How to keep WinXP really fast & stable

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Chillin Techie
How to keep WinXP really fast & stable Part III.

I'm going to revise this (the links to program, new update and other stuff) in the next 24-48 hours. it has help thousands of people on the old forum.

I'm reposting because it is hard finding the old links

We need to sticky this as I always have to direct somebody to this link

part 1

How to keep WinXP really fast & stable. This question was asked

Here's how to keep windows fast. before we start, remember this. if you have a brand name computer (ie hp, gateway, sony, dell) you have a driver folder on your c drive. back it up. million of people reformat their comp. then have to look everywhere for drivers that they already have. duh

also if your computer didn't come with a xp disc, it probably had a I386 folder on the c drive. back it up. you can reinstall xp with it if you make a bartpe cd

Tricks to speed your computer

1. Reformat. Use the XP CD to break it into 2 partitions. Make one 20-40 gig for your operating system, the rest for your data (gamers need to make a 3rd 10-20 gig partition for your games). You can move my document to the 2nd partition. Go to start right click my documents, click properties (you can only do it here) and select move. Move it to you second partition. This will speed up disc performance plus if you have to reformat, you won't lose your data. Download all new things to the first drive and after a few weeks and you are sure they contain no virus or Trojan horses, then move them to the 2nd drive

2. If you have a second hard drive you need to move your paging file there. Make 2 partitions. The first is 5 gigs which will be your swap file drive (it is faster at the beginning). Go to system properties, click advance then performance and then advance again. You will now be at the page to change your paging file.

3. If you can get customizer XP, get it. I am not sure but I don't think it is free anymore. It does a million things to speed up your computer. The second link is the old Free one
Tweak Now! - Tweaking Windows Couldn't Be Easier
MEGAUPLOAD - The leading online storage and file delivery service

4. Go to display properties, change your desktop theme to windows classic, also change in the appearance tab to windows classic. Change these 2 things to classic will free up 60mb of ram alone. You use any old picture as desktop wallpaper

5. Install cache cleaner. Turn on cache cleaner to make it clean your temporary internet files every 2 week. It will delete spy ware like files that the XP clean up disc tool can't
6. Get evidence eliminator to disable all of windows XP tracking services for you. half of XP resources is use to track everything that you are doing. Evidence Eliminator the most popular Internet Washer & Windows Washer. You will find a much faster computer when you are done

7. Don't use IE. Firefox with the no script extension will give you the best protection . you get to choose the site that allow the javascript. It also show you the script lurking in the background that you shouldn't select. IE lover think different, but the simple fact is, firefox has never been hijacked and nobody that I know of has ever had the security compromise because ff fixes the holes immediately Firefox web browser | Faster, more secure, & customizable
Opera browser: Home page

8. Don't download free music from p2p programs. If you must download from file sharing programs, get you a dummy computer that you don't care if it gets a virus or spyware. Stay away from limewire

9. start, run type msconfig check startup remove all of the check item except your firewall and antivirus and email programs so that you won't have so many things running in the background that are just wasted computer resources. You can enable teatimer of spybot search and destroy to keep things out of startup.

10. Get adaware, sybot and spyware blaster (you can change the first 2 programs for other spyware programs like spysweeper and MS antispyware, but spyware blaster is a must. It blocks sites from ever accessing your computer.
The home of Spybot-S&D!
SpywareBlaster Download

11. Get an antivirus. Nod32 is the best one with Kaspersky labs a close second. I don't recommend Norton. I heard so much about how great Symantec is compare to Norton A/V, that I tried it out on a couple of computers. Then one day I decided to ran a full scan. Well 3 hours later it was only 75 percent done on a 40 gig and a 160 gig hdd, I decided not to ever use Symantec again
Anti Virus Free Download - Free Anti Virus Download of NOD32 from ESET
Antivirus Software: Kaspersky Lab - Protection Against CrimeWare

12. get service pack 2. slipstream it with autostreamer onto your xp disc

Download Windows XP Service Pack 2: XP SP2 (Full package)


