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Thread: The Mega Guide to Optimizing XP/Tips

  1. #1
    Ikslej's Avatar Juggling BT Rep: +1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    The Ultimate Windows XP Optimizer Guide!!! + Hints and Tips!!!

    Hey there again boys and girls, Well once again I have decided to create another FAQ on how to increase the performance of the '' Windows xp'' Operating system, This will be an an ongoing FAQ, so im hoping that this FAQ will be boundless in answers for you to help you make your Copy of ''Windows XP'' run just that little bit faster. I will now go through nice and easy steps to make your Windows XP run faster. Now some of the Facts shown in this FAQ are easy to apply to your XP but some need you to do more advanced configurations..So before carrying out some of these steps ESPECIALLY Registry editing please back-up your registry and make sure that you feel confident enough to apply some of these Configurations displayed in this FAQ!!!.

    1. SYSTEM SETTINGS: Open ''System properties'' in the ''control panel'' then select the ''Advanced tab'' and click on ''settings'' under performance. Choose the ''visual effects'' tab then select the option ''adjust for best performance'' and do away with all the needless affects which use up system resources and ram.

    2. FASTER REBOOT: Click on ''start'' ''run'' and type ''msconfig'' and press ''enter'' to launch the ''system configuration utility''.Select the ''startup'' tab then clear the check boxes of those applications that don't need to start with Windows XP..You will notice an improvement almost immediately

    3.STOP RUNNING THOSE NEEDLESS PROGRAMS: Double-check the ''startup folder'' on the ''all programs'' menu as this may also contain shortcuts for launching applications.Simply right-click on the application you no longer want to start up with Windows and select ''delete'' to prevent this program from running again at windows startup.

    4. UNGROUP ITEMS: finding information faster by ungrouping taskbar items so you will be able to know exactly which applications are open. Right-click on the taskbar, choose ''properties'' and remove the tick from the option '' Group similar taskbar buttons''.

    5. CLEAR THE CLUTTER: Windows XP will load faster without the massive array of icons on your desktop.You can hide them in an instant and improve screen redraw times by right clicking and choosing ''arrange icons by '' and then select ''show desktop items''. Or you can delete the icons you don't want manually leaving the ones you wish to keep.

    6. DEFRAGGING : Now everyone nowadays knows that to keep an Operating system in good working order you have to defrag once in a while now you can use the inbuilt windows defragmentor but i do not recommend it as this program does a very poor job. I do however recommend two programs to defrag with and they are either DISKKEEPER or the SPEEDDISK program within NORTON SYTEM WORKS. If you wish for a fast Defrag then i would have to say that DISKKEEPER is for you SPEEDDISK however does still do a good job but isn't as fast!!!.

    Links to Defragging Programs: DISKKEEPER TRIAL,

    7. CLEAN AND COMPRESS: : ( Warning: Compressing your hard drive will slow down access times but by only a bit, but compressing does give you more storage space especially if you have a small hard drive. Now to give your Windows XP more room to work in. Right-click your drive in ''My computer'' choose ''Properties'' then click on ''disk cleanup''. Here you will be able to get rid of all the unnecessary files that are cluttering up your hard drive. Now to compress find the tab ''General'' Then look at the bottom of the window and you will see an unchecked box, Tick the box named '' Compress drive to save disk space''.

    8. CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE: : To ensure that Windows XP performs at its best all the time you can use the System file checker to locate any missing or damaged system files and replace them. Click on ''Start'' ''Run'' and type exactly WITHOUT quotation marks ''sfc /scannow'' and press ''Enter''.The windows file protection monitor will now scan your entire system for missing or damaged files.Keep your original Windows XP CD at hand as you may be asked for it to replace any missing or damaged files. Other commands that can be used for this step are:

    System File Checker Utility (Scan Immediately) sfc /scannow
    System File Checker Utility (Scan Once At Next Boot) sfc /scanonce
    System File Checker Utility (Scan On Every Boot) sfc /scanboot
    System File Checker Utility (Return to Default Setting) sfc /revert
    System File Checker Utility (Purge File Cache) sfc /purgecache
    System File Checker Utility (Set Cache Size to size x) sfc /cachesize=x

    9. CACHE: You can cache the thumbnail images that are displayed in ''My computer'' and Windows Explorer and speed up display time.Click on ''Control panel'' ''Folder options'' then ''View'' and uncheck ''Do not cache thumbnails''. Also to keep things Speedy still while under ''View'' locate ''Automatically search for network folders and printers'' and uncheck this.

    10. SYSTEM RESTORE: You can speed up Windows XP by freeing up the diskspace that System Restore uses.Go into ''Control panel'' then select ''System'' then click on the tab ''System Restore'' and from here you can adjust how much of your hard drive is reserved by System restore.

    11A. REGISTRY BACK-UP: Before performing any ''Registry'' changes it is always good to make a Back-up of your registry's default values just in case you make a mistake. To do this go into ''regedit'' under ''Run'' and then once you have the registry editing window open click on ''File'' then click on ''Export'' and save the file in the location that suits you best.

    11B. ENDING TASKS: Warning: Please back up Registry before Performing this step. It is possible to edit the Registry and speed up the time it takes to automatically end tasks that aren't responding. Go to ''Start'' ''Run'' and type ''regedit'' then find '' HKEY_CURRENT_USER\controlpanel\Desktop\AutoEndTask s'' and Set the value to be 1. Then under ''WaitToKillAppTimeout'' Set the number of milliseconds to be used as a delay.

