How to speed up your system

I can’t really recall any specific thread for this topic, just hundreds (or thousands) of posts in miscellaneous threads. Let’s collect our tips & tricks here, for both newbies and more advanced users! Many of us can learn how to speed up the system without upgrading the hardware.

Here’s what I’ve done, on Windows XP (don’t feel delimited to XP, you can bring up other OS’ as well):

1: Run few processes!

View your processes in Windows Task Manager, or why not, CFP Active Process List.

1a - Startup entries

I began by having as few startup entries as possible; programs that load with Windows. Do you have many tray icons in the lower right? They all correspond to a resource demanding function, and I bet you can get rid of many of them.

There are many programs to edit which applications that load with Windows. To easily edit what Windows loads, go to Run from the start menu and type msconfig. On the tab Startup, you can disable programs from loading. You may be unsure in many cases what the startup program actually does, if so, search on Google to find out whether you can disable it. If you wish to not only disable the startup, but also delete it, I recommend CCleaner. You have to determine yourself what to remove/disable. In my case, I only have one single startup entry: Comodo Firewall Pro.

1b - Services

Windows loads not only unnecessary programs (let’s not blame Windows for this, but the programs), but also services. You’ll find them in start menu / Accessories / Administrative Tools. Not long ago I had about 40 services starting with Windows (if you haven’t ever touched them, you may have 45-50). Now I have 10 or 11. As a result, the number of running processes after starting Windows, decreased from about 18 to 13! Sure, I’ve lost some functionality due to this, but only functionality I don’t use. And the services are easy to start if required. I won’t go through here which services you can disable, because that depends on your needs. You can also get a more secure system by disabling services, since many of them are enabled for networking purposes. Like letting someone remotely edit your registry… is that really sane?!

Here are some links to great guides of which services you can disable, I particularly like the first one.
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm
http://www.overclockersclub.com/guides/windows_xp_services/2.htm
http://www.ss64.com/ntsyntax/services.html

2: The processes you run should not require much RAM!

A low RAM usage is recommended. Unfortunately, many security programs require quite much, though. Luckily - Comodo Firewall Pro 3 is truly excellent here, with a normal RAM usage of around 9 MB. Also chose an antivirus program that doesn’t require much. Avira AntiVir is a great option (it has a high detection rate - currently my favorite antivirus). But very soon, we’ll have Comodo AntiVirus 3 here, let’s hope for it to be low on resources.

3: Clean system from ■■■■!

Run CCleaner to clean your system from old temporary files etc.

4: Defrag!

When the ■■■■ is gone and your system is clean, run a defragmenter to organize the data on your drive. I use the little program JkDefrag, I think it’s efficient and makes a great job. Not a fancy GUI but a good program.

5: Registry optimizing?

Running a registry cleaner might solve problems (but for some people also create new problems!), and defragmenting it may be a good thing, but I honestly don’t know how efficient these measures are. There are already several threads on the forum for registry cleaners. If you feel that you want to do it, CCleaner is a relatively careful cleaner. For defragmenting, NTREGOPT is a nice little program.


So those were my tips and tricks. I can tell you, the performance of my system is outstanding, compared to the times before I started to learn what to edit and tweak. :slight_smile:

LA

I have three tips, not so much what’s on the computer, but who’s on the computer. I have seen people do these things, ■■■■ their heads on the table, and only change their ways after lengthy education.

  1. After starting your computer up wait until all the startup processes are up and running before you start clicking on stuff. Yes, you want it to “go,” but your goal will be reached more quickly if you just wait a couple of minutes (get a cup of coffee or something).

  2. Limit yourselves to minimal applications running at the same time. I often get complaints of a “slow” computer that has upwards of 15 applications running.

  3. Don’t get “click happy.” I see users who will click, and click, and click…if the application does not appear instantly. Every click is a command to your computer to do something, so multiple clicks for the same application will only slow it down.

Defragmentation is a very easy way to speed up your HDD, should be done like once a month. Won’t notice too much if you do it often, but if you haven’t done it in one year you should notice a big different!
For advanced users, you might overclock your computer (won’t go to the details for this) for some speed boost. I noticed a pretty big different with going from 2.0Ghz->2.25Ghz.

Else, if you’re on a standard fan, buying a new one might actually speed up the computer, since the computer will be slower if it’s warm. But this requires some money tho, but fans aren’t that expensive.

