99 Performance Tips for Windows XP

via : 99 Performance Tips for Windows XP

Table of Contents
Preparing Your System (1-8) Graphics Performance Tweaks (47-55)
  1. Use ‘whole system’ performance benchmarks
  2. Tweak insurance part 1: backing up and editing the registry
  3. Tweak Insurance part 2: Creating a system restore point
  4. Saving your hard drive space from the system restore utility
  5. Tweak insurance part 3: Restoring BIOS defaults
  6. Tweak insurance part 4: Use hardware profiles to experiment with system settings.
  7. Editing BIOS settings
  8. Editing registry settings without restarting

BIOS tweaks and Insight (9-13)

  1. Change memory Latency times
  2. Set the correct AGP mode
  3. Update your bios
  4. Disable unneeded ports
  5. Disable built-in features on your motherboard

Overclocking your processor and memory (14-16)

  1. Overclocking the memory/front side bus
  2. Changing the CPU multiplier
  3. Modify Processor and memory voltage

WindowsXP Software and Registry Performance Tweaks (17-46)

  1. Stop the ‘last access update’ stamp
  2. Disable the 8.3 naming convention
  3. Keep Windows operating data in main memory
  4. Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware
  5. Disable performance counters
  6. Move the page file from system drive
  7. Create a ‘permanent’ page file
  8. Optimize your page file size
  9. Defrag page file with PageDefrag utility
  10. Set priority for important programs
  11. Check your hard drives with scandisk
  12. Force XP to unload DLL files after closing a program
  13. Thaw out your desktop
  14. Speed up mouse movement, part 1
  15. Speed up mouse movement, part 2
  16. Create a RAID configuration
  17. Disable the themes service
  18. Remove the desktop picture
  19. Change to the NTFS file system
  20. Perform a manual Application and Boot file Defrag
  21. Disable the hibernation feature
  22. Disable automatic sensing on network cards
  23. Use the prefetch switch to load applications faster
  24. Verify DMA mode is set for all drives
  25. Do a windows repair install
  26. Stop hard disks spinning down
  27. Reduce recycling bin reserved space
  28. Enable write caching on hard disks
  29. Defragment your hard disk(s)
  30. Turn off the indexing service
  1. 3d game benchmarks
  2. Change your Monitor’s refresh rate (CRT monitors only)
  3. Fix the refresh rate for 3d games
  4. Enable AGP Master 1WS Write/Read
  5. Enable AGP Fast Write
  6. Set Video Memory Cache Mode
  7. Overclocking ATI video cards
  8. Overclocking Nvidia Video cards
  9. Disable VSYNC

Network and Internet Performance Tweaks (56-66)

  1. Increase maximum number of simultaneous connection in Internet Explorer
  2. b’ devices slow down 802.11g networks
  3. Proprietary modes for wireless networking
  4. Closer is better for wireless
  5. Enhance your Internet connection.
  6. Increase DNS cache size
  7. Disable DHCP with DSL connections
  8. Do not cache failed DNS entries
  9. Use CTRL+ENTER to speed up Internet address entering
  10. Get a faster network connection to Windows 9x/ME computers
  11. Remove the QoS Bandwidth Reserve Setting

WindowsXP User Interface Shortcuts and Hints (67-78)

  1. Create shortcut keys
  2. Create a custom shortcuts toolbar
  3. Using ALT+TAB to switch between applications
  4. Add the address taskbar to desktop
  5. Disable error reporting
  6. Reduce menu delays
  7. Restore the Quick launch bar
  8. Increase desktop graphic performance
  9. Make ‘my computer’ open faster
  10. Remove the need to enter a password to login to XP (be careful!)
  11. Sort out spam
  12. Keyboard shortcuts using the Win Key (ÿ)

Improving Windows XP boot speed (79-94)

  1. Disable floppy drive seek
  2. Set primary display adaptor
  3. Enable quick POST/memory test
  4. Eliminate unwanted programs from boot up
  5. Scan your PC for spyware and Adware
  6. Disable boot virus detection
  7. Change boot sequence.
  8. Disable the XP loading screen
  9. Eliminate unwanted fonts to increase boot speed
  10. Turn off bios disk detection
  11. Use the Bootvis utility
  12. Use the Intel application accelerator
  13. Disable unnecessary services
  14. Disable unneeded devices in device manager
  15. Disable auto detection for empty IDE slots
  16. Reduce wait time after XP boots

