36. Perform a manual Application and Boot file
XP has a feature which optimizes application and operating system boot times by
moving the relevant files to the outer edges of the hard drive for faster disk
access. This defragmentation process is actually scheduled to take place
automatically every three days or so, but it can also be activated manually.
Depending on your system, this can give a slight performance boost to data
access from the affected drive.
command prompt ('start/run' and type 'cmd').
'defrag (drive letter): -b'
process may take a few minutes to complete.
37. Disable the hibernation feature
XP's hibernation option allows a computer to copy its current memory contents to
the hard drive before shutdown, allowing the system to resume operations exactly
where it left off when it was powered down. To do this, it reserves space on the
hard drive equal to the amount of physical memory present. If you do not plan to
use the hibernation feature, you should ensure that it is disabled, or you are
wasting disk space.
To disable hibernation:
'start/control panel/performance and maintenance/power options.'
Go to the
'hibernate' tab and uncheck the 'enable hibernation' check box.
38. Disable automatic sensing on network
tweak may help your performance by reducing occasional 'slowdown' periods of
heavy CPU access for no apparent reason. By default, Windows XP automatically
assesses the speed of your network card(s) and sets them accordingly. Apparently
this process occurs at regular intervals, which can cause your system to slow
occasionally. To remedy this, you can manually set the 'media type' of your
network card to the correct value.
click on 'my computer' and select the 'hardware' tab.
highlight your network card(s). Right click it and Hit 'properties.'
Go to the
'advanced' tab and highlight 'media type.' In the 'value' drop down box, select
the correct speed for your network card. Press 'ok.'
39. Use the prefetch switch to load applications
XP's media player has a little extra command included in its shortcut, the
'/prefetch:1' switch. This helps the application load slightly faster. You can
try out this possible performance boost on other programs by editing the
shortcuts to the program in question.
click the shortcut and hit 'properties.'
'target' box, put '/prefetch:1' at the end of the line.
this may cause loading errors in some programs. If it does not work, simply
remove the /prefetch:1 entry from the shortcut.
40. Verify DMA mode is set for all
Windows XP is installed, hard disks and CD drives may occasionally be set to the
PIO mode for transferring data, which is slower than the default DMA (Direct
Memory Access) mode used by all modern drives. A quick check of your drive
settings can find and correct this error, allowing your drives to perform at
and correct your hard drive and CD drive transfer settings right click 'my
computer' and select properties, then the 'hardware tab' then the 'device
'IDE ATA\ATAPI controllers' highlight 'primary IDE channel' and hit the
Go to the
'advanced settings' tab, and ensure that the transfer mode is set to 'DMA if
the above steps for the secondary IDE channel.