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« Previous12

Red+Windows

Windows XP performance tweaking guide: Registry and Software tweaks by Apostol Lucian

1. Stop 'last access update'

Whenever you access a folder on a NTFS drive, Windows XP updates that folder and all subfolders with a time stamp with the date of last access. Sometimes, this can slower windows performance.

To change this, open REGEDIT ( Start -> Run -> 'regedit' ) and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESSystemCurrentControlSetControlFileSystem
Create a new DWORD value ( right click -> new -> DDWORD Value ) called 'NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate' and set the value to '1?

2. Disable unnecesary naming convention

For each file created, windows xp use one additional name for MSDOS compatibility: 8 character name followed by a .", then 3 characters for the extension.
If you don't intend to use DOS only software, this is waste of memory.

To change this, open REGEDIT
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlFileSystem
Change the value of the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation key to '1?

3. Prevent windows to move operating data on virtual memory

By default, windows xp do periodically checks to move its essential driver and kernel files to the virtual memory ( page file ). This obviously slower performances.
This should be done only if the system is low on physical Memory.

Open REGEDIT.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet001ControlSession ManagerMemory Management.
Select the DisablePagingExecutive value to '1?

4. Disable Performance counters

Windows XP has a performance monitor utility, to track several areas of your PC, including CPU and hard drive. Whenever you do something on your PC, these performance counters tracks everything. These processes from the background makes main processes to run slower.

To change this, you need to download Extensible Performance Counter List utility

First download and install the utility, then run the Exctrlst.exe utility, found in 'c:program filesresource kit'

Select each line in the 'Extensible performance counters' window and clear the 'performance counters enabled' button below. You must do this separately for each counter.

5. Remove page file from system drive

The operating system can use virtual memory when there is more data that can be stored on physical memory. The Virtual memory is on hard drive, this means is slower than standard memory. What we can do to improve performance is to remove the page file from the drive where operating system is installed on, and put it on other drive.

To do this, right click on my computer" and select Properties", Select the 'advanced' tab.
Under 'performance' choose the 'settings' button.
Select the 'advanced' tab again and under 'virtual memory' select 'change.'

You will get a list with all drives, with page file allocated on each.

6. Create a permanent Page file.

Follow the instructions from the previous tip and select the same value for minimum and maximum size. This prevents operating system to resize page file.

7. Optimize your page file size

By default, windows xp select the page file to 150% of physical memory, but if you have more than 512 physical memory, it's hard to believe that your operating system will need that amount of virtual memory. Change your page file to the same value as your physical memory is ( RAM ), but, if you have less than 512, leave it at 150%.
You can do this using the steps at previous tip.

8. Defrag page file with PageDefrag utility

We all know that defragmentint hard drive is a good idea, but windows xp defragmentation utility can't defragment files that are already in use, for example page file ( virtual memory ). For this you can use a freeware tool called Page Defrag
This tool is simply to use, just select all files you want to defragment and press Start.

9. Set priority for important programs

If you are using more applications at the same time, but you focus on a single application, you can change the priority for that application to boost its performances. By default, all applications are set to normal priority level. To change this, press CTR+ALT+Del to open Task Manager and select the application you want to rise the priority. On the right-click menu select Go To Process. Press right click on the proccess and select Set Priority. You will have many proority levels.
The higher you set priority above normal, the more CPU time the program will steal from other applications when you are multitasking.

10. Check your hard drives with scandisk

Defragmenting hard drive can improve performances, but it can't touch bad sectors or lost clusters.

Because of this, it is a good idea to run XP's built in error checking utility on your drives once in a while. This utility will scan your disks for errors and optionally attempt to correct them.

Open 'my computer.'

Right click the hard disk you wish to check and select 'properties.'

Choose the 'tools' tab and under 'error checking' select the 'check now...' button.

Check both options. You will need to restart the computer to do the full disk check.

Your disk will be fully checked for errors upon reboot, but be aware that this can take quite a while.

11. Make Windows to unload DLL files after closing a program

DLL" stand for Dynamic Link Library. DLLs are files that containt data and functions needed by windows. Every piece of windows will require some libraries, and will link to them. For faster access, windows cache the libraries into memory, but after the program that uses them is closed, the memory is not cleared. The following registry tweak will make windows to remove DLL's from memory if they are not used.

To do this run REGEDIT.

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer.

Create a new key named 'AlwaysUnloadDLL' and set the default value to equal '1.'

12. Thaw your desktop

Probably you have experienced at least once Desktop Freezing". You tell windows to do something and everything will move very slow. When this is happening, means that windows need a refresh. Press CTR+ALT+DEL to open task manager. Select Processes" tab, and find explorer.exe", select it and press end process. Without closing task manager, select New Task" from File" menu, and there type explorer.exe". The desktop will load again, without closing any application.

13. Speed up mouse movement

Windows applies an acceleration to the mouse by default. This means when you move the mouse, the pointer will start slowly and accelerates with continual movement. In games you will probably need better speed.

