How to speed up Windows XP, part 1


You’ve been probably wondering why Windows XP has been slow lately?  There are many reasons to why this may be happening.

In part 1 of this series, I will be focusing on some factors that affect how Windows performs.

Hardware. RAM, hard drive speed, and type of CPU all play their role on how fast your computer performs general tasks and you must take in consideration that your hardware may be the bottleneck. Therefore doing all the things in this article will help you with your existing setup. However, you should reconsider your hardware setup first if you know it's out of date.

Another factor is how you use and treat your computer.  Do you treat your computer like crap?  Do you care if Windows stacks all of it's old and unused resources?

One thing that Windows does is that it stores old files that are stacked in a temporary folder located in the C:\Windows folder. These files include: downloaded program files, temporary internet files (cache, also can include spyware), recycle bin, temporary files, and compressed old files. These are a few things that are on your computer. Many average users don’t know this.

I suggest cleaning this up each week and downloading spyware removal applications such as Spybot Search and Destroy and SpySweeper.

To perform disk cleanup, navigate to My Computer, right-click your hard drive and click properties. From there, click the "tools" tab and you will find, “Disk Cleanup”.

As you can see, this instance when I ran disk cleanup (look at the images on the screen from left to right), there are 18,635KB of junk that is stored on the hard drive, which slows Windows down.

Now click "disk cleanup", check all the boxes, and proceed with "OK". After deletion, you have cleaned useless junk. Another thing you can do is go back to the main properties page of your hard drive and where you see "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching", you should disable it.  It does not help from my experiences with it on.

Windows can perform "Disk Defragmenter" included in Windows XP. Disk defragmenter allows windows to organize data clusters from A to Z so that the hard drive head does not have to move around to much to find the file, thus providing a faster execution time. To run this, click on Start, all programs, accessories, system tools and disk defragmenter. From there hit the Defragment Button and Ka Bam! You just wait until it is finished.

Now for the desktop. It is much more efficient to keep less desktop icons on the desktop as possible for fastest performance. All the other links for programs should be in your start menu. This ensures the computer will not be cluttered and this will result in faster boot times with minimal load.

That’s it for Part 1. You should notice an improvment on how Windows operates on your next reboot. Happy Tweaking!