13 May 2008

Windows XP Tips 1

Ok..this must have been a lame post to most computer users, but it would be useful for references and knowledge for users who still doesn't know how to upgrade their Windows to a higher level...(no..i'm not talking about Vista..haha)

  • Disk Defragmenter

  • Usually, most people uses the disk defragmenter. It picks up the scrambled data in your hard disk drives and puts them neatly into place next to one another. But I don't recommend users to use the file defragmenter that comes with the windows installation. I suggest you to use some of the open source software that you can easily find on the internet. Some of them are Diskeeper, Defraggler, Ultradefrag and lots more :

  • Make sure that your XP uses NTFS

  • NTFS = New Technology File System is the standard file system of Windows NT, including its later versions Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista.

    If you're not sure about your current file system, double-click on the the My Computer icon, right-click on your C: drive or your system files partition and choose Properties. Then, check your File System. If it is stated FAT32, backup all your important files.

    Start > Run > 'cmd' (without the apostrophes) and click OK. On the command prompt, type 'C: /FS:NTFS' and push Enter.
    The process is going to take a while so make sure that your PC@laptop is safe from viruses or any other interference. NTFS has higher security, can be trusted and it is effecient if you're using bigger hard disk drives.

  • Empty your Windows Prefetch folder

  • Delete everything in your Prefetch folder every 3 months or more frequently. Prefetches can increase the loading speed when needed by the user, but when time went over (dari masa ke semasa), this folder will be packed with temporary files and unused applications that you don't want to use anymore. Its complications are XP will took alot of time and the system will be slower because the temp files have to be loaded again and again. The data in the folder is not critical so users can delete it all.


  • Get rid of spywares in your PC@laptop

  • This process can be automatically done using some of the free software that can remove this type of applications. Make sure you have downloaded all the updates that the spyware remover need.

    AdAware by Lavasoft.
    SpyBot Search & Destroy by Safer-Networking.

  • Disable Indexing Service

  • The Indexing Service in Windows XP indexes your files presumably to shorten the time needed to search your hard drive if you are looking for a specific file or part of a phrase inside a file.

    Tweak - To disable the Indexing Service go into "My Computer", right click on all your hard drive partitions one at a time, left click "Properties". Uncheck "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching". Select "Apply changes to subfolders and files". If any files can not be updated select "Ignore All".

    p/s: It might take some time though...

  • Disable Windows XP Sounds

  • Having sound effects set for common Windows XP tasks slows your system down.

    Tweak - To disable all Windows XP task sounds go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, click on the "Sounds" Tab, under "Sound Scheme" select "No Sounds".

  • Reduce Recycling Bin Drive Space Usage

  • In Windows XP the Recycle Bin is set at default to reserve 10% of your hard drive, this can be a big waste of drive space.

    Tweak - To change the Recycling Bin Size, right-click on the "Recycle Bin", left-click on "Properties", click on the "Global" Tab, select "Use one setting for all drives". Move the slider to "3%".

  • Set A Static Virtual Page File Size

  • Virtual Memory acts like a second source of RAM. When you run low on Physical RAM your PC uses an allocated space on your hard drive to increase memory. Virtual Memory is much slower than Physical RAM. Windows XP is set to use a dynamic Page File that will resize during system operation consuming resources. A good rule of thumb is to set the minimum and maximum to 1.5 times the amount of Physical RAM you have. This works well as long as the 1.5 total is not greater than 256MBs. Any larger and it might even slow your system down. If you have over 256MB of RAM set the page file to 256MB.

    Tweak - Go to "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", "System", "Advanced" Tab, in the "Performance" section click the "Settings" button, "Advanced" Tab, in the "Virtual Memory" section click the "Change" button, change the "Initial Size" and "Maximum Size" to the same size then click the "Set" button and "OK".

  • Improve Windows XP Performance

  • Default Windows XP visual settings may look nice but they slow down system responsiveness. Here is how to keep the "look" of Windows XP while losing the sluggish feel.

    Tweak - Go to "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", "System", "Advanced" tab, in the "Performance" section click the "Settings" button. Leave only the following checked:
    [*] Show shadows under menus
    [*] Show shadows under mouse pointer
    [*] Show translucent selection rectangle
    [*] Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop
    [*] Use visual styles on windows and buttons
    Then click "Apply" and "OK"

  • Uninstall Useless Windows Components

  • Windows XP installs some components by default that are not needed.

    Tweak - Go to "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", "Add or Remove Programs", click on "Add/Remove Windows Components", uncheck:
    _ Indexing Service
    _ MSN Explorer
    Then click "Next" and "Finished".

    Note - If you use MSN as your ISP leave "MSN Explorer" checked.

  • Reduce System Restore Drive Space Usage

  • System Restore creates periodic snapshots of your critical system files (like the registry files, COM+ database, user profiles, and such) and stores them as a "restore point." In case something goes wrong with your system you can revert back to a previous working state. The default size that System Restore can take up can be quite large.

    Tweak - Go to "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", "System", "System Restore" Tab, for each drive partition highlight it then click the "Settings" button, under "Drive Space Usage" adjust the slider so System Restore is only using roughly 500MB of disk space per partition and click "OK".

    Well, there's lots more of it, I'll update it eventually. Probably, in the next post, I'll explain more about Windows Registry tweaks...



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