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Thread: Hey TWEAKERS! How bout a general PC performance tweak guide?

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Hey TWEAKERS! How bout a general PC performance tweak guide?

    We talk alot about tweaking speed here, but seem to be neglecting overall computer performance. Why not compile an ultimate PC performance tweak guide here? Someone in another post asked for tweak tips after a fresh reformat, and I mentioned a few general PC tips and programs I would download after a fresh install...stuff completely unrelated to Cablenut and the other net tweak stuff discussed here.

    This got me thinking...why not use the collective wisdom of Speedguide members and create the ultimate PC tweak guide? I know we have a lot of smart people here, and I'm sure you guys have found tips and tweaks over the years to boost general PC performance, so why not post it here?

    After following all of the tweak advice given on the forums...After pimping out your internet settings...After downloading the latest firewalls, antivirus programs, and spyware programs (Spybot, Ad-Aware, and Spyware Blaster are a great combo in my opinion...After getting all of your Cablenut settings and firewall settings maxed out and perfected, why not max out your general PC speed?

    I am not an expert, but I do have a few basic suggestions that I have given to people in the past.

    The stuff below is what I have done to get a general performance boost on my PC. Remember to backup all of your files and programs before tweaking your computer. I also recommend creating a system restore point before doing any serious tweaking. This probably isn't necessary, but a little safety never hurt anyone.

    The first thing I recommend is turning off the flashy, mostly unnoticable garbage in XP that hogs CPU time and slows you down. Do this by right clicking on my computer, properties, advanced, performance settings.
    Choose "best performance", and then click only the boxes for drop shadows and font smoothing. Leave everything else empty and click apply. For your desktop background, use a simple bitmap if possible, instead of a large picture from the internet. Those pretty pictures can take up 3-10MB of RAM just sitting there. If you want to maximize performance, find a smaller texture and tile it instead.

    Next, open control panel and find the fonts folder. Get rid of any unnecessary or unused fonts you have in there. I recommend creating a new file on the desktop called font backup, and simply move every font you don't want into that file for safe keeping. Trimming the font folder in control panel to an absolute minimum can boost startup time because XP likes to load every single font into memory during the startup process. If you don't want the fancy fonts to load, get them out of that folder! (and move the folder off your desktop to save space, along with any other unused folders or icons)

    I also recommend that people download a few nice free tweaking utilities. Two great freebies are TuneXP and X-Setup (the best!).
    TuneXP can be downloaded here:
    and X-Setup Pro

    These utilities can make it very easy to tweak system settings, defrag the boot sector of your hard drive (fast booting!), and to disable the things you don't use (messenger, etc). The programs edit the registry, so if you decide to tweak, be careful with them. If you don't know what a setting does, don't change it! The programs have help files to consult. If you read files and use the programs properly, they should give you a very nice overall overall performance boost. In addition to the freebies, I also HIGHLY recommend the shareware version of TuneUP Utilities ( It has a very nice one-click maintenance icon to fix problems with applications along with several extra tweaks and optimization tools that I find very helpful.

    I personally have disabled the paging file on my computer, but if you have one (by default, you should), you may find this utility useful. It defragments your page file at reboot...very nice, and free!

    Next, right click on my computer. Choose properties, advanced, performance settings, advanced, then choose virtual memory. Change the minimum/maximum settings to a single static number. Keeping the paging file at a constant size prevents Windows from resizing it every few minutes, saving CPU time. XP recommends you set virtual memory at 1.5X your RAM, but if you have more than 2GB, you can probably safely disable the paging file. This will give a nice performance boost.

    Also, visit to find out about any unnecessary services running on your PC. There is a LOT of unnecessary junk starting with Windows by default, and he explains how you can disable the services you don't need running. Also make sure to check out his "XP Super Tweak" section for a few extra system and security tweaks. I also recommend you copy his XP service configuration guides to a document on your PC. If anything goes wrong and you can't connect to the net after disabling certain services, you can always refer to the document and figure out how to put the defaults back in place to get up and running again.

    There is another little trick I found. You can use this if you are simply on a home computer and are not attached to a local network. Open control panel, folder options, view, and unclick "automatically search for network folders and printers". This should speed up the loading of icons on the desktop and inside folders.

    Another great little utility is called CCleaner ( It quickly clears out unnecessary temporary files from internet cache and other areas. It is very fast, and I use it every day to clean things up after surfing the web.

    After cleaning out all of the crap from your computer, update your antivirus/anti-spyware programs, then reboot into safe mode. In safe mode, run each antivirus program on the most thorough setting possible. Kill all of the viruses/spyware on your computer, then defragment your hard drive (start, programs, accessories, system tools, defrag). Next, use TuneXP to clean out your prefetch folder and do a boot defrag. If you have a paging file, set the page file defragmenter to run at next boot. The Tune-Up Utilities program also has a nice registry cleaner to clean out unnecessary junk and invalid references in your registry. After cleaning the registry, run the TuneUp registry defragmenter to defrag everything in the registry and reboot.

    This should get you started on the road to the ultimate tweaked machine.

