Monday, February 23, 2009

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Hiding a Drive

1) Go to Start -> Run -> “regedit”
2) Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Policies/Explorer
3) Choose Edit -> New -> DWORD Value and give name NoDrives.
4) Double click NoDrives and determine which drive that you want to vanish in Value Data.

Ex: If you wish to vanish drive E:, insert value 16 in Value Data.
The combination value in “Value Data” are as following:
A: > 1
B: > 2
C: > 4
D: > 8
E: > 16
F: > 32
G: > 64
H: > 128
I: > 256
J: > 512
K: > 1024
L: > 2048
M: > 4096
All: > 67108863

Simple Ways of Speeding Up Windows XP

I just finished setting up a new PC for a friend and I think some of you will be interested in some of the adjustments can I make all my computers to make them faster. I'm here focused on those that are simple to make and will not cause problems if you get ill, instead of registry settings etc. Quoting

1. Disable indexing services

Services Index is a bit small program that uses a large amount of RAM and can often make a computer endlessly loud and noisy. This process of system updates and lists of indexes all files on your computer. He does this so that when you do a search for something on your computer, it will look for faster scanning the index lists. If you do not search your computer frequently, or even if you do search often, this system service is completely unnecessary. To disable do the following:

* Go to Start
* Click Settings
* Click Control Panel
* Double-click Add / Remove Programs
* Click Add / Remove Window Components
* Clear the indexing service
* Click Next

2. Optimizing display settings

Windows XP can look sexy, but displaying all the visual elements can waste system resources. To optimize:

* Go to Start
* Click Settings
* Click Control Panel
* Click System
* Click the Advanced tab
* In the Performance tab, click Settings
* Leave only noted the following:

* Show shadows under menus
* Show shadows under mouse pointer
* Show translucent selection rectangle
* Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop
* Use visual styles on windows and buttons

3. Speedup folder browsing

You may have noticed that everytime you open my computer to browse folders that there is a slight delay. This is because Windows XP automatically searches for files and network printers everytime you open Windows Explorer. To correct this and to significantly increase navigation:

* Open My Computer
* Click on the Tools menu
* Click on the Folder Options
* Click the View tab.
* Clear the Automatically search for network folders and printers on the box
* Click Apply
* Click OK
* Reboot the computer
4. Disable Performance Counters

Windows XP has a performance monitor utility Monitors which several areas of your PC's performance. These utilities take up system resources so disabling is a good idea.

To disable:

* Download and install the Extensible Performance Counter List
* Then select each counter in turn in the 'Extensible performance counters' window and clear the' performance counters enabled 'below bottom.button checkbox at the

5. Improve Memory Usage

Cacheman Improves the performance of your computer by optimizing the disk cache, memory and a number of other settings.

Once installed:

* Go to Show Wizard and select All
* Run all the wizards by Selecting Next Finished or until you are back to the main menu. Use the defaults unless you know exactly what you are doing
* Exit and Save Cacheman
* Restart Windows

6. Optimizing your internet connection

There are lots of ways to do this but by far the easiest is to run TCP / IP Optimizer.

* Download and install
* Click the General Settings tab and select your Connection Speed (Kbps)
* Click Network Adapter and choose the interface you use to connect to the Internet
* Check Optimal Settings then Apply
* Reboot

7. Optimizing Your Pagefile

If you give your pagefile a fixed size it saves the operating system from Needing to resize the page file.

* Right click on My Computer and select Properties
* Select the Advanced tab
* Under Performance choose the Settings button
* Select the Advanced tab again and under Virtual Memory select Change
* Highlight the drive containing your page file and make the initial Size of the file the same as the Maximum Size of the file.

Windows XP sizes the page file to about 1.5X the current amount of physical memory by default. While this is good for systems with smaller amounts of memory (under 512MB) it is unlikely that a typical XP desktop system will ever need 1.5 X 512MB or more of virtual memory. If you have less than 512MB of memory, leave the page file at its default size. If you have 512 or more, change the ratio to 1:1 page file size to physical memory size.
8th Run BootVis - Improve Boot Times

BootVis will significantly improve boot times

* Download and Run
* Select Trace
* Select Next Boot and Driver Trace
* A Trace repetitions screen will appear, select OK and Reboot
* Upon reboot, BootVis will automatically start, analyze and log your system's boot process. When it's done, in the menu, go to Trace and select Optimize System
* Reboot.
When your machine has rebooted wait until you see the Optimizing System box appear. Be patient and wait for the process to complete

9th Remove the Desktop Picture

Your desktop background consumes a fair amount of memory and can slow the loading time of your system. Removing it will improve performance.

* Right click on desktop and select Properties
* Select the Desktop tab
* In the Background window select None
* Click OK

10th Remove Fonts for Speed

Fonts, especially TrueType fonts, use quite a bit of system resources. For optimal performance, trim your fonts down to just those that you need to use on a daily basis and fonts that applications may require.

* Open Control Panel
* Open Fonts folder
* Move fonts you do not need to a temporary directory (eg C: \ FONTBKUP?) Just in case you need or want to bring a few of them back. The more fonts you uninstall, the more system resources you will gain.

Hope you find these 10 tips useful please leave a comment below and please share any other tips you may have with other readers.

