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How To Speed Up Windows XP

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         Views: 1495
2006-08-16 20:17:10     
Article by T. O' Donnell

The default install of Windows XP includes features and processes most users don't need. If you're involved in gaming or multimedia, and you can't afford a top-of-the-range PC, here are a few tips to get the most out of your machine.

For beginner users:

1. Go to: Start > Control Panel > Display > Settings.
Select: Resolution 800 x 600 pixels and Colour Quality Medium (16 bit).
Click: Apply.
What it does: Reduces system overhead. Less work for your CPU.

2. Go to: Start.
Right click: My Computer.
Select: Properties > 'Advanced' tab > Performance > 'Settings' button > 'Visual effects' tab.
Select: Adjust for best performance.
Click: Apply.
What it does: Removes unimportant cosmetic effects, thereby reducing system overhead.

3. Go to: Start.
Right click: My Computer.
Select: Properties > 'Advanced' tab > Performance > 'Settings' button > 'Advanced' tab.
Select: Processor scheduling > Programs.
Select: Memory usage > Programs.
Click: Apply. What it does: Prioritises _your_ programs over those that XP _thinks_ are important.

4. Go to: Start > Control Panel > Display > Themes.
Select: Windows Classic.
Click: Apply.
What it does: Cleans up the desktop.

5. Go to: Start > Control Panel > Display > Desktop.
Select: Background - None.
Click: Apply.
What it does: Cleans up the desktop.

6. Go to: Start > Control Panel > Display > Appearance.
Select: Windows Classic Style.
Click: Apply.
What it does: Cleans up the desktop.

For Medium Users:

7. Go to: Start.
Right click: My Computer.
Select: Properties > 'Automatic Updates' tab.
Select: Turn off automatic updates.
Click: Apply.
What it does: Stops Microsoft messing with your computer at inconvenient times. You can re-enable this when _you_ feel like an update.

8. Go to: Start > Run.
Type: msconfig
Select: 'Startup' tab.
Action: Untick all boxes, except those you are certain you need to start when XP boots up.
Click: Apply.
What it does: Stops programs starting when XP does. Frees up system resources.

For Advanced users:

9. Run your favourite program.
Click these buttons on your keyboard simultaneously: ctrl + alt + del (Control + Alt + Delete).
Click: 'Processes' tab.
Right click: The process of your favourite program.
Select: Set priority > Realtime.
What it does: Diverts CPU resources to the selected program.

10. Go to: Start > Run.
Type: services.msc
Right click: Any service you are sure you won't need, like 'Automatic Updates', 'Help and Support' or 'Indexing Services'.
Select: Properties > 'General' tab > Startup type > 'Manual' or 'Disabled'.
Click: Apply.
What it does: Stops processes starting when XP does. Frees up system resources.
Warning: Change one setting here a day. Reboot your system after each one. Run your most popular programs. If they're running normally, try disabling another service the next day. This is to make sure you don't turn off something important. If you're not sure, leave them alone.

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