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Tweaking Windows XP Part 2

By: Gavin Ballard | Guides | Posted: Jan 3, 2002 5:00 am

Tweak #3 - Shutdown on speed


By altering a few registry settings, you can dramatically decrease the amount of time it takes for Windows to shut down. To do this, first open up the registry editor and navigate to


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\


Once there, find the value HungAppTimeout and make sure it is set to 5000 (that's the default). Now, in the same folder, look for the value WaitToKillAppTimeout. Set this to 4000 (the default is 20000).





Lastly, navigate to the folder




and change the value WaitToKillServiceTimeout to 4000 as well. Another thing that helps speeding up shutting down is going to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services and then setting the NVidia Driver Help service to Manual.


Tweak #4 - Setting DMA Mode on IDE Drives


For some reason, Windows XP sometimes sets itself to use a PIO transfer mode on IDE channels instead of the DMA mode. If this is the case, you can manually set the IDE channel to DMA mode, which will reduce the amount of CPU cycles being used on that device. To set this, go to Device Manager (press Windows-Break, or right click 'My Computer' -> Properties, then go to the Hardware tab, then finally click 'Device Manager'), then open up the branch labelled 'IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers'. Now, double click on 'Primary IDE Channel' and go to Advanced Settings.





and check the Transfer Mode scroll boxes. Set them all to DMA If Available, then click OK. Continue to do this for each IDE Controller, and you should be right.


Tweak #5 - Brief Network Fix


This isn't really a 'tweak' per se, but more of a fix. I had this problem when I first installed XP, though, and it can be incredibly annoying. Basically, in another of XP's weird quirks, it sometimes disallows network access to people, including the Guest account, meaning that most people cannot connect to your computer and access your shares, etc. To fix up this problem, open the Control Panel, go to Administrative Tools, and open up Local Security Settings. Now go to Local Polices -> User Rights Assignments.





Now find the value called 'Deny access to this computer from the network'. Right click on it and go Properties. Now, if the Guest account is in here, remove it by clicking it once then going to remove, then close down the properties dialog. While you're in the User Right Assignments dialog, check the 'Access this computer from the network' setting, and make sure 'Everyone' is in there.





If you were having trouble trying to access computers over a network, hopefully these few adjustments will help.


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