Speedup Windows XP without Reinstalling, in 10 minutes!!!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Speedup Windows XP without Reinstalling, in 10 minutes!!!

Replace Registry files...This post is specific to Windows XP. It must work for Windows 2000 also, but I haven't checked.

What do you do when your Windows shows lots of problems and is too slow??? You reinstall Windows, right? How do you reinstall Windows? Either delete Windows folder or format the partition and install Windows using the setup Disk, right?

You can get yourself a fresh Windows without reinstalling... surprised? I was too...

Today I met a friend of mine who is working as service personnel in HCL. We were talking about my PC being slow and needing a reinstall. Then he told, there is a way to make it as fast as a fresh installation just by a simple trick. I was really skeptical, I tried and it worked like a charm (except from some minor problems)...

I will tell the story...

There are 5 files, in Windows\System32\config. They are actually Windows Registry hives...

SN.FileRegistry locationPurpose
1.SamHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAMContains information used by the Security Accounts Manager, including User Accounts.
2.SecurityHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITYContains security information used by the system and network.
3.SoftwareHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWAREContains program variables that apply to all users of the computer. The system stores some of its variables in the subkeys in SOFTWARE.
4.SystemHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEMThe subkeys in this key store entries for the current control set and for other control sets.
5.DefaultHKEY_USERS\.DEFAULTContains default settings for an user.

These 5 files control almost all of the configuration for the machine. You just need to DELETE these files!!! Yep, the %Windir%\Repair folder contains a copy of these files that were created after installation and the first successful startup of Windows.

Caution: Backup the files first... if you got into any problem, just put back the files and everything will be back as before...

Copy the original files from Repair into Windows\System32\config to replace the deleted files. That's it... Windows will boot into a fresh copy... and you don't loose a single file... isn't it cool...

But, you can't write to these files when Windows is running... there are some ways...
- use Recovery Console command prompt from Windows Setup disk
- modify these files from Linux, after mounting as Read/Write
- actually i have another installation of Windows XP in another partition, I used that :)

For more details, check this link...

NOTE from Microsoft: "Make sure to replace all five of the registry hives. If you only replace a single hive or two, this can cause potential issues because software and hardware may have settings in multiple locations in the registry."

I didn't want to loose my software settings and users, so I replaced Default, System and Security. Windows booted up too fast. There were some problems...
- MS Office was not working, saying some file has version mismatch
- Net Connections lost saved username & password
- Skype also showed some problems

So, I put back Default and Security. Windows was still running fast and the problems remained. That means the file that causes all the slowdown in a Windows PC is "SYSTEM". I put back that file also, the machine was exactly like it was before replacing files, even the slowness.

I was experimenting on changing that Hive to make machine faster. But alas, it is not possible. All the problems are due to the System Services. It is what causes the slowdown. They are all needed too...

See also... » Want to learn? I can teach you...

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