How to improve Windows XP Performance

Good old Windows XP never dies! If you’re suffering of poor performance on your Windows XP Computer, you might want to try some of the following settings.

Machine Tweaks (Require Admin Rights)

Disable Startup Programs

  1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group
  2. Click Start
  3. Click Run
  4. Type “regedit”
  5. Navigate to: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run
  6. Right Click on the “Run” key and select “Export”
  7. Export the key to a safe location
  8. Delete all Values within the Run Key except CA DSM and McAfee related keys
  9. Repeat step 5 to 8 for the HKCU Hive but also exclude the value ctfmon.exe from deletion

Disable unnecessary Services

  1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group
  2. Click Start
  3. Click Run
  4. Type “services.msc”
  5. Disable the following Services
    Error Reporting Service
    Help and Support (You will not be able to use Remote Desktop Help after disabling this)
    Machine Debug Manager

Clear Temp Folder and recreate Prefetcher

  1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group
  2. Click Start
  3. Click Run
  4. Type “CMD”
  5. In the command windows type the following:
    del %temp%\*.* /Q
    del %windir%\Temp\*.* /Q
    del %windir%\Prefetch\*.* /Q

Remove Temporary Installation Files (Hotfixes)

  1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group
  2. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows
  3. Make sure “Show hidden Files and Folders” is enabled in the Windows Explorer Options
  4. Remove Files that are compressed and start with a “$” sign EXCEPT the “$hf_mig$” folder!
    Examples:
    $NtUninstallKB898461$
    $NtUninstallKB898463$

Empty Recycle Bin after previous steps

  1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group
  2. Right Click the Recycle Bin and select “Empty Recycle Bin”

Defragment the System Drive

  1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group
  2. Click Start
  3. Click Run
  4. Type “CMD”
  5. Type “defrag %SYSTEMDRIVE%”
  6. Hit Enter

Use a resource friendly Virus Scanner

Many Virus Scanners are even worse the a Viruses they want to protect you from. I found Microsoft Security Essentials is a very efficient and resource friendly Virus Scanner, and it’s free! :) Refer to this post to get more information: http://blog.microtom.net/?p=493

User Tweaks

Disable Search for Network Folders

  1. Logon with the User Account
  2. Open Windows Explorer
  3. Click “Tools” – “Folder Options”
  4. In the “View” Tab uncheck “Automatically check for network folders and printers”
  5. Click “OK”

Remove Startup Programs

  1. Logon with the User Account
  2. Click Start
  3. Click Run
  4. Type %userprofile% and click “OK”
  5. Further navigate to “Start Menu\Programs\Startup” and delete every item in it (except if you really really REALLY(!) need one of them to start with Windows)

Cleanup Desktop

  1. Logon with the User Account
  2. Move Shortcuts (especially the ones that point to network locations) from the desktop to another location. You can also create a Folder (e.g. called “Shortcuts”) on the Desktop and move them in it.

Compress /Split PST Files

  1. Logon with the User Account
  2. Start Outlook
  3. For each Personal Folder File:a. Right click the Folder and select “Properties for Personal Folder…”
    b. Click “Advanced”
    c. Click “Compact Now” and wait for the process to finish
    d. Click “OK”
    e. In the Personal Folders Properties window click “Folder Size”
    f. If the Total Size exceeds 1GB, split the PST file into additional PST’s

Enable “Cached Exchange Mode” in Outlook (Exchange Users Only)

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook 2003
  2. Click “Tools” – “E-mail Accounts…”
  3. Select “View or change existing e-mail accounts” (Selected by default) and click “Next >”
  4. Select the “Microsoft Exchange Server” Account and click “Change…”
  5. Check the check box “Use Cached Exchange Mode” (if not already checked) and click “Next >”
  6. Click “OK” on the Dialog
  7. Click “Finish”
  8. Restart Outlook

Remove the Desktop Wallpaper or use a .jpg image rather than .bmp

  1. Right click somewhere on your Desktop
  2. Select Properties
  3. In the “Display Properties” Window select the “Desktop” Tab (Second Tab)
  4. In the “Background” Selection Field select [None] and click “OK”

Use the Windows 2000 Theme instead of the Windows XP default theme

  1. Right click somewhere on your Desktop
  2. Select Properties
  3. In the “Display Properties” Window select the “Themes” Tab (First Tab)
  4. In the “Theme” Drop Down list, select “Windows Classic”
  5. Click “OK”
  6. Select “No” when asked to save your current Theme->Additionally you can also disable the “Windows Themes” Service
Per-Machine Tweaks (Require Admin Rights)
Disable Startup Programs1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group2. Click Start3. Click Run

4. Type “regedit”

5. Navigate to:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run

6. Right Click on the “Run” key and select “Export”

7. Export the key to a safe location

8. Delete all Values within the Run Key except CA DSM and McAfee related keys

9. Repeat step 5 to 8 for the HKCU Hive but also exclude the value ctfmon.exe from deletion
Disable unnecessary Services

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type “services.msc”

