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23 Ways To Speed WinXP

Subimitted by RAF_Dumoulin

1.) To decrease a system's boot time and increase system performance, use the money you save by not buying defragmentation software -- the built-in Windows defragmenter works just fine -- and instead equip the computer with an Ultra-133 or Serial ATA hard drive with 8-MB cache buffer.
2.) If a PC has less than 512 MB of RAM, add more memory. This is a relatively inexpensive and easy upgrade that can dramatically improve system performance.
3.) Ensure that Windows XP is utilizing the NTFS file system. If you're not sure, here's how to check: First, double-click the My Computer icon, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Next, examine the File System type; if it says FAT32, then back-up any important data. Next, click Start, click Run, type CMD, and then click OK. At the prompt, type CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS and press the Enter key. This process may take a while; it's important that the computer be uninterrupted and virus-free. The file system used by the bootable drive will be either FAT32 or NTFS. I highly recommend NTFS for its superior security, reliability, and efficiency with larger disk drives.
4.) Disable file indexing. The indexing service extracts information from documents and other files on the hard drive and creates a "searchable keyword index." As you can imagine, this process can be quite taxing on any system.
The idea is that the user can search for a word, phrase, or property inside a document, should they have hundreds or thousands of documents and not know the file name of the document they want. Windows XP's built-in search functionality can still perform these kinds of searches without the Indexing service. It just takes longer. The OS has to open each file at the time of the request to help find what the user is looking for.
Most people never need this feature of search. Those who do are typically in a large corporate environment where thousands of documents are located on at least one server. But if you're a typical system builder, most of your clients are small and medium businesses. And if your clients have no need for this search feature, I recommend disabling it.
Here's how: First, double-click the My Computer icon. Next, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Uncheck "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching." Next, apply changes to "C: subfolders and files," and click OK. If a warning or error message appears (such as "Access is denied"), click the Ignore All button.
5.) Update the PC's video and motherboard chipset drivers. Also, update and configure the BIOS. For more information on how to configure your BIOS properly, see this article on my site.
6.) Empty the Windows Prefetch folder every three months or so. Windows XP can "prefetch" portions of data and applications that are used frequently. This makes processes appear to load faster when called upon by the user. That's fine. But over time, the prefetch folder may become overloaded with references to files and applications no longer in use. When that happens, Windows XP is wasting time, and slowing system performance, by pre-loading them. Nothing critical is in this folder, and the entire contents are safe to delete.
7.) Once a month, run a disk cleanup. Here's how: Double-click the My Computer icon. Then right-click on the C: drive and select Properties. Click the Disk Cleanup button -- it's just to the right of the Capacity pie graph -- and delete all temporary files.
8.) In your Device Manager, double-click on the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers device, and ensure that DMA is enabled for each drive you have connected to the Primary and Secondary controller. Do this by double-clicking on Primary IDE Channel. Then click the Advanced Settings tab. Ensure the Transfer Mode is set to "DMA if available" for both Device 0 and Device 1. Then repeat this process with the Secondary IDE Channel.
9.) Upgrade the cabling. As hard-drive technology improves, the cabling requirements to achieve these performance boosts have become more stringent. Be sure to use 80-wire Ultra-133 cables on all of your IDE devices with the connectors properly assigned to the matching Master/Slave/Motherboard sockets. A single device must be at the end of the cable; connecting a single drive to the middle connector on a ribbon cable will cause signaling problems. With Ultra DMA hard drives, these signaling problems will prevent the drive from performing at its maximum potential. Also, because these cables inherently support "cable select," the location of each drive on the cable is important. For these reasons, the cable is designed so drive positioning is explicitly clear.
