The following tools will further optimize your system, and in the case of some, give you access to tweaks and settings which may not otherwise be available to you (e.g. XP Home doesn't have a Group Editor).
To access: Install Bootvis and click Icon or search for and run Bootvis.exe
Note that the Task Scheduler service needs to be set to Automatic and started for Bootvis to work properly (see Services section). Run Bootvis, go to the Trace menu and select "Next Boot + Driver Delays". Let Bootvis reboot, and on rebooting wait patiently for Bootvis to pop back up when it's finished analysing. Go to the Trace menu and select "Optimize System". Once again let Bootvis reboot and wait for it to restart after the reboot. It will say "Optimizing System". Once done your bootup times will now be much faster.
Bootvis is not currently available from Microsoft for some reason. While I and most other people have had no problems using Bootvis, I strongly recommend making a system restore point before using it, just in case.
To access: Install Cacheman and click Icon or search for and run Cacheman.exe
Cacheman is a tool which provides a user-friendly interface for making most of the memory and cache-related changes covered in the Registry Editor section. The best way to change settings in Cacheman is to go to the Show Wizard menu and select All. Run through each setting as prompted. If you want to know more, click on the Help button on the main screen. My recommended settings - which correspond with the registry settings I provide in the Registry Editor section of this guide - are as follows:
Note: Data corruption may occur if the Large System Cache feature is enabled in Windows XP. If you have more than 512MB of RAM, a large NTFS disk or multiple large volumes (60-100 gigabyte hard drives possibly in RAID arrays), and/or AGP graphics with large AGP resource requirements (AGP aperture greater than default) then you will get hard drive corruption. Don't select "Maximize throughput for file sharing" or "Maximize throughput for Network Applications" in these circumstances - just select "Balance."
Icon Cache: Set large maximum Icon Cache size
Unload DLLs from Memory: Enable this setting
Disable Paging Executive: Enable this setting
IO Page Lock Limit: Large IO page lock limit value
Disable NTFS last access update: Enable this setting
Hung App Timeout: Optimize this setting
Wait to Kill App Timeout: Optimize this setting
Menu Show Delay: Optimize this setting
Filename Completion: Do not enable this setting
Defragment Hard Disk When Idle: Enable this setting
Reserve More Space for the Master File Table Do not enable this setting
Once all that's done, click on the Settings button on the right, go to Tweaks, select the Miscellaneous tab and set "Wait to Kill App Timeout" to 4 sec, the "Wait to Kill Service Timeout" to 5 sec, and the Start Menu "Show delay" to 20 msec. Then click on the Options button and untick "Load Cacheman on Windows Startup". Finally, go to the File menu and select "Save Settings". Cacheman need never be run again or loaded into memory for these settings to work.
To access: Install Regcleaner and click on Icon or search for and run RegCleanr.exe
RegCleaner is a more user-friendly version of Registry Editor in many ways, especially since it makes backups of any changes whereas Regedit does not. Regcleaner helps clean and maintain your registry by getting rid of old, defunct or invalid registry entries. Since the Windows Registry loads into memory at startup and can be quite large, the 'leaner' the registry the better your performance. For now, the best use for Regcleaner is to clean up the registry. Under the Options>Registry Cleanup>Method menu select Automatic, and under the Options>Registry Cleanup>Ole Cleaner select Extra Powerful.
Now to run the registry cleaner, go to the Tools>Registry Cleanup menu and select "Do Them All". Once RegCleaner has scanned your registry and found redundant entries, they should all be removed. However, for safety's sake, backups of these changes are kept under the Regcleaner/Backup directory if you run into problems.
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