    12. START MENU: Warning: Please back up Registry before Performing this step. Edit the Registry and make the ''Start'' and ''All programs'' menu appear on the screen more quickly.Go along to ''Start'' ''Run'' and type ''regedit''. Then find ''HKEY_CURRENT_USER\controlpanel\Desktop. Right-click ''MenuShowDelay'' and set the value to 400 to speed the time in which the menu appears.

    13. STREAMLINE YOUR SYSTEM: Open the ''Add or Remove'' programs then click on ''Add/Remove Windows components'' And remove all the System components that you do not need or do not use to free up system resources.

    14. VIRUSES, SPYWARE AND ADWARE: Now to keep your system in top running condition you need to make sure that your system is free from the likes of viruses, spyware, and adware. Now to do this you need to scan your System with the appropriate Software. i will now list below the different software you can use. But it is always good to have a Firewall on your system to prevent these threats from getting onto your system in the first place, So below i will list some FREE firewalls you can download.

    Spyware + Adware: Spybot search and destroy, Ad-aware , Norton antivirus ( latest edition ), AVG from Grisoft and Microsoft Antispyware.
    Viruses: Norton Antivirus ( Latest edition ), AVG from Grisoft and AVAST Anti-virus.

    Links to free Virus scanners: AVG, AVAST ANTI-VIRUS,



    15. SPEED-UP YOUR SYSTEM STARTUP: Click on ''Start'' ''Run'' and type ''msconfig'' and press ''Enter'' to launch the System Configuration Utility. Selct the ''Services'' tab and check ''Hide all microsoft services''. Next you can have a go at speeding up your start-up times by clearing the check-boxes of any items you think you don't need.

    16. TRANSFER MODE: To Speed up the way in which files are transfered between Windows XP and your DVD or CD drive, Go back to Device Manager and right-click on ''Secondary IDE Channel''. This controls your installed DVD/CD drives.If a DVD drive is installed then make sure its transfer mode is set to DMA if possible. If it is not then you need to enter your bios and enable this feature if your BIOS supports it.

    17. AVI FILES: Warning: Please back up Registry before Performing this step. Windows XP loads the entire AVI file before playing it which can cause delays. To prevent this from happening by making a change to a ''Registry Key''.To do this go to ''Start'' ''Run'' and type ''regedit''. Then locate ''HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{87D62D94-71B3-4B9A-9489-5FE6850DC73E}''. Rename the Key by adding a minus sign to it, For example -{87d62d94-71b3-4b9a-9489-5fe6850dc73e}.

    18. BOOT-UP SOUNDS: you can improve boot times by preventing the Startup.wav from being played when Windows XP launches. To do this open up the ''Control panel'' and select '' Sounds and audio devices'', Click on the ''Sounds'' tab and select '' No sounds'' in the ''Sound Scheme'' box.

    19. QUICK ICONS:

    Log Off Quickly: You can log-off quickly by creating a new Desktop Shortcut. To do this ''Right click'' and go to ''New'' and then select ''Shortcut'', Once the Pop-up box appears type in '' rundll32.exe user32.dll,lockworkstation''. Then you will be asked to name the icon. Once you have done this you can make this icon look different by selecting an appropriate icon from a list. To do this ''Right-Click'' on your New icon and select ''Properties'' Then select the tab called ''Shortcut'' Then select ''Change icon''. A popup window will now appear, in the white box at the top type ''shell32.dll'' Then press o.k then you will be presented with a list of icons to choose from.

    Shutdown Quickly: You can Shutdown quickly by creating a new Desktop Shortcut. To do this ''Right click'' and go to ''New'' and then select ''Shortcut'', Once the Pop-up box appears type in ''C:\Windows\system32\shutdown.exe -s''.Then You will be asked to name the icon. Once you have done this you can make this icon look different by selecting an appropriate icon from a list. To do this ''Right-Click'' on your New icon and select ''Properties'' Then select the tab called ''Shortcut'' Then select ''Change icon''. A popup window will now appear, in the white box at the top type ''shell32.dll'' Then press o.k then you will be presented with a list of icons to choose from.

    20.THE PAGING FILE: There are two types of memory which helps XP function correctly.One is physical memory ( RAM ) and the other is Virtual Memory, referred to as the paging file. This is an area of your hard disk used as a buffer when RAM is low on resources. If you have another hard disk installed in your p.c you can move the paging file there and reduce the stress of two activities on your main hard disk.

    Step 1: Reducing the work on your main hard disk can speed up application response times ( This will only benefit you if you have another hard disk ). Open ''System properties'' in the ''Control panel'' and select ''advanced''.

    Step 2: Under ''Performance'' click on ''Settings'' then select ''Advanced''. Go to ''Virtual Memory'' and click on ''Change'' to see your current settings. At the moment ''C:'' will be selected so click to highlight your other drive instead.

    Step 3: Having selected a different drive you can choose the ''custom size'' option and set an ''Initial Size'' and ''Maximum size'' for the paging file. Or opt for the ''System managed'' size and XP will decide whats best for you.

