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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Speeding Up Windows XP... Part I

Windows XP is an operating system developed by Microsoft. Although Microsoft recently launched a new version of their operating system named "Windows 7", many PC users still use and/or prefer using Windows XP due to its stability and low system requirements.

These tips will help you speeding up Windows XP and hopefully enhance your productivity.

Shutdown Unnecessary Services - To disable or change the startup mode of a service you have to open the "Services" Management Console. Type "Services.msc" at the Run Command Prompt in the Start menu to start the services management console. You can also launch it from Windows Control Panel -> Administrative Tools. To disable a service or change its startup type, double-click the service name. Service properties dialog opens, where you can Start, Stop, Pause or Resume a service and also change its startup type. Read the description of the service carefully before disabling any service.
  • ClipBook Viewer - This service is used if you cut-copy-paste snippets to and from other computers in your local area network. It is recommended that you disable this service.
  • Computer Browser - It maintains a list of computers in your network. So if you have a system that is not part of any network, then you can safely disable this service.
  • DNS Client - It resolves and caches DNS names.
  • Error Reporting Service - This service causes an error dialog to pop-up whenever an application crashes and allows you to report that error to Microsoft. You can safely disable this service.
  • Fast User Switching Compatibility - You can disable this service if there is only one user account in your PC.
  • Messenger Service - It is recommended to disable this service.
  • MS Software Shadow Copy Provider - Disable this service if you don't use Microsoft Backup Utility.
  • Net Logon - Provides Domain Authentication. Disable if the PC is not part of a domain.
  • NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing - Allows a remote user to access your PC using NetMeeting. It is recommended to disable this service.
  • Network DDE and Network DDE DDSM services - It is recommended to disable these services.
  • Performance Logs and Alerts - It helps in monitoring system performance. You can disable this service, if you don't monitor system performance regularly.
  • Portable Media Serial Number Service - Retrieves serial number from portable media players attached to the computer. It is recommended to disable this service. Leave this service enabled if you are using portable music player with your PC.
  • Print Spooler Service - This service can be disable if you don't use a printer. Note that printers won't work if this service is disabled.
  • QoS RSVP Service - Manages network bandwidth for QoS-aware programs. This service may be disabled. Read the MS Knowledge Base article Q316666 for more details.
  • Remote Desktop Help Session Manager - Manages and controls Remote Assistance. If you don't use Remote Desktop, you can safely disable this service.
  • Remote Registry Service - Allows a remote user to make change to your registry. This service can be exploited harmfully, so it is strongly recommended to disable this service.
  • Routing and Remote Access - Adds support for routing services in LAN and WAN networks. It is recommended to disable this service.
  • Security Center - Monitors system security settings. If you are an experienced user, and monitor your antivirus and firewall software manually, then it is recommended to disable this service.
  • Server - Provides file and print sharing services over the network. If you are not in a LAN. then you can disable this service.
  • Smart Card Service - If you don't use smart card, then disable this service.
  • Smart Card Helper Service - For legacy smart cards which don't support plug and play. Disable if you don't use those.
  • SSDP Discovery Service - Enables discovery of Universal Plug and Play devices in the local network. It is recommended to disable this service.
  • System Restore Service - Allows to save the current state of the computer and revert back to a previously saved state. Disable this service if you don't use System Restore.
  • Telnet - It is strongly recommended to disable this service due to a major security loophole.
  • Themes - Manages themes in Windows XP. Disable if you don't use themes.
  • Volume Shadow Copy - Disable it if you don't use Microsoft Backup Utility.
  • Windows Image Acquisition - Manages Web cams, Cameras and Scanners attached to the computer. Disable if you don't use any of those.
  • Windows Time - Synchronizes time and date to a time server. It is recommended to disable this service unless you want to synchronize your PC clock to a time server.
  • Wireless Zero Configuration - Automatically configures 802.11 wireless adapters. If you don't use Wireless network devices, then disable this service.
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