried in registry settings and not visible to the user nor easy to change or disable. Unlike Win9x, Win2k by default has a number of default settings and services, which can cause problems with older apps and can also cause unnecessary memory usage. Go to find an excellent explanation of the services and their function. Unless you require them or your network policies over ride them, the following can be disabled or set to manual:

  • Alerter
  • Messenger
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • Distributed Transaction Coordinator
  • IPSec Policy Agent
  • Computer Browser (Not always needed with a domain controller, needed on at least two machines with a work group.)
  • Indexing (This isvariable, if you have a lot of Office documents that you need to search, this is useful, but does chew up memory.)
  • Remote Registry Service
  • There are two in Service Pack 3 services which should definitely be disabled: Automatic Updates and BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service). We are of the frame of mind that you should not have any operating system automatically installing updates without some testing before installing.

You will need to be an logged in as an administrator to adjust some of these settings permanently.

The point is not all of these services need to run if they are not used on your network or you are running as a single workstation. Be careful and certain of what you are changing. This step alone can slim the memory footprint of the OS quite a bit, speed up boot time and performance.

This article :Windows XP Home and Professional Service Configurations is an excellent step by step guide for tuning XP specific services. XP Users are strongly recommended to disable Themes and per this article: Reduce XP Themes Resources

Getting Rid of the Eye Candy and Toys

Because it is so annoying, one of the first things is go to the appearance panel Right click the desktop>Properties>Appearance and get rid of all the animation frill, fade effects etc. Clear them all and you will have a much snappier desktop. The mouse control panel is next. Get rid of the shadow effect. Then go to the mouse icon on control panel select hardware tab > properties > advanced settings and change the sample rate to 100 or more. This will make your mouse much more responsive and precise when using making selections. After that if you mouse is jerky and it is old you simply need to clean out the contact rollers inside.

Similarly, we strongly recommend not using Active Desktop components and completely disable web-view settings in folder properties and wallpaper with Xteq X-Setup or with group policies on a network. A complete waste of code and they just slow down your computer. FYI, your most accurate on-screen color renderings in Photoshop / PM will be with a neutral gray desktop as well.

One program, which is great for sys admins and advanced users is: X-Setup by Xteq This is the first application we install after all the above is done. This allows you to change a number of hidden settings in the registry without directly editing the registry. Be really careful, but this wonderful freeware program can unlock some performance gains, add stability and make your system look and work the way you want – not Microsoft.

Clean Up – By default, hidden from the setup is the optional components, which you may not need but are installed anyway. Games, Imaging and other accessories. You can un-hide these options this by searching for a file sysoc.inf. Edit this with Notepad and remove every instance of “HIDE”. Exit and save. Then reopen from control panel > add/remove programs now you can get rid of things you may not want.

Temp files – PM and install programs create a lot of temp files and they pile up after the inevitable crash or after installing applications. Too many left over .tmp or excessive temp files can give programs like Pagemaker and Photoshop fits. Win2k by default buries them in a separate sub directory under Documents and Settings. This is done for security reasons to isolate different user’s folders. Unless you share your workstation with someone else who works on sensitive documents, temp files can all go in the same place.

You can simply select My computer on the desktop, right button >Properties>Advanced > Environment Variables. You can edit this to something more user friendly like c: \temp, so you can go in and clean up left over temp files after a crash or after a couple of installs. By the way installation programs are notorious for leaving behind temp files and folders. In the process of installation, adding a couple of programs look in your temp and delete everything. Change both the settings for the user profile you will be using, as well as the system variable with the same name on the bottom of the panel.

Another point is you need a valid temp statement in autoexec.NT, a text file located within the \Winnt\system32 directory open this file with Notepad and add: TEMP=Drive letter:\Your_real_temp_director_y TMP=Drive letter:\Your_real_temp_director_y Otherwise, you may have problems pasting from certain applications into a PM publication.

Add printers and test their functionality. It is important for accurate color printing within PM to have the correct device profiles see note 2 below.

Install any other peripherals such as scanners or USB devices.

Part Three

Installing Pagemaker and Related Applications

Next is installing PageMaker and your other applications. Install Adobe apps oldest first the newest last. Acrobat likes to be last. If you have Press Ready 1.0 this should be the very first Adobe application installed, especially if you are installing 7.0.

