All right... First off, we're going to have a look at some very basic tweaks. Some of these are just basically Windows 95/98/ME et cetera tweaks, but they still work fine in XP. I'd also better mention that I tested all of these tweaks on Windows XP Professional Edition - most of them should work in XP Home Edition, but make sure you read down a bit - there are alternate methods for Home Edition users for some tweaks. I'd also better say that to perform some of these tweaks, you should have knowledge about how to edit the registry.
Tweak #1 - MsConfig
Most of you will be familiar with MsConfig, which is basically a built-in system configuration utility for Windows. Open it up by simply going to Start -> Run..., then type 'msconfig' in the box and press enter. Now, the tab we are interested in here is the 'Startup' tab... simply click on it and you should see a screen similar to the one below.
This box displays all of the programs that will be started when Windows boots up. None of these programs are vital for Windows, so don't feel worried about removing some of them in experimentation. You can see from the screenshot that I have disabled both NDetect (ICQ's start-up program) and WinAmpa (WinAmp, obviously). Now, if you've unchecked some boxes, Windows should start up faster and will take less resources by not running these programs in the background.
Tweak #2 - More Startup Tweakage
Now we're going to take the tweak above and go one step futher. Go to Start -> Run again, then type 'services.msc'. You should get:
This is a more detailed list of processes that are starting up with Windows. All those items with 'Automatic' listed next to their names are booting with Windows. Click on the items to find out just what they do. If you decide you don't need a certain service, you can simply right-click on it and change it's properties from 'Automatic' to 'Manual'.
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