View Full Version : Some "forgotten" XP tweaks?

02-09-2007, 07:04 AM
Ensure that your NTFS File System Cluster Size is 4096Bytes. If you convert a disk from FAT32 to NTFS you will need a utility such as Partition Magic to change your cluster size to 4096 byte cluster sizes. If you are freshly formatting a hard drive select cluster size as 4096bytes. Once you have successfully set up your hard disk as NTFS prepare for these Tweaks that will boost your system performance Out of Site!

Here We Go!

Tweak #1 Disable Last File Access Stamping

By default, every time Windows XP reads a file, its stamps the file with the date and time
of last access. Whilst it can serve a purpose, it is generally not required for everyday
computer use. It hogs resources by writing to a file each time it is accessed. So every
read operation is also accompanied by a write operation of a few bytes. To turn this off go to the command prompt. At the command prompt enter the following:


If you ever want to turn it back on again simply retype the command replacing the 1 with
a 0 (zero). Reboot your computer.

Tweak #2 Turn Off Windows Indexing

While it's great for finding files faster when you are doing a search, Windows file indexing is always working in the background indexing files and thus contributing significantly to hard disk overhead. It is not worth the performance decrease it causes. To turn it off go to Control Panel => Add/Remove Programs => Windows Components. Then deselect Indexing Service. Or go to START=> RUN then type in services.msc. Scroll to Indexing Service and select disable.

Tweak #3 Increase Your File System Cache


On a typical high end system such as a 2.4 GHz Pentium a hard disk will transfer data at around 30-40 MegaBytes per Second. That's pretty fast! How would you like hard disk transfer bursts of around 1 GigaByte per second? You can achieve this easily using any version of Windows as it's already part of the file system... that is file caching where data that has been read from the hard disk remains in memory so that if it is required again before it is flushed from the cache it reads directly from the cache for these super fast data access rates. That's right it is already part of the file system but the recommended default setting (the setting you might already be using) is not necessarily the best. The default setting in Windows is to allocate more memory to programs and less to the file cache but this is wasting precious memory that could be used for file caching instead of not being used at all. If, for example, you are running a 512 Mb RAM, and you have a program or two loaded, you have around 300 MB that isn't being used AT ALL. It's being reserved partly for file caching and partly for any programs you might load with the priority being for any programs you might load. It will not allocate all of that memory to the file cache and it is VERY RARE that you would use all of that memory for programs. So you could either waste that memory and have degraded system performance or you could use that memory for file caching. USE IT FOR FILE CACHING! After you make the change below, you will notice after you reboot and start using your system greatly
reduced hard disk access for both read and write operations which is where the biggest bottleneck in computing is.

Performance benefits of this tweak are seen no matter how little RAM you have but are more pronounced with the more RAM you have. Perform the following:


Change the option from Programs to System Cache. Reboot your computer.

Tweak #4 Increase CPU Priority

This will increase the CPU priority for programs running in the foreground. E.g. IL46.
" Run Regedit
" Find This Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\PriorityControl\
Set the Win32PrioritySeparation to 38 DECIMAL (or 26 HEX).

Tweak #5 Launch Folder Windows In Separate Process

This tweak does not only apply to folders but also programs. Basically when you run a program it gets its own memory allocation. It also gives you a much more stable system. Programs run faster but it does also utilize more RAM. Set the "Launch folder windows in separate process" setting by opening the "My Computer\Tools\Folder Options\View -and tick the "Launch folder windows in separate process" box. Window XP will open any new window (including program) in its own memory and in separate process priority. (Increase stability and speed but use much more RAM than before).

Tweak #6 Defrag Your System Hard Disk

Fragmentation is a contributor to slower performance. I suggest a regular defrag of your system. A Weekly schedule is a good one. Windows XP has a built-in defragger or you can opt for a third party product such as PerfectDisk (www.raxco.com), Diskeeper (www.diskeeper.com) or O&O Defrag V8 (www.oo-software.com).

Tweak #7 Offline Defrag (Defrag MFT & Paging File)

Most defraggers are now able to defrag your MFT (Master File Table) and Paging File. I suggest that you run this at least once. PerfectDisk, Diskeeper and O&O Defrag all do this. Windows XP defragger does not. They will defrag your MFT and Swap File and also reposition your MFT to the correct place on hard disk disk to minimize disk head travel and therefore access time. That location is about 1/3 of the way into your in disk.

EDIT: I just wanted to tidy your post up and make it an easier read for everyone. Great post btw. Thanks for sharing!

02-09-2007, 08:25 AM

My copy\typo....
Should be

I do have the actual pdf but couldn't post it, can some one tell me how?

02-09-2007, 08:41 AM
http://www.shockwaveproductions.com/bob_dev/PC%2520Tuni...%2520Performance.pdf (http://www.shockwaveproductions.com/bob_dev/PC%2520Tuning%2520For%2520Optimum%2520MegaScenery% 2520And%2520Flight%2520Sim%2520Performance.pdf)

Found a link to the same pdf here......