This is my first "big" guide but I will try to keep it as short as I can.
Here I will tell you how to make your pc faster and better. So its booting and shutting down time would be faster and/or it would achieve better gaming performance.
I will not tell you about overclocking the processor, memory or video card, because it will end the guarantee.

  • 1-5 What to do first and general stuff.
  • 6-11 Has something to do with registery.
  • 12-36 How to speed up your XP.
  • 37-47 How to speed up bootting.
  • 48-54 And what about display or video card?

1. Backing up Windows registry and creating a system restore point

Lets prepar by backing up Windows registry. That is because we will make some editing in there.
To back up the entire registry, open REGEDIT (start -> run and type 'regedit') and highlight 'my computer', then go to file -> export. Now you need to enter a location where you want to save the exported registry and choose the type of file to create (check 'all' button and select the .reg and click 'save'.

All registry related tips use REGEDIT program which can be opened from the run command. (start -> run and type 'regedit').

This does waste a lot of your disk space (by default) but it is safe thing to do.
So to create a restore point, go to start -> all programs -> accessories -> system tools -> system restore
Click 'create a restore point'.
Give your restore point a name and click 'ok'.

That was it.

  • Restoring the registry from this .reg file is a simple matter of locating the file you created, right clicking it and selecting 'merge'.
  • To restore your system to its previous condition, just open system restore and select 'restore my system to an earlier time'. Choose the one you created, click 'next' and follow the instructions.


2. Save your hard drive space from the system restore utility

Windows XP's system restore utility uses about 12% of each hard drive in your system. (that is just too much!)
So we have to decrease that amount.

Right click on 'my computer' and select 'properties', then go to 'system restore' tab.
The window below contains all hard disks installed to your system. Highlight each one in turn and press the 'settings' key.
Move the slider to adjust the amount of drive space used. I would recommend to use 2-4% of each drive.


3. Editing registry settings without restarting

After you have made change to the registry in Windows XP, you generally have to reboot the computer that your change would take effect. But this is not necessary.

You can cause the system to reload the registry by stopping and restarting the 'explorer' process.
To do this, save and close all open files you might be working on and press CTRL+ALT+DEL to open the task manager.
In the 'processes' tab, highlight 'explorer.exe' and click 'end rocess'. All windows and desktop icons will disappear (except for task manager). Now go to the 'file' menu in task manager and select 'new task (run…)'. Type 'explorer' into the text box (or navigate to C:\WINDOWS and select explorer.exe). This will relaunch explorer and load your new registry settings without restarting (and you will get all your icons back).


4. Restart your desktop

You must know this one. Every version of Windows has suffered from bug what can be called 'desktop freezing'.
You know what I mean ;)

Fortunately there is a cure for that (well, in Windows 2000 and XP).
Press CRTL + ALT + DEL to bring up the task manager.
Select the 'processes' tab and highlight 'explorer.exe' and click 'end process'.
Then click file -> New Task and type 'explorer.exe'.

And now you should find that your desktop is working agian.


5. Scan your PC for spyware and Adware

I could make a big article about this but, I will tell this as short as I can.

Various programs may be operating on your computer without your knowledge, transmitting information about your surfing habits or your emails to interested commercial enterprises. These adware and spyware programs like Gator and Kazaa can also be caught from websites (if some page ask you that would you like to install this-and-this program while you are surfing, answer NO).

Note. These programs are risk to your privacy and security and they will slow down your Internet performance.

Removing them is a good idea. Do this by using Lavasoft's Adaware and Spybot Search and Destroy.
Both aplications are easy to use, and will effectively take care of all pesky parasites in you PC.

And to prevent some of these bugs to get in your system you need a Firewall. Antivirus software is also what must be in your system if you use internet.


6. Stop the 'last access update' stamp

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.

This process can be disabled through the registry:
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem.
Create a new DWORD value called 'NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate' and set the value to '1'.


7. Disable the 8.3 naming convention

Windows XP uses two different names for 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 name. If you are planing to run DOS only software, or connect to old Windows (like -95) computers, then do not disable it. If not, you are simply wasting resources.

To disable 8.3 naming convention open REGEDIT and navigate to
Change the value of the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation key to '1'.

