Speed up OS

Posted on 2004-11-30
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
Hi all ,
Can you give me some URL describing about how to speed up your OS , about Hyper Threading , DMA , Cache ... ?
Question by:clbit-org
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    For starters, increasing ram can help alot.
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    What are your system specs?
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    LVL 22

    Expert Comment


    Accepted Solution

    I'm going to assume you have XP.  Please let me otherwise.  I will paste all the information I have from a document I found.  I'd suggest copying and pasting this into a document.  All, I have implemented all these tweaks and have found them very useful in improving performance.  It has the obvious such as turning off un-needed services but also registry changes.  Make sure you back up your registry before implementing the following:

    1. Turn off unneeded services and save 25-30 meg of ram
    Also see option 2 in Windows NT and option 2 in Windows 2000 (very detailed list) as they also apply to XP.  Before we go on one point to remember is that by changing the Startup Type of services to Manual, Windows can still start the service if it's needed.

    - Alerter (disabled)
    Notifies selected users and computers of administrative alerts
    - Application Layer Gateway Service
    Only if firewll is not used
    - Application Management
    - Background Intelligent Transfer Service
    - ClipBook
    - COM+ System Application
    - Computer Browser
    - Cryptographic Services (disabled)
    Provides key management services for this computer
    - Distributed Link Tracking Client
    - Distributed Transaction Coordinator
    - Error Reporting Service
    - Event Log (disabled)
    Logs event messages issued by programs and Windows. Event Log reports contain information that can be useful in diagnosing problems. Reports are viewed in Event Viewer
    - Fast User Switching Compatibility
    Only if fast user shiching is not used or the machine have one user only
    - Help and Support
    - Human Interface Device Access (disabled)
    Provides generic input access to Human Interface Devices
    - IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service
    only if do you not use the cd-rw xp record suport
    - Indexing Service
    - Internet Connection Firewall
    - IPSEC Services
    - Local System (disabled)
    Don't disable if you use encrypted NTFS
    - Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service
    - Messenger (disabled)
    Sends and receives messages transmitted by administrators or by the Alerter service
    - MS Software Shadow Copy Provider
    - NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
    - Network DDE
    - Network DDE DSDM
    - Network Location Awareness (NLA)
    - NT LM Security Support Provider
    - Performance Logs and Alerts
    - Portable media serial number (disabled)
    Retrieves the serial number of any portable music player connected to your computer
    - Print Spooler
    Only if the pc do not have or use a printer
    - Protected Storage
    - QoS RSVP
    - Remote Registry (disabled)
    Allows remote registry manipulation
    - Remote Desktop Help Session Manager
    - Routing and Remote Access (disabled)
    Offers routing services to businesses in local area and wide area network environments
    - Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator
    - Removable Storage
    - Secondary Logon (disabled)
    Allows users to run under an alternate set of credentials.
    - Server
    - Smart Card
    - Smart Card Helper
    - SSDP Discovery Service (disabled)
    Enables discovery of UPnP devices on your home network.
    - System Restore Service
    - TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
    - Task Scheduler
    - Telnet
    - Terminal Services (disabled)
    Provides a multisession environment that allows client devices to access a virtual Windows 2000 Professional desktop session and Windows-based programs running on the server.
    - Themes
    - Uninterruptible Power Supply
    - Universal Plug and Play Device Host
    - Volume Shadow Copy
    - Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)
    - Windows Installer
    - Windows Management Instrumentation Driver Extensions
    - Windows Time
    - Wireless Zero Configuration service (disabled)
    Provides automatic configuration for the 802.11 adapters,,Disabled,Local System
    - WMI Performance Adapter

    2. Uninstall unwanted components
    It seems that some components in Windows XP can't be uninstalled. Well they can. Use this trick to uninstall MSN Messenger, MSN Explorer and Microsoft Games. First, make a copy of sysoc.inf
    found on the hard disk at \windpws\inf\sysoc.inf before proceeding so that you can restore the initial configuration if necessary.  Give the copy a different name, such as sysoc2.inf.

    Open the Sysoc.inf file. Each line of text in the file represents a component that can be displayed in the Add/Remove Windows Components dialog. Delete the word HIDE for any component that you want to see in the dialog (do not erase the commas). Save the Sysoc.inf file, then close it, and reboot your computer.  The Add/Remove Windows Components dialog will now display the items you want.

    3. Speed up Internet Explorer 6 Favorites
    For some reason, the Favorites menu in IE 6 seems to slow down dramatically sometimes.  I've noticed this happens when you install Tweak UI 1.33, for example, and when you use the preview tip to speed up the Start menu. But here's a fix for the problem that does work, though it's unclear why.  Just open a command line window (Start button -> Run -> cmd) and type sfc, then hit ENTER. This command line runs the System File Checker, which performs a number of services, all of which are completely unrelated to IE 6. But there you go: It works.

