- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#startup]Removing Startup Items[/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#explorer]Increase Explorer Responsiveness [/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#disk]Regular Disk Maintenance [/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#av]Firewall & Antivirus Alternatives [/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#malware]Ensure your PC is spyware/malware free [/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#alternatives]Free alternatives to bloated applications [/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#ff]Speed up Web Browsing (And upset some web hosts!)[/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#services]Service configurations[/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#vista]Vista and 7 Tweaks[/s] New
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#hosts]Hosts file - Protect your PC[/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#program]Super-Awesome All-in-one tweak program![/s]
- [s=/forum/874190/0//Quick_guide_to_a_faster_PC.html#notes]Final Notes[/s]
Download it here
To manually choose what to run upon startup of your PC:
- Click "Start", Select "Run", and type "MSCONFIG", without quotes. Press "OK", and "System Configuration Utility" will pop up. Navigate to the "Startup" tab, And deselect any programs that you'll either start manually, or don't constantly need running.
- In Windows Vista, simply type "msconfig" into the search bar in the start menu, and hit Enter.
Remember to be strict about what you allow to run upon startup. A lot of the listed items are unnecessary, and can be de-selected. Items that belong to hardware drivers are also unnecessary, because they're just additional utilities to further configure the hardware. These settings are loaded when Windows starts up, making them unnecessary.
Essentially, you'll want to de-select EVERYTHING, except: Programs you wish to start up when your computer boots, as well as any Antivirus/antispyware programs you may have installed that provide realtime protection.
Disable Auto-Network Search
Windows automatically searches for network files and printers everytime you open Windows Explorer. To fix this and to increase browsing significantly:
Open any Explorer Window, for example, "My Computer". Click "Tools", Select "Folder Options". Click on the "View" tab. Uncheck the "Automatically search for network folders and printers" checkbox, Then click Apply, and OK. Afterwards, Reboot your PC.
Disable Indexing Service
This system process indexes and updates lists of all the files that are on your computer. It does this so that when you do a search for something on your computer, it will search faster by scanning the index lists. If you don't search your computer often, or even if you do search often, this system service is completely unnecessary, as it consumes significant amounts of resources.
To disable it, go to the Control Panel and click Add/Remove Programs. Click the Add/Remove Window Components. Simply unclick the Indexing services and click next. (For some systems only).
Disable Windows Superfetch
Vista's new "SuperFetch" feature sure sounds great, and for some it works great. However, this is not the case for many Vista users. What it does is pre-load applications into RAM, [i]incase[/i] you open the program, so it loads faster. Right off the bat, this sounds like a bad idea for those with average amounts of memory, doesn't it?
If you've got ~4GB+ of RAM, keeping this on may benefit you. For everyone else, this wastes very valuable system memory, which can make your computer feel extremely sluggish. This is especially true for Games, such as MapleStory.
To disable it, go to start, and type "services.msc" in the Search bar, without the quotes. Scroll down 'till you find "Superfetch", and double-click the service. Set the Startup type to "Disabled", click "Stop", followed by Apply & OK.
This will make Vista's prefetching act much like Windows XP - Which was quite efficient & wasted little resources.
Decrease Menu Delay
This little tweak just makes your computer "Feel" faster. You don't have to wait around a second after hovering your mouse over a menu before it shows. To enable this small tweak:
Go to Start then Run, Type 'Regedit' then click 'Ok'. Navigate to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Control Panel>Desktop", Select "MenuShowDelay" . Right click it, and select "Modify". Reduce the number to around ~100. You can choose whatever suits you, though I personally favor very little delay. Finally, Reboot.
Increase Swapfile Performance
If you do NOT have more than 256MB of System RAM, DO NOT Enable this tweak!
Go to Start then Run, Type "msconfig" then ok.
Click on the System.ini tab, and Expand the 386enh tab by clicking on the "+" Sign.
Click on new then in the blank box type"ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1 ", and Click OK.
Reboot your computer.
Speed up shutdowns
Open the registry editor (start>run>"regedit", or type "regedit" in the search box of the start menu).
- XP Only
Highlight the "WaitToKillAppTimeout" value.
Set it to 1000.
Now highlight the "HungAppTimeout" value.
Set it to 1000 as well.
(The above may be problematic if you don't save your work before shutting down!)
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Control Panel>Desktop
Highlight the value "AutoEndTasks"
Change the value to 1.
