Tuning the Windows environment – XP Housekeeping

XP Housekeeping

The foundation to make the housekeeping process easy and efficient is the partioning of my hard disk(s).

While the primary partition holds the operating system and programme files, the secondary is dedicated to the data files. This way, the operating system may be re-installed at any time without data loss. Disk cleanup and defragmentation will run faster and more efficient. Finally, also the system performance may be improved.

Removing unused and temporary information from your system allows Windows to run faster and more efficiently:

  • Perform a regular disk cleanup and defragmentation of the volumes
  • Perform a regular registry cleanup and defragmentation
  • Perform a regular complete virus scan of your disks
  • Perform a regular complete spyware scan of your system
  • Defrag the pagefile

Check my related posts:

Five Essential Steps in XP Maintenance‘,

Windows XP Optimization‘,

optimize XP for audio and video‘,

disable services‘,

reclaim disk space‘,

and Best of Breed section for a selection of freeware tools to help you with these tasks.

Dutch speaking users may check PcLeek.com which offers an excellent digest of XP and Vista help pages!

Check out the Windows Sysinternals website for latest tool developments.

Tuning the Windows environment – XP Housekeeping

XP Housekeeping

The foundation to make the housekeeping process easy and efficient is the partioning of my hard disk(s).

While the primary partition holds the operating system and programme files, the secondary is dedicated to the data files. This way, the operating system may be re-installed at any time without data loss. Disk cleanup and defragmentation will run faster and more efficient. Finally, also the system performance may be improved.

Removing unused and temporary information from your system allows Windows to run faster and more efficiently:

  • Perform a regular disk cleanup and defragmentation of the volumes
  • Perform a regular registry cleanup and defragmentation
  • Perform a regular complete virus scan of your disks
  • Perform a regular complete spyware scan of your system
  • Defrag the pagefile

Check my related posts:

Five Essential Steps in XP Maintenance‘,

Windows XP Optimization‘,

optimize XP for audio and video‘,

disable services‘,

reclaim disk space‘,

and Best of Breed section for a selection of freeware tools to help you with these tasks.

Dutch speaking users may check PcLeek.com which offers an excellent digest of XP and Vista help pages!

Check out the Windows Sysinternals website for latest tool developments.

Tuning the Windows environment – Windows XP optimization

Tuning the Windows environment – Windows XP speed optimization

Here is a list of items that I apply to optimize a Windows XP system.

1)      Review the System Properties
Adjust the Performance Options in the Advanced Tab:

  1. Visual Effects:
    Adjust for best performance.
    In case you want to keep the look and feel of XP, then tag:
    visual styles, common tasks in folders, show window contents while dragging, smooth edges of screen fonts, smooth-scroll list boxes.
    visual effects
    Additionally, you may disable the Start Menu delay in the registry:
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\]
    set MenuShowDelay to 0
  2. Virtual Memory (Advanced Tab):
    Adjust the pagefile size used for Virtual Memory (a.k.a. swap file). The recommended size is equivalent to 1.5 times the amount of physical installed memory (RAM) on your system.
    In case you have a (fast) secondary or subsequent physical internal drive installed in your system (not an external drive), you may opt to move the paging file to one of these drives.
  3. Disable Error Reporting (Advanced Tab)
    Error Reporting
  4. Adjust Environment Variables (Advanced Tab)
    Match the location for the ‘Temp’ directory in the ‘User variables’ and in ‘System variables’
    Temp Variables
  5. Adjust the Automatic Updates selection to Notify only.
  6. Review the Device Manager IDE controllers (Hardware Tab)
    Enable DMA on primary IDE channel
    IDE Channel

2)      Disable indexing services
In Control Panel, choose Administrative Tools, Services, Indexing Service.
By default, indexing is disabled on my System Hard Disk partition. Other drive partitions should also be considered, if the Search function is not or seldom used.
Indexing Services

