ScanDisk in XP
XP and Win2K don't include the DOS SCANDISK Utility. However, you can perform the same task using XP's and Win2K's Error Checking feature. To access this feature, perform the following steps:
- Open Windows Explorer.
- Right-click the drive you want to check, and select Properties from the context menu.
- Select the Tools tab.
- Under Error Checking, click Check Now.
- If you want the scan to automatically attempt to make repairs or check the disk for bad sectors, select those options and click Start.
- Close Windows Explorer.
Speed up the
Windows XP default speed of the Start Menu is very
slow. You can fix that by editing a Registry Key.
- Go to Start> Run, then type in: regedit Press [Enter] on your keyboard.
- Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \
Desktop \ MenuShowDelay
- By default, the value is 400. Change this to a smaller value (like 0) to
speed it up.
Note: If your still experiencing a slow speed of the Start Menu, even after
using the above tip, then you might try the following:
- Navigate to Display Properties> Appearance> Advanced
- Turn off the option titled Show menu shadow . You will get much better
Feel the need for speed?
You can adjust the graphics and splash screen effects in XP. This uses up some memory and slows XP down.
Follow the steps below to pick up some noticeable speed by taking out some
of the fancy stuff that XP does behind the scenes:
- Click your Start button on bottom left of your tool
- Choose control panel>> System>>
- Under 'Performance' click Settings and select
"Adjust for best performance".
- Now, scroll down to the last two options in that menu
and uncheck them:
- Use drop shadows
- Use visual styles
- Apply the change.
Don't worry, XP will still look and feel like XP.
Notification Balloon Tips
You have undoubtedly seen the yellow balloons that
appear at certain times in the notification area. For instance, when you connect or disconnect the network cable, you'll see a
message notifying you of the network's state. Most of the time, these balloons are quite useful, because they replace dialog boxes
displayed in previous versions.
But sometimes these balloons can be very annoying. For example, if you don't have much free space on your hard drive, the balloons will
keep reminding you of low disk space. You might like the first notification, but probably not the fifth, sixth, and so on. Fortunately,
you can disable them by opening your favorite registry editor and going to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced. Create a new DWORD value with the name
"EnableBalloonTips" and set it to 0. This setting should disable all notification balloons for the user. If you want to
disable only low-disk-space balloons, set the
"NoLowDiskSpaceChecks" DWORD value to 1. If this value is not in the same location as the previous one, create it
If you don't want to mess with the registry, you can use the Tweak UI utility to do
this for you. Run Tweak UI and go to the Taskbar option. Tweak UI is part of the
PowerToys, which are available free from Microsoft. Download safely right
here from 5 Star Support.
939 KB Download
8 Min @ 28.8 kbps
As always, back up your registry prior to making any changes.
Programs Running at System Startup
When people write programs, most of them design their product to
automatically launch at the systems startup. Is it really necessary for these
programs to be running? Only key programs
such as anti-virus and firewall programs need to be running at system startup.
The other programs should be re-configured to start only when needed.
Having a lot of programs running at once is very taxing to your system resources
and if enough of them are running can cause errors in your operating system,
usually memory type errors. Another noticeable problem is a slowing in your boot
process. Do you have a computer that is taking a couple of minutes to boot up?
To stop these programs from running at startup, locate the program and
re-configure it to NOT run at startup. This is usually found in the programs
Properties. Or alternately, you can use Microsoft's System Configuration Utility
to accomplish this. Here's how:
- Go to Start>> Run. Type in: msconfig [Enter] or Click OK.
- Click the Startup tab.
- Uncheck any program listed here to stop it from running.
- Exit the Configuration Utility and reboot your system.
Note: Make sure that you do not disable your anti-virus or firewall software.
Depending on how many you had to uncheck, you could notice much better
performance from your operating system.
Clearing the Page File on Shutdown
To save on Random Access
Memory (RAM), Windows uses your Page File as a sort of cache. This can slow
down your PC's overall performance. To remedy this situation, Windows XP has
an option that allows users to clear the Page File when you shut down
Windows. While this tweak tends to lengthen the shutdown time, it does have
its performance benefits.
set the computer to clear the page file without directly editing the registry
on the Start button
to the Control Panel
on Security Options
hand menu - right click on "Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile"
To clear the
page file using the Windows Registry:
Be sure to make a backup copy of your registry prior to making any changes
Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK.
Navigate to the following registry key:
Click once on the entry titled: "Memory Management". Its contents will
now appear in the right pane.
In the right pane. Locate an entry titled: "ClearPageFileAtShutdown".
Right click this entry and select "Modify".
Chance the Value to "1". This will enable this feature.
Exit the Windows Registry and reboot your system
Enable/Disable Error Reporting in Windows XP
In an effort to make Windows XP a better and more stable operating system, Microsoft has included Error Reporting in the latest release. Whenever an application has to close because of an error, it asks that a report be sent to Microsoft for study and evaluation. Sending the report is optional, but users can benefit from the error log that is generated if they wish to study it or print a hard copy. If you find error reporting objectionable and want it disabled, here's how:
By default, WindowsXP will request to report application errors to Microsoft.