- XP, Vista and 7
Default Value: WaitToKillServiceTimeout=20000
Modified value: WaitToKillServiceTimeout=5000 (noticable speed increase)
Modified value: WaitToKillServiceTimeout=1000 (extreme, use it at your own risk)
I found 3000 worked nicely, but try the 5000 first. 3000 does sometimes leave some programs lagging which then need a further key click.
Over time, Clutter on your hard drive will accumulate. This will hinder your computer's performance, and may prevent you from installing applications in the future due to lack of disk space. A useful utility to remove such junk files is called "CCleaner".
CCleaner has been designed to delete temporary, and unnecessary files from your PC with a single click. It's a very convenient program.
When files are read and written regularly, files tend to become fragmented. This occurs when pieces of files are located on different areas of the hard drive. Because the hard drive is actually a mechanical device with moving parts, data access time will be improved if the read/write heads don't have to seek out the information on the disks themselves.
Microsoft has included a Disk Defragmenting program, Which can be accessed through the "Start" menu.
To run Disk Defragmenter, Simply go to:
Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools.
Note, The defragmenting process may take up to an hour, Depending on how often you defragment, and how large your hard drive is.
You can program your computer to automatically defragment your drive when your computer isn't in use, for example, while you're sleeping.
To do this, go to: Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Scheduled Tasks.
I've uploaded a copy of my job properties for you to download (note: Right click and hit Save As to download).
Save the file to your desktop, Open Scheduled Tasks, and drag the file onto the Scheduled Tasks window. The job properties can be edited to suit your needs, but it's set to defrag daily, at 4:53AM.
A phenomenal defragging program by Piriform - The company that brought us CCleaner.
I can tell you, from experience, it's a much more efficient defrag than many alternatives that are out there. Best of all, It's less than one megabyte in size.
Easy on resources, yet does a fantastic job of maintaining your hard drive. That's the way all defrag software should be...
Comodo Antivirus (Suggested by nerdbomer)
Spybot - Search & Destroy
Spybot Search & Destroy is an easy to use program that will scan your PC for Spyware, and will generally delete what's found to be malicious.
You can download Spyware S&D for free, here.
Credits to ZYBlade
A phenomenal anti-spyware utility that's small, light, and effective. It's far more capable than many other non-free alternatives on the market. The only reason I'm keeping Spybot-S&D up is because it seems to have better detection of some older malicious programs, which still may pose a threat.
HijackThis is a program that scans your PC for everything.. literally. It'll show all your running processes, startup items, etc. This program is generally used to eliminate severe cases of Malware, that Spybot S&D can't delete alone.
The best way to use this is to do a scan, and PM the log file to someone with extensive computer knowledge for examination.
Feel free to PM the logs to me, or anyone else computer-savvy. (PM me if you'd like to help out with this)
- Iceows: Another lightweight alternative to WinRAR, and uses the explorer shell, much like WinRAR. (Walridge3)
- InfraRecorder:It replaces nero hands down. It's fast, free, and above all, It's under 3MB to download. It makes Nero users feel right at home.
- 7-Zip Archiver: It replaces all other archiving software, and supports most archive formats from ACE to ZIP. It's a smaller, and more lightweight replacement for WinRAR and WinZip
- Foxit PDF Reader: Because adobe pdf reader is for noobs (excuse my language).
- Foobar2000: A minimalistic media player that has built-in support for common and some rare audio formats. Very resource friendly.
- OpenOffice: A free alternative to Microsoft Office. Comes with Microsoft Office file format support AND, is about 3/4 smaller than Microsoft Office 2007.
- Paint.NET: A fairly small Microsoft Paint replacement. It is powerful enough to even do some things that Photoshop can do. It is rather versatile.
- Mumble: A low latency audio chat server/client application. It provides superb audio quality over Skype and Ventrillo.
- uTorrent: One of the most popular Bit torrent clients out there. Amazingly small and works like a charm.
- Mozilla FireFox: Most of you use and love this browser, so I won't say much about it.
- Mozilla Thunderbird: Because Outlook Express is a major security risk!
- GOM Player: With this multimedia application, you don't need any codec packs that cause conflicts with each other.
- VLC: If GOM Player isn't your thing.
- AbiWord: An opensource word application. Does the trick for little school essays and small assignments for class.
In Firefox's address bar, type "about:config" (without quotes).
This will allow you into the "hidden" options within the browser, through which you can unlock it's full potential.
Type "network.http" in the Filter: area, without the quotes.
- Locate "network.http.max-connections-per-server"
- Locate "network.http.max-connections"
- Locate "network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server"
- Locate "network.http.request.max-start-delay"
- Locate "network.http.pipelining"
- locate "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests"
- Right-click any of the listed options, select "New" -> "Integer"
- Collection of XP Registry Tweaks
You can right click -> edit the file, delete what you don't want applied to your system, and simply execute the .REG file; It's as simple as that!
