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WinXP Pro Tweaking

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***This tweaking guide will tackle a much more advanced method/way of tweaking WinXP Pro. Although this guide will probably work with WinXP Home edition, I cannot give u any guarantee that the effects will be the same as applying the tweaks on a WinXP Pro equipped system. Some of the settings/tweaks may also be not available/applicable on a WinXP Home equipped PC.
**These tweaks we're all tested with my system only with apps/softwares (i don't have any games installed under WinXP). But there is a huge chance that game performance will also increase when the tweaks here are properly applied since most of them helps on conserving RAM (w/c is very important with newer games). My system details are as follows: WinXP Pro, SP1 installed, DX 9b, all critical updates inside Win Updates website installed.
*I recommend that u first apply all my previous WinXP (control panel / misc.) tweaks inside my "Dual-Boot Win98/XP" section. Then proceed here for a more advanced set of tweaks. I will still update my previous WinXP tweaking guide with "basic" tweaks though, so do check it out every once in a while for updates.

=Disabling Unecessary Services=
*The ff tweak will decrease WinXP's loading time since there will be less number of services to load at boot-up. Coupled with my previous WinXP tip of decreasing boot-up speed (by removing unecessary start-up progs), ur boot-up time should be noticeably faster after applying/following the tweaks below. Take note that the ff services are IMO safe to disable (or set to manual) on "most" systems. Services that has a possibility of causing probs with softwares/cause errors, or are already using the proper default settings are no longer mentioned here. But of course, due to the vast number of configuration on diff systems, there is still no guarantee that the ff recommended settings will not cause ur system any probs. So pls. TWEAK AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Go to Start > Run > then type in "services.msc" (w/o the quotation marks). You will be then given the list of available services. Double clicking on one of them will pop-up a window. Just head on to the "Startup type" slide-down menu, and pick the right setting depending on my recommended setting/s below:
Adobe LM Service:
This is an Adobe Photoshop CS service that is said to act more like a spyware than a registering service. It cannot be totally disabled, so I recommend setting this on manual instead (if not already).
Automatic Updates:
I recommend that u "Disable" this service and just head on to MS's website for manual updating of ur OS. But if u don't have any firewall and/or antivirus prog installed, then leave it enabled for better system security.
**Setting this to Manual will still render the service un-operable (unless manually started)
This is CachemanXP's service that loads the program at system start-up. Unless u want the program to run at start-up, I recommend that u set this service to "Manual" (if not already).
Computer Browser:
If ur system is not connected on a network then I recommend that u "Manual" this service. Otherwise leave it on its default setting. I'm not quite sure what it does on a network connected system but from what I heard, even if ur system is connected on a network, u can still disable this setting and experience no probs at all.
DHCP Client:
This service is the one who receives IP address from ur DHCP client. Dial-up users probably do not need this service running, but to be safe I recommend setting it on "Manual". It will not start by default on the said setting but will probably start automatically when called for. If u experience problems running it on manual then just set it back to "Automatic". DSL/Cable users may also try setting it on "Manual".
This is Diskeeper's service that enables u to run its scheduled tasks (set and forget and Boot-time defragmentation). I see no reason why this service needs to be running everytime Windows starts, so I recommend setting it on "Manual" than disabled. The said setting will still enable u to use the scheduled features of Diskeeper while saving memory as well ('coz the service will no longer load at start-up).
Distributed Link Tracking Client:
Another network related service that allows other computers to update its shortcut link/s when one of the computers connected to it moves a file to another location. If ur system is not connected on a network, then u can safely "Disable" this service. But if u have a networked system and wants to save memory without the risk of having compatibility probs, setting this to "Manual" is a better idea.
DNS Client:
Not quite sure what this is for, I have mine set to "Manual" and it no longer loads at start-up. No probs whatsoever. Other sites says its for DNS lookups, I don't think this service is required for normal system operation though.
Epson Printer Status Agent:
Scans ur system for the presence of Parallel port and its setting. If ur Epson printer is connected via USB then u can safely "Disable" this service.
Error Reporting Service:
As the name implies, this service will gives u the option of reporting errors to MS everytime u experience one. I recommend that u "Disable" this option unless u want to report the errors u encounter to MS.
Fast User Switching Compatibility:
If u only have one account on ur WinXP system, then "Disable" the said setting.
Help and Support:
Enables MS help service. Setting this to "Disabled" will disable online and offline help services, but when u manually open the help feature, this service will set itself back to "Automatic" again. I currently have mine set at "Manual".
Indexing Service:
I only recommend that u leave this setting enabled if u search for files frequently w/ your system (who does that anyway?). Otherwise, I recommend that u "Disable" this service.
Internet Connection Firewall / Internet Connection Sharing:
