Now that Vista has arrived with more of a thud than thunder, people are asking the question, “What can I do to speed up my slow computer?” A good answer is to customize your existing operating system for speed and performance. So, why not keep XP. It is Microsoft’s most stable operating system. Vista will not be stable until the first major service pack update is released. Until then, Vista is about as stable as a house of cards in a tornado. Also, XP to Vista migration causes slow computer performance. If you are one of these people who rather kick XP up to a notch than pay for a system that meets Vista outrageous specs for optimum performance, read on for some expert tips to speed up a slow computer using XP tweaks.


Windows XP’s stability makes it the most “tweakable.” More than a few areas are specifically ripe with opportunities to improve slow computer performance and remedy a slow computer. Let’s start with getting your hard drive running smoothly.

XP Tweaks for Slow Computer Tip #1–Turn Off Windows Indexing Service

If you have ever wondered why your hard drive makes so much noise when idle, this is due to your files being indexed to help your CPU find these files easier. However, even the most insignificant files are indexed. This service puts a huge strain on your hard drive, which ironically makes things easier for Windows. Because of this conundrum, most techs have deemed this Indexing Service insignificant and the cause of slow computer hard drive access. You can turn off the service with the following steps.

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1. Double-click My Computer, point to Explorer Bar on the View menu, and click Search.

2. Click Change preferences, and then click Without Indexing Service.

3. Click No, do not enable Indexing Service, and then click OK.

XP Tweaks for Slow Computer Tip #2– Speed Up Your Hard with NTFS.

Windows XP offers NTFS hard drive configuration. This offers better compression, security, and encryption. However, this conversion from FAT to NTFS standard requires a bit more space on your hard drive. Nevertheless, you will be reward with a faster drive. You can easily switch to this system by following the directions below:

1. Click Start

2. Click Run

3. Type cmd press enter.

4. At the command prompt

Type convert X:/FS: NTFS(X is your hard drive letter)

5. Hit Enter

XP Tweaks for Slow Computer Tip #3–Disable Unnecessary Startups

Now let’s tweak Windows to run faster. A slow computer can be attributed to how well your monitor and manage your programs and processes. Windows XP gives you complete control over what programs and processes are loaded into your configuration. There are only six vital programs needed to run your computer. However, there are probably dozens running as soon as you start up your PC. No wonder you have a slow computer. You can manage your startup configuration by following these instructions.


1. Open your Start menu.

2. Click Run

3. In the command screen, type: msconfig.exe

4. In the “system configuration utility,”
Click either the “service” or “startup” tab

5. Uncheck all programs that you don’t want to use.

6. Click OK

XP Tweak for Slow Computer Tip #4–Increase Virtual Memory

Your computer uses physical memory, RAM, and virtual memory. Virtual memory is used to simulate more RAM when your computer is reaching its maximum CPU and RAM usage. It is very similar to a bucket filling up with water; in this analogy, your RAM is the bucket, and water being computer processes and programs. However, your bucket size is limited by your amount of RAM. The more programs and processes you use cause the bucket to become full. However, you can use a spare bucket to help meet the demand quickly; Virtual memory is that spare bucket.

You can change your virtual memory by altering the number of resources reserved for it, in a sense making the spare bucket bigger. Virtual memory uses free space as a resource. So you can change the amount of free space reserved for the Virtual memory. Check out the “How to clean up a slow computer” for efficient ways to clean up your drive.

Increasing your Virtual Memory is easy. There are some important facts to remember. When you get to the Virtual Memory menu, select the Custom Size checkbox, then choose the initial size and the max size. Depending on how much free space you have, you can choose what amount of free space you want to be reserved for the paging file. It’s better to keep the initial and maximum size the same to cut down on your CPU access. This will stop your CPU from constantly changing your Virtual memory paging file size. Also, set the size at least 1.5 times higher than your physical memory if you are still confused, the link below for visual step-by-step instructions.

1.Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

2.Click Performance and Maintenance and then click System.

3.On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.

4.Under Virtual memory, click Change.

5.Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive containing the paging file you want to change. In most computers, it’s C:

6.Under Paging file size for selected drive, click the Custom size check box. You can enter the memory you would like to reserve for Virtual memory by entering the initial and maximum size.

Slow Computer

7.Click Set

In addition to these tweaks. You can take it one step further in your quest to make your slow computer a distant memory. This requires you to perform some registry editing. I suggest you clean your registry before attempt any editing. After your registry is clean, you can perform several tweaks to speed up your slow computer. The site below provides more tips and tutorials to increase PC performance.