There are endless tips on the Internet about how to make Windows XP run faster, some are really good technical tips, others just plain bullshit. In this post I want to share the way I optimize windows XP when I get calls from users whining about their computers being slow.
The first thing I do when I get to the PC is to look at the task bar by the system clock to see how many programs are opened there, if you have a bunch of icons like the picture below, that means all those programs are actively running on your computer.
Go to START>RUN and type MSCONFIG on the run command then ENTER. You will get a screen like the picture below,Click on the STARTUP tab and uncheck the programs you don’t want the computer to start-up when to computer boots-up, I preferably uncheck everything but the anti-virus and whatever other programs the user is using for work, like palm synchronization and the like, after you uncheck all that, hit OK and reboot the computer when asked.
After the computer comes back again, you should experience a little bit of improvement in the computer performance. Now download Ad-dware from my list of free troubleshooting tools, update it with all the latest definitions and do a full system scan on your computer, remove whatever spy-ware and cookies ad-adware finds. If it tells you that needs to restart to remove certain objects off your computer, please do so now.
By now, your computer should be a little better, on your Desktop or menu bar go to MY COMPUTER double click it, select the C DRIVE right click it and go to PROPERTIES.
Click on the TOOLS tab and choose DEFRAGMENT NOW when the defrag window comes up choose to ANALYZE the disk .The disk defragmenter windows will show up with the report and if the disk is screwed up it will tell you it needs to get defrag otherwise it’ll tell you is fine as it is. Please notice the defrag will take a while depending on your disk size and how bad it is so bear with it.
After you’re done with the defrag you should do a Disk clean-up, which is in the GENERAL tab on the picture above. Remember NOT to remove any OFFICE SETUP files you have got there. Hit OK after you select the files you want to clean up.
That should be enough to give a boost to your computer. Try to do this once a month and you should have a good system for many years to come. If after doing all these on your computer does not improve the performance, it might be that it needs more physical memory or the CPU is slow. A system with 256 MB of memory and a 1.6 GHz CPU should run fine with these instructions. There are many more tips & tweaks we can do on windows XP, drop me a comment if you have a specific question.