Ways to Speed Up Windows XP & Windows 2000

March 8, 2008 – 3:15 PM

While surfing around the net tonight in an epic battle against what I considered excessive hard-drive accesses by Windows XP, I ran across quite a useful site that some of you might find useful.

The site, BlackViper.com, contains very detailed descriptions of the services built into Windows XP and Windows 2000. It lays out what services depend on each other, essentially what they are used for, and provides a handy table for suggested settings.

Before I go any further, a quick explanation for those of you unfamiliar with services. Quite simply, a ‘service’ under Windows is similar to a component of your vehicle – each servie performs some task behind the scenes, under the hood. Just as race car drivers reduce the amount of components in order to reduce weight (therefore increasing their ability to accelerate), it is possible that you may have more services running on your Windows PC than you will need. Depending on your needs, some of these services can often be shut down and disabled, thus speeding up your Windows install.

That’s where this site comes in handy. The BlackViper.com site gives you a concise layout of what services are enabled and disabled by default, and then also has different configurations that you can use as a sort of guide, based on your needs. Two of those configurations are titled “Gaming” and “Super Tweak.” Not sure what a service does? Click on the service’s “Display Name,” and read the description.

Now, the warning. Just like you wouldn’t work on taking out car components without reading the manuals (ok, most of you wouldn’t), you absolutely need to read this guide and understand it before diving in headfirst and making a ton of changes. Get familiar with these services first, consider the tasks you perform on your PC, and don’t take all of the suggestions at face value. The settings provided worked for the author of the site, but they won’t necessarily work for you.

Also – do yourself a favor and print the guide out. Though I had no trouble after tweaking the heck out of my services, it is possible that you could lose your internet connection if you shut the wrong services down – though you shouldn’t, if you RTFM. At least with a printed copy, you can reset the services back to the states they were in when your PC was initially installed.

Here’s the last warning: if you are using a company laptop and have the ability to change these settings, don’t. As someone that works in IT and has to deal with users occasionally “tweaking” their company laptops to a virtual core meltdown, I can assure you that fixing this sort of problem is not always easy, and isn’t always greeted with a lot of joy. Give your IT department a break, and do this type of tweaking on your own PC – you may disable something that a business-critical app needs… and this guide is specific to just what Windows needs. If you hose the PC on your own accord, you might get fast service the first time, but not necessarily the next time if you get a reputation for hosing Windows due to reckless use.

Now that I’ve sufficiently warned you of the dangers, I can recommend taking a look at the guide. It’s well-documented, easy to read and it did end up reducing some disk activity that I knew wasn’t necessary! It’s a site worth the visit, so if you’re up to it, check it out! Here are the operating system guides:

* Windows XP
* Windows 2000



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