3)      Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile
The Virtual Memory Pagefile (a.k.a. swap file) may become fragmented.
I use two options to keep this file ‘tidy’:
option 1: Regularly perform a pagefile defrag (see ‘Five essential steps in XP Maintenance‘).
option 2: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile at shutdown
This option is also used for security purposes. It ensures that no traces are left on the system and prevents other operating systems to ‘sneak’ into this file.
The backdraw is a slower shut down.
Enable this policy in the registry to clear the system Pagefile upon shutdown.[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
Set ClearPageFileAtShutdown value to 0

4)      Move the Temporary Internet Files (TIF) folder from the default location.
In ‘Internet Options’, select the ‘General’ tab, Temporary Internet Files box, Settings button, Move Folder button. Move the folder to the root location of any of the permanent drive partitions (like D:\). Note that this is a hidden folder and therefore may not be visible by default.

Tuning the Windows environment – Name and Company Information entries

Name and Company Information (after installation of Windows XP) can be changed in the Registry.

Follow the Microsoft instructions:

Click Start, and then click Run.

In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.

Locate the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

To change the company name, do the following:

In the right pane, double-click RegisteredOrganization. Under Value data, type the name that you want, and then click OK.

To change the name of the registered owner, do the following:

In the right pane, double-click RegisteredOwner. Under Value data, type the name that you want, and then click OK.

Click Exit on the File menu to quit Registry Editor.

source: Microsoft Support Website

Tuning the Windows environment – Name and Company Information entries

Name and Company Information (after installation of Windows XP) can be changed in the Registry.

Follow the Microsoft instructions:

Click Start, and then click Run.

In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.

Locate the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

To change the company name, do the following:

In the right pane, double-click RegisteredOrganization. Under Value data, type the name that you want, and then click OK.

To change the name of the registered owner, do the following:

In the right pane, double-click RegisteredOwner. Under Value data, type the name that you want, and then click OK.

Click Exit on the File menu to quit Registry Editor.

source: Microsoft Support Website

FileZilla Server – removable drive support


FileZilla Server for windows removable drive support

To support several drives, including removable drives, you need to create an alias for every resource other than your homedirectory.

FilleZilla

Here is how you can add directory aliases to Filezilla server:

1) Start the Filezilla server interface

click the user/group button on the menu bar, create a user/group if you don’t have one already.

2) Select Shared folders from the left panel, and select a user/group from the right panel

3) Right click one of the directories other than the home directory (denoted by a leading H) and choose Edit Aliases from the popup menu (see picture above – shared drive L:).

4) Enter the alias for the directory with a leading slash “/”. For example, /LaCie (for an USB attached drive)

5) Click OK to close Enter Directory Alias dialog and click OK on Users/Groups dialog to make the changes take effect.

Now shared drive ‘L:\ will be available as /LaCie for your ftp clients.

Tuning the Windows environment – Five essential steps in XP Maintenance

Five essential steps in XP Maintenance

Check the disk space for a successful defragmentation. If the system disk has less than 10% free space then install the tools in the next steps on another partition. If no other partition is available, then uninstall unused software first.

1) Cleanup the XP hotfixes and reclaim disk space (see related post)

2) Cleanup the temporary and unused files and the registry (use a cleanup tool like ‘ccleaner‘)

3) Defragment the system disk (use a tool like MyDefrag)

4) Defragment the registry (use a tool like Auslogics registry defrag)

5) Defragment the Pagefile (use a tool like Windows Sysinternals PageDefrag)

pc maintenance

Tuning the Windows environment – Five essential steps in XP Maintenance

Five essential steps in XP Maintenance

Check the disk space for a successful defragmentation. If the system disk has less than 10% free space then install the tools in the next steps on another partition. If no other partition is available, then uninstall unused software first.

1) Cleanup the XP hotfixes and reclaim disk space (see related post)

2) Cleanup the temporary and unused files and the registry (use a cleanup tool like ‘ccleaner‘)

3) Defragment the system disk (use a tool like MyDefrag)

4) Defragment the registry (use a tool like Auslogics registry defrag)

5) Defragment the Pagefile (use a tool like Windows Sysinternals PageDefrag)

pc maintenance