    4. Remove the Shared Documents folders from My Computer
    One of the most annoying things about the new Windows XP user interface is that Microsoft saw fit to provide links to all of the Shared Documents folders on your system, right at the top of the My Computer window. I can't imagine why this would be the default, even in a shared PC environment at home.

    Simply fire up the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\My Computer\NameSpace\DelegateFolders\{59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}"(Default)"=dword:00000

    Change the end to read 00000
    If you do this, all of the Shared Documents folders (which are normally under the group called "Other Files Stored on This Computer") will be gone.

    5. Sort the default My Documents folders out
    Microsoft Windows XP uses a lot of folders for each user.  Everything from  "My video" to your personal documents folder.  Below is where you can view the locations of these folders and can change them.

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
    Right click on the folders and select Modify.  Change the path to a new path if you want to change the path.

    Delete My EBooks and other special folders in My Documents
    Click Start, then Run and type: regsvr32 /u mydocs.dll
    then delete them

    6. Do an unattended installation
    The Windows XP Setup routine is much nicer than that in Windows 2000 or Windows Me, but it's still an hour-long process that forces you to sit in front of your computer for an hour, answering dialog boxes and typing in product keys. But Windows XP picks up one of the more useful features from Windows 2000, the ability to do an unattended installation, so you can simply prepare a script that will answer all those dialogs for you.  If you want to dual-boot Windows XP with another OS, you're going to have to go through the interactive Setup just like everyone else: An unattended install will wipe out your hard drive and install only Windows XP, usually.

    To perform an unattended installation, you just need to work with the Setup Manager, which is located on the Windows XP CD-ROM in D:\SupportTools\DEPLOY.CAB by default.  Extract the contents of this file and you'll find a number of useful tools and help files; the one we're interested in is named setupmgr.exe. This is a very simple wizard application that will walk you through the process of creating an answer file called winnt.sif that can be used to guide Windows XP Setup through the unattended installation.

    One final tip.  There's one thing that Setup Manager doesn't add.  Your product key. However, you can add this to the unattend.txt file manually. Simply open the file in Notepad and add the following line under the [UserData] section:

    You'll have to substitute your actual product key for the string listed above, of course.

    Then, just copy winnt.sif to a floppy, put your Windows XP CD-ROM in the CD drive, and reboot: When the CD auto-boots, it will look for the unattend.txt file in A: automatically, and use it to answer the Setup questions if it's there.
    Finally, please remember that this will wipe out your system! Back up first, and spend some time with the help files in DEPLOY.CAB before proceeding.

    7. XP product activation
    Microsoft believes that the activation process is solid, and will work in this situation so that you will not be left stranded at all. But, suppose you don’t have a working phone line where you are, so that both telephone and modem contact are unavailable to you, and you really need to get your computer up and running now!  There’s a fix you can do on the spot. It involves backing out of the last hardware change, and restoring the hardware configuration to the way it was when you activated, or close enough to that. Here’s how to do it:

    - Boot Windows XP into non-networked Safe Mode.
    - Press and hold the F8 key right after the POST is finished, and selecting the correct option from a menu.
    - At the command prompt, navigate to the System32 folder: cd \windows\system32
    - Backup the file WPA.DBL - rename it something like OLDWPA.DBL; do not name it WPA.BAK.
    - Copy the file WPA.BAK to WPA.DBL. - copy and not rename because you may want WPA.BAK file another time.
    - Reboot the computer. It should load Windows XP in normal mode, and you’re back in business.

    Here's how to check if your copy of XP is Activated
    Go to the run box and type in oobe/msoobe /a and hit ok ...theirs your answer

    Avoid XP Registration
    To avoid registering your copy of Windows XP with Microsoft altogether, and to force XP into thinking you have already completed the registration process, just follow these steps:

    - Physically disconnect/unplug your network cable/connection (if any).
    - Turn on (power up) your computer.
    - Start WinXP Setup and answer NO when asked to use Windows Dynamic Update, which would (if enabled) connect to the Microsoft web site for registering purpose.
    - If you are installing XP unattended (automatic Setup), you MUST add/modify your Unattend.txt "DisableDynamicUpdates" line under the [Unattended] section to read:
    - Right after your XP installation is completed, either: reboot to Safe mode, or
    avoid setting up your Internet connection when asked to, upon the first reboot. Click Next or Skip instead. At this point the Internet Connection Wizard will eventually crash, after clicking the Next button, but don't worry, everything is cool

    Click the Start button -> select the Run box -> type:
    regsrv32 -u regwizc.dll

    Click OK or hit Enter. Then click OK or hit Enter again to close the following confirmation dialog box, which unregisters this DLL, thus making it "invisible" to Windows.
    Optionally, you can also rename BOTH your Regwizc.dll files located in %systemroot%\System32 and %systemroot%\System32\Dllcache to something else (i.e. Regwizc.dlx), to avoid having to repeat these annoying steps all over again, whenever you install a Windows component/patch/update/etc that might re-register (reenable) Regwizc.dll, which would force WinXP to register with MS in the future, without your permission.