    21.TONING DOWN WINDOWS VISUALS TO MAKE WINDOWS FASTER: Well to start off go into ''YOUR COMPUTER'' then under ''CONTROL PANEL'' go into ''SYSTEM'' then click on the tab named ''ADVANCED''.Once you have done that click on ''PERFORMANCE SETTINGS'' then you will be taken to the ''VISUAL SETTINGS TAB''. Now i will go through the visual setting you can turn off to make your Operating System faster while being able to keep your XP desktop theme the same. In the visual setting window you will see boxes that have been ticked and i will now go through the one you can untick. ( This step was taken from one of my previous FAQS )

    1.Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
    2.Fade or slide menu's into view
    3.Fade or slide tool tips into view
    4.Fade out menu items after clicking
    5.Show shadows under menu's
    6.Show shadow under mouse pointer
    7.Show translucent selection rectangle
    8.Show window contents while dragging
    9.Slide open combo boxes
    10.Slide taskbar buttons
    11.Use drop shadows for icons labels on desktop
    12.Smooth-scroll list boxes

    But if you want total performance from toning down windows visuals you should just use the old Classic style of windows Theme.

    22.AUTOMATED DESKTOP CLEAN-UP The disk clean-up is a great way of clearing that clutter away from XP. You can configure Desktop Cleaner to run as a scheduled task, speeding up the entire process. To do this click on ''Start'' ''Run'' and then type ''cleanmgr/sageset:100'' and press ''Enter''. Then select which aspects of the clean-up you would like to take place when the tool is run Automatically. Now create a file shortcut to the process you will use to start-up the clean-up automatically. ''Right click'' your desktop and select ''New'' then select ''Shortcut''. In the command line of the shortcut, enter ''cleanmgr/sagerun:100'' then label your shortcut. Finally open ''Scheduled Tasks'' in the control panel and create a new task. Click browse and locate your newly created shortcut. Now just decide when you wish it to run.

    23.DISABLE HIBERNATE: To do this Open the ''control panel'' and select ''Power options'' and uncheck ''Enable Hibernation'' under the ''Hibernate'' Tab.

    24.NEEDLESS DATE STAMPS:Warninglease back-up your Registry before Performing this step. Whenever a directory is accessed on an NTFS drive a time stamp is added which in a lot of cases is just needless, To disable this by Editing a registry setting.Click ''Start'' then ''Run'' and type ''regedit'' Then locate ''HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES\system\currentcontrolset\con trol\filesystem''. Then create a new ''DWORD'' value ''NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate'' and set the value to 1.


    1. Write Caching: Open ''System properties'' in control panel select ''Hardware'' and click ''Device manger''. Expand disk drives in Hardware list then ''Right click'' your disk and hit ''properties''. Select ''Policies'' and check ''Enable write caching''

    2. Power Settings: XP will stop spinning your hard disk after 20 minutes of inactivity.Waiting for them to spin backup can cause delays when you come back to your P.C. Open ''Power options'' in the control panel and set ''Turn off hard disks'' to ''Never''.

    3. Indexing Service: If you do not perform many file searches on your P.C you can turn the ''Indexing Service'' off and free up system resources. To turn this service off Open ''Administrator Tools'' in the control panel and double click ''Services'' and then locate the ''Indexing Service'' and disable it.

    26.PRINTER SPOOLER: If you haven't got a printer then there is no need for the ''Printer spooler'' service to be enabled. So to disable it go into ''Administrator tools'' under the Control panel, Then double click ''Services'' and locate the ''Printer spooler'' service and disable it.

    27.BIOS PERFORMANCE: Even though a computers BIOS isn't a straight forward part of the XP operating system it still has a large impact on system performance. I will now go through steps to help you make your computer not just start up quicker but to give a performance boost in XP. I will now go through a few steps too Optimize your BIOS. A little reminder would be that Once you have entered your BIOS press Ctrl and f1 to unlock the Advanced options. ( THESE STEPS ARE BASED ON THE ''AWARD BIOS'' SO NOT ALL THESE STEPS WILL BE COMPATIBLE WITH OTHER TYPES OF BIOS'S)

    Once in your BIOS main menu select the ''BIOS Features setup'', once you have entered that look for the ''Quick Power On Self Test'' option and enable it. By doing this it stops the system from counting the physical memory every time you boot up your computer.

    2: Once in your BIOS main menu select the ''BIOS Features setup'', once you have entered that look for the ''Boot sequence'' once you have highlighted that press ''Enter'' and then select ''C: only''. ( Some motherboards unfortunately do not allow you just to select the C: drive)

    3: Once in your BIOS main menu select the ''Chipset features setup'' Once you have entered that locate your ''AGP Aperture size'' Once that is highlighted press ''Enter'', Now you need to allocate an amount of memory for the Aperture size, You should only allocate an amount that is half of your RAM. So for instance if you have 512mb ram then you should select 256mb for your ''AGP Aperture size''. By doing this you may see an increase in performance in the games you play and an increased FPS ( FRAMES PER SECOND). (This Step is aimed at the older cards as it helps the bandwidth between the card and the AGP slot, With the newer cards this is not really needed.)

    4: Once in your BIOS main menu select the ''Power management setup''. Once you have done that look for the ''Soft off'' option , then highlight this option and press ''Enter'' then select ''Delay 4 secs''. Now you may think this is pointless but it isn't because if you were to accidentally Hit the power button you p.c would switch of straight away which isn't great for your computer parts, So by putting a delay on you would have to hold down the power button down for 4 seconds to switch your P.C off So therefore stops the P.C being switched off accidentally.

