Sunday, 30 November 2008

Top Tips – Speed Enhancing Registry Hacks

There are many tips all over the internet and in the printed media that promise to help improve the speed of your PC.

Here are a couple of speed enhancing registry hacks you can do that will help speed up your PC a little (tested with Windows XP Pro 32bit), taken from this weeks issue of MicroMart magazine in an article titled “36 Ways To Speed Up Your PC”. How To Access The Registry

In order to edit the registry you need to open up Regedit.  To do this, Go to Start > Run and then type Regedit followed by OK.

Unload DLL’s Link Libraries (DLL’s) contain essential instructions programs need to access in order to run.  When required, Windows loads these files into memory.  This is great, but when no longer needed, Windows doesn’t unload them from memory.  This ties up resources, and can contribute to a sluggish system.

Luckily, a quick registry hack will force Windows to unload them.

Open the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer.  Now create a new DWORD value and name it AlwaysUnloadDLL then set it’s value to 1.

Disable Last Access Stamp file systems update file and directory date stamps every time they’re accessed.  This can be useful for some, but can take up resources.  By disabling this ‘time stamp’ you can gain some speed back.

To do so, open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem.  Now create a new DWORD value called NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate and set the value to 1.

Disable 8.3 Naming

Dieseltekk_8dot3 Windows actually creates two names for each file.  The first is the one you see in Windows, and the other is a legacy DOS name, also called 8.3.  This is very useful if you use DOS on it’s own, but not so useful if you use Windows.

To free up some resources, you can disable this naming convention.  Open the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem and change the value of NtfsDisable8dot3NameConvention key to 1.

Restrict Windows Data Into Main Memory Windows can use the paging executive file to move operational data and kernal functions to virtual memory (page file).  This is the default setting, and can help on machines with limited RAM.

However, if you have more than 256MB of RAM, then you can stop Windows moving this data, and thus make your system run faster.

To do so, open Registry Editor and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\SessionManager\MemoryManagement.  Now change the value of DisablePagingExective to 1.

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