Hi guys... so this is my big post back after a long absent from FST, and I promise I will bring some more useful guides pretty soon... Hi again!!!
Here is a massive guide that should cover all aspects of the Windows OS, from the mouse movement to major Registry edits, all to make your PC faster and without buying extra RAM to do that job instead
NOTE: SOME OF THE EDITS/TWEAKS IN THIS GUIDE INCLUDE EDITING THE REGISTRY. THE REGISTRY IS ONE OF THE MOST CRUCIAL PARTS OF THE SYSTEM. I AM NOT HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY PC CORRUPTION/SCREWING UP ETC. AS A RESULT OF EDITING THE REGISTRY. SO PLEASE, BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING WITH THE REGISTRY - BACK IT UP OR HAVE A GOOD RESTORE POINT FOR YOUR PC.
Please understand that the above warning is important, and that only people that feel comfortable with editing their Registry should do it.
Now, kets get to the main part of the guide shall we?
This guide consists of cleaning up our system, tweaking the memory performance, tweaking the mouse performance, the graphics card performance, etc.
Part 1: Cleaning up the computer.
One of the major things that can cause your PC to run slower than it should do are the "rubbish files". What are they? These are many files stored on your computer that you probably don't use, and trust me - probably never will do.
To get rid of these unwanted files - You can use Adware/Spyware deletion programs such as Spybot - Search and Destroy, or AdAware (both are excellent and I recommend you have both on your PC).
You can also manually remove TEMP files (temporary files) that just gunge up your PC for no reason (they can be Internet TEMP files, or simply temporary installation files that remain after you install a program for instance)...
To remove the TEMP files:
Navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\Your Username\Local Settings\TEMP - and delete all files in there (no worry, this is not a hazardouse procedure).
To remove the Internet Explorer TEMP files:
These files are actually all the websites you have visited - whenever you visit a website, IE automatically downloads quite a few of the things you see so that next time you visit the website it should load faster.
Although, heavy users may experience loss of disk space...
To remove these files - go into IE, click on Tools, then on Internet Options. Then click on "Delete Files", and confirm in the box that pops up.
Another useful cleansing you can do in IE is the History (in that same window click on "Clean History").
Deleting the Prefetch folder:
Prefetching is a method Windows uses for loading info from the memory and using it for "reading the processor"...
Anyway, you can delete this folder by going to C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch. Delete this folder, and you should notice an improvement in the loading time of your Windows OS.
Deletion of programs and/or games that are no longer used:
Another thing that will "releafe" the pressure of your PC is the deletion of programs and games that you don't use any more.
To delete them go to Start, then Control Panel, and then Add/Remove Programs. Here, go through the list and delete any programs/games you no longer need, and uninstall them.
Deletion of Spyware/Adware:
Definately the 11th plague...
Nowadays, Spyware and Adware are screwing up PC's all over the world, and these are one of the things you do NOT want on your PC.
To delete these files/programs, you can use the following programs: Spybot - Search and Destroy (their website: Home of SB-S&D, AdAware (their website: Lavasoft, Tuneup Utilities 2004 (go Google to find that...).
These programs will help you remove most of the unwanted programs that follow you around.......
Deletion of files that are no longer needed using the Disk Cleanup mothod:
Go into My Computer, and right click on any one of your drives (C, D, E etc...). Then, click on Properties, and then Disk Cleanup. This process will delete old and not necessary files in that drive (Note: This process can take quite a long time - I suggest you do this one overnight).
Part 2: Speeding up the loading time of Windows.
The following stages include editing the Registry (please read the note at the beginning of the guide...). To get to the Registry - click on Start, then Run, then type "Regedit" (without the ""), and click on Run.
Speeding up the loading time of Windows:
To speed up the loading time of windows, go into the Regedit program, and navigate to the folowing "tree": HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\
Inside PrefetchParameters, double-click on EnablePrefetcher, and change it's value from 3 to 5.
Solving the freezing of the Welcome screen when you load up Windows:
Sometimes, when you load Windows, the Welcome screen simply freezes up for a while, that can really annoy people... To solve this problem do the following:
Go to Start, then Run, and type in the text feild "msconfig" (without the "").
Go to the Services tab, and uncheck the following: Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
PLEASE NOTE: After doing this tweak, the Windows Update service will not be able to update Windows. (Thanks rossco...).
Stopping unwanted programs from loading automatically when the PC starts up:
I'm sure a lot of you have many programs that load up themselves when Windows starts, that you never intended them to do so.
To stop them from loading automatically (and thus speeding up the loading time of Windows), do the following:
Go to Start>Run>type msconfig (like the previouse stage).
Go to the Startup tab and uncheck the programs you do not want to load when the PC starts up (I suggest you uncheck them all apart from important programs such as the antivirus/firewall/other important programs you need).
