Windows XP Performance

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If operating systems were women, this guide would be like helping yours become a better cook.

This article covers how to improve your Windows performance, as well as how to remove some of the obnoxious services that only serve make your OS look less pretty. If the advice available in this article isn't enough to get your computer running as good as new, or if you're looking for a safer fix than tweaking with your system settings, you can always download Windows Optimizer and let it work it's magic.

General Maintenance

Check your disk for errors

  1. Go to Start, Run, type "cmd", OK, type "chkdsk C: /r /x"
  2. Select yes and let it run on the next restart
  3. This can take many hours so don't restart until you go to bed

Cookies and net stuff

Delete your internet cookies and junk if you haven't done it in awhile, you should do this at least once a week.

  • In Internet Explorer, Tools -> Options -> General tab for browsing history, change the settings to something good and then do a delete disable and get Firefox
  • In Firefox, choose Tools -> Options-> Privacy tab, change the settings and then clear the data

Delete extra temp files

Anon way:

  • Make sure can see hidden files
  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Tools -> Folder Options -> View
  3. Enable "Show hidden files and folders" and uncheck "Hide protected operating system files" (answer yes to the popup)
  • Now tiem to delete stuff
  1. Start -> Run - %temp% (temporary files in user folder)
  2. You can delete all those files: Edit -> Select all -> Delete
  3. Start -> Run - temp (temporary files in %windir%)
  4. You can delete all those files: Edit -> Select all -> Delete
  5. Start -> Run - %windir%\prefetch
  6. You can delete all those files: Edit -> Select all -> Delete
  • Find any extra temp files
  1. Start menu -> Search -> Files and folders
  2. Choose "All files and folders", may take some time
  3. Search: *.tm?
  4. Delete all the ones you can, some may be currently in use by programs running on the comp

Pro way:

  1. Download CCleaner
  2. Install and run it
  3. You're done.

Check for spyware and virii

The following programs remove all kinds of shit.

  1. Spyware - Adaware and/or Spybot
  2. Anti-virus - AVG or Avira AntiVirAvast. AntiViravast has boot level scanning and automatic updates.
  3. ESET
    1. Click here and copy down a serial.
    2. Choose either ESET NOD32 or ESET Smart Security (includes a firewall) and enter the serial you copied down for the user/pass.
  4. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware - Download this and do a full scan.

Make sure scheduled scans and updates are enabled at least once a week.

Now make comp faster time

Desktop

  1. Right click on desktop -> Properties -> Themes tab
  2. Change theme to Windows Classic
  3. Go to Screensaver tab
  4. Make it so no screensaver and apply
  5. User power saving if you want the screen to turn off

Turning stuff off that's useless to gain back POWAH

Last access

  1. Start Menu -> Run, type in cmd, press enter
  2. "fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1" into the cmd and press enter, no quotes

Disable short filenames

  1. Start Menu -> Run, type in cmd, press enter
  2. In the same command prompt enter "fsutil behavior set disable8dot3 1" without quotes

Fonts

  1. Start Menu-> Control Panel -> Fonts
  2. Delete fonts that you don't use
  3. If you wanna save them just in case, just make a different folder and zip them up so the comp won't delete them

Programs

  1. Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Add/remove programs
  2. Take off any you don't use and won't be using

Indexing

  1. My computer -> Right click on hard drive
  2. Click box to make indexing off and apply, let it run, will take awhile

Removing Connections Restriction

Since the dawn of Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows XP users have been restricted to the number of connections that they can make from their computer per second. Although your ION cannon is showing thousands of connections per second, the truth is that Windows is allowing only a limited amount of those connections to pass through to the internet.

This affects your Torrents, file sharing, web browsing. A good example of this connection limiting comes from trying to browse other sites while using the ION cannon. It's not latency being generated, that causes you to have a failed connection to the web servers, but your operating system itself.

Microsoft put this measurement in place to slow down viruses that could be using your computer to spam e-mails or spread itself. This is a horribly ineffective method of stopping the spread of viruses. If you do the math, a virus could still spread rather quickly.

Use TCP-Z which patches XP/Vista/Win7, and can do a permanent patch or memory patch. Source code for some of this guy's shit is available too.

Starting up faster and staying a little faster cause shit wont be going always

msconfig

  1. Start Menu -> Run, type msconfig and press enter
  2. Go over to the Startup tab, click "Disable all" and enable what you only really need at startup, virus and firewall stuffs mainly, on laptops can be moar wireless and button stuffs as well
  3. Go to the Services tab now
  4. Check the box to hide all Microsoft services
  5. Now set things you don't use to manual startup
  6. Apply and done

Useless services go away

Same as above, just don't hide Microsoft services and disable the ones you don't need.

If you're unsure what a given service does or if it is crucial for your system, refer to this list:

Defrag

With default Windows Defragmenter

  1. My Computer -> Right click on drive to defrag -> Properties -> Tools -> Defragment
  2. Click "Defragment"
  3. Have it do it about 2 or 3 times so it'll be all done, each time it'll go faster

With specialized software

  • Defraggler - allows you to search and defrag specific files and clusters - useful for speeding up the process without you having to sit with your thumb up your ass all day
  • Microsoft Bootvis - defragments files that can't be defragmented while Windows is running (like boot files)
  • O&O Defrag - more defrag options than the default defragger
  • Page Defrag - defrags normally locked Windows files (like pagefile.sys) during system startup
  • Raxco PerfectDisk - again more options and statistics
  • UniBlue Registry Booster - does what you thought Windows Optimizer was supposed to do, except IRL. Microsoft Certified so no system32 worries

Further performance tweaks

Desktop graphics performance

  1. Right click on My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced tab and then click on Performance settings
  2. Adjust for best performance
  3. Update video drivers to latest version (if possible, also, get the ones off of the manufacturer website, not the Microsoft website, as those are usually outdated.)

Pagefile

  1. Start Menu -> right click on My Computer -> Properties -> General tab
  2. Near the bottom of it, it says how much RAM you have, remember that
  3. Go to Advanced tab -> click Settings under Performance options
  4. Go to Advanced tab -> click Change under "Virtual memory"
  5. If you have more than one hard drive, move the paging file to whichever one has the least amount of data access and is the fastest; don't have the pagefile on the OS/applications drive unless it's your only one.
  6. Remember how much RAM you have? Set the paging file to be custom size and both the initial and max size to 2 times the size of your RAM
  7. Click "OK" and you're done.

Disabling annoying bullshit

The yellow bubbles

These just impart stupid pieces of information and do nothing else but get in the way. So why not turn them off?

  1. Download this
  2. Run the patch
  3.  ????
  4. PROFIT

Yellow bars in Start Menu

These point out the newly installed programs, and just makes the start menu look untidy.

  1. Right click on Start Menu and click Properties
  2. Click Customize at the bottom of this dialogue box
  3. Click on the Advanced tab and untick "Highlight newly installed programs"

Error Reporting

Since there's no chance of ever getting a reply from Microsoft if a program closes unexpectedly, turn it off.

  1. Press Windows Key + Pause to get to System Properties
  2. Go to the Advanced tab and click the Error Reporting button at the bottom
  3. Click "Disable Error Reporting"

Further Tweaks

Another program which allows you to tweak an XP install is Tweak UI 2.1. It carries a host of options ranging from what appears when you right click to altering which system default icons are allowed or not allowed on the desktop and many, many more. Don't want your recycle bin on the desktop? Turn that shit off. Hate the long list of invasive programs which come up when you right click and create new? Turn that shit off.

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