How to speed up an old system running Windows XP?

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My daughter has acquired my old computer which has been in the family for 8 years. It is a branded IBM computer installed with Windows XP and runs on a Pentium 4 system.

The desktop has very little memory – 128 Mb and a 40 gigabyte hard-drive space. I have tried to purchase additional memory for the computer but unfortunately, I was not successful in finding one that is compatible with the motherboard. I have already decided to buy a new system for her in June but for the meantime, I would like to get help on how to improve the speed at which her computer opens programs.
 
The computer has very few programs installed and I personally made sure that she does not load up the miniscule hard drive with stuff she doesn’t need. Installed in her computer are Mozilla Firefox, Avast Antivirus 6.0, and Google Chrome. I initially tried to disable Avast Antivirus to make the computer run faster but decided that it will be a lot safer for the computer to have it running in the background. I removed the desktop wallpaper and disabled the screen saver to be able to use more RAM in running the programs.
 
I also reduced the icons that are displayed on her desktop screen to show only the My Computer, Recycle Bin, and My Documents Folder. I noticed a slight improvement on the speed at which the programs start opening but it’s not enough to satisfy my daughter.
 
On my search for better solution, I was able to come across an instruction to type MSCONFIG on the Run window, click on the startup tab, un-check all the unnecessary programs running in the background, click the Apply button, and then restart. Having done this has better results than the previous ones I tried but it still did not make my daughter happy. Is there any other solution that can be done?
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Best Answer by Marcus Bernard
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Answered By 0 points N/A #91367

How to speed up an old system running Windows XP?

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Hi Ilyannafrances,

Finding memory upgrades for legacy hardware can be tough at times, so we have to make do with what we have. Although 128 MB is too small a memory to be running Win XP I’ve prepared a small guide that should help you to further tweak your computer in the hopes of giving it more speed. Let’s get started.

  1. Bring your mouse pointer to the desktop and right click on it. Then select “Properties > Appearance” and click the “Effects” button. Proceed to uncheck the following items “Use the following transition effect for menus and tool tips” and “Show shadows under menus”. Click OK to close the dialog box.
  2. Look for the “My Computer” icon on either your desktop or start menu and right click on it. Select “Properties (or press WIN+Pause Break key)” and click the “Advanced” tab. Look for “Performance” and click on “Settings”. In the “Performance Options” window, click on “Adjust for best performance” and “Apply” settings. Notice that the XP default theme has changed to the Classic theme. If you still want to bring back the Default XP theme, then just check “Use visual styles on windows and buttons” and “Apply”. Now close the dialog box.
  3. Open Windows Explorer (by double-clicking on the “My Computer” icon on the desktop) and go to “Tools >Folder Options” and select the “View” tab. You should uncheck the following items “Automatically search for network folders and printers”, “Display File Size Information in folder tips”, “Display simple folder view in Explorer’s Folders List”, “Show encrypted or compressed files in color”, “Show pop-up description for folder and desktop icons”, and “Use simple file sharing”. “Apply” settings and click OK.
  4. Tweak the Windows Services further by disabling unnecessary services that you don’t need. Click on “Start > Run” and enter “services.msc” without the quotes. Now double click the following services and set them to “Manual”:
  • Alerter
  • Computer Browser
  • Indexing Service
  • Internet Connection Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing
  • Messenger
  • Remote Registry
  • Secondary Logon
  • Server
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service
  • Uninterrupted Power Supply
  • Upload Manager
  • Wireless Zero Configuration

 

NOTE: Some options can be totally set to “Disabled” like Indexing Service and Remote Registry.

  1. Disable “System Restore” by right clicking “My Computer” on the desktop and clicking “Properties”. Look for the “System Restore” tab in the “System Properties” dialog box that opens. Check “Turn off System Restore” or “Turn off System Restore on all drives”. Confirm “Yes” when prompted to make changes.
  2. Disable sound events on windows by going to “Start > Control Panel > Sound and Audio Devices”. Look for the “Sounds” tab, select “No Sounds” on “Sound Scheme”, “Apply” and click OK to close.
  3. Run Mike Lin’s Startup Control Panel to further trim down applications that run on startup (http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml). It’s a free program that extends the functionality of MSCONFIG further by customizing startup.
  4. Run Windows Defragmenter to complete our fine tuning.
  5. Reboot and test the response. To check startup time speed you could download this nifty utility called Bootvis from Microsoft that checks and optimizes windows boot for faster startup times. Check it out and see for yourself http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/bootvis.html
Answered By 0 points N/A #91369

How to speed up an old system running Windows XP?

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Hi Ilyannafrances,

Try this in your compute:

Disk Defragmenter – in your taskbar Click Start -> Then Program -> Accessories -> System Tools -> And Then Disk Defragmenter. A dialog box appears choose drive C and then click the defragment button. It will take awhile to finish defending how large your hard drive, after the defragment restart your computer.

If still does not solve your problem, reformat your hard disk and reinstall you’re your operating system.

Hope that this solves your problem.

Regards,

Bert

Answered By 0 points N/A #91370

How to speed up an old system running Windows XP?

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Hi Ilyannafrances,

For you to get an optimize computer like yours as you've said it has a small amount of memory and should be upgraded, if not their are many remedy like this one.

  1. Click START BUTTON.
  2. Right click on MY COMPUTER.
  3. Click PROPERTIES.
  4. Go to ADVANCE TAB.
  5. Click setting for PERFORMANCE.
  6. And click ADJUST FOR BEST PERFORMANCE.
  7. And that's how you fully use windows XP.

Their are many 3rd party application now that optimizes speed of computer but since your computer is old as you've said it is not necessary to use those application because they also have high requirements and make your computer more slowly.

CHEERS.

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