Optimize XP - A Windows XP Optimization Guide



Optimize XP Optimize Windows XP to improve home, work and gaming performance safely.



Warning Read and follow the instructions carefully. This guide is not designed to be used in combination with other Windows tweaking guides or other Windows tweaking software. Before using this guide make sure all of your data is backed up. Viruses and Spyware can cause service pack installations to fail, make sure you have run through Step 1 completely before proceeding.

Advisory Windows XP is still supported by Microsoft through April 8, 2014

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Step 1 - Malware Removal

Malware Removal Guide Malware Removal Guide

Clean Adware, Rootkits, Spyware, Trojans, Viruses and Worms. Malware is short for malicious software. It is a general term that refers to any software or program code designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. This guide will show you how to remove these infections and protect yourself from future infections using free software.

FACT: 89% of consumer PCs are infected with Spyware

Warning Malware infection is the #1 security issue facing Windows users.

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Step 2 - Windows Update

WinUpdate Windows Update

Install All of the updates. Not just the critical ones. This may have to be run multiple times. Run it over again until it says 0 updates available. Non-critical updates are essential for improved performance, compatibility and enhanced features. They are all very safe to install.

Windows XP Windows Update requires the following services be enabled in Windows XP:

- Automatic Updates - Automatic
- Background Intelligent Transfer Service - Manual or Automatic

Warning Service Pack 3 is a cumulative update that includes all of the fixes and updates from the previous service packs. It is highly recommended you install it for optimum performance and error free operation.

- List of fixes that are included in Windows XP Service Pack 3 (Microsoft)
- Steps to take before you install Windows XP Service Pack 3 (Microsoft)

Note - Microsoft Windows Journal Viewer can sometimes conflict with Adobe Acrobat Reader when you open .PDF files, Error: "An installation package for the product Microsoft Windows Journal Viewer cannot be found." If this is happening uninstall The Microsoft Windows Journal Viewer, go to "Start", "Settings", "Add or Remove Programs". The Journal Viewer is only needed to read Journal files created on a Windows XP Tablet Edition PC. It is highly unlikely you will ever need to read these.

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Step 3 - Drivers

Windows Drivers Windows Drivers

Update your drivers using the Windows Driver Guide. Installing the latest Drivers improves system performance and application compatibility. Updated drivers include numerous bug fixes as well as system optimizations. It is recommended for optimal system stability to only use Official drivers and not Beta or Prerelease versions. Performance differences between driver versions including Beta or Pre-release drivers is negligible. The only time Beta or Prerelease drivers should be considered is when a serious application bug is fixed in the Beta or Prerelease version and the component manufacturer has not yet released the Official driver version that includes the bug fix.

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Step 4 - Tweaks

System Visual Effects
Default Windows XP visual settings may look nice but they slow down system responsiveness. Here is how to keep the "look" of Windows XP while losing the sluggish feel.

Instructions - Go to "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", "System", "Advanced" tab, in the "Performance" section select "Settings". Leave only the following checked:

√ Show shadows under menus
√ Show shadows under mouse pointer
√ Show translucent selection rectangle
√ Smooth edges of screen fonts
√ Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop
√ Use visual styles on windows and buttons

Then select "Apply" and "OK". - Source

ClearType - If you have a Flat Panel Display (Notebook, LCD, Plasma) you will notice improved font display quality enabling ClearType over traditional forms of font smoothing or anti-aliasing. ClearType improves readability on color LCD displays with a digital interface, such as those in laptops and high-quality flat panel displays.

Instructions - Go to "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", "Display", "Appearance" Tab, "Effects" button, check "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts", select "ClearType".


Paging File The Paging File
Windows XP by default uses a System managed paging file that works well and it is highly recommended to leave it alone.

"In modern operating systems, including Windows, application programs and many system processes always reference memory using virtual memory addresses which are automatically translated to real (RAM) addresses by the hardware. Only core parts of the operating system kernel bypass this address translation and use real memory addresses directly. Virtual Memory is always in use, even when the memory required by all running processes does not exceed the amount of RAM installed on the system. All processes (e.g. application executables) running under 32 bit Windows gets virtual memory addresses (a Virtual Address Space) going from 0 to 4,294,967,295 (2*32-1 = 4 GB), no matter how much RAM is actually installed on the computer. In the default Windows OS configuration, 2 GB of this virtual address space are designated for each process' private use and the other 2 GB are shared between all processes and the operating system. Normally, applications (e.g. Notepad, Word, Excel, Acrobat Reader) use only a small fraction of the 2GB of private address space. The operating system only assigns RAM page frames to virtual memory pages that are in use. RAM is a limited resource, whereas virtual memory is, for most practical purposes, unlimited. There can be a large number of processes each with its own 2 GB of private virtual address space. When the memory in use by all the existing processes exceeds the amount of RAM available, the operating system will move pages (4 KB pieces) of one or more virtual address spaces to the computer's hard disk, thus freeing that RAM frame for other uses. In Windows systems, these "paged out" pages are stored in one or more files called pagefile.sys in the root of a partition."

