Things you might or might not know
Note: Most of the tips are for any version of Windows.
1. If you use Outlook Express, set it to use IE's Restricted sites zone.
A lot of viruses today are email born, and setting OE to use IE's restricted sites zone will keep you from getting alot of viruses. This can be done by going to Tools > Options Security in OE.
2. Reduce Internet Explorer's cache size.
Internet Explorer has a bug in it that sets the cache to 1224 MB. IF you set it to 5~10 MB, it'll speed up Internet Explorer and increase performance. You can adjust the cache by opening up IE and going to: Tools > Internet Options > General > Settings > Temporary Internet Files Folder. When you get there, there should be a slider that allows you to change the cache size. Once again, change it to 5~10 MB for best performance.
3. Run Disk cleanup often.
Running Disk cleanup regularly will get rid of a lot of junk on your computer, and it will increase performance greatly, along with regular defragmentation.
4. Set Windows Explorer to "Launch folder windows in a seperate process.
This will greatly increase the stability of Windows, albeit a small performance decrease. This option is in Windows 98 and above, and will prevent explorer.exe crashes from taking down the whole system.
5. If you are using Windows 98, set your computer to be a network server.
Setting your computer to be a "Network server" will increase Windows 98's performance a great deal, as it will take data in larger "chunks", so it has less processing to do.
6. Disable unneeded services/Startup items.
Disabling unneeded services & Startup items will increase the speed of the OS, and it may also increase stability. To do this, go to Start > Run, and type in MSConfig. You can disable Startup items and services you don't need from there. Note: DO NOT DISABLE DHCP CLIENT!!!! You will lose internet access if you do. Note2: Windows 2000 does not have MSConfig.
7. Don't let Windows manage Virtual Memory.
This will slow down your computer, so I recommend that you set it to a custom size. 1.5 times the amount of RAM you have is more than enough Virtual Memory, and it will also increase performance, because the Virtual Memory won't get fragmented. You can check the amount of RAM you have by right-clicking on my computer and selecting "Properties". Note: You most likely won't have to set it to 1.5x the amount if you have 512MB of RAM or more. You can set it to 512, or 768, it's your choice.
8. Run Scandisk, or CHKDSK under Windows 2000/XP/2003 regularly.
Just like the name suggests, it scans the HD for errors, and if possible, fixes them. It is recommended that you do this regularly, as it will fix (most) problems that you have with the HD.
9. Defragment the Virtual Memory.
If you have the Virtual memory set to 1.5 times the amount of RAM you have, you only need to do this once. Disk defragmenters such as Diskeeper and Perfect Disk can do this. If you are using Window NT/2000/XP, then I'd recommend getting Pagedfrg. It's freeware, and it's available from this site: http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware...agedefrag.shtml To defragment the virtual memory under Windows 98, disable the virtual memory, and defragment the drive. Then turn it back on, and the Virtual memory is defragmented Note: There are defragmenting programs that can do this for you, but I do not know of any.
10. Make sure you have all the drivers that you need installed.
To check and see if you do, right-click on my computer go to Properties, go to the Hardware tab, and click on Device manager. Note: Things with a yellow ! on them means the OS doesn't recognize them, so you have to install the drivers for them.
11. Make sure there are no Hardware conflicts.
Bring up the device manager, and look for any red !s. This means something is conflicting with that piece of hardware.
12. Here's a trick that works on every Windows 2000 and above, but is meant as a bug fix for Windows 2000/XP. Go to Start > Run, and type regedit into the box. After you have done that, go to press Ctrl+F and type Compress Old Files into the find box. This will make Disk Cleanup run a little faster, and it will keep it from freezing on Windows 2000
13. Keep your computer protected from Spyware.
Spyware can slow your system down quite a bit, so it is recommended that you get an Anti-spyware tool. Ad-Aware and Spybot S&D are both very good examples of Anti-spyware tools, and they are both free.
14. Run an Anti-virus and firewall.
Make sure you run an anti-virus and firewall. With the amount of viruses that spread as emails, often in legit files, it is absolutely necessary that you at least get an Anti-virus to keep your computer safe on the internet.
15. Do regular backups.
Do regular backups of all the things installed on your HD. If something becomes corrupt, you can fall back on the backup you made. Windows 2000 has a backup utility, but it's different from System Restore in XP and ME, since you can choose where to backup the files.
16. Clean up the registry often.
Cleaning up the registry is a great way to speed up Windows, and increase its reliability. There are many tools out there that clean your registry, but the two best are RegSupreme and jv16 Powertools. jv16 used to be freeware, but then he decided to make it Trialware. You can use it free for 30 days before the trial runs out. Another great registry cleaner is RegSeeker.