5. Disable the following Services

Error Reporting Service

Help and Support

Machine Debug Manager
Clear Temp Folder and recreate Prefetcher

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type “CMD”

5. In the command windows type the following:

del %temp%\*.* /Q
del %windir%\Temp\*.* /Q

del %windir%\Prefetch\*.* /Q
Remove Temporary Installation Files (Hotfixes)

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows

3. Make sure “Show hidden Files and Folders” is enabled in the Windows Explorer Options

4. Remove Files that are compressed and start with a “$” sign EXCEPT the “$hf_mig$” folder!
Examples:
$NtUninstallKB898461$
$NtUninstallKB898463$

Empty Recycle Bin after previous steps

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Right Click the Recycle Bin and select “Empty Recycle Bin”

Defragment the System Drive

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type “CMD”

5. Type “defrag %SYSTEMDRIVE%”

6. Hit Enter

Per User Tweaks
Disable Search for Network Folders

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Open Windows Explorer

3. Click “Tools” – “Folder Options”

4. In the “View” Tab uncheck “Automatically check for network folders and printers”

5. Click “OK”

Remove Startup Programs

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type %userprofile% and click “OK”

5. Further navigate to “Start Menu\Programs\Startup” and delete every item in it (except if you really really REALLY(!) need one of them to start with Windows)
Cleanup Desktop

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Move Shortcuts (especially the ones that point to network locations) from the desktop to another location. You can also create a Folder (e.g. called “Shortcuts”) on the Desktop and move them in it.
Compress /Split PST Files

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Start Outlook

3. For each Personal Folder File:

a. Right click the Folder and select “Properties for Personal Folder…”

b. Click “Advanced”

c. Click “Compact Now” and wait for the process to finish

d. Click “OK”

e. In the Personal Folders Properties window click “Folder Size”

f. If the Total Size exceeds 1GB, split the PST file into additional PST’s

Enable “Cached Exchange Mode” in Outlook (Exchange Users Only)

1. Open Microsoft Outlook 2003

2. Click “Tools” – “E-mail Accounts…”

3. Select “View or change existing e-mail accounts” (Selected by default) and click “Next >”

4. Select the “Microsoft Exchange Server” Account and click “Change…”

5. Check the check box “Use Cached Exchange Mode” (if not already checked) and click “Next >”

6. Click “OK” on the Dialog

7. Click “Finish”

8. Restart Outlook

Remove the Desktop Wallpaper or use a .jpg image rather than .bmp

1. Right click somewhere on your Desktop

2. Select Properties

3. In the “Display Properties” Window select the “Desktop” Tab (Second Tab)

4. In the “Background” Selection Field select [None] and click “OK”

Use the Windows 2000 Theme instead of the Windows XP default theme

1. Right click somewhere on your Desktop

2. Select Properties

3. In the “Display Properties” Window select the “Themes” Tab (First Tab)

4. In the “Theme” Drop Down list, select “Windows Classic”

5. Click “OK”

6. Select “No” when asked to save your current Theme

*Additionally you can also disable the “Windows Themes” Service

Per-Machine Tweaks (Require Admin Rights)
Disable Startup Programs1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group2. Click Start3. Click Run

4. Type “regedit”

5. Navigate to:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run

6. Right Click on the “Run” key and select “Export”

7. Export the key to a safe location

8. Delete all Values within the Run Key except CA DSM and McAfee related keys

9. Repeat step 5 to 8 for the HKCU Hive but also exclude the value ctfmon.exe from deletion
Disable unnecessary Services

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type “services.msc”

5. Disable the following Services

Error Reporting Service

Help and Support

Machine Debug Manager
Clear Temp Folder and recreate Prefetcher

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type “CMD”

5. In the command windows type the following:

del %temp%\*.* /Q
del %windir%\Temp\*.* /Q

del %windir%\Prefetch\*.* /Q
Remove Temporary Installation Files (Hotfixes)

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows

3. Make sure “Show hidden Files and Folders” is enabled in the Windows Explorer Options

4. Remove Files that are compressed and start with a “$” sign EXCEPT the “$hf_mig$” folder!
Examples:
$NtUninstallKB898461$
$NtUninstallKB898463$

Empty Recycle Bin after previous steps

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Right Click the Recycle Bin and select “Empty Recycle Bin”

Defragment the System Drive

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type “CMD”

5. Type “defrag %SYSTEMDRIVE%”

6. Hit Enter

Per User Tweaks
Disable Search for Network Folders

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Open Windows Explorer

3. Click “Tools” – “Folder Options”

4. In the “View” Tab uncheck “Automatically check for network folders and printers”

5. Click “OK”

Remove Startup Programs

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type %userprofile% and click “OK”

5. Further navigate to “Start Menu\Programs\Startup” and delete every item in it (except if you really really REALLY(!) need one of them to start with Windows)
Cleanup Desktop

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Move Shortcuts (especially the ones that point to network locations) from the desktop to another location. You can also create a Folder (e.g. called “Shortcuts”) on the Desktop and move them in it.
Compress /Split PST Files