To turn this off:
- Right click on the My Computer icon on the desktop
- Select Properties / Advanced
- Click on the Error Reporting tab
- Check Disable error reporting
Windows Messenger is a Windows
XP default systems program that is automatically installed. If you have no
need for this program and would like to free up a bit of space on your hard
drive, you can uninstall it. Here's how:
On XP Systems without SP1:
- Click Start >> Run Then type the following:
- Press [ENTER]
- Restart Windows
On XP Systems WITH SP 1:
- Control Panel
- Add / Remove Programs
- Click on "Add/Remove Windows Components" on the left
- UNcheck "Windows Messenger"
- Click "Next"
- Click "Finish"
Disabling the Indexing Service
Speed Up Windows XP by Disabling the Indexing Service:
The Indexing service can create an index of all the files and the content of many of those files in order to make finding things much faster. While Windows XP's heart is in the right place, this sounds better than it is in practice. The Indexing service is more effective in its ability to slow down your computer than its ability to speed file searches.
Here's how to disable the Indexing service:
- Click Start and
click the Run command.
- In the Open text box, type services.msc and click OK.
- In the right pane of the Services console, find the Indexing Service. A quick way to get there is to click on the first entry in the right pane and then press the "I" key on the keyboard.
- Double click on the Indexing Service entry.
- In the Indexing Service Properties dialog box, click the down arrow in the Start type drop down list box and select Manual.
- If the service is started, you can stop it now by clicking the Stop button.
You don't need to restart the computer. The next time the computer starts, the Indexing service will not run automatically.
If you want to access display configurations not normally listed (e.g. 256 colors)
- In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Settings tab
- Click the Advanced button
- Click the Adapter tab
- Click the List all modes button
- Select the resolution, color depth, and refresh rate that you want and click OK
In XP, the Documents And
Settings folder holds all user information, including configuration
settings, favorites, and cookies. The Documents And
Settings\Username\Cookies folder is where XP stashes cookies. You can
control how your computer processes these cookies.
- Click Start >>
Control Panel >> Network And Internet Connections >>
- Click the Privacy tab,
then use the slider bar to modify your cookie settings.
For instance, you can block
cookies from sites that use personal identification without your consent. To
increase your security, try out the other privacy settings in this dialog.
The lowest level is Accepts all Cookies while the highest level Blocks All
Cookies. You'll have options in-between such as; low, medium and medium-high
which will have descriptions on what they filter. Keep in mind that
rejecting cookies may limit your actions on some Web sites.
up Windows XP
Speed Up Windows XP by
Keeping the Operating System in Memory
One thing you can do to
speed up Windows XP is to make sure that key operating system functions stay
in memory. Memory (also called "RAM" for Random Access Memory) is
much faster than the hard disk. Perform the following steps to boost your XP
- Click the Start button.
Click the Run command and type regedit in the Open text box. Click OK.
As always, be very careful when editing the Registry.
- In the Registry Editor,
go to the following registry key:
HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session
- Right click the
DisablePagingExecutive entry in the right pane of the Registry editor
and click Modify.
- In the Edit DWORD Value
dialog box, type the number "1" (without the quotes) in the
Value data field. Click OK.
- Close the Registry Editor
and restart the computer.
Edition Back Up
Backup on the Home edition of XP is not installed by default.
The backup application on the retail version is located on the XP CD in the Valueadd folder, Some OEM's include backup, but some OEM's elect not to supply the additional folder.
Place the XP CD in the CD drive and select Additional Functions, then browse the CD.
The readme file includes additional information on installing backup.
Once installed, it can be accessed from Start, All Programs, Accessories, System, Backup.
Here is a very simple yet very
affective way to improve your systems performance.
- Start >> Right Click on My Computer and select
- Click the "Advanced" tab
"Settings" in the Performance section.
- Disable any or all of the
- Fade or slide menus into view
- Fade or slide ToolTips into view
- Fade out menu items after clicking
- Show Shadows under menus
- Slide open combo boxes
- Slide taskbar buttons
- Use a background image for each folder type
- Use common tasks in folders
You should notice a big
improvement (depending on how many features you've disabled) in your
computers performance while still keeping the same look and feel of your
off/on system restore
System Restore, a Windows XP feature, is similar to the "Last Known Good Configuration" in Windows NT and Windows 2000. You can use System Restore to restore the computer to a previous state, using the backups that it makes of selected system files and program files. However, "Last Known Good Configuration" restores the computer back to the last state that Windows determines might work, whereas System Restore gives you a choice of previous states to restore the computer back to. That is, System Restore maintains multiple restore points instead of one last restore point.
While this is a desirable feature, in some cases it should be temporarily turned off. For example, If the computer is infected with a virus,
it is possible that the virus could be backed up by System Restore. So, if
you spend the time to remove the infection from your system, system restore
could actually restore the virus to your system the next time it is used.
You must be logged in as an Administrator to do this. If you are not logged in as an Administrator, the System Restore tab will not be displayed. If you do not know how to log in as Administrator, contact your system administrator (if you are on a network), the computer manufacturer, or installer.
Turning off System Restore will clear out all previous restore points.
To turn off Windows XP System Restore:
NOTE: These instructions assume that you are using the default Windows XP Start Menu and have not changed to the Classic Start menu. To re-enable the default menu, right-click Start, click Properties, click Start menu (not Classic) and then click OK.
- Click Start.
- Right-click the My Computer icon, and then click Properties.
- Click the System Restore tab.
- Check "Turn off System Restore" or "Turn off System Restore on all drives"
- Click Apply.