Speed Up Boot Times in Windows XP

Speed Up Boot Times in Windows XP

This tweak works by creating a batch file to clear the history and temp folders everytime you shutdown so that your PC does not waste time checking these folders the next time it boots. It's quite simple to implement:

1. Open Notepad and create a new file with the following entries:

* RD / S / q "C: \ Documents and Settings" username without quotes "\ Local Settings \ History"
* RD / S / q "C: \ Documents and Settings \ Default User \ Local Settings \ History"
* RD / S / q "D: \ Temp" <- "Deletes temp folder, type in the location of your temp folder"

2. Save the new as anything you like but it has to be a '. Bat' files eg fastboot.bat or deltemp.bat

3. Click 'Start' then 'Run'

4. Type in 'gpedit.msc' and hit 'ok'

5. Click on 'Computer Configuration' then 'Windows Settings'

6. Double-click on 'Scripts' and then on' Shutdown '

7. Click 'Add' and find the batch file that you created and then press' Ok '

When your PC starts it usually looks for any media in any bootable floppy or CD-ROM drives you have installed before it gets around to loading the Operating System from the HDD. This can waste valuable time. To fix this we need to make some changes to the Bios.

1. To enter the bios you usually press' F2 'or' delete 'when your PC starts
2. Navigate to the 'Boot' menu
3. Select 'Boot sequence'
4. Then either move your Hard drive to the top position or set it as the 'First Device'
5. Press the 'escape' key to leave the bios. Do not forget to save your settings before exiting

Note: Once this change has been made, you will not be able to boot from a floppy disk or a CD-ROM. If for some strange reason you need to do this in the future, just go back into your bios, repeat the steps above and put your floppy or CD-ROM back as the 'First Device'

When your computer boots up it usually has to check with the network to see what IP addresses are free and then it grabs one of these. By configuring a manually assigned IP address your boot time will improve. To do this do the following:

1. Click on ‘Start’ and then ”Connect To/Show All Connections’
2. Right-click your network adapter card and click ‘Properties’
3. On the ‘General’ tab, select ‘TCP/IP’ in the list of services and click ‘Properties’
4. In the TCP/IP properties, click ‘Use the following address’ and enter an IP address for your PC. If you are using a router this is usually 192.168.0.xx or 192.168.1.xx. If you are not sure what address you could check with your ISP or go to ‘Start/run’ and type ‘cmd’ and then ‘ipconfig/all’. This will show your current IP settings which you will need to copy
5. Enter the correct details for ‘Subnet mask’, ‘Default gateway’ and ‘DNS Server’. Again if you are not sure what figures to enter use ‘ipconfig/all’ as in stage 4.

Free Up Memory in Windows XP

Free Up Memory in Windows XP

I found this useful app via FixMyXP. ClearMem is an Excellent Tool for speeding up your XP Computer (especially if your system has been on for awhile and you have a lot of applications open). What it does, is it Forces pages out of physical memory and reduces the size of running processes if working sets to a minimum. When you run this tool, the system pauses because of excessive high-priority activity associated with trimming
the working sets. To run this tool, your paging file must be at least as large as physical memory. To check your Paging File:

1. Go to your control panel, then click on ‘System’, then go to the ‘Advanced’ Tab, and Under ‘Performance’ click ‘Settings’ then the ‘Advanced’ Tab
2. On the Bottom you should see ‘Virtual Memory’ and a value. This is the value that must be at least as large as how much memory is in your system
3. If the Virtual Memory Value is smaller than your system memory, click Change and change the Min Virtual Memory to a number that is greater than your total system memory, then click ‘Set’ and Reboot
4. Once you have rebooted install ClearMem

Ensure XP Is Using DMA Mode for Faster Performance

XP enables DMA for Hard-Drives and CD-Roms by default on most ATA or ATAPI (IDE) devices. However, sometimes computers switch to PIO mode which is slower for data transfer - a typical reason is because of a virus. To ensure that your machine is using DMA:

1. Open ‘Device Manager’ 2. Double-click ‘IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers’ 3. Right-click ‘Primary Channel’ and select ‘Properties’ and then ‘Advanced Settings’ 4. In the ‘Current Transfer Mode’ drop-down box, select ‘DMA if Available’ if the current setting is ‘PIO Only’

Remove Annoying Delete Confirmation Messages - Windows XP

Although not strictly a performance tweak I love this fix as it makes my machine ‘feel’ faster. I hate the annoying ‘are you sure?’ messages that XP displays, especially if I have to use a laptop touchpad to close them. To remove these messages:

1. Right-click on the ‘Recycle Bin’ on the desktop and then click ‘Properties’ 2. Clear the ‘Display Delete Confirmation Dialog’ check box and click ‘Ok’If you do accidently delete a file don’t worry as all is not lost. Just go to your Recycle Bin and ‘Restore’ the file.

Disable Prefetch on Low Memory Systems - Windows XP

Prefetch is designed to speed up program launching by preloading programs into memory - not a good idea is memory is in short supply, as it can make programs hang. To disable prefetch:

1. Click ‘Start’ then ‘Run’ 2. Type in ‘Regedit’ then click ‘Ok’ 3. Navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters’ 4. Right-click on “EnablePrefetcher” and set the value to ‘0′ 5. Reboot.

Removing the problem of System Hang at Startup

If your system hangs about 2 or 3 minutes at startup, where you can't access the Start button or the Taskbar, it may be due to one specific service (Background Intelligent Transfer) running in the background. Microsoft put out a patch for this but it didn't work for me. Here's what you do:

1. Click on Start / Run, type 'msconfig', then click 'OK'.
2. Go to the 'Services' tab, find the' Background Intelligent Transfer 'service, disable it, apply the changes & reboot.