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Thread: Boost performance on your Windows XP box.

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Post Boost performance on your Windows XP box.

    Is your WinXP box running slow? I'll give you some information on speeding it up, without upgrading your hardware.

    First things first. Disable any unneeded services:
    Go to Start>>Run, and type in 'services.msc'.
    This will open the Windows Services Manager.

    Now, some services may be stopped, and set to manual...this doesn't give you too much reason to disable it, unless you notice a difference.

    There are many service you can disable, the most prominent being the Indexing Service. This service indexes your harddrive, constantly, keeping a database of all the files on your harddrive. Now unless you are always searching for things, then this is a performance hog.

    Alerter - enables Administrative alerts.....garbage
    Automatic Updates - are you that lazy?
    Error Reporting Service - asks you if you want to send a report to MS...garbage
    Fast User Switching Compatibility - unless you are always switching users, you don't need this...you could actually log off.
    Fax - does anyone use this?
    Help and Support - use this if you need Windows help...otherwise, just use Google.
    Human Interface Device Access - support for keyboard hot buttons, and other such crap
    IMAPI CD Burning COM Service - why use XP's embedded burning when you can use Nero?
    Indexing Service - explained above, garbage. Search will run a bit slower...who cares. Use Google Desktop Search for texts, only runs when PC is idle
    Machine Debug Manager - supports the debuggers in MS Visual Studio apps, disable if you don't use Visual Studio.
    Messenger - this is not Windows Messenger, this is for "net send" on the command line...trash.
    Net Logon - If you aren't on a domain, trash this.
    NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing - Has anyone *ever* used NetMeeting? This may affect Remote Desktop as well, I'm not positive.
    Network Connections - This will make managing the network/dialup difficult for you, but it is a good security measure to disable it on a large network.
    Performance Logs And Alerts - More event logging that is unneeded by 99% of the planet.
    Portable Media Serial Number Service - do you use files with Digital Rights Management? If not, get rid of this. But if you ever have problems burning music, or copying it elsewhere, enable it.
    Remote Desktop Help Sessing Manager - Unless you use Remote Assistance, you don't need this.
    Remote Registry - why would you want people on another PC editing your registry
    Removable Storage - if you don't use USB disks and the like, then get rid of this.
    Secondary Logon - This will not allow you to run executables as another user (Run as...), but you should be an admin already, right?
    Shell Hardware Detection - Used for AutoPlay options...unneeded, quit being so damned lazy!
    Smart Card - if you don't have one, you don't need this
    System Event Notification - why so much damn logging on a Windows box!
    System Restore Service - I guess this depends on how much you screw up the PC. disable this last in case you stop a service you shouldn't have, you can roll back.
    Task Scheduler - Do you use the Task Scheduler...no?!
    Telnet - allows others to logon remotely and run code...why?!
    Themes - This will get rid of many of Window's bells and whistles that make it look pretty....your RAM is at risk!
    Uninterruptable Power Supply - if you don't have a UPS, then toss this.
    Windows Firewall/ICS - If you have a better one (ZoneAlarm, Tiny, Portzilla, etc), then disable this.
    Windows Image Acquisition - to get images from digital cameras and scanners.
    Windows Time - syncs your system time with a server...but you should always change time via BIOS anyways.
    Wireless Zero Configuration - for Wi-Fi access, unneeded if you don't have a wireless network

    Go here for a description for every Windows service - http://www.ss64.com/ntsyntax/services.htmla
    *whew*, that is a long list. alright, that takes care of just about everything.
    a few more, changing the views of many things will help. Less complicated views will allow more RAM for programs. Folder views don't have to be in a web view, nor does Active Desktop need to be enabled.

    Go to Start>>Run, and type 'msconfig'. Click the startup tab, and disable things you don't need. If you don't know what it is, I'd recommend you find out, or leave it alone.

    **** - Spyware, adware, and viruses can be dentrimental to your system's performance, scan weekly.
    Use software such as Ad-Aware regularly. Spybot S&D is a definite complement to Ad-Aware, and allows the immunization of the system.
    http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/ - This is a free online virus scanner, this is arguably the best one out there.

    **** - Defragment your drives, once a month....more often if you are a download-freak.

    **** - Don't use a desktop background....just keep a color, any will do.

    **** - Alternatives to some MS applications can also boost your performance. You can use a low profile browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, if you really want to tweak all performance out of Windows. Using Wordpad in place of Word can make things run quicker when it comes to word processing. This goes the same for smaller media players in place of Windows Media Player.

    Now, this is a relatively comprehensive list. If you have any additions, feel free to post them, PM me to add them, or even just bitch and complain about it...who knows.

    Now, when it comes right down to it, you don't even need sound enabled (another service)...that's disabled by default on Windows Server 2k3.



    Where is TuneUp Utilities 2004 mentioned in your advice?
    Also, any type of tweaking utility could help, providing you know what you are doing.
    Xteq Xsetup
    Tune Up Utilities
    Geek isn't just a four-letter word; it's a six-figure income.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    should'nt this be in tips and tricks form .well no offence ment ,nice post

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    1. Unless you have a laptop, disable powersaving, hibernate and all that (that can also fix instability problems and freezes)
    2. Don't use a screensaver...........use the I/O button on the monitor.
    3. Run it with 512Mb of RAM or better...............that really only applies to people who have bought ex-corporate or bargain basement machines, which frequently ship with a minimum of RAM.
    4. Replace onboard video with a proper video card (that will free up shared RAM and probably look a lot better)

    To be honest, the main reason for tweaking Windows XP is to improve security and stability rather than performance, as such. That said, I do not consider "good housekeeping" to be "tweaking", for example I would consider defragmenting and cleaning out scumware to be housekeeping tasks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    WebClient - also noticed that disabling this caused no loss of functionality (i dont run a webserver though)

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I know I shouldn't open an old thread...(*slaps wrists*), but I've rewritten the tutorial to be a little more user-friendly and more precise.

    Also, the tute is on my wiki now, so anyone can make improvements.


    Geek isn't just a four-letter word; it's a six-figure income.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    One note... I know people who stilll use faxes. Basically, a fax machine is pretty popular when some document that is printed must be sent to someone else ASAP. Sure, you can scan it, add it to an email as attachment and hope the mailbox on the other side can handle attachments and hope it can also handle large emails.
    Still, there are plenty of businesses that still use a fax machine for this purpose. So yes, the fax service should be enabled on those systems. (But I've turned mine off. )

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Messenger - this is not Windows Messenger, this is for "net send" on the command line...trash.
    well without this little peace of trash i would be killed at the office

    well.. in general some advices are nice

    i like to do the registry that puts the MenuShowDelay to 0
    like that u don't wait that little time when u go to programs..
    well it makes a little difference lool...it may be bit annoying if u are not fast enough ! :P

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