For more advanced users of Win2k/XP, you can dictate to
the OS what you exactly you want your OS to run. First you must enabled
Administrative Tools. To do that, right click on the status bar and select
properties. For Win2k, click on the Advanced Tab and under StartMenu Settings
you should see a bunch of check boxes and there check Display Administrative
For WinXP click the Start Menu tab. If the radio button is
next to "Start Menu" click it's Customize button. Once you're inside go to the
Advanced tab and under Start menu items, scroll down to the bottom till you
reach System Administrative Tools and select Display on the All Program Menu. If
the radio button is next to the "Classic Start menu", follow the directions for
the Win2k settings. After go into the Administrative Tools folder and select
Services. Here you can disable whatever services you don't use.
Be warned though, if you disable the wrong services you
can kill your OS! Only disable services you don't use! eg. IMAPI CD-Burning COM
Service for WinXP if you don't have a CD-RW or don't use XP's burning software.
Reboot once you're done and you should notice quite a big speed boost from your
computer, services that you don't use are no longer being loaded so you have
more resources for everything. If your OS will not boot, restart and go into
safe mode. Then go back to the services program, enable everything and you'll be
back to square one.
Making NTFS Faster:
For those of you who use the NTFS file system you can
significantly boost your disk access speed in Windows Explorer with a simple
Go to Start -> Run and type REGEDIT. When you're there
scroll to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> System-> CurrentControlSet->
Control-> fileSystem. Once you're inside that folder create a new DWORD Value
NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate and modify the value to 1.
What this does is tell Windows not to update the Time
Stamp on the folders of your HDD. That should boost your overall file speed.
Slim Down XP:
If you're using an older system and is finding that
WindowsXP runs a bit slow there are a few things you can do to speed things up.
First thing is, if you're using a wall paper, remove it! Wall papers, especially
very pretty ones sap up a lot of resources. The problem is, usually programs are
loaded on top of the wall paper, however just because you don't see it doesn't
mean the computer isn't constantly refreshing the picture!
The second thing you can do is make Windows less flashy.
Right click on the "My Computer" Icon and go to properties. Here, click the
"Advanced" tab and then in the Performance box click the "Settings" button. Here
set the radio box to "Adjust for best performance" and click the "ok"
After doing this you'll find Windows a little more bland,
but it will certainly run a bit faster. This trick allows XP to run on my dad's
old Pentium III 600E seemingly as fast as my P4 2.4 GHz.
Faster WinXP Booting!
Even though WindowsXP is a fairly fast OS, I often hear
people complain about how long it takes to boot up. Not to worry though,
there's a simple registry tweak that can dramatically speed up your WinXP boot
times! [Ed: Also have a look at our "Fast Boot Tips!" article for more tips on this subject]
Click the Start button then go to "Run" and type in
"Regedit". Now follow this string HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM ->
CurrentControlSet -> Control -> SessionManager -> MemoryManagement
Once inside, find the Prefetch string and change the value
from 3 to 5. Since the value's are so low, it
doesn't matter if you're using Hexadecimal or Decimal.
With this little tweak, WindowsXP should load up between
5-10 seconds faster! 5 seconds doesn't sound like a lot of time, but when you're
waiting for a computer to load, it can feel like an eternity! =)