Chillin Techie
re: How to keep WinXP really fast & stable

this is how you set the page file

To accurately determine the optimal pagefile size you should see how much memory your most memory- intensive programs use and then set the pagefile to comfortably accommodate this. A rough and ready way of doing this is to configure your Task Manager as specified under the Task Manager section, then nm what you believe is your most memory-intensive application or game and use it for a period of time. Then without quitting the game or application, bring up the Task Manager and check the peak memory usage figure for the largest process under the Processes tab -this should indicate how much memory the program usually needs. Also after a period of time using various applications and games on your system, open up Task Manager and go to the Performance tab, then check the Peak figure under the 'Commit Charge (K)' section -this is approximately the maximum amount of memory in KB required so far by your system. These will give you an indication of how much total memory you need when going through the next step.
I understand that for most people accurately working out which is the most memory intensive application or game, and more importantly predicting the amount of memory future software will require is tedious if not impossible. Therefore follow my general recommendation below to set a fixed pagefile that should be sufficient for all your needs. Since the total memory available to Windows XP is a combination of your Virtual Memory plus your 'Real Memory' (System RAM), you should ensure that the suirr of these two is sufficiently large to prevent Windows from nmning out of memory. In general, I suggest a minimum of 2GB (2048MB) for your Virtual Memory +RAM:

Example: If you have 256MB of RAM set the Initial and Maximum pagefile sizes to 1792MB each.

Example: If you have 512MB of RAM, set the Initial and Maximum pagefile sizes to 1536MB each.

Example: If you have 1024MB (1GB) of RAM, set the Initial and Maximum pagefile sizes to 1024MB each.

Exam)~le:If you have 2GB of RAM or more, set the Initial and Maximum pagefile sizes to 200MB each.

Once you've adjusted your Virtual Memoly size settings click the Set button and reboot if required. Your pagefile will now be in a single fixed unfragmented file, created closer to the start of the hard drive for faster performance (See Position of the Pagefile below). There will be plenty of headroom for memory-intensive applications and games and you should notice smoother performance.
Note that the common myth about the pagefile being '1.5 x RAM' or some other multiple is quite clearly counterintuitive. Consider the situation where you only have 128MB of RAM: setting the maximum pagefile size to 1.5 x 128MB = 192MB + 128MB = 320MB of total available memory for Windows XP which is obviously not going to give you enough memory for modem games and applications. Remember, it is about how much total memory (RAM+ Pagefile) that should be made available for Windows to operate efficiently.
If at the end of all this you still have doubts about what to do, or you nln into any problems, you can either increase the fixed pagefile size further (which never hurts), set a 'semi-permanent' pagefile which has an Initial size equal to your current RAM, and a Maximum size which is very high, e.g. 3000MB, or failing that simply choose the 'System Managed Size' setting to revert to the Windows default pagefile size. Whatever you do, don't set a zero pagefile.


Chillin Techie
re: How to keep WinXP really fast & stable

here's how you update you xp cd to have almost all drivers. you need the driver packs and the driver base software. here are the links > DriverPacks > DriverPacks BASE

download driverbase. put your downloaded driver packs files in the driver pack folder that you get when you extract driver base download with 7zip


extract driver base. put your driver zip files in the right folder.


open driver base. click the arrows to get to the next screen. notice that i have an xp folder on my desktop (I have 2 actually. I use ryanvm integrater to slipstream all of xp updates into the disc too). you need the files there as driver doesn't copy your xp cd files to the hdd. you have to manually do it yourself or use nlite to copy the files to the hdd


if you put the files in the right place you will see the drivers on this screen. just follow the steps leaving the default options. you can change them if you understand them.

when you are done use nlite to create a bootable iso file from the folder.



Chillin Techie
re: How to keep WinXP really fast & stable

if you need the post sp2 updates integrated into your xp disc (which will make it faster and save you from heading to windows updates). head and get ryanvm update pack.

RyanVM's Windows XP Post-SP2 Update Pack

the actual pack

|MG| RyanVM's Windows XP Post-SP2 Update Pack 2.1.11

you will need the integrator to slipstream it
Official RVM Integrator website - Download

both files on the desktop. Fire up
RyanVM Integrator. Set the source to
the Original Retail directory that you
created with nLite. For the destination
directory, we created a new directory
on the desktop named XP_all_updates.
Under Choose an Update Pack CAB,
select the Post-SP2 update that is on
the desktop. Click integrate; it will take
about 10 minutes to add the files to
your build.
When the integration is done,
restart nLite to make a bootable iso.



