Since defragging the disk won’t do much to improve Windows XP performance, here are some suggestions that will. Each can enhance the performance and reliability of your customers’ PCs. Best of all is that many of them will cost you nothing.
- To decrease a system’s boot time and increase system performance, use the money you save by not buying defragmentation software.The built-in Windows defragmenter works just fine and instead equips the computer with an Ultra-133 or Serial ATA hard drive with 8-MB cache buffer.
- If your PC has less than 512 MB of RAM, add more memory (RAM). This is a relatively inexpensive and easy upgrade that can dramatically improve system performance.
- Ensure that Windows XP is installed on the NTFS file system.
If you’re not sure, here’s how to check:
– First, double-click the My Computer icon,
– Right-click on the C: Drive,
– Then select Properties.
– Next, examine the File System type.If it says FAT32, then
– Backup any important data.
– Next, click Start, Click Run, (WIN+R)
– Type CMD, and then click OK.
– At the prompt,
– Type CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS and press the Enter key ones.Important:This process may take a while; it’s important that the computer be uninterrupted and virus-free during the process.The file system used by the bootable drive will be either FAT32 or NTFS. I highly recommend NTFS for its superior security, reliability, and efficiency with larger disk drives.
- Disable file indexing:The indexing service extracts information from documents and other files on the hard drive and creates a “searchable keyword index.”As you can now imagine that this process can be quite resources user on any system.The idea is that the user can search for a word, phrase, or property inside a document, should they have hundreds or thousands of documents and not know the file name of the document they want. Windows XP’s built-in search functionality can still perform these kinds of searches without the Indexing service. It just takes longer. The OS has to open each file at the time of the request to help find what the user is looking for.Most people never need this feature of search. Those who do are typically in a large corporate environment where thousands of documents are located on at least one server. But if you’re a typical system builder, most of your clients are small and medium businesses. And if your clients have no need for this search feature, I recommend disabling it.Here’s how:
– First, double-click the My Computer icon.
– Next, right-click on the C: Drive,
– Then select Properties. Uncheck “Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching.”
– Next, apply changes to “C: subfolders and files,” and click OK. If a warning or error message appears (such as “Access is denied”), click the Ignore All button.
- Update the PC’s video and motherboard chipset drivers. Also, update and configure the BIOS. For more information on how to configure your BIOS properly, contact your service provider/near by computer store.
- Empty the Windows Prefetch folder every three months or so. Windows XP can “prefetch” portions of data and applications that are used frequently. This makes processes appear to load faster when called upon by the user. That’s fine. But over time, the prefetch folder may become overloaded with references to files and applications no longer in use. When that happens, Windows XP is wasting time, and slowing system performance, by pre-loading them. Nothing critical is in this folder, and the entire contents are safe to delete.
- Once a month, run a disk cleanup.
– Double-click the My Computer icon.
– Then right-click on the C: drive and
– Select Properties.
– Click the Disk Cleanup button.
It’s just to the right of the Capacity pie graph and delete all temporary files.
- In your Device Manager, double-click on the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers device, and ensure that DMA is enabled for each drive you have connected to the Primary and Secondary controller.Do this by double-clicking on Primary IDE Channel. Then click the Advanced Settings tab. Ensure the Transfer Mode is set to “DMA if available” for both Device 0 and Device 1. Then repeat this process with the Secondary IDE Channel.