Note. Some popular programs, including Norton Antivirus, use the 8.3 naming convention... (do not ask why)


8. Keep Windows operating data in main memory

In Windows XP`s registry is DisablePagingExecutive registry key, what controls whether the operating system will transfer its essential driver and kernel files to the 'virtual memory'.

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 or more of system memory, try to force Windows to keep its operating data in main memory.
Open Regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management.
Select the DisablePagingExecutive value to '1'.


9. Increase maximum number of simultaneous connection in IE

Internet Explorer 6 allows only two simultaneous server connections (by defeault), which is ok it you only read news on internet.
You can use your Internet bandwidth more efficiently if you increase the number of possible connections.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings.
Add the following two DWORD entries:
- 'MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server' value equals '0000000a'
- 'MaxConnectionsPerServer' value equals '0000000a'
Then exit and reboot.


10. Remove the QoS Bandwidth Reserve Setting

Windows XP's networking setup includes a QOS (Quality Of Service) provision which allows certain software (anything which can take advantage of QOS in Windows) to reserve up to 20% of the bandwidth of a given network connection.

I hate that. Because it means that certain programs can reserve this percentage of bandwidth for themselves when they are running.

This is how you can disable this:
Open REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Psched.
Make new DWORD Value and give name 'NonBestEffortLimit' to it.
Then give Value Data: [Enter as a Percentage / Default Value = 20]
Then exit and Reboot.


11. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times

Windows XP stores a couple of values in its registry which are responsible for determining how long to wait before shutting down open applications and services after the shutdown command has been given.
By editing these two settings and changing them to lower values, you can considerably decrease the amount of time that Windows XP needs to successfully shut itself down.

This will say how long it will take Windows to kill open applications on shutdown:
Open REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\.
Highlight the 'WaitToKillAppTimeout' value.
Set it to '1000' (the default should be 20000).
Now highlight the 'HungAppTimeout' value.
Set it to '1000' (also).

Same thing to all users:
Open REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop.
Highlight the 'WaitToKillAppTimeout' value.
Set it to '1000' (the default should be 20000).
Now highlight the 'HungAppTimeout' value.
Set it to '1000' (also).

Now we will alter a another registry setting to decrease the amount of time Windows XP will wait before shutting down active services after the shut down command.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\.
Highlight the value 'WaitToKillServiceTimeout'.
Change this value to '1000'.
This will help to speed up the time windows XP takes to shut itself down.


12. Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware

You should know that keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release updates 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.


13. Defragment your hard disk(s)

Various factors can cause data to become scattered, or fragmented, over the surface of the drive (this does not mean it cannot be read). So fragmentation does slow down drive access considerably, since the drive has to constantly seek for a new disk location to piece a file it is reading together from the fragmented clusters.

Defragmentation is the process of reassembling the data on the disk into coherent and sequential order, making disk access easier (read faster). All recent versions of Windows include a built-in defragmentation utility.

So go to start -> programs -> accessories -> system tools -> disk defragmenter.
First you need to analyze your hard disk(s) to see if defragmentation is needed.
Select a drive and hit the 'analyze' button. This could take a while depending on the amount of data on the drive.
Once the analysis is finished, you will have a graphical representation of your disk's level of fragmentation (red indicates fragmented files = bad).

Note: You need to have 15% free space on the drive in order to fully defragment it. (or you can make only a partial re-ordering of the files).
So you may need to delete (or move) a few things...

To defragment the drive, select it and hit the 'defragment' button.

Note: Depending the size of the drive and the level of fragmentation, this can take a long time. And I mean a long time.
Best way to do defragment is to do it in Safe Mode (in startup hit F8 and select Windows Safe Mode).
It's a good idea to leave it overnight (and do NOT run anything at the same time).


14. Defrag page file with PageDefrag utility

Defragmenting your hard disks is a good idea, but Windows XP defrag utility cannot access all files and is not very good...
Fortunately, there is a (free) third party utility available which can defrag these files, ensuring that your system is as restored as possible.
Sysinternal`s PageDefrag utility will do the job. First download and install the utility.

