Windows XP is arguably the most popular Operating System today. Even with the launch of Windows Vista few months back, most of the PCs still run on Windows XP.

But many of the regular users of the Windows XP complain about it getting slower in speed and performance with time. They think of various spywares, viruses, background running programs to be the main reason behind that.

Although this is partially true. But there is also much more behind the story. The fact is, just like any mechanical machine, software components also require regular upkeep and maintenance. There are certain tasks, which you require to carry out on daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis, so as to get the maximum speed from your PC. It is best to make a schedule of the activities to be carried out, and follow that schedule strictly, without fail.

Speeding up your PC

Although the title of this post relates to speeding up of Windows XP, we will share few tips with you beyond that also, which will speed up the overall performance of your PC. So here we go…

Use Defragmentation: Defragentation rearranges your disk drives so that the related files are stored in vicinity. Do it once in a month. This increases the speed. Without wasting money on purchasing any third party defragmentation program, you can use the built-in Windows defragmenter. It works equally fine.

Disable file indexing: If you do not need to search your files and folders often, then you can easily disable it. Windows XP indexes files and folders, which enables it to search them faster. Windows built-in Search function can still work fine, even if you disable this feature, only thing is that it will take a bit more time. So, this is a trade-off. If you don’t search your files more often, then you should definitely disable it.

For disabling it open My Computer. Right-click on C: Drive > select Properties. Uncheck “Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching.” Click Apply and OK.

Use NTFS file system: NTFS file system is more secure, more reliable and more efficient as compared to the FAT32 file system. You can check the file system used by your PC in the Properties windows of C: drive, which was just described above.

If you have FAT32 file system, then you can change it to NTFS through Command Prompt. Go to Start > Run and type cmd, click OK. A new window will open up. In the command prompt, type CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS and hit Enter. Be sure to backup your important data, before attempting it.

Run Disk Clean: This can be done once in two months or so. A button for starting the Disk Clean Up utility is also available on Properties windows of C: drive, as described previously.

Empty Windows Prefetch folder: Prefetching is a process, which is used by Windows XP to load often used files and folders fast. But after consistent use, the prefetch folder get loaded with pointers related to those files and folders, which are not being used by you at present. At this moment, it is wasting a lot of resources and it is better to clean it up.

Run Spyware Removal: No need to elaborate. They are the programs, specially designed to hide within your PC and send the information to the third parties. You need to block them for two reasons. First they are intruding your privacy and second, they are wasting your resources. For removing them, you can use any good spyware removing progrgam. There are many of those, which are free and easy to use.

[Watch out for the next part of tips to speed up your Windows XP PC]

See the second lot of tips here.