10.) Remove all spyware from the computer. Use free programs such as AdAware by Lavasoft or SpyBot Search & Destroy. Once these programs are installed, be sure to check for and download any updates before starting your search. Anything either program finds can be safely removed. Any free software that requires spyware to run will no longer function once the spyware portion has been removed; if your customer really wants the program even though it contains spyware, simply reinstall it. For more information on removing Spyware visit this Web Pro News page.
11.) Remove any unnecessary programs and/or items from Windows Startup routine using the MSCONFIG utility. Here's how: First, click Start, click Run, type MSCONFIG, and click OK. Click the StartUp tab, then uncheck any items you don't want to start when Windows starts. Unsure what some items are? Visit the WinTasks Process Library. It contains known system processes, applications, as well as spyware references and explanations. Or quickly identify them by searching for the filenames using Google or another Web search engine.
12.) Remove any unnecessary or unused programs from the Add/Remove Programs section of the Control Panel.
13.) Turn off any and all unnecessary animations, and disable active desktop. In fact, for optimal performance, turn off all animations. Windows XP offers many different settings in this area. Here's how to do it: First click on the System icon in the Control Panel. Next, click on the Advanced tab. Select the Settings button located under Performance. Feel free to play around with the options offered here, as nothing you can change will alter the reliability of the computer -- only its responsiveness.
14.) If your customer is an advanced user who is comfortable editing their registry, try some of the performance registry tweaks offered at Tweak XP.
15.) Visit M*crosoft's Windows update site regularly, and download all updates labeled Critical. Download any optional updates at your discretion.
16.) Update the customer's anti-virus software on a weekly, even daily, basis. Make sure they have only one anti-virus software package installed. Mixing anti-virus software is a sure way to spell disaster for performance and reliability.
17.) Make sure the customer has fewer than 500 type fonts installed on their computer. The more fonts they have, the slower the system will become. While Windows XP handles fonts much more efficiently than did the previous versions of Windows, too many fonts -- that is, anything over 500 -- will noticeably tax the system.
18.) Do not partition the hard drive. Windows XP's NTFS file system runs more efficiently on one large partition. The data is no safer on a separate partition, and a reformat is never necessary to reinstall an operating system. The same excuses people offer for using partitions apply to using a folder instead. For example, instead of putting all your data on the D: drive, put it in a folder called "D drive." You'll achieve the same organizational benefits that a separate partition offers, but without the degradation in system performance. Also, your free space won't be limited by the size of the partition; instead, it will be limited by the size of the entire hard drive. This means you won't need to resize any partitions, ever. That task can be time-consuming and also can result in lost data.
19.) Check the system's RAM to ensure it is operating properly. I recommend using a free program called MemTest86. The download will make a bootable CD or diskette (your choice), which will run 10 extensive tests on the PC's memory automatically after you boot to the disk you created. Allow all tests to run until at least three passes of the 10 tests are completed. If the program encounters any errors, turn off and unplug the computer, remove a stick of memory (assuming you have more than one), and run the test again. Remember, bad memory cannot be repaired, but only replaced.
20.) If the PC has a CD or DVD recorder, check the drive manufacturer's Web site for updated firmware. In some cases you'll be able to upgrade the recorder to a faster speed. Best of all, it's free.
21.) Disable unnecessary services. Windows XP loads a lot of services that your customer most likely does not need. To determine which services you can disable for your client, visit the Black Viper site for Windows XP configurations.
22.) If you're sick of a single Windows Explorer window crashing and then taking the rest of your OS down with it, then follow this tip: open My Computer, click on Tools, then Folder Options. Now click on the View tab. Scroll down to "Launch folder windows in a separate process," and enable this option. You'll have to reboot your machine for this option to take effect.
23.) At least once a year, open the computer's cases and blow out all the dust and debris. While you're in there, check that all the fans are turning properly. Also inspect the motherboard capacitors for bulging or leaks.