- As noted in the message, this will delete all existing restore points. Click Yes to do this.
- Click OK.
- Proceed with what you need to do; for example, virus removal. When you have finished, restart the computer and follow the instructions in the next section to turn on System Restore.
To turn on Windows XP System Restore:
- Click Start.
- Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
- Click the System Restore tab.
- Uncheck "Turn off System Restore" or "Turn off System Restore on all drives."
- Click Apply, and then click OK.
Common Control Panel Applets
Below, you will find the
- Common Control Panel
- How to run these applets
- Create a Desktop Shortcut
Here are some common Control Panel Applets that are located in the \windows\system32 directory.
If you are using any of these on a regular basis, you might find it useful to create a desktop icon for simple one click access.
|| Add/Remove Programs
|| Display Properties
|| Firewall Settings
||Add New Hardware Wizard
|| Internet Options
| mmsys.cpl sounds
|| Network Connections
||Scanners and Cameras
|| System Properties
||Phone and Modem options
||Date and Time Properties
|| Security Center
In order to run these
Go to Start>>
Run. Type in the applet of choice: (eg: To open Password Properties)
Hit Enter on your keyboard
or click OK.
To create a desktop shortcut:
- Right click a blank area of your desktop
- Select New>> Shortcut
- Type the Applet of choice in the text box (eg: desk.cpl) Click Next.
- Type the name of your new icon (eg: Display Properties) Click Finish.
all restore points except recent one
In an effort to help Windows XP
users free up more hard drive space, you can remove all restore points
except for the most recent through Window's Disk Cleanup Utility. Here's
Click Start>> Run. Type in: CLEANMGR [Enter]
- Select the hard disk partition and press OK
- At the top of the dialog, click the tab More Options
- Under System Restore section, click the button "Clean up..."
Now, all the System Restore points (except the recent one) are cleared and more hard disk space will be free.
The maximum size of your Internet Explorer browser cache is ### megabytes. Generally, cache sizes above 80 megabytes can actually waste disk space and create poor computer performance.
Here is how to adjust your IE cache size:
- Start Internet Explorer
- Select Tools >> Internet Options >> General tab
- Under Temporary Internet Files click the Settings button.
- In the box for the amount of disk space to use, enter a value between 5 and 80 megabytes.
- Click OK to accept the changes.
Note: The faster the connection, the lower the number. I have DSL so I use 5MB and this works fine for me.
Free Up Disk Space
Use Disk Cleanup to improve the performance of your computer by removing
unnecessary files. The utility identifies files that you can safely
delete, and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some
or all of the identified files.
Use Disk Cleanup to:
-Remove temporary Internet files.
-Remove downloaded program files (such as Microsoft ActiveX controls
and Java applets).
-Empty the Recycle Bin.
-Remove Windows temporary files.
-Remove optional Windows components that you don't use.
-Remove installed programs that you no longer use.
Tip: Typically, temporary Internet files take the most amount of space
because the browser caches each page you visit for faster access later.
To use Disk Cleanup
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to
System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup. If several drives are
available, you might be prompted to specify which drive you want to
2. In the Disk Cleanup for dialog box, scroll through the content of the Files
to delete list.
Choose the files that you want to delete.
3. Clear the check boxes for files that you don't want to delete, and then click
4. When prompted to confirm that you want to delete the specified files, click
After a few minutes, the process completes and the Disk Cleanup dialog box
closes, leaving your computer cleaner and performing noticeably better.
Improve Windows XP Menu Response and Shutdown Speeds
Note: The values for the tweaks
listed below are a recommended value only and represent what has worked best on
a variety of systems. If you are not comfortable trying this tweak for your
system, please do not attempt it.
- Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK.
- Drill down to the following registry key:
- Click once on the entry titled: Desktop
- The contents of the "Desktop" entry will now be displayed in the right pane.
- Double click the entry titled: HungAppTimeout
- Change the "Value data" to a value of: 4000
- This change will control the delay that Windows uses to start the shutdown
process. (1000 = one second)
- Double click the entry titled: MenuShowDelay
- Change the "Value data" to a value of: 20
- This change will control the delay that Windows uses to display a menu or
- Double click the entry titled "AutoEndTasks"
- Change the "Value data" to a value of: 1
- Changing this value to "1" will turn ON this feature and will now automatically
close all running applications when shutting down Windows.
Note: With this
feature on, you will not be given a prompt to save Windows.
Configuring the Firewall for
your Network Connection
Windows XP has firewall capabilities built into the operating system.
To configure the settings for your network connection, follow the
- Go to Start
- Select Control Panel
- Select Network Connection
- Right click your network connection to the Internet
- Select Properties
- Select the Advanced tab
- Under the Windows Firewall section, click the Settings button to
configure your firewall settings to meet your personal needs.
If you would like to disable
Windows messenger, here's how:
- Select "Start"
- Choose "Control Panel"
- Choose "Administrative Tools"
In Windows XP Home edition, Administrative Tools is in Performance and
- Choose "Services"
- Right-click on "Messenger"
- Select "Stop"
To permanently disable Messenger:
- Right click "Messenger"
- Select "Properties"
- Change "Startup Type" to "Disabled" and click "OK"
Automatically Ending Non-Responsive Tasks
download the registry file (below) or follow the instruction to do it
Go to Start
>> Run, type in: REGEDIT
Drill to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
>>Control Panel >>Desktop >>AutoEndTasks
Set the value to be 1 In the same section, change the WaitToKillAppTimeout to the number of milliseconds you want.
the Registry File
The default Windows XP installation contains a number of unnecessary services that are started by default. Extra running services consume CPU cycles and memory. To free up system resources and tune your operating system for optimum performance, you can stop and disable the services. The list
(below) details those that may be unnecessary:
NOTE: I recommend disabling
one at a time. If you notice problems in your programs, then undo what
you have done.
