10 Tips To Make Windows Xp Work For You

This article contains tips on getting XP to work and keeping it working efficiently for you.

The introduction of Windows XP in late 2001 ushered in a brand new way Windows operates and handled various tasks, including how software is installed and accessed and hardware set-up. XP was designed to streamline many of its operating system functions and make various aspects of these functions readily available to the PC user. Such functions include ease of hardware set-up and software installation, the problems of which have plagued users of Windows 95, 98, Millennium and 2000.

XP also includes security elements in the form of a firewall integrated into the operating system. With the introduction of Service Pack 2, more control of how this firewall is set up is passed on to the user.

In spite of many rumors going around as to how "bad" XP is, it is actually the most stable of the operating systems to come out of Microsoft, with an excellent recovery system should something catastrophic happen to the operating system.

Following are 10 tips on getting XP running and keeping it going efficiently.

Do an installation of XP on a clean hard drive if possible and have the drive itself formatted to NTFS (This allows for recovery of the operating system upon lock-ups/failures as well as handle file storage more efficiently).

Do a manual system restore back-up point after any major changes you make to your system such as hardware installation or major software installation. Always leave the setting for restore points no lower than 4%. Go to System Properties, select System Restore, then Settings. Chances are, upon installation of XP, the settings will be at maximum (12%). Unless you make constant major changes to your PC/Operating system, you really only need to reserve 4% of your disk space for restore points.

XP should be the only operating system running. Having two operating systems on the same hard drive, known as a dual boot system, is not recommended. This is still possible by first installing XP, then the second operating system such as Windows 95/98/Mil/2000. There is more to this procedure, considering you need to ensure the XP boot sector is not overwritten by the second operating system.

Keep your internet firewall on at all times. A good way to control just what kind of incoming contact you want your computer to have with the internet (as of Service Pack 2 release), is to leave the firewall on its default setting, and set security levels as the system alerts you to the different types of incoming data. For instance, if you're an online gamer, the first time your game accesses the game server after installing XP and SP2, you will get an alert and a choice as to block or allow access temporarily or permanently.

Defrag your hard drive at least once every 2 weeks. My Computer -> Drive C -> System Tools -> Disk defragmentation.

Do a hard disk clean-up at least once a week. Click on My Computer, right click on Drive C and select "Disk Cleanup". Follow the instructions on performing the clean-up operation.

Back up critical data to CD/DVD. (This is true, regardless of what operating system you use).

Keep abreast of system updates, either manually or through automatic updates, especially for new device drivers and security issues.

With these tips (and perhaps a few others as you continue using XP) you should have a relatively painless experience in using XP.

© High Speed Ventures 2011