Checklist for making Windows XP boot and run faster
Summary: The following is my checklist of things to try to make Windows XP boot and run faster without doing a complete re-install. It can take a while to complete everything on the list, but it's ideal if you can't remember where you put all those installation discs and license codes.
About: I'm often asked to take a look at PCs that have been in use for some time and have gradually gotten slower and slower to a point where it is painful waiting for it to boot and to do anything. Over the years I have developed the following checklist to help me speed up slow XP installs:
- Open Add or Remove Programs and remove any programs no longer used, including Windows programs
- Check there are no programs in the Startup folder
- Run msconfig and check startup tab and disable any programs that do not need to run at startup
- Look in system tray and set any programs not needed at startup to not run at startup
- Browse hard drive and delete any files that you no longer need to free up disk space
- Run CleanUp!
- Run Spybot and AVG full-system scans (or whatever anti-virus software you have, which is hopefully not Norton)
- Defrag the hard drive (all partitions)
- Reboot and enter BIOS (aka setup) and enable quick boot and disable POST, save and exit
- Run regedit and make sure HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction Enable equals Y
- Run msconfig again and on Services tab tick box at bottom to hide Windows services and check none of these are running: link. Untick them if they are.
- Run services.msc and disable services that dont need to run based on blackviper.com recommendations (I disabled: IPSEC Services, Protected Storage, Secondary Logon, Wireless Zero Configuration because I don't need them)
- Run Windows update and check for new driver updates as well
- Run a decent hard drive health check tool such as SpinRite
Note: Some programs mentioned above link to external web sites.
If you have any feedback regarding this article, or you have a suggestion for a new article, or just want to say thanks for the info then feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article date: 4th March 2010