|His name is Tweek, and he is a favorite character of mine from South Park. This coffee guzzling fourth grader has uncontrollable twitches, hallucinations of underwear gnomes, and spontaneous verbal exclamations like "Aaaack!" and "Oh no!".|
Sometimes my two computers have uncontrollable twitches, and they also choke up odd exclamations. It's not their fault, they are thirteen years old, and I use them heavily. Instead of buying a new machine, I opted for tweaking them. That way I can put off the big purchase for a while.
These tweaks are to the operating system. That is to say, I've done no hardware upgrades, or over clocking of any sort. I'm a firm believer that over clocking hastens the demise of your computer.
Format your hard drive and reinstall all your programs. It may sound extreme, but the performance gained is well worth it. Through out your computers life, you've installed programs, uninstalled programs, and quite possible installed upgrades. Each time you did this, the Registry grew in size, and a plethora of dynamic link libraries were sprinkled about your system. Even after uninstalling files, most of them stay behind. What you have is the equivalent to barnacles on a ship. The best way to fix it, is to put your machine in dry dock, and format.
If you are like most people you don't use most of the programs installed. By not reinstalling those programs you will save hard drive space.
1.) Empty the Start Up folder - A big problem with system performance is there are usually a lot of programs that run at start up. I detest these programs. They are leeches, that sit around sucking the computer of precious memory and CPU time. At most, only two programs should be loaded in memory. The first would be a virus program, and the second is a firewall like ZoneAlarm. I have neither, but that's a person choice of mine. (I use a hardware firewall, and I never open e-mail attachments) If you have a lot of icons in your system tray, that's the lower right hand corner next to the clock, you should disable those that you absolutely don't need. You should be able to right click them, and set their properties to not launch them at start up. Every program is different, so you'll have to examine the options provided.
2.) Lose the Themes - are the bloated, nasty things that slow XP down, and drain system of valuable resources.
3.) Bloated Display Effects - XP has all sorts of fancy, slowing features like transparent menus, etc. These waste valuable CPU time and can be changed easily to allow for fastest operation.
4.) Remote Assistance Security Hole - Remote Assistance is a tool that allows someone else to come in and remote control your computer over the Internet or network. This is ENABLED BY DEFAULT. Unless you need this, disable it as your box is wide open.
5.) Microsoft Firewall - Since I use a good hardware firewall to protect me, I don't need this.
6.) TweakXP - There are many little tweaks that your box can use to make it faster.
7.) Disable WebPopUps - Seems that people are using WebPopUp Messenger to send spam to unsuspecting Windows users.
8.) Ad Blocking - Instead of using ad blocking programs I prefer to use make changes to the HOST file on my machine, which will block many ad severs. If you want to reverse the process later, be sure to first rename the HOST file before overwriting it with this new one. This will probably block non ad images, as many sites are now placing all their images on these ad servers to get you to view the ads. Currently, if I go to the MSNBC news site, I'm unable to see any of the graphics, even their navigational buttons. For me it's a price I'm willing to pay, you may not want this.