The window displays the list of reserved files, and how fragmented they have become. Choose 'defragment at next boot' then press 'ok.' The next time you restart your computer, PageDefrag will defragment the listed files.


15. Change to the NTFS file system

You have Windows XP and not have NTFS system?
- No, no and no. It is a great idea to convert your system drive to the NTFS file system. In addition to providing numerous security and data recovery improvements over FAT32. It can also speed up your system slightly.
In fact, the only real reason for using FAT32 file system is if you have more than one operating system on your PC and the other OS's can only see FAT32 partitions. If you do not have that, convert your system to NTFS now.

Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'.
From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management'.
Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using.
Now open a command prompt window by going to start -> run and typing 'cmd'.
To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs'
So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.


16. Change boot sequence

Need more speed to your loading time at startup? Then change the boot sequence in the BIOS.
Just make sure your system hard drive is first device the computer attempts to boot from, and you are done.

Go to the 'advanced BIOS features' in the BIOS and change the 'first boot device' setting to 'hard disk 0' or 'hard disk group 1'.

Note. If you wish to boot your system from a CD or floppy, you will need to change the order or your boot devices again.


17. Disable the XP loading screen

To speed up your boot process more, just disable the Windows XP loading screen.

Open MSCONFIG (start -> run and type 'msconfig'), select the 'boot.ini' tab and checking the /NOGUIBOOT option.
Now when you boot your system, you will only see a black screen before the welcome screen.


18. Eliminate unwanted programs from boot up

You should know that many of the programs you install on your system set themselves to run automatically when you start up your computer. And this is just waste of good srart up time and totally unnecessary.

I mean other softwares that your virus-scanners and firewall.

Go to MSCONFIG (start -> run and type 'msconfig').
The 'startup' tab in MSCONFIG provides access to several applications that are started at boot up and are running in the background. So just disable others than 'ctfmon' (.exe file in system32-folder) and your virus-scanners and firewall.

Next place you should go is start -> programs -> startup which is a directory Windows XP uses to launch application shortcuts on boot-up. Just delete all stuff from there.


19. Remove 'enter a password' at login of Windows XP

Do not do this
- If you have direct connect to internet
- If you are concerned about the privacy of your data

To get rid of the welcome screen, you need to have only a single main user account and have the Guest account deactivated. Disable also .NET.
.NET Framework Update from Microsoft will creates an extra user account named ASP.NET, I have no idea why...

If you are 100% sure about this, then here is how you can disable it.
Go to start -> run and type 'control userpasswords2'.
Remove any other user accounts that appear on the welcome screen by highlighting them and using the 'remove' button.
Now go to start-> control panel -> user accounts and select your user account.
Choose 'remove password' and enter your password to strip it from your account (and look the warning).
Windows XP should now boot straight up without the welcome screen or a password prompt.


20. Reduce wait time after XP boots

You know that when Windows start and desktop is visible and usable, but programs will not start, and selecting icons and using the start menu are really slow. And it will take from a few seconds to a couple of minutes to clear up, and it normaly happen when you have hurry to somewhere.

It is (normaly) caused by Windows XP's networking services looking for other computers and advertising their functions over the computer's network connections.

Well, lets see how to eliminate it.

If your computer is not attached to a network:
Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'.
Expand 'services and applications' and select 'services' to open the services window.
Highlight the 'workstation' service, right click and select 'properties' and set the 'startup type' to 'disabled'.
Then click 'ok'.

Note. You will need to enable it again if you wish to connect your pc to a network.

If your computer is part of a home network:
Go to start -> control panel -> network and internet connections -> network connections.
Right click your current network connection (defeault as 'local area connection') and select 'properties'.
Uncheck the 'File and Print Sharing' box and press 'ok'.

Note. After this your pc can not share files and printers over the network. You should still be able to access such resources on another systems.


21. Increase desktop graphic performance

If you want to get best out of your XP and do not fear old Windows styles, you can simply disable some new graphical extras that came when you install XP.

Just right click on 'my computer' and select 'properties'.
Choose the 'advanced' tab and under the 'performance' heading, hit 'settings'.
From here you can adjust the graphical settings of the XP interface. Choose 'adjust for best performance' to turn off all extra stuff.