    5. To prevent the PCI bus from stalling every time it tries to write to the ISA bus, many chipsets now come with an embedded 32-bit posted write buffer that supports delayed transaction cycles. This buffer is designed to store PCI-to-ISA writes so that the PCI bus can be released to perform other transactions. The buffer contents are then written to the ISA bus when it's ready. Now to enable the ''Delayed Transaction'' option go into your BIOS and enter either ''PNP/PCI CONFIGURATION'' or ''Chipset features setup'' than locate the ''Delayed transaction'' option and highlight it and press ''Enter'' and select ''Enabled''.

    6. When enabled, this parameter turns on BIOS ROM shadowing for the block of memory that contains your system BIOS. This is normally F0000 to FFFFF, in short, it speeds up your system by copying the contents of your system BIOS code from the slow ROM in which it resides into faster RAM. Now to enable ''BIOS Shadowing'' Enter your BIOS and then select ''Advanced BIOS features'' Then select the ''BIOS shadowing'' option and enable it. ( WARNING: For Maximum compatibility leave this option Disabled, but for better system performance you should enable..the choice is yours.)

    7. It is always good to update your motherboards BIOS to the latest version from your motherboards manufacturer site. This is because newer BIOS's can add extra support for newer processors and Ram and can also unlock extra options in the BIOS for you to change when needed and also adds extra over clocking abilities. Updating your BIOS can also make your motherboard more compatible with you operating system if your old BIOS hs compatibility issues.( Warning: Please make sure you have the correct BIOS for your motherboard before updating, Otherwise you could render you motherboard useless.)

    8. Once in your BIOS highlight ''Advanced chip set configuration'' and press ''Enter'' then locate ''Spread spectrum'' and enable this as this feature reduces electromagnetic interference to your PC's components.( Depending on your BIOS layout this feature may be under a different category than ''Advanced chip set configuration.)

    28.DRIVERS: To keep your XP operating system in good shape you should update all your drivers on a weekly basis. The drivers you should update weekly or when newer ones are released are as follows.

    1. Chip set drivers
    2. Graphic card drivers ( Improves Gaming ) ATI WEBSITE, NVIDIA WEBSITE
    3. Sound card drivers
    4. Keep your motherboards drivers up to date

    29.WINDOWS UPDATE ( MICROSOFT UPDATE ) ( Warning: You need a Legal copy of windows to use the Windows Update Web page.You can use the Automatic windows updater within windows to still get critical updates even without a Legal copy of Windows.) Now to keep your Copy of windows XP in tiptop shape you should visit ''Windows Update'' weekly to get the latest security and software updates to allow your XP operating system to run smoothly and securely. To do this click on this link :WINDOWS UPDATE ( MICROSOFT UPDATE ). Once at the site click the ''Custom'' button to receive security updates ,software updates and hardware updates. If you want Windows XP to get Security updates automatically you will need to enable the automatic update feature within windows XP. To do this go into ''My computer'' ''Control panel'' then double click on ''System'' Once you have done that locate the Tab named ''Automatic Updates'' and click on it, Then check the box labeled ''Automatic ( Recommended)''. After that you will have to set a scheduled time when to look for updates for your Copy of XP. You should set a time when you are likely to be on the Internet!!! ( This step may not work now Due to a new release of the ''Windows Validation tool'' )

    30A.SECURE BROWSING: Well everyone knows browsing can be a dangerous thing at times, even with your firewall you can still get dodgy things coming through your Internet browser. So this is the point where i recommend getting Mozilla Firefox as this browser is not just safer but much faster than Windows Internet explorer. Click the Link below to be directed to the download place of this fantastic browser MOZILLA FIREFOX,

    30B.MAKING FIREFOX FASTER: Well now we will Tweak Firefox to make it just that bit faster. Now to start open up Mozilla Firefox and in the address bar type ''about:config''. This will then bring you a list of a dozen different configurations, I will now go through the ones you can configure to make Firefox faster.

    1. Find '' network.http.pipelining'' in the list. When you have found it set the value of it to ''True''.
    2. Find '' network.http.proxy.pipelining'' in the list. When you have found it set the value of it to ''True''.
    3. Find '' network.http.pipelining.maxrequests'' in the list. When you have found it set the value of it to 20.
    4. Find '' browser.turbo.enabled'' in the list. When you have found it set the value of it to ''True''.
    5. Find '' network.dns.disableIPv6'' in the list. When you have found it set the value of it to ''True''.
    6. Now right click anywhere within the Firefox window and select ''New Integer'' and call it ''nglayout.initialpaint.delay'' Then set its value to 0.
    7. Now right click anywhere within the Firefox window and select ''New Integer'' and call it ''browser.cache.memory.capacity'' and set a value that suits you for a cache size for this browser, I do recommend setting a lower amount than 50mb as this will increase computer performance.E.g 16mb ( 16000).

    31.WINDOWS XP INTERNET TWEAK: Now this step will enable you to change the Internet Bandwidth limit in windows to make surfing the web just that little faster. First of all go to ''Run'' and then type ''gpedit.msc''. Once you have done that locate the ''LOCAL COMPUTER POLICY'' branch and expand it, Then under that locate the ''ADMINISTRATIVE TEMPLATES'' branch and expand that also. Then under that locate the ''NETWORK'' branch and expand that also. Then under that locate ''QOS PACKET SCHEDULER'' and highlight it in the left window, Then in the right window locate ''LIMIT RESERVABLE BANDWITH SETTING'' and double click on it and then on the settings box check the ''Enable Item'' and where it says ''Bandwidth limit %'' change it to 0.

