Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Ways to Speed Windows XP, Not only Defrag

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

* 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 deframenter works just fine -- and instead equip the computer with an Ultra-133 or Serial ATA hard drive with 8-MB cache buffer.

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

* 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-clickv 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.

* 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 use can search for a word, phrase, or property inside a document, should they have hundres or thousands of documents and not know the file name of the documents 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 Operating System 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.

* 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.

* 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 preferences 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.

* 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 butoon -- it's just to the right of the capacity pie graph -- and delete all temporary files.

* 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.

* 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 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.

* 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.

* 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 Windoes starts. Unsure what some items are? Visit the WinTasks Process Library. It contains known system processes, application, as well as spyware references and explanations. Or quickly identify them by searching for the filenames using Google or another Web search engine.

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

* 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 athe reliabitility of the computer -- only its responsiveness.

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

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

* 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.

* 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.

* Do not partition the hard drive. Windows XP's NTFS file system runs more efficiently on one large partition, and a reformat is never necessary to reinstall all operating system. The same excuses people offer for using partitions apply to using a folder instead. For example, instead of puttung all you 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* If you're sick of a single Windows Explorer window crashing and then taking the rest of your Operating System 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.

* 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.

Good luck!

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2 Answers

How to defrag my laptop?


I would download Advanced System Care from iobit.com. It is a free programme and works.

Oct 15, 2014 | Dell Inspiron Computers & Internet

1 Answer

how can i defrag my dell optiplex 380


Here's how you can defragment your disk:

Windows Vista, 7:

  1. Open Disk Defragmenter by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type Disk Defragmenter, and then, in the list of results, click Disk Defragmenter.
  2. Under Current status, select the disk you want to defragment.
  3. To determine if the disk needs to be defragmented or not, click Analyze disk. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    Once Windows is finished analyzing the disk, you can check the percentage of fragmentation on the disk in the Last Run column. If the number is above 10%, you should defragment the disk.
  4. Click Defragment disk. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Disk Defragmenter might take from several minutes to a few hours to finish, depending on the size and degree of fragmentation of your hard disk. You can still use your computer during the defragmentation process.

Windows XP:

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Right-click the local disk volume that you want to defragment, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Tools tab, click Defragment Now.
  4. Click Defragment.
For more information refer to these links:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-in/windows/improve-performance-defragmenting-hard-disk#1TC=windows-7
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314848

GuruAid.com

May 18, 2014 | Dell OptiPlex Computers & Internet

1 Answer

Dear Sir/Madam I want to know how to delete Norton from my computer, I don;t have a manual for it, can you help me? I tryed to delete it but it would not,


good day,

to install the norton, goto start, right-click, goto settings, double-click software, see the list of all the installed programs, look for Norton and uninstall it.Now reboot and it should be gone. Maybe you want to run a defrag to enhance the disk speed now(see explorer, right-click on the harddrive(s) ( C: ; D: etc) goto properties, choose defrag, analyse and defrag i the volumes, this will free up some space and enhance harddisk performance.

Good Luck

Sep 29, 2009 | Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

1 Answer

after uninstalling Office 2007 it takes 4 minutes for windows XP to start.


Office 2007 takes up a pretty good chunk of hard disk. Try running the disk cleanup option under your performance & maintence tab of the control panel. Once you have done this then run a system defrag. Once these tasks have completed you should see some improvement in your system. Hope this helps.

Aug 11, 2009 | Computers & Internet

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