22. Move the page file from system drive

The page file is the area of a hard drive which Windows reserves for use as virtual memory when there is more data than can be stored in the actual physical memory of the system.

Page file access is extremely slow as compared to standard memory, since the hard disk, as a mechanical device, is slower to read and write information than the purely electronic memory. There are still some ways to optimize your page file use so it is not that so slow.
One of the best of these methods, provided you have two physical hard drives, is to move the page file off the disk which hosts the Windows system files. This ensures that Windows is not constantly accessing the disk for the system files as well as the page file.

To do this in Windows XP, just right click on 'my computer' and select 'properties'.
Select the 'advanced' tab.
Under 'performance' choose the 'settings' button.
Select the 'advanced' tab again and under 'virtual memory' select 'change.'

The virtual memory window allows you to select and change the allocation of hard disk space to be used as virtual memory for your system. For best performance; if you have two physical hard disks of roughly equivalent speed, remove the page file from your system disk (c:) and place it on the other drive. If you do not have two hard drive, read part 23.


23. Optimize your page file size

Windows XP sizes the page file to about 1.5X the amount of actual physical memory by default. While this is good for systems with smaller amounts of memory (under 512MB) it is unlikely that a typical XP desktop system will ever need 1.5 X 512MB or more of virtual memory. As a simplified guideline. If you have less than 512MB of memory, leave the page file at its default size. If you have 512MB or more, change the ratio to 1:1 page file size to physical memory size.


24. Disable floppy drive seek

The floppy drive seek BIOS option will try to detect the floppy (a:) drive during boot up. Disable it and you can save a few seconds on boot up.

There is no need for that because once Windows has loaded it becomes irrelevant, as control of hardware devices including drives are handed over from the BIOS to the operating system.

Disable the 'floppy drive seek' option in the 'advanced BIOS features' section of the BIOS.


25. Disable performance counters

Like Windows 2000, Windows XP has a performance monitor utility (found in administrative tools) which can track several areas of your PC's performance. Everything from CPU use to hard drive access can be tracked and graphed. The information for this utility comes from several performance counter services which run behind the scenes, gathering data for the monitor.

If you have no use for this information, it's a good idea to disable the counters, since they take up system resources. Unfortunately, this is rather hard to do without the use of additional software . Fortunately, Microsoft has made the necessary software freely available on their website.

The Extensible Performance Counter List utility can be used to permanently disable these performance counters.

First download and install the utility, then run the Exctrlst.exe utility, found in 'c:\program files\resource kit\'.

Select each line in the 'Extensible performance counters' window and clear the 'performance counters enabled' button below. You must do this separately for each counter.
When done, just exit the utility.

Now if you load the performance monitor, you will see that it has no information available to it.


26. Check your hard drives with scandisk

While defragmenting the drive can help restore much of the performance you might have lost, there are other issues such as lost clusters and bad sectors which the defragmentation utility cannot touch.
Because of this, it is a good idea to run XP's built in error checking utility on your drives (atlest once in a while). This utility will scan your disks for errors and optionally attempt to correct them.

Open 'my computer' and right click the hard disk you wish to check and select 'properties'. Choose the 'tools' tab and under 'error checking' select the 'check now…' button. Check both options. You will need to restart the computer to do the full disk check. Your disk will be fully checked for errors upon reboot.

Note: This can take quite a while.


27. Force XP to unload DLL files after closing a program

Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) are files containing data or functions that Windows programs can call when needed by linking to them. Every piece of windows software will include instructions to the operating system as to which DLLs it will need to access, and XP will cache these particular files in memory for faster access.

The trouble is, Windows XP keeps these DLLs cached after the relevant program has closed, wasting memory space. So lets make a small registry tweak, which will force Windows XP to unload DLLs when it is no longer needed.

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer.
Create a new key named 'AlwaysUnloadDLL' and set the default value to equal '1'.


28. 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 should take place automatically every three days or so, but it can also be activated manually. This might 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.
Then just exit command prompt by typing 'exit'.


29. Enable write caching on hard disks

Enable the hard drive write-back cache, if it is not already selected.

