Fine-Tuning Performance

Now that you know how to monitor performance, it’s time to get practical with a few specific optimizations. The rest of this chapter shows you how to optimize items such as the Windows XP startup, applications, the hard disk, virtual memory, and more.

Optimizing Startup

One of the longest-running debates in computer circles involves the question of whether or not to turn off the computer when you’re not using it. The "off" camp believes that shutting down the computer reduces hard disk wear-and-tear (because the disk’s platters spin full-time, even when the computer is idle), prevents damage from power surges or power failures that occur while the machine is off, and saves energy. The "on" camp believes that cold starts are ...

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