17. An easier way of getting to the Task manager in Windows. Right click on the Taskbar, and click on Task Manager. Alternatively, you could press Ctrl+Shift+Esc (on NT/2000/XP and above systems), or Ctrl+Alt+Delete on Windows 9x/ME.
18. Make the registry a fixed size.
On Windows 2000Pro, right click on My Computer, go to Properties, then go to the Advanced tab, and click on Performance options. There is an option where you can change the Max registry size. It is originally set at 64 MB, but I'd recommend setting it to 10~12 MB, as it will reduce registry fragmentation. Note: This option might exist on NT4 also, but I've never used NT4.
19. A quicker way to bring up Windows Explorer
Press the Win key+E to bring up Windows Explorer.
20. An easy way to get rid of viruses that lodge themselves in System restore to keep themselves from getting deleted. In Windows XP, right-click on my computer, go to the System Restore Tab, and check "Turn off system restore for all drives". This will not only delete the virus that managed to lodge itself in there, but it will also delete all of your Restore points, so it is recommended that you create a new Restore point as soon as you do this. I haven't used ME, so I wouldn't know how to do it in ME.
21. Speed up the display of menus
Type regedit into the Run box (Start > Run), and do a search under regedit for MenuShowDelay. Once it is found, double-click on the entry, and change it's value to 0. This will speed up the display of the menus a great deal.
22. Make Windows Explorer, and Internet Explorer load faster, and become more responsive
Open up the Regedit and go to :
Under that branch, select the key :
Right click it and select "Delete".
Note: This is intended for Windows NT OSes, such as Windows 2000 and above. Note2: This is the link explaining what it does: http://www.jsiinc.com/SUBG/TIP3400/rh3492.htm
But, some people have tried it in Windows 98, and not have any problems. It is recommended that you make a backup before you do this if you plan on doing this under Windows 98.
23. Always unload DLL's
There is a registry hack that makes it so the OS unloads DLL's from memory. When the DLL's aren't unloaded when not being used, this causes mem usage problems.
Note: Number 23 is for users of Windows 2000 and above
Here's the registry hack (Thanks to MarcFou:D):
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Copy & paste this into a text file, and give it an extension of .reg, then run it.
24. Enable Compatibility mode in Windows 2000
Go to Start > Run, and type in regsvr32 %systemroot%\apppatch\slayerui.dll
%systemroot% is where your Windows folder is located.
For me it would be: regsvr32 C://WinNT\apppatch\slayerui.dll
You can copy & paste this if your windows folder is C://WINNT
25. Enable DMA on CD-ROM & Hard Drives
This won't really speed things up much, but it will reduce the amount of work the HD & CD-ROMs have to do. To do this, go to the device manager, expand the IDE/ATA/ATAPI controllers Tree, and go to properties for those listed under that tree. Look around in the tabs, and see if you can find "Enable DMA on this Device"
26. Run Disk Defragmenter on the highest priority
If you use the Built in Windows defragmenter, click on the Defrag button, press Ctrl+Alt+Esc, find the process called dfrgntfs.exe, right click on it, go to Set Process Priority, and choose Realtime. It'll ask you if you really wanna change the process priority, wen it says that, click OK. There are other defrag programs that can do this without the task manager. Note: This is for Windows 2000 and above.
27. Defragment your computer in Safe mode
This will allow for the highest level of defragmentation, since less files and processes are running. Repeat step 26 while in Safe mode for the best level of defragmentation.
28. Disable Paging Executive
Under Win2k and above, type regedit in the run box, and when regedit opens, go to Edit > Find, and type in PagingExecutive, and press enter. When it's done searching, click on the key named DisablePagingExecutive, and change the value to 1, and then click OK. Doing this will load the core OS into memory, therefore speeding things up. It's recommended to only do this on computers with 256MB+ RAM
29. Set Windows 95/98/ME to use Conservative swap usage
Find the file named system.ini, and find a line named [386Enh]. Under that, add this: ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1 This will force windows to use all available memory before writing to the swapfile, therefore increasing stability and performance. Note: This is recommended for computers with 128MB or more of RAM.
30. Optimize the Windows 95/98/ME registry.
Open up a DOS prompt, or boot into DOS, and type in this as a command: scanreg/opt/fix. This will compact/optimize Windows 95/98's registry. You can do this in ME, but I don't know how to get the Boot to DOS option back in ME
31. Optimize the Windows NT registry
Download a freeware tool called NTRegOpt, and run it. It will compact the Windows NT Registry, and speed things up a little. You can download the tool here: http://home.t-online.de/home/lars.hederer/erunt/
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