- RAM, Virtual Memory, Pagefile and all that stuff (Microsoft)

Default - Windows XP will automatically set the paging file to the following size based on how much RAM is in your system.

Less than 1GB of RAM
- Initial size (MB): 1.5 x the amount of RAM in your system
- Maximum size (MB): 3.0 x the amount of RAM in your system (32-bit PF Size Limit = 4095 MB)

More than or equal to 1GB of RAM
- Initial size (MB): 1 x the amount of RAM in your system
- Maximum size (MB): 3.0 x the amount of RAM in your system (32-bit PF Size Limit = 4095 MB)

- What is the Page File for anyway? (Microsoft Performance Team)

Notes - A properly configured paging file will not resize (increase) so long as the Initial size is set large enough and you have not run out of available RAM. Allowing the paging file to resize is recommended for unforeseen memory intensive situations and will prevent "Out of Memory" error messages from occurring. Any resizing will reset to the default Initial size upon reboot and will not cause any permanent fragmentation of the paging file. Setting the Initial size too large has no negative impact on system performance except to waste disk space if it is not used. Since disk space is usually plentiful it is safer than setting it too small. All arguments about setting the paging file smaller are to conserve disk space and have nothing to do with performance. A permanent solution to this is to add more RAM to your system. It is a good idea to have at least 1 GB to 2 GB of RAM in a PC today. A simple test to determine if you need more RAM is to use you PC for a whole day without rebooting, then look at the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete), Performance tab. If the "Commit Charge - Peak" is ever higher than the "Physical Memory - Total" your system could benefit from adding more RAM. When you change the amount of RAM in your system with a System managed paging file, Windows XP will automatically adjust the paging file size for you.

Optimization - If you have more than one Hard drive in your computer you can create a second paging file on the other physical Hard drive, which will increase paging file performance. Windows uses an internal algorithm to determine which paging file to use for optimal virtual memory management.

- How to configure paging files for optimization and recovery in Windows XP (Microsoft)

Solid State Drives (SSD) - Most pagefile operations are small random reads or larger sequential writes, both of which are types of operations that SSDs handle well. In fact, given typical pagefile reference patterns and the favorable performance characteristics SSDs have on those patterns, there are few files better than the pagefile to place on an SSD.

- Support and Q&A for Solid-State Drives (Microsoft)


Indexing Disable Indexing Service
The Indexing Service in Windows XP indexes your files presumably to shorten the time needed to search your hard drive if you are looking for a specific file or part of a phrase inside a file. However, the constant indexing of files actually slows down system performance by using a lot of pagefile space and CPU time. - Source

Instructions - To disable the Indexing Service go into "My Computer", right-click on all your hard drive partitions one at a time, left-click "Properties". Uncheck "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching". Select "Apply changes to sub folders and files". If any files cannot be updated select "Ignore All".


Mouse Increase the Mouse Pointer Speed
By default Windows sets the Mouse Pointer Speed to an average speed, which can slow down the time it takes to move the cursor around the screen. Increasing this will allow you use your computer quicker and more efficient with less mouse movement.

Instructions - Go to "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", "Mouse", "Pointer Options" tab, under "Motion" adjust the slider 1 to 5 steps closer to "Fast". Only 1 to 3 steps is recommended. Then check "Enhance pointer precision" and select "OK".

Notes - This is a personal preference and should be decided by the user. The tab that the Motion setting will be under can change with third party mouse drivers. Novice Windows users or users with Motion Disabilities will not want to adjust this much, if at all. Cheap and worn out mice can give poor responsiveness, it is recommended to be using a precision optical mouse. Microsoft Optical Mice are highly recommended.


