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Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips for Windows

Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips for Windows - PCSTATS
Abstract: Newest Update! PCSTATS covers all the TechTips you need to push a Windows XP PC from sluggish to quick. This Guide deals with quicker boot times, making your current hardware work faster, and 99 other Tips from PCSTATS that will help you make your computer run better, quicker, and more efficiently!
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Feb 25 2014   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 36 - 40

36. Perform a manual Application and Boot file Defrag

Windows 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.

Open command prompt ('start/run' and type 'cmd').

Type 'defrag (drive letter): -b'

The process may take a few minutes to complete.

37. Disable the hibernation feature

Windows 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:

Go to '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 cards

This 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.

Right click on 'my computer' and select the 'hardware' tab.

Open 'device manager.'

Find and 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 faster

Windows 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.

Right click the shortcut and hit 'properties.'

In the 'target' box, put '/prefetch:1' at the end of the line.

Press 'ok.'

Note that 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 drives

When 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 their maximum.

To check and correct your hard drive and CD drive transfer settings 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.

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

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