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Windows XP Performance Tips: Say Goodbye to Old Connections

written by: Thomas P. Walton•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 8/13/2009

If Windows XP is starting up slowly, inconsistently delivers network connectivity or even fails to establish connections then your system may have instabilities or rogue connections that require tweaking/deleting. Here we discuss removal of old connections that slow down your computer’s performance.

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    XP Performance and Maintenance

    You made the right decision to reduce your business expenses by keeping Windows XP alive on your computer system. Unfortunately, you’re probably experiencing the typical slowing down of your operating system.

    Whether it’s the programs in XP that take the span of a gigaparsec to load, or files that just don’t come when they’re called, you have some XP performance issues to deal with.

    If defragging the hard drive didn’t make your system load any faster, maybe your computer is looking for files in all the wrong places. Have you considered any network connections that might be slowing down your computer?

    You may have forgotten old network connections, but you can be certain that your computer has not. Windows is a social creature. It seeks out to share printers and map networks that were once connected. (It is possible that you created a network unintentionally [e.g. internet connection options]). Whatever the cause, it is important to understand that these network connections reduce the speed of your computer.

    Armed with this new insight, it is time to sever old network connections once and for all!

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    Remove the Old Network Drives that Haunt Your XP

    First, you have to find out if there are any network drivers or connections. It seems that XP will always try to connect to old network drives while you’re loading programs or searching for files (XP will also look for network drives when you start your computer). The problem is, you can't see any of this happening while you’re waiting for Windows to work, because it happens automatically behind the scenes.

    Typically, the only clue that network connections are being searched for, is the slowing down of the computer. After waiting minutes for a file, folder, or program to load on your computer, you should suspect that Windows is looking for a network connection. The only way to be sure that Windows is performing such an action is to go find it. So, let’s get cracking!

    Click on the Start Menu and then click on My Computer. Click on the tools drop-down menu. Select Disconnect Network Drive.

    Immediately, you’ll know if you don’t have any network drives (A message box will display “You have no network drives to disconnect”). If you do have network drives displayed, then you need only select the drives that you are no longer using. After you’ve selected the unused drives, click on “OK” to remove them. When that is done, restart your computer.

    Windows XP should run quicker this time around. You’ll notice a significant difference in the way your programs load. Best of all, you’ll notice that your files are located and loaded much more quickly.