Stolen from another tech site (lol) by RAF_Roy
These are easy and safe for a few services as mentioned -S!
Along with the core operating system and programs that Windows XP runs when it starts, there is also a host of services involved. Many of these services are necessary for Windows XP to operate correctly. However, many of them are for features in Windows XP that you may not use at all. You can peruse the services and disable any service that you do not want to run. The fewer services that run, the more quickly Windows XP will boot.

Caution:
Exercise caution when stopping services. If you do not know what a service does or are unsure of the ramifications of stopping the service, leave it alone. Some services are critical to Windows XP's operations, so make sure you understand what the service is before you disable it.

To reduce the number of services that start on bootup, you can access two different areas of Windows XP. The first is the System Configuration Utility. The Services tab shows you the services that start when the computer boots[img
Launch this by start menu --> run
then type in:
msconfig
You can stop a service from starting by simply clearing the check box next to the service and clicking OK. However, before you do so, there is another way to disable services that you may prefer because the interface gives you more information about the service in question.
Figure 4-2
Open Control Panel/Administrative ToolsServices or else select Start/Run, type services.msc, and click OK. Either way, you see the Services console (see Figure 4-2).
I prefer to use the Services console instead of the System Configuration Utility because it describes what the service does. Additionally, you can double-click a service and examine its properties.
Notice the Startup Type column in Figure 4-2. This information lists whether the service is automatic or manual. Manual services are only started in Windows XP when you start a process that requires the service. Some other process may require the service that has a "dependency" relationship with it; in this case, the dependency service will start, as well. Because these services do not start automatically when you boot Windows XP, you do not need to do anything with manual services.
However, all services listed as automatic start when Windows XP boots. These are the services that increase boot time. As I have mentioned, many of them are necessary and important, so you should not stop automatic services from booting unless you are sure of the ramifications. You can get this information by looking at the Description column. Here's a quick look at common services you may want to live without:
  1. Automatic Updates: This service enables Windows XP to check the Web automatically for updates. If you don't want to use Automatic Updates, you can disable the service. You can always check for updates manually at the Windows Update Web site.
  2. Computer Browser: If your computer is not on a network, you don't need this service. If you are on a network, leave it alone.
  3. DHCP Client: If you are not on a network, you do not need this service. If you are on a small workgroup, you can still increase boot time by configuring manual IP addresses (which I explore later in this chapter).
  4. DNS Client: If you are not on a network, you do not need this service. If you are, leave it alone.
  5. Error Reporting and Event Log: You don't have to use these services but they can be very helpful, so I would leave them configured as automatic.
  6. Fax: If you don't use your computer for fax services, you can disable this one.
  7. Help and Support: If you never use the Windows XP Help and Support Center (found on the Start menu), you can disable this service.
  8. IMAPI CD-Burning COM: This service enables you to burn CDs on your computer. If you never burn CDs, you can disable the service.
  9. Indexing Service: Your computer keeps an index of files but if you rarely search for files, the service is just a resource hog. You can stop it and turn the service to manual.
  10. Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing: If you do not use these features, you can disable them.
  11. Infrared Monitor: If you do not use infrared devices, you can disable this service.
  12. Messenger: This service sends alert messages on a local area network (it is not the same as Windows Messenger). If you are not on a network, you can disable this service.
  13. Print Spooler: If you do not do any printing from the computer, you can disable this service. If you print, make sure you leave it as automatic.
  14. Remote Registry: This service allows remote users to modify the Registry on your computer. If you are not on a network, you can disable this service.
  15. System Restore Service: This service allows you to use System Restore. If you have turned off System Restore anyway, you do not need to turn off the service. If you do, you turn off System Restore.
  16. Themes: If you do not use themes, you can disable this service.
  17. Windows Image Acquisition: If you do not use scanners or digital cameras, you can disable this service.
  18. Wireless Zero Configuration: If do not use wireless networking devices, you can disable this service.
Figure 4.3
You may have a number of other automatic services, depending on software and other configurations on your computer. So it's a good idea to look through the services and learn more about them. If you double-click a service, a Properties dialog box appears (see Figure 4-3).
Notice that on the General tab, you see a Startup Type drop-down menu. If you want to change an automatic service to manual, select Manual here and click OK. As a general rule, don't disable a service unless you are sure you will never use it. However, manual configuration allows the service to be started when you find it necessary, thus speeding up your boot time.
Figure 4.4
However, before you change a service to manual, look at the Dependencies tab (see Figure 4-4). This tab shows you which other services depend upon the service you are considering changing.
Keep in mind that services are necessary for the vast functionality you get with Windows XP. Change only those services that you understand and do not use. How you use your Windows XP computer should be the best guide in terms of optional startup services.
Tip:
The Indexing service and the System Restore service take up a lot of disk space and system resources across the board. You can live without the Indexing service but I suggest that you keep using System Restore. It works great when you are in a bind and this is one case where the loss of speed may not be worth the ramifications of not using System Restore.

NTLDR missing
Submited by RAF_Dumoulin
So windows won't boot up
Solution:
Extract/copy the files from your XP install cd or from C:/ServicePackFiles/i386.
ntldr
ntdetect.com

Get rid of the WinXP ZIP builtin support.

