You can use a number of system tools to optimize different areas of Windows system performance.
Virtual memory optimization :
Use the Virtual Memory dialog box to adjust settings for virtual memory, including pageﬁle locations and initial and maximum size for each pageﬁle.
Hard drive optimization :
Disk Management is the primary tool you will use to optimize hard disks on your system by creating, deleting, or formatting partitions to create the most functional disk conﬁguration. For example, you might want to break a large hard disk into one operating system partition and a data partition; when users search for ﬁles or documents, they can limit the search to the data partition only and save time. You might also use the Disk Defragmenter utility or its command-line version, defrag.exe, to reduce fragmentation on the disk.
Temporary ﬁle optimization :
You can use the Advanced tab of the System Properties dialog box to set or change the Path variable that determines where Windows stores temporary ﬁles. To optimize storage of temporary Internet ﬁles in Internet Explorer, open the Internet Options dialog box and click Settings. You can view or delete the existing temporary ﬁles, and you can set the percentage of disk space allotted to temporary Internet ﬁles.
You can manually delete temporary ﬁles from the \Temp folder. Windows XP and Windows 7 also provide the Disk Cleanup tool to assist you in locating and removing unnecessary ﬁles. This also helps improve drive performance overall.
Windows Services optimization :
Running only the necessary services and background processes saves system resources such as memory and processor time and improves efficiency. Use the Services node in Computer Management to view the list of running services, start or stop services, and set the startup type (Manual, Automatic, or Disabled) for services. Use the Task Manager to change the process priority of background processes that might be shared across applications.
Startup ﬁle maintenance and optimization :
- Use the Services node in Computer Management to set only necessary services to start automatically will also improve startup time.
- You can also use msconfig to edit the startup settings, or choose Run→services.msc to manually disable unnecessary services.
- You can use the System Conﬁguration utility, available from the Tools group in the Help and Support Center, to selectively disable legacy conﬁguration ﬁles such as System.ini and Win.ini. These text-based conﬁguration ﬁles are present primarily to support backwards-compatibility with older Windows programs. However, because the processing time required to load these small ﬁles is negligible, this also could affect system stability without effectively reducing boot time. For further information, see Windows Help on the System Conﬁguration utility.
- On multi-boot systems, you can edit the startup settings to reduce the timeout value for the Boot Loader menu. You can also suppress the display of the Boot Loader menu completely by reducing the timeout value to zero or by removing all but one operating system entry. Use the Startup And Recovery dialog box to conﬁgure startup settings.
Windows Indexing Service :
A service that creates an index of most ﬁles on a computer, and can update this list without further prompting from the user. The Search option from the Start menu uses the index if this feature is enabled. Windows 7 does not have the Windows Indexing Service running by default, but it is still included. This service can be accessed by typing services.msc in the Run dialog box. You might ﬁnd you need to ﬁne-tune the performance of the indexing service if you use it occasionally, rarely, or never at all. The Indexing Service can also use too much processor power to update the catalog, and so adjusting this to reduce the amount of time each update takes will keep your PC from getting bogged down with too many CPU-intensive tasks. You can also adjust the ﬁle extensions that get indexed, whether or not to include email messages in the index, and more.
Application optimization :
The best approach you can take to ensure optimum performance for all applications is to:
- Make sure the system is conﬁgured with sufficient processor, memory, and hard disk resources.
- Perform routine system-wide optimization and tuning.
- Keep the computer clear of viruses and other malicious software.
- Follow any application-speciﬁc optimization procedures documented by your software vendor.
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