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Start Outlook

3. For each Personal Folder File:

a. Right click the Folder and select “Properties for Personal Folder…”

b. Click “Advanced”

c. Click “Compact Now” and wait for the process to finish

d. Click “OK”

e. In the Personal Folders Properties window click “Folder Size”

f. If the Total Size exceeds 1GB, split the PST file into additional PST’s

Enable “Cached Exchange Mode” in Outlook (Exchange Users Only)

1. Open Microsoft Outlook 2003

2. Click “Tools” – “E-mail Accounts…”

3. Select “View or change existing e-mail accounts” (Selected by default) and click “Next >”

4. Select the “Microsoft Exchange Server” Account and click “Change…”

5. Check the check box “Use Cached Exchange Mode” (if not already checked) and click “Next >”

6. Click “OK” on the Dialog

7. Click “Finish”

8. Restart Outlook

Remove the Desktop Wallpaper or use a .jpg image rather than .bmp

1. Right click somewhere on your Desktop

2. Select Properties

3. In the “Display Properties” Window select the “Desktop” Tab (Second Tab)

4. In the “Background” Selection Field select [None] and click “OK”

Use the Windows 2000 Theme instead of the Windows XP default theme

1. Right click somewhere on your Desktop

2. Select Properties

3. In the “Display Properties” Window select the “Themes” Tab (First Tab)

4. In the “Theme” Drop Down list, select “Windows Classic”

5. Click “OK”

6. Select “No” when asked to save your current Theme

*Additionally you can also disable the “Windows Themes” Service

Per-Machine Tweaks (Require Admin Rights)
Disable Startup Programs1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group2. Click Start3. Click Run

4. Type “regedit”

5. Navigate to:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run

6. Right Click on the “Run” key and select “Export”

7. Export the key to a safe location

8. Delete all Values within the Run Key except CA DSM and McAfee related keys

9. Repeat step 5 to 8 for the HKCU Hive but also exclude the value ctfmon.exe from deletion
Disable unnecessary Services

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type “services.msc”

5. Disable the following Services

Error Reporting Service

Help and Support

Machine Debug Manager
Clear Temp Folder and recreate Prefetcher

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type “CMD”

5. In the command windows type the following:

del %temp%\*.* /Q
del %windir%\Temp\*.* /Q

del %windir%\Prefetch\*.* /Q
Remove Temporary Installation Files (Hotfixes)

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows

3. Make sure “Show hidden Files and Folders” is enabled in the Windows Explorer Options

4. Remove Files that are compressed and start with a “$” sign EXCEPT the “$hf_mig$” folder!
Examples:
$NtUninstallKB898461$
$NtUninstallKB898463$

Empty Recycle Bin after previous steps

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Right Click the Recycle Bin and select “Empty Recycle Bin”

Defragment the System Drive

1. Logon with a User that is a member of the local Administrator Group

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type “CMD”

5. Type “defrag %SYSTEMDRIVE%”

6. Hit Enter

Per User Tweaks
Disable Search for Network Folders

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Open Windows Explorer

3. Click “Tools” – “Folder Options”

4. In the “View” Tab uncheck “Automatically check for network folders and printers”

5. Click “OK”

Remove Startup Programs

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Click Start

3. Click Run

4. Type %userprofile% and click “OK”

5. Further navigate to “Start Menu\Programs\Startup” and delete every item in it (except if you really really REALLY(!) need one of them to start with Windows)
Cleanup Desktop

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Move Shortcuts (especially the ones that point to network locations) from the desktop to another location. You can also create a Folder (e.g. called “Shortcuts”) on the Desktop and move them in it.
Compress /Split PST Files

1. Logon with the User Account

2. Start Outlook

3. For each Personal Folder File:

a. Right click the Folder and select “Properties for Personal Folder…”

b. Click “Advanced”

c. Click “Compact Now” and wait for the process to finish

d. Click “OK”

e. In the Personal Folders Properties window click “Folder Size”

f. If the Total Size exceeds 1GB, split the PST file into additional PST’s

Enable “Cached Exchange Mode” in Outlook (Exchange Users Only)

1. Open Microsoft Outlook 2003

2. Click “Tools” – “E-mail Accounts…”

3. Select “View or change existing e-mail accounts” (Selected by default) and click “Next >”

4. Select the “Microsoft Exchange Server” Account and click “Change…”

5. Check the check box “Use Cached Exchange Mode” (if not already checked) and click “Next >”

6. Click “OK” on the Dialog

7. Click “Finish”

8. Restart Outlook

Remove the Desktop Wallpaper or use a .jpg image rather than .bmp

1. Right click somewhere on your Desktop

2. Select Properties

3. In the “Display Properties” Window select the “Desktop” Tab (Second Tab)

4. In the “Background” Selection Field select [None] and click “OK”

Use the Windows 2000 Theme instead of the Windows XP default theme

1. Right click somewhere on your Desktop

2. Select Properties

3. In the “Display Properties” Window select the “Themes” Tab (First Tab)

4. In the “Theme” Drop Down list, select “Windows Classic”

5. Click “OK”

6. Select “No” when asked to save your current Theme

*Additionally you can also disable the “Windows Themes” Service

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