Generally, one should never accept a default install for any program ever and always select custom settings. At the very least, you can see what exactly is being installed. You can eliminate a lot things you do not need, like extra device profiles, language dictionaries. For example, you might have a later version of Acrobat, QuickTime or Press Ready to be installed later on, you can leave them out. At this point, do not install the ATM included on the PM 6.52 disk. It is an older version and is definitely not compatible with Win2k. It can with a certain combination of hardware and software cause the dreaded “blue screen” in Windows 2000, as it ties into the keyboard drivers. This also will damage the native handling of postscript within Win 2k. There is a fix which will restore this in the ATM download area on the Adobe web site.

Other “Power User” notes for sys admins: After PageMaker is installed ensure the panose.bin is read/write to all users and after all the Adobe programs are installed, run regedt32.exe and allow full read/write privileges to the all Adobe keys in all hives. This will save a lot of trouble later on.

One of the things Windows users will learn from their first experiences with Linux is the typically horrible way Windows install routines are almost an afterthought. De-installation sometimes is worse; leaving files and registry settings grenaded all over the place. One hour working with properly setup RPM’s ( Red Hat Package Manager) or APT/GET from Debian on a Linux workstation is a revelation for most Windows users to see. You can install, remove and reinstall the same program with different 15 times without a single reboot.

Other notes on installing / running / error messages PM on Win2k:

