Step 1 can be skipped.
P.S: Before you start off create a Restore Point in Windows Xp (Goto Start > All programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore)
1.Convert your hard drive to NTFS. If your drive is using FAT16 or FAT32, you can gain performance by converting it to NTFS. NTFS has faster access times, and stores data more efficiently. Click on START > RUN > type "cmd" (without quotes) > type "CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS" (without quotes). Follow the instructions and your drive will be converted to NTFS. Bear in mind that NTFS drives can only be accessed by Windows 2000/NT/XP and Vista.
2.Delete Spyware. Spyware comes bundled with a lot of free software found on the Internet. It can slow your machine down to a crawl. Download and install "Ad-Aware SE Personal", and give your machine a full scan for spyware.
3.Disable the Indexing Service. The indexing service scans your hard drive and indexes files to help speed up searching. It runs in the background using up memory and processor time, and is generally thought to be unnecessary by most geeks. It can also wake you up if your hard disk is noisy and you leave your machine on at night. To disable this service, click on START > RUN > type "services.msc" (without quotes) and look for the "Indexing Service". Double click on it. Now select "Manual" under Startup Type, and click Stop. Now click OK, then close the services menu.
4.Windows XP can look good ...but displaying all the visual items can waste system resources. To optimize>start>setting>control Panel>system>advanced tab>in the Performance tab click Settings>Leave only the following ticked or just uncheck them all!:>Show shadows under menus>Show shadows under mouse pointer>Show translucent selection rectangle>Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop>Use visual styles on windows and buttons.
5.To speed up folder browsing>Open My Computer>click on Tools menu>Folder Options>View tab>Uncheck the Automatically search for network folders and printers check box>click apply>click ok
6.To make menus load faster>go to start>run>type ‘Regedit’ (without quotes) then click ‘Ok’>find “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\control Panel\Desktop”>Select “MenuShowDelay”>right click and select “Modify’>reduce the number to around “100? or less but not too less.
7.How to disable unnecessary services because Windows XP has to be all things to all people it has many services running that take up system resources that you will never need.Below is a list of services that can be disabled on most machines
- Comp... Browser
- Distributed Link Tracking Client
- Fast User Switching
- Help and Support - (If you use Windows Help and Support leave this enabled)
- Indexing Service
- IPSEC Services
- netmeeting Remote Desktop Sharing (disabled for extra security)
- Portable Media Serial Number
- Remote Desktop Help Session Manager (disabled for extra security)
- Remote Procedure Call Locator
- Remote Registry (disabled for extra security)
- Remote Registry Service
- Secondary Logon
- Routing & Remote Access (disabled for extra security) Server
- SSDP Discovery Service - (Unplug n’ Pray will disable this)
- TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
- Upload Manager
- Universal Plug and Play Device Host
- Windows Time wireless Zero Configuration (Do not disable if you use a wireless network).
To disable these services go to Start>run and type “services.msc”>doubleclick on the service you want to change>change the startup type to ‘Disable”.
8.Speedup Folder Access,disable Last Access Update>Go to Start and then Run and type “regedit”>Click through the file system until you get to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Cur... in a blank area of the window on the right and select ‘DWORD Value’>Create a new DWORD Value called ‘NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate’> Then Right click on the new value and select ‘Modify’>Change the Value Data to ‘1′>Click ‘OK’.
9.How to improve boot times>Go to Start Menu and Click Run>Type in “Regedit” then click ok>Find “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MinimizeFunction”>Select “Enable” from the list on the right>Right on it and select “Modify”>Change the value to “Y to enable”>close.
10.(Note: some people say that this only helps on Win9x and is useless for Windows NT based systems, including WinXP and Win2000). How to improve swapfile performance.It basically makes sure that your PC uses every last drop of memory (faster than swap file) before it starts using the swap file.>Go to Start>Run>>Type “msconfig.exe” then ok>Click on the System.ini tab>expand the 386enh tab by clicking on the plus sign>click on new then in the blank box type”ConservativeSwapfileUsage... OK>restart your pc.
11.How to improve your xp's shutdown speed.This tweak reduces the time XP waits before automatically closing any running programs when you give it the command to shutdown.>Go to Start>run> Type ‘Regedit’ and click ok>find ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop’Select ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout’>right click and select ‘Modify’>change the value to ‘1000′>click ‘ok’>now select ‘HungAppTimeout’>right click and select ‘Modify’>change the value to ‘1000′>click ‘ok’>now find HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop’>select ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout’>right click and select ‘Modify’>Change the value to "1000">click ‘ok’>Now find ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Cur... ‘WaitToKillServiceTimeout’>rig... click and select ‘Modify’>change the value to ‘1000′>click ‘ok’
12.To remove the background image right click the desktop>properties>desktop tab>change it to "none".This will speed up windows xp a lot and while your at it go to the settings tab>colour setting change it to medium (16 bit).
13.To speed up your computer more go to my computer>right click the C: drive>properties>general tab>uncheck the "allow indexing services". Then go to tools>click "defragment now" and defragment your C: (and optionally other) drives.This will speed your computer even more.
14.Remove unwanted programs by going to start>settings>control panel>click "add or remove programs">remove all the unwanted programs.
15.Remove the confirm delete message because it saves time and if you accidentally delete something it will still be in the recycle bin.You can do this by right clicking the recycle bin>uncheck "Display Delete Confirmation Dialog">ok.
Hope these 15 tips help you in speeding your computer.