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Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Tip 1: disable Autostart Programs which are not used regularly
Many software by default configured as a autostart program. This programs run at background. You can see such programs at taskbar. But some are completely running at back ground completely hidden. These programs consume memory and processing time.

By using Msconfig.exe configuration utility that comes with WinXP , you can organize the startup process and identify unnecessary programs that run automatically.
To use this utility, follow these steps:

Click on Start, and open Run, write Msconfig.exe and click enter.
On the new windows, you can observe programs list and processes that are automatically runs while Windows XP starts.
Uncheck the box of any programs that user doesn't need.
Apply the changes, and then restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

Tip 2: Clean Prefetch folder periodically

It is observed that WinXP loads applications much faster than old windows operating system. WinXP achieve this by Prefetch technique, in which the windowsxp collect information about each program used and stores this information at \Windows\Prefetch folder. Now when next time user open the same application, WinXP uses the prefetched information .and due to this applications appears to load vary fast.

But this creates one problem: After a certain period, the Prefetch folder collected soo much information. This makes the windowsXP busy loading lots of applications into memory, it results in slow down boot process.
You can troubleshoot this problem by removing collected information in Prefetch folder.

Open the run command box.
Write there prefetch. This will open prefetch folder.
Select the entire files in prefetch folder and delete it.

Repeat this task every 15 to 20 days.

Tip3: Remove Remnants of Old SP2 Installs

Upgrading XP with SP2 leaves a lot of unused files on the disk that the user will need only if they were to uninstall XP. Personally, I've never had to back-out of SP2, but if you did, chances are it would have be shortly after you installed it. So, assuming the user is happy with their SP2 installation, remove these old files by following these steps:

A very big System Restore point will have been made by the SP2 installation. To be sure you have a good regular size restore point, create a new one by going to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. In the System Restore dialog box, click Create a restore point. Then click Next. Type a description for your restore point, such as "After SP2" and click Create. Then do a clean-up by going to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. Under "More Options," click the bottom button to remove all but the most recent restore point.

Delete the hidden folder of files that would be restored by an uninstall: C:\Windows\$NTServicePackUninstall. After this step, if you try to use the "Remove" for Service Pack 2 in Add/Remove Programs, it will fail and offer to delete the entry.

There may also be a large folder C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download, depending on how the installation was done. This can be deleted, too.

Check that the installation's temporary folder was properly removed. The directory will be in the root directory of the drive where you downloaded the setup files (probably on C:) and will have a long name of random letters. If you can find this folder, remove
Paging File Across Multiple Hard Drives
If a client runs demanding applications, such as complex graphics or video editing, try a more complex tweak associated with the system's "paging file." The paging file is closely related to the physical RAM installed in the computer. Its purpose is to extend the amount of physical RAM and make it available to the system.

Tweaking the paging file boosts performance by speeding access to the PC's store of virtual memory, so bear with me. Of course, the amount of performance increase depends greatly upon the application and machine. But increases of 30 percent or more are not uncommon when the PC is memory-constrained.

A PC's paging file (Pagefile.sys) is a hidden file on a computer's hard disk that WinXP uses as if it were RAM. The paging file and physical memory make up the total virtual memory. By default, Windows stores the paging file on the boot partition—the partition that contains the OS and its support files.

To enhance performance, it's good practice to put the paging file (or a portion of it) on a different partition than the one WinXP is on, and to also put the paging file and WinXP on different physical hard-disk drives. That way, Windows can handle multiple I/O requests more quickly. Otherwise, when the paging file is on the boot partition, Windows must perform disk reading and writing requests on both the system folder and the paging file. But when the paging file is moved to a different partition, there is less competition between reading and writing requests.

But there is one problem with removing the paging file from the boot partition: Windows cannot create a dump file (Memory.dmp) in which to write debugging information in the event that a kernel mode Stop Error message occurs. This could lead to extended downtime if you must debug to troubleshoot.