    Run Regedit and go to:

    Right-click on the "RegDone" String (REG_SZ) Value -> select Modify -> type 1 in the Value data: box -> click OK or hit Enter -> exit the Registry Editor.

    Right-click on the Internet Explorer Desktop icon -> open Tools menu -> click Internet Properties -> change the default home page to ANYTHING EXCEPT ANY Microsoft or MSN web page -> click OK/Apply or hit Enter.

    Reboot to Normal mode.

    Right AFTER XP reboots, but BEFORE before Windows GUI loads, make sure to plug back in/reconnect your network cable/connection (if any).

    8. Switch off menu shadow and other useless effects
    XP reserves a substantial amount of your CPU horsepower for things like animating various desktop elements, placing shadows under menus and cursors, and rounding the upper corners of open windows. In the aggregate, these visual effects can slow down screen-drawing operations significantly. Also, XP may have selected a "color depth" for your video system in excess of what you really need; this, too, can slow down screen operations.

    To adjust XP's desktop animations and visual effects, right click on My Computer and select Properties/Advanced/Performance Settings. You can choose to activate/deactivate individual items or use the general "best performance/best appearance" buttons. When you've made a change, click Apply, and you'll see the effects almost immediately. (By the way: Selecting Best Performance makes your desktop look very much like the classic desktop in Win98/Win2K.) Experiment until you've found the mix of speed and visual effects that works best for you.

    9. XP configuration tool
    Modify virtually every feature in Windows XP without having to resort to regedit.  It's called the Local Group Policy Editor, or gpedit for short.  Select Start and then Run, then type gpedit.msc

    10. Manage performance using Microsoft Management Console
    To best manage the performance of your Windows 2000 and XP installation, I recommend using the Microsoft Management Console to customise the tools available to you. To bring up the MMC, type "MMC" in the Start/Run box. This will open a blank MMC. Then select Add/Remove Snap In from the Console menu, and select the items you wish to use. You will probably want to add Defragmenter, Services, Event Viewer and Device Manager as a minimum. When you are finished save your changes, and create a desktop shortcut to the file you have saved. If you wish you can set Event Viewer to show error messages only: right click on Application, Security and System in turn, select Properties and uncheck the options you do not require.

    11. Memory Tweaks
    Below are some memory tweaks and they apply to NT, 2000 and XP. They are located in the Windows
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

    You can read more on this on tip 12 in NT tips.  When enabled, this setting will prevent the paging of the Executive files to the hard drive, causing the OS and most
    programs to be more responsive. However, it is advised that people should only perform this tweak if they have a significant amount of RAM on their system (128 MB+), because this setting does use a substantial portion of your system resources. By default, the value of this key is 0. To enable it, set it to 1.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive
    Set the value to be 1. Reboot the computer

    You can read more on this on tip 10 in NT tips.  When enabled (the default on Server versions of Windows 2000), this setting tells the OS to devote all but 4 MB of system memory (which is left for disk caching) to the file system cache. The main effect of this is allowing the computer to cache the OS Kernel to memory, making the OS more responsive. The setting is dynamic and if more than 4 MB is needed from the disk cache for some reason, the space will be released to it. By default, 8MB is earmarked for this purpose. This tweak usually makes the OS more responsive. It is a dynamic setting, and the kernel will give up any space deemed necessary for another application (at a performance hit when such changes are needed). As with the previous key, set the value from 0 to 1 to enable.

