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Speed Up and Optimize Windows

Speed Up and Optimize Windows

This article was compiled by Tabitha Hawk of Nashville Computer Guru

Download this article as a .PDF

This is geared towards Windows XP but some tips can be used in Vista and 7 such as the Ccleaner section.

First Backup Your Computer, it’s just a good rule to follow by. These tips are help your computer run better but there should always be caution when doing these. It is possible to hurt your computer if not done right. You don’t have to run all these tweaks; they are placed in here as a guide if you chose to do them.

  1. Install Ccleaner ( this is the first step to speeding up the computer.

CCleaner has four main sections which can be selected using the 4 icons in the left-hand navigation panel.(The Cleaner section is selected by default.)

This is the main feature of the program, which will allow you to optimize your system, by removing unused and temporary files. It also protects your personal privacy by removing traces of the websites you have visited and the files you have opened.
(It’s important to point out that it does this without removing any files you’ll still need!) To actually run the cleaner and remove the files, it’s a simple case of just clicking the Run Cleaner button. I personally uncheck from bottom upward. “Wipe Free Space, Hotfix Uninstallers, Recent Documents, Auto Complete Form History, Recently Typed URL’s, History, and Cookies. These is just my personal method.

If you’d like to see what is going to be removed first (before deleting the files) then click on the Analyze button.

The output window above the buttons will display a log of the analysis or cleaning process.

This is a more advanced feature which analyses your computers registry (where windows system settings are stored) and fixes any problems and inconsistencies that exist. To use, simply press the “Scan for Issues” button and once completed press the “Fix Selected Issues” button. You will be prompted to backup and helped throughout the process.

This section allows you to manage installed programs and applications that run when you turn on your computer. The Tools section contains two features for advanced users:

Whilst windows includes a Control Panel program to remove installed programs. There’s no feature to edit or remove these entries.

Most computers have many programs that run when Windows starts. It’s often very difficult to remove these and prevent that from happening. This tool list the programs and allows you to remove them.

The Options section handles a wide array of preferences for how CCleaner runs.

2. To free up resources Remove Unwanted / Unused Programs. You can use Ccleaner to do this under the Tools section or Go to Start>Settings>Control Panel>Add or Remove Programs> click on the program you would like to remove and then click on the remove button.


3. Adjust the Visual Effects, sure XP and the other versions look pretty but that slick look really does take up resources. Going to a bare bones look will speed up your computer.

A. Right click the “My Computer” icon.
B. Select Properties from the option box that will appear.
C. Select the Advanced tab in the first box titled Performance. Select the Settings button. Make sure that Best Performance option is selected , then scroll down and only check the “Smooth edges of screen fonts”, and “Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop” option in the list. Click Apply and OK

4. Turn off System Restore. Though it can be useful in some cases, more and more malware are infecting the System Restore Points so you can clean your computer and in a few days you’re infected again due to them coming out of hiding in the Restore Data. In addition it does use system resources to run in the background. Use this tweak at your own risk; if you do have a backup program then you’re safe to turn off this feature.

  1. Right click the “My Computer” icon.
  2. Select Properties from the option box that will appear.
  3. Go back to the System Properties window and select the System Restore tab.
  4. Go to System Restore Tab – and place a check mark in the Turn off System Restore on all Drives. Then Click Apply.

5. Turn off Hibernation, this can speed the performance of the computer. Go to Start>Settings>Control Panel> Power Options, Click on the Hibernate Tab>Uncheck Enable Hibernation.

6. Turn off Indexing.

Double Click My Computer, Right Click C drive=>Properties. Under the General tab, uncheck the box that says “Allow the Indexing Service……..A window will come up and make sure you check the box that says Apply Chance to C:\subfolders and files and then click OK. An error window might come up. Click Ignore All button.

7. Turn off System Sounds can free system resources, its just very quiet when you click on things. Go to Start> Settings> Control Panel> Sounds and Audio Devices. Click on the Sounds tab, save your current scheme then choose No Sounds and click Apply.

8. Not using a wallpaper can increase resources and load time. To change the wallpaper, right click on a blank area of the desktop, click on properties> Desktop tab, Choose None, Click Apply and OK.

