Friday, February 6, 2009

Windows XP Extreme Tweaking Tips for Linux Users

The very title - Windows XP Extreme Tweaking Tips for Linux User - in a Desktop Linux blog might make some visitors frown, but I thought it worthwhile to give a detailed XP tweaking tips. Because most of the linux users use or are compelled to use Windows at home or workplace, on different machines, or on a dualboot machine, for many reasons such as running some commercial applications, playing games, etc. Hope these tweaks will help readers optimize their Windows to the best.

Like Linux, the first step to optimize windows xp is making the startup first. You can run msconfig and change various parameters to improve boot speed. Click on the picture below to view its original size and get the details of my tweaks. Here I have disabled 16-bit application support (who uses it anyways?) and outlook mail, reduced timeout to 3 sec, removed everything from the startup except Avast antivirus and ctfmon. You can add/remove/disable items in the msconfig dialog box as per your requirement.

windows xp msconfig tweaks

You might have noticed sometimes Windows takes more time to open a drive and/directory. You can make it quite snappy by changing the disk properties. Right click on the C, D, E… drives and uncheck Compress drive to save disk space and Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching. Because very few people really need fast-searching on their home desktops, and today nobody at home faces space-crunch on their computers. Click on the picture below to view its original size and get the details of my tweaks.

windows xp disk properties tweaks

It’s good to have eye-candies on your desktop, but they take considerable amount of cpu and memory. However, you can enjoy the most the beauty of windows borders and desktop actions by optimizing visual effects. Right click on My Computer, click on properties option, then click on Advanced tab and select Settings below Performance box. And, choose custom option under visual effects tab, uncheck everything except Use Drop Shadows for icon labels on the desktop and Use visual styles on windows and buttons. Click on the picture below to view its original size and get the details of my tweaks.

windows xp visual effects tweaks

Next, you can change the system properties of Windows XP to a great extent to enhance speed and responsiveness of your system. The most important system properties tweaks are: disable error reporting, turnoff system restore on all drives, turnoff automatic updates, uncheck remote assistance and disable the devices that you don’t need. Click on the picture below to view its original size and get the details of my tweaks. Be sure, you have Linux as your another booting OS, so that you can easily manipulate your files in the windows partition in case of a system failure.

windows xp system properties tweaks

The default Windows installation activates a lot of services that you probably don’t need at all. Run services.msc, have some idea about the service names, startup status and description, and disable the services that you don’t need. Click on the picture below and get the details of my services tweaks. My system runs only this much of services and I have never run into any problems.

windows xp services tweaks

Few days after tweaking services.msc if everything runs smoothly you can remove the disabled services from the system registry. Click on the picture below to see how I have browses the registry levels and deleted the disabled services.

windows xp removing services from registry

Finally, the most important thing to make your system fast, stable and usable is a small but wise selection of applications. I have chosen to install MS Office 2003 + Open XML addons (because MS Office 2007 is too slow and annoying), Ashampoo Burning Suite (because Nero is a memory hog), K Lite Mega Codecs (because it’s the most comprehensive codecs pack that merges seamlessly with Windows Media Player), Avast Antivirus (because it’s the best free antivirus suite, you can also try Avira), Foxit PDF reader (because it’s of miniscule size compared to adobe reader, and it’s fast), Winrar (because it’s better than winzip in every possible ways being small, fast and feature-rich), and Encyclopedia Britannica (but you can refer Wikipedia or Wordweb also).

windows xp installing a good selection of application

Well, now onto linux news. Mepis 8 RC2 has already been released and PCLinuxOS 2009 TR6 is on the way. Don't forget to try them both when they go gold.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Most people would suggest this or this

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