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Thread: Windows XP Tweaking Guide




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Default Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    Hey all, i put a comprehensive Tweaking guide for a few games, windows XP and more up at:
    http://www.tweaksrus.com/index.php?o...d=46&Itemid=41
    (download section of TweaksRUs)
    so go check it out, its called Stikesis XP Tweak Guide.
    (Feedback appreciated - suggestions, comments.....)
    Enjoy!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    The page you are trying to access does not exist.
    Please select a page from the main menu.
    Cameron "Mr.Tweak" Wilmot
    Managing Director
    Tweak Town Pty Ltd

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    Cameron "Mr.Tweak" Wilmot
    Managing Director
    Tweak Town Pty Ltd

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    whoops sorry bout the bad link, but have u checked out the doc, what do u think? have u checked out the nVidia drivers there 2?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    I use these Windows guides
    http://www.tweakguides.com/XPTC.html
    http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm


    Sorry but yours is nowhere neasr as good :(

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    :(

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    I just skimmed through your guide, but here are some things I saw wrong:

    AlwaysUnloadDLL

    This tweak does nothing for the end user. Windows trys to use all your RAM to help performance. Things that are loaded into RAM ar the non-paged area and the page pool. Any RAM that is not being used will be used to cache further files. Since Windows trys to use all RAM available it will retain code from previosuly opened applications in RAM just in case they are ever needed. If another use comes along then it can be page to its original file (not pagefile). So appliying this registry tweak will only increase the time taken if an application is needed again.

    So in reality this tweak does nothing to help performance. If physical memory is needed for another operation then this dll will be paged to disk.

    IRQ Priority

    This tweak does absolutely nothing at all. Windows does not even look at this key wether it is there or not. It is no where in the source code at all.

    You could even look at the name "IRQ8Priority" in "strings" output
    from the OS binaries and it won't exist.

    On most HALs the OS doen't use th timer wired to IRQ8 in the first place either.

    This tweak may have been referenced in some older versions of Window, but it is definitely not in any OS since NT4.

    DisablePagingExecutive

    Again does nothing for the end user. I explained how Windows managed memory above. It also only works on ntoskrnl.exe, not drivers. ntoskrnl.exe will hardly ever be paged to disk anyway. It is almost always in use and the only time it would be paged to disk is if you are under an extremely heavy load. IF this happens you most likely will be on your way to a crash anyway. ntoskrnl.exe is also only a few MB in size anyway so it will tend to stay in RAM anyway.

    Disable Services

    Does nothing. Services are processes that run in the background and wait for system calls to act. NOt all of them will use CPU or memory recources. Most services will just load .dlls that wait in system memory and some don't use up any RAM and will remain on disk and be paged into memory if needed. This may sound bad, but these .dlls are only a few kilobytes in size. Also each process only uses the CPU when it is supposed to use it. Just because it says it is running in services.msc does not mean it is using up any CPU cycles or memory

    So the fact of the matter is a service will not use any system recources unless the service is directly in use.

    Also blackviper's site (don't know if its in your guide) is crap. It has alot of false information and bad advice. Also his idea behind disabling services is that it will increase performance by not taking up as much system recources.

    I myself do disable some services, but this is not for performance reasons . They are just annoyances such as Security Center.

    Many sites also want you to believe that running some services are a security risk. This is complete BS. Someone would of have already hacked in to your PC to use a service as a means of attack.

    Another thing is that I have fixed a few PC's where the user was following blackvipers stupid advice by disabling services and then lost funcionality of something. This is because blackvipers site fails to mention quite a few things about many services.

    I only skimmed through your guide and I probally missed alot of mistakes. Do yourself a favor and don't make a tweaking guide. Especially if you have no idea what the tweaks do. There are literally thousands of tweaking guides out there and all are equally worthless and give out misinformation and bad advice. Don't get me wrong some do give good advice such as security related things, but most of it is just completely incorrect. All tweaking guides I have seen have been done by people who are just regurgitating what someone else told them. All you are doing by putting up a tweak guide is adding to the misinformation. Any tweaking site you read most likely is filled with false information.

    Xp is baically tweaked out of the box. There are some things that can be done to improve performance especially on older machine such as turning off eye candy. IT will me marginally faster becuase it's a simpler interface with less to do, but this is more user preference. It is like saying "to tweak linux turn off X." Getting rid of background applications through msconfig would help too as they use system recources, but that is about it. The onyl tweaking that really needs to be done would depend on your needs. For example I absoluetely hate the Security Center so I disable the service. Does this increase performance? NO, but I find it annoying. Other things that would affect performance are viruses and spyware so security should be covered in depth. Also keeping Windows up to date.