Prefetcher Prefetcher Fix - Download
Prefetching is a new feature in Windows XP that dramatically improves initial application load times and Windows boot times automatically. The slower your system and the larger an application, the more Prefetching helps. Even high end systems benefit from prefetching with large, slow loading applications, such as large games. By default Prefetching is enabled in Windows XP and already configured optimally. However there is a lot of misinformation regarding this feature and bad "tweak" programs on the Internet that can disable prefetching and cripple your application load times. Find out more in XP Myths. Windows Prefetching requires that the Task Scheduler service be running and set to Automatic. The other Prefetcher settings have to be set in the Registry, this file will do this all for you. - Source

Instructions - Download, unzip and run the "Prefetcher Fix.reg" file and reboot. This will restore the Windows Prefetcher to it's default and optimal state. It will also set the Task Scheduler Service to Automatic.

- Task Scheduler - Automatic

Then use Windows Explorer and look in the C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch folder. You should see a file name for any application you have started since Prefetching was enabled. Never clean this folder or disable Windows Prefetching with any "tweaks" as you will cripple your application load times and Windows boot times by as much as 100%. The Prefetch folder and layout.ini files are self-cleaning when it reaches 128 entries down to the 32 most used applications. No user intervention is ever necessary. Once you have confirmed it is running leave it alone. Anyone who claims otherwise does not understand how Windows XP Prefetching works.

Solid State Drives (SSD) - SSDs that perform adequately on random reads and do not have glaring performance issues with random writes or flushes can benefit from having prefetching disabled. Some first generation SSDs had severe enough random write and flush problems that ultimately lead to disk reads being blocked for long periods of time. With prefetching enabled, performance on key scenarios was markedly improved.

- Support and Q&A for Solid-State Drives (Microsoft)

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Step 5 - Utilities

Autoruns Autoruns - Download - Home Page
Utility to display and control startup applications. Disabling unnecessary startup applications improves boot up time and overall system performance.

Instructions - Unzip and launch Autoruns.exe, wait until it says "Ready" in the bottom left corner, then select the "Logon" tab. Next select "Options", check "Hide Microsoft Entries" and press the refresh button or press the "F5" key. The remaining items are third party applications. Uncheck all that are not needed, this will disable them from loading at Windows startup. AntiVirus and Firewall applications are necessary applications that should be running on startup. If you are unsure of what something is, highlight it, select "Entry", then "Google" to launch a search for more information regarding the highlighted application. You can permanently remove items by deleting them. Do not "Delete" anything unless you are 100% positive you do not need it. Disabled (Unchecked) items can be activated again by rerunning Autoruns, checking the item and restarting Windows.

Notes - You can control the startup applications for separate user accounts by selecting "User" and the account you want to edit. This is a much more powerful tool than the built-in System Configuration Utility (msconfig).


Defrag Disk Defragmenter - Home Page - (Unnecessary if Diskeeper is installed)
Built-in Windows defragmenter, a lite version of Diskeeper. File system performance is maximized when files are contiguous on the disk. This means that all of the data in each file would be located consecutively on the Hard Drive. Instead of fragmented into separate parts all over the disk surface, causing the Hard Drive to work harder (slower) to read and write your files. While "Disk Defragmenter" is better than nothing it does not fully optimize your hard drive performance, runs 300-500% slower, cannot be scheduled without a third party application and includes no advanced features. Since the built-in "Disk Defragmenter" is very I/O intensive your system is not usable while it is running. There are no Free Defragmenters that do a better job, in which case you have to purchase a Commercial Defragmenter such as Diskeeper.

Instructions - Double-click "My Computer", right-click the local disk volume that you want to defragment, Example: Local Disk (C:), and then left-click "Properties". On the "Tools" tab, select "Defragment Now", then "Defragment". The following service needs to be enabled:

- DCOM Server Process Launcher - Automatic

Alternate - Go to "Start", "Run", type "Dfrg.msc". Select the volume that you want to defragment, then select "Defragment".

Solid State Drives (SSD) - SSDs perform extremely well on random read operations, defragmenting files isn't helpful enough to warrant the added disk writing defragmentation produces.

- Support and Q&A for Solid-State Drives (Microsoft)


+ StartDefrag StartDefrag - Download - Home Page - (Unnecessary if Diskeeper is installed)
Automates the scheduling of the built-in Disk Defragmenter to run at a set time everyday or once a week.

Instructions - Install and run. Select the "Configuration" tab, under "Scheduled Day" either select a specific day during the week or "Everyday". Then under "Scheduled Hour" select a time when you will not be on the computer but the computer will be on. This is important since the built-in Disk Defragmenter will consume most of the system's resources while running and will not be usable until it is finished. Finally select "Save Changes" and "Exit".

