[TuT]Speeding up the computer

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[TuT]Speeding up the computer

Post  Admin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:52 pm

As you'll see if you've ever done this windows will usually tell you not to bother, but theres reasons behind that:
-If you're not using a large percentage of the available capacity.
- If there's only a certain percentage of the files fragmented.

But it's worth doing as any pc is going to work faster if the data contained on the harddrive for a particular program you want to use is all in one place as it means the harddrive only has to 'seekout' the data once.

If it's fragmented it'll seek then find the initial bootup (.exe) file, then have to go searching for the next part and so on.

You can do this yourself manually, say once a week by:
-clicking 'start'
-clicking 'control panel'
-clicking 'performance and maintenance'
-clicking 'rearrange items on your hard disk to make programs run faster'
-then click 'defragment'

Because XP is very resource hungry (ram in this instance) built into windows is a facility called a pagefile. This is basically where windows allocates space on your harddrive as ram to use as and when (even you 2gb ram users out there would be surprised how often the pagefile is used).

Now the pagefile is automatically allocated from the primary hard drive (C), but as these can become fragmented it can also slow the pagefile down because (as above) harddrives read sequential data faster than bits here and bits there.

It's a good idea to move your primary pagefile to a spare installed hdd if you have one as this will be used less. (But it might be an idea to have a smaller, secondary pagefile on the C: drive just incase the other harddrive develops a fault)
Also, because windows manages the pagefile automatically it can increase and decrease in size as and when which can slow things down.

So i would also recommend manually selecting the largest pagefile size (just over 3000mb) so the slow-downs are more seldom. But only if you have the room to spare on your harddrive.

To amend/move/create a pagefile:
-Click 'start;
-click 'control panel'
-click 'performance and maintenance'
-click 'system'
-click the 'advanced' tab
-Near the top of this tab, where it says 'performance' click 'settings'
-click on this page's 'advanced' tab
-Near the bottom of this tab you'll see 'virtual memory' click 'change' and away you go.

If you bought your pc from PC World etc then you're more than likely going to have a load of useless programs (that you hardly use) running in the background along with windows. And do they tie up resources.

When you first boot into windows, DONT open anything else up and:
-Click 'start'
-Click 'run'
-Type "msconfig"
-Click 'ok'

You'll now see a load of tabs appear: General, SYSTEM.INI, BOOT.INI etc
Stay on the 'General' tab

-Select 'Diagnostic startup'
-Click 'Apply'
-Click 'ok'

Then restart your pc and see if it makes any difference. If it doesnt then just start the above instructions again but when in the 'General' tab select 'Normal startup' and reboot and your system will be back to how it was before running the diagnostic startup.

What the 'Diagnostic startup' does is just allows Windows processes to run. If you run this and you see a quicker boot into windows and see your other applications run quicker what you can then do is:

-Go back into the msconfig tabs (using the instructions above)
-click on the 'services' tab
-then 'tick' the box stating "Hide all Microsoft services"
(This will stop you inadvertantly stopping any process windows needs)

Anything thats left is more than likely just there to speed up '3rd party' applications such as iTunes or any sponsored-ads that the manufacturer has pre-loaded on your system.

Don't worry about breaking anything because if you do stop a process and your pc goes a tad funny you can always repeat the steps above and re-enable the process.

There are other things you can do (manually select ram-timings, make windows detect your cpu's second core, shutdown motherboard ports in the bios etc).


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