Autostart entries and disabling services will mostly only give you some faster boot time, but a few extra MB RAM might be nice :wink:

Cheers,
Ragwing

Give the computer some Steroids and some vitiamins then it should already set…

Yeah

Use CCLeaner to clean
Use JKdefrag to defrag
use regseeker to clean unneeded Reg’s (auto clean future is good)
Use Advance windows care to clean some memory space, and also remove some start up entires
and Like ragwing said over clock,

Might also point out that novice users can do it too. Tho you might not want to increase the FSB too much, else you’ll need to mess with the voltages, which might fry your hardware ;D
Also remember, a 200x10.0 (2000 MHz) CPU might give better performance than a 150x15 (2250 MHz) CPU, since FSB will speed up the operations of your other hardware, not just the CPU.

Off topic>> Have you ever lik the Main Motherboard power cord and the and plugged it in the mother bored

so much blue I love it << DO NOT DO>

For JKDefrag there are a couple of GUIs; I’ve tried them and found the one from EMRO Automatisering to be OK.

CCleaner kept on borking bits in Word, so I use ClearProg (set up for what I want) from
http://www.clearprog.de/?lang=en
and Free Window Sweeper from
http://www.findsth.com/.
after ClearProg.

Then, for the Reg., having tried lots of progs., Free Window Registry Repair from

and it’s not yet done any serious damage (an odd entry now and again, but OK after a while).

BlackViper is v. good - I’ve followed his advice on several PCs.

I’ve actually considered to “underclock” my CPU, to reduce the heat. But I’ll most likely leave it, better wait for a brand new machine - I’ve heard about new processors that hardly generates any heat at all. Combine this with an SSD disk… no heat, no noise, much faster, amazing. The future of laptops! But this is completely off topic, it applies to hardware only.

RegSeeker is more powerful than CCleaner, better use it very carefully. But it really finds junk that other programs won’t find, like invalid services.

LA

I haven’t under- or overclocked, but did get a Brisbane-cored AMD. Running on Cool’n’Quiet, the input to the PSU is 45W - my old PC was 108W.

Drum roll please

nLite

For those who don’t know, it’s reinstalling XP the right way.

(:WAV)
i love this topic :smiley: , this is really helpful, i need a fast computer before 2014.
err,and i need a lil help here:
step 1)
are you sure you only have 1 start up entry? i have 10!
*TPSmain ==>Toshiba power saver, keep it
*TPSODDCtl ==>still related to power saver, i’ll keep anything entitled “saver” ;D
*antivir ==>keep it
*BOC ==>keep it
*CFP ==> keep it
*CMF ==>keep it ( 88) i really need Buffer Overflow experience)

now the mysterious ones:
*MSMSGS
messenger sucks! >:( i never use it, i’ve tried to disable it, but it keeps coming back,why? ??? >:(

*Apoint
apoint.exe is a component of the drivers for your Alps Touchpad. This process should not be removed to ensure that your touchpad works properly. <=== >:( http://www.processlibrary.com/directory/files/apoint

*ctfmont.exe
May i remove it?

step 2)
WOW :o where do i start ;D i’ve checked this site, what should i follow?
there are few "default"s, “SAFE”, “Power User”, and “Bare Bones” ?
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

step 3)
uh huh, get it!

step4)
why do i need that JKdefrag? i have this ???
start/accecories/system tools/disk defragmenter
are they different?

step 5)
what’s the defference between registry cleaning & registry defragmenting? (:NRD)

Ganda

I KNEW you were going to be the next one, except I didn’t expect you to exclude your fav hammer solution.

Registry cleaning the suicidal act of wiping out registry keys that are deemed to be “obsolete”, “dead”, or “invalid references” to values that no longer exist. It’s suicidal if you blindly click yes to everything a registry cleaner identifies as an “error”. On the other hand, I just ran one myself but I took my time to selectively delete ones that I know had real errors, but took every precaution to backup before I delete. I recommend to only go through this process on when you know what you’re doing or to fix errors like with uninstalled programs with outstanding remnants.

Registry defragmenting is wiping out empty spaces in the registry. This method has not have a bad history, meaning it’s much safer. I’ve ran the NTREGOPT program and never had issues even in the long run. Others might call it “compacting” the registry, to minimize it as much as possible. This one also doesn’t have to be performed often. The only exception is if you install or update stuff frequently.

These are my own definitions, so there’s bound to be some technical flaws in it, but who cares. From my experience, both of them have not produced realistic performance benefits. It might yield something for ancient computers, but not mine. Also, all registry files that make up the registry are only about 15 or so MB, so even if you had the magical ability to achieve a perfect registry, it won’t be much of a size change. The most noticable effect would probably be a slightly faster search result of the registry - ooh la la :P.

ganda!

