Tips & Tricks

Windows XP has a default hardware profile that loads drivers for all your installed hardware. If you have an older PC there will be times where you won’t want all hardware to be functioning, for instance when watching a DVD. To avoid choppy playback as a result of resources being consumed by loaded drivers, applications and services, here’s how to set up a custom hardware profile.

Open the System applet through the Control Panel. The Hardware tab gives access to the Device Manager, as well as driver signing options and hardware profiles.

Click the ‘Hardware Profiles’ button to open the Hardware Profiles window. You can view available profiles and configure how hardware profiles will be displayed during the boot process.

With ‘Profile 1 (Current)’ selected, click ‘Properties’ to configure basic settings, such as specifying whether the system is a portable computer. Then click ‘OK’.

Click ‘Copy’. In the Copy Profile window, give the new profile a descriptive name, such as ‘Basic’, and click ‘OK’ to create a second, identical profile you can configure with different settings.

Click OK to close the applet. Reboot Windows XP. From Hardware Profiles, select the new profile, then log on. Open the System applet, return to the ‘Hardware’ tab, click ‘Device Manager’.

Expand a device type such as ‘Network Adapters’, then right-click the device and choose Disable or Enable – if disabling, click ‘Yes’. Disabling devices frees up resources for this profile’s specific job.

You don’t always have to be in front of your PC to access it. Here are a few handy ways to remotely tap into your PC’s workspace, whether you’re away and need to check in with your work or home PC or just need someone else to come to your rescue.

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