Reinstall & Tweak Windoze – Part 2

Step 5: Drivers and hardware

After installing the actual OS, the first thing you need to do is install the drivers for you various PC components. After you have installed all the drivers, some drivers can be tweaked and ‘unlocked’.

Unlock coolbits on nVidia drivers:

nvHardPage nVidia tweak utility:

Forceware tweak guide:

ATi catalyst tweak guide:

Optical mouse tweaking:

1- Start > Settings > Control Panel -> Mouse
2- Click the Hardware tab -> Properties
3- Click the Advanced Settings tab.
4- Turn the Sample Rate dial up as high as it will go.
5- Ok -> Ok

Step 6: Tweaking your system for max performance.

Ok this is what this article is all about: tweaking. I’ll tell you the things that I do each time I reinstall Windows.

1) Optimize Page file settings:

1- Right click on My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced tab
2- Click on Settings button under the ‘Performance’ section.
3- Select ‘Advanced’ tab.
4- Click on ‘Change’ button under the Virtual memory section.
5- Select the drive letter in which windows is installed.
6- Click on ‘Custom Size’
7- Set the initial size to 1.5 times the amount of RAM you have
8- Set the maximum size to about 3 times the amount of RAM.

2) Disable unnecessary services and apps:

Visit this site for a list of services which can be disabled safely:

NOTE: To get to the services page in XP, Goto Start -> Run and type “services.msc” without quotes.

To disable unnecessary programs from starting up with windows,
Goto Start -> Run and type msconfig. Now in the startup tab, disable all those apps which you don’t want to start with Windows. For eg, you motherboard “Control Panel”, task manager etc. To find out which entry points to which program, hit and trial method is the only go.

3) Disable System Restore:

System restore can help you out on many occasions but it takes up an awful amount of storage space and also slows down the PC a little. If you have a fast PC and a big hard drive, then leave it turned on. Otherwise,

Right click My Computer -> Properties -> System Restore tab -> enable the “Turn off System Restore on all drives” option.

4) Download Tweak XP:

This is my favorite tweaking software. Try it out!

5) Conservative Swap File usage:

Enabling this tweak forces windows to avoid using the page file until it absolutely requires it. Hence boosting performance.

Goto Start -> Run and type msconfig. Goto the “system.ini” tab and under the [386Enh] section, add a new entry:


Step 7: Installing all the software

This is where the planning I discussed earlier comes in. It’s much simpler than you think. Just keep this rule in mind: Install one software for one purpose.

For eg, when you install your antivirus, make sure you won’t change to another AV in 2 days. Even if you uninstall your old AV, stray registry entries will still be left behind.

Extrapolate this and after a few months, you’ll have thousands of orphaned registry entries which do nothing but slow down your system.

So, in a nutshell, don’t install software unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Step 8: System Maintenance

So, you finally have your PC running at peak performance. But the question is, for how long? Well, if you follow these simple tips, it’ll be 2 years before you do your next Windows reinstall!

1- Defrag your hard disk at least once a month
2- Don’t let too many programs start with windows. It’ll slow down bootup time. To disable unnecessary entries, refer to the msconfig method I mentioned earlier.
3- Remove temporary files on a regular basis. You can use the Windows Search utility and search for *.gid *.chk *.tmp *.old and delete these files from your drives.

Also, clean the following folder regularly. It contains temporary files which slow down your system:
“C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Temp

All done!

Hope this article was helpful. Keep checking this page. I’ll try to post all the tips and tricks I find.


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