  1. Should I install the 7.01 update? Yes, the benefits far outweigh the few problems which have surfaced. The only significant issue for some is the inability to save when the My Documents folder has been relocated.
  2. If you installed Windows 2000 by upgrading from Windows 9x or NT 4. Stop. We have never been an advocate of upgrading operating systems.
  3. The default directory for color profiles in Win2k is: \winnt\system32\spool\drivers\color PageMaker 6.5 and 7.0 will install device profiles in \winnt\system32\color. To enable PM to use these additional device profiles from, for example, Photoshop, you will need to copy the other device profiles into the latter.
  4. Make sure any PPD files for your printer are copied in the PPD4 sub-folder under PM6.5 and 7.0. When you are looking for printer specific settings, you’ll often need to click the advanced tab for postscript printers to find the right settings for your setup. Printer control panels in Win2k will take some time to find your way around for new users. If you are installing vendor provided PPD’s, open up the file in Notepad and check that it has a statement *Format Version: “4.3” or similar. If the PPD is not in 4.3 format contact your printer vendor for an updated driver. Otherwise, you might have problems with postscript printing.
  5. PM 6.5 only – Enable the application compatibility layer in Service Pack 2 or SP3. The correct procedure is outlined in: After you create a shortcut on your desktop for PM 6.5, select properties then the compatibility tab and enable NT4 SP5 compatibility. This seems to reduce PM crashes and copy paste problems. Also, it is important to note the scripting engine within PM 6.52, as well as 7.0, is a 16 bit program and will run within a VDM (Virtual DOS Machine). This is OK, but will remain as a running task after closing the script.
  6. A few times we have gotten an invalid VxD or “invaliddevicedriversage when running a script, but we have selected ignore and most scripts run fine. This is usually caused by an improperly set registry key by a 16 bit installer program. The fix for this error is in the Microsoft knowledge base. After running a script you will see a process ntvdm.exe running in the task manager. You can select this and kill this if you no longer need it running. If you see wow.exe, don’t kill the process, some other 16 bit program is running.
  7. We recommend Norton System Works 2001 for specific things for system maintenance. Again, do not do a default install. Choose Custom Install and configure everything for manual, no auto start with windows. Leave out clean sweep, it is more trouble than its worth. Run the live update a couple of times to get the latest program updates. Disable the Norton protected recycle bin, as well as the underlying service in the service panel (Logged in as administrator > Programs > Control Panel < Administrative Tools> Services) or you might slow Photoshop 6 to a crawl. The NT version of speed disk works very well and has its own scheduler to enable defragmentation after hours. This is a faster and more thorough version than the one with Win2k.
    You can also use the same scheduler to run a full system virus scan after hours, without needing it to run full time. Norton has its own program scheduler, so you can also disable the built in task scheduler in the Services panel under Administrative Tools. The Task Scheduler included with most versions of Windows is not the most reliable, hence many programs include their own. If you have ACPI enabled you can use the power management panel in the control panel to schedule the machine so it does the necessary maintenance work and then gracefully go into hibernation (suspend to disk) mode after a period of inactivity. When a workstation hibernates, it is secured and requires a password to resume from hibernation.
  8. We highly recommend installing the latest Adobe PS driver (now 1.06 as of 23:05:2002) from their website if you are planning on printing to true Adobe postscript printer. Do this before installing Acrobat. We think it is fair to say the most trouble free way to create a PDF is by creating a .ps file and then distilling directly. Having this driver configured properly will make this much more trouble free. We have always recommended to clients to use this method versus export to PDF.
  9. PM 6.5 and 7 both seem to be less crash prone with Service Pack 2 and Service Pack 3 installed, especially when the application compatibility layer is enabled as above. ( You won’t need to do this with PM 7.) The known issues with SP 2 are listed with a link below. Service Pack 3 has been released as of 2 August 2002 and we conclude it is a worthwhile upgrade with many security fixes. There have been no significant problems related to Pagemaker or other DTP applications. We would recommend disabling auto updates in the services section of administrative tool in the control panel. the other is the BITS ( Background Intelligent Transfer Service). We are to QA patches before installing them.
  10. If you use Internet Explorer as a regular browser, run Windows Update to get the latest security patches. Again, expand the plus signs you see in front of the section marked “Critical Updates” as well as “Advanced Updates” and evaluate if you truly need all the updates. For example, Microsoft recently posted a “critical update” for infrared devices and offers to install it on your workstation, even if you don’t have this feature. It is also important to know NT and Windows 2000 workstation have services not available on a Win9x machine. Read the individual patches carefully, as not all of them will be needed for your individual situation.
    If you would like an alternative which is fast, crash resistant, try the new Mozilla 1.2.1 browser on which all Netscape 7 browsers are based. Even better it will not mess with your system files like Internet Explorer. We recommend this as the default for clients as eliminates many security concerns as well as defeating many web annoyances like pop-ups. We have installed this for a number of clients and most are delighted with the new features. We can also recommend the new version 7.0 of Opera.
    Setting either of these browser’s to be your default is one of the best security moves you can easily do to protect against malware, spybots and the like.
  11. If you use your workstation at home, avoid if at all possible any kind of games, multimedia or kid’s educational software. Some of these programs are a truly a menace to having a stable trouble free workstation. One of the primary motivations for some clients migrating from Windows ‘9x to Windows 2000 is to lock down the desktop, preventing users from installing all kinds of junk screen savers, cute little cursors and the like.
  12. Don’t run other programs you really don’t need to have running all the time. The worst offenders are programs which dump some icon in your system tray continually running in the background eating up CPU cycles and memory. The arrogance displayed by some developers is incredible. Real Player and Quicken, Quicktime are often guilty parties.
  13. Font finding problems: PageMaker can’t find a font? Close all Adobe Programs. Go to the search panel. Search for *.lst on all local drives. After the search is complete, select all and then delete. These files are font listings used by various Adobe programs. After deletion these files are recreated dynamically on program launch. This can also indicate trouble within a publication. Do a diagnostic recompose, the steps are in the Adobe knowledgebase. Another trick is to run the removed unused styles script. If PM files are reused or created from a complex template, there may be unused styles with font info in the files.
  14. Dual Boot Setups You can have and use programs like PM under both Win9x and Win2k. They’ll usually work fine even if installed in the same directory. The caveat, you will probably need to install them twice. Some programs can be started by clicking directly on the file in Explorer will work on a single install, but some which write a lot of settings to the registry will need to be installed once for each system.
  15. You get a message “Wnetenumchachedpasswords or that effect, when starting PageMaker? Your very important mapi32.dll was overwritten by an installer of an older versions of Corel Draw or similar. The fix: Do a search for mapi32.dll look for the date stamps. It should be about 3/99. If it is older rename the file mapi32.bak and then find and run fixmapi.exe from your Office 2000 program folder or run the system file checker, but have your Windows 2000 CD handy. Outlook Express also needs this file. You will need to be logged in with administrator rights to fix this.
  16. File in use or other file locking / opening errors? Running on a Novell Network? This is often caused by a bug in the network client software. Solution: Install the Microsoft version of NetWare client or try an older or newer version of the Novell client. PM is not the only program which can suffer the same problem. Desktop Publishing and Networks has specifics for working with DTP applications and Windows 2000
  17. You can safely install side by side installations of PM 6.52 and 7.0. The only problem is 7.0 will grab the file association and open 6.5 files by default when you click on one within explorer.

