Tuning XP


Here’s another question

Recently i ordered a new computer, and i will install windows XP on it.

Does anyone of u can give me (and all the other windows XP users who would like to know :D ) some good tips about tuning windows XP.

I know there is musicxp But i would also like to know what other usefull thing are possible with it.

Thanks in advance,


There was another thread about this (or maybe a few even) a while back… Try searching the forum for “musicxp” or “tuning” and you might find something useful.

Personally I went through the list on the musicxp site and that worked really good for me. Although I didn’t make all the mentioned changes.

I can give you a ton of tuning-tips but it will take me whole night to wrote them down :)
I never seen http://www.musicxp.net/ so maybe most of my tips is stated there. But the first thing you shall do is to go into Contol Panel->System->Advanced->Performance->Settings and then press “Adjust for best performance”-radio button . Then disable Themes-service (it is lot of other services you canalso turn off but this realy depends on what you are going to do with your computer more than music)…
this is probably the best single performance tweak you can do, you will notice the diffrence instantly…

if you want more tips, do not hesitate to send me a pm…

I just read the tweaks on http://www.musicxp.net/ and I can say that many of the twaks there is realy nothing that will tune up the performance of your computer or make any main difference. I suggest you do NOT do any of these tweaks if you are not 100% sure of what they are doing and realy want to tune your OS in this way.

I’ll try to explain the tweaks very fast here:

1. Processor scheduling should be set to background services and not Programs.

When you have this set to Programs all foreground processes receive a small priority boost so they become more responsive to the user. The sacrifice is that the background processes will get alittle less CPU-time. When setting it to background services no priority boost will be done so the CPU power will be shared fairly to all processes.
This is good for example audio-drivers, so this tweak is higly suggested.

2. Visual effects should be set to a minimum.

That is a tweak you SHALL do. It will increase the performance cause the the computer doesn’t need to put resources on small shades and animating menues etc ;)

3. Switch Off Desktop Background Image

This is also a good thing to do, saves memory and cpu…

4. Disable Screen Saver

Yes, also good. Saves memory and cpu. Some screensavers is realy CPU agressive…

5. Disable Fast User Switching

I doubt this will increase any performance but I think it is still a good tweak. Makes XP act alittle more like Win2k = good ;)

6. Switch Off Power Schemes

I can’t realy understand why they think you shall turn off power scheme for your monitor… only sounds stupid to me. I can understand why to do it for your HD’s but not for your monitor…

7. Switch Off Hibernation

Only use hibernation if you realy need it. If you use it it will eat as much harddisk-space as you have physical memory.

8. Activate DMA on Hard Discs/CD ROMS

Ofcourse. This shall be default but can fail on some setups. This will make harddisk-access to consume less CPU.

9. Disable System Sounds

Yes, do this! This will not just mean that you will get rid of all the anoying M$-sounds, it will also speed up soem processes (login, logout etc) and will save you some memory…

10. Do Not Map Through Soundcard

This isn’t realy a nessesary tewak and I suggest you do not do it if you don’t need to do it. The setting will disallow Windows from using your audiocard while you are recording. But in the previous tweak you just turned off windows system sounds so I realy do not see any point in this. Some people have problems when changing this setting so just leave it if you do not have any problems.

11. Disable System Restore

System Restore can be a good thing. It will consume lot of harddisk-space but can save you lot of work if something bad happens in your OS. It is realy not recommended to turn off this, but it is all up to you. ;)

12. Disable Automatic Updates

Automatic Updates can be good if you are connected to internet 24/7 (as I am) casue then you will get the latest security patches as fast as they are released and this will keep your computer a bit safer. It will probably not save you much cpu nor memory to turn it off, anyways I still have it disabled cause I do not like having my computer connected to Microsofts servers withou my contoll ;) :lol:

13. Startup and Recovery Options

Do this setting if you are not running your computer as a server! It will prevent the computer to restart if you get a BSOD (BlueScreen of Death), and means that you will see the full error-messages whenthis happens…

14. Disable Error Reporting

This is realy not nessasary. If you (as me) think it is annoying to get this messages and do not want to send (personal) info about your computer to Microsoft I suggest you turn this feature off.

15. Disable Remote Assistance

This tool is used to allow other people to login on your computer and help you solve problems remotely. To have it enabled is a security-risk so I suggest you turn it off and only enable it when (and if) you realy need it.

16. Fix Swap File (Virtual Memory)

Yes, do this, they have also missed to say that you shall set both min and max to recommended size (*1.5 od physical memory)

17. Speed Up Menus

Not realy nessasary. You will get slightly faster menus, you will probably not even recognize it ;) But why not? ;)

18. Disable Offline Files

You can do this if your not planning to use this feature.

19. Disable Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop is a exelent tool. If you own many different computers and have them connected in a network, or if you want to be able to connect and use your computer remote I sugest you take a look at this feature. If you don’t, you can safely disable this feature.
Just remember to set up your firewall correctly if you plan to use it…

20. Disable Internet Synchronise Time

Why? I can see no good reaon in disabling this feature. Especially if you are connected to internet 24/7… You shall change time-server though, microsoft is evil, do not use their server ;)

21. Disable Hide Inactive Icons

The only reaon why to disable this feature is if you do not like it. To disable it will not save any cpu nor memory. So I suggest you do not disable it untilll you realize that you realy do not want this feature. I use it and like it…

22. Disable Automatic Desktop Cleanup Wizard

Same as the previous.

23. Disable NTFS Last Access Time Logging (NTFS File Systems Only)

On NTFS volumes windows updates the Last Access time stamp every time an access is made to the harddrive. With a large number of directories this can cause a decrease in performance. I have personally never noticed any significant diference when changing this setting so I suggest you only change this if you think you will need it…

24. Disable Notification Area Balloon Tips

The Baloon is realy annoying so why not, but do not expect any significant performance-increasing

25. Disable CDROM Autoplay

hmm. why? Some programs can have some troubles with auto-playing cdroms but thouse are very rarely so I sugest you only do this if you either do not like this feature or install programs that recommend you to turn this feature off.

26. Disable Disc Indexing Service

yes, the indexing-service isn’t realy something nessesary if you do not search alot on your computer.

And finaly, when it comes to ACPI it is better to keep this setting as it is as long as you do not have any serious irq-sharing problems. It is even better to try to move the PCI-cards physically to another slot before tou try to change this setting casue if you change this some strange things can happen to your computer and if you are not a bit experienced in irq’s etc you can get even more problems than before ;)

Wow thanks alot. I see that some things aren’t really usefull on Music XP. Thanks alot for the good explanaition by all the tuningtips.

But first i have to wait untill i get my computer. Probably this week. :D :D :D


That’s some really good advice. When I went through the musicxp site a while ago I did exactly the same changes as you said here, but couldn’t have described it as well! :)