• Make disk images, restore points, and backups of files and registry keys to repair your system if you fuck things up.

  • Boot: Faster  
1) Click Control Panel > System > Advanced > Startup/Shutdown
2) Set boot delay to 0

  • Files & Folders: Speed up your system by killing the "last access" timestamp  
Whenever you open a file or folder, windows rewrites the "last access" timestamp. If a folder holds lots of files, opening it is very slow because of the timestamp update.

To stop windows from writing a new timestamp everytime you browse a folder:

1) Open regedit and go to: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
2) Set NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate to 1 to disable the timestamp

  • Folders: Stop explorer from showing thumbnail previews of video files in the task pane  
To get rid of thumbnail previews:

- with regedit: delete HKCR\CLSID\{c5a40261-cd64-4ccf-84cb-c394da41d590}

- with ShellExView: disable Video Thumbnail Extractor

You will lose summary details (artist name, album title, etc.) in the details view columns and the properties tab of audio and video files with these methods:
- Deleting HKCR\SystemFileAssociations\.avi\shellex\PropertyHandler
- Unregistering shmedia.dll

  • Indexing service: Kill indexing to speed up XP  
The Indexing Service slows down your computer big time.
Use Add/Remove Programs (Windows Setup Programs) to uninstall it, or disable it from the Services control panel in the Administrative Tools folder.

  • Services: optimise XP Services settings  
Windows Services are applications that run independent of user accounts: they keep running even when there's no user is logged into a user account.
Startup of services can be Automatic, Manual, or Disabled. Some services don't start when needed in Manual mode.
Services which are always on are best started automatically to reduce boot time.

To set up services for faster booting and reduced use of memory and processor power check this.

  • Shutdown: AutoKill programs at shutdown  
1) Open regedit and go to HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop
2) Edit (or make) the key AutoEndTasks and set to 1

To disable AutoEndTask, change the value back to 0.

  • Start menu: Faster start menu  
1) Open regedit and go to HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop
2) Edit MenuShowDelay
    Default value is 400 ms, 0 is no delay.
3) Open Display Properties, click "Appearance" > "Effects"
4) Turn off "shadows under menus," because this feature makes the start menu run like quicksand.


  • Welcome screen: Faster mouse  
If your mouse runs dog slow on the welcome screen, speed it up:

1) Open regedit and go to HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Mouse
2) Set MouseSensitivity to a higher value (try 18). Scale runs from 2 to 20 in increments of 2.

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