Optimizing XP for gaming with a new profile/boot?

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May 25, 2005
Calgary Canada
Gang, I've done a ton of googling and I'm not getting anywhere because I believe I'm not asking the right questions due to a lack of knowledge. I have a desktop running XP. At any given time using our standard user profile there are a ton of processes running. They include: - Antivirus - a ton of software to make various device auto-connect when connected (4 different camera specific programs, GPS programs, data back-up programs for 2 different external hard drives etc.) - Software like iTunes, blackberry etc. - tons of other applications that seem to run in the background...and that I don't want to mess with. In our normal profile, I don’t want to change any of this because the computer in its normal use (email, web-surfing, and interacting with devices) is doing the job just fine, even if the resources are pretty strapped. What I would like to do is to be able to either logout from our normal profile, or somehow re-boot – either to a very stripped down profile with the minimum of background processes or some “safe mode” or something similar that enables a bare-bones operating system. Once I’m in that mode, the idea would be to install or use different games (I don’t have an Xbox or PS3) only in this mode, knowing that normal computing will not be available here. The idea is that the games themselves will run faster/better in this kind of environment. Can anybody guide me as to whether these ideas make any sense, and if so how I could go about this (or what search terms to use to find the instructions)? Thanks in advance.
You could look into "slip streaming" your own XP onto a CD-R or even DVD-R, which would contain the "very minimum" plus, of course your gaming files. When you want to do gaming, put that disk in your DVD/CD drive, set the drive to boot first (before C:) and it'll run your "minimalist" XP version, without messing with your "primary" partitions, etc.....
Go to Download.com and get Gamebooster. Free program that shuts down un-necessary programs, ect while gaming. When you are done playing it re-enables the programs. I use it on my old laptop running XP.
Nice idea with the hardware profiles wink Another thing to consider, how much RAM do you currently have in the system? Perhaps consider upgrading your RAM.....just remember, the more RAM you have, the more RAM Windows will use :P It's built like that by design, you know.....lol. But, if Windows runs good, your games should run good too smile Go to the manufacturer web site, and see what the max speed of RAM your mother board will handle, and the most capacity (typically, it's 1 gig per slot....but ymmv hehe), and fill up those slots with the fastest speed, and highest capacity RAM that your mother board will handle. RAM is one of the cheapest upgrades you can do to an old machine. Also, check the obvious, hard drive space, page file size.....there's a program called "CCleaner" that does a good job of removing a lot of the junk that software leaves behind..... And then run a Defragmentation of your hard drive(s), using either the native Windows Defrag, or the guys at ccleaner.com even have their OWN defrag utility which is free for personal use that does a good job too.
Thanks everyone, there are some really helpful tips here. This gives me a great place to start in figuring out what might work!
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