To enable write caching right click on my computer and select 'properties'.
Select the hardware tab, then 'device manager'.
From the device manager window, expand 'disk drives' and highlight your hard disk.
Select 'properties' then the 'policies' tab.
Check the 'enable write caching on the disk' box.
Repeat the above steps for all hard drives in your system.

Note. Do not do this if the drive in question is a hot-swappable drive rack, or if you expect your PC to be shut down incorrectly (and often).


30. Turn off the indexing service

Windows XP includes 'indexing' which constantly creates and updates an index of files in your PC.
It is useless, unless you use file search a lot. You can just disable it boost performance. No harm done here.

To turn off file indexing go to Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Components and uncheck 'Indexing Service'.


31. Enable quick POST / memory test

You should not do this, if you have made or will make modifications to your computer's hardware (especially memory).

Some motherboards have a setting in the BIOS which can instruct the system to skip through certain portion of the POST (Power On Self Test) what can speed up boot time.

These settings are 'perform quick memory test', 'quick boot', 'quick power on self test' etc. Enabling these options will cause your system to boot faster.


32. Disable unnecessary services

Windows XP runs several services in the background. Many of these are not necessary in your PC (depending on what you use it for).
This is where you need to deside and be a judge for yourself which are necessary, and what are not.

Right click 'My computer' and select 'manage' and from the computer management window.
Expand 'services and applications' then click 'services' to open up the window listing all available services.
The ones labeled 'started' are currently running, and the startup type 'automatic' denotes a service which is started by windows.
By highlighting each service, you can see a description of its properties, and now you need to make an decision on whether you need it or not.
To stop a service from running, right click on it and select 'properties', then stop it and make the startup type 'disabled'.

Note. If the description indicates that services which depend on the service you are currently examining will fail if it is disabled, you can go to the 'dependencies' tab to see which services will be affected.
And remember to use common sense! If you do not know what it is, leave it alone.


33. Disable unneeded devices in device manager

A good idea is to disable any unused devices in the Windows XP device manager.

Right click on 'my computer' and select 'properties'. From the 'hardware' tab select 'device manager'.
Expand the various categories to locate unused devices. Right click the devices and select 'disable'.

Like last one, rule is: If you do not know what it is, leave it alone.


34. Auto kill tasks on shutdown

Windows XP will show a shut down command when it can not shutdown something.
I do not know why, because only thing we can do it to close it... So why not let Windows to do it?

To allow Windows XP to close non-responsive applications automatically upon shutdown:
Open REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.
Highlight the value 'AutoEndTasks' and change the value to '1'.
XP will now be able to close crashed applications without user input during the shutdown process.


35. Disable the Disk performance counter(s)

Windows XP contains a built in performance monitor that is constantly examining various areas of your system.
This information can be called up using the performance monitor application found in control panel -> administrative tools.
So it is a good idea to turn the disk monitors off if you are not planning to use the performance monitor application.

Go to the command prompt (start -> run then type 'cmd') and type 'diskperf -N'.


36. Reduce menu delays

The Windows XP start menu incorporates a built-in delay between the time your mouse pointer lands on a menu and the time that menu unfolds. This can get annoying after a while.
You can speed up menu response by just doing a small registry visit.

Open REGEDIT and then navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\.
Edit the MenuShowDelay value. Default is 400, so lower value to speed up the start menu.
It is a good idea to but there something like 25-200.


37. Disable the themes service

Windows themes... Good waste of memory. If you like performance more than good look, there is an easy way to turn themes off and go back to the old Windows style. Simply disable the 'themes' service to restore a classic windows desktop appearance.

To do this, right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'.
In the computer management windows, expand 'services and applications' and select 'services'.
In the right hand window, highlight the 'themes' service. Right click it and select 'properties'.
In the 'startup type' dropdown box, select 'disabled'.


38. Make 'my computer' open faster

Windows XP automatically searches for attached and network printers and remote drives and folders each time you open 'my computer'. In many case there is no need for this.

Open 'My Computer' and go to 'Tools -> Folder Options... then select the view tab and uncheck the 'Automatically search for network folders and printers' box.
Click OK. Now 'My computer' will open much faster.


