The Registry has to be the least understood aspect of a Windows OS. Even seasoned professionals handle the registry with care. But, when used properly, the Windows OS can be customised to any extent necessary. The Registry is, thus, essential for experts and hackers.
Note: Before hacking the Registry, we have to backup the Registry. To export, open Regedit (Start>Run>regedit) and find the key. Click on the key, and choose File>Export. In the dialog, select the location, save as .reg file, and select “Selected Branch” option.
There are some acronyms that will be used in the following hacks :
- HCU refers to H-KEY CURRENT USER
- HLM refers to H-KEY LOCAL MACHINE
At any point, you can restore by double-clicking .reg file.
So here are some registry hacks for Windows XP:
Load Applications Faster
The Windows Prefetcher aims to load apps by pre-fetching the app and storing it in cache. You can speed up the apps by changing the value.
Navigate to : HLM \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ SessionManager \ Memory Management \ PrefetchParameters
Change the value-upto 9, to get improvement. A reboot is required.
Unload Unused DLLs
After an app is closed, XP leaves the DLL files in memory. This leads to wastage of resources. Make DLLs unload themselves.
Navigate to : HLM \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ AlwaysUnloadDLL.
Create or modify the DWORD value AlwaysUnloadDLL to 1.
Disable User Tracking
User Tracking in Windows is resource hungry, and has no use for normal home users. It keeps track of documents and apps opened etc. Disable this for better performance.
Navigate to : HCU \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer
Set NoInstrumentation to 1. This will disable user tracking.
Disable Desktop Cleanup Wizard
The Cleanup Wizard runs every 60 days to clean up your Desktop. If you don’t want this irritation,
navigate to : HCU \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Desktop \ CleanupWiz
Modify the value of NoRun to 0.