Notes - Do not use this with Diskeeper, which includes a much more advanced and efficient real-time scheduling option. If you install Diskeeper delete the StartDefrag scheduled task and uninstall StartDefrag. To delete the scheduled task, go to "Start", "Programs", "Accessories", "System Tools", "Scheduled Tasks" and delete the task. If it is the only scheduled task listed it will be called "AT1".


+ PageDefrag PageDefrag - Download - Home Page - (Unnecessary if Diskeeper is installed)
Defragment the paging file and the Registry. "One of the limitations of the Windows 2000/XP defragmentation interface is that it is not possible to defragment files that are open for exclusive access. Thus, standard defragmentation programs can neither show you how fragmented your paging files or Registry hives are, nor defragment them. Paging and Registry file fragmentation can be one of the leading causes of performance degradation related to file fragmentation in a system."

Instructions - Download, Run, Look at the "Fragments" column if any of the items is in more than one fragment select "Defrag at next Reboot", then "Ok" and Reboot.

Notes - If you readjust the paging file size, rerun PageDefrag, otherwise this only needs to be run once. On badly fragmented hard drives with a lot of files, PageDefrag may take a long time to run, be patient and let it finish.


Diskeeper Diskeeper - Diskeeper Home - $29.95 / Diskeeper Pro - $59.95 / Diskeeper Pro Premier - $99.95 / Comparison Chart

Diskeeper Home
Diskeeper is the full, automatic version of the limited built-in "disk defragmenter". Now over seven generations newer, it includes enhanced features that Defragment your computer automatically, faster and more thoroughly. The High Speed Defragmentation Engine runs 300-500% faster than the built-in "disk defragmenter". Real-Time Defragmentation automatically handles fragmentation as it occurs with no drain on system resources. InvisiTasking technology allows Diskeeper to run invisibly, keeping your PC defragmented while you are using it - you will never even know Diskeeper is running. Power Management for laptops prolongs battery life by suspending background defragmentation while on battery power. Diskeeper offers the best performance of all commercial defragmenters. Hard Drives are the slowest component in your PC, do not let Disk Fragmentation slow it down even more.

"If you want increased disk performance and speed, install Diskeeper on all your systems."
- John Iasiuolo (Computer Outlook Radio Show) - Diskeeper Testimonials

This graph shows how fragmented your Hard drive can get after just two weeks of using only Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word.

Fragmentation Levels


IZArc IZArc - Download - Home Page
A 100% Free archive utility that supports many archive formats like: 7-ZIP, A, ACE, ARC, ARJ, B64, BH, BIN, BZ2, BZA, C2D, CAB, CDI, CPIO, DEB, ENC, GCA, GZ, GZA, HA, IMG, ISO, JAR, LHA, LIB, LZH, MDF, MBF, MIM, NRG, PAK, PDI, PK3, RAR, RPM, TAR, TAZ, TBZ, TGZ, TZ, UUE, WAR, XXE, YZ1, Z, ZIP, ZOO. With a modern easy-to-use interface, IZArc provides support for most compressed and encoded files, as well as access to many powerful features and tools. It allows you to drag and drop files from and to Windows Explorer, create and extract archives directly in Windows Explorer, create multiple archives spanning disks, creating self-extracting archives, repair damaged zip archives, converting from one archive type to another, view and write comments and many more.


TweakUI TweakUI - Download + Control Panel - Home Page
This Windows XP PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.

Instructions - Download, install, add to the Control Panel and run. Under "Mouse" slide "Menu Speed" to "Fast", under "Explorer" check "Use Classic Search in Explorer" (Gets rid of the Dog).

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Step 6 - Services

Windows XP has some extra services running by default that most people will never use. By disabling these services you will improve Windows boot time and security. Other performance related claims to disabling services are Myths.

GRC Shoot The Messenger - Download - Home Page
Disables Windows Messaging service. This will prevent online spammers from abusing this and causing non browser related message Pop-ups during normal system operation. Installing SP2 or higher will disable the messenger service for you.


GRC Unplug n' Pray - Download - Home Page - Details
Disables Windows potentially dangerous and exploitable Universal Plug and Play networking capability. UPNP allows software applications to automatically open ports on a UPNP router without your permission.


Services Windows XP Services Guide
Run XP-AntiSpy, Shoot The Messenger and Unplug n' Pray first since those utilities will disable some of these services for you. If you are not 100% sure about a service leave it on its default state. The goal is not to turn off as many services as possible but rather to disable only unneeded services.