    Note that in doing this, you are consuming more of your system RAM than normal. While LargeSystemCache will cut back usage when other apps need more RAM, this process can impede performance in certain intensive situations.
    According to Microsoft, the "[0] setting is recommended for servers running applications that do their own memory caching, such as Microsoft SQL Server, and for applications that perform best with ample memory, such as Internet
    Information Services."  I personally don't recommend enabling this value unless you have at least 128 MB of RAM.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\MemoryManagement

    You can read more on this on tip 8 in NT tips.  This tweak is of questionable value to people that aren't running some kind of server of off of their computer, but we will include it anyway. This tweak boosts the Input/Output performance of your computer when it is doing a large amount of file transfers and other similar operations. This tweak won't do much of anything for a system without a significant amount of RAM (if you don't have more than 128 MB, don't even bother), but systems with more than 128 MB of RAM will generally find a performance boost by setting this to between 8 and 16 MB. The default is 0.5 MB, or 512 KB. This setting requires a value in bytes, so multiply the desired number of megabytes
    * 1024 * 1024. That's X * 1048576 (where X is the number, in megabytes). Test out several settings and keep the one which seems to work best for your system.

    HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
    In this key double-click on the IOPageLockLimit registry value to open a DWORD editor window
    (default value of 0 = 512KB).
    Change from Hex (hexadecimal) to Decimal, change the value in the data field to reflect your preferred allocation size in KB (1024, 2048, etc.).
    Close the registry editor app, and reboot to implement the change.
    RAM      IoPageLockLimit
    (MB)      Decimal  Hex
    4           4096      1000
    8           8192      2000
    16         16384      4000
    32         32768      8000
    64         65536      10000

    12. Turn off autoplay for CDs
    Go to Start->Run->gpedit.msc.  Computer Config -> Administrative Template -> System
    Double clik Turn off Autoplay. Enable it.

    13. Disable error reporting
    Every time a program crashes I do not want to send a report to microsoft. Disable this stupid feature. Open Control Panel, Click on Preformance and Maintenance.  Click on System. Then click on the Advanced tab.  Click on the error reporting button on the bottom of the windows. Select Disable error reporting. Click OK twice.

    14. Refresh Rate on your Nvidia Card
    Having trouble setting refresh rate on your Nvidia card.  Download Refresh Rate Fix V2.

    15. Create a Bootable XP Floppy Disk
    You can easily create a bootable floppy disk by following these steps:
    Place a blank disk in the floppy disk drive. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
    Right-click the floppy disk drive, and then click Format on the shortcut menu.
    Click Create an MSDOS startup disk, and then click Start.
    Now you’re on your way to a bootable startup disk.

    16. Control Automatic Boot Disk Optimization
    Windows XP includes a new feature that will automatically optimize the the disks on boot if required.
    This setting controls whether this feature is enabled.
    Create a new String value, or modify the existing value, called 'Enable' and edit the value - enter 'Y' for enabled or 'N' for disabled.

    17. Configure your pagefile properly
    See option 6 in NT tips and option 45 in win9x tips.  For XP I give the pagefile 2 times the amount of memory I have installed e.g. if I have 512 meg I set the pagefile as 768 meg.  I also set the pagefile minimum and maximum so they are the same.  So for above example I would set it as minimum of 768 meg and maximum of 768 meg so Windows won't waste time growing and shrinking the file on demand.  I also located the pagefile on a completely seperate hard drive that is not used.  If I have multiple hard drives that are hardly used I would then move or split the pagefile onto the fastest hardly used drive.  Just keep the pagefile of your system drive.

    Swapfile management has been somewhat of a black art in previous versions of Windows, but the XP Help System actually has good information on the subject.  Select Help And Support from the Start menu, and do a search for virtual memory. Be sure to check out the related topics delivered by the search for additional good information.

    18. Stop opening explorer and opening my documents
    To revert to the old way of launching My Computer by default rather than My Documents as the default, simply edit the shortcut to Windows Explorer, by right clicking on it, and left clicking "Properties" and changing the "Target" box to: "C:.EXE /n,/e," [adjust the path/drive letter if needed]. The key is to add the "/n,/e," to the end of the shortcut (don't type the quotes).

    19. Speed up modem data
    Speed up buffering of data between your modem and your modem port. This enables your modem to retrieve information faster. Right click my computer, click Properties, click Hardware, click Device Manager, double click ports, double click the appropriate com port, click port settings, click bits per second and change it to the highest supported speed, click flow control and change it to hardware, click ok. Click ok. ok.

    20. Want to network but dont have all the stuff ?
    If you want to network two WinXP machines together you don't have to install a full blown network setup, i.e. switches, hubs, routers, etc...  All you need is two NIC cards (three if you want to share an Internet connection) and a cross over cable.
    - Connect one NIC to your broadband connection device like normal.
    - Install a second NIC in the machine with the broadband connection.
    - Install a NIC in the second machine.
    - Connect cross over cable between the second machine NIC and second NIC in the board band connection machine.
    - Re-boot both.
    - Run the networking wizard if necessary.

