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Some Good Ways To Improve You Windows

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#1 Abubaker Khalid

Abubaker Khalid


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Posted 01 September 2015 - 03:36 PM

Windows xp has the service shutdown time set to 20000 ms which equals 20 secs (no wonder it takes so long). 
Go to regedit and change the key : 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SYSTEM\\CurrentControlSet\\Con trol\\WaitToKillServiceTimeout 

I set mine to 0 ms and now i shutdown way fast. Experiment with the settings. 
Before we start tweaking, I recommend you set up a few things on your operating system. 

Make sure you have Administrator privileges on the computer you are tweaking as some options may have been disabled for use by standard users. Also, there's ClearType. ClearType basically works to make text on your screen appear much clearer and readable 

To turn ClearType on, just access your Display properties in Control Panel, 
then click on the 'Appearances' tab. Then click the 'Effects...' button. 

Tick 'Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts...' and change the listbox to 'ClearType'. 
Then just click OK, Apply, and close down your dialogs. 
Tweak #1 - MsConfig 

Most of you will be familiar with MsConfig, which is basically a built-in system configuration utility for Windows. Open it up by simply going to Start -> Run..., then type 'msconfig' in the box and press enter. Now, the tab we are interested in here is the 'Startup' tab... 

This box displays all of the programs that will be started when Windows boots up. None of these programs are vital for Windows, so don't feel worried about removing some of them in experimentation. You can see from the screenshot that I have disabled both NDetect (ICQ's start-up program) and WinAmpa (WinAmp, obviously). Now, if you've unchecked some boxes, Windows should start up faster and will take less resources by not running these programs in the background. 
Tweak #2 - More Startup Tweakage 

Now we're going to take the tweak above and go one step futher. Go to Start -> Run again, then type 'services.msc'. 

This is a more detailed list of processes that are starting up with Windows. All those items with 'Automatic' listed next to their names are booting with Windows. Click on the items to find out just what they do. If you decide you don't need a certain service, you can simply right-click on it and change it's properties from 'Automatic' to 'Manual'. 
Tweak #3 - Speeding Up Internet Explorer 

This is a handy little trick you can use with Internet Explorer 6 (which ships with XP) to make it boot up extremely fast - instantly, on my system . This should be familiar to those of you who have created shortcuts for Half-Life mods and the like. For those of you who aren't familiar, simply right-click on a shortcut to Internet Explorer (such as the one in the Quicklaunch bar) and add the parameter '-nohome' to the end of the command line. 
Tweak #4 - Menu Delays 

Another minor and easy tweak to remove any delay from menus sliding out. For this you will need to use regedit (open regedit by going to Start -> Run..., then typing 'regedit' and pressing enter). The key you need to change is located in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop. The actual key is called MenuShowDelay - all you have to do is change the value to 0. Remember, you will have to re-boot your computer for this tweak to take effect. 
Tweak #5 - GPEDIT.MSC And Autoplay 

A great tweaking file that comes with XP is gpedit.msc. Go to Start -> Run... and then type in 'gpedit.msc' and press enter. This is effectively the Policies Editor, and it comes in handy often. For example, if you hate CD autoplay like I do and want to permanently disable it, you can use this tool to do so. Just run gpedit.msc, then go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System. In here you can see the value 'Turn Off Autoplay'. Right-click on it and then click 'Properties'. 