Part Four

Known MS Windows 2000 bugs which may affect PageMaker:

  1. Dr. Watson Error in the Spooler When You Print with Arial Unicode TrueType Font (Q303407)
  2. Incorrect File Sizes Are Reported by Services For Macintosh on Windows 2000-Based Servers (Q277862)This is frequently seen and it is more of a nuisance than a functionality issue.
  3. Stop 0x0000001E Loading Adobe Type Manager Font Driver (Q306119)
  4. 16-bit Programs that Call to GlobalAlloc for Large Memory Allocations Cause Programs to Hang (Q288165) – PageMaker’s scripting program is a 16 bit program. We have not seen this, but a custom script or other older programs running may possibly cause this.
  5. Lists a revised pscript.dll for Japanese printing problems.
  6. Post Service Pack 2 Issues, which have patches or workarounds available: Post Service Pack 2 Fixes

Font Issues

The biggest problem PM 6.5 or 7.0 /Win2K problem we are aware of from newsgroups and forums is courier font substitution when printing postscript or creating PDF’s, typically with True Type or the newer Open Type fonts. Acrobat Troubleshooting and Windows 2000 should be your first stop for PDF issues.

UPDATE 12/04/01: Scott Oswald from Danka Digital sent this in an e-mail, after seeing the first version:

“The Courier substitution issue seems to stem from the Unicode fonts in Win2K and PageMaker’s undying need to grab as much as it can from the printer driver. And I’ve found that it happens with 6.5x and 7.x. ”

“To test, I installed a brand-new workstation with Win2K SP2, a Canon C2100 PostScript 3 driver using the AdobePS installer, and PageMaker 6.5 Plus. I printed to the device and BAM! Courier substitution for all TT in the document (Arial, Times New Roman, and Tahoma). I wiped the system (fdisk and all) and reinstalled everything EXCEPT I installed PM 7 instead. Using the same document (thank the heavens above for a floppy disk), I printed. Again, Courier substitution.

Now, I reinstalled a PM 6.5 Plus system but I substituted all the \winnt\fonts items with the \windows\fonts items from a Win98 machine (thank the heavens above for a Jaz drive). Printed the same file and…it printed just fine. Ditto with PM 7 (which I had no doubt would print OK). ”

“Aside from using another operating system fonts, a quickie (if one exists) solution is to install a PostScript 2 printer on the system for PageMaker (for whatever reason, and I suspect its a PostScript level thing). It need not be a compatible printer, since PageMaker uses its own PPD for PostScript creation, just a PS 2 printer that supports color or monochrome based on your need.”

“I have a feeling that Windows, seeing that the printer is indeed level 2, shadows the unicode font as an older TT font to avoid printing errors (don’t know, that would involve getting information on a poorly documented part of the Windows OS– has nothing).”

Scott Olswold
Senior Systems Support Engineer MCSE, CNA 5, A+, Adobe Expert User (Photoshop and PageMaker)
Danka Office Imaging

That ladies and gentleman is probably THE fix for 75-90% of the problems with courier font substitution and True Type on Windows 2000.

In addition, if you don’t understand what unicode fonts are all about, here is the simplest explanation we can offer. Unicode allows a font to display the characters from multiple language sets and alphabets. If you have them you will see in Pagemaker and some programs multiple listings of of the same font name like Arial CYR or Trebuchet CE (Central European). The CYR stands for the Cyrillic or Russian alphabet. So when you try to send a unicode font to postscript printer or distiller, to a level 3 ps printer thats where the substitution happens, It may happen on one line or a whole page.

We have not had this happen often enough to warrant extensive troubleshooting on our part. We suspect this is for several reasons: 1) They use quality fonts. Most all are Adobe or Bitstream Type 1 fonts. 2) They have a true Adobe ® postscript level 2 printer, not a clone. 3) All the postscript printers (Distiller is really a type of virtual postscript printer.) are setup to download True Type outlines or bitmaps (you will need to test each one) in the postscript printer settings. 4) The PPD files are carefully examined for accuracy.