39. Speed up your mouse

Windows XP applies an acceleration curve to the mouse by default, meaning that every time you move the pointer, it starts out slowly and accelerates with continual movement. I do not like that so I will tell you how to disable that.

Open mouse setting in Control Panel and uncheck the 'enhance pointer precision' box below the mouse speed settings.


40. Remove the desktop picture

Desktop background use memory and can slow the loading time of your system (not much, but still).
So you want to get max performance? Then just remove your picture and go with a blank, coloured background.

Right click on an open area of the desktop and select 'properties'.
Select the 'desktop' tab and in the 'background' window, then highlight 'none'.
Press 'ok'.


41. Use the prefetch switch to load applications faster

You might have notise that Windows XP's media player has a little extra command included in its shortcut, the line '/prefetch:1'. This helps the application load slightly faster. You can try it out to give some performance boost on other programs by editing your shortcuts.

Right click the shortcut and hit 'properties'.
In the 'target' box, put '/prefetch:1' at the end of the line.
Press 'ok'.

Note. I have seen some loading errors with some programs. So if it does not work, simply remove the /prefetch:1 entry.


42. Disable boot virus detection

The boot virus detection setting is now obsolete.

It was big deal when the greatest threat was from virus programs that wrote themselves into the boot sector of hard disks or the partition table. Since every version of Windows after 3.1 needs to write to these areas during install, and the modern virus are no longer (now we have email worms).

So you can just disable it from 'advanced BIOS features' section of the BIOS.


43. Bootvis utility

What is that?
- Microsoft produced this free utility to help speed up Windows XP boot times.

They later removed it from their site and claimed it was simply a design utility and would not help speed up average PC. And that was a big lie.
For good thinking, many XP users thought that is is something to keep alive. The Bootvis utility is available here.

Try it out! Download and install the program, then run it.
Go to 'trace' menu and select 'next boot and driver delays'.
Bootvis will prompt to reboot. Reboot and wait for Bootvis to start again.
Go to the 'trace' menu and select 'optimize' and reboot again.
Wait for Bootvis to complete its analysis. Your boot times should now be optimized.

***Make sure you do this right!***
I have hear that it is possible to brake your hdd if you give a parameter out of range.


44. Reduce recycling bin reserved space

By default, Windows XP reserves 10 percent of each hard drive to store deleted files in the recycling bin. This is just too much. Fortunately, there is an easy way to reduce the amount of hard disk space that is reserved for the recycling bins on each drive.

Right click on the recycling bin and select 'properties', then choose the 'global' tab.
The slider shows the percentage of each drive that is reserved by the recycling bin.
Reduce this to a something like 2-3%.

Note. Now when you will delete something larger than the recycling bin's capacity is, Windows will delete it for good. Windows XP will warn you when this condition occurs.


45. Disable error reporting

To make for a smoother computing experience, disable the error-reporting feature in windows XP. This will prevent error boxes popping up after application crashes, and upon restarting Windows after a fatal crash.

Disable error reporting by right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'.
Expand 'services and applications' and select 'services' to open the services window.
Highlight the 'error reporting service' and right click it, then select 'properties'.
In the 'startup type' choose 'disabled' at that dropdown box.


46. Stop hard disks spinning down

By default, Windows XP spins down all hard drives after 20 minutes of inactivity to save power. This can cause significant delays when it is necessary to access the drives after this time. To increase performance and reduce wear and tear on your drives, disable this feature in Windows XP's power options.

Go to start -> control panel -> performance and maintenance- > power options.
Set the 'turn off hard disks' to 'never.
Click 'ok'.


47. Eliminate unwanted fonts to increase boot speed

Windows XP control panel contains a 'fonts' directory and it holds all the fonts currently installed on your system.
Windows checks and loads these fonts during the startup process, (you know where I am going...)
therefore large amount of fonts can cause slower startup.

Solution is that (if you do not use the majority of these fonts normaly) you move all unnecessary fonts to a new directory what is somewhere else.
To do this, create a new directory somewhere and name it something like 'font backup'.
Go to start -> control panel -> fonts and select all fonts. Then drag and drop all them into the folder you just created.
Now will happen funny thing, Windows XP will automatically re-install the base fonts that it needs to display text into the fonts folder.
Now go through the backup folder and pick the fonts you know you use (like Times New Roman, Verdana and Arial) and drop them to original Fonts folder.

