My computer is slow. I need help to make it faster. Are there are steps to do that? Please help.
Sara from Wausau, WI
Making XP work at its best! I found this post on a site that I am a member of. I hope this will be of some help.;
The following reads:
OK people this is something I ran into a few moments ago. I gave it a shot and my POS Toshiba runs a little better.
DISABLE INDEXING SERVICES
Indexing Services is a small little program that uses large amounts of RAM and can often make a computer endlessly loud and noisy. This system process indexes and updates lists of all the files that are on your computer. It does this so that when you do a search for something on your computer, it will search faster by scanning the index lists. If you don't search your computer often, or even if you do search often, this system service is completely unnecessary. To disable do the following:
OPTIMISE DISPLAY SETTINGS
Windows XP can look sexy, but displaying all the visual items can waste system resources.
DISABLE PERFORMANCE COUNTERS
Windows XP has a performance monitor utility which monitors several areas of your PC's performance. These utilities take up system resources so disabling is a good idea.
SPEEDUP FOLDER BROWSING
You may have noticed that everytime you open my computer to browse folders that there is a slight delay. This is because Windows XP automatically searches for network files and printers everytime you open Windows Explorer. To fix this and to increase browsing significantly:
IMPROVE MEMORY USAGE
Cacheman Improves the performance of your computer by optimizing the disk cache, memory and a number of other settings.
OPTIMISE YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION
There are lots of ways to do this, but by far the easiest is to run TCP/IP Optimizer.
OPTIMISE YOUR PAGEFILE
If you give your pagefile a fixed size it saves the operating system from needing to resize the page file.
Windows XP sizes the page file to about 1.5X the amount of actual physical memory by default. While this is good for systems with smaller amounts of memory (under 512MB) it is unlikely that a typical XP desktop system will ever need 1.5 X 512MB or more of virtual memory. If you have less than 512MB of memory, leave the page file at its default size. If you have 512MB or more, change the ratio to 1:1 page file size to physical memory size.
RUN BOOTVIS - IMPROVE BOOT TIMES download from (www.majorgeeks.com)
BootVis will significantly improve boot times
REMOVE THE DESKTOP PICTURE
Your desktop background consumes a fair amount of memory and can slow the loading time of your system. Removing it will improve performance.
REMOVE FONTS FOR SPEED
Fonts, especially TrueType fonts, use quite a bit of system resources. For optimal performance, trim your fonts down to just those that you need to use on a daily basis and fonts that applications may require.
DISABLE UNNECESSARY SERVICES
Because Windows XP has to be all things to all people it has many services running that take up system resources that you will never need. Below is a list of services that can be disabled on most machines:
To disable these services:
Go to Start and then Run and type "services.msc"
Doubleclick on the service you want to change. Change the startup type to 'Disable"
TURN OFF SYSTEM RESTORE
System Restore can be a useful if your computer is having problems, however storing all the restore points can literally take up Gigabytes of space on your hard drive. To turn off System Restore:
DEFRAGMENT YOUR PAGEFILE
Keeping your pagefile defragmented can provide a major performance boost. One of the best ways of doing this is to create a separate partition on your hard drive just for your page file, so that it doesn't get impacted by normal disk usage. Another way of keeping your pagefile defragmented is to run PageDefrag. This cool little app can be used to defrag your pagefile, and can also be set to defrag the pagefile everytime your PC starts. To install:
SPEEDUP FOLDER ACCESS - DISABLE LAST ACCESS UPDATE
If you have a lot of folders and subdirectories on your computer, when you access a directory XP wastes a lot of time updating the time stamp showing the last access time for that directory and for ALL sub directories. To stop XP doing this you need to edit the registry. If you are uncomfortable doing this then please do not attempt.
DISABLE SYSTEM SOUNDS
Surprisingly, the beeps that your computer makes for various system sounds can slow it down, particularly at startup and shut-down. To fix this turn off the system sounds:
IMPROVE BOOT TIMES
A great new feature in Microsoft Windows XP is the ability to do a boot defragment. This places all boot files next to each other on the disk to allow for faster booting. By default this option in enables, but on some builds it is not; so below is how to turn it on.