The one time we did troubleshoot this issue, a problem True Type font was found to have weak encoding. ATM Deluxe 4.1 is recommended for font management. The only nit pick is the manual really does not go into detail about Windows 2000. See below about Acrobat 5 for more info. Select download font outlines and many of the problems go away.

Other Unicode / Code Page Issues

Pagemaker, owning to its old design, does not support the use of extended carachters or glyphs in Unicode or OpenType fonts. Thus, you can cannot take a MS Word document with CE,TUR or CYR versions of fonts and then import them into a Pagemaker publication and have them print properly. Pagemaker can only access the first 256 glyphs within a typeface.

The following is an incomplete list of applications which support Unicode:

  • MS Office 97/2000/XP applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
  • Netscape Navigator/Communicator 6+
  • Internet Explorer
  • Adobe InDesign 1.x, 2.0.
  • Corel Draw 10.
  • Opera 6 Browser
  • Mozilla 1.x Browser
  • Open Office

There are two excellent websites where you can learn a lot more about the features of Unicode and how applications support them: and have Cyrillic and Central European Type 1 fonts which will output to .ps properly in Pagemaker. Another option to investigate is which is software to help non-unicode applications work with unicode fonts.

Further Troubleshooting

There are a couple of good troubleshooting articles in the Adobe knowledge base. If the unicode fonts are not an issue, as outlined above, our sense is courier is substituted when a Postscript device does not receive enough font information i.e. missing glyph in a font, embedding restrictions, etc. That is where one should go looking when this issue occurs. We have seen similar problems on Unix and Linux and fixing the font by substitution or reinstallation.

If you still have problems, then there may be a problem with the outline of a particular glyph at a certain size within the font. Try substituting another size and then test again. Or as posted below run the file through Ghostscript. Another method to test a True Type font is by testing the conversion with with TTF2PT1.

Another issue is the inability to embed True Type fonts in PDFs. New users should be aware True Type fonts can have embedding restrictions, which can prevent them from being used with Distiller. Microsoft has a neat tool which extends the font file properties dialogue box. If you have custom fonts, you might be able to get them changed from your font provider. Anyone using True Type fonts and embedding issues should have this simple tool. It can be downloaded and installed on any version of Windows. There are a wealth of typography links at:

Open Type Fonts – (which also have the unicode features) We would generally avoid them for use in PDF work with 6.52 . Open Type will be wonderful in time as applications add support for their features like expert sets, true small capitals and extended glyph sets. There are a couple of excellent background articles on Open Type on the Adobe site. InDesign 2 is the first program to take full advantage of Open Type.

Acrobat 5 This has been a tricky issue for Pagemaker with both Windows 2000 and XP. Judging from newsgroup postings users are blaming PageMaker for bad PDF’s, when in fact it may be the settings within Distiller, which are not properly setup by the user. One reliable method to follow: 1) From within PageMaker, make sure the document is composed to the Distiller PPD. Print to file and then open the file with Distiller. We think many users have a lot of confusion about settings. Distiller is not a point and click printer. On the Adobe developer’s site, there are some excellent articles and white paper, which describe in detail the meaning of each setting and even the possibility of hand coding some them of your postscript. Look for technical note # 5151. This is specific to Acrobat 5 settings, but most the of the principles apply to 4 as well.

Acrobat Distiller Troubleshooting ** Revised October 2002. has more info on Unicode handling and Pagemaker.

From what we understand, below is the setting you want for good image quality with a PDF within the Pagemaker printer dialog:

 Postscript Printing for PDF dialog box

It is important to make sure image data is set to Normal. Optimized sub-sampling compresses the image and can cause all kinds of image problems


Many problems with resource intense applications like Photoshop or PageMaker often have their roots in sloppy installs, conflicts and other gotchas inherent in such complex software. Hopefully, this will FAQ will guide the non-technical user towards an understanding what is under the hood of a rather complex OS and how to best configure a system for DTP. A good Windows 2000 setup is time consuming, but when done right does not need to be done often.

Appendix A :

Linux and DTP Tools

How Linux going to help me with PageMaker? we’ll get to that in moment.

Given the recent controversies about product activation and licensing, among others in the recently released Windows XP, many people in the IT field are seriously reconsidering their views vis a vis operating systems and and certain commercially produced applications, especially in the security field.