- Alerter: Notifies selected users and computers of administrative alerts.
- Application Layer Gateway Services:
Provides support for 3rd party protocol plugins for Internet
Connection Sharing and the Internet Connection Firewall.
- Application Management:
Provides software installation services such as Assign, Publish, and Remove.
- Automatic Updates:
Enables the download and installation of critical Windows updates.
- Background Intelligent Transfer Service:
Uses idle network bandwidth to transfer data.
- ClipBook: Enables
ClipBook Viewer to store information and share it with remote computers.
If the service is stopped, ClipBook Viewer will not be able to share
information with remote computers.
- COM+ Event System:
Supports SENS (System
Event Notification Service), which provides automatic distribution of
events to subscribing COM (Component Object Model) components.
- COM+ System
Application: Manages the configuration and tracking of COM+
(Component Object Model) based components.
- Computer Browser: Maintain
an updated list of computers on the network and supplies this list to
computers designated as browsers.
- Cryptographic Services:
Provides three management services: Catalog Database Service, which
confirms the signatures of Windows files; Protected Root Service, which
adds & removes Trusted Root Certification Authority certificates
from this computer; and Key Service, which helps enroll this computer
- DHCP Client: Manages
network configuration by registering and updating IP addresses and DNS
- Diskeeper: Controls
the Diskeeper service.
- Distributed Link Tracking Client:
Maintains links between NTFS files within a computer or across
computers in a network domain.
Transaction Coordinator: Coordinates transactions that span
multiple resource managers, such as databases, message queues, and file
- DNS Client: Resolves
and caches Domain Name System (DNS) names for this computer.
- Error Reporting Service.
Allows error reporting for services and applications running in
- Event Log: Enables
event log messages issued by Windows-based programs and components to be
viewed in Event Viewer.
- Fast User Switching Compatibility:
Provides management for applications that require assistance in a
multiple user environment.
- Help and Support: Enables
Help and Support Center to run on this computer.
- Human Interface Device Access:
Enables generic input access to Human Interface Devices (HID),
which activates and maintains the use of predefined hot buttons on
keyboards, remote controls, and other multimedia devices.
- IIS Admin: This service should only be enabled if you run the personal version of IIS on Windows XP
- IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service:
Manages CD recording using Image Mastering Applications
Programming Interface (IMAPI).
- Indexing Service: Indexes
contents & properties of files on local and remote computers;
provides rapid access to files through flexible querying language.
- Infrared Monitor: This service should only be disabled if you do not have an IR port on your computer, or if you do not use IR communications.
- Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) / Internet Connection Sharing (ICS):
Provides network address translation, addressing, name resolution
and/or intrusion prevention services for a home or small office network.
- IPSEC Services: Manages
IP security policy and starts the ISAKMP/Oakley (IKE) and the IP
- Logical Disk Manager:
Detects and monitors new hard disk drives and sends disk volume
information to Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service for
- Logical Disk Manager
Administrative Service: Configures hard disk drives and volumes.
- McAfee Firewall: This
service is only for those that use McAfee Firewall software.
- McShield: McAfee
on Access Scanner.
- Messenger: Transmits
netsend and Alerter service messages between clients and servers. This
service is not related to Windows Messenger.
- MS Software Shadow
Copy Provider: Manages software-based volume shadow copies taken
by the Volume Shadow Copy service.
- NetMeeting Remote
Desktop Sharing: Enables an authorized user to access this
computer remotely by using NetMeeting over a corporate intranet.
- Network Connections:
Manages objects in the Network and Dial-Up Connections folder, in
which you can view both local area network and remote connections.
- Network DDE: Provides
network transport and security for Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) for
programs running on the same computer or on different computers.
- Network DDE DSDM: Manages
Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) network shares.
- Network Location
Awareness (NLA): Collects and stores network configuration and
location information, and notifies applications when this information
- NVIDIA Driver Helper
Service: If you use a NVIDIA graphics card with Detonator drivers
you will have this service.
- Performance Logs
and Alerts: Collects performance data from local or remote computers
based on preconfigured schedule parameters, then writes the data to a
log or triggers an alert.
- Plug and Play:
Enables a computer to recognize and adapt to hardware changes with
little or no user input.
- Portable Media Serial
Number: Retrieves the serial number of any portable music player
connected to your computer.
- Print Spooler: Loads
files to memory for later printing.
- Protected Storage:
Provides protected storage for sensitive data, such as private keys, to
prevent access by unauthorized services, processes, or users.
- QoS RSVP: Provides
network signaling and local traffic control setup functionality for QoS-aware
programs and control applets.
- Remote Access Auto
Connection Manager: Creates a connection to a remote network
whenever a program references a remote DNS or NetBIOS name or address.
- Remote Access
Connection Manager: Creates a network connection.
- Remote Desktop Help
Session Manager: Manages and controls Remote Assistance.
