Stopping Unneeded Startup Services Along with the core operating system and programs that Windows XP runs when it starts, there is also a host of services involved. Many of these services are necessary for Windows XP to operate correctly. However, many of them are for features in Windows XP that you may not use at all. To reduce the number of services that start on bootup, you can access two different areas of Windows XP. The first is the System Configuration Utility. The Services tab shows you the services that start when the computer boots.

You can stop a service from starting by simply clearing the check box next to the service and clicking OK. However, before you do so, there is another way to disable services that you may prefer because the interface gives you more information about the service in question. Manual services are only started in Windows XP when you start a process that requires the service. However, all services listed as automatic start when Windows XP boots. These are the services that increase boot time. Many of them are necessary and important, so you should not stop automatic services from booting unless you are sure of the ramifications.

You can get this information by looking at the Description column. Here’s a quick look at common services you may want to live without: Automatic Updates: This service enables Windows XP to check the Web automatically for updates. If you don’t want to use Automatic Updates, you can disable the service. You can always check for updates manually at the Windows Update Web site. Computer Browser: If your computer is not on a network, you don’t need this service. If you are on a network, leave it alone. DHCP Client: If you are not on a network, you do not need this service.

If you are on a small workgroup, you can still increase boot time by configuring manual IP addresses. DNS Client: If you are not on a network, you do not need this service. If you are, leave it alone. Error Reporting and Event Log: You don’t have to use these services but they can be very helpful, so I would leave them configured as automatic. Fax: If you don’t use your computer for fax services, you can disable this one. Help and Support: If you never use the Windows XP Help and Support Center (found on the Start menu), you can disable this service. IMAPI CD-Burning COM: This service enables you to burn CDs on your computer.

If you never burn CDs, you can disable the service. Indexing Service: Your computer keeps an index of files but if you rarely search for files, the service is just a resource hog. Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing: If you do not use these features, you can disable them. Infrared Monitor: If you do not use infrared devices, you can disable this service. Messenger: This service sends alert messages on a local area network (it is not the same as Windows Messenger). If you are not on a network, you can disable this service. Print Spooler: If you do not do any printing from the computer, you can disable this service.

If you print, make sure you leave it as automatic. Remote Registry: This service allows remote users to modify the Registry on your computer. If you are not on a network, you can disable this service. System Restore Service: This service allows you to use System Restore. If you have turned off System Restore anyway, you do not need to turn off the service. If you do, you turn off System Restore. Themes: If you do not use themes, you can disable this service. Windows Image Acquisition: If you do not use scanners or digital cameras, you can disable this service.

Wireless Zero Configuration: If do not use wireless networking devices, you can disable this service. Change only those services that you understand and do not use. How you use your Windows XP computer should be the best guide in terms of optional startup services. Speed Tips and Tricks for Windows XP Startup Manual IP Addressing on Small Office/Home Networks Windows XP is configured to help you take care of networking. It uses the TCP/IP protocol for networking in workgroups, or what you might call small office or home networks that do not use a dedicated server. The problem is that automatic IP addressing can be slow.

When your computer boots, it has to query the network to see what IP addresses are already in use and then assign itself one. If you want to speed up the boot time a bit, consider manually assigning IP addresses to all computers on the network. This way, the network computers do not have to worry about locating an automatic IP address. Because one is manually configured, the operating system doesn’t have to spend time solving this problem. Disabling Recent Documents History Windows XP includes a feature that keeps track of all recent documents you have opened or used.

The idea is that you can select Start/Recent Documents History and quickly reopen any document you have recently used Disabling the Boot Logo You can remove the boot logo that appears when you start Windows XP. This little tweak probably shaves only a few seconds off your boot time but seconds count if you are serious about trying to get Windows XP up and running as quickly as possible. Removing Unwanted Fonts One trick that increases your boot time a bit is to lose any fonts in the Fonts folder in Control Panel that you never use.

The more fonts you have, the more processing Windows XP has to do to prep all of those fonts for use. Reducing the Wait Time When you start to shut down Windows XP, it has to quit, or “kill,” any live applications or processes that are currently running. So close all applications first. Automatically Killing Tasks on Shutdown You know the drill. You start to shut down the computer, you wait a few moments, and then you see a dialog box asking if you want to kill an application or service that is running. Instead of prompting you, you can make Windows XP take care of the kill task automatically.

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