Coincidental is the rapid growth of “open source” software. Open source is loosely based around the development of Linux, as well as a development model which values early releases, true peer review (much like scientific research) and values user testing and feedback. This development process has brought about many of the most important programs which make up the infrastructure of the internet.

How can I benefit? Fortunately for you, the PM user, the Linux/UNIX world has relied entirely on postscript for graphical printing for years. For example, Lyx/Tex is basically a typesetting/text processing application that has been around for ages and is especially well suited for long documents and scientific publications. Thus, there are a number of good and sometimes very mature tools available for free or little cost. Moreover, good reliable programs like Star Office are now open source as well. If you do not need every little bit of MS Office this is a great alternative as an office suite.

The short list:

  • Ghostscript/GsView – It is the Swiss army knife of postscript/fonts/printing for Linux. It can do a number of things including previewing on-screen raw postscript and EPS files adding previews, create PDFs among others. It is a mature product which has a Windows version and has been included with some commercially available programs. You need both Ghostscript and GsView for viewing/printing. The interface takes some getting used to, but read the manuals carefully before installing and you will have one more tool for testing and diagnosing PostScript and PDF problems.
  • Need a simple program like visio to make diagrams and organization charts which can be easily exported to EPS? Try DIA. You can use this for diagrams of all kinds. There is also a Windows version.
  • Open Office – The replacement office suite has a number features we like: Excellent support for MS Office file formats, A superb spreadsheet module and presentations module. The latest version 1.0.2 has many improvements in speed and loading time. Moreover, opening Office documents and resaving them in MS Office format in Open Office can strip out some of the less desirable formatting issues when trying to import MS Word docs into Pagemaker. Plus, opening e-mailed docs through Open Office prevents macro viruses from ruunning on your workstation. Recommended.
  • Samba – The all purpose make believe NT server, running on Linux. This is a marvel of reverse engineering, which can serve as a very robust file, print server and/or now act as a NT 4 domain controller. Your Windows and Mac clients connect and login, just as if they were talking to a real NT server. The imprints module, makes print driver setup on Windows clients a snap.
    We also have written a short howto for working with Samba and DTP applications.

For Pagemaker users, the most interesting programs under rapid development is a page layout program called Scribus, found at Scribus includes many professional level features including EPS import/export and innovative PDF output options, as well as complete support for CMYK. Scribus is an ambitious and so far very successful project. The program which was only started in March of last year is already quite functional and user friendly. The point is to make users aware of alternatives and the quality of some Linux applications. Development version 0.9 has added a number of user refinements including vector tools like level 3 Postscript support, Indesign like sophisticated PDF creation including as well as interactive PDF form generation , easiest text on a path tools on the planet, . and “soft proofs” like Photoshop. You can read more on our projects page here. All about Scribus.


This document is offered to the public domain on the understanding that no sale of this information is undertaken by any recipient without authorization. Any reproduction of the information should be complete and entire and provide reference to the author.

The author takes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or misunderstandings. The information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. In no event shall the author of this FAQ or the distributors of this FAQ be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits, or special damages, even if the author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

Adobe, PageMaker, Photoshop, Acrobat, Indesign and PostScript are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems. All other products mentioned in this file are trademarks of their respective companies.

© Atlantic Tech Solutions

Version History

  • 11/06/01 First Release
  • 12/14/01 Added Network Section
  • 1/15/02 Samba Section / HTML Clean up Added 1/28/02
  • 3/17/02 Added Section on Acrobat Distiller Troubleshooting
  • 5/15/02 Netscape 4 Fixes – Added A4 PDF
  • 8/2/02 Added Mozilla Recommendation and Service Pack 3 info
  • 9/01/02 Created Win9x/NT FAQ
  • 10/12/02 HTML overhaul
  • 11/01/02 Added More SP3 info and Unicode font info
  • 25/01/03 Added Article on Samba for DTP
  • 11/02/03 Converted to XHTML 1.0
  • 18/02/03 New XP Service Links

Please follow this for information specific to networks and Pagemaker. Desktop Publishing Applications and Networks

To Do’s for the second version:

  • More screen shots
  • More on Photoshop and printing
  • System Maintenance / Backup Strategies for DTP.

The downloadable PDF (US Letter optimized for print) of this FAQ is US Letter PDF

The downloadable PDF (A4 International – optimized for print) of this FAQ is A4 Size PDF

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