To access: Start>Run>MSConfig or search for and run msconfig.exe
Initially set to Normal Startup, if you make any changes to the items under Services or Startup, this may show Selective Startup. If you're having system problems, use the Diagnostic Startup.
Leave at default settings.
Leave at default settings.
Untick all the options under Boot Options, as well as those under Advanced Options. The timeout setting should be set to 0 seconds for fastest bootup. It can't be set below 3 seconds in MSConfig, so see the System section for details on how to edit it to equal 0.
Select "Hide All Microsoft Services" and then untick all the resulting services that are displayed. You shouldn't need any of these unless you're certain that you do. You can always re-enable them should one of your devices not function properly. It is not recommended that you disable services in this way however, so see the Services section below for more details.
Shows all the programs which load into system memory upon booting your system. Some of these programs can be found in your Start>All Programs>Startup folder, some will display in the Systray unless you've chosen "Hide Inactive Icons" (See Taskbar and Start Menu above), some are there by stealth. In truth you don't need any of these. WinXP can start and operate 100% without any startup items. For a full list of common startup items and what they do, see this guide or this one. Untick as many of these items as possible. Ideally you should check the options/preferences in each program to make sure they aren't loading at startup, and for those which don't have an option to remove themselves from startup, use the Registry Editor to remove them - see Registry Editor section for details. Programs which load at startup take up memory and often cause conflicts while running in the background, especially virus scanners.
To access: Start>Run>services.msc or Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Services
To save space here I've only listed the services I recommend to be set as Disabled or Automatic. The remaining Microsoft Services not listed below should be set to Manual. If unsure, set a service to Manual rather than Automatic or Disable. The settings recommended here are safe for almost all systems, allowing all the common WinXP functions to work. Make sure to read the BlackViper Services Guide to find out more and better customize services to suit your system setup.
IMPORTANT UPDATE - These service recommendations may no longer be valid if you are using WindowsXP SP2. Please refer to BlackViper's Services Guide for updated recommendations. Using the recommendations below may result in problems with various games and applications in Windows.
Plug and Play
Remote Access Connection Manager
Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
Security Accounts Manager
Shell Hardware Detection
System Event Notification
Windows Management Instrumentation
Automatic Updates (manually update regularly using Windows Update)
Error Reporting Service
Fast User Switching Compatibility
Help and Support
Human Device Interface Access
IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service
NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
Network DDE DSM
Performance Logs and Alerts
Portable Media Serial Number
Print Spooler (Set to Automatic if you have a printer)
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager
Routing and Remote Access
Smart Card Helper
TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
Uninterruptible Power Supply
Volume Shadow Copy
Wireless Zero Configuration
WMI Performance Adapter
Remember, the Microsoft services not listed above should be set to Manual. Once again, if you have any doubts or questions about what each service does, make sure you read the BlackViper Services Guide for more information.
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- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 1 [Introduction]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 2 [Before We Begin & Benchmarking]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 3 [Logon, Taskbar and Folders]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 4 [Hard drive & Recycler]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 5 [Display & Audio]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 6 [System]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 7 [MSConfig & Services]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 8 [Group Policy]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 9 [Registry Editor]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 10 [Further Optimization]
- WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - Page 11 [Maintenance & Conclusion]
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