Part 3: Tweaking the performance of Windows and it's components.
The following tweaks may also include editing the registry, and are intended to tweak and speed up Windows while you use it.
Changing the speed of the Start menus:
Click on Start, and then hover over "All Programs". Did you notice it took some time before the menu opened? That can easily be changed so that you will not have to wait for the menu to open... (This procedure is safe and can be easily undone).
To change the waiting time do the following:
Go to the Registry like before (Start>Run>regedit).
Navigate to the following "tree": HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Find in that folder a file named MenuShowDelay, double click it and change it's value from 400 to 0 for instance. You will now notice that you do not have to wait for the menu to show anymore...
Stopping Windows from showing you the Error Reporting window:
I'm sure many of you have had this "problem": A program crashes, you want to start it again but this annoying window comes up asking you if you want to send an error report to Microsoft or not (which won't make much of a difference anyway...).
To stop this from happening, do the following:
Right click on My Computer, and select Properties. Go to the Advanced tab, and in there (at the bottom), click on Error Reporting. Turn the option off. This will now stop Windows from giving you that annoying Reports box.
DMA Status for your hard drives:
No doubt that one of the most popular and used tweaks is the DMA Status for hard drives. This tweak makes your hard drives work much faster.
To turn the DMA Status on do the following:
Right click on My Computer, Properties, and then Hardware. Click on Device Manager. Go to the following: IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Double click on Primary IDE controller. In the window that pops up go to the Advanced Settings tab,and make sure that under Device0 and Device 1, the option "DMA if available" is selected.
Do this procedure for the Secondary IDE Controller too.
Making sure that DLL files that have been loaded and are no longer needed, will be "killed":
Your PC can sometimes load DLL files, and leave them for a long time, even after the PC has finished using them. To stop this from happening do the following:
Get to the Reigstry again (Start>Run>regedit), and navigate to the following "tree": HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
Explorer. You now need to create a new folder (a Sub-Key) by right clicking on Explorer folder and going to new>Sub-Key. Call it AlwaysUnloadDLL. also, change it's value from 0 to 1.
Stopping the indexing of Windows XP:
Windows XP keeps a copy of it's files (indexing) so that it can find them easily when using the search option which is built in to Windows XP. This though, can decrease it's performances.
To stop the indexing, do the following:
Go to My Computer, and Right Click on the Drive Windows is installed in (usually C. If unsure, go into all drives, and the one with the filder WINDOWS in it is the right one).
Go to Properties. In the window you will see at the bottom - Allow Indexing Service. Turn it off, and you will see an improvement in Windows' performance.
Speeding up your NTFS system:
The following tweak is ONLY for people with an NTFS file system. To check if you have an NTFS file system, go to My Computer, and right click on the drive Windows is installed to, click Properties. Alternitavely click on this drive once with the left mouse key, and on the side of the window at the bottom it will tell you which file system it has (FAT32 or NTFS).
Now, to speed up the drive (again, ONLY do this if you have an NTFS files system!!), do the following:
Go to the Registry (Start>Run>regedit).
Navigate to the following "tree": HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentContolSet\Control\Filesystem
In there, change the value of the file "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation" from 0 to 1.
Disable the XP look for older computers:
If you have an old computer and have Windows XP running on it. You can make your PC work faster if you disable the XP look (style).
To do this, do the following:
Right click on My Computer, select Properties. Go to the Advanced tab, and select under Performance - "Settings". In the new window you will have many options, and the more you turn off - that way your PC will work faster.
For really old and slow computers, I suggest you change the colour settings to 16 bit instead of 24 or 32 for general performances.
After you have tweaked the system, heres the cherry on top - the Disk Defragment. This tweak puts the files in order so they are easier for the system to work with, which helps the PC work faster.
To do this do the following:
Click on Start, then All Programs, then Accessories, and then System Tools, and finally on Disk Defragmenter. Click on this, and then a window will pop up, select the drive you want to defragment, and sit back and wait a little until the process finishes (depends on the speed of the PC - could be 5 minutes, could be 30 minutes...).
Part 4: Tweaking the memory.
This part will help you maximize the performances of your RAM and Virtual Memory.
Speeding up the loading time of files.
This tweak will help you speed up the time it takes for a file on your PC to load.
To do the tweak, do as follows:
Get to the registry (Start>Run>regedit), and navigate to the following folder/"tree": HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SYSTEM / CurrentControlSet / Control / Session Manager / Memory management.
In there, find the file 'IoPageLockLimit', and if it's not there create it by right lcicking, selecting new, and then DWORD.
In the value, set it as follows:
For PC's with 128MB of RAM or less - 8192. For 256MB RAM - 32768, and for 512MB RAM - 65535.
Disabling the Hibernation function.
If you are not planning to use the built in Hibernation funtion for Windows, you can save a few MB's of RAM...