    21. Software not installing?
    If you have a piece of software that refuses to install because it says that you are not running Windows 2000
    (such as drivers) you can simply edit
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/ProductName to say Microsoft Windows 2000 instead of XP and it will install. You may also have to edit the version number or build number, depending on how hard the program tries to verify that you are installing on the correct OS. Don't forget to restore any changes you make after you get your software installed.  You do this at your own risk.

    22. Prefetch
    This is an unique technique for XP, which could improve the performance significantly by tweaking the prefetcher. Recommended hardware: PIII 800 or higher, 512M RAM or more.  This will decrease the boot time but double and increase the performance of XP.

    - Run "regedit";
    - Goto [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnablePrefetcher];
    - Increase the value ("5" is recommended) and reboot

    Prefetch is a new and very useful technique in Windows XP. However, after using XP some time, the prefetch directory can get full of junk and obsolete links in the Prefetch catalog, which can slow down your computer notablely. My suggestion is: open C(system drive):/windows/prefetch, delete those junk and obsolete files,reboot. It is recommended that you do this every month.

    23. Increase NTFS Peformance by Disabling the Last Access Time Stamp
    When Windows NT accesses a directory on an NTFS volume, it updates the LastAccess time stamp on each directory it detects. Therefore, if there are a large number of directories, this can affect performance.  Open your registry and find the key below.  Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, named "NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate" and set it to "1" to prevent the LastAccess time stamp from being updated. Restart Windows for the change to take effect.
    NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate 0x00000001 (1)

    24. Automatically defrag drives with a new context menu item
    Create a new Registry import file named context_defrag.inf in Notepad (be sure to save with it with the Save as type set to All Files and not Text Documents) and place the following text inside:

    ; context_defrag.INF
    ; Adds Defrag to the right click context menu in Windows XP




    HKCR,"Drive\Shell\Defrag\command",,,"DEFRAG.EXE %1"

    Then, right-click and choose Install. This will add a context menu to XP that allows you to automatically defrag drives, using the command line version of the built-in defragmentation utility. To use it, navigate to a drive in My Computer, right-click, and choose Defrag. A command line window will appear, and that drive will be defragged. When it's complete, the window just disappears.

    Defrag with command prompt
    You can now defrag in XP from the command prompt.

    defrag volume [-a] [-f][-v] [-?]

    -a  Analyze only
    -f   Forces defragmentation volume regardless of whether it needs to be defragmented or even if free space is low
    -v  Verbose output

    The volume must have at least fifteen percent free space for Defrag to completely and adequately defragment it. Defrag uses this space as a sorting area for file fragments. If a volume has less than fifteen percent free space, Defrag only partially defragments it. To interrupt the defragmentation process, at the command line, press CTRL+C.

    25. Display the Sharing Tab in Folder Properties
    In Windows 2000, getting to the Sharing options for a folder was simple: Just right-click, choose Properties, and you'd see a Sharing tab. In Windows XP, this feature is missing by default, but you can make the system display the Sharing tab if desired. Simply open up Folder Options (My Computer, then Tools, Folder Options) and navigate to the View tab. In the Advanced Settings section, scroll down to the bottom and uncheck Use simple file sharing (Recommended).  Now share your folders on the LAN as you would in Windows 2000.

    26. Control System Restore
    You can change a variety of options for System Restore, though. Right-click on My Computer, click Properties, and choose the System Restore tab. In this window you can completely disable system restore (which I don’t recommend) or change the settings for specific drives (which I do recommend).  You should turn off System Restore for every drive except for the one XP is installed on. This prevents Windows XP from tying up space on drives that it isn’t supposed to use. You might also want to reduce the amount of space that System Restore will use, depending on the size of your hard drive and how much stuff you have on it.  I use 500mb.

    27. Backup your Fresh Install
    After you complete your clean install and get all your software installed I would recommend that you use something like Drive Image 3 or 4 to do an image of your install partition, then burn the image to CD and keep it. XP is a
    different creature for some people. If you mess it up when playing around with it, just bring the image back. You can be up and running again in 20 minutes vs. the two to three hours it will take to get the whole thing and all your
    stuff installed again.

    Note the default install of XP is about 1.5 GB and the download image may be larger that 700 MB. So don't install too much on the OS partition. To help downsize the Image I run the System File Checker and reset the cache size to 40 or 50 MB (it's well over 300 MB by default).
    To run it open the command prompt and type:
    SFC /?
    SFC /purgecache
    SFC /cachesize=50
    and finally rebuild the cache with SFC /scannow (have the CD ready).
    I also Delete the Pagefile.sys and Hibernate.sys files before running Drive Image.