- Remote Procedure Call
(RPC): Provides the endpoint mapper and other miscellaneous RPC
- Remote Procedure Call
(RPC) Locater: Manages the RPC name service database.
- Remote Registry: Enables
remote users to modify registry settings on this computer
- Removable Storage:
Manages removable media, drives, and libraries.
- Routing and Remote
Access: Offers routing services to businesses in local area and
wide area network environments.
- Secondary Logon: Enables
starting processes under alternate credentials.
- Security Accounts
Manager: Stores security information for local user accounts.
- Server: Supports
file, print, and named pipe-sharing over the network for this computer.
- Shell Hardware
Detection: This provides support for docking a laptop or other
related external hardware devices.
- Smart Card: Manages
access to smart cards read by this computer.
- Smart Card Helper:
Enables support for legacy non-plug and play smart-card readers used
by this computer.
- SSDP Discovery Service:
Enables discovery of UPnP devices on your home network.
- System Event
Notification: Tracks system events such as Windows logon,
network, and power events.
- System Restore Service:
Performs system restore functions.
- Task Scheduler: Enables
a user to configure and schedule automated tasks on this computer.
- TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper:
Enables support for NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) service and NetBIOS name
Provides Telephony API (TAPI) support for programs that control
telephony devices and IP based voice connections on the local computer
and, through the LAN, on servers that are also running the service.
- Telnet: Enables
a remote user to log on to this computer and run programs, and supports
various TCP/IP Telnet clients, including UNIX-based and Windows-based
- Terminal Services:
Allows multiple users to be connected interactively to a machine as
well as the display of desktops and applications to remote computers.
The underpinning of Remote Desktop (including RD for Administrators),
Fast User Switching, Remote Assistance, and Terminal Server.
- Themes: Provides
user experience theme management.
- Uninterruptible Power
Supply: Manages an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected
to the computer.
- Universal Plug and
Play Device Host: Provides support to host Universal Plug and
- Upload Manager: Manages
synchronous and asynchronous file transfers between clients and servers
on the network.
- Volume Shadow Copy:
Manages and implements Volume Shadow Copies used for backup and other
Windows-based programs to create, access, and modify Internet-based
- Windows Audio:
Manages audio devices for Windows-based programs. If this service is
stopped, audio devices and effects will not function properly.
- Windows Image
Acquisition (WIA): Provides image acquisition services for
scanners and cameras.
- Windows Installer:
Installs, repairs and removes software according to instructions
contained in .MSI files.
- Windows Management
Instrumentation: Provides a common interface and object model to
access management information about operating system, devices,
applications and services.
- Windows Management
Instrumentation Driver Extensions: Provides systems management
information to and from drivers.
- Windows Time: Maintains
date and time synchronization on all clients and servers in the network.
- Wireless Zero
Configuration: Provides automatic configuration for the 802.11
- WMI Performance
Adapter: Provides performance library information from WMI HiPerf
Creates and maintains client network connections to the remote servers.
- World Wide Web Publishing:
This service should only be disabled if you're not running the personal version of IIS on your computer.
the Folder Cache
The default setting for
WindowsXP is to cache the Explorer settings for 400 folders.
To increase it:
- Go to Start >> Run
- Type in: Regedit
- Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam
- Change the vaule of BagMRU
to whatever size you want (hex):
1000 - 3e8
2000 - 7d0
3000 - bb8
4000 - fa0
5000 - 1388
Or...you can download the
registry file (below) that will set the folder cache to 5000.
This tweak is for broad band
cable connections on stand alone machines with WinXP professional version -
might work on Home version also. It will probably work with networked
machines as well but I haven't tried it in that configuration. This is for
windows XP only, it does not work on win2000.
I use 3 Com cards so I don't know how it works on others at this point. It
does not involve editing the registry. This tweak assumes that you have let
WinXP create a connection on install for your cable modem/NIC combination
and that your connection has tcp/ip - QoS - file and print sharing - and
client for Microsoft networks , only, installed. It also assumes that WinXP
will detect your NIC and has in-box drivers for it. If it doesn't do not try
In the "My Network Places" properties (right click on the desktop
icon and choose properties), highlight the connection then at the menu bar
choose "Advanced" then "Advanced Settings". Uncheck the
two boxes in the lower half for the bindings for File and Printer sharing
and Client for MS networks. Click OK
Why it works, it seems that
windows XP, in its zeal to make sure every base is covered installs two separate
versions of the NIC card. One you do not normally see in any properties.
Remember the "netcap/?" command above showing two different
adapters? The LAN one is the one you see. The invisible one loads everything
down and its like your running two separate cards together, sharing a
connection among two cards, this method breaks this "bond" and
allows the NIC to run un-hindered.
- From the windows XP cd in
the support directory from the support cab, extract the file netcap.exe
and place it in a directory on your hard drive or even in the root of
your C:\ drive.
- next, open up a command
prompt window and change directories to where you put netcap.exe. then
type "netcap/?". It will list some commands that are available
for netcap and a netmon driver will be installed. At the bottom you will
see your adapters. You should see two of them if using a 3Com card. One
will be for LAN and the other will be for WAN something or other.
- Next type "netcap/Remove".
This will remove the netmon driver.
- Open up control panel /
system / dev man and look at your network adapters. You should now see
two of them and one will have a yellow ! on it. Right click on the one
without the yellow ! and choose uninstall. YES! you are uninstalling
your network adapter, continue with the uninstall. Do not restart yet.
