Friday, January 23, 2009

Optimize Your Windows XP PC

The common trouble among the Windows users is nothing but indolence of the operating system irrespective of the version they use. It may be Windows 2000 or XP or even it may be any flavor of Windows Vista. Sometimes the Operating system may be slow because of the hardware that has been used but I am gonna write down few common problems and few optimization stuffs which users are negligent about that may slow the system down. This article has got nothing to do with hardware optimization like installing more RAM, using RAID disks etc....

1. Pause unwanted windows services: Windows runs lot of services which may not be useful to a normal user. Some example of such services are
• Messenger
• Remote Desktop sharing
• Wireless Zero Configuration service (may not be useless if you dont use any wifi connectivity in your PC) .
• WMI Performance Adapter.
• Automatic Updates
• Background Intelligent Transfer Service
• ClipBook etc
Type services.msc in your Windows -> Run and find the list of services running in your PC. One can google about this topic to know which is not necessary.

2. Page file Optimization: Optimizing page file is very important if you have low disk space and RAM to give the optimum performance. Windows handles Virtual Memory by a technique called Swap in Swap Out data with RAM by placing a file called pagefile.sys. Windows places the page file in the root of your c: drive which is 1.5 times the amount of installed RAM. The optimization tips for pagefile is as follows,
• Never make the size of pagefile less than the size of your RAM
• If the drive contains pagefile.sys is your primary partition the move the same to other drive which has got enough space.
• Dont place the pagefile in USB which makes things much slower.
• If the partition that holds pagefile.sys is formatted with NTFS then it will give a slightly better performance.

3. Remove Indexing: File indexing is one such service that will eat lot of memory in your computer. This service is used to index the files stored in your hard disk drive to enable faster file searching. The service can be disabled by doing a right click on c: drive and uncheck the checkbox "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching"

4. Delete temporary files: Clean the cache, prefetch and temporary files periodically to keep up your system performance. Use some nice freeware tools like CCCleaner or cleanup

5. Defragment your hard disk: To speed up your file access, windows startup and shutdown defragmentation is so important which will rearrange the files on your hard disk on contiguous locations for faster access. Click Start, select Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click Disk Defragmenter to defragement your drive.

6. Uninstall unnecessary programs: Remove all the unwanted programs and remove any unwanted programs from startup. Type msconfig in your start menu -> run and then select startup and remove unwanted programs from your startup list. For windows 2000 'msconfig' will not work and you need to go for tweak tools.

7. Keep your system fresh with Antivirus: Install a effective anti-virus software and keep your system clean from virus, malwares and adwares.
The above points are not the only way to speed up your windows operating system instead they are the basic optimization steps which will keep you out of frustration. There are few other windows xp optimization stuffs but it will put the user in trouble if not done in the right way.

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