Saturday, April 19, 2008

Registry hacks to Improve performance of Windows XP

1.Load Applications Faster
The Windows prefetcher aims to load applications faster by “pre-fetching” the application and storing it in the pre-fetch cache. You can speed up application loading by changing the default value of one the settings under the relevant key.
Navigate to:
HLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

The default value for the EnablePrefetchersetting is 3.Change this value to 5to make applications load faster. You can experiment with higher values—up to 9—and see if you get a further
improvement.Since this relates to the system, a reboot is required for the change to take effect.
2.Optimisation Of The Boot Files
Normal file fragmentation scatters the pieces of a file all over your hard disk. This invariably also affects the files that load at boot time. You can defragment the files that load at system startup to enable faster loading.
Navigate to:

A setting called Enable under this key needs to be set to Y (forYes). This setting defragments the boot files, and it might relocate startup files into contiguous clusters on the volume, reducing the
movement of the disk head when reading the volume.
With the setting at Y, boot file optimisation occurs automatically if the system is idle for 10 minutes. A reboot is required for the change to take effect.

3.Unload Unused DLLs
After an application is closed, XP has the annoying habit of leaving the associated DLL files in memory. This can hog precious resources and memory, and also cause stability problems. Make
the DLLs unload themselves from memory after the program is done running.

Navigate to:

If the DWORD Always UnloadDLL is not present, you will need to create it. Set the Value of the “(Default)” setting to 1. Application-associated DLLs will get unloaded when the application is closed.

4.Disable User Tracking
Useless to most users—except perhaps for system administrators—XP’s inbuilt user tracking system uses up precious resources.The system keeps track of the programs run by a user, the
paths followed, and the documents used. (Did you know your XP was spying on you all this while?) Disable this to free up system resources.

Navigate to:

Set the DWORD NoInstrumentationto 1. This will disable most of the user tracking features of XP.

5.Run 16-bit Apps In Their Own Processes
Use this hack if you have more than one 16-bit application left over from the days of your nostalgia. XP runs all 16-bit applications in a single process. Having a separate process for each application can increase their stability and process.

Navigate to:

Browse to the String DefaultSeparateVDM. If it’s not there, you’ll need to create it. Set its value to Yes.

6.Load Kernel Into RAM
In Windows 98, programs could be loaded and kept in RAM for as long as you wanted. You could even load a video clip into RAMdirectly and have it play from there! XP is much more restrictive,
mostly due to security reasons. But when it comes to the Windows XP kernel, there’s something you can do. By default, XP only loads the required parts of the kernel into RAM at boot time, and calls the other parts as and when needed. Having the entire kernel available in memory speeds up processing.

Navigate to:
HLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management

Set the value of the DisablePagingExecutive key to 1. This will make the entire kernel be loaded in memory. A reboot is required for the changes to take effect.
Only use this hack if you have sufficient memory. Recommended: 512 MB or more. Also, this hack may affect some programs that use the Windows swap file directly, such as Adobe Photoshop.

7.Edit The Startup Programs List
Many of the programs that start up at boot time do not figure in the Startup folder. If you want to stop more than one application from loading at bootup, you will normally need to go and turn off the preference in each application one by one. Tedious and time consuming. This hack can help you do this in one go.

Navigate to:
And to:

All the programs that load at boot time will be specified under these two keys. Review the applications listed in this list and delete all the entries you don’t want started up at boot time. Next bootup, they’ll be gone.

Be careful not to delete needed programs such as anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. You should be able to identify them by their path if not by the file name.

8.Optimise The System Cache
Desktop systems are normally optimised for applications, and servers for file caching. Depending on how you use your system, you may want to optimise your system for either.

Navigate to:
HLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management

Find the setting LargeSystemCache. Set this DWORD value to 1 for server behaviour or to 0 for desktop behaviour.

Some programs such as SQL Server and Exchange Server set this value during installation and override the change.

9.Turn Off Windows Animation

Windows animations—like those that happen when you minimise or maximise windows—look good, but only if you have the processing power and/or RAM. To get the most performance
out of your system turn off this setting. You could do it via a host of settings in the GUI, but this Registry hack does it all in one fell swoop.

Navigate to:
HCU\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics

Change the value called MinAnimate to 0 to disable Windows
Animation. A restart is required.


1 comments to "Registry hacks to Improve performance of Windows XP"

snahL said...
March 2, 2011 at 6:37 PM

darn good post, very effective, thanks.


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