IMPROVE SWAPFILE PERFORMANCE
If you have more than 256MB of RAM this tweak will considerably improve your performance. It basically makes sure that your PC uses every last drop of memory (faster than swap file) before it starts using the swap file.
MAKE YOUR MENUS LOAD FASTER
This is one of my favourite tweaks as it makes a huge difference to how fast your machine will 'feel'. What this tweak does is remove the slight delay between clicking on a menu and XP displaying the menu.
MAKE PROGRAMS LOAD FASTER
This little tweak tends to work for most programs. If your program doesn't load properly just undo the change. For any program:
Voila - your programs will now load faster.
IMPROVE XP SHUTDOWN SPEED
This tweak reduces the time XP waits before automatically closing any running programs when you give it the command to shutdown.
SPEED UP BOOT TIMES I
This tweak works by creating a batch file to clear the temp and history folders everytime you shutdown so that your PC doesn't waste time checking these folders the next time it boots. It's quite simple to implement:
RD /S /q "C:\Documents and Settings\"UserName without quotes"\Local Settings\History"
RD /S /q "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Local Settings\History"
RD /S /q "D:\Temp\ Deletes temp folder, type in the location of your temp folder"
SPEED UP BOOT TIMES II
When your PC starts it usually looks for any bootable media in any floppy or cd-rom drives you have installed before it gets around to loading the Operating System from the HDD. This can waste valuable time. To fix this we need to make some changes to the Bios.
Note: Once this change has been made, you won't be able to boot from a floppy disc or a CD-rom. If for some strange reason you need to do this in the future, just go back into your bios, repeat the steps above and put your floppy or CD-rom back as the 'First Device'
SPEED UP BOOT TIMES III
When your computer boots up it usually has to check with the network to see what IP addresses are free and then it grabs one of these. By configuring a manually assigned IP address your boot time will improve. To do this do the following:
FREE UP MEMORY
I found this useful app via FixMyXP. ClearMem is an excellent tool for speeding up your XP computer (especially if your system has been on for awhile and you have a lot of applications open). What it does, is it forces pages out of physical memory and reduces the size of running processes if working sets to a minimum. When you run this tool, the system pauses because of excessive high-priority activity associated with trimming the working sets. To run this tool, your paging file must be at least as large as physical memory. To Check your Paging File:
ENSURE XP IS USING DMA MODE
XP enables DMA for Hard-Drives and CD-Roms by default on most ATA or ATAPI (IDE) devices. However, sometimes computers switch to PIO mode which is slower for data transfer - a typical reason is because of a virus. To ensure that your machine is using DMA:
ADD CORRECT NETWORK CARD SETTINGS
Some machines suffer from jerky graphics or high CPU usage even when a machine is idle. A possible solution for this, which, can also can help network performance is to:
REMOVE ANNOYING DELETE CONFIRMATION MESSAGES
Although not strictly a performance tweak I love this fix as it makes my machine 'feel' faster. I hate the annoying 'are you sure?' messages that XP displays, especially if I have to use a laptop touchpad to close them. To remove these messages:
DISABLE PREFETCH ON LOW MEMORY SYSTEMS
Prefetch is designed to speed up program launching by preloading programs into memory - not a good idea if memory is in short supply, as it can make programs hang. To disable prefetch:
By Boop 1
We have found out that a lot of pictures really slows down a computer a lot! And I'm sure a lot of music would too. I think it's been mentioned to burn your pictures and music to CD, and clear off your PC of all pics and music afterward, you'll really notice a big difference. (11/18/2008)
Since I'm severely visually "challenged" and can't really enjoy the images, I have no "wallpaper" on my desktop. I know that saves at least a little RAM. I left the screen-saver image, though; I *can* see the "Mystique" thingie's movement, and enjoy it.
I'm fairly tech-savvy, but not really advanced, so none of the really advanced stuff would be in my range of expertise. I do, however, regularly run the Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter utilities to free up RAM. I also regularly clear out my Internet Explorer history and temporary files. I leave the cookies and passwords only; that way I don't have to struggle to remember them afterward, lol!
Last, but not least, I hope you've got a good virus scanner; this machine came with AVG Professional, although I may be forced to resort to the free version next year to save money. Even if you have to go with the free version, AVG is one of the best virus scanning programs out there. (11/19/2008)
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