[url=http://h1.ripway.com/xslntx/basilguide/List%20Of%20Tweaks.txt]Tweak file contents [Read before you execute!][/url]
- Service Configuration Files
With this file, there's no real effort needed - I've done all the work for you. Simply double-click the .REG file of your choice, reboot, and the service configuration will be applied. I've included the Windows Default registry settings, in the event that something necessary was inadvertantly disabled.
Download Service Configurations
- Speed up SATA Hard Drives
The Data Loss risk is for those who repeatedly unplug their PC's to shut it down, lose power, or hold the power button for 5+ seconds to turn their computers off. If that doesn't sound like you, This tweak won't do any harm. Even in one of those cases, I've found that no data has been lost or corrupted, as this is a tweak I use on every computer in my home, as well as work.
- Pre-compiled tweaks to improve overall performance
[url=http://www.blackviper.com/WinVista/servicecfg.htm]BlackViper's Service Configurations[/url].
-Note that some of your services may not be included on BlackViper's site. This is because you've likely installed additional programs, but don't worry. Most of the programs you've installed that include services require them, so there's no need to disable anything not on BlackViper's list.
-The above service configuration will also work on Windows 7.
- Windows 7 Exclusive Tweaks
The following are geared towards improving the performance of your Windows 7-based PC. There are four flavours, one for those with large amounts of RAM (3GB+) and one for those with less than 3GB of RAM. You'll also have two choices based on whether or not you have UAC enabled.
High RAM with UAC Enabled
High RAM with UAC Disabled
Low RAM with UAC Enabled
Low RAM with UAC Disabled
The tweaks included in this file aren't all necessarily geared towards performance, but instead, remove some typical windows annoyances. A good portion of these do indeed improve performance, but for some users, it may cause a lack of functionality.
This is being posted for those who can be classified as Windows 'experts'. The average user need not download this file, as the user may not like the end result.
As always, right-click -> edit to remove any undesired tweaks.
Windows 7 Misc Tweaks
I've compiled a huge hosts file, with nearly 20,000 blacklisted web servers, effectively protecting your computer from many malicious servers.
To use it, simply Download the file, and extract it to C:>WINDOWS>system32>drivers>etc . If you encounter trouble, right-click your current hosts file, select Properties, and ensure "Read Only" is un-checked.
Once the new Hosts file is in place, it's wise to re-enable "read only" to prevent malicious software from tampering with it.
Programs that claim to tweak your computer automatically, and do most of the work mentioned in this guide are garbage. They leave a bunch of crap behind that's often difficult to get rid of, and do a very bad job at what they're supposed to do. Plus, the fact that 99% of these programs are closed-source means you have no idea what's actually being done to your system.
Even the ones from commercial companies, like Tune-Up utilities, UniBlue, etc. They're not good for your system, period. TuneUp utilities is probably one of the better ones available, but it still serves no purpose. The only real reason to use this is to clear out your temporary files. Disk Cleanup (integrated in Windows) will do this for you automatically, and CCleaner (Link above) will also do this. Not only that, but it will clean your registry.
*DO - Perform regular antivirus & antispyware scans with any of the applications mentioned in this guide.
*DO - Regularly defragment your hard drive(s). This actually extends the life of the drive, and improves disk read/write speeds.
*DO - Check for programs that you didn't install yourself, or have been installed without your knowledge. These are often malicious, and will drag your PC's performance down.
*DO - Search for lighter alternatives to huge programs. A perfect example of this is Adobe Acrobat reader. It's gigantic for what it does and will install many useless utilities. Foxit, on the other hand, is under 3MB, installs nothing but the reader itself, and is extremely easy on resources.
*DON'T - Not-do anything on the DO list.
*DON'T - Install any software that sounds too good to be true.
*DON'T - Keep a plethora of programs running in the background. This drags your PC down, and once you run out of RAM, your computer will become extremely sluggish.
*DON'T - Put off virus scans until it's too late - Many malicious programs can and will make your computer inoperable.
*DON'T - Keep programs installed that you no longer need. Many programs also install services which consume resources.
*DON'T - Forget to check this guide once in a while for updates. Any time I decide to do an update, it's usually relatively major, meaning another decent boost in speed for your PC.
If you've got a suggestion or addition to this guide, feel free to PM or Comment.
Please give due credits if you're going to use parts of the guide, or re-word them so that they're not recognizable.
Posted: December 2008 Permalink