To remove mouse acceleration: open up REGEDIT and navigate to 'hkey_current_usercontrol panelmouse'

Change the value of 'smoothmouseXcurve' to the following:

00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
00,a0,00,00,00,00,00,00
00,40,01,00,00,00,00,00
00,80,02,00,00,00,00,00
00,00,05,00,00,00,00,00

Then change the value of 'SmoothMouseYCurve' to the following:

00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
66,a6,02,00,00,00,00,00
cd,4c,05,00,00,00,00,00
a0,99,0a,00,00,00,00,00
38,33,15,00,00,00,00,00

14. Disable the themes service

If you are not a fan of the appearance of Windows XP, there is an easy way to turn it off and go back to the more sober and traditional Windows style. Simply disable the 'themes' service to restore a classic windows desktop appearance.

To do this, right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage.'

In the computer management windows, expand 'services and applications' and select 'services.'

In the right hand window, highlight the 'themes' service. Right click it and select 'properties.'

In the 'startup type' dropdown box, select 'disabled.'

15. Remove the desktop picture

If you need to have a picture on the desktop, don't do this, but if you choose performance against appearance, you can remove desktop picture which slows windows start-up.

Right click on an open area of the desktop and select 'properties.'

Select the 'desktop' tab and in the 'background' window, highlight 'none.' Press 'ok.' v

Think we're just pulling your leg? Nope, every computer in the PCstats labs that gets tested goes through this same step before we run a single benchmark.

16. Change to the NTFS file system

If you are using Windows XP, is a good idea to change the filesystem for your partitions to NTFS. It will improve security and data security, but also it can improve speed of your system.

If you are using two operating systems, and one of them is Windows 9x/Me or other OS which can't read NTFS, don't change it, else, you don't have any reason to keep your partition to FAT32.

Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'

From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.'

Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information.

Now open a command prompt window by going to 'startrun' and typing 'cmd'

To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs'

So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

17. Perform a manual Application and Boot file Defrag

Windows XP has a feature to defragment application and operating system boot time by moving important files to the edges of hard drive for faster disk access.

Depending on your system, this can give a slight performance boost to data access from the affected drive.

Open command prompt ('start/run' and type 'cmd').

Type 'defrag (drive letter): -b'

The process may take a few minutes to complete.

18. Disable the hibernation feature

Windows XP's hibernation option allows a computer to copy its current memory contents to the hard drive before shutdown, allowing the system to resume operations exactly where it left off when it was powered down. To do this, it reserves space on the hard drive equal to the amount of physical memory present. If you do not plan to use the hibernation feature, you should ensure that it is disabled, or you are wasting disk space.

To disable hibernation:

Go to 'start/control panel/performance and maintenance/power options.'

Go to the 'hibernate' tab and uncheck the 'enable hibernation' check box.

19. Disable automatic sensing on network cards

This tweak may help your performance by reducing occasional 'slowdown' periods of heavy CPU access for no apparent reason. By default, Windows XP automatically assesses the speed of your network card(s) and sets them accordingly. Apparently this process occurs at regular intervals, which can cause your system to slow occasionally. To remedy this, you can manually set the 'media type' of your network card to the correct value.

Right click on 'my computer' and select the 'hardware' tab.

Open 'device manager.'

Find and highlight your network card(s). Right click it and Hit 'properties.'

Go to the 'advanced' tab and highlight 'media type.' In the 'value' drop down box, select the correct speed for your network card. Press 'ok.'

20. Use the prefetch switch to load applications faster

Windows XP's media player has a little extra command included in its shortcut, the '/prefetch:1? switch. This helps the application load slightly faster. You can try out this possible performance boost on other programs by editing the shortcuts to the program in question.

To see an example, right click on windows media player shortcut and select Properties.

It should look like this: C:Program FilesWindows Media Playerwmplayer.exe" /prefetch:1

Right click the shortcut and hit 'properties.'

In the 'target' box, put '/prefetch:1? at the end of the line.

Press 'ok.'

Note that this may cause loading errors in some programs. If it does not work, simply remove the /prefetch:1 entry from the shortcut.

21. Set DMA mode for all drives.

When Windows XP is installed, hard disks and CD drives may occasionally be set to the PIO mode for transferring data, which is slower than the default DMA (Direct Memory Access) mode used by all modern drives. A quick check of your drive settings can find and correct this error, allowing your drives to perform at their maximum.

To check and correct your hard drive and CD drive transfer settings right click 'my computer' and select properties, then the 'hardware tab' then the 'device manager' button.

Expand 'IDE ATAATAPI controllers' highlight 'primary IDE channel' and hit the 'properties' button.

Go to the 'advanced settings' tab, and ensure that the transfer mode is set to 'DMA if available.'

Repeat the above steps for the secondary IDE channel.

22. Do a Windows repair install

If you have serious problems with XP performance, or you get errors, some system files can be damaged.

A repair installation re-writes all essential Windows XP system files and re-detects all hardware without affecting the registry, current desktop settings or user data stored on the hard drive. This is the only way short of a full installation that can recover from errors caused by installing a different motherboard in an XP system, for example.

