17. Stop the 'last access
Every time a
directory on an NTFS drive is accessed by Windows XP, it updates that directory
and every subdirectory with a time stamp to indicate the date of access. In
folders with a lot of subdirectories, this can add considerable overhead to
whatever your PC happens to be doing.
can be disabled through the registry:
Open REGEDIT and Navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ FileSystem.
Create a new DWORD value called
'NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate' and set the value to '1'
18. Disable the 8.3 naming
Windows XP uses two different names for each and every file on your system. One is
the name that you see in explorer and in the command prompt, and the other
is an MSDOS compatible 8.3 (8 character title followed by a '.' Then
three more characters to indicate the type of file) name. If you are intending
to run DOS only software, or connect to pre-Windows 95 computers, you
will need this second set of names. If not, you are simply
To disable the
8.3 naming convention:
Change the value of the
NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation key to '1'
Note that some popular programs,
including Norton Antivirus, use the 8.3 naming convention.
19. Keep Windows operating
data in main memory
Windows XP contains several tweakable memory settings in the registry, one
of which is the DisablePagingExecutive registry key. This controls whether the operating
system will transfer its essential driver and kernel files to the 'virtual memory' (the
page file on the hard disk). It defaults to allowing this.
Obviously, transferring portions of the system to hard drive memory can
considerably slow things down, and it appears that Windows XP does this periodically, whether
or not the system is actually low on physical memory (RAM).
If you have 256MB of system memory or more, try this registry tweak
to force Windows to keep its operating data in main memory:
Select the DisablePagingExecutive
value to '1'
20. Obtain the newest drivers for your
This may seem a bit
obvious, but keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both
your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release
updates especially often, and these can often give "significant boosts" to gaming performance
as video card in question is "optimized."
Don't neglect the other components of
your system either. Your motherboard manufacturer may have released newer
versions of its Input/output drivers for your board, and sound cards and other
peripherals can also benefit from newer software.