Instruction - Go to Start, Run, type "services.msc" and press enter. Left-click on the status bar twice to filter all the started service to the top. Double left-click on the Service Name you wish to change. Change the "Startup Type" to either Automatic, Manual or Disabled then select "Apply" and "OK", repeat for all of the following:

Disabled - The following is a list of Services that you can disable on most systems:

Disable Alerter
Disable Distributed Link Tracking Client
Disable Help and Support - (If you use Windows Help and Support leave this enabled)
Disable Indexing Service
Disable IPSEC Services
Disable Messenger - (Shoot the Messenger and installing SP2 or higher will disable this)
Disable Portable Media Serial Number - (Leave enabled for use with security dongles)
Disable Remote Registry Service
Disable Secondary Logon - (Required to use the "Run As" feature)
Disable SSDP Discovery Service - (Unplug n' Pray will disable this)
Disable Telnet
Disable Upload Manager

Automatic - The following is a list of Services that should always be set to automatic:

Automatic Application Layer Gateway Service - (Required by the Windows XP Firewall)
Automatic Automatic Updates - (Required by Windows Updates)
Automatic Background Intelligent Transfer Service - (Required by Windows Updates)
Automatic COM+ Event System - (Required by various applications)
Automatic Cryptographic Services - (Required to confirm the signature of Windows system files, protected root services and key services)
Automatic DCOM Server Process Launcher - (Required by the Disk Defragmenter)
Automatic DHCP Client - (Required for Cable/DSL connections and routers)
Automatic DNS Client - (Improves Internet performance)
Automatic Event Log - (Required by Windows and cannot be stopped)
Automatic Logical Disk Manager - (Required to manage and update your hard drives)
Automatic Network Connections - (Required by network connections)
Automatic Plug and Play - (Required by your system hardware, Never Disable This!)
Automatic Print Spooler - (Required by printers)
Automatic Protected Storage - (Required to protected sensitive data and to prevent access by unauthorized services, processes, or users.)
Automatic Remote Procedure Call (RPC) - (Required by Windows, Never Disable This!)
Automatic Security Accounts Manager - (Required to store security information for local user accounts)
Automatic Security Center - (Notifies you of your Firewall, Automatic Updates and Virus Protection status)
Automatic Shell Hardware Detection - (Required by the AutoPlay feature)
Automatic System Event Notification - (Required by various applications)
Automatic System Restore Service - (Required by the System Restore feature)
Automatic Task Scheduler - (Required by the Windows Prefetcher and other applications like Norton AV, Never Disable This!)
Automatic Terminal Services - (Required by the Security Center Alert feature)
Automatic Themes - (Required by the new look of Windows XP)
Automatic Windows Audio - (Required for sound)
Automatic Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) - (Required by the Windows XP Firewall)
Automatic Windows Management Instrumentation - (Required by Windows, Never Disable This!)

Network Services - The following is a list of Services that are required on home networks and LANs:

Network Services Computer Browser - (Locates local computers and resources on a LAN)
Network Services DHCP Client - (Required for Cable/DSL connections and routers)
Network Services Network Connections - (Required by network connections)
Network Services Server - (Required for network shares and managing local user accounts)
Network Services TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper - (Required for NetBIOS name resolution)
Network Services Wireless Zero Configuration - (Required if you are on a wireless network)
Network Services Workstation - (Required for access to LAN shares and servers)

Notes - Windows Updates can enable services that you have previously disabled. Check which services are running after a future Windows Update is completed. If applications stop working after this it is usually due to being to aggressive with disabling services. Enable the services you disabled one at a time until the application works. In the future leave this service on automatic. If you run into any problems set all services back to their Defaults and start over.

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Step 7 - Internet

TCPOptimizer TCP/IP Optimizer - Download - Home Page - Speakeasy Speed Test
Application to optimize your Internet connection.

Instructions - Download and run. Under the "General Settings" tab select your Connection Speed (Kbps), which is your Maximum Download Speed. If you do not know what it is, contact your ISP and ask them. Make sure the value you get is in Kbps. (Exact capitalization is important, uppercase K, lowercase b ect...) Otherwise use the Speed Test and select the Closest City to get a rough idea of what it should be, then round this value (Download Speed) up to the closest size in TCP/IP Optimizer. Under "Network Adapter" choose the Network interface you use to connect to the Internet, select "Optimal settings", then "Apply changes" and "Yes" to Reboot.