1:

Yes, I really do have only CFP as a startup entry. As for your entries:

  • MSMSGS, I don’t even remember if this is Windows Messenger or that Live Messenger? Anyhow if the program starts with Windows, don’t you see a tray icon for it? If so, you should be able to maximize the program and change its options.
  • apoint.exe, I guess it only provides special functionality for your touchpad (like scrolling). I had something similar for my touchpad, but I removed it and the pad have enough functions for me.
  • ctfmont.exe, to be sure, I believe you mean ctfmon.exe? It’s something related to M$ language bar and maybe Office, you’ll find much info on Google. You can’t disable it, it’ll hunt you down. :smiley: As I don’t have any M$ Office (better get OpenOffice.org) or language bar, I booted in safe mode and REMOVED the annoying program the hard way, including all registry entries for it. I do this after every installation of Windows, not even nLite helps.

2:

I didn’t follow those “profiles” exactly (since I combined Backviper’s guide with others), but I’m most close to Bare Bones. It frightened me at first, but after discussing a lot with Soya and Rag, I came down to that level. Try carefully what suits you the best! :slight_smile:

4:

Jk is more efficient! Windows defrag is an ancient tool, Jk is a continuesly developed little program. The latest version 3.33 came out as late as December the 23:rd, last year.

5:

I agree with Soya on the registry stuff, though I’m too lazy to go through all the errors so I just click happily. :slight_smile:
I also doubt that compacting the registry makes a big difference, but I always do it anyway because reducing the registry file sizes with 30% or so, is at least some kind of improvement. But of course it really doesn’t affect your free disk space.

LA

Lets make it simple - 2 PC’s. Totally the same. Dual core’s 2 gb ram 8800 gt GPU’s. Windows Vista Ultimate 32 bit. And nothing more. My friends PC - uses 725 mb Ram. Mine (tweaked services, and optimisations) - 500 mb. Feel the difference ? (:KWL)

how ??? ;D oh, the hammer’s set to on demand only. ;D

ooops, :o i never check these entries, hell, i don’t even know what they are.

i’m gonna get one of those registry defrag softwares :stuck_out_tongue:

WHAT?! you mean, those registry optimizer/cure/cleaner/defragmenter won’t do much? >:( what about this :
The more software and hardware you install and uninstall, the more full your Registry gets. A great deal of software doesn’t clean up after itself, and leaves behind old and obsolete Registry entries, or upon install creates invalid ones. There will be pointers to missing DLLs, listings of no-longer-valid file extensions, invalid paths, invalid ActiveX Controls, and much more. The more your Registry fills with this junk, the slower your PC gets and the more often you’ll have system crashes.
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,64953-page,1-c,downloads/description.html

it’s just bluffing?

last time i tried to disable this MSMSGS, i use Glarysoft utilities’ startup manager to disable it.
i never think to disable it directly (:TNG) .
oh, and yes, it’s ctfmon.exe ;D

here we go. wish me luck guys. (:NRD)

downloading… ;D

ok, still wondering if this kind of software can really repair error/crash 88)

5: I think it will do more good than bad (given that you use a careful cleaner like CCleaner, rather than the killer of cleaners: RegSeeker) if you’ve installed and uninstalled many applications, which I know you have (88)). All people who come to forums with problems of applications that aren’t really uninstalled; like Norton stuff, well - registry cleaning can solve much of those problems. :slight_smile:

When Windows is newly installed, and all programs are newly installed (and none is actually uninstalled), there shouldn’t be any need of cleaning the registry.

LA

Not necessarily a bluff - maybe only applicable to PC’s with registries that have a large amount of real errors, especially with programs like security-based ones or malware-infected systems. Even if you have such PC setup, how often are you supposed to clean your registry? Maybe once in a long while. If you do it regularly then you’re just asking for trouble as the cleaner(s) that you’re relying too much is only providing a false sense of cleanliness.

Uninstall it and it should go away. Use Google and you might find something helpful :wink:

Yes, but it’ll be added to autostart all the time, so it’s useless. Delete it from system32 and dllcache and it’ll be gone for good.

It’s Windows Messenger, WLM uses msnmsgr.exe.

Any strange errors after uninstalling it?

Win Messenger: if you don’t use it ganda, then just launch it and change its options not to start with Windows. You can’t uninstall it, you can just uncheck the option of having shortcuts (in add/remove Windows components). On the other hand, it’s possible to delete it “the hard way” like I did with ctfmon. Just boot in safe mode and delete it in the Program Files folder. But don’t bother to delete the Windows Messenger folder, it’ll be recreated… the only solution I’m aware of to get rid of it completely, is to use nLite.

Removing ctfmon: I’ve had no errors as far as I know, but if ganda is interested in removing it, he should look it up carefully if he uses M$ Office and/or the language bar!

LA

By the way, as for services, I’ve re-enabled Task Scheduler since it’s needed for Windows prefetch. Anyone who starts to shut down services should look them up carefully, unless you are willing to lose all kinds of functionality and stability!!!

LA