- Check your connection
properties to make sure that no connection exists. If you get a wizard
just cancel out of it.
- Now re-start the machine.
- After re-start go to your
connection properties again and you should have a new connection called
"Local area connection 2". Highlight the connection then at
the menu bar choose "Advanced" then "Advanced
Settings". Uncheck the two boxes in the lower half for the bindings
for File and Printer sharing and Client for MS networks. Click OK.
- Choose connection
properties and uncheck the "QOS" box
- Re-start the machine
- After restart enjoy the
increased responsiveness of IE, faster page loading, and a connection
XP as Stabile as Possible
Below, you will find tips to
keeping your Windows XP Operating System running as reliable as possible.
- Only use hardware that is on the
List. This ensures that the products and drivers went through rigorous testing and are supported
by Microsoft. If you're trying to use a Win9x or Windows 2000 driver to make your legacy hardware work, you'll probably start having stability issues.
- Place your system are on a UPS
(Uninterruptible Power Supply), not just a surge protector. Power fluctuations
over time can lead to unexplained system problems and data loss.
- If you can, always try to install Windows XP on a clean system, instead of upgrading a current installation.
- Be selective with your software. Third party software isn't always written to Microsoft's standards, and can cause instabilities. Games and freeware/shareware utilities are the usual culprits, but poorly written system utilities can cause problems as well. Constantly installing and uninstalling various programs may leave behind residual registry entries and system files that can slow a system over time, and cause instabilities.
- Don't run third party themes or freeware screensavers - Many of these are written by amateurs, and you just never know what you're getting. Screensavers look nice, but are usually unnecessary with modern displays. Try choosing the "blank screen" option as a screensaver, or have the monitor power down when not in use.
- Don't run third party system utilities - Many of the "system utility" packages on the market don't work as well as advertised, and can cause more problems than they solve. Think carefully before installing these. In our opinion, they're just not worth it.
- Avoid over-tweaking of
your Operating System. Once it is installed, set it up the way you like,
then leave it alone.
In a survey of corporate help desk calls, 80% of problems were traced back to something that the user did themselves. This usually involves constant tweaking and experimenting that leads to
- Perform routine system maintenance. This means performing a full virus scan, defrag, and cleaning out the temp files routinely. You should also check event logs for potential problems, and keep up on the latest system updates from Microsoft.
Scan Disk isn't available in
Windows XP. In XP there's Check Disk, which can be run from the command line
(chkdsk), or by right clicking a drive in Windows Explorer and
choosing Properties > Tools > Error-checking.
DMA Mode for DVD Writer
In Windows Device Manager, (Start>>
Control Panel>> System>> Hardware tab>> Device Manager)
open the IDE ATA/ATAP Controllers leaf, then open the IDE channel that your
burner is on, then right click the proper IDE Channel and select
"Properties">> Advanced Settings tab.
For the device that
corresponds to your burner, make sure "DMA if available" is
selected for Transfer mode rather than "PIO mode." To find out
whether your burner is Device 0 or Device 1, look at it under Device
Manager>>DVD/CD-ROM drives and check properties. The Location:
field in the drive's general properties corresponds to the Device number for
Enable or Disable Boot Defrag
A great new feature in Microsoft Windows XP is the ability to do a boot defragment. This places all boot files next to each other on the disk to allow for faster booting. By default this option is enabled but on some builds it is not enabled. Below, you will find information on how to Enable/Disable this feature:
- Go to Start>> Run>> Type in: regedit
- Drill down to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction
- Single click on BootOptimizeFunction to empty its contents into the right pane
- Right click "Enable"
from the list in the right pane
- Select Modify from the
- Change the value to Y
to enable and N to disable
- Reboot your computer for the change to take effect
a System Restore point
Click Start>> All
Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> System Restore.
You can also launch System Restore window by typing the command below, in the RUN box:
- Click Create a restore point, and then click Next.
- In the Restore point description box, type a name to identify this restore point. System Restore
will automatically add the date and time that this Restore Point was created.
- To finish creating this restore point, click Create.
Unwanted Entries in Startup (MSCONFIG)
Start >> Run. Type in :
Warning: Improper use of the
Windows registry can cause severe problems within your operating system. Be
sure to back up the registry prior to making any changes.
By default, Windows XP
allocates 12% of your disk space to system restore (SR). This equates to
about 90 days worth of restoration points. Due to the amount of changes the
average computer user makes in a 90 day period, makes a 90 day restoration
unrealistic. I recommend changing your SR setting to allocate about 4% of
your disk space. This will give you around 2 or 3 weeks worth of restore
points while saving 8% of your disk space.
Schedule Windows XP Maintenance Tasks
There are many tasks that you can have Windows XP handle for you automatically.
A few commonly chosen tasks are:
To schedule a task:
- Running the Disk Defragmenter
- Backing up your system
- Emptying the Recycle Bin
It may be necessary for you to use the "Browse"
button located at the "Scheduled Task Wizard" window to schedule certain tasks
not found in the Applications list. Included in the wizard are prompts that will
ask for the frequency you would like to run your task and any password that you
would like to create for the task.
- Click Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>>
System Tools>> Scheduled Tasks.
- Double-click the Add Scheduled Tasks icon
to start the Scheduled Task Wizard.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to select
the task to perform.
