Thursday, 6 November 2008

How to boost Windows XP performance

Heard Microsoft is readying its next operating system, one that will be free of those Vista 'complexities'? Happy with your dear Windows XP? How about adding some power to it?

Here are some simple tips and tricks to boost up your Windows XP performance.

Defragment your hard drive

One of the easiest way to boost up XP's speed is defragmenting your hard drive regularly.

Defragmenting drive organises all data so that it can be read continuously. The process compiles files scattered at multiple locations on the hard drive, making it faster to retrieve files. This helps your operating system run faster and search files faster.

To defragment go to Programmes click Accessories then System Files and click System Defragmenter and Run this application. The process should be done at least once every week.

Disable Windows Index Service

Windows XP by default indexes files on local and network drives to speed up the file search process.

However, this slows the PC performance as it indexes files continuously. But if you don't use the service regularly it is better to disable the process.

To turn off, go to Control Panel and click Administrative Tools and click Services. Now, click on the option stop Windows Index Service.

Remove unused Fonts

You may face trouble or delay in loading XP if you have too many fonts installed. Your Windows XP boot-up time may increase or applications that display font previews may take longer to render all the fonts.

To remove the unused fonts access Windows XP Fonts Control Panel. Click on a font to remove, or select multiple fonts and press Delete button.

The less number of fonts, the faster programmes like Office and other graphics will load.

Use XP Powertoys

Wanna add some power to your Windows? How about some PowerToys to speed up the functionality to your Windows experience. PowerToys are primarily additional programmes that developers work on after a product has been released.

Some of the interesting PowerToys to add to your Windows XP experience are: SyncToy, ClearType Tuner, Virtual Desktop Manager, Alt-Tab Replacement, Tweak UI, Webcam Timershot and CD Slide Show Generator.

SyncToy can help users copy, move and synchronise files from different devices such as digital cameras, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders and PDAs.

Virtual Desktop Manager helps users manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar. This power toy is quite similar to the Spaces in Apple OS Leopord. This programme helps in segregating different types of applications and switch between them.

Remove unwanted start-up programmes

First and foremost clean up the programmes that you do not wish to start. Over a period of time, many programmes get installed on your system that hog on the system resources. Such programmes run automatically when you boot up your system. So remove these programmes as they reduce the startup speed and consume system memory.

There are also chances that spyware programmes, viruses and trojan horses get installed into the automatic start locations on your system. Always check what is running on your system every time when you load your PC. It is better to disable programmes that you either don't need or don't identify.

The easiest way to remove unwanted startup programmes is go to Start then run and type 'msconfig'. This will give you a list of applications that are started at boot up and are running in the background.

Windows XP's Disk Cleanup

This Windows XP utility helps free up disk space. The cleanup process involves searching and analysing the hard drive for files that are no longer of any use. It then removes the unnecessary files, freeing up disk space on the hard drive.

XP users can use Disk Cleanup to remove temporary Internet files, remove downloaded programmes files, empty the Recycle Bin, remove Windows temporary files, remove optional Windows components and remove installed programmes that are no longer in use.