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WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax - MSConfig & Services

You've just reformatted your hard drive and are installing Windows XP. You may be new to XP, or you may be a veteran and system slowdowns, instability or problems have lead you to reinstall. Now comes the installation of all the applications and games. Then all the drivers. Finally, there's the dreaded job of going through all the settings and tweaks all over again to optimise your system. Welcome to what we are certain is the most comprehensive collection of tweaks collected and published on the Internet today in this walkthrough style tweaking guide for Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, do not miss what Koroush "PersianImmortal" Ghazi has served up for us!

| Guides | Posted: Jul 26, 2002 4:00 am

MSConfig

 

To access: Start>Run>MSConfig or search for and run msconfig.exe

 

 

General

 

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.

 

System.ini

 

Leave at default settings.

 

Win.ini

 

Leave at default settings.

 

Boot.ini

 

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.

 

Services

 

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.

 

Startup

 

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.

 

Services

 

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.

 

Automatic:

 

Cryptographic Services

 

DHCP Client

 

DNS Client

 

Event Log

 

Plug and Play

 

Protected Storage

 

Remote Access Connection Manager

 

Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

 

Security Accounts Manager

 

Shell Hardware Detection

 

System Event Notification

 

Task Scheduler

 

Telephony

 

Themes

 

Windows Audio

 

Windows Management Instrumentation

 

Windows Time

 

Disable:

 

Alerter

 

Automatic Updates (manually update regularly using Windows Update)

 

Clipbook

 

Error Reporting Service

 

Fast User Switching Compatibility

 

Help and Support

 

Human Device Interface Access

 

IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service

 

Indexing Service

 

IPSEC Services

 

Messenger

 

NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing

 

Network DDE

 

Network DDE DSM

 

Performance Logs and Alerts

 

Portable Media Serial Number

 

Print Spooler (Set to Automatic if you have a printer)

 

QoS RSVP

 

Remote Desktop Help Session Manager

 

Remote Registry

 

Routing and Remote Access

 

Secondary Logon

 

Smart Card

 

Smart Card Helper

 

TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

 

Telnet

 

Terminal Services

 

Uninterruptible Power Supply

 

Upload Manager

 

Volume Shadow Copy

 

WebClient

 

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.

 

How much to upgrade to x64 Edition?

 

Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (ZAT00008) for PC

 

Further Reading: Read and find more Guides content at our Guides reviews, guides and articles index page.

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