Disable unneeded devices in
There are many ways to improve the boot speed in Windows XP, one quick way is to disable any unused devices in the Windows XP device manager. For example, if you do not use a floppy drive on your system or you have an extra unused network card, then disabling these items may make sense.
Note: If you don't know what it is or you are unsure of something, just leave it alone.
To perform this task:
- Right click on My Computer and select Properties.
- From the Hardware tab, select Device Manager.
- Expand the various categories to locate unused devices.
- Right click the devices and select Disable.
Disk Cleanup Utility Hangs
Over time, you may notice that the Disk Cleanup Utility takes longer and longer to sort files or won't complete the cleanup process. This is usually caused by a full TEMP directory, corrupt temp files or a heavily fragmented hard disk. Try cleaning out the temp files using the method below, then perform a disk defragmentation:
Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> Disk Defragmenter.
To clean TEMP files:
Go to Start>> Run, type in: %temp% [Enter]
In the resulting menu, select Edit>> Select All [Delete] Then select Yes.
The Disk Cleanup Utility should run much better for you now!
Many of the services provided in Windows XP are not needed and
in many cases can either slow down your system or add certain security
risks. Below, is a list of services that you can disable to create a safer
and faster system. You can access the listed services through the Computer
Go to Start>> Right click My
Computer>> Select 'Manage' from the resulting menu. Then, open Services and
Applications and click Services. Now the right pane will have all of the
services listed in alphabetical order. To disable a service, right click the
entry and select "Stop" from the resulting menu. If it is already disabled,
then "Stop" will be greyed out.
Note: Disable only if your computer is not networked and you are the sole
Fast User Switching
Human Interface Access Devices
Indexing Service (slows the hard drive)
Net Logon (not necessary unless networked on a domain)
Netmeeting Remote Desktop Sharing (disabled for added security)
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager (disabled for added security)
Remote Procedure Call Locator
Remote Registry (disabled for added security)
Routing & Remote Access (disabled for added security)
SSDP Discovery Service (this leaves TCP Port 5000 open)
TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
Telnet (disabled for added security)
Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Wireless Zero Configuration (for wireless networks)
Windows XP instability is often caused by corrupt or
out-of-date drivers. I know I like to keep my system with updated drivers
whenever possible. But, there are times when updating the driver you find
yourself in a blue screen. Well, this situation used to cause all kinds of
problems for users until the Driver Rollback Feature came. Now, if you are
faced with a driver that fails to update, or became corrupt, you can roll
back to the previous driver version very easily. Here's how:
- Be sure to log in as Administrator.
- Go to Start>> Control Panel>> Administrative Tools
- Double click "Computer Management"
- Double click "Device Manager"
- Click the plus (+) symbol next to the device title to
expose the device you were trying to update
- Now, right click on the device and select "Properties"
- Click the "Driver" tab
- Select the "Roll Back driver" button
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete this task.
XP has a handy little utility for monitoring your system performance. To
access this utility:
Press CTRL + ALT + DEL on
your keyboard and select the Performance tab.
out Windows Registry
There are many third party
software on the market that will do the job. One that I have
used for several years and have been very satisfied with is a program called
EasyCleaner. Best of all, it's FREE!
EasyCleaner is a small program which searches Windows' registry for entries that are pointing nowhere. Deleting these entries will speed your computer up. But as you already might know, deleting entries from registry can be dangerous for your computer, so it is wise to make a backup of your registry. EasyCleaner also lets you delete all kinds of unnecessary files like temps, backups etc. You can search for duplicate files and you can view some
interesting info about your disk space usage! ToniArts may not be held accountable in any way if EasyCleaner affects your computer in a negative way.
Here's a list of some features:
- Finds invalid registry
entries - deleting them speeds up your computer up to 20%!
- Finds duplicate files -
deleting them will free disk space!
- Finds all unnecessary files
like backups, temps etc.
- Very user friendly!
- Shows some interesting info
about your disk space usage.
- Very customizable.
- Uses only little amount of
recourses while running!
- Huge help file which gives
you every little detail about EasyCleaner!
|V2.06 Build 7
Windows 95/98/ME/NT 3.51 (or newer)/2000/XP
I have found that the Indexing Service slows down the system
more by having this feature enabled. Windows provides this description of
the Indexing Service feature: "Indexes contents and properties of files on
local and remote computers; provides rapid access to files through flexible
Personally, I prefer a speedier computer than to have my files found a
millionth of a second faster. Here's how to disable this feature:
- Go to Start>> Run. Type in: services.msc [Enter] or click OK
- The Services console will now appear. In the right pane, scroll down to
find the Indexing Service.
Note: A quick method of locating items here is to click once in the right
pane and then press the letter "I" on your keyboard. That will take you to
the start of the services that start with "I".
- Double click the Indexing Service entry.
- In the Indexing Service Properties window and under "Startup type:",
click the arrow for the drop-down menu.
- Select "Disable" from the menu.
- Click Apply, then OK.
The next time you restart your computer, the Indexing Service will not run
Event Log Files
A handy Administrative
tool for troubleshooting is the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). When
viewing your event logs in the Event Viewer, you may come across one or more
corrupt log files. Here is how you can clear these corrupt log files:
- Go to Start>> Administrative Tools>> Event Viewer
- With the Event Viewer open, locate the corrupt log file.
- Right click the corrupt log file and select Properties.