To disable it, do as follows:
Right click on your desktop, click Properties. In there click Screen Saver, and then "Power...". In there, go to the Hibernation tab and disable the Hibernation feature.
Optimization of SWAP files.
An unpartitioned SWAP file is better than aa partitioned SWAP file, and PC's with little memory (RAM), will notice better PC performance after using this tweak.
To do the tweak, do the following (additional actions for Windows XP users will be in square brackets):
Start>Control Panel>System>[Advanced]>Performance>[Advanced]>Virtual Memory
In there, select a size for "one size for all", and make it 256 (or even 300 if you wish), and select Set for Windows XP and 2000 users.
Click OK and then Reboot for the settings to take effect.
Part 5: Speeding up the Internet.
This section will help you maximize your internets performance, and get the most out of it.
Some parts of this section include editing protocols - doing so is under your own responsibility, even though all changes are reversable.
Getting back 20% of your bandwidth by editing the QoS settings.
QoS=Quality of Service.
The Windows XP automatically takes 20% of your bandwidth for the use of Windows Update, or for Microsofts usage of remote assistance.
Some say that by using this tweak you actually feel that your internet is working faster, and some say you won't feel any difference - that's for you to decide
Beofre we start I must state that people that DO NOT have Windows XP PROFESSIONAL Edition will NOT be able to do this tweak, because all other versions don't have a file called Gpedit.msc which is needed in order to do this tweak.
OK so let's start:
Click on Start, then Run, and in the text box type "Gpedit.msc" (without the "").
In the new window that pops up, navigate as follows:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > QoS Packet Scheduler.
In there, on the other side of the window, double-click on "Limit reservable bandwidth", and in the window that pops up check the "Enabled" box, and change the vaule from 20% to 0.
Getting rid of pop-ups.
Definately one of todays biggest problems in the online community of the World Wide Web are the pop-ups.
Here we will try and limit the number of pop-ups, so that our internet connection will not need to try and access the pop-ups, and by that saving a little of the bandwidth (which eventually adds up to a lot if you consider how many pop-ups will be blocked).
So, the story goes like this - Many programs have tried over time to stop annoying pop-ups and pop-unders from appearing without us wanting them to, all of which succeeded in one sense or another, but never managed to block 100% of the pop-ups/unders.
Then came Google to the rescue with their new internet toolbar, which not only blocks almost every pop-up/under, but it also has the very handy Google search function in it - so you get a 2 for 1 deal in it.
You can find the Google toolbar HERE.
Yet another problem on the web today is the growing ammount of advertisements on the web. Many websites contain huge ammounts of advertisements, which can cause very slow loading time of the webpage.
Here is a list of a few programs that can help prevent the loading of these advertisements (for IE):
1) The built in Norton Ad-Blocker that comes with "Norton Internet Security" - you can check up on that on their homepage: http://www.symantec.com
2) WebWasher Classic - A program that helps eliminate banner-ads. Their website: http://webwasher.com
3) AdFree - A great program that replaces annoying advertisements with "dummy files" (blank images that take no time to load). Their website: http://lucille.dhs.org/adfree.html
4) eDexter - This actually isn't an ad-blocker, but it does another useful thing - whenever you have a web-page that has had ads blocked by another program, you will get a blank page. eDexter can change this blank part for any image you like - just for fun The website: http://accs-net.com/hosts/eDexter.html
5) Using Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer: go to http://www.mozilla.org and download Mozilla Firefox - it has extra plug-ins that succesfully block pop-ups and ads easily.
I'll bet no one in the internet world has not heard of "spam-emails".
Definately the worst part of the trio that are meant to slow down our internet (pop-ups, ads and spam).
By blocking spam e-mails we are actually speeding up the time of getting important e-mails, by eliminating those unwanted spam e-mails.
Here are some good programs for killing spam e-mails:
1) The built in Norton AntiSpam that comes with "Norton Internet Security". More info at http://www.symantec.com
2) MailWasher - A program that helps your e-mail account eliminate spam e-mails. Their website: http://www.mailwasher.net
3) The built in Kaspersky Anti-Spam that comes with "Kaspersky Personal Security Suite". More info at http://www.kaspersky.com
Removing protocols which are not needed.
A protocol is a method used by programmers in the world to create systems that can interact with one another. The most widely used protocol is... the HTTP protocol. HTTP=Hyper Text Transer Protocol, which is the protocol used for PC's over the world interact with each other over the World Wide Web (or.. the internet). Another protocol which is used a lot is the TCP/IP protocol which is used by PC's to connet to the internet.
The thing is, that Microsoft installed some extra protocols without even asking us, that we probably do not need anyway...
Here we will learn how to get rid of 2 protocols which you probably do not need (and people that need it will know).
NOTE: once again I would like to clarify that editing/disabling protocols is under your own responsibility, even though all changes are reversable.