    28. Install Java Virtual Machine
    JVM will not appear on Windows Update site either. Some web sites will prompt you to install it upon visiting their pages. You can get the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and have it ready to use when you Install XP:

    29. Install Fast Boot
    This is a tweak for Windows XP that can result in a much faster boot time. However, some people have noticed it slows their boot time down, or the benchmark is inconsistent. Regardless, it's still a rather neat tool so I felt it should be mentioned here.

    If you run Windows XP, download bootvis (look for BootVis.exe Tool)
    Once you've unzipped Bootvis, run the .exe and you'll notice several checkboxes on the left. I only selected "Boot Activity". Then I chose "Trace", then "Trace Next Boot". When you reboot it will tell you how long it took to boot everything up. My PC took 35 seconds the first time I tried it. I had it down to 27 seconds after choosing the "Optimize System" feature under the trace menu and various other tweaks. I imagine it could go faster, but I was happy enough with that. My services took about 15 seconds before optimization.

    30. Increase bandwidth for network connections - tame QOS !
    XP reserves 20% of your bandwidth for quality of service - this is ridiculous and need to be sorted immediately !
    XP seems to want to reserve 20% of the bandwidth for itself even with QoS disabled.

    1.  Make sure your logged on as actually "Administrator". do not log on with any account that just has
        administrator privileges. To log in as an administrator:
    -click on start->logoff->logoff
    -in the logon screen hold Ctrl+Alt+Del.
    -in the user field type 'Administrator' <-case sensitive.
    -in the password field type the password for the administrator (if you don't have one leave blank)
    -press ok
    2.  Start - run - type gpedit.msc
    3.  Expand the local computer policy branch
    4.  Expand the administrative templates branch
    5.  Expand the network branch
    6.  Highlight the QoS Packet Scheduler in left window
    7.  In right window double click the limit reservable bandwidth setting
    8.  On setting tab check the enabled item
    9.  Where it says Bandwidth limit % change it to read 0.  Click apply, OK, exit gpedit.msc.
    10. Go to your Network connections (start->my computer->my network connection-> view network connections).
         Right click on your connection, choose properties then under the General or the Networking tab (where it lists
         your protocols) make sure QoS packet scheduler is enabled.
    11. Reboot , now you are all done.

    31. Corporate Windows Update
    Microsoft Corporate Windows Update is useful as you can select and download patches to your computer, so you can easily transfer them to other XP computers etc.

    32. Navigate easier with built in toolbar (also applies to Windows ME)
    This tweak makes use of the much under utilized/under appreciated/despised links folder within favorites.

    - Right click on your bottom taskbar, select toolbars and choose links.
    - Drag the links partition OFF the taskbar (hold mouse down over the toolbar and drag it off)
    - This will create a menu/folder view of links. Right click on folder and choose to open folder. Get rid of all the existing
       junk links in here. Create a new folder in here and put either valuable links or shortcuts to apps/software inside.
       Add shortcuts to apps directly in the links folder. Close this folder when done.
    - Drag the links menu/folder to either the top of the screen or to either side. This will dock the menu.
    - Right click on your new docked toolbar and select view small icons, check always on top and auto-hide.

    This creates a new navigation menu with dropdown menus that you can access by moving ur mouse to the left/right side of the screen.  Shortcuts to folders will launch that folder in a new window as opposed to displaying a drop down menu.  You can create new toolbars and dock them to the other side of windows however the drop down feature only works within the links folder.

    33. Reset folder view
    Sometimes XP forgets it's folder view settings.  Here is the solution.
    Backup these RegKeys.

    After that delete them.  Restart windows to take effect.  Now you can change each folder and the setting will stay.

    34. Remove shortcut arrows from icons
    Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile in the registry
    Delete the IsShortcut registry value.
    Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\piffile
    Delete the IsShortcut registry value.

    35. DMA mode on IDE devices
    Just like 2000, XP still fails to set the DMA mode correctly for the IDE device designated as the slaves on the primary IDE and secondary IDE channels. Most CD-ROMS are capable of supporting DMA mode, but the default in XP is still PIO. Setting it to DMA won't make your CD-ROM faster, but it will consume less CPU cycles. Here's how:

    - Open the Device Manager. Right click on "My Computer", select the Hardware tab, and Select Device Manager.
    - Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers and double-click on Primary IDE Channel
    - Under Advanced Settings tab, check the Device 1 setting. More than likely, your current transfer mode is set to PIO.
    - Set it to DMA if available.
    Repeat the step for the Secondary IDE Channel if you have devices attached to it. Reboot.

