XP Performance Tweaks

There are tons of software applications out there that claim to speed up your computer by 200% (for as small fee – restrictions apply)  You don’t need to pay any money and anyone with moderate computer skills can have their XP computer booting and running quicker in no time.

A slight caveat before starting: If there’s anything here that you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself, then it’s probably best just to leave things as they are.

1)  Install CCleaner. Simply put, this is one of the most useful free applications I have ever used.  Once you have it up and running, you can clear out your cache folders by clicking ‘Analyze’ , then ‘Run Cleaner from the main page.

ccleaner-clean-small

Next, click on the Registry icon, then ‘Scan for Issues’ and then ‘Fix Selected Issues..’  It’s scary changing the registry, but I’ve been using this feature for almost 4 years now without issue.  Also, you’ll be given the choice to back up your original settings.

ccleaner-registry-small

Now, click on the ‘Tools’ icon and then click the ‘Startup’ button.  You’ll see everything that loads into your computer’s memory every single time it boots up.  By design, XP is meant to run without any of the programs you’ll see here.

ccleaner-tools-startup-small

At this point we’re finished with CCleaner.  If you stopped here and did nothing else you would be able to see a marked improvement in your system’s performance, but there are a few more things you can do.

Click on the Start button and the ‘Run…’  In the text box type:

services.msc

You’ll see a list of applications and helper programs that are installed on your computer. For our purposes, we’re only interested in those who have a status of ‘Started’ (click on the column header to sort). If there’s any that you’re sure you don’t need running, double-click on it and set its Start up Type to ‘Manual’ and then click the ‘Stop’ button. It’s typically a good idea to only change one setting at a time to make sure you don’t have and adverse effects. Also, simply searching the service’s name will give you a good idea of it’s actual function.

services-small

The last thing you can do is run Microsoft’s disk defragment utility. To get started click:
Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Disk Defragmenter.

start-menu-defrag1To run this utility click the ‘Defrag’ button once the application has loaded. Once finished your files will be stored more logically for the operating System.  This means that you will have more space available to use and your computer will access them more quickly.

That’s all for now, please leave a comment if you’ve discovered your own methods for increasing your system’s speeds.