Allows computers connected on a network to share a single internet account and firewall. If u have a standalone system or doesn't share internet account / firewall on multiple comps, then I recommend "Disabling" this service.
IPSEC services:
System's that require or use VPN connection will probably need this service. Otherwise, I recommend that u set this service on "Manual" juz to be safe (it's not going to start the service automatically anyway).
Logical Disk Manager:
This service is needed if u want to run/use the Disk Management MMC console. I recommend setting this to "Manual" to prevent the service from starting up at system start-up. If probs when using the MMC console occurs, revert back to the default "Automatic" setting.
Has something to do with transferring of msgs between servers and its clients nor is it MSN Messenger. A typical home pc will probably have no need for this service, so I recommend that u "Disable" this setting.
MS Software Shadow Copy Provider:
Used by "MS Backup" when performing a backup of programs that r currently running. If u do not use "MS Backup" u could probably get away with a "Disabled" setting. Otherwise, set this to "Manual" to be safe. Same setting is recommended on the "Volume Shadow Copy" service.
Net Logon:
A system that is a member of a domain needs this service, otherwise (systems not connected on a network, or home network connected systems) this setting can be safely "Disabled".
NVIDIA Driver Helper Service:
(Only applies for folks with NVIDIA videocards) There's really no need for this service to run on background all the time. I recommend that u "Disable" this service.
Portable Media Serial Number:
Has something to do with Media Player's copy protection feature and Portable player's serial number collection. Since I do not have any portable digital player that connects on my pc, I have this setting "Disabled". But if u do, then u probably need the said service (but u may get away with a "Manual" setting rather than using automatic).
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager:
If u do not have any plan of using the Remote Assistance feature of Windows, then u may "Disable" this feature. I have mine set at default though (Manual), for those "juz in case" scenarios.
Remote Registry Service:
Just like the Remote Desktop Help service, I recommend u "Disable" this option unless u use the said feature/service. Or also set it to "Manual" for those "juz in case" scenarios.
Routing and Remote Access:
I am not quite sure what this service is for, I have mine "Disabled" and I'm not experiencing any probs. (I'm a dial-up/stand-alone PC user)
Secondary Logon:
Gives a Limited User account more options when using the OS. If u only have one account or only have administrator priviledges on all accounts, then I recommend that u "Disable" this service.
This enables file and print sharing when connected on a network. If u do not need this feature or ur system is not connected on a network, "Disable" the said service.
Smart Card and Smart Card Helper:
A network authentication feature. Again ... if u only have a standalone system or do not have a clue what a "Smart Card" is, then "Disable" this service.
SSDP Discovery Service:
Used to detect UPnP devices over a network. Take note that PnP and UPnP are not the same. I don't have a clue as to what hardware/peripheral is labeled as UPnP, b'coz of that I "Disabled" this on my system. And u should too, unless u have a hardware/peripheral that is labeled UPnP (whatever that is!).
System Event Notification:
Has something to do with notifying progs / services when event/s occurs. I do not see any reason to keep this service running. I doubt that any progs will have any probs when this service is "Disabled". But if probs do occur, switch it back to its default setting.
System Restore Service:
Same with my previous recommended setting (on my Win98/XP guide), I recommend that u "Disable" this setting. Unless u want to use the feature of course.
TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service:
Said to provide support for NetBIOS w/c is often times no longer used today by servers / networks. I recommend that u "Disable" this service or set it to "Manual".
Terminal Services:
If u do not have any intentions of using the Remote Desktop Server/Assistance features, then u may "Disable" this service to prevent it from starting up. Fast User Switching needs this service to function as well.
If u do not care about WinXP's eye candy and is quite desperate for performance or RAM, then I recommend that u "Disable" this service.
Uninterruptible Power Supply:
Even though I have a UPS, it's not connected on my comp, so there's really no need for me to enable this feature. But if u do, then leave it a its default setting.
Upload Manager:
This will enable MS to detect ur current driver for ur devices and check whether or not they have newer and/or available drivers for ur system (when updating using MS Update). I do not dl drivers inside MS update since most of them are outdated. I recommend that u "Disable" this feature and search for newer drivers manually via ur hardware's respective websites.
Said to be used by some MS Software's features to function. I myself have no idea what MS software 'requires' this service so I have set mine to "Manual" juz to prevent the service from running automatically.
Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)
Used by image devices such as digicams, webcams, scanners etc. If the service loads up automatically on ur system and u don't have any of the devices I mentioned, u can try and set it to "Manual" to prevent the service from loading. I don't recommend disabling it though to prevent future probs when upgrading.
Windows Time:
I recommend "Disabling" this option unless u want to synchronise ur time with MS's clock server.
Wireless Zero Configuration:
If u do not have any wireless network devices, "Disable" this option.
Yet another networking service that stand-alone systems can live without.
*Whew! Now u probably know why WinXP's OS itself eats so much RAM / resources huh? ahehe!

