26. Set priority for important programs
If you customarily
use one program a majority of the time you can 'focus' your system on that one
particular application by increasing its priority. Priority is the measure that
Windows uses to determine the share of processor time that each application
receives. By default, most applications are set to the 'normal' priority level,
so by changing your favourite app to a higher level, you can boost its
performance, especially when you are using other applications at the same time.
To set priority
load the program you wish to change the priority for.
to bring up the Task Manager.
applications tab and highlight your program.
Right click the
program and select 'go to process.'
Now right click on
the highlighted process and choose 'set priority.'
The higher you set
the priority above normal, the more CPU time the program will steal from other
applications when you are multitasking.
27. Check your hard drives with
With time and
heavy use, a myriad of data problems and physical problems can develop and mar
the performance of your hard drive, not to mention cost you precious space.
While defragmenting the drive can help restore much of the performance you might
have lost, there are other issues such as lost clusters and bad sectors which
the defragmentation utility cannot touch.
Because of this,
it is a good idea to run XP's built in error checking utility on your drives
once in a while. This utility will scan your disks for errors and optionally
attempt to correct them.
Right click the
hard disk you wish to check and select 'properties.'
Choose the 'tools'
tab and under 'error checking' select the 'check now…' button.
options. You will need to restart the computer to do the full disk
Your disk will be
fully checked for errors upon reboot, but be aware that this can take quite a
28. Force XP to unload DLL files
after closing a program
Libraries, or DLLs, are files containing data or functions that Windows programs
can call when needed by linking to them. Every piece of windows software will
include instructions to the operating system as to which DLLs it will need to
access, and XP will cache these particular files in memory for faster access.
The trouble is,
Windows XP keeps these DLLs cached after the relevant program has closed,
wasting memory space. While DLLs are generally tiny, enough of them can make a
dent, so it's worthwhile to implement this registry tweak, which will force
Windows XP to unload DLLs used by a specific program when that program halts.
To do this, first
reate a new key
named 'AlwaysUnloadDLL' and set the default value to equal '1.'