Now you can simply play around with the settings for this and other values in these folders, customizing appearance and performance issues. 
Tweak #6 - Increasing Options In Add/Remove Menu 

Not a fan of MSN Messenger? Don't want Windows Media Player on your system? Fair enough, but if you go to Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel, by default none of Windows XP's 'built in' programs are visible. It's fairly easy to change, though... just open the file X:\Windows\inf\sysoc.inf (where X: is the drive letter where Windows XP is installed) in Notepad. You should see a section of the file something like this: 

IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7 
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2 
fp_extensions=fp40ext.dll,FrontPage4Extensions,fp4 0ext.inf,,7 

This is a list of all components installed at the moment. I've taken the example of MSN Messenger - the program entry called 'msmsgs', third-last line. You can see the word 'hide' highlighted - this is the string which tells Windows not to display the component in the Add/Remove Programs list. Fix this up by simply deleting the word 'hide' like so: 


To this: 


Now, after restarting, you should be able to see MSN Messenger in the Add/Remove Programs list. If you want to be able to quickly view and remove all components, simply open the sysoc.inf file and do a global find and replace for the word ",hide" and replace it with a single comma ",". 
Tweak #7 - Disabling Windows File Protection 

WARNING: Using this tweak means you will be able to delete vital Windows files. 

Here's a quick tweak to be able to totally disable Windows File Protection, the system that prevent users from deleting system and program files. Simply find the key SFCDisable in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon and edit it to hold the value 0xFFFFFF9D. 

If you want to re-enable File Protection, just re-set the value to 0. 
Tweak #8 - Automatically Kill Programs At Shutdown 

Don't you hate it when, while trying to shut down, you get message boxes telling you that a program is still running? Making it so that Windows automatically kills applications running is a snap. Simply navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop directory in the Registry, then alter the key AutoEndTasks to the value 1. 

Note: the key 'AutoEndTasks' might not exist. If not, simply create it with a value of 1. To disable the AutoEndTask feature, simply change the value back to 0. 
Tweak #9 - Memory Performance Tweaks 

There are several memory tweaks that can be performed with Windows XP - all of them are located in the 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management 

section of the registry. 

Disable Paging Executive 
In normal usage, XP pages sections from RAM memory to the hard drive. We can stop this happening and keep the data in RAM, resulting in improved performance. Note that only users with a large amount of RAM (256MB+) should use this setting. The setting we want to change to disable the 'Paging Executive', as it is called, is called DisablePagingExecutive. Changing the value of this key from 0 to 1 will de-activate memory paging. 

System Cache Boost 
Changing the value of the key LargeSystemCache from 0 to 1 will tell Windows XP to allocate all but 4MB of system memory to the file system cache, basically meaning that the XP Kernel can run in memory, greatly improving it's speed. The 4MB of memory left is used for disk caching, but if for any reason more is needed, XP allocates more. Generally, this tweak improves performance by a fair bit but can, in some intensive applications, degrade performance. As with the above tweak, you should have at least 256MB of RAM before attempting to enable LargeSystemCache. 

Input/Output Performance 
This tweak is only really valuable to anyone running a server - it improves performace while a computer is performing large file transfer operations. By default, the value does not appear in the registry, so you will have to create a REG_DWORD value called IOPageLockLimit. The data for this value is in bytes, and defaults to 512KB on machines that have the value. Most people using this tweak have found maximum performance in the 8 to 16 megabyte range, so you will have to play around with the value to find the best performance. Remeber that the value is measured in bytes, so if you want, say, 12MB allocated, it's 12 * 1024 * 1024, or 12582912. As with all these memory tweaks, you should only use this if you have 256MB or more of RAM. 
Tweak #10 - Speeding Up Share Viewing 

This is a great tweak. Before I found it, I was always smashing my head against the table waiting to view shares on other computers. Basically, when you connect to another computer with Windows XP, it checks for any Scheduled tasks on that computer - a fairly useless task, but one that can add up to 30 seconds of waiting on the other end - not good! Fortunately, it's fairly easy to disable this process. First, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Explorer/RemoteComputer/NameSpace in the Registry. Below that, there should be a key called {D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}. Just delete this, and after a restart, Windows will no longer check for scheduled tasks - mucho performance improvement! 
Tweak #11 - Prioritizing Individual Processes 