=Registry Hacks=
Go to Start > Run > Type in: "regedit" (w/o the quotation marks).
Go to > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\
Search for a "WaitToKillServiceTimeout" on the right hand pane and give it a value of 3000 or lower by double-clicking on it.
Go to > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityControl\
Right click on the right hand pane and create a new DWORD value and give it a name of "IRQxPriority" (w/o the quotation marks and X is the IRQ number). The recommended value of "x" is ur CMOS/Realtime Clock's IRQ number (w/c can be found inside the device manager ... and is usually "8"). Double click on it and give it a value of "1".
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\
Double click on "EnablePreFetcher". The default value of 3 means that windows has enabled pre-fetch for both "boot-up" and "applications". A setting of 1 enables "application" only pre-fetch parameters, while 2 is only for "boot-up". Its been said that enabling application pre-fetch (1 or 3) decreases performance on system's with only 256mb RAM. And I myself believe that there's truth to that assumption b'coz with my system, setting the prefetch value to "2" (boot-up only) made my system not only boot-up (slightly) faster, but also removed the 5-10sec lag after boot-up (where i can't press any icon after my start-up prog loads). If you only have 128mb or lower RAM, you can try setting this one at "0" (both pre-fetch for boot-up and apps disabled) and see if there's any performance increase. Try different settings out since results varies per system.
*Take note that u need to reboot at least 3-5 times before u can actually feel/see the diff in performance.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\
Double click on SecondLevelDataCache on the right hand pane. Then select "decimal" ... and enter whatever ur L2 cache value is (eg. 256 for 256kb etc). This will help WinXP to properly determine the amount of L2 cache that ur processor have.
On the same key and pane, double click on "LargeSystemCache" and give it a value of one. This will improve system performance by allowing XP Kernel to run on memory. But only recommended if u have AT LEAST 256mb memory. If one of ur memory hungry progs performance degrades after applying this hack. Just revert back to the default setting of zero.
**There are more reg hacks that can be done with WinXP but Cacheman can simplify the hacking for u. Proceed to my previous WinXP guide (Dual Boot Win98/XP section) and from there, check out my Cacheman tweaking guide.
Bootvis is a small program that re-arranges ur boot-up files (drivers and start-up programs) so that ur WinXP will load a bit faster (at least 2sec faster). You can download the file here:
The instructions is very easy to follow. The only reason I posted it here on my advanced WinXP guide is b'coz there are reports (although very few in number) that this tweak/prog slowed down their boot-up time. So I cannot give u any guarantee that this program will do what it's supposed to. I have already tried this one myself, although it does decrease boot-up time by a couple of seconds ... after a couple of reboots, my boot-up time went back to its old boot-up speed/time. So again ... pls ... TWEAK AT UR OWN RISK!
Open the program and on the main menu go to: File > New > Next Boot + Drivers Trace. Then wait for the program to reboot ur system or hit the "Reboot Now" button.
After reboot, WAIT for the program to load (I recommend that u do not touch anything while the program is loading). When it is loaded go to the main menu: Trace > Optimize System. Then get ready for another reboot.
After the 2nd reboot simply wait again for the program to load, when it is loaded it will automatically re-arrange ur files for faster boot-up. When the window disappears it means that Bootvis is finished optimizing ur system.
**If u receive an error while Bootvis is optimizing ur system, make sure that "Task Scheduler" is currently NOT stopped. B'coz this prog requires that in order to function properly.
Last Updated: 060904


***I will not be held responsible to any damage this tweaking guide might cause your system.

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