Chillin Techie
re: How to keep WinXP really fast & stable

Nlite Tutorial Courtesy of my friend vertigo173 from demonoid.



Baseband Member
re: How to keep WinXP really fast & stable

It's nice to see that you guys are still interested in this subject.
After 2,5 years my parents system is still running smoothly. (Although, it was a little bit faster 2,5 years ago)

In time I have learned a lot about system speed, stability and security.

This is a very good written topic, I would like to add some information:

By following these tweaks, we have to keep in mind that we take a great risc to cause system instability or affect it's normal behaviour. (ex. disabling the wrong Windows Services).

For those who are not technical I would suggest to install as minimal software as possible. Install antivirus,firewall,anti-spyware tools. Defragment and run the Disk Cleanup regularly. Keep your system up-to-date and make regular backups. Before trying these tweaks, be sure to know what you are doing.

So here are some basic tips:

Have a Windows/Linux/SystemRescueCD LiveCD near you.
Be prepared to fail: Copy your Windows Bootloader/GRUB to a floppy/USB Stick (make sure you have prepared your system to boot from floppy/USB).
Install an "untweaked" Windows version on a second partition and make it ready for immediate use at all times (MS Office, WLM, etc).

It might be useful to move the "Documents and Settings" folder to another partition (I haven't done this yet):
How can I move Documents and Settings to another partition? -

In order to understand which Windows Services are safe to disable, you could read more on the following link:
Windows XP Home and Professional Service Pack 2 Service Configurations by Black Viper

It takes time to learn which services could be disabled, so there is also a "one-click" solution available, check out the following link:

Windows XP Service Pack 2 Services Registry Files and Information

We only have covered the Windows Services. We also have other services/startup programs. Find and disable them if you don't need them. Start -> Run -> MSConfig

10. Install, run, "Do a system scan and save a logfile", copy the content from notepad and paste it to a HijackThis Log File Analysis.
You could check out which entries are safe, and delete the entries which are not.

HijackThis Log File Analysis: HijackThis Logfileauswertung

Through time, I have also learned that installing less applications/software on your computer is much better to keep your system running smoothly (It leaves (temporary) files, leaves registry keys even when you have uninstalled it)
Don't install software unless it's absolutely neccessary. It might be an option to install VMWare/VirtualPC and try out software in a virtualized environment.
Try to run as much as portable applications as possible in order to prevent that registry keys/temporary files are stored on your Windows partition. For a list of portable programs check out: Applications | - Portable software for USB drives.
Make sure that you install/store as little as possible on your windows partition.
Make a backup of your Windows partition after you have completly installed and configured it correctly. If your system becomes slow, you could simply restore an old backup. If you use the portable apps and run it from another partition your software is still up-to-date without having to reinstall it :).
Don't work from the Administrator account, but create a limited account. This could be used for security reasons but also a limited account is not able to write to a lot of areas on the system, which prevents your apps mess up your system globally.

If you like the Windows Theme, but would like to disable the Visual Effects, try the following: Control Panel -> System Properties -> (Advanced) -> Performance (Settings) -> Visual Effects -> Disable everything except "Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop" and "Use visual styles on windows and buttons".

Some of these temporarily files are not removed by ccleaner/cleanmgr.
For more information about temporary files check out:
Disk Cleanup: deleting unnecessary files.
System Volume Information
%WINDIR%\Driver Cache\I386\
%WINDIR%\Downloaded Installations\

It would be nice if someone would like to write a batch file which cleans up the above temporary files or run "ccleaner.exe /auto", cleanmgr /sagerun:1, chkdsk, defrag, etc.

Edit: You could also defragment your Windows partition effectively if you run Windows from a LiveCD or from a different partition.


Daemon Poster
re: How to keep WinXP really fast & stable

out of loop question here, but has TF started condoning Evidence Eliminator now and I hadn't heard about it? I still tell all my associates not to use it.

Also, what's a registry cleaning app that people recommend here?


Chillin Techie
re: How to keep WinXP really fast & stable

out of loop question here, but has tech forums started condoning Evidence Eliminator now and I hadn't heard about it? I still tell all my associates not to use it.

Also, what's a registry cleaning app that people recommend here?

1.why do you tell people not to use it? don't need a registry cleaner if you use this guide. I'm going to edit it and add use a VIRTUAL machine for testing new software.
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