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05-20-2006, 04:36 PM #1
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
Tips for making a Windows XP run faster
I recently be forced to use the family Windows XP Home Edition computer, after my Linux workstation had a processor burn out caused by a case with a cooling fault. Anyway I have been finding this thing excessively slow. So I decided to put into practice some optimisation techniques that I knew. Anyway they worked like a dream, so I decided to post them here so people try them if they had a slow PC.
1. Screen Resolution
Previously my screen was at a 1600x1200, and as much I liked having this high resolution it was consuming a lot of resources. So I knocked it down 1280x768.
2. Virtual Memory
By default, a Windows XP machines swap file starts at quite a small size when the computer boots up. Meaning that when the computer fills it up, it has to make it bigger, which does really slow the computer down. I set the swap file to a minimum size of 512mb, with a maximun size of 1024mb.
You can change the virtual memory size by opening the control panel (start menu > control panel). Clickthe icon labelled "settings". In the dialog box that comes up select the tab advanced. Then under the performance section click the icon "settings" In the next dialog box click the advanced tab. Under the virtual memory section of this tab click change. Under the next dialog select custom settings, make the initial size of the virtual memory at least 512mb, and maximum size at least 1024mb, more if you have enough HD space.
Most people will tell to disable the desktop background and XP styles. This is not what I talking about here though. I talking more about things like fade effects and shadows under the mouse cursor. Most people people probably won't notice the loss of these effects, and personally I find when I do notice these effects they tend to annoy me, ie when I open a menu I have to wait for a few seconds for it to fade in... aargh.
Anyway heres how you disable a lot of these effects. Open the control panel (start menu > control panel). Click the icon labelled "system". In the dialog box that comes up select the tab advanced. Then under the performance section click the icon "settings". A dialog box should come up, by default the visual effects tab on this dialog box should be selected. In the box should be a set of tickbox's. I unticked everything but:
- Show translucent selection rectangle
Personally I find this make my life a lot easier.
- Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop
I find this make the text on desktop icons clearer so I left it
- Use visual styles on windows on buttons
Unclicking this option make you system look like Windows 98. I find the Windows 98 styles look ugly, so I left this option ticked.
The rest of options I really don't think you will notice if they are switched off.
4. Put some more ram in the system
As a final thing to speed up my computer I decided to "borrow" some RAM from the Linux box mentioned earlier seeing as I cannot use it ATM. Well I look inside, this PC still uses SDRAM!!! My Linux BOX use DDR. Though I did have a lot of old SDRAM chips hanging around that I had stripped from computer that went wrong in the past. I found a 64mb chip and stuck it in taking the PC from 128mb RAM to 192MB ram, not a big differenc but enough to make a difference. Also a lot people thing the processor speed is what makes a computer run fast. In reality though you can have a of processor of only well under a 1ghz, put 256mb ram+ and it will probably run something like Windows XP at quite a reasonable speed.
Finally, heres the spec of the computer, if anyone wants to know it:
My PC's spec:
1.1 ghz Intel Celeron
192mb RAM (upgraded from 128MB ram)
133mhz FSB (I think, i'm not certain on this one)
16x DVD Drivehttp://www.datacentertalk.com
05-20-2006, 04:44 PM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
BTW, would an admin be able to move this? I've put in the new members welcome by accident.http://www.datacentertalk.com
05-21-2006, 03:25 PM #3
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
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07-04-2006, 08:39 PM #4PH JasonGuest
Your computer isn't quite up to par with today's standards, so I think this will help people with low end computers. Nice thread.
08-08-2006, 10:37 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
- Los Angeles
Good lord, upgrade to at least 256MB. The difference between 256mb and sub-256mb XP installations is like night and day.
10-08-2006, 10:30 AM #6spiritedoneGuestOriginally Posted by jwr
11-05-2006, 11:02 AM #7MailShieldGuest
1. run xp with 1gig memory at least for good performance
2. turn off unecessary services in the registry from starting up
3. dont have to many programs loaded in memory and close any file sharing programs you have open (limewire, bearshare, etc)
Hope that helps
11-21-2006, 08:12 AM #8
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
Some more tips to improve performance
In the Run box, type "Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks". This frees up any idle tasks running in the background so that Windows XP can devote its full attention to what you want it to do. For example playing graphic intensive games.
Disable Indexing Services
Indexing services is a small program that hogs HUGE amounts of RAM and can often make a computer endlessly loud and noisy. This system process indexing and updates lists of the files on your system, so you can search for them quickly, but it's completley unnessesary. To disable it, go to the Control Panel and click Add/Remove Programs. Click the Add/Remove Window Components. Simply unclick the Indexing services and click next!
Disable zip folders
Are the ZIP folders too slow for you? Disable it by unregistering the file zipfldr.dll.
In the Run box, type " regsvr32 /u zipfldr.dll "
Reduce 10 second scandisk wait time
Start MS Dos Prompt (Start run CMD)
CHKNTFS/T:4 where 4 is the amount of waity time
Type CHKNTFS/? for more info
Whats the one thing we hate most when copying something from CD, for me at least, is the speed in which the data is copied. After many months of research, I have found what I consider the best CDFS settings to have, and my DVD drive never copied so good. Here is the changes that must be made
Look for that registry key, if not there, you must create a new key, then add the following values
CacheSize, this must be added as a binary value, then type in this value: ff ff 00 00
Prefetch, this key must be added as a DWORD value, then type in this value: 4000 hex
PrefetchTail, this key must be added as a DWORD value, then type in this value: 4000 hex
Let the ripping begin
Increase 'CPU priority tweak' effect
First you must set the CPU Priority setting tweak.Using 'Regedit', go to this location:" HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetContro
lPriorityControl" and set the "Win32PrioritySeparation" to "38" The last adjustment is to set the "Launch folder windows in separate process" setting by opening the "My ComputerToolsFolder OptionsView -and tick the "Launch folder windows in separate process" box. Window XP will open any new window(including program) in its own memory and in separate process priority.(increase stability and speed but use much more RAM than before)
Note: Sometimes this 2 tweak can cause unresponsive keyboard and mouse in Counter-Strike.
Make icons in windows appear quicker
In Windows XP everytime you open My Computer to browse folders XP automatically searches for network files and printers. This causes a delay in displaying your icons. You probably see the "default" windows icon and as you scroll it changes to the correct icon. This is how to stop that...
1. Open My Computer
2. Click on the Tools menu and select Folder Options...
3. Under Folder Options select the view tab.
4. Uncheck the very first box that reads "Automatically search for network folders and printers".
5. Click "Apply" or "OK"
You should see a dramatic increase in speed when Windows displays your icons.
Windows XP Icon Cache
Are you experiencing icon lag, while browsing thru all your Start icons and programs? Do you have a smaller menu delay and your icons need ages to load? Just delete the IconCache.db file from your profile directory (usually /Documents and Settings/Username/Local Settings/Application Data).
01-18-2007, 12:03 PM #9smithkarlGuest
May I suggest one more thing regarding tweaks for xp. This is a resource I found really useful it is a site at tweakxp (cannot add links just add remaining to it). Check it out!
Not mine wish it was.
02-12-2007, 09:50 AM #10kiruba_77Guest
Hi well thanks for your help when I change my virtual memory size I feel my system speed increased.
So I'm now very happy ..Thanks