Now that we’ve explored the basics of how to configure your

system to run at an optimum level, let’s take a look at a few additional tweaks

that you can make to other areas of your operating system to improve

performance. With just a few small maintenance adjustments, you can have your

XP machine well on its way to running smoothly.

  1. Delete contents of the Prefetch
    -One little-known performance booster we’ve discovered is to periodically

    delete the contents of the Prefetch folder. What is the Prefetch folder? The

    Prefetch folder collects indexes of your most frequently used programs. The

    index is similar to a database index in that it helps your system access

    programs faster, whereas a database index helps your system access data

    quicker. Over time, your Prefetch folder can get bogged down with obsolete

    links that can degrade performance. We recommend that you open this folder and

    delete files when your system performance is poor. All you have to do is click

    the Start button, and then choose Run. In the Open text box, type the path

    c:\windows\Prefetch and press [Enter]. You should now see the contents of the

    Prefetch folder. The entire directory can be deleted by just selecting all the

    files and deleting them. In addition, you’re prompted with a dialog box asking

    you to confirm your deletion. Click Yes.

  2. Run Disk Cleanup-As we mentioned

    earlier, running XP’s Disk Cleanup utility is a quick and easy way to improve

    the daily functioning of your system. You can compare Disk Cleanup to a

    3,000-mile oil change on your car: both are needed to keep your machines

    healthy and running.

  3. Running out of space? Turn off

    System Restore Finally, if you notice that your system isn’t performing as well

    as it used to, you can save on disk space and improve performance by disabling

    the System Restore feature. While this feature can assist you in

    troubleshooting your system, the restore points it creates can occupy valuable

    hard drive space on your system. Click the Start button and then choose Control

    Panel. Double-click on the System icon, and in the System Properties dialog

    box, select the System Restore tab. Then, select the Turn Off System Restore

    check box.