    32.32 BIT COLORS TO 16 BIT COLORS:( This step is particularly aimed at people with low memory) Reducing the amount of colors displayed can free up RAM and help to speed up your system. To change from 32 bit to 16 bit colors ''Right click'' on your desktop and choose ''Properties'' and then select the ''Settings'' tab. Under ''Color quality'' choose ''16-bit'' instead of 32-bit.

    32. DESKTOP BACKGROUND: Windows XP will load faster if you don't have a background image but this also saves RAM. To get rid of your desktop background go to ''Control Panel'' then go to ''Display''. Once there go to the desktop Tab and under background select ''None''. To clear your Prefetch data go to My computer and then enter your C:\ drive. Then go to the windows folder and locate the folder named ''Prefetch'' and enter it, then select all the files within the folder and delete them.

    33.PREFETCH DATA: The prefetch is a Cache that stores logs containing programs that have been used recently and caches them so that the next time they are opened they open faster.Unfortunately you don't see a huge gain from the prefetch anyway plus it can get rather large and can take up alot of space. To clear your prefetch data go to ''My computer'' then enter your C:\ drive and then go into your ''Windows'' folder and locate a folder named ''Prefetch'' enter this folder and delete all the files within it.

    34.DEFRAGGING RAM: Well to keep your Windows XP running well sometimes its a good idea to defrag RAM because any RAM thats no longer being used due to old uninstalled programs will be returned to its free spool ready for other programs to use. You can find some ram Optimizers here. FREE RAM OPTIMZER,MEMTURBO

    35.FASTER BOOTING WITH BOOTVIS: Bootvis is a program Created by Microsoft to monitor the amount of time it takes for windows to load drivers and other essential bits when windows loads. After it has monitored your System you can tell it to optimize the position of your boot files to enable a quicker boot. First get the program from this link. BOOTVIS
    After you have installed this program open it up and select ''Trace'' then ''Optimize system'' and then your computer will re-boot in 10 secs unless you restart it straight away by clicking the ''Restart now'' button.
    Then after it Re-boots it will perform its task so make sure don't do anything while it is optimizing.

    36.NTFS OR FAT32 FILE SYSTEM?: Well before installing Windows XP there are two different file systems to choose from..There is NTFS ( New Technology File System ) and FAT ( File Allocation Table ). I will now go through the advantages and disadvantages of both file systems.

    1. Supports maximum file size up to the size of the disk.
    2. Allows file encryption for better system wide security.
    2. Allows a compression if needed to save disk space.
    3. Tracks changes in files so if there a problem with your computer you can return the OS to its previous state.
    4. Indexing service so you can find your files quicker when searching.
    5. Better overall security

    1. Not very good for smaller hard drives

    1. Better for dual booting ( Thats if you have 2 Operating systems on the same harddrive ).
    2. Compressed drive so it saves space.
    3. Small partitions.

    1. Not good with large hard drives.
    2. No file is less secure
    3. Doesn't allow a partition size as big as your harddrive.

    All in all if you were to pick a file system i would recommend the NTFS file system for Windows XP as it is more secure and is recoverable if something were to go wrong. Also you can compress your hard drive for that little extra space if needed but compression does cripple access times. However if you are running an older OS for example Windows 98 then i would recommend the FAT32 file system.

    37.DR WATSON: ''Dr Watson'' is a needless program that monitors programs for internal errors and if an error is found it will pop-up asking you to ''Debug'' and this can be annoying and can also use up ill now go through the steps to remove ''Dr Watson'' from your system.
    ( Warning: Please back-up your registry before performing this step. If you do not know how to back-up Registry please Refer to Part 1 of this FAQ.)
    1. Click Start, click Run, type ''regedit'' in the Open box, and then click OK.
    2. Find and click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AeDebug
    3. After that locate the AeDebug key and then delete it.

    38.AUTOMATIC LOGON: There is an option in Windows XP so that every time you logon you don't have to enter a password to proceed, so this is great for people who are not good at remembering passwords because if you forget a Windows XP logon password then your pretty much bummed as there is no way to get back in unless you use a third party program, plus not having a password will give you a nice fast logon. Now to disable the password feature go into ''Control Panel'' then locate ''User Accounts'' double click on this. Then ''Uncheck'' the box next to the line called "Users must enter a username and password to use this computer". Once you have done that click ''Apply''. Then enter the user name and password you want to automatically logon with and then click o.k and your done.

    39. SERVICES: Now within Windows XP there are bound to be ''Services'' you can disable to speed up your system. I say this because XP is packed with a lot of services that just aren't vital or can be disabled in special cases to suit you. Now i will go through the services that you don't need ( Warning: I cannot be help responsible for any damage this step may cause to the Operating Systems stability.) Now to disable them go to ''Control panel'' Then ''Adminstative tools'' then double click on ''Services'' and from here you can disable them. I will now list the services that you can disable safely.

    Notifies users of administrative alerts.

    Used to store information (cut/paste) and share it with other computers.

    Error Reporting Service:
    Calls home to Microsoft when application errors occurs.

