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 »  Articles Overview  »  Technology  »  Hardware and Operating Systems  »  How to improve WinXP performance

How to improve WinXP performance

By Jose Villarroel | Published  06/3/2005 | Hardware and Operating Systems | Recommendation:
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Jose Villarroel
angielski > hiszpański translator

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How to improve WinXP performance

First you have to determine if you are infected or not. If your computer is slow, chances are that you have a virus, especially if your computer slows down when you connect on to Internet. If the quality of your dial-up connection is low, it can be extremely frustrating. So the first thing you should do is verify you are not infected.


Proceed to:


It’s a FREE APP (as of 25th of July 2004) that scans your computer for viruses, usually up to date. Or use an antivirus app.


Once you determined that your system is free of viruses you can proceed to speed it up.


This is done by checking processes currently running on your computer. You can safely access the list of current processes by right clicking on the taskbar and choose “Task Manger”, where you will find a tab named Processes. This tab displays all active processes in you computer and are specific for each particular software installation.


Windows has many routines that run simultaneously; some that are important some aren’t.


Essential processes are (you shouldn’t terminate these or may not be allowed to kill them):


Csrss.exe Client/Server Runtime Server Subsystem handles Windows and graphics functions for all subsystems.

Ctfmon.exe Monitors the active windows & provides text input service support for speech recognition & other alternative user input technologies.

Explorer.exe This is the user shell, which we see as the familiar taskbar, desktop, and so on.

Dllhost.exe COM+ hosting process controls processes in the Internet Information Services, used by many applications. There can be multiple instances of DLLhost.exe.

Internat.exe Loads the language icon (EN/ES) into the system tray, allowing the user to switch between locales.

Locator.exe RPC Locator, Background task that runs on Windows NT 4, 2000, and XP platforms, and maintains the database of currently publicly-declared procedures.

Lsass.exe Local Security Authentication Server verifies validity of user logons to your PC/Server.

Services.exe Windows Service Manager is responsible for running, ending, and interacting with system services.

Smss.exe Session Manager Subsystem starts, manages & deletes user sessions or client sessions under Terminal Server.

Spoolsv.exe Printer Spool Service is responsible for managing spooled print/fax jobs.

Svhost.exe Service Host Process is an integral part of Windows OS. It cannot be stopped or restarted manually. It manages 32-bit DLLs and other services. Multiple instances possible.

System.exe Main Windows process.

Taskmgr.exe Windows Task Manager displays all processes running on the system. The application is activated by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del

Winlogon.exe Windows Logon Process utility that manages user logons and logoffs.


Other common processes are (you can terminate these if you aren’t using them):


Realsched.exe RealNetworks Scheduler program for RealOne player that prompts for update.

HotTray.exe MSN services.

IEPLORE.EXE Internet Explorer.

Snmp.exe Windows Simple Network Managment Protocol (SNMP) agent, a proxy that listens for requests and hands them off to the appropriate network provider.

Alg.exe Application Layer Gateway Service part of Internet Connection Sharing application & Internet Connection Firewall. Provides support for third party protocol plug-ins.


Annoying processes is:


Cisvc.exe Microsoft Index Service Helper service starts cdiaemon.exe if it uses over 40MB can take up a lot of cpu time

Cidaemon.exe Microsoft Indexing Serice runs in the background, catalogs files so that you can search for files containing a specific text string.

MDM.EXE Machine Debug Manager it’s the one that causes annoying pop ups when you try to access certain HTML pages. KILL IT it slows your computer down a lot!!!

WISPTIS.EXE Windows Ink Services Platform Tablet Input Subsystem. It is a pen input device tool for Microsoft Tablet PC Platform.


You shall find other processes in your computer as well, its easy to recognize if it’s needed or not. Generally the name hints its use.


For example, if you use yahoo pager, you shall find YPager.exe in the process list.


You can kill or terminate any process by clicking & highlighting it, then click on the button “End Process” that appears on the bottom right of the dialog (kill process).


Of course there are also other processes that are hard to determine what they are. For example Slssvc.exe is and HMI Intouch application. When in doubt, use any search page to determine what a certain process is.


Once you get rid of all unnecessary processes you will probably find that your computer’s response is faster, and that you can perform tasks in less time.


Next time you turn on your computer, all tasks that start up automatically will be activated again. To avoid this, you need to modify other areas of Windows XP, using the “services.msc” utility.


If all of this doesn’t help, you have a few other options:


  • Get more RAM, RAM improves performance.
  • Upgrade your computer with a better processor or a new system.
  • Forget it, its too complicated; leave things as they are now.

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