This is so simple it's not funny, but it leads into the next tweak... anyway, if you press Control+Alt+Delete, then click on the 'Processes' tab, you should get a dialog like the one above. You can see a list of all the processes running at the time. Now, if you are running a program that you want to dedicate more processing time to - eg, 3D Studio Max, as in my example, you can just right-click on the process, move your cursor down to 'Set Priority >', then select how high you want that program prioritized. While I'm checking my email, I might want a Normal priority for Max, but if I leave my Computer, I can increass it to 'RealTime' to get the most rendering done. Easy! 
Tweak #12 - Prioritizing IRQs 

The last tweak for this guide - and a good one. The main components of your computer have an IRQ number assigned to them. With this tweak we can increase the priority given to any IRQ number, thereby improving the performance of that component. The most common component this tweak is used for is the System CMOS/real time clock, which improves performance across the board. First of all, decide which component you want to give a performance boost to. Next, you have to discover which IRQ that piece of hardware is using. To do this, simply go to Control Panel, then open the System panel (You can also press the shortcut of Windows+Break). Click the 'Hardware' tab, then on the 'Device Manager' button. 

Now, right click on the component you want to discover the IRQ for and click 'Properties', then click on the 'Resources' tab. 

You can plainly see which IRQ this device is using (if there is no IRQ number, select another device). Remember the number and close down all of the dialog boxes you have opened, then start up RegEdit. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\PriorityControl in the registry. Now, we have to create a new DWORD value - called IRQ#Priority (where '#' is the IRQ number), then set the data to 1. For example, the IRQ of my System CMOS is 8, so I would create the key IRQ8Priority. 

Now, after restarting, you should notice improved performance in the component you tweaked. I would strongly recommend the CMOS, as it improves performance around the board. Also note that you can have multiple IRQ prioritized, but it is fairly inefficient and can cause instability. To remove this tweak, simply delete the value you created. 

It is now hidden.To use it Go to >my Computer>Right click on your hard drive Icon>Properties>Tools>Error-checking. 
It works just like the old scandisk. 
WinXP Clear Page file on shutdown 

Go to Control panel> Administrative tools> local security policy. then go to local policies> security options. 
Then change the option for "Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Pagefile" 
Easy send to menu modification 

first open - Xo***ents and SettingsusernameSendTo (it is hidden) where X is your drive letter and username is your username make and delete shortcuts to folders at will 
Get rid of windows messenger 

-Computer Configuration 
-Administrative Templates 
-Windows Components 
-Windows Messenger 
Here you can enable 
"Do not allow Windows Messenger to be run" 
"Do not automatically start Windows Messenger initially" 
Remove shortcut arrow from desktop icons 

Here's how you can remove those shortcut arrows from your desktop icons in Windows XP. 

1. Start regedit. 
2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTlnkfile 
3. Delete the IsShortcut registry value. 

You may need to restart Windows XP. 
One of the most full featured Windows XP configuration tools available is hidden right there in your system, but most people don't even know it exists. It's called the Local Group Policy Editor, or gpedit for short. To invoke this editor, select Start and then Run, then type the following: 
After you hit ENTER, you'll be greeted by gpedit, which lets you modify virtually every feature in Windows XP without having to resort to regedit. 
Dig around and enjoy! 
Easier way to display windows icons on desktop 

Rightclick on the desktop and select "properties". 
In the new "display properties" window, click on the "desktop" tab. 
Hit the "customize desktop..." button at the bottom of the window. 
Now you can select the icons you want. 
Enable cleartype on welcome login screen 

Start regedit, if you are unfamiliar with regedit please see our FAQ. 
Navigate to HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTControl PanelDesktop. 
Locate the key FontSmoothingType. 
Change the value to 2. 
Select theme and color scheme for welcome screen 

Start regedit, if you are unfamiliar with regedit please see our FAQ. 
Navigate to HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentV ersionThemeManager 
Locate the key NormalColor 
Right Click on it and select modify. 
Change where it says "NormalColor" to "Metallic" 
Click Ok, and exit regedit 

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