    Fast User Switching Compatibility:
    This let you quickly switch from one user to another in you pc.

    Help and Support:
    Help and support centr to help sort out your problems but never does.

    Sends messages between clients and servers.

    Net Login:
    Used for logging onto a Domain Controller.

    NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing:
    Enables a user to access your computer using NetMeeting.

    Network DDE:
    remote ClipBook

    Network DDE DSDM:
    Same as above.

    Network Location Awareness (NLA):
    Required for use with the Internet Connection Sharing Service (server only.)

    Performance Logs and Alerts:
    Collects performance data on a schedule and sends the information to a log or triggers an alert.

    Print Spooler:
    Only have this enabled if you have a printer.

    Remote Desktop Help Session Manager:
    Manages and controls Remote Assistance.

    Remote Registry Service:
    Change your computers registry from another location.

    Removable Storage:
    Used for managing removable media. Disable this service if you do not have items like tape backup devices, etc.

    Smart Card:
    Supports the use of a Smart Card for local or network computer authentication.

    Smart Card Helper:
    Supports the use of a Smart Card for local or network computer authentication.

    Task Scheduler:
    This service is used to schedule maintenance, MS Backup sessions or maybe even Auto Update. Some third party software may require this service to be active for automated functions, such as Virus Scanners, system maintenance tools, and Automatic patch/driver lookups.

    TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper:
    Service Legacy support for NetBios over TCP/IP. If your network does not use NetBios, disable this function.

    Controls telephony devices on the local computer. Don’t disable it if you are using Dial-up.

    Allows remote login to the local computer via the telnet function.

    Terminal Services:
    Allows remote login to the local computer. This service is Required for Fast User Switching, Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance.

    Uninterruptible Power Supply:
    Most people run on constant power so this is not needed.

    Universal Plug and Play Device Host:
    Used in conjunction with SSDP Discovery Service, it detects and configures UPnP devices on your home network. Take note: UPnP is NOT related to PnP. UPnP is used for connectivity on networks via TCP/IP to devices, such as scanners or printers. Your sound card is PnP. Do NOT Disable Plug and Play service.

    Known as a security risk.

    Windows Time:
    Automatically sets your clock by contacting a server on the Internet.

    Wireless Zero Configuration:
    Automatic configuration for wireless network devices. If you do not have any wireless network devices in use, Disable this service.

    WMDM PMSP Service:
    Retrieves the serial number of any portable music player connected to your computer.

    40. UNLOADING DLL'S: Every piece of software has DLL's that it uses. when the program closes windows keeps these cached after the program closes wasting memory space.To make it so that windows doesn't cache them do the following. Go to ''Start'' then ''Run'' and type ''Regedit''. Once you have done that locate ''HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer '', and then under that create a new key and name it ''AlwaysUnloadDLL'' and give it a value of 1.

    41. KEEP WINDOWS IN MAIN MEMORY: This controls whether Windows XP will transfer its essential driver and kernel files to the virtual memory on your hard drive or RAM. You should only do this tweak if you have 256mb of ram or over. To do this go to ''Start'' thne ''Run'' and type ''Regedit'' then locate ''HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\ Session Manager\Memorymanagement'' and set the ''DisablePagingExecutive'' value to 1

    To do this ''Right click'' on your desktop then go to ''New'' then click ''Shortcut''. A command line will appear and in this line you need to type ''shutdown -r -t 00'', then click next and you will be brought to another command line where you can name your icon E.G ''Restart''.After that press o.k and now you have a ''restart'' icon on your desktop , but you may want to make it look different. To do this right-click on the Icon, go to properties and under comment, you'll find "Change Icon..." then in the command line type ''shell32'' then you will be presented with a list of icons to choose from.

    Below is a small list of websites where you can get the latest drivers for your various hardware,It is well known that the latest Drivers for hardware will make Windows XP perform better and to be more compatible with you hardware.




    44.LEFT OVER TRACES: Unfortunately when you Uninstall an Application of some sort it will Leave traces of its self on your system namely Orphan files Registry keys but too keep an Operating System running efficiently these files should be removed.Luckily there are programs out there that will help you to get rid of these files. There is ''Registry Mechanic'' which is a powerful and safe way to remove rogue registry entries you can download it from the link below as a trial period if you wish to carry on using it you have to register it. Now i will introduce you to ''Ccleaner'' and this is the program that removes needless files of all sorts from your computer including internet traces and such.

    45.HOW TO CHANGE YOUR DRIVE LETTER TO ''C'' Steps are as follows:

    1.Log on as an Administrator.
    2.Start Regedt32.exe.
    3.Go to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
    4.Click MountedDevices.
    5.On the Security menu, click Permissions.
    6.Verify that Administrators have full control. Change this back when you are finished with these steps.
    7.Quit Regedt32.exe, and then start Regedit.exe.
    8.Locate the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
    9.Find the drive letter you want to change to (new). Look for "\DosDevices\C:".
    10.Right-click \DosDevices\C:, and then click Rename. Note You must use Regedit instead of Regedt32 to rename this registry key.
    11.Rename it to an unused drive letter "\DosDevices\Z:". This frees up drive letter C.
    12.Find the drive letter you want changed. Look for "\DosDevices\D:".
    13.Right-click \DosDevices\D:, and then click Rename.
    14.Rename it to the appropriate (new) drive letter "\DosDevices\C:".
    15.Click the value for \DosDevices\Z:, click Rename, and then name it back to "\DosDevices\D:".
    16.Quit Regedit, and then start Regedt32.
    17.Change the permissions back to the previous setting for Administrators (this should probably be Read Only).
    18.Restart the computer.

