How to Get Them Most From Win XP

A step-by-step guide to tweaking your PC Experience

Tweak everything about Windows XP, from your boot time to your Start Menu


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Even though Windows XP is the best operating system Microsoft has ever shipped, it can still benefit from a bit of tweaking. Whether you're trying to speed up system performance, conserve a few gigs of hard disk space, or just add a handy new feature to the interface, a fine adjustment here or there can make a world of difference.

Submitted for your approval, we give you our 13 favorite WinXP tips and tricks.

Improve Your Boot Speed

A handy little app called Bootvis is available on the Microsoft web site-search for "bootvis" at The software analyzes your PC's boot process and checks for slow-starting drivers, apps, and even OS components. If all you want to do is make your PC boot faster, download Bootvis and run the program. Then go to Trace, then Optimize. If you want to see how much faster your PC is after Bootvis has done its job, go to Trace, Next boot + Driver Delays.

Bootvis will restart your system and monitor the way each driver and TSR loads, then it will optimize their positions on your hard drive. This will allow your drive to feed your OS with information as quickly as possible, and should significantly shorten boot times.