    36. Decrease shutdown with NVIDIA drivers
    Shut Down can take up to 20 sec. with 21.8x nvidia drivers. To reduce this delay:
    Go start/excute type msconfig. Go to services tab. Uncheck Nvidia Driver Helper and reboot or

    In config panel, administrator tools/services, look for Nvidia driver helper.
    Right click on it, select properties, select disabled. Reboot
    Dont Know what the purpose of the driver helper , but no side effect so far !

    38. Install XP from Dos
    Boot with a Windows 98/ME Start Up disk.
    Insert the Windows 98 CD into the CD reader
    Run smartdrv.exe from the Win98 directory on the windows 98 CD (file caching)
    Type cd.. to back up to the root directory
    Insert Windows XP CD into the CD reader
    Copy the i386 folder to C:\
    Go into C:\i386 folder on C: and type winnt32.exe to launch the setup from the hard drive.

    39. Shutdown command in XP
    Command is shutdown -s -f -t 5

    40. Change DVD regions as many times as you want !
    This also applies to Windows 2000.  When you clean install 2000/XP you can only change regions a couple of times but not any more !

    Goto above key in registry and you should see a strange looking random letter key (for example "`dv:=/") as the first entry... Delete the entire key. Reboot the machine and... the first disc you'll use will be set as the new region, with 1 change left.... Works every time... try it and see.

    Versions 3.75 and later of DVD Genie should be able to find this key for you and allow you to backup and erase the key with ease.  This method has been confirmed to be working with Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 and Windows-XP!.

    Other Method
    Using the information above, instead of erasing the key, you can see that it has one REG_QWORD entry. What you can do is completely blank out the 'Value Data' field and then reboot your machine.  After the boot, Windows should report your region as unselected and programs requesting the region should see this as "Region 0". The problem with "Region 0" is that it won't work on all titles, especially MGM and the new RCE titles (such as The Patriot).  You can always export these registry entry and have them loaded automatically at boot time by creating a short cut that will run the registry file ("regedit.exe /s filename.reg") within the startup directory. This should be especially useful with the "Region 0" setting.  

    41. Add additional time servers
    Browse to : for a list of public NTP servers.
    Save your list as a text file with the extension .reg
    Here's a sample:
    ------------------- cut here ------------------
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    ------------------- cut here ------------------

    42. Improve XP's folder views
    Windows XP's default folder view, with its giant icons, makes me feel as though I'm staring at a coloring book instead of a business computer. But you can easily change the folder view to something more restrained, space-efficient, and useful.  Open My Documents. In the View menu, select Status Bar, List, and Arrange Icons by Name. Next, right click on an empty spot in the My Documents toolbar and select Customize. Choose any of the Available Toolbar Buttons you wish and click Add. (I select the Undo, Delete, Cut, Copy, and Paste buttons.) Exit the dialog.

    Now click to the Tools menu and select Folder Options. Under the View tab, tell XP to show you the full path, to show hidden and system files, not to hide any file extensions, and not to hide protected folders--plus any other settings you want. When you have the folder options set the way you desire, click the "Apply to all folders" button at the top of the dialog. This adjusts all windows opened by Explorer, so they'll inherit the visual choices you made for this one window.

    43. Turn off automatic updates and error reporting
    By default, XP wants to contact the Microsoft servers to auto-search for patches, downloads, and updates. It also wants to send Microsoft information about any crashes you experience. The former can be an annoyance if the auto-update cycle kicks in at an inopportune time.  You can turn off both behaviors by right clicking on My Computer, selecting Properties, and first choosing the Automatic Updates tab. Select either Turn Off or, minimally, Notify me.   Now select the Advanced tab and click on Error Reporting. Check "Disable error reporting," but leave "notify me when critical errors occur" checked.

    44. Control System Restore
    System Restore is an incredible space hog. It might be worth it, if System Restore were a truly complete and foolproof form of backup, but it's not. At best, System Restore can and will get the core operating system running again after a bad crash, but it doesn't return all files to the pre-trouble state, and it can't remove all traces of a program that went bad. As a result, System Restore's usefulness is limited, and so should be its appetite for disk space.

    Right click on My Computer, select Properties, and select the System Restore tab. Select your main drive (usually C:), click Settings, and move the slider to reserve a reasonable amount of disk space. With a good regimen of backup images from Drive Image or Ghost you can even move the slider all the way to the left.

    If you have more than one drive, you may wish to turn off System Restore entirely for non-system drives. There's little, if any, benefit to be gained by having them monitored. And if you're really religious about making a full backup before you alter your system or install new software, you may wish to completely turn off System Restore for all drives.

    45. Hidden devices
    XP may deliberately hide certain system devices from you. While this might make a kind of sense in, say, XP Home edition, these devices remain hidden even in the Professional edition.

