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Windows XP Performance Tweaking Guide
This guide has stood the test of time just like Windows XP as an operating system has. We've been playing around with Vista now for quite a while but we believe XP is going to be around as the primary OS for many more years. As we all give MS a great big finger and avoid migrating to Vista lets try to get all we can out of the best OS Microsoft has to offer.

This guide was originally posted more than 5 years ago now and even after all this time I'm still around to help you guys get more out of your systems. Please read this title very carefully because this guide is ONLY intended for Performance related tweaks. There's millions of other "tweaks" that other guides use but have nothing to do with performance. In this guide I'm ONLY including what actually has some kind of affect on performance. I am trying to keep this guide dedicated to tweaks that directly affect your performance. I've also written a tweaking guide for the paranoid which can be found here. I'll be creating a customization guide and also a more detailed/serious security tweaking guide whenever I find the time.

You'll want to keep an eye on our tips page for the latest in windows tweaking. Things usually get posted there well before they can be found in this guide.

Disclaimer: There's a LOT of potential damage that can be done with the data within this article. You will have to understand the risks. You could potentially cause your system to quit booting and many other things. You will want to make a backup of anything important just in case. Please move on if you understand that and are willing to risk things.

What are the tools of the trade?

HijackThis! - Nothing helps clean up your system quite like HTJ. You can get a quit outline of what it does and how to use it here. It will output a log file for you and our analyzer program is a great way to quickly look over what is on your system and telling what that stuff is.

Notepad - With this baby you can get out of having to spend much time in regedit ;) What you will want to do is create a file call tweaks.reg on your desktop. You need to add REGEDIT4 on the first line. After that files has been created right click on it and select edit. Next paste what I have in italics into that file. You will have to read what I have said about each tweak and you'll have to change some of them according to your system. Some people have reported they had to start with a filename of tweaks.txt paste the contents in and then rename it to .reg when they're done.

Regedit - Knowing how to use it to edit your registry is a MUST for this guide. It is the only tool that we're using here.

To run it you will have to click on the start menu and select run. From there you type regedit. From there you can browse around and find all kinds of things to change/edit. If you're new to this make sure you look but NOT touch. Make sure that you make a backup before you touch anything. To do this you click on File and then export. Save the registry file someplace safe and if your screw something up you will have to return to regedit and either fix your changes or import the old file. I suggest you reboot after every line that you change since you'll have to restart windows in order for the changes to take affect. You don't want to do too many edits at a time. This will slowly help you safely tweak things out.

Basically browsing the registry is setup just like browsing folders in windows explorer. When I say something like "the key you need to edit can be found here HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft" you will click on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder and then look for the Software folder and then the Microsoft folder and the key you either have to add or edit will be in there. I will tell you very specific keys to add or edit. You will see the keys within that folder in the right side box. Right Click on them to see what all you can do with them.

Written By: Martin Krohn
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