The optimal solution is to create one paging file that is stored on the boot partition, and then create another paging file on another partition that is less frequently accessed on a different physical hard disk (assuming a different physical hard disk is available). Sounds complicated, but it's really not. WinXP uses an internal algorithm to determine which paging file to use for virtual memory management. By design, Windows will use the paging file on the less frequently accessed partition over the paging file on the more heavily accessed boot partition.

WinXP performance can be enhanced even more by creating the second paging file so that it exists on its own partition, with no data or operating-system-specific files. So if you have two or more hard drives, especially if they reside on separate IDE channels, you can split the paging file across these two drives. WinXP, by accessing both of the drives at the same time to read/write information, will considerably improve its performance.

The following steps show an example of adding a second paging file location: From System Properties > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Virtual Memory. Then assign the paging file a size on each drive.

Here's how I did mine. I have two hard drives, each formatted with two partitions. In other words, I have a total of four partitions being displayed. On my secondary hard drive, I created the first partition and called it "my_swap." Since I have 512 MB of RAM, I created the partition with 1.5 GB. On this partition, I assigned the swap file of 764 MB to 1500 MB. On the primary partition, which contains my OS, I also have a swap file of the same 764 MB to 1500 MB.

WinXP sizes the paging file to about 1.5 times the amount of actual physical memory by default. While this is good for systems with smaller amounts of memory (under 512 MB), it's unlikely that a typical XP desktop system will ever need 1.5 X 512 MB or more of virtual memory unless special programs require it. If you have less than 512 MB of memory, leave the paging file at its default size. If you have 512 MB or more, change the ratio to 1:1 paging file size to physical memory size.

For those who'd like a more exact method for figuring the optimal paging file size, see this article at Microsoft's support site: How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 or WinXP. For more information on optimizing XP's paging file, see Microsoft's support site: How to configure paging files for optimization and recovery in WinXP.

Tip 4: Speed-up the Start Menu with Registry Editor

The default speed of the Start Menu is pretty slow, but you can fix that by editing a Registry Key. The Microsoft Registry Editor (regedit.exe) enables you to view, search for, and change settings in your system registry, which contains information about how your computer runs. Although you can use Registry Editor to inspect and modify the registry, doing so is not recommended by Microsoft, as making an incorrect change can damage the system.

Before you fire up the Registry Editor, make sure you know how to restore the registry and are familiar with all the risks. For details, read this Microsoft article: Using Regedit.exe.

If you're comfortable with the risks, follow these three steps to speed-up the Start Menu with the Registry Editor:

Click Start, then click Run.
Type Regedit, then click OK.
Locate the value for HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop \ MenuShowDelay. By default, the value is set to 400. Change this to a smaller value, such as 0, to speed it up.

Tip 5: Disable Costly Display Options

WinXP provides some pretty effects when it opens menus, Tooltips and boxes, but all that carries a cost in valuable CPU cycles. It's not a big performance drain, but unless your clients love these niceties, you can boost performance by shutting them off. Here's how:

Click Start > Control Panel > System Information.
On System Properties, click the Advanced tab.
In the Performance section, click Settings.
Consider disabling the following:

Fade or slide menus into view
Fade or slide ToolTips into view
Fade out menu items after clicking
Show shadows under menus
Slide open combo boxes
Slide taskbar buttons
Use a background image for each folder type
Use common tasks in folders

Tip 6: Disable Indexing Services

Indexing Services is a small program that uses large amounts of RAM. Its job is to process indexes and update lists of all the files that are on the computer, so that when the user searches for something, the system will search faster by scanning the indexed lists. The problem is that Indexing typically uses lots of CPU time.

If the user doesn't search their computer often, Indexing won't help them at all. And if they do search frequently (depending on what they are looking for and how the machine is used), Indexing still may not make your searches faster. Consequently, many XP users, looking for better performance, have turned indexing off and never looked back.

You can easily disable Indexing. Here's how:

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.

With the tweaks in this Recipe, your clients' PCs should be running up to maximum speed. Once you've tried these performance boosts, I'm sure you'll be amazed at how a few minutes of maintenance in the right spots can rejuvenate a PC. Your clients will enjoy better performance without dropping a bundle on a new PC

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