Notes - Setting the Connection Speed higher than your Maximum ISP Download Speed will NOT improve performance and may actually hurt performance. Whatever your ISP claims is your Maximum Download Speed should always be used regardless of what the Speed Test shows. Maximum Download Speeds are theoretical and not always attainable for various reasons. It is normal for them to fluctuate. However, drastic differences in what your ISP claims you should get and what you are actually getting should be brought up with your ISP. It is your money after all and I would want to get what I paid for.


WEB BROWSERS
Despite all the online hype, the far majority of users are best served using Internet Explorer for maximum web page compatibility.

Internet Explorer 8 Internet Explorer 8 - Home Page - Features - Download
Internet Explorer 8 maintains the most web page compatibility of any browser with tabbed browsing, integrated search, crash recovery and an anti-phishing filter. Pop-up blocking support was first added in Windows XP SP2 for Internet Explorer 6 and is built-in to Internet Explorer 8. Since the single most important feature of a browser is web page compatibility, this is an excellent choice for most users.

Firefox Myths Firefox Myths - Get the facts
Firefox is not being recommended here for many reasons.

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Step 8 - Boot

Boot Optimization Boot Optimization

This will invoke the built-in Windows XP boot time optimization process instead of waiting for it to be run automatically by Windows (roughly every three days and after the system has been idle 10 minutes). You will notice immediate improvement in boot performance for this reason. It is not necessary to do this again unless something has been added or removed from the boot sequence (Drivers, Startup Applications ect...) and you do not feel like waiting 3 days for it to be automatically optimized by Windows.

Instructions - Reboot Windows XP two times, each time wait one full minute after the desktop appears to allow Windows time to fully write to the NTOSBOOT-B00DFAAD.PF file before proceeding. After the second reboot go to "Start", "Run" and Type (or copy and paste):

Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

This can take a few minutes to run but no notification will be given when it is finished. You will notice increased Hard drive activity while it is running - wait until this stops.

Notes - Everything needs to be installed and updated for optimal results. Many previous steps also improve boot times - such as the Prefetcher Fix, disabling Services (except the Task Scheduler), using Autoruns and Defragmenting.

- Advanced troubleshooting for general startup problems in Windows XP (Microsoft)
- Benchmarking on Windows XP (Microsoft)
- Troubleshooting the Startup Process (Microsoft)

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Step 9 - Shutdown

User Profile Hive Cleanup Service User Profile Hive Cleanup Service (UPHCLean) - Download - 64-bit - Home Page

This service will help with slow log off and unreconciled profile problems.

Instructions - Download and install.

Notes - UPHClean v1.6d does not function under Windows XP x64 Edition. A future version of UPHClean may be supported under those operating systems.

- Advanced troubleshooting for shutdown problems in Windows XP (Microsoft)
- You experience log off problems on a Windows XP-based Computer (Microsoft)

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Advanced

NTFS Disable NTFS 8.3 Filenames

The creation of 8.3 filenames and directories for all long filenames and directories on NTFS partitions may decrease directory enumeration performance.

[HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem] "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation"

Instructions - Go to "Start", "Run", and Type: fsutil behavior set disable8dot3 1

Notes - Some 16-bit (DOS) applications may not be able to find files and directories with long filenames.

- How to Disable the 8.3 Name Creation on NTFS Partitions (Microsoft)


NTFS Disable NTFS Last Access Time

Disabling the Last Access Time improves the speed of folder and file access.

[HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem] "NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate"

Instructions - Go to "Start", "Run", and Type: fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1

Notes - This can affect programs such as backup and Remote Storage that rely on this feature.

- Fsutil behavior (Microsoft)

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Freeware

Stop paying for software you can get for free! Using the following two guides you can get everything you need from expensive Office Suites and Photo Editing software to over 100 Games for free:

XP Freeware XP Freeware - This guide will show you the best Freeware Applications for Windows. From expensive Office Suites to Photo Editing software. Why are you paying hundreds of dollars for software that you can get for free?

XP Games XP Games - This guide covers the better Freeware games from Independent Developers and Commercial Publishers. These games are 100% free full games, not Demos or Shareware. None have any Adware, Spyware or Viruses. Get over 100 quality games without having to spend a dime.

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Archive

SP1 Slowdown Hotfix

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End

This guide is under constant revision as new optimizations are uncovered and evaluated. Feel free to submit suggestions or comments to OptimizeXP@comcast.net. Do not send Technical Support Questions.

Legal Notice - Reproduction of this guide in whole or in part is strictly forbidden. This guide and ALL versions thereof are protected by copyright under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Feel free to link to this Guide.