Increasing XP shutdown speed (95-99)

  1. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 1
  2. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 2
  3. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 3
  4. Disable the Nvidia driver helper service
  5. Auto kill tasks on shutdown


Page 1: — Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips for Windows XP
Page 2: Preparing your system: Tips 1 – 3
Page 3: Preparing your system: Tips 4 – 5
Page 4: Preparing your system: Tips 6 – 8
Page 5: BIOS Tweaks: Tips 9 – 11
Page 6: BIOS Tweaks: Tips 12 – 14
Page 7: Overclocking Memory / CPU: Tips 15 -16
Page 8: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 17 – 20
Page 9: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 21 – 22
Page 10: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 23 – 25
Page 11: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 26 – 28
Page 12: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 29 – 31
Page 13: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 32 – 35
Page 14: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 36 – 40
Page 15: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 41 – 43
Page 16: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 44 – 45
Page 17: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 46 – 48
Page 18: Video and Graphics Tweaks: Tips 49 – 52
Page 19: Video and Graphics Tweaks: Tips 53 – 54
Page 20: Video and Graphics Tweaks: Tips 55 – 57
Page 21: Network and Internet Speed Tweaks: Tips 58 – 61
Page 22: Network and Internet Speed Tweaks: Tips 62 – 63
Page 23: Network and Internet Speed Tweaks: Tips 64 – 66
Page 24: WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 67 – 69
Page 25: WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 70 – 73
Page 26: WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 74 – 77
Page 27: WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 78 – 81
Page 28: Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 82 – 84
Page 29: Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 85 – 88
Page 30: Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 89 – 91
Page 31: Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 92 – 94
Page 32: Increasing XP shutdown speed: Tips 95 – 99

Increasing XP shutdown speed: Tips 95 – 99

95. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 1

Windows XP

stores a couple of values in its registry which are responsible for determining how long to wait before shutting down (killing) open applications and services once the shutdown command has been given.

By editing these two settings and changing them to lower values, you can considerably decrease the amount of time that Windows XP needs to successfully shut itself down. The first part of this tweak deals with setting the amount of time Windows will take to kill open applications

on shutdown.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\’
Highlight the ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout’ value.
Set it to ‘1000’ (the default should be 20000).
Now highlight the ‘HungAppTimeout’ value
Set it to ‘1000’ also.

96. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 2

The second part of this tip changes the same settings, this time for all users on the system.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop’
Highlight the ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout’ value.
Set it to ‘1000’ (the default should be 20000).
Now highlight the ‘HungAppTimeout’ value.
Set it to ‘1000’ also.

97. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 3

In the third part of this tip, we will alter a second registry setting to decrease the amount of time Windows XP will wait before shutting down active services after receiving a shut down command.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\’

Highlight the value ‘WaitToKillServiceTimeout’

Change this value to ‘1000.’

This should help to considerably speed up the time windows XP takes to shut itself down.

98. Disable the Nvidia driver helper service

This service, included with recent NVIDIA Detonator driver packages, is of indeterminate function. Nothing is found on the NVIDIA site about it, and the only thing that people in the hardware community can seem to agree on is that it can considerably slow down boot up time and especially shutdown time.

Hence, if you do have an Nvidia video card, consider searching for and disabling this service. Chances are it will improve your shutdown times.

To disable the Nvidia Driver Helper service:

Right click on ‘my computer’ and select ‘manage.’

Expand ‘services and applications’ and select ‘services’ to open the services window.

Locate and highlight the ‘Nvidia Driver Helper’ service. Right click it and select ‘properties.’

Set the ‘startup type’ dropdown box to ‘disabled.’ Click ‘ok.’

99. Auto kill tasks on shutdown

By default, Windows XP will prompt the user for input if there are one or more applications which have crashed or are not responding and it receives a shut down command. This halts the shutdown process entirely until the user approves the stopping of the non-responsive app.

By altering the registry slightly, Windows XP can be set to close crashed applications automatically. While this does not technically speed up the shut down process, it does streamline it, and ensure that the user will not give the shutdown command then get up and leave, only to find the PC still powered on because Windows never received input on what to do with a hung application.

To allow Windows XP to close non-responsive applications automatically upon shutdown:

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop’

Highlight the value ‘AutoEndTasks.’

Change the value to ‘1’

XP will now be able to close hung applications without user input during the shutdown process.

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