    46.HARDWARE PROFILES For optimal Boot-up times you should really have one boot-up profile and have it startup in the least amount of time possible. To do this right click on "My Computer" -> "Properties" -> "Hardware" tab -> "Hardware Profiles" and make sure you only have one hardware profile and choose "Select the first profile listed if I don't select a profile in..." and set the time to 0 seconds. This Step was submitted by "Z_ONE".

    47.GETTING RID OF WINDOWS UPDATE VALIDATION These days when you try and get WINDOWS XP updates you have to go through a Validation process first, This is Microsoft's way to make sure that your Copy of WINDOWS is authentic and is also a way to crack down on Illegal copying. If you fail windows validation you are unable to get the updates, Just because you failed the validation doesn't mean you have an illegal copy of WINDOWS it can just mean that your license has expired. So i hear you saying '' HOW DO I GET PAST THIS ?'', so i will now show you. After you have installed the ''Windows genuine validation'' ActiveX close all Open IE windows and then re-open just one. Then once you have IE open go to ''TOOLS'' then into ''MANAGE ADD-ONS'' then you will get another box pop up and in this box you will notice at the top there is a pop down menu, Click on the pop down menu and select '' ADD-ONS THAT HAVE BEEN USED BY INTERNET EXPLORER''. Once you have done that oyu should come up with another and most probably bigger list of ''ADD-ONS'', Now look down the list of ''ADD-ONS'' and look for one called '' WINDOWS GENUIN ADVANTAGE'' once you have clicked on that you will not that a grayed out option becomes active and from there you can select to ''ENABLE'' or ''DISABLE'' it, Of course you want to select ''DISABLE''. Once you have done that click on ''APPLY'' then ''O.K'' and close that current IE window and open a new one and then go back to the WINDOWS update site and it will now skip The validation process and you will have all yor updates open to you.

    48.COULD ONE OF MY ''SVCHOST'' BE A VIRUS??? Now sometimes when you open up your ''TASK MANAGER'' by pressing Ctrl,alt,delete you will notice on the ''PROCESSES'' tab you may have up to 5 ''SVCHOST'' processes listed now these processes are used for loading up hardware drivers and other things that the operating system need but sometimes one of them can be a sneaky nasty virus, Now other than using an ''ANTI-SPYWARE'' or ''ANTIVIRUS'' program of some sort you may want to check exactly what each of these ''SVCHOST'' processes do. To do this go into your ''RUN'' command taskbar and type ''CMD'' once you have done that a Dos box will appear, in this box type ''tasklist /svc'' and this will give you a list of what each of your system processes do so just take a look at what your ''SVCHOST'' processes are doing.

    49.USEFUL RUN COMMANDS Now when using the run command in the start bar you may wonder what different commands you can use...Below is a list off all different and very useful ones.

    Accessibility Controls

    Add Hardware Wizard

    Add/Remove Programs

    Administrative Tools
    control admintools

    Automatic Updates

    Bluetooth Transfer Wizard


    Certificate Manager

    Character Map

    Check Disk Utility

    Clipboard Viewer

    Command Prompt

    Component Services

    Computer Management

    Date and Time Properties

    DDE Shares

    Device Manager

    Direct X Control Panel (If Installed)*

    Direct X Troubleshooter

    Disk Cleanup Utility

    Disk Defragment

    Disk Management

    Disk Partition Manager

    Display Properties
    control desktop

    Display Properties

    Display Properties (w/Appearance Tab Preselected)
    control color

    Dr. Watson System Troubleshooting Utility

    Driver Verifier Utility

    Event Viewer

    File Signature Verification Tool


    Folders Properties
    control folders

    control fonts

    Fonts Folder

    Free Cell Card Game

    Game Controllers

    Group Policy Editor (XP Prof)

    Hearts Card Game

    Iexpress Wizard

    Indexing Service

    Internet Properties

    IP Configuration (Display Connection Configuration) ipconfig /all
    IP Configuration (Display DNS Cache Contents) ipconfig /displaydns
    IP Configuration (Delete DNS Cache Contents) ipconfig /flushdns
    IP Configuration (Release All Connections) ipconfig /release
    IP Configuration (Renew All Connections) ipconfig /renew
    IP Configuration (Refreshes DHCP & Re-Registers DNS) ipconfig /registerdns
    IP Configuration (Display DHCP Class ID) ipconfig /showclassid
    IP Configuration (Modifies DHCP Class ID) ipconfig /setclassid

    Java Control Panel (If Installed)

    Java Control Panel (If Installed)

    Keyboard Properties
    control keyboard

    Local Security Settings

    Local Users and Groups

    Logs You Out Of Windows

    Microsoft Chat

    Minesweeper Game

    Mouse Properties
    control mouse

    Mouse Properties

    Network Connections
    control netconnections

    Network Connections

    Network Setup Wizard


    Nview Desktop Manager

    Object Packager

    ODBC Data Source Administrator

    On Screen Keyboard osk

    Opens AC3 Filter

    Password Properties

    Performance Monitor

    Performance Monitor

    Phone and Modem Options

    Power Configuration

    Printers and Faxes
    control printers

    Printers Folder

    Private Character Editor


    Regional Settings

    Registry Editor

    Registry Editor

    Remote Desktop

    Removable Storage

    Removable Storage Operator Requests

    Resultant Set of Policy (XP Pro)

