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Beginners Guides: 101 Tech Tips and Tweaks for Windows XP

Beginners Guides: 101 Tech Tips and Tweaks for Windows XP - PCSTATS
Abstract: PCSTATS has a massive Tech Tip guide for Windows XP covering 101 useful and sometimes spicy Tweaks and Tech Tips that will make your clunkly PC run better!
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS May 01 2011   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Performance Tips 8 to 12

8. Disable the Disk performance counter(s)

Windows XP contains a built in performance monitor that is constantly examining various areas of your system. This information can be called up using the performance monitor application found in control panel\administrative tools. Of course, most of us have little interest in this sort of performance statistics monitoring, that being more the territory of systems administrators than individual users.

The thing is, XP is still monitoring away, and some of its observation tools can use a considerable amount of resources. The disk monitoring is an example of this, and it's a good idea to turn the disk monitors off if you are not planning to use the performance monitor application.

To do this: Go to the command prompt ('start\run' then type 'cmd') and type 'diskperf -N'

9. Turn Off Windows Indexing service

The 'Indexing' feature is used to increase the speed of file searches within XP by creating and updating an index of all files on your system. Unfortunately, it also reduces the performance of your system, since it is constantly working in the background.

To turn it off: Go to Control Panel\Add/Remove Programs\Windows Components. Then uncheck 'Indexing Service.'

10. Increasing desktop Graphics Performance

If you are running Windows XP on an older computer, you may find turning of some of the graphical frills that XP uses to render the desktop will improve the 'snappiness' of your computing experience. To see a list of these effects so that you can experiment with the effectiveness of turning them off:

Right click on 'my computer' and hit 'properties.' Choose the 'advanced' tab. In the performance section, click the 'settings' button.

A list of the various graphical effects that can be turned off or on is shown. To turn them all off, you can choose the 'adjust for best performance' button. Play around with these settings and see what you think.

11. Check and set the DMA mode on your drives

Windows XP occasionally sets IDE hard drives and CD drives to the PIO transfer mode by default, which is slower than the standard DMA (Direct Memory Access) mode used by modern drives. It's worthwhile to check your drive settings to make sure that they are not being slowed down in this manner. To check your drives:

Right click 'my computer' and select properties, then the 'hardware tab' then the 'device manager' button.

Expand 'IDE ATA\ATAPI controllers' highlight 'primary IDE channel' and hit the 'properties' button.

Go to the 'advanced settings' tab, and ensure that the transfer mode is set to 'DMA if available.'

Repeat the above steps for the secondary IDE channel.

12. Smooth out your mouse movement

Assuming you are using a PS/2 mouse, this tip can help give you smoother and more precise mouse control. Good for gaming and for your nerves in general. Studies have shown that smooth mousing reduces fatigue and stress and generally promotes a healthy cheerful glow (your experience may vary).

On to the tip: Right click on 'my computer' and select properties. Choose the 'hardware' tab, then the 'device manager' button. From the device manager window, find your PS/2 mouse and select 'properties.' In the 'advanced settings' tab, set the 'sample rate' to 200.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: 101 Tech Tips and Tweaks for Windows XP
 Pg 2.  PCSTATS Performance Tech Tips
 Pg 3.  Performance Tips 3 to 5
 Pg 4.  Performance Tips 6 to 7
 Pg 5.  — Performance Tips 8 to 12
 Pg 6.  Useful tips for XP (13 to 16)
 Pg 7.  Useful Tips for XP: tips 17 to 18
 Pg 8.  Useful Tips for XP: tip 19
 Pg 9.  Useful Tips for XP: tips 20 to 22
 Pg 10.  Useful Tips for XP: tips 23 to 26
 Pg 11.  Useful Tips for XP: tips 27 to 30
 Pg 12.  Security, privacy and recovery tips (31 to 33)
 Pg 13.  Security, privacy and recovery: tips 34 to 36
 Pg 14.  Security, privacy and recovery: tips 37 to 39
 Pg 15.  Security, privacy and recovery: tips 40 to 42
 Pg 16.  Security, privacy and recovery: tips 43 to 45
 Pg 17.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 46 to 49
 Pg 18.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 50 to 52
 Pg 19.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 53 to 54
 Pg 20.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 55 to 56
 Pg 21.  Customizing WinsdowsXP: tips 57 to 59
 Pg 22.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 60 to 61
 Pg 23.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 62 to 64
 Pg 24.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 65 to 68
 Pg 25.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 69 to 71
 Pg 26.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 72 to 76
 Pg 27.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 77
 Pg 28.  Essential Advice for Beginners: Tips 78 to 80
 Pg 29.  Next Section: Registry tweaks (81)
 Pg 30.  Registry Tweaks: Tip 82
 Pg 31.  Registry Tweaks For performance (83 to 85)
 Pg 32.  Registry Tweaks for Performance: Tips 86 to 88
 Pg 33.  Registry Tweaks for Performance: Tips 89 to 92
 Pg 34.  Miscellaneous registry tweaks (93 to 95)
 Pg 35.  Miscellaneous Registry Tweaks: Tips 96 to 99
 Pg 36.  Miscellaneous Registry Tweaks: Tips 100 to 101

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