9. Turn off Some Services, be careful here. Press the Windows Key and R or go to Start>Run> type services.msc. (Or in Control Panel> Administrative Tools.)

When you find a service you want to disable, right-click it and choose Properties. In the Properties dialog box that appears, choose Manual from the Startup Type drop-down list. The service won’t start automatically from now on, but you can start it manually via the console. If you want the service disabled so that it can’t be run, choose Disabled. To test the results, turn off any services that you don’t want to run by clicking Stop The Service in the left pane, or by right-clicking the service and choosing Stop.

Double Click “Error Reporting Service”, Change Startup Type to “Disable”, OK

Do same to Themes, Wireless Zero (if you’re not using wireless for anything), Telnet, Automatic Updates, Task Scheduler

10. Eliminate programs that run at start-up

Stopping programs from running at start-up is especially daunting because there is no single place you can go to halt them all. Some run because they’re in the Startup folder, others because they’re part of logon scripts, others because of Registry settings, and so on. But with a little bit of perseverance, you should be able to keep them from running.

You can do this in Ccleaner or by going to Start>Run>type msconfig then click OK. Click the Startup Tab and uncheck the box next to the program. It can sometimes be difficult to understand what programs are listed on the Startup tab. Some, such as America Online, are clearly labeled. But often, you’ll see a phrase or collection of letters, such as fs20. That’s the name of the running file—best advice is if you don’t know what the program is then leave it alone.

When stopping programs from running at start-up, it’s best to stop them one at a time rather than in groups. You want to make sure that you’re not causing any system problems by stopping them. So stop one, then restart your PC. If it runs fine, then stop another and restart. Continue doing this until you’ve cleared all the programs you don’t want to run automatically.

Each time you uncheck a box and restart your PC, you’ll get a warning that you’ve used the System Configuration Utility to disable a program from starting automatically. If you don’t want to see that warning, disable it by checking the box in the dialog itself.

After you’ve used the system configuration utility to identify programs that run on start-up, you may want to try disabling them from with the programs themselves. So run each program that starts automatically, and see if you can find a setting that allows you to prevent it from running on start-up.

11. Speed up shutdown times

It’s not only start-up that you’d like to speed up; you can also make sure that your system shuts down faster. If shutting down XP takes what seems to be an inordinate amount of time, here are a couple of steps you can take to speed up the shutdown process:

* Don’t have XP clear your paging file at shutdown. For security reasons, you can have XP clear your paging file (pagefile.sys) of its contents whenever you shut down. Your paging file is used to store temporary files and data, but when your system shuts down, information stays in the file. Some people prefer to have the paging file cleared at shutdown because sensitive information such as unencrypted passwords sometimes ends up in the file. However, clearing the paging file can slow shutdown times significantly, so if extreme security isn’t a high priority, you might not want to clear it. To shut down XP without clearing your paging file, run the Registry Editor (click Start > Run, then type regedit in the Run box) and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

* Change the value of ClearPageFileAtShutdown to 0. Close the Registry, and restart your computer. Whenever you turn off XP from now on, the paging file won’t be cleared, and you should be able to shut down more quickly.

Note: Please be careful when editing the Registry; you can do a lot of damage here. Don’t change or delete anything unless you know exactly what it is.

12. Defrag Your Hard Drive . Go to Start> Accessories>System Tools>Disk Defragmenter. This can take a while, best left for overnight.

13. Run Check Disk. Double-click My Computer, and then right-click the hard disk that you want to check., Click Properties, and then click Tools. Under Error-checking, click Check Now. A dialog box that shows the Check disk options is displayed,

Use one of the following procedures:

  • To run Chkdsk in read-only mode, click Start.
  • To repair errors without scanning the volume for bad sectors, select the Automatically fix file system errors check box, and then click Start.
  • To repair errors, locate bad sectors, and recover readable information, select the Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors check box, and then click Start. Click Yes if asked to schedule the disk check then restart your computer to start the disk check. This can be time consuming to finish.

What I’m Paid to Do:

I run Ccleaner, Spybot and some of the tweaks in this article. It all depends on the OS of the computer and the use of the computer. If you need an onsite cleaning of computer, Contact me at my office phone at 615-469-1076 or call/ text my cell at 615-332-2844