    Scanners and Cameras

    Scheduled Tasks
    control schedtasks

    Security Center


    Shared Folders

    Shuts Down Windows

    Sounds and Audio

    Spider Solitare Card Game

    SQL Client Configuration

    System Configuration Editor

    System Configuration Utility

    System File Checker Utility (Scan Immediately) sfc /scannow
    System File Checker Utility (Scan Once At Next Boot) sfc /scanonce
    System File Checker Utility (Scan On Every Boot) sfc /scanboot
    System File Checker Utility (Return to Default Setting) sfc /revert
    System File Checker Utility (Purge File Cache) sfc /purgecache
    System File Checker Utility (Set Cache Size to size x)
    sfc /cachesize=x

    System Properties

    Task Manager

    Telnet Client

    User Account Management

    Utility Manager

    Windows Firewall

    Windows Magnifier

    Windows Management Infrastructure

    Windows System Security Tool

    Windows Update Launches

    Windows XP Tour Wizard


    50.''INTEL HYPERTHREADING'' Can help make Applications in Windows XP run faster!!! With all the new Current INTEL CPU'S and some of the older ones there is a Feature called HYPERTHREADING which when enabled alows the CPU to execute two threads of the smae application to open it faster. Unfortunately HYPERTHREADING technonlogy is only currently supported in Windows XP.

    51.Installing Graphic card driver efficiently!!! When you Update your graphics cards drivers theres ways that you should go about it. Follow these simple steps below.

    1.Download and install ''Driver Cleaner'' Here:
    2.Uninstall your Current Display drivers such as your ''ATI'' or ''Nvidia'' drivers.
    3.Now run ''Driver cleaner'' and depending on the Drivers you have you will have to select either ''ATI'' or ''Nvidia'' from the drop down menu. Only select the main title of the driver in the drop down such as just ''ATI'' or ''Nvidia''
    4.Once you have selected Your driver click on the ''Start'' button and this will now start the driver cleaning process. ( Do this twice to be sure )
    5.Now reboot your system and Download the latest Nvidia or ATI and go ahead and install them.

    Doing this avoids driver corruption and conflicts so you can now enjoy smooth gameplay.

    52. Get Windows to recognize your L2 cache on your CPU properly

    ( Warning: Please back-up your registry before performing this step )

    By default windows sets the L2 cache of your AMD to zero...yes...0

    Here's how to get it runnin.

    Go to ''Start>run'' (Windows key + R) then type in "Regedit"
    (regedit32 for advanced users as it provides a few more strings to play with)

    Once your here go to ''HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Cont ro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\SecondLevelDataCache''

    Now ''Right-click'' and choose decimal and enter the value of your L2 cache on your CPU...128,256,512...ETC!!!!

    Now restart your machine ...and while you may not notice dramatic effects most processes and applications should be a little quicker.

    This step is By

    53.Stop Cd's/Dvd's From AutoRunning when inserted into the Optical drives.

    ( Warning: Please back-up your registry before performing this step )

    Now By defualt when you enter a CD or DVD data disk in an Optical Drive ( DVD/CDROM Drive ) Windows will automatically read it and will Execute the application automatically or will promp you with a Menu asking how you would like it to be opened. To stop it from doing this do the following :

    1. Go to ''Start'' then ''Run'' and type ''REGEDIT'' and hit Enter on your keyboard
    2. Once you have done this the Registry Editor Window will now Appear.
    3. Now within the newly opened Window Guide yourself to '' HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / System / CurrentControlSet001 / Services / CDROM ''
    4. Once here look for they Key named ''AutoRun'' on the left side of the Window.
    5. Right click on ''AutoRun'' and select ''Modify'' and under ''Value Data'' put the digit ''0'' and click ok

    There you have it. Your all Done.

    Last edited by Skizo; 01-03-2008 at 10:01 PM. Reason: Correcting typos/grammar & adding credit

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  3. Guides and Tutorials   -   #2
    Wow very helpful. Thanks a lot

  4. Guides and Tutorials   -   #3
    For those that are using this guide, definitely back up your registry, and maybe keep system restore. I had to reinstall xp because I did something wrong tweaking up comp a week ago.

  5. Guides and Tutorials   -   #4
    yakir132's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    known .. and absolutely helpful and necessary .
    well done about the investment !

  6. Guides and Tutorials   -   #5
    $we's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Ikslej View Post
    Free Cell Card Game
    best game everr!
    seriously, thank you!

  7. Guides and Tutorials   -   #6
    100%'s Avatar ╚════╩═╬════╝
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Guide taken from here

    there are updates there.

  8. Guides and Tutorials   -   #7
    $we's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    It has typeos

  9. Guides and Tutorials   -   #8
    Skiz's Avatar (_8(I)
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Typos fixed and credits added.

    The FST group

  10. Guides and Tutorials   -   #9
    sovaz's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100BT Rep +100
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    We've seen many windows optimizing guide before but this one is clearly the ultimate guide...Many thx for posting this here Ikslej.

  11. Guides and Tutorials   -   #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Thats some impressive guide you've got there! Thanks! There were many things that I didn't know about my windows

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