Windows XP Network Speed Improvements

(10 steps to make your Windows Computer Faster)

We have a network speed performance problem at our company. All of our computers are fast and modern and high specification engineering stations. We have a gigabit network with high quality equipment and a powerhouse of a Server. We rarely see high cpu utilization but our network latency is poor on our local network and abysmal over our VPN employees (using Netgear FVX538 routers). The funniest part of this whole situation is that this problem is specific to windows machines only. Our linux machines are speedy from point to point across our tcp/ip Windows network whereas our Windows machines are extremely slow and latent.

Here are some solutions we are trying so far based on tweaks from other sites like or

1. Turn off indexing service.
Turning this service off to increase overall performance:
Open My Computer -> right-click on a Drive icon -> Select Properties -> Remove the checkmark from “Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching” -> Click Apply. Make sure to select “Apply changes to :, subfolders and files.” before clicking OK in the new window.
2. Turn off transition effects for options when right-clicking a file.
Turn off the transition effects for menus and ToolTips. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. In Control Panel, double-click Display, and then click the Appearance tab.
3. On the Appearance tab, click Effects.
4. In the Effects dialog box, click to clear the Use the following transition effect for menus and tooltips check box, and then click OK two times.
3. Disable Network Task Scheduler / Lan Browsing Speedup
This tweak disables searching networked computers for scheduled tasks. It reduces the long wait when opening network folders. To apply this tweak, find the following key:

and delete this key:

Note: You might want to export the key before deleting, then to revert the changes, simply merge your exported reg file. Removing the second sub-key in HKLM…..NameSpace that looks like: {2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} disables checking for network printers.
4. Increase Request Buffer Size / reduce network delay
In higher latency Network environments, delays may be encountered with the default request buffer size (4356 decimal). The range of this parameter is 1024 – 65535 bytes. Testing has shown that, in most standard Ethernet environments, 16384 (decimal) is a better choice, if memory is available. This tweak only applies to LANs, and helps with slow browsing of large directories.

To change this setting, edit:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesLanmanServerParameters and Add Value name SizReqBuf as a type REG_DWORD, increase its (decimal) value to 16384 or even higher and restart the computer for changes to take effect.
5. Increase Network Redirector Buffers / better network performance
If you increase the number of network redirector buffers it may considerably increase your network throughput. Each extra execution thread that you configure will take 1K of additional nonpaged pool memory, but only if your applications actually use them.

To configure additional buffers and threads, edit: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesLanmanWorkstationParameters Modify or Add Value of type REG_DWORD for:

MaxCmds=dword:00000064 – range is 0 – 255 and the default value is 15. Set to a higher number, try 64 (Hexadecimal) for starters.
MaxThreads=dword:00000064 – set to the same value (Hexadecimal) as MaxCmds.

MaxCollectionCount in the same key is a DWORD buffer for character-mode named pipes writes. You might want to increase it from te default 16 as well, its’ range is 0 – 65535.
6. Disable “Automatically search for network folders and printers”
Speed up Windows Explorer and network browsing by stopping automatic shares in “My Network Places”

By default, Windows 2k/XP/2k3 tries to read icon information from shortcuts in the “My Network Places” folder, accessing remote files on the network, and causing a very slow system response. Every time you open a file in a remote shared folder, or a file via a UNC name, Windows will automatically add another shortcut to “My Netowork Places”, making the problem worse with time. To resolve this:

Go to My Computer -> Tools -> View -> Unclick “Automatically search for network folders and printers”.
7. Improve NTFS Performance
You can improve NTFS performance by stopping it from generating timestamps every time directories are accessed, and if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, by preventing NTFS from generating MS-DOS compatible filenames for all files with long filenames. Here are the two registry keys that you can modify:


Note: Applying the second line above (disabling truncated filename creation) might cause problems with some 16-bit applications. To resolve this, simply set the number back to “0”. This change is questionable, we are testing this only on select machines!!

8. Disable unnecessary Services

Services are programs that start with Windows and continuously run in the background, helping the OS with different functionality. Not all services that load by default are needed, you can disable some to free some resources and speed up your system in general. You should go through the list and read the descriptions to decide which services you need depending on what you use your computer for… You can always turn the service back on if and when you find need for it. Here is the procedure to turn off a service:

1. Navigate to: Start -> Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Services.
Alternatively, you can do START -> Run -> and type services.msc

2. Left-click on a service and read its’ description carefully. Turning off services disables some particular functionality of the OS, so make sure you want to turn the particular service off.

3. To disable, Right-click -> Properties -> Change the “Startup Type” to “Manual” and Stop the service. Next time you reboot that particular service won’t start.

Some Sample Services that can safely be turned off in most Home PCs unless you have a specific need:
Error Reporting Service
Help and Support
Indexing Service
Messenger (pop-up spam vulnerability)
NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
Performance Logs and Alerts
Remote Registry (remote access to your registry)
Routing and Remote Access (enables dial-in routing to your computer)
Secondary Logon
Task Scheduler
9. Establish a Global Temp Folder / For 1 user computers
Storing everything in A users individual application data is unecessary and makes cleaning up temporary data more difficult. It can also lead to user profile bloating and performance loss. To change this to a global temporary file, make sure you have a temp folder in your windows directory. Then right-click my computer -> select advanced tab -> click environment variables and click edit for the TEMP variable, then enter %SystemRoot%Temp . Click ok and do the same for the TMP variable.
10. Establish a Fixed Pagefile size
right-click my computer -> select advanced tab -> click settings in the performance area -> select advanced tab -> click the change button. If you have more than one hard drive, select your non-boot drive. Select the custom size button and type in a number for initial size that is roughly 2x your ram value on a lower spec machine (2gb-) and 1x your ram value on a higher spec machine (4gb+). Reboot and defragment your paging drive.
Good References for these changes:

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