    Less junk in your hard drive...less junk in your registry...a clean paging file...everything optimized for fast access, fast booting, and better performance.
    Last edited by Capitalizt; 08-30-08 at 10:10 AM. Reason: added URLs

  2. #2
    One more thing I recently discovered...If you have icons on your desktop or in the "quicklaunch" bar that you use on a regular basis, you can make the programs load quicker by adding them to the prefetch folder. Simply right click on the icon, choose properties, and in the "target" field, paste the following at the very end, after the closed quotations.


    This should add the program to your prefetch list and make it load up much faster.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    good tweaks....i'm a fan of CCleaner as well, it's very fast, plus it has a built in registry cleaner...very nice. i didn't see that listed in your post, but i've been going to this site since XP came out...tons of good info.

  4. #4
    Ok, well I had a long list of stuff I would do in a set order if I was going to reformat or get a new computer. I started making it after seeing the links to:
    "Tweaking: From Reformat" to Relax and "From Relax to Righteous!"

    Something deleted that file and now I have to start over . I'll post it after I remake it, if I remember/feel like finishing it again.

    Oh, and I'm looking for a defragmenting program that can defrag my metadata, if any1 knows of one.

    One more thing I recently discovered...If you have icons on your desktop or in the "quicklaunch" bar that you use on a regular basis, you can make the programs load quicker by adding them to the prefetch folder. Simply right click on the icon, choose properties, and in the "target" field, paste the following at the very end, after the closed quotations.


    This should add the program to your prefetch list and make it load up much faster.
    This doesn't seem to work for me, as none of the icons I can right click on in the quicklaunch give me a "properties" for any of my icons. I also don't get any "target field" after attempting to click one of the options.
    Last edited by ffhighwind; 09-23-04 at 04:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Here's how far I've gotten so far, ignoring the two links. Sorry to anybody who I copied and pasted text from, this wasn't meant to be posted, and I don't take credit for any of the stuff in the area of "Tweaking the computer" as it's copied and pasted.

    Step1: Installing and Updating
    Install Hardware
    Install Drivers
    Update Windows
    Update Drivers
    Create a registry backup

    Winrar and Winace
    Mozilla Firefox
    Plug-ins for Mozilla Firefox
    1. RealOne
    2. QuickTime
    3. Java
    4. Macromedia Flash
    5. Macromedia Shockwave
    DIVX and XVID codec packs
    Acrobat Reader

    Personal Programs:
    Kazaa Lite
    Install Games
    Download MP3s
    PC Bug Doctor (Kazaa)

    X-Setup Pro
    Defrag (Raxco PerfectDisk 6.0 from Kazaa?)

    Step2: Tweaking the Computer

    Performance Tweaking:
    Go to Start>Control Panel. Double click on System, then go to the Advanced tab. Click on "Settings" for Performance, go to the Visual Effects tab "and Adjust for Best Performance." Then go to the Advanced tab and click on "Background Services" for the Processor Scheduling and "Programs" for Memory Usage.

    Turn off System restore and auto updates.

    Turn text effects to ClearType:
    Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Appearance and Themes.
    Click the Display icon, click the Appearance tab, and then click Effects.
    Click the Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts check box to select it, and select ClearType from the list.

    Tweaking IE:
    Open Internet Explorer and select Tools - Internet Options - under the General tab in the Temporary Internet files section select the Settings button.

    Select "Every visit to the page" and set the amount of disk space to use: to no more than 30MB. Now select the Connections tab and select LAN Settings make sure EVERYTHING there is unchecked and select OK.

    IE6 ONLY - select the Privacy tab and choose Advanced check the box "Override automatic cookie handling" and for First-party Cookies - Accept, Third-party Cookies - Block and check "Always allow session cookies.

    Tweaking Guides:
    Last edited by ffhighwind; 09-23-04 at 05:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Dr Tweak mnosteele52's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Chesapeake, VA
    You guys really need to use the search option, there have been too many pc tweaks to count that have been discussed over the years.

    Help & Tips - CableNut Tcp/Ip Analyzer TCPOptimizer - Dr Tweak

  7. #7
    I tried searching and ended up with over 300 results...most of them dealing with cablenut and bandwidth tweaks, rather than general PC/ Windows XP tweaks. There seemed to be a lack of posts dealing with general PC tips, so I thought I'd start a new thread.

    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. Good stuff!

  8. #8
    fem the retarded rabbit mccoffee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Cleveland, Ohio, United States
    Try the software forum look for the user name norm
    Comptia a+ n+

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    yea i forgot...check this thread everything in there

  10. #10

    I know I didn't list all the XP tweaks

    Anybody got any other tips? Anything? No matter what it is...Post it!

  11. #11
    one more BUMP!

    new speed tweak...Disable images in IE

    tools, internet options, advances, untick "show pictures"
    Firefox has the option under web features. Untick "load images"

    really speeds things up on dialup!

  12. #12
    It's been a few years so I thought I'd BUMP this old thread and see if there are any XP tweaks I missed out on. Anybody have any new tips to keep XP running fast?

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