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    Default Twenty Three Ways to Optimize Windows XP

    Twenty
    Three Ways to Optimize Windows XP, How to
    SPEED UP
    Windows XP,
    Windows
    XP Tips and Tricks, Windows XP Optimization,
    Optimize
    Windows XP, Speed Up Windows XP


    Since defragging the disk won't do much to
    improve
    Windows XP performance, here are 23
    suggestions that
    will. Each can enhance the performance and
    reliability
    of your customers' PCs. Best of all, most of
    them
    will cost you nothing.

    1.) To decrease a system's boot time and
    increase
    system performance, use the money you save
    by not
    buying defragmentation software -- the
    built-in Windows
    defragmenter works just fine -- and instead
    equip
    the computer with an Ultra-133 or Serial ATA
    hard
    drive with 8-MB cache buffer.









    2.) If a PC has less than 512 MB
    of RAM,
    add more memory. This is a relatively
    inexpensive and
    easy upgrade that can dramatically improve
    system performance.

    3.) Ensure that Windows XP is
    utilizing
    the NTFS file system. If you're not sure,
    here's how
    to check: First, double-click the My Computer
    icon,
    right-click on the C: Drive, then select
    Properties.
    Next, examine the File System type; if it says
    FAT32,
    then back-up any important data. Next, click
    Start,
    click Run, type CMD, and then click OK. At the
    prompt,
    type CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS and press the Enter
    key. This
    process may take a while; it's important that
    the computer
    be uninterrupted and virus-free. The file
    system used
    by the bootable drive will be either FAT32 or
    NTFS.
    I highly recommend NTFS for its superior
    security, reliability,
    and efficiency with larger disk drives.

    4.) Disable file indexing. The
    indexing
    service extracts information from documents
    and other
    files on the hard drive and creates a
    "searchable
    keyword index." As you can imagine, this
    process
    can be quite taxing on any system.

    The idea is that the user can
    search for
    a word, phrase, or property inside a document,
    should
    they have hundreds or thousands of documents
    and not
    know the file name of the document they want.
    Windows
    XP's built-in search functionality can still
    perform
    these kinds of searches without the Indexing
    service.
    It just takes longer. The OS has to open each
    file at
    the time of the request to help find what the
    user is
    looking for.

    Most people never need this
    feature of
    search. Those who do are typically in a large
    corporate
    environment where thousands of documents are
    located
    on at least one server. But if you're a
    typical system
    builder, most of your clients are small and
    medium businesses.
    And if your clients have no need for this
    search feature,
    I recommend disabling it.

    Here's how: First, double-click
    the My
    Computer icon. Next, right-click on the C:
    Drive, then
    select Properties. Uncheck "Allow Indexing
    Service
    to index this disk for fast file searching."
    Next,
    apply changes to "C: subfolders and files,"
    and click OK. If a warning or error message
    appears
    (such as "Access is denied"), click the Ignore

    All button.

    5.) Update the PC's video and
    motherboard
    chipset drivers. Also, update and configure
    the BIOS.
    For more information on how to configure your
    BIOS properly,
    see this article on my site.

    6.) Empty the Windows Prefetch
    folder
    every three months or so. Windows XP can
    "prefetch"
    portions of data and applications that are
    used frequently.
    This makes processes appear to load faster
    when called
    upon by the user. That's fine. But over time,
    the prefetch
    folder may become overloaded with references
    to files
    and applications no longer in use. When that
    happens,
    Windows XP is wasting time, and slowing system
    performance,
    by pre-loading them. Nothing critical is in
    this folder,
    and the entire contents are safe to delete.

    7.) Once a month, run a disk
    cleanup.
    Here's how: Double-click the My Computer icon.
    Then
    right-click on the C: drive and select
    Properties. Click
    the Disk Cleanup button -- it's just to the
    right of
    the Capacity pie graph -- and delete all
    temporary files.

    8.) In your Device Manager,
    double-click
    on the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers device, and
    ensure
    that DMA is enabled for each drive you have
    connected
    to the Primary and Secondary controller. Do
    this by
    double-clicking on Primary IDE Channel. Then
    click the
    Advanced Settings tab. Ensure the Transfer
    Mode is set
    to "DMA if available" for both Device 0 and
    Device 1. Then repeat this process with the
    Secondary
    IDE Channel.

    9.) Upgrade the cabling. As
    hard-drive
    technology improves, the cabling requirements
    to achieve
    these performance boosts have become more
    stringent.
    Be sure to use 80-wire Ultra-133 cables on all
    of your
    IDE devices with the connectors properly
    assigned to
    the matching Master/Slave/Motherboard sockets.
    A single
    device must be at the end of the cable;
    connecting a
    single drive to the middle connector on a
    ribbon cable
    will cause signaling problems. With Ultra DMA
    hard drives,
    these signaling problems will prevent the
    drive from
    performing at its maximum potential. Also,
    because these
    cables inherently support "cable select,"
    the location of each drive on the cable is
    important.
    For these reasons, the cable is designed so
    drive positioning
    is explicitly clear.

