You've just reformatted your hard drive and are installing Windows XP. You may be doing it for the first time or the fifth time. You may be new to XP, or you may be a veteran and system slowdowns, instability or problems have lead you to reinstall. Either way, you know you've got a job in front of you. Installing XP is just the start. Now comes the installation of all the applications and games. Then all the drivers. Finally, there's the dreaded job of going through all the settings and tweaks all over again to optimise your system.
This guide picks up at that point. I've gathered all the main tweaks and optimal settings which apply to most XP-based systems and put them here in an easy-to-follow format. The guide progresses logically through the major system settings and tools, rather than jumping around from tweak to tweak or by individual device. It's all about rapidly getting your system to optimal speed while at the same time allowing you to systematically go through and adjust all the little visual and personal settings you need to put the finishing touches to WinXP.
This guide is designed primarily for gamers and those who want the fastest performance from graphics and CPU-intensive applications on their machine. At the same time, I've tried to maintain almost all the niceties of WinXP so it doesn't have a "stripped down" Win2000 feel.
In any case, let's get this show on the road.
Update: This Guide is compatible with Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1). If you haven't got SP1 already, it contains all the latest bug fixes and critical patches needed for WindowsXP. Download it from Microsoft, install it, then follow this guide.
Update 2: Once you've followed this guide be sure to check the sequel: WinXP Tweaking: From Relax to Righteous!
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