Speed up your computer

Remove all viruses/spyware

Almost all viruses slow down the speed of the computer. Removing these viruses will speed up your computer. These viruses run in background while you are working. They execute their own processes in the background in hidden mode so that you cannot identify these viruses, even some of the antiviruses fail to remove these viruses if they are not updated regularly.

For example when you play a game (NFSMW, IGI etc) in your slow PC you might detect problems regarding speed such as game not responding, game running slow etc. When you minimize your game and continue working on another task the computer may appear even more slower, but it is not the fault of the computer, it is the fault of the game & viruses that are running in the background of the system. This isthe concept of background processes, when many processes are running on the backgroun, but you cannot see it.

The best remedy is removing all the viruses from your computer, you can do so either manually or by an antivirus that does the work in a fast rather efficient manner. This will speed up your computer, by killing the backgroung virus processes that run simultaneously with other processes in hidden mode.


Optimize your computer's visual

Optimizing the visual of the computer will help to speed up your computer. This is because Windows XP uses visual styles to enhance the look of XP. These visual styles use resources (or in simple words, uses more memory or RAM) that finally slows down your PC.


Remove your wallpaper

The background wallpaper on your desktop also adds up to the low performance of your PC. You may select none from the desktop background to reduce system load. It will speed up your computer.

Although it sounds good when someone says wow nice wallpaper!! But it is not important at all to keep nice wallpaper on your desktop.

Wallpapers may enhance your computer’s look, but in the back-end, they decrease your computer’s performance. The computer needs to first locate the wallpaper, then display it on the desktop, hence consuming a bit more memory than usual.


Delete the prefetch files

Prefetch files are the files that increase the boot time of your PC running on any windows system including windows XP. Boot time means the time taken by windows XP to startup (The progress bar you see when the windows loads).

How do these prefetch files slow down the PC?
When you turn on your PC, you see windows XP logo with a progress bar at the bottom of it. When this screen appears windows scans the prefetch folder this leads to a decreased speed of your PC by increasing the actual boot time.

You may remove these files to speed up your computer.


Remove unnecessary desktop shortcuts

Desktop is one of the most important part in an operating system. That is why most of us prefer keeping our frequently used program shortcuts on our desktop for easy navigation. But do you know that keeping too many shortcuts on the desktop may slow down your computer system!!!

How does keeping so many shortcuts slow down the system?
Actually keeping too many shortcuts on the desktop increases the workload of a system. When you turn on your PC, The window processes the shortcuts to find their targets.

Let us take an example- You have a shortcut named NFSMW on your desktop. Now when you restart or turn on your PC, The windows quickly crawls to the location C:\program files\EA games\Need for speed most wanted\NFSMW.exe and verifies whether the file is valid/present or not. This finding and verifying process increases the workload and slows down you PC on startup for a while.

This is the reason why the icons of many shortcuts are displayed some time after the operating system actually loads. It takes some considerable amount of time to load these shortcuts.

So, removing these shortcuts will speed up your computer.


Defragmenting your drives

Files and folders on a computer system are generally fragmented (fragmented means divided into many parts). Managing files and folders, copying, pasting, moving leads to fragmentation.

The files are stored on the memory in fragments (pieces). So when we run a program like a game or a software, the program execution takes time to collect its fragments from the memory and hence the time taken to run a software or game is badly affected.

You may defragment the files using disk defragmenter to speed up your computer.


Uninstall unnecessary softwares (if any)

Unnecessary softwares are the softwares that you no longer need. Unnecessary softwares for you may not be unnecessary for others therefore I cannot tell you exactly which softwares to uninstall from your system. You yourself need to recognize the softwares that you no longer use.

You can then uninstall these softwares using add or remove programs to speed up your computer.


Optimize your registry

Optimizing registry means editing the registry or changing registry values according to the requirements. I suggest you not to skip this step because this is a very important step to speed up your start menu access and thus plays a major role to speed up your computer.

In this step you will edit the registry values to fit your speed requirements. You will set the start menu delay to 0 milliseconds so that there is no delay in showing the start menu.


