Thursday, November 29, 2012

Making XP as Stabile as Possible

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Below, you will find tips to keeping your Windows XP Operating System running as reliable as possible.

  1. Only use hardware that is on the Hardware Compatibility List. This ensures that the products and drivers went through rigorous testing and are supported by Microsoft. If you're trying to use a Win9x or Windows 2000 driver to make your legacy hardware work, you'll probably start having stability issues. 
  2. Place your system are on a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), not just a surge protector. Power fluctuations over time can lead to unexplained system problems and data loss. 
  3. If you can, always try to install Windows XP on a clean system, instead of upgrading a current installation. 
  4. Be selective with your software. Third party software isn't always written to Microsoft's standards, and can cause instabilities. Games and freeware/shareware utilities are the usual culprits, but poorly written system utilities can cause problems as well. Constantly installing and uninstalling various programs may leave behind residual registry entries and system files that can slow a system over time, and cause instabilities.
  5. Don't run third party themes or freeware screensavers - Many of these are written by amateurs, and you just never know what you're getting. Screensavers look nice, but are usually unnecessary with modern displays. Try choosing the "blank screen" option as a screensaver, or have the monitor power down when not in use. 
  6. Don't run third party system utilities - Many of the "system utility" packages on the market don't work as well as advertised, and can cause more problems than they solve. Think carefully before installing these. In our opinion, they're just not worth it. 
  7. Avoid over-tweaking of your Operating System. Once it is installed, set it up the way you like, then leave it alone. In a survey of corporate help desk calls, 80% of problems were traced back to something that the user did themselves. This usually involves constant tweaking and experimenting that leads to instability issues. 
  8. Perform routine system maintenance. This means performing a full virus scan, defrag, and cleaning out the temp files routinely. You should also check event logs for potential problems, and keep up on the latest system updates from Microsoft.

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