OK lets start:
The first protocol we will remove is the NetBios protocol which is only used by people that have an LAN/home/office network (people that need it know...). If you have no idea what I am talking about then you probably do not need it.
The second protocol we will remove is the Network Monitor Driver protocol which is useless unless you need your PC monitored by the Network Monitor (again, anyone who DOES need this protocol will know...).
Right so lets remove these protocols:
Click on Start, then on Control Panel. In there click on Network Connections, and then right-click on your internet connection (Local Area Connection 2 for instance), and select Properties.
In the new window you will have al ist of installed protocols with check poxes next to them. If you do not have this, then you can skip this part of the guide, and be thankful that you do not have to mess with your protocols system
Here, uncheck the boxes next to NetBios, and next to Network Monitor Driver.
Click on OK, and you're done with this tweak.
Placing a Buffer in the internal memory for dealing with rulings that come from the Modem/LAN Card.
Placing this Buffer will also help you get more out of your connection.
Click on Start, then Run, and in the text feild type System.ini.
Now, in the window that popped up, under the line with [386Enh] in it, put Irq11=4096.
Tweaking the performance of your network card (LAN card).
NOTE: This tweak will ONLY work for people who have a network card which is from one of these 2 companies: Intel and 3COM.
These LAN cards have a funtion that speeds up the connection time, and can do Offloads, a thing that can speed up the performance of those cards.
This specific tweak will be about the cards Pro100 for Intel, and 3C905 or 3C920 for 3COM.
Get into the registry (Start>Run>regedit), and navigate to the following folder/"tree": HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\ Parameters.
In there, create a REG_DWORD (DWORD Value), by right-clicking and selecting new, and then DWORD, and call it "DisableTaskOffload", and make it's value 1.
Part 6: Speeding up the mouse and maximizing it's performance.
This part only has a single stage in it, and is ONLY for people with a mouse that is connected via PS/2...
Getting the mouse to have a smooth movement.
To have your mouse moving smoothly without getting stuck do the following:
Right click on My Computer, and select Properties.
In there click on Hardware, and in there select "Device Manager".
Find your mouse ("Mice and other pointing devices"), and double click on your mouse name.
In the new window go to Advanced Settings, and in the Sample Rate box, changethe value to 200.
Part 7: Maximizing your graphics card performance.
This part also only has one stage...
Changing the resolution and editing the refresh rate.
Nowadays, most 17 Inch screens will support the following tweak:
Right-click on your desktop and select Properties.
In there select the "Settings" tab, and finally select the Advanced tab.
In the new window select the Monitor tab, and change the refresh rate to 75 Hertz.
Also, it is recommended to change the resolution of your screen to 1024/768 Pixels (in the Settings tab we were just in).
Part 8: Speeding up the time it takes for Windows to shut down.
In this part you will learn how to get the time it takes for Windows to shut down the PC to the minimal time.
This part is also reversable, but remember that messing with your registry is dangerouse, and you should always back it up before you do anything with it.
Close Windows down, and FAST!
I'm sure many of you experience along waiting time before Windows decides to turn itself off, eh?
To get the waiting time down to the minimum, do the following:
Get to the Registry (Start>Run>regedit), and navigate to the following "tree"/folder: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.
In there, find a file with the name "HungAppTimeout", and change it's value to 2000 (by double-clicking it).
In that same folder find another file with the name of "WaitToKillAppTimout", double-click it and change it's value from 20000 to 4000.
Now navigate to the next "tree"/folder: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control.
In there find a file named "WaitToKillSeerviceTimout", and change it's value to 4000 (by double-clicking it).
Now navigate once more, but this time to this "tree"/folder: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.
In there find a file named "AutoEndTasks", and change it's value from 0 to 1.
Disabling the music on Windows Shutdown.
What actually happens when we turn the PC off/Restart it?
We get a musical sound, and only then Windows turns itself off...
For people who want to shed another few seconds from the shutting time process, heres how to disable to Windows Shutdown music:
Clcik on Start, and then Control Panel.
In there, go to "Sounds and Audio Devices", and in there select "Sounds".
Get yourself onto the list of "Exit Windows", and select (in the list) the option "none". That's it, now whenever you turn off Windows you will not get any music.
Part 9: Windows Update: Still an important feature in Windows...
Again, only one stage in this part...
Protecting your PC using the Windows Update.
Yes this is one of the more important things - as screwy as Windows is, you still need to update it using Microsoft's Windows Update.
Check THIS LINK for information regarding updates for Windows.
That's it... That is the end of my comeback guide for speeding up your Windows OS. I hope you all make use of it, and please, do not redistribute it unless you get permission from either me (tralalala or Rafi), or Filesharingtalk to reuse it, as it has taken me hours and hours to write this guide... Thank you.