Disable/stop unnecessary services of windows XP

Windows XP has many services running in the background. Some services of windows XP are not required by us but still these services run in the background and consume memory. And these services need to be always present in the memory, therefore computer responds slowly, since it need to run these processes simultaneously with other processes you execute.

A small test to see how much memory do the services use:

  1. Open your task manager by clicking Alt + Ctrl +Del
  2. Now go to processes and search for services.exe.

Now what do you see? How much process is it using? Yes, you are right services.exe is a critical process and hence uses huge memory. Now in this section we will learn to stop/disable some services so that services use less memory and it adds up to another step towards your goal to speed up your computer.


Remove your antivirus (You may skip this step)

Antivirus plays a major role in removing the virurses, trojans, and other detected security threats hence increasing the security of the computer.

But since these antiviruses need to perform a big task of removing viruses from your system as soon as they are encountered, these antivirus actually keep on scanning your system on the background which is also called real time monitor or real time scan.

What do real time scan do?
Many times you see messages like "virus detected" or "threat detected" or "trojan detected" even when you do not run a scan!!! How is this possible?

This is because of the real time scan. This real time scan scans for viruses on the background (without asking for your permission) and hence decreases the system speed because huge memory is required to perform the real time monitor/scan.

Read more to know how to uninstall and speed up your computer.


Repair disk errors

You can check the files stored on your computer using the windows inbuilt utility called error checking utility.

This utility checks for any errors or bad sectors and even repairs it. This utility has 5 phases or you can say it has 5 steps. It performs all the 5 steps one after the other. When the checking is complete, your disk becomes error free, thereby increasing the performing capability of your hard disk. Although rarely any problem is detected and repaired, still this is a major step to speed up your computer.


Decrease colour quality

By default, the colour quality of a computer is- 32-bit (in Windows XP). This leads to a high quality colour rendering (rendering more pixels).

For rendering such high quality colour, the CPU needs to process many colours than it needs to on 16-bit colour. Now this also increases the workload on the CPU and thus decreases the speed of the system considerably.

Read more to know how to decrease the colour quality to speed up your computer.


Decrease windows boot time

Windows has a default boot time of 30 seconds which is called timeout of the boot.ini file. You can decrease the timeout of boot.ini file to meet the speed requirements. So, after you change the default timeout of 30 seconds to 0, you will notice the computer will boot up faster.

Read more to know how you can cross another milestone to speed up your computer.


Fast windows shutdown

Windows XP has all the features that an OS should have to be called a perfect operating system. So, it uses many enhancements that make windows experience soothing.

Such a feature is “exit sound”. OK, you must be thinking what is exit sound right?.

Let me start by explaining what “Exit sound” is.

When you turn off windows XP, you hear a sound along with the shutting down screen. This sound is called the “exit sound”. Whenever you turn off your computer, it actually takes time for windows to locate and play that sound, Thereby reducing the shutdown speed.

You can actually disable this exit sound so that the windows do not need to play it every time you shut down your computer. This will decrease the time taken by windows to shut down (since, it will not have to crawl quickly to the sound location and play it).

Read more to know how to disable this exit sound and speed up your computer.


Use pen drive to speed up XP

Did you know that you can speed up your computer using USB drive in XP?

You must be aware that Windows Vista and windows 7 has a ReadyBoost feature that uses pen drive/USB drive to speed up computer. But did you know, Windows XP also supports such feature to use the USB drive to speed up the computer? Amazed?

Click on "Read more" to use your pen drive as a virtual memory to speed up your computer.


Always keep your drivers updated

Keeping your drivers updated keeps your hardware working correctly & perfectly in sync with your computer. Not updating drivers older than 5 years leaves a huge impact on the system performance. So, keep your drivers updated and your hardware will automatically work perfectly.

Driver update normally requires you to have an Internet connection so that it can search for the latest updates and then download the updates for the same. You may skip this step also if you don't have an Internet connection otherwise if you do have a working Internet connection, I would recommend you to update your drivers.

Driver update normally updates your graphics, sound, and LAN drivers but sometimes it may also update other drivers. I have a manual as well as an automatic method, but I would recommend you to follow the automatic method because manual method does not guarantee that you would be able to search and download the latest update for your drivers. Also, manual update process is time consuming.

Continue reading more to know how to update your driver to speed up your computer.


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