SOLVED: Windows Performance Tweaking Myths, AND How To Actually Make Your Windows PC Run Faster

I was going to write an article on all the crazy Windows performance improvement myths and then I found a great article which I have taken snippets from below (and provide a link to the full article below).  The bottom line is this, Microsoft has a lot of massively intelligent people working in the Windows division, and while they can (and do) improve, nearly all of the third party software to improve performance is bunk… if it worked, Microsoft would already be doing it. 

PERFORMANCE TUNING MYTHS:

  1. Cleaning the Registry Improves Performance: The Windows registry is a massive database of almost every setting imaginable for every application on your system. It only makes sense that cleaning it out would improve performance, right? Sadly it’s just a marketing gimmick designed to sell registry cleaner products…
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  2. Clean, Defrag and Boost Your RAM With SnakeOil Memory Optimizer: Just take a quick look at any download site, and you’ll find hundreds of products that claim to “optimize RAM to make your computer run faster”. Give me a break! Almost all of these products do the same things: they call a Windows API function that forces applications to write out their memory to the pagefile, or they allocate and then deallocate a ton of memory quickly so that Windows will be forced to page everything else. Both of the techniques make it appear that you’ve suddenly freed up memory, when in reality all you’ve done is trade in your blazing fast RAM for a much slower hard drive…
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  3. Disabling Shadow Copy/System Restore Improves Performance: I’ve barely come across a Windows Vista tips site that doesn’t tell you to disable System Restore to speed up performance, because it takes up to 15% of your hard drive by default, which sounds like good advice. Except it’s not. The reality is that System Restore only actually kicks in when you are installing updates or applications…
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  4. Disabling Services to Speed Up the Computer: …Disabling non-essential services that are NOT part of Windows will sometimes yield a performance gain if you have identified those services as causing a problem. You can identify or disable those services by opening msconfig.exe and checking the box for “Hide all Microsoft services” on the Services tab: The problem with disabling services is that your devices will often not work once you do: for instance, I disabled the “Unknown” dlbt_device service in the list above, and could no longer print to my Dell printer… disabling the VMware services made VMware unable to run, and so forth…
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  5. Disabling QoS to Free Up 20% of Bandwidth: This tip made the rounds with people believing that Microsoft always allocates 20% of your bandwidth for Windows Update. According to the instructions, you were supposed to disable QoS in order to free up bandwidth. Unfortunately this tip was not only wrong, but disabling QoS will cause problems with applications that rely on it, like some streaming media or VoIP applications…

The full article (with a few more myths) is http://lifehacker.com/5033518/debunking-common-windows-performance-tweaking-myths .

PERFORMANCE TUNING FACTS:

If you want to increase the performance of your PC:

  1. Uninstall ANYTHING your not using, especially old printers, camera’s…   This has more to do with good management than performance, but you should still do it
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  2. Update your apps, often there are performance enhancements in newer versions
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  3. Delete EVERYTHING from C:\USERS\<your user name>\APPDATA\LOCAL\TEMP 
    • If you don’t see APPDATA either type it into the address bar and press ENTER or turn on HIDDEN FILES
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  4. Delete EVERYTHING from C:\WINDOWS\TEMP
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  5. THIS IS THE BIG ONE: Stop everything you can from starting automatically (camera’s, printers, Apple anything, Adobe anything, Sun/Java Anything) by deleting them from
    • START, PROGRAMS, STARTUP  (just right click on them and select DELETE)
    • REGEDIT – HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\RUN 
    • REGEDIT – HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\RUN
    • REGEDIT – HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\RUN
      • DON’T delete your Antivirus sofware entries, you want them to start up on boot
    • START, TASK SCHEDULER
      • this one is tricky as there are items like defrag which are good but you likely have a few GOOGLE items which you can delete

Take a look at my registry (right), I have AV starting up and NOTHING else.  I don’t want my camera software, ANYTHING Adobe, Java updates… its all junk.

Clean Autorun REGISTREY ENTRIES - Stop autorun
Clean Autorun REGISTREY ENTRIES – Stop autorun

I recently sold a dead slow Lenovo box which had OVER 100 processes showing in TASK MANAGER right out of the box;  when I was done cleaning out the auto-run junk, I had it down to 52.

If you want screen shots and more detail on how to stop programs from automatically starting and killing your computers performance, see this article I wrote in 2010 https://www.urtech.ca/2010/08/how-to-stop-programs-like-google-update-from-starting-automatically/

Comments

  1. Avatar
    Herman M. January 25, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Just google and use the autoruns tool from Microsoft to manage all autostart objects!

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