    10.) Remove all spyware from the
    computer.
    Use free programs such as AdAware by Lavasoft
    or SpyBot
    Search & Destroy. Once these programs are
    installed,
    be sure to check for and download any updates
    before
    starting your search. Anything either program
    finds
    can be safely removed. Any free software that
    requires
    spyware to run will no longer function once
    the spyware
    portion has been removed; if your customer
    really wants
    the program even though it contains spyware,
    simply
    reinstall it. For more information on removing
    Spyware
    visit this Web Pro News page.

    11.) Remove any unnecessary
    programs
    and/or items from Windows Startup routine
    using the
    MSCONFIG utility. Here's how: First, click
    Start, click
    Run, type MSCONFIG, and click OK. Click the
    StartUp
    tab, then uncheck any items you don't want to
    start
    when Windows starts. Unsure what some items
    are? Visit
    the WinTasks Process Library. It contains
    known system
    processes, applications, as well as spyware
    references
    and explanations. Or quickly identify them by
    searching
    for the filenames using Google or another Web
    search
    engine.

    12.) Remove any unnecessary or
    unused
    programs from the Add/Remove Programs section
    of the
    Control Panel.

    13.) Turn off any and all
    unnecessary
    animations, and disable active desktop. In
    fact, for
    optimal performance, turn off all animations.
    Windows
    XP offers many different settings in this
    area. Here's
    how to do it: First click on the System icon
    in the
    Control Panel. Next, click on the Advanced
    tab. Select
    the Settings button located under Performance.
    Feel
    free to play around with the options offered
    here, as
    nothing you can change will alter the
    reliability of
    the computer -- only its responsiveness.

    14.) If your customer is an
    advanced user
    who is comfortable editing their registry, try
    some
    of the performance registry tweaks offered at
    Tweak
    XP.

    15.) Visit Microsoft's Windows
    update
    site regularly, and download all updates
    labeled Critical.
    Download any optional updates at your
    discretion.

    16.) Update the customer's
    anti-virus
    software on a weekly, even daily, basis. Make
    sure they
    have only one anti-virus software package
    installed.
    Mixing anti-virus software is a sure way to
    spell disaster
    for performance and reliability.

    17.) Make sure the customer has
    fewer
    than 500 type fonts installed on their
    computer. The
    more fonts they have, the slower the system
    will become.
    While Windows XP handles fonts much more
    efficiently
    than did the previous versions of Windows, too
    many
    fonts -- that is, anything over 500 -- will
    noticeably
    tax the system.

    18.) Do not partition the hard
    drive.
    Windows XP's NTFS file system runs more
    efficiently
    on one large partition. The data is no safer
    on a separate
    partition, and a reformat is never necessary
    to reinstall
    an operating system. The same excuses people
    offer for
    using partitions apply to using a folder
    instead. For
    example, instead of putting all your data on
    the D:
    drive, put it in a folder called "D drive."
    You'll achieve the same organizational
    benefits that
    a separate partition offers, but without the
    degradation
    in system performance. Also, your free space
    won't be
    limited by the size of the partition; instead,
    it will
    be limited by the size of the entire hard
    drive. This
    means you won't need to resize any partitions,
    ever.
    That task can be time-consuming and also can
    result
    in lost data.

    19.) Check the system's RAM to
    ensure
    it is operating properly. I recommend using a
    free program
    called MemTest86. The download will make a
    bootable
    CD or diskette (your choice), which will run
    10 extensive
    tests on the PC's memory automatically after
    you boot
    to the disk you created. Allow all tests to
    run until
    at least three passes of the 10 tests are
    completed.
    If the program encounters any errors, turn off
    and unplug
    the computer, remove a stick of memory
    (assuming you
    have more than one), and run the test again.
    Remember,
    bad memory cannot be repaired, but only
    replaced.

    20.) If the PC has a CD or DVD
    recorder,
    check the drive manufacturer's Web site for
    updated
    firmware. In some cases you'll be able to
    upgrade the
    recorder to a faster speed. Best of all, it's
    free.

    21.) Disable unnecessary
    services. Windows
    XP loads a lot of services that your customer
    most likely
    does not need. To determine which services you
    can disable
    for your client, visit the Black Viper site
    for Windows
    XP configurations.

    22.) If you're sick of a single
    Windows
    Explorer window crashing and then taking the
    rest of
    your OS down with it, then follow this tip:
    open My
    Computer, click on Tools, then Folder Options.
    Now click
    on the View tab. Scroll down to "Launch folder

    windows in a separate process," and enable
    this
    option. You'll have to reboot your machine for
    this
    option to take effect.

    23.) At least once a year, open
    the computer's
    cases and blow out all the dust and debris.
    While you're
    in there, check that all the fans are turning
    properly.
    Also inspect the motherboard capacitors for
    bulging
    or leaks. For more information on this
    leaking-capacitor
    phenomena, you can read numerous articles on
    my site.


    Following any of these suggestions should
    result in
    noticeable improvements to the performance and
    reliability
    of your customers' computers. If you still
    want to defrag
    a disk, remember that the main benefit will be
    to make
    your data more retrievable in the event of a
    crashed
    drive.
    __________________________
    a16dlc - Twenty Three Ways to Optimize Windows XP


 

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