If you removed a large amount of fonts, your system should boot faster.


48. Monitor's refresh rate (only CRT monitors)

This is more about your eyes than performance thing, but this is a good start to Video and graphics tips.

Windows usual but 60Hz as default screen refresh rate on CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors.
This means there is 60 screen updates a second, creating a barely perceptible flickering which can cause eyestrain after a while. It's highly recommended that you increase this refresh rate to something more constant, like 75 or 85Hz.
This makes the image presented much easier on the eyes.

To increase your monitor's refresh rate: Go to start -> control panel -> display and select the 'settings' tab.
Click the 'advanced' button, then choose the 'adaptor' tab and hit the 'list all modes' button.
This will bring up a windows displaying all the possible combinations of resolution, so you want to increase it if there is a higher refresh rate available than what there was as defeault.


49. Enable AGP Master 1WS Write/Read

This is one of several BIOS AGP settings that can make a difference to graphic performance if your BIOS and your card support them. Usually found in the 'advanced chipset features' section of the BIOS as two separate settings, one for read and one for write.
Make sure that they are enabled for better performance.


50. Enable AGP Fast Write

The AGP fast write BIOS setting allows the processor to communicate directly with the graphics processor, ignoring the need to send data through the system's memory. This should be enabled to provide a performance boost.

You should ensure that your video card supports fast writes before setting this option.
Almost all recent video cards do support AGP fast write. Usual can be found at 'advanced chipset features' section of the BIOS.


51. Set Video Memory Cache Mode

There should be two options for this setting, if it is present in your BIOS. UC (uncacheable) and UCWC (uncacheable speculative write-combining). The UCWC setting allows the video card to buffer information moving between the processor and the video memory, making for more efficient data transfer. The UC setting disables this buffering. If your card supports it, enabling UCWC will provide a performance advantage.


52. Disable VSYNC

To get better frame rate advantage in your 3D games (and if you are not overly concerned about image quality) try disabling the VSYNC (wait for vertical synchronization) setting in your card's direct3D and OPENGL settings.
The VSYNC setting forces the video card to conform to the screen refresh rate of the monitor, meaning that the card will not send new display data to the monitor until the previous data has been fully displayed.
This will lover the maximum FPS refresh rate of the monitor.

Note. The penalty for this is that in some games there will be some loss in quality.

Disable VSYNC on ATI cards:
From advanced display settings, go to the '3D' tab and check the 'use custom settings' box for both direct3D and OpenGL.
Press the 'custom...' button to access the controls for both modes. Turn the 'wait for vertical sync' slider to 0 (all the way to the left).

To disable VSYNC on Nvidia cards:
From advanced display settings, go to the tab that identifies your video card model.
The VSYNC settings are located in 'more direct3D settings' and 'OpenGL settings'.


53. Set primary display adaptor

Some motherboards have 'primary graphics adaptor' or 'Init display first' setting in BIOS, which affects whether the system will attempt to first look an AGP or PCI graphics card.

So setting the correct value here may save you some booting time. This option can be found in the 'advanced chipset features' or 'integrated peripherals' sections of the BIOS.


54. Fix the refresh rate for 3D games

Windows XP has a tendency to drop the refresh rate of the screen down to 60Hz when playing with full screen.

To override the DirectX refresh rate with an ATI video card:
Go to start -> control panel -> display and select the 'settings' tab, then hit 'advanced'.
Select the ATI tab called 'displays' then click the 'monitor' button below.
Set the 'refresh rate override' at the dropdown box to your preferred refresh rate, or select 'same as desktop'.
Hit 'ok'.

To override the DirectX refresh rate with an Nvidia video card:
Go to'star -> \control panel -> display and select the 'settings' tab then hit 'advanced'.
Select the tab that has your video card's name on it to go to the Nvidia driver settings.
Select the 'refresh rate overrides' setting.
Choose the resolutions that you commonly play games in (800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024) and double click the 'default' to open a drop down box. Select your desired refresh rate for that resolution.


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