To perform a repair installation:

Boot the system from your XP CD.

Choose the 'press enter to set up Windows XP now' option.

Press F8 to skip through the EULA (though if you haven't read it before, you should now. See our legal article for details as to why.

Now press R to begin a repair installation.

Your system will go through the entire XP install process, but will not attempt to replace any of your existing data. It will simply reinstall the vital system files, fixing any that are corrupted or missing.

23. Stop hard disks spinning down

By default, windows xp spins down the hard drive after 20 minutes of inactivity to save power. This case cause serious delays if you want to use computer after this amount of time.

To disable hard disks spinning go to 'start/control panel/performance and maintenance/power options.'

Set the 'turn off hard disks' drop down box to 'never.' Click 'ok.'

24. Reduce recycling bin reserved space

By default, Windows XP reserves 10 percent of each hard drive to store deleted files in the recycling bin. This is a bit excessive. Actually it's a lot excessive, unless you habitually delete files a gigabyte in size or more. Fortunately, there is an easy way to reduce the amount of hard disk space that is reserved for the recycling bins on each drive.

Right click on the recycling bin and select 'properties.'

Choose the 'global' tab.

The slider shows the percentage of each drive that is reserved by the recycling bin. Reduce this to a more appropriate amount, like 2-3% or more depending on the size of your drives. The larger the drives, the smaller the number you should use. If you wish to configure each drive independently, check the 'configure drives independently' button and adjust the slider to the desired amount in each of your hard disk's tabs. The advantage to doing things this way instead of using the 'global' setting is that you can see the actual amount of space on each drive that is being reserved.

Note that files larger than the recycling bin's capacity on a given drive are deleted for good. Windows XP will warn you when this condition occurs.

25. Enable write caching on hard disks

Enabling hard drive write caching will make transferring of data between hard drives and memory more efficient. If you have a hot-swappable drive rack, or if you expect your PC to be shut down incorrectly, don't enable it.

To enable write caching right click on my computer and select 'properties.'

Select the hardware tab, then 'device manager.' From the device manager window, expand 'disk drives' and highlight your hard disk. Select 'properties' then the 'policies' tab.

Check the 'enable write caching on the disk' box.

Repeat the above steps for all hard drives in your system.

26. Defragment your hard disk(s)

Probably you heard this many times, and if you don't like to do things that you only hear, i will explain what is happening when you defragment your drives.

When an operating system writes data onto a hard drive, it will generally attempt to place the data on the drive as sequentially as possible, in order to facilitate faster retrieval of the information. Over the operational life of the drive, various factors can cause data to become scattered, or fragmented, over the surface of the drive.

This does not mean it cannot be read, since the file system retains a table which links each cluster (the smallest unit of storage available on a hard drive) of data with the other clusters on the disk that contain data for a particular file.

Fragmentation does slow down drive access considerably though, since the drive has to constantly seek for a new disk location to piece a file it is reading together from the fragmented clusters, rather than just being able to grab it off the disk in one continuous stream of data. Factors that can cause fragmentation include incomplete uninstalls of software, system crashes while the disk is in use, improper shutdown of the operating system, etc.

Defragmentation is the process of reassembling the data on the disk into coherent and sequential order, making disk access easier and faster. If your drive has gone a long while without being defragmented, you may find that this process restores a lot of zip to your Windows install. All recent versions of Windows include a built-in defragmentation utility.

To access this utility in Windows XP, go to 'startprogramsaccessoriessystem toolsdisk defragmenter.'

To begin with, you need to analyze your hard disk(s) to see if defragmentation is needed. Select a drive and hit the 'analyze' button. This could take a little while depending on the amount of data on the drive.

Once the analysis is finished, you will have a graphical representation of your disk's level of fragmentation. See the pic below for an example of a highly fragmented drive (red indicates fragmented files).

Windows will also inform you if it recommends defragmenting the drive. You must have 15% of the drive free in order to fully defragment it. Anything less will result in only a partial re-ordering of the files. You may need to delete a few things to obtain this free space.

To defragment the drive, select it and hit the 'defragment' button. Note that depending on the size of the drive and the level of fragmentation, this can take a long time. It's a good thing to leave overnight, since you should not run anything else while doing the defrag.

27. Turn off the indexing service

Windows XP have a feature to index all the files and directories on your PC. This tool helps when you search for a file on your computer, but if you don't use search a lot you can disable it to improve performance.

To turn off file indexing go to Control PanelAdd/Remove ProgramsWindows Components. and uncheck 'Indexing Service.'

Software guide and tweaks - Find IP address

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Windows-XP-performance-tweaking-guide--Registry-and-Software-tweaks/191905

Red Windows (Iranian 'Mossad Agent': Yes I'm terrorist ? !)

Is there a virus on my computer?

i started up my computer today and there were two red windows security alert shields in the bottom right corner. One disappeared right away almost but the other stayed until i updated my antivirus. So i was wondering if the one that disappeared first was something else?

no i think it was the same thing but as your pc was booting up it put it in the wrong spot and quickly moved it back. sometimes this happens on my dads laptop