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If you have a Windows XP and you are in need for speed, follow these 10 simple ways to speed up your PC.
1. Defrag Disk to Speed Up Access to Data
One of the factors that slow the performance of the computer is disk fragmentation. When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it back together. To speed up the response time, you should monthly run Disk Defragmenter, a Windows utility that defrags and consolidates fragmented files for quicker computer response.
* Follow Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter
* Click the drives you want to defrag and click Analyze
* Click Defragment
2. Detect and Repair Disk Errors
Over time, your hard disk develops bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing difficult or even impossible. To detect and repair disk errors, Windows has a built-in tool called the Error Checking utility. It’ll search the hard disk for bad sectors and system errors and repair them for faster performance.
* Follow Start > My Computer
* In My Computer right-click the hard disk you want to scan and click Properties
* Click the Tools tab
* Click Check Now
* Select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box
* Click Start
3. Disable Indexing Services
Indexing Services is a little application that uses a lot of CPU. By indexing and updating lists of all the files on the computer, it helps you to do a search for something faster as it scans the index list. But if you know where your files are, you can disable this system service. It won’t do any harm to you machine, whether you search often or not very often.
* Go to Start
* Click Settings
* Click Control Panel
* Double-click Add/Remove Programs
* Click the Add/Remove Window Components
* Uncheck the Indexing services
* Click Next
4. Optimize Display Settings
Windows XP is a looker. But it costs you system resources that are used to display all the visual items and effects. Windows looks fine if you disable most of the settings and leave the following:
* Show shadows under menus
* Show shadows under mouse pointer
* Show translucent selection rectangle
* Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop
* Use visual styles on windows and buttons
5. Speedup Folder Browsing
You may have noticed that everytime you open My Computer to browse folders that there is a little delay. This is because Windows XP automatically searches for network files and printers everytime you open Windows Explorer. To fix this and to increase browsing speed, you can disable the “Automatically search for network folders and printers” option.
6. Disable Performance Counters
Windows XP has a performance monitor utility which monitors several areas of your PC’s performance. These utilities take up system resources so disabling is a good idea.
* Download and install the Extensible Performance Counter List(http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/reskit/tools/existing/exctrlst-o.asp)
* Then select each counter in turn in the ‘Extensible performance counters’ window and clear the ‘performance counters enabled’ checkbox at the bottom button below
7. Optimize Your Pagefile
You can optimize your pagefile. Setting a fixed size to your pagefile saves the operating system from the need to resize the pagefile.
* Right click on My Computer and select Properties
* Select the Advanced tab
* Under Performance choose the Settings button
* Select the Advanced tab again and under Virtual Memory select Change
* Highlight the drive containing your page file and make the initial Size of the file the same as the Maximum Size of the file.
Windows XP sizes the page file to about 1.5X the amount of actual physical memory by default. While this is good for systems with smaller amounts of memory (under 512MB) it is unlikely that a typical XP desktop system will ever need 1.5 X 512MB or more of virtual memory. If you have less than 512MB of memory, leave the page file at its default size. If you have 512MB or more, change the ratio to 1:1 page file size to physical memory size.
8. Remove Fonts for Speed
Fonts, especially TrueType fonts, use quite a bit of system resources. For optimal performance, trim your fonts down to just those that you need to use on a daily basis and fonts that applications may require.
* Open Control Panel
* Open Fonts folder
* Move fonts you don’t need to a temporary directory (e.g. C:\FONTBKUP?) just in case you need or want to bring a few of them back. The more fonts you uninstall, the more system resources you will gain.
9. Use a Flash Memory to Boost Performance
To improve performance, you need to install additional RAM memory. It’ll let you boot your OS much quicker and run many applications and access data quicker. There is no easiest and more technically elegant way to do it than use eBoostr (http://www.eboostr.com).
eBoostr is a little program that lets you improve a performance of any computer, powered by Windows XP in much the same way as Vista’s ReadyBoost. With eBoostr, if you have a flash drive, such as a USB flash thumb drive or an SD card, you can use it to make your computer run better. Simply plug in a flash drive through a USB socket and Windows XP will use eBoostr to utilize the flash memory to improve performance.
The product shows the best results for frequently used applications and data, which becomes a great feature for people who are using office programs, graphics applications or developer tools. It’ll surely attract a special attention of laptop owners as laptop upgrade is usually more complicated and laptop hard drives are by definition slower than those of desktops.
10. Perform a Boot Defragment
There’s a simple way to speed up XP startup: make your system do a boot defragment, which will put all the boot files next to one another on your hard disk. When boot files are in close proximity to one another, your system will start faster.
On most systems, boot defragment should be enabled by default, but it might not be on yours, or it might have been changed inadvertently. To make sure that boot defragment is enabled:
* Run the Registry Editor
* Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction
* Set the Enable string value to Y if it is not already set to Y.
* Exit the Registry
Uninstalling a Windows application leaves many traces such as abandoned registry keys, configuration files and shared libraries that are no longer used by any application. When you are looking for an ideal solution to your problem, you are usually downloading and testing dozens of different applications distributed on the try-before-you-buy basis. After you complete your search, you’ll decide on just one application, and will want to get rid of the other products you’ve tested. But do you understand how much garbage they leave behind even after being ‘completely’ uninstalled?
If you install a comprehensive suite created by a big-name company, you’re getting the best quality software that surely knows how to behave and how to clean up after itself, right? Wrong! Many if not all products leave behind multiple traces that are more than likely to make your computer behave odd, or even lead to problems that are impossible to predict and tough to resolve.
Want examples? How about a firewall that forgets to remove a system-level driver that filters IP packets? After uninstalling the product, the driver just sits there, doing nothing except slowing down the performance of your PC. Try another one of those firewalls and stack an extra system-level driver on top, and you’ll get connectivity problems that are very hard to resolve if you’re not an experienced system administrator.
Did you use any tools to make backups of your CDs and DVDs? There’s a bunch of tools on the market that shamelessly leave behind the drivers they use to access the disks directly, and, let’s nail it, circumvent their copy protection. Each of these drivers slows down access to optical disks and makes reads and writes less stable. You might get many coasters just because of these extra links in the driver chain.
Simple utilities created by small companies and independent software vendors are very likely to leave traces behind in many places on your computer. Being time-limited by their definition, they try to hide information about their installation date and usage in obscure places, making it deliberately difficult to trace and clean up. There’s nothing wrong with protecting intellectual property, but what if you test a bunch of applications, and decide on a single app to do the job? Do you really have to bring all the garbage in house in order to buy just one tool?
If you start thinking that the only way to keep your computer clean is by not installing anything on it, think again! There’s a great solution to these kinds of problems made by ChemTable. Reg Organizer helps you clean sweep your computer and keeps it in immaculately clean condition by removing any traces left behind after you uninstall a product.
It works simply, quietly, and with no magic. Reg Organizer makes snapshots of your system before you install an application and immediately after. Comparing the two snapshots discovers all changes that were made to the files on your hard drives and Windows Registry settings. Uninstalling an application in Reg Organizer sweeps your computer pristine clean, allowing for no traces to be left behind on the PC and effectively making it the way it was before you installed the application.
No more deserted files, no hidden registry settings, and no quirky drivers to harm your PC performance! With Reg Organizer you can try as many tools, utilities and packages as you please without slowing down your PC or littering its hard disk.
Are you a Reg Organizer user already? Open Reg Organizer, open the “Mode” menu, and select “Application Uninstall”. From there you will be able to remove applications and all of their files, registry settings, and other traces, effectively restoring your computer into the state it was in before installing the program.
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