XP Speed Secret #1: Disable Extra Startup Programs
There are certain programs that Windows will start every time you
boot up your system, and during the startup phase, they're all
competing for a slice of your CPU speed. Extra or unwanted items
in the startup list will definitely increase your startup time, perhaps
by several minutes. Some common examples are things related to
AOL, RealPlayer, Napster, instant messengers, and video managers.
If you're not sure about an item, no big deal. You can turn it off,
restart your PC, and see if everything seems to work. If not, you can
always go back and re-enable an item in the Startup list. This tip
alone should speed up your start-up by 250%. Here are is what
you have to do:
1. Go to Start button Run
2. Type "msconfig", without quotations
3. Hit enter key or click the OK button
4. A System Configuration Utility window will show up
5. Click the Startup tab
6. In the Startup tab you will see several boxes and some of them
will selected (checked). All you have to do is to uncheck
extra items that are of no use. If you run an antivirus
program it is not recommended to uncheck it.
7. After making you choices press the OK button, you will be
prompted to restart computer to apply changes.
8. After restarting your computer a dialogue will be displayed.
You can check the option for not showing this dialogue every
time your PC reboots.
XP Speed Secret #2: Remove Spyware, Adware and Malware
Have you scanned your system for spyware, adware and other
unwanted pests? 1 of 6 computers has some sort of Spyware or
Malware! They dramatically slow down your computer because they
use resources to generate popup ads, send spam, and often
interfere with the operation of good programs.
If you haven’t scanned recently, we recommend a free scan from a
good anti-spyware program. We prefer to use stand-alone, high
quality anti-spyware programs like XoftSpy Pro, which give us the
ability to scan and repair these problems in seconds.
FINAL NOTE: Recent testing has shown that stand-alone programs
do a much better job than the “all-in-one” packages (eg. Norton
Internet Security) at detecting spyware, adware, and malware.
XP Speed Secret #3: Optimize Display Settings
Windows XP can look sexy but displaying all the visual items can
waste system resources. To optimize:
1. Click the Start button
2. Select Control Panel
3. Double-click the System icon
4. Click the Advanced tab
5. In the Performance box click Settings
6. Leave only the following ticked:
a. Show shadows under menus
b. Show shadows under mouse pointer
c. Show translucent selection rectangle
d. Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop
e. Use visual styles on windows and buttons
7. Finally, click Apply and OK
XP Speed Secret #4: Speed-Up File Browsing
You may have noticed that every time you open “My Computer” to
browse folders that there is a slight delay. This is because Windows
XP automatically searches for network files and printers every time
you open Windows Explorer. To fix this and to increase browsing
1. Double-click on My Computer
2. Click the Tools menu
3. Select Folder Options
4. Click on the View tab.
5. Uncheck the Automatically search for network folders and
printers check box
6. Click Apply
7. Click OK
8. Reboot your computer
XP Speed Secret #5: Reduce Page File Size
Page file size is not constant by default. Due to this, the operating
system has to resize the file each time more space is required. This
is a performance overhead. All you have to do is to set the file size to
a reasonable limit.
Follow the steps:
1. Right-click My Computer, Select Properties
2. Click the Advanced tab
3. Click the Settings button under the Performance section
4. Click the Advanced tab
5. Under the Virtual
Memory section click
the Change button
6. "Virtual Memory"
dialogue box will appear
(also shown in the figure
7. Highlight the C: drive
containing page file
8. Select the Custom Size
radio button and give
same values in Initial
size and Maximum size
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.
9. Click Set, then OK buttons to apply the changes
XP Speed Secret #6: Clean Your System Registry
Of course, the fastest and easiest way to speed-up your computer is
to allow a software program to do it for you! Although you will find
that all of the adjustments in this book will speed up your system,
the most effective and easiest way to give your computer blazing
speed is to clean up your system’s Registry.
Your computer is like your car: it needs periodic maintenance to
keep it running at optimum performance. Installing and un-installing
programs, surfing the Internet, emailing, and other everyday
activities create a sort of “sludge” that builds up in your computer
over time, much like an automobile engine. After a while, it doesn't
startup like when it was new, it stalls unexpectedly, and performance
is sluggish on the (information) highway.
We strongly recommend running a free Registry scan to find out
how many errors you computer is hiding from you. Your computer
will likely have hundreds of Registry errors that are dramatically
slowing down the potential speed and performance.
XP Speed Secret #7: Run Disk Clean-Up
Both Windows and application programs tend to leave temporary
files lying around on your hard drive, taking up space. A hard drive
that is close to being “full” can cause Windows to slow down or
interfere with efficient disk access and virtual memory operations.
If you surf the web a lot, your temporary internet files folder can
become quite large, causing Internet Explorer to slow down or
malfunction. Cleaning up unneeded files, scanning for disk errors
and defragmenting the hard drive can help to restore some zip to
your system. Try to run once a month for peak performance.
1. Double-click the
2. Right-click on
the C: drive
4. Click the Disk
(to the bottomright
5. Select / check
and Recycle Bin
6. Click OK
XP Speed Secret #8: Enable Direct Memory Access (DMA)
1. Right-click on My Computer, select Properties
2. Select the Hardware tab
3. Click the Device Manager button
4. Double-click IDE/ATAPI controllers
5. Double-click on the Primary IDE Channel
6. Click on the Advanced Settings tab (as shown in figure) The
tab may or may not be available for each option. It is only
available in Primary and Secondary Channels.
7. Set the Transfer Mode to "DMA if Available" both for Device
1 and 0
8. Click OK
9. Perform the same operation for other items in the list, if
XP Speed Secret #9: Disable File Indexing
Indexing Services is a small little program that uses large amounts
of memory and can often make a computer endlessly loud and
noisy. This system process indexes and updates lists of all the files
that are on your computer. It does this so that when you do a search
for something on your computer, it will search faster by scanning the
index lists. If you don’t search your computer often, this system
service is completely unnecessary. To disable do the following:
1. Click Start button
2. Select the Control Panel
3. Double-click Add/Remove Programs
4. Click the Add/Remove Window Components icon on the left
side of the window
5. This may take a few seconds to load. Be patient.
6. Look for the “Indexing Services” component in the list
7. Uncheck the Indexing Services
8. Click Next
9. Click Finish
XP Speed Secret #10: Remove Un-Used Programs & Files
You may have a bunch of software packages on your hard drive that
are no longer needed, or they were gratuitously installed when you
downloaded some other package. Toolbars, file-sharing
programs, free email enhancers, online shopping "companions"
and download managers are notorious for this practice. These
uninvited guests can put a big drag on your startup time, cause web
pages to load slowly, and generally bog down your computer.
1. Click Start button
2. Select Control Panel
3. Double-click Add/Remove Programs icon
4. See what programs are installed that you don’t typically use
5. Select the Remove button for the ones you know you don't
If you’re unsure about some programs, do a web search to learn
about the ones that you need to keep.