Submited by RAF_Dumoulin

I'm currently migrating from my old notebook to the new one. Here's a trick I've found regarding the Windows XP built-in zip utility. My major problem with the Windows XP zip functionality is that when you view a folder in Explorer the zip files in that folder a are listed as zip folders. Now, if you're like me and like to keep an archive of downloaded files the explorer tree will start to get real long. So here's how you turn off the built-in zip utility.
In the Run dialog box type regsvr32 /u %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll. Then, rename the %windir%\system32\dllcache\zipfldr.dll to zipfldr.dll.remove. Also rename the %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll to zipfldr.dll.remove.
You can now install your favorite zip utility with confidence.

OR a other comment (but same as above)
If you have upgraded to Windows XP then you will probably have used a program like "WinZip" to open any Zip files you have.
With Windows XP, Microsoft have given a built-in Zip feature. However, this new built-in XP Zip support just tends to get in the way and is no where near as feature laden as WinZip.
So the good news is that you can disable the Windows XP built-in Zip support! (and enable it again if you ever want to!)
To Disable:
1) Start Menu > Run
2) Type:
regsvr32 /u %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll

To Enable:
1) Start Menu > Run
2) Type:
regsvr32 %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll

Or a other comment.....
Windows XP comes with builtin support for uncompressing zip'd files. If you prefer to continue using a dedicated utility like pkzip or winzip which has more functionality, you probably need to disable the limited capability of XP to prevent interactions and problems, run the following command:
regsvr32 /u %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll
Want to re-enable the builtin zip capability, run the following command:
regsvr32 %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll
Additionally Windows XP by default, opens EVERY compressed file to search through because it treats them as directories. This can extend the time taken for a drive-level search for up hours and sometimes hangs (the search windows) before it can complete. Another reason to disable the builtin zip server - if you keep lots of zip files on your HD and you use XP search capabilities.
Chris comments: found that the way windowsXP treats zips like folders was the stupidest thing ever, so of course I wanted it gone right away. I ran regsvr32 /u %windir%\system32\zipfldr.dll and It worked, but now winzip wasn't associated with zip files, I ran winzip to re-associate and the zip/folder 'bug' was back. It turns out that the fix for this is to run the command, and then rename, or backup and delete the zipfldr.dll file and it says gone.




No waiting hours for D/L from Rapidshare with a router

Submitted by RAF_Dumoulin
NB- different router menus etc would differ obviously, so finding the different settings would also differ!
[Rapidshare works by looking at your IP address, so all you have to do is change it for next time you access RS. Proxyservers work but sometimes really slow down the download speed, so try this method. It takes a couple of minutes, but it's better than waiting 70 minutes].
Open your browser and type in the router access IP address
(i.e. http://192.168.2.9 or whatever it is).
(This is where you can change all of your router and LAN settings).
Go to a heading titled LAN and change the last number in the LAN IP address to say one digit out from what it is presently. (This IP is the same as you typed into your browser before).
ie - 192.168.2.9 would change to 192.168.2.8
Save the settings. Say yes if prompted to change your LAN IP.
Your router should now reset itself. Wait for it to redial. And there you go! Rapidshare countdown is 60 secs or whatever!
To download subsequent files - change your LAN IP back to what it was originally back and forth between downloads.

How to download movies from YouTube

Submited by RAF_Dumoulin
YouTube uses Flash video to playback movies on their site. In addition to being universally supported on most computers,
one of the many benefits of using Flash from a publishers standpoint is making it harder for people to download the movies.
It\'s not impossible and depending on how the Flash movies are played, you can sometimes simply dig in your Temp directory
for the file because the server actually downloads the entire movie to your computer during playback.
For YouTube movies, it\'s easier to let someone else do all the hard work of locating the file. My favorite solution for downloading
YouTube movies is a Website called KeepVid (Code:
http://www.keepvid.com/
), which locates downloads from a handful of Internet sites.
It\'s one of the few sites I bother bookmarking.
If you find a YouTube video you like, copy the URL to the page the video is on, paste it into the KeepVid download look up, choose
YouTube from the list of sites and click the Download button.

KeepVid will find the download link and provide instructions on how to download it.

Follow the directions and youre almost done.
YouTube uses the FLV Flash format, which isn\'t immediately playable. You also need an app to play it back. Windows users will want to grab a copy of FLV Player Code:
(http://www.jakeludington.com/downloads/20050910_flv_player.html)
to watch the files on your computer. A better option is the shareware app SWF.max, which shows thumbnails of the movies and adds a number of features to control playback.