    For example, if you're used to Windows 98's networking applet, you may be surprised by how clean and uncluttered XP's networking applet is. But XP may simply be hiding lots of networking elements from you. To see if this is the case, right click on My Computer, select Properties, Hardware, and Device Manager. In Device Manager, select View and Show Hidden Devices.  Depending on how your system is set up, you may find other hidden devices, or no others. It varies hugely. But at least now you'll know if XP is hiding things from you.

    46. Shorten bootup chkdsk delay
    Want to shorten the boot up chkdsk delay of 10 secs on WInXP start from 10 secs to 3 ?

    ------------------- cut here ------------------
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager]
    ------------------- cut here ------------------

    47. Speed up browsing with DNS cache
    When you connect to a web site your computer sends information back and forth, this is obvious. Some of this information deals with resolving the site name to an IP address, the stuff that tcp/ip really deals with, not words. This is DNS information and is used so that you will not need to ask for the site location each and every time you visit the site. Although WinXP and win2000 has a pretty efficient DNS cache, you can increase its overall performance by increasing its size

    ------------------- cut here ------------------
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    ------------------- cut here ------------------

    48. Easier Searching
    Remember the Quick Search powertoy for IE? Well, now it's built in. Load up TweakUI and expand the Internet Explorer menu. Under search, you can create new search options. For example: Create one with a prefix of "g" and a URL of "". Now, to search Google for, say, penguins, all you have to do is type "g penguins" in the Address bar. Nice and easy.

    49. Remove balloon tips
    With this setting, some of this pop-up text is not displayed. The pop-up text affected by this setting includes "Click here to begin" on the Start button, "Where have all my programs gone" on the Start menu, and "Where have my icons gone" in the notification area.

    Type gpedit.msc in run box.  Goto to user configuration, administrative templates, start menu and taskbar, find remove balloon tips on start menu items, check enabled, ok.

    50. Turn off indexing service
    Windows XP keeps a record of all files on the hard disk so when you do a search on the hard drive it is faster. There is a downside to this and because the computer has to index all files, it will slow down normal file commands like open, close, etc. If you do not do a whole lot of searches on your hard drive then I suggest turnning this feature off:

    Open my computer, right click your hard drive icon and select properties.  At the bottom of the window you'll see "Allow indexing service to index this disk for faster searches," uncheck this and click ok.  A new window will pop up and select apply to all folders and subfolders. It will take a minute or two for the changes to take affect but then you should enjoy slightly faster performance.

    51. Remove hibernation file
    If you do not use hibernation, make sure you do not have it enabled, which reserves disk space equal to your RAM.
    If you have a hidden file on the root directory of your C drive called hiberfil.sys, hibernation is enabled. To remove that file, go to Control Panel, select Performance and Maintenance, Power Options, Hibernate tab, and uncheck the Enable hibernation box.

    52. Cache Folder Thumbnails
    In WinXP to make folders with thumbnail images start up faster, go to control panel and then folder options. Click on the view tab and make sure "Do not cache thumbnails" is not checked.

    53. Search the internet quicker
    - Get TweakUI by installing Powertoys for Windows XP from:
    - Start -> Programs -> Powertoys for Windows XP -> TweakUI for Windows XP
    - Click the '+' next to 'Internet Explorer'
    - Hightlight 'Search'
    - In the right plane click on the 'Create' button.
    - For the Prefix, type in 'Google' or if you're really lazy (like me) then just 'g'
    - For the URL, enter:

    The 'hl' is language, the 'q' is the query, and the 'num' is the number of results per page. To search for multiple keywords at a time, use the format 'google monkey+cars' or just 'g monkey+cars' depending how you chose to set it up.

    54. Mouse acceleration tweak
    This resolves the XP mouse acceleration bug.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse]


    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Join & Write a Comment

    Introduction Regular patching is part of a system administrator's tasks. However, many patches require that the system be in single-user mode before they can be installed. A cluster patch in particular can take quite a while to apply if the machine…
    Why Shell Scripting? Shell scripting is a powerful method of accessing UNIX systems and it is very flexible. Shell scripts are required when we want to execute a sequence of commands in Unix flavored operating systems. “Shell” is the command line i…
    Learn how to find files with the shell using the find and locate commands. Use locate to find a needle in a haystack.: With locate, check if the file still exists.: Use find to get the actual location of the file.:
    Learn how to navigate the file tree with the shell. Use pwd to print the current working directory: Use ls to list a directory's contents: Use cd to change to a new directory: Use wildcards instead of typing out long directory names: Use ../ to move…

    728 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    20 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now