Speedup a Windows Machine!


Speedup that work for all Windows Versions


Sent about 12 hours speeding up my Mom’s old XP system because it had gotten very slow. Here is the definitive guide (and almost all these suggestions are Win7/win 8 / vista ready) to what I did some of you may have great suggestions or corrections here is the list:
(of course I first just removed lots of programs casual users grandkids, me, her other children put on that have not been used in forever, drivers for 3 different printers and their companion programs she does not have anymore, etc.)


The Speed Up Tips

  • http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html is the ULTIMATE SURVEY TOOL to see what your system has hardware and software wise and print it out. Free and does an amazing report including License keys, installed service packs, every piece of hardware and motherboard revision #s, etc. A printout from this will answer any techie’s question about what is on your system. And will help you know what drivers you do need based on your current hardware.
    Note: Speccy http://www.piriform.com/speccy is somewhat better in terms of hardware discovery. For instance, a video card that Belarc will show as a generic VGA card will be much better detailed by Speccy. Belarc, however will doa great job with applications and software!
  • http://www.blackviper.com/ BlackViper is your must have reference to know what Windows Services are started and don’t need to be (i.e. Services.msc issues). This option is time consuming, consider just steps 3, 4, 5, 8 first they may speed things up enough that you don’t have to do this even though eliminating unneeded services speeds up PCs even further.
  • Tip use half as many colors as usual i.e. if your Graphics card can do 32 million colors, set it to use 16 million instead. Half as much work redrawing the screen. Right click on display properties provided that option.
  • TIP If your system has 2 to 4 Gigs of RAM turn off ‘swapping to disk’ for memory just use straight memory. On control panel, SYSTEM, ADVANCED
  • if on XP make the system look great, turn on ClearType (on already in Vista/Win7 most of the time). You will be shocked how much better text looks on the machine.

Process Lasso is your friend

  • Install Process Lasso YESTERDAY from http://bitsum.com/prolasso.php it will help you make any system MUCH MUCH FASTER it allows you to
    monitor who is hogging your computer’s brain (CPU) and memory (RAM) sooooo much better than any other tools, terminate programs instantly
    that don’t want to exit or take minutes or never exit when they hang, etc. It also ‘throttles’ (i.e. slows down) any program that tries tomonopolize your machine.
    process lasso has many more features than Task Manager:
  • when a program tries to grab 100% and takes over a machine PL keeps a log of the programs that did so on the bottom of its screen. This is helpful because when a program slows down a machine often machine is sooooo slow Ctrl escape will not pull up Task Man and when it finally comes up the offending program has calmed down and you cannot see who was monopolizing the machine a few minutes ago.
  • When a program tries to tab 100% PL throttles it i.e. slows it down and gives it less CPU time so it can grab 100% of the CPU. PL is an active tool unlike TaskMan that observes but cannot slow down a greedy program.
  • When a program hangs FoxPro, Explorer, whatever and quitting or clicking on the X will not close it, Process Lasso has several right click terminate options some of which can end the program in a second when a stubborn program refuses to end.
  • It has many more useful columns of information about running programs to see RAM consumed to spot RAM pigs, threads, average and current % of CPU, etc.

More Speed Up Tips

  • http://pcdecrapifier.com/ is superb tool. It clears out a ton of uneeded programs vendors throw on that clutter your computer and registry.
  • http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner   Ccleaner can clean your registry but it makes me super nervous as it does MS engineer to remove things that may break software. But this seems to be the best at it.
  • Glary Utilities is useful.
  • Revo uninstaller is amazing. It can remove things Add Remove Programs will not.

Security Tips

Security I just removed everything but Microsoft Security Essentials.
In the past I have used AVG (very good free), Norton, Macafee, Spybot Search and destroy (also very good), and AntiMalware Bytes but nasty things slipped by any way on other’s machine about twice a year or anytime my machine got infected by a baddy  I had to clean. NORTON in particular slows down a machine so much I always remove it entirely from a machine and use Microsoft Security Essentials which takes much less machine resources to keep machine even safer. Process Lasso has identified most scanners as CPU HOGs – windows security essentials is not.
When Bad things slip by or even if you suspect but are not  sure your machine is infected do THOROUGH BADDY CLEAN (see end of doc)

Browsing Tips

  • Internet Explorer and Firefox are memory hogs. IE more so than fIreFox. On an old system or slow system switch to Chrome it will perform much better on any system.
  • Use the suggested add-ins I recommend.


XP Only Speedup Tips

  • http://www.litepc.com/xplite.html is THE TOOL to remove tons of uneeded stuff that windows XP itself will never let you remove and to do so in a very easy way. First thing I do after installing it is apply the SHRINK option it reclaims a lot of disk space and eliminates a lot of unneeded update rollback info, orphaned temp files, etc.

More Questions? Need Help!

All of these tips and more and advice on this can be gained by asking questions on email groups devoted to repairing and using Windows I recommend joining and sending questions, error messages, etc, to

  • http://superuser.com/ the Stack OverFlow family of help sites for Windows.
  • my favorite Yahoo Groups i.e.
    • xxxx
    • xxxx

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