    If you read a tweaking guide don't believe everything it says. These are probally the most things I see in tweak guides that do nothing or is just bad advice. So ignore anyo9ne who tells you to do the following:

    DisablePagingExecutive
    LargeSystemCache
    IoPageLockLimit
    IRQanythingPriority
    SecondLevelDataCache
    AlwaysUnloadDlls
    QoS
    adjust pagefile

    IoPageLockLimit is completely ignored by the OS since Win2K SP1 yet I still see it in tweak guides. The pagefile is also a big subject in tweaking guides and probally has the most false information. So basically anything you hear on the net is probally false when it comes to the pagefile.
    Last edited by KoolDrew; 03-06-2005 at 02:47 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    For the most part, I'll agree with that. However, if you know what you're doing (which about 99.99% of people don't), service tweaks can be very benefitial. To get any real benefit, though, you will end up disabling functionality. Certain services can significantly reduce performance on there own (Indexing Service, some of the excess networking and security services), but for the most part a system will need to be very barebones for the service tweaks to accomplish anything. If you disable a lot of services, you'll see decreased boot time, but that's about it. I do agree that both Blackviper's guide and Persian Immortals first guide are crap in the services section because they cause a tremendous amount of problems for people who don't know what they're doing. I'd say, until you're positive of what each service does and what you need each one for, don't mess with services.

    There are some, slight security issues with certain services, but they are exaggerated. Remote Desktop Help Manager, or Remote assistance in general, can be a security issue. The same applies with Remote Registry. Messenger service can also be a method for spam and adware to irritate you if you have no firewall. The thing with all three services is that few people ever use them, so they might as well be disabled.

    As for the paging file, there is a lot of misinformation. The biggest thing is that having a smaller one helps. This is the opposite is the truth if anything. For best stability and possible performance improvement, a paging file that is large and set is best, but anything that isn't restrictive will do.

    There are some other things that can be very beneficial mentioned in certain guides (actually, just PIs first XP guide). Bootvis is extremely beneficial for decreased boot times, but you do have to use SP1 and not SP2. Unless you don't know what you're doing as far as security goes, that's fine, but I'd say someone with no hardware firewall and/or little knowledge of virus removal and secuirty in general should stick with SP2.

    I will agree with you that most, if not all, registry tweaks are just pointless, including the ones in PIs first guide. The ones that actually do something are often next to useless, and the rest, well, don't do anything (such as IRQ prioty and Always Unload DLL).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    KoolDrew, ill agree with everything u say except:
    LargeSystemCache
    IoPageLockLimit
    adjust pagefile
    as depending on ur system they can help if the default settings arent optimal.
    Secondly, services DO help performance as they're disabled from automatically loading on startup and they CAN help security.
    but for the other registry tweaks, they can still be used for Windows9x which is probably why i inculded them, because it was a compilation of all of my tweaks.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    Hi guys, long time no speak here for me :)

    I've received an email referring me to this thread, and asking me to "defend my guide"...well I don't think that's necessary. People are free to use my XPTC if they wish, or any portion of it as they see fit.

    However I do want to share my opinions here given Kooldrew and Yawgmoth have devoted some time in giving detailed responses.

    Basically, I will agree that the AlwaysUnloadDLL, IRQPriority etc. tweaks are probably inoperable. I've read more and more recently from various reputable people that these commands do nothing at all in XP SP2. However - I have left them in my Windows XP Tweaking Companion for two simple (and selfish) reasons: Firstly, they do no harm whatsoever. If you enable these tweaks, your system will not suffer one bit. Secondly, and equally as important, many people expect to see these tweaks in a tweak guide, and will email you to death if you don't include them. You can even try arguing with them that they may or may not do anything, and they will shoot you down. So I found it simpler just to leave them in, noting that they may not do anything. I can't see the harm really, and out of 166 pages of information in my XPTC, they take up less than 3 pages in total.

    Now, as for services, I disagree with what's been said here. Services do not necessarily use up large amounts of CPU cycles. They do however take up a fair bit of RAM. On my system, disabling unnecessary services - and remember, some of these are non-microsoft services such as the ATI Catalyst services, Nortons services, etc. - has taken my startup memory usage from 220MB down to 115MB. The amount of RAM used is actually not the best reason to remove unnecessary services and startup items. The main reason, which is always not mentioned in other guides, is to reduce the potential for memory conflicts. Many, many people write to me saying they are experiencing memory errors in Half Life 2, UT2004, America's Army etc. (e.g. General Protection Faults). By reducing background DLLs in memory and the associated tweaks in my guide, you exponentially decrease the potential for memory-based read/write errors. That's essentially what a GPF is for example. I know this purely from experience, and all I can say is "trust me" :)

    I also note that in my guide, the advice about the paging file is my personal recommendation. I provide the "authoritative" references at the start of that section of the XPTC, but then I proceed to provide what works best for me, and the many systems I've tweaked.

    In the end, all tweak guides bar none are subjective advice. XP is definitely not totally optimized "out of the box", I'm sorry to say. It runs well, but you can always customize it to suit your machine much better. My advice to anyone reading this would be to check out as many guides as you can, and perhaps be ready for some trial and error to see what works for you. Note that so far my XPTC has been read by literally tens of thousands of people, and I've had hundreds of positive emails, and 3 (yes 3) negative emails. So I feel confident that the advice I give is not harmful or bad :)

    Strikesis - If you're interested in writing tweak guides, keep going with it mate. Take aboard the feedback and keep refining and researching your guides, and don't worry about those who tell you not to bother.

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