- Click the "Clear" button.
Note: It is not possible to rename or delete log files
while the Event Log service is running.
happened to ScanDisk?
Windows XP has improved
the ScanDisk feature from the Windows 98 days. It is now called CHKDSK Error
Checking. This tool accomplishes the same thing as ScanDisk did though. It
will check for file system errors and bad sectors on your hard disk. Here's
how to use CHKDSK:
- Go to Start
- Right click My Computer
- Select Properties (see fig.1). With this Properties
window open you can view how much space is occupied on your hard drive and
view the free space. You can even to a disk cleanup on this drive as well.
- Click the Tools tab (see fig.2) With the Tools window
open, click the Check Now button. Once you are done with the CHKDSK tool,
now is a good time to perform a Defragmentation of your Hard Disk which is
located directly below the CHKDSK tool (see fig.2).
Fig. 2 [Click]
Move the Page
File to a different partition
The Page File (by
default) is loaded on to the boot partition of your hard drive as are all of
the Windows system files. Windows uses this page file as a sort of Random
Access Memory. It is not necessary for the Page File to be on the boot
partition, so if you would like to move it to a different partition, you
will increase system performance along with free up some space on your boot
partition. Here's how:
- Be sure that you are logged in as Administrator, then go
to Start>> Control Panel>> Performance and Maintenance>> System.
- Select the Advanced tab.
- Under Performance, click the Settings button.
- Select the Advanced tab.
- Under Virtual Memory, click the Change button.
- In the Drive [Volume Label] list, select a drive other
than the one the Windows Operating System is installed on (usually Windows
is installed on the C: drive).
- Under the Virtual Memory category, make a note of the
"Total paging file size for all drives" recommended value. Click the Change
- Tick the Custom size radio button, then enter the
recommended value in the "Initial size (MB):" text box.
- Enter in the "Maximum size (MB) that you would like.
Usually this setting is double the initial size.
- Click the Set button.
- Next, back in the Drive [Volume Label] box, select the
drive that Windows is installed on (usually C:). Follow ether steps below
that would apply:
<>If you DO NOT want a page file on this drive, tick the
No paging file radio button and then click the Set button. The following
message should now appear:
If the paging file on volume C: has an initial value of less than 126
megabytes, then the system may not be able to create a debugging information
file if a STOP error occurs. Continue Anyway?
<>If you DO want to keep the page file on this drive, select the Custom size
button, then enter a size of equal or greater value of the amount of RAM
(Random Access Memory) that you currently have installed on your system in
to the "Initial size (MB)" text box. Enter the same value for your maximum
size, then click the Set button.
The following message should now appear:
The changes you have made require you to restart your computer before
they can take effect.
Click OK (OK your way out of all open windows).
When given a prompt to restart your system, click Yes.
TweakUI PowerToy for Windows XP
The developers of the
Windows XP Operating System have made available to the general public and
for free, a powerful tool that makes performing certain changes to the user
interface (UI) a simple process. Many people do not feel comfortable making
changes to the user interface through the Windows Registry, so this is a
perfectly safe alternative. While browsing the TweakUi utility, you can find
many helpful descriptions of what certain changes are and how they effect
the operating system.
As you navigate through the many categories, just know that any change you
make can be undone by simply reversing the step in which you made the
change. In most cases, a change is made in just a couple of mouse clicks.
There are many useful tweaks that aide in the customization of the operating
system to create either better performance or improve functionality. But,
since tweaking is more of a personal preference, I will leave it to you to
explorer the hundreds of possibilities on your own. Click the following link
for a free TweakUI download for Windows XP:
Search Disk Indexing Service
The purpose of this
service is to constantly index all of the files on your system so that when
you use the search function, your search will provide fast and accurate
results. The draw back to this is that it is a constant resource drain. If
you rarely use the search function to search for files on your computer, I
recommend turning the Disk Indexing service off. Here's how:
- Go to Start>> Accessories>> Windows Explorer
- Right click your root hard drive where Windows is
installed (usually C:\), then select Properties.
- Uncheck the checkbox titled: "Allow Indexing Service to
index this disk for fast file searching"
- Click Apply.
- At the next prompt, select the entry titled: "Apply
changes to [root drive], subfolders and files"
You will now see an "Applying Attributes" window that will
remove all of the indexing on the selected drive. It is possible that you
could see some errors resulting from the indexing removal. Do not be
alarmed, the errors are a result of either that a file is write protected
and could not have indexing removed or possibly a file is currently in use
and cannot be changed.
To continue, we need to turn the actual Indexing Service off. Here's how:
- Go to Start>> Run. Type in: services.msc [Enter] or
- With the Services window open, scroll the list of
services until you find "Indexing Service".
- Double click the Indexing Service entry.
- In the resulting Properties menu, click the drop down
menu titled: "Startup type:
- Select "Disabled".
- Click Apply and exit all windows.
Speed up the
The tweak below requires
making a change in the Windows Registry. Be sure to make a
copy of the registry prior to making any changes.
- Click Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK.
- In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following
- Single left click the "Desktop" entry to empty its
contents in to the right pane.
- Scroll the right pane to locate an entry titled:
- Double click MenuShowDelay.
- Change the "value data" number. The default delay value
for the start menu is 400. Select a lesser number to speed this process.
I've got mine set to 0.
- Click OK and exit the Registry Editor.