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Tweaking Windows XP to run really fast

20 years 5 months ago #2143 by sahirh
I thought I'd share some Windows XP optimization tips with you guys. I've spent a lot of time and done a lot of research on trying to get XP to run really snappily... and I'd say I've managed fairly well, the specs of my machine are :

AMD Athlon 1 gigahertz
256 MB RAM
Voodoo 3 3000

I can get XP to boot completely (till zero hard disk activity) in ~30 seconds, not taking into account the amount of time it takes me to type my 15 character password ;). I'm posting a couple of screenshots of task manager just after booting, as well as services.msc where just about everything is turned off. Keep in mind that this system still does everything ... it is not crippled in any way whatsoever. Its just that Microsoft has a policy of turning everything on by default.

Here is task manager just after booting, as you can see I run the bare minimum... the only apps that start are zonalarm, norton antivirus, and DUmeter (to monitor dial-up time ;))

Here are the services that start automatically, I allow my self the luxury of stylexp, it takes about 230k in memory and adds negligible overhead.

Heres the huge list of disabled services. The reason I disable them is because if they're on manual, they will just start up anyway. Disabling is the best way to make sure they just don't start. You might want to keep the print spooler and a couple of others on automatic or manual.

Here are the list of manual startup services. I'm not sure what a couple of them do, so I just leave em on manual.. rest assured once I figure that they're not needed, they'll be disabled as well.

Other tips :

1.Defrag regularly with Diskeeper ( ).

2.Turn off the XP visual styles if you don't really need them (and are not enchanted by them).

3.Turn off system restore. This is a resource hog, but some people feel safer with it on.

4.Turn off windows file protection. This is another resource hog that runs in the background monitoring system files.. honestly, its meant for idiots who run around trying to delete explorer.exe and suchlike.. it also uses a whole ton of space to store the safe versions of the files.

5. Run the minimum number of startup programs possible.. this is where most people lose out, their system starts with a hundred little things in the system tray.. do you really need winamp
agent to 'preserve your file associations' ?

6. Set your screen resolution to something where you get a nice high refresh rate like 75-85 hertz. This will make the display draw quicker and feel snappier. THe option is in display properties >> settings >> advanced >> monitor.

Use the services list as a blueprint for your machine.. what works for me may not work for you.. i dont need file sharing, and a number of other things. I would recommend you learn what you're turning off before actually disabling it as something might break. If you're not sure.. turn one thing off, reboot and use the machine.. see that everythings okay.

Theres a list of services and what they do at however I think that site is too cautious in what they advocate.. there is far more stuff that can go. Once you're done turning things off, you'll realise how fast XP really is.

Post your own little tweaks as well.

Hehe I love long posts !

Sahir Hidayatullah. Staff - Associate Editor & Security Advisor
20 years 5 months ago #2146 by Chris
Replied by Chris on topic !
I noticed you have disabled the automatic updates!

That is so inconsiderate of you Sahir.... How is Microsoft going to track what your doing on your workstation? :)

Honestly, thanks for the thread, I think its one of them threads most of us can use to guide us into tweaking our pc's properly!

Thumbs up for Sahir!

p.s I can't give more than a thumb up cause I'm half asleep :)

Chris Partsenidis.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
20 years 5 months ago #2148 by sahirh

I noticed you have disabled the automatic updates!

<sahirh> Oh I keep that damn #&*($@ service off because it allows Microsoft to track and...

<Microsoft AgentXP> All your XP are belong to us... resistance is futile... product activation.. licensing.... automatic update are your friends.....

<> *blink blink* Oh dear ! My automatic updater is OFF ? I must turn it on again ! How else will I keep my Windows XP box secure and safe from those mean hacker evil-doers... I must allow Uncle Bill to save me from them.. trustworthy computing is gooooood..... goooooood *drools*..

<Microsoft AgentXP> Deltree D:\Linux Stuff

<> Hey guys, Lets stop using this forum, MSN messenger comes free with evvvvery new copy of windows, and it has better smileys... I'm outta here, gotta check my hotmail... oh yeah, don't forget :
"Never give out your password or credit card number in an instant message conversation". I learned that from Uncle Bill himself !

Lol Chris, my iridium world time clock showed me its around 6:30 or so where you are.. you're even crazier than me ! Actually on rereading my post... I am forced to disagree with myself... I am crazier than you.

Sahir Hidayatullah. Staff - Associate Editor & Security Advisor
20 years 5 months ago #2150 by sahirh
An interesting observation.. considering BillG is the worlds richest man, he has a really bad barber doesn't he ?

No no, Linux does not bother me.....
If I give a goofy grin maybe nobody will notice the damn thing has crashed !
Look Ma, misaligned smile !
Would you like this man to tell you where you want to go today ?

Sahir Hidayatullah. Staff - Associate Editor & Security Advisor
20 years 5 months ago #2151 by Chris
Hahahahhahhaha your a nutcase :lol:

Its 7:41am right now... people are going to start coming into the office again so I better go off to the toilet and fix my hair:)

Chris Partsenidis.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
20 years 5 months ago #2215 by tfs
I don't know ?

Would you trust


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