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Thread: Tricks and tips in WinXP

  1. #1
    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Tricks and tips in WinXP

    Hey all, since this is my first day here, I figured I'd go nuts with the posting, and hopefully be able to provide some good tips that I've come across in my travels.

    Since most people complain that WinXP is slow to load and or navigate, I figured I'd suggest a couple of quick things to speed it up.

    I'm sure you all know of the usual stuff.. turning off theme support, moving swap file to a second hard drive (if you have one) etc, and setting it to "system managed size". I've never really found a benefit to setting it to a static size myself.. YMMV.

    One thing I found interesting was the clearing of the "Prefetch" directory within the Windows dir. It's safe to just clear it out, and usually this will net a decent gain in performance, specifically response time.

    Next is the temp folder for each user. Within the "Documents and Settings" folder, there is a subfolder for each user. Inside of there are more subfolders, including a bunch of hidden folders. If you turn on "view hidden and system folders", then you'll see one called "Local Settings". Within that is another subfolder, called "Temp". These folders are created for each user on the PC, and if you tend to install/uninstall/copy/delete/generally move files around alot, you can end up with several GB of data in here!

    Yeah, I know! I found 4gb of junk in mine the first time I discovered it.

    I'm sure that most of us in here are familiar with the MSCONFIG tool, and using it to fine tune / troubleshoot startup. Load times suck? Chances are that there are a load of unneeded apps/services starting up. Disable them! If you do this, and reboot, and "oops.. something isnt working..", just run it again, put the checkmarks back in, and reboot.

    Trial and error.. sometimes the best way to learn.

    How about the event log? Play with that much? It's another great way to troubleshoot performance and functionality issues in Windows, and can be absolutely invaluable. Have a look.. you might learn something new.

    And one more.. anyone who doesnt know about GRC should go check them out. As one precaution I always take with a clean install, go there and run the Dcombobulator and Unplug'n'Pray.

    Two more great apps for tuning/troubleshooting are "Startuplist" and "TCPView". Startuplist will create a text file with a list of all the running processes on the computer at the time when you run it, and where they are all starting from. TCPView will show all connections in and out of your PC, which app is using it, what port it's using, where it's connected to, and the status of the connection. Google for either of those.

    I'll stop for this post, but there will be more.


    \m/ d(-_-)b \m/

    R9 290X+Kraken+Corsair H90, Xeon 5649@4ghz, Asus P6T-WS Pro

  2. #2
    Fresh Paint
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Tricks and tips in WinXP

    Another thing to do is to create two partition if you have a hdd larger then 80gigs...have one for system files(and system files only; make it 25gigs) and the rest for all your games, pictures, videos, won't notice any difference now, but over time it won't slow down.

  3. #3
    Water Cooled
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Tricks and tips in WinXP

    Another thing that can slow the machine is the indexing service

    Rt-Click your O/S drive (usually C
    choose properties - General tab
    Uncheck "allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching"

    Having that thing checked actually slows my machine a lot and it causes problems when I try to burn files onto a CD. I get the message the file is in use by another application. After unchecking Indexing Service I saw a significant improvment and the error went away.

    A second thing I've done is create an Explorer icon for my C: drive
    I hate the "my computer" icon its for (L)Users who don't understand file structure.
    I prefere the old explorer to find my files. The problem is if you create an "explorer.exe" shortcut it always opens to your "my documents" folder.
    Here's how you get it to open to your C: drive...
    Target: C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe /e,C:\
    Start in: %windir%
    Shortcut key: none
    Run: normal window.

    I found the "/e" switch buried in the help file

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tricks and tips in WinXP

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing, guys. There are a lot of things here that I've done for a long time as art of my standard practice, but there are a few here that were new to me.

  5. #5
    Paradox Sausage DaveW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Scotland, UK (NOT England)

    Default Re: Tricks and tips in WinXP

    Indexing the computer is a good turning it off, your computer will have to physically find things on your drive, meaning file fragmentation will become much worse, and locating files on the drive will take longer. I can't go into explaining what it does, but if you have a lot of photos, music, or other small files on your computer, or even larger files that will use a lot of space, you definately won't see a large performance increase by turning this off.

    However, if you have a fast computer with almost nothing on it-say like a workstation-you might see some sort of increase in speed.

    This is theory. In actuallity, Microsoft may have assed up the Index program, thus slowing things down, but this is something i doubt.

    Good tips tho. Best thing i can come up with is to use a partitioning tool to ensure that your OS is on the outside of the HD, reducing arm movements.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdbnsn
    Ideas are just knowledge soaked in alcohol.
    Quote Originally Posted by jdbnsn
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