Windows XP system optimization

The purpose of the following tweaks is to get rid of unnecessary memory eaters to improve the performance of Windows XP system.

Note: perform these tweaks only if you know what you are doing, and always backup. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

  • Remove Unnecessary Startup Programs
    Run regedit, locate

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run

    and

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run

    and also check Windows Startup program folder, remove unnecessary startup programs installed by some programs or you don’t need them at all.

  • Disable Unnecessary Services
    Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services or run services.msc to enter services configuration.
    Here’s a good resource for service information in Windows XP SP2 you can refer to before you decide which services to disable.
  • Defragment Pagefile
    A cool little application PageDefrag to accomplish this task.
  • Disable Last Access Update
    Run regedit, locate

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Control/FileSystem

    right click in a blank area of the window on the right and select DWORD Value, create a new DWORD Value called NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate, then right click on the new value and select Modify, change the Value Data to 1.

  • Improve Boot Times
    Run regedit, locate

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Dfrg/BootOptimizeFunction

    select Enable from the list on the right, right on it and select Modify, change the value to Y to enable.

  • Improve Swapfile Performance
    Run msconfig.exe, click on the System.ini tab, expand the 386enh tab, click on new then in the blank box type ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1.
  • Make Menus Load Faster
    Run regedit, locate
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop

    select MenuShowDelay, right click and select Modify, reduce the number to around 100.

  • Improve XP Shutdown Speed
    Run regedit, locate

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop

    select WaitToKillAppTimeout, right click and select Modify, change the value to 1000, click OK. Now select HungAppTimeout, right click and select Modify, change the value to 1000, click OK.
    Locate

    HKEY_USERS/.DEFAULT/Control Panel/Desktop

    select WaitToKillAppTimeout, right click and select Modify, change the value to 1000, click OK.
    Locate

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Control

    select WaitToKillServiceTimeout, right click and select Modify, change the value to 1000, click OK.

  • Disable Unneeded Hardware Devices
    For example, disable modem and wired network card if only wireless network is used.
  • Removing Extra Fonts for Speed
    Control Panel/Fonts, create another folder then move unused fonts to that folder.