OK, let's get started:
|The selection you find here is a combination of my experience and the most usefull tips I found on the net.
Some improvements require installing additional (free) software, the links are provided but you can download them all here as well. If you find that your system is still too slow (don't forget to reboot for the changes to take effect), consider upgrading the memory (RAM).
Remove software you no longer use
Control Panel -> Add/Remove Software
Clean your system
Delete files and old emails you no longer need
Control Panel -> Internet Options -> Delete Files (all offline content)
Control Panel -> Internet Options -> Settings -> View Files -> Delete the cookies you do not need
Cleanup all other temporary files and the recycle bin: 'start\programs\accessories\system tools\disk cleanup'
Clean your registry
Download and install the Tweaknow registry cleaner
Click 'Scan now' -> After the scan is completed -> View details -> Delete problems
Backup fonts you are not using
Note: If you feel uncomfortable doing this, skip this step. You could mess up your systems appearance by removing XP fonts.
Open Explorer and create a new directory 'backup_fonts'
Control Panel -> Fonts -> Drag the fonts you want to delete to the new directory 'backup_fonts'
Keep the following fonts:
Comic Sans MS
Microsoft Sans Serif
MS Sans Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24
MS Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24
Times New Roman
XP System Fonts
Defrag your system
Defragment your drives with the XP tool: 'start\programs\accessories\system tools\disk defragmenter'
Use a better defragmenter from O&O: O&O_Defrag_2000_Freeware_Edition_d4545
Select the drive to defragment -> click the 'play' button
Improve Memory Usage and tweak registry settings
Download and install Cacheman XP
Enable AutoRecover RAM - Enable Cache Cacheman controlled
Tweaks - Uncheck all except Windows Key, Autoend tasks and Unload DLL's
Set Additional critical workers:2 / Hung app timeout: 2 sec / Menu delay: 100ms / kill app timeout: 2 sec / kill service timeout: 2 sec
Tip: if you click the icon in the systemtray once it will show you the amount of free memory (RAM)
Disable the Windows XP theme (back to the 'old style' windows)
Go to Start and then Run and type 'services.msc'
Doubleclick on the Themes service and select disable
Speedup Folder Browsing
My Computer -> Tools menu -> Folder Options -> View tab -> Uncheck the Automatically search for network folders and printers check box
Turn off system restore
Right-click My Computer -> Properties -> System Restore tab -> Enable Turn off System restore on all drives
Disable Indexing Services
Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs -> Add/Remove Window Components -> Uncheck the Indexing services
Optimise Display Settings
Control Panel -> System -> Advanced tab -> In the Performance tab click Settings -> Uncheck everything
Disable System Sounds
Control Panel -> Click Sounds and Audio Devices -> Check Place volume icon in taskbar -> Click Sounds Tab -> Choose 'No Sounds'
Remove the background picture
Right click on an open area of the desktop and select 'properties.'
Select the 'desktop' tab and in the 'background' window, highlight 'none.' Press 'ok.'
Disable performance counters
Download and install the Extensible Performance Counter List
Select each counter in turn in the ‘Extensible performance counters’ window and uncheck the ‘performance counters enabled’ checkbox
Extensible Performance Counter
Optimise Pagefile size & defrag
Control Panel -> System -> Advanced tab -> Performance Settings button -> Advanced Tab -> Virtual Memory
Set the virtual memory to minimum 1.5x the memory size for the lower AND upper limit and click the Set button.
Download and Install pagedfrg
Select defrag at next boot
Disable unused services
Go to Start and then Run and type 'services.msc' -> Doubleclick on the service you want to change
Try disabling the following services (unless you think you need them):
Error Reporting Service
Fast User Switching
Help and Support
HID Input Service
MS Software Shadow Copy
Network DDE DSDM
Network Time Protocol
Portable Media Serial Number
Remote Desktop Help
Remote Registry Service
Shell Hardware Detection
TCP/IP Netbios Helper
Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Depending on the use of your computer you could disable more services.
Services list I and/or Services list II
Improve Boot Times
Download and install BootVis
Select Trace -> Select Next Boot + Driver Trace -> A Trace Repetitions screen will appear, select OK and Reboot
Wait until Bootvis has stared again, select menu Trace and select Optimize System
Improve Network Interface settings
Download and install TCP/IP Optimizer
Click the General Settings tab and select your connection Speed (Kbps)
Click Network Adapter and choose the interface you use to connect to the Internet
Check Optimal Settings then Apply