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Thread: WinXP Tweaking Guides




  1. #1
    Join Date
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    I've written two comprehensive and fully up-to-date tweaking guides for Windows XP.

    The first contains all the major performance tweaks for WinXP and is written in a "walkthrough" style. It's called WinXP Tweaking: From Reformat to Relax. Give it a try, I guarantee you'll see an improvement on your machine.

    The second guide is called WinXP Tweaking: From Relax to Righteous and covers a lot of the extras in XP. From cosmetic fixes through to troubleshooting error messages - there are too many to go through here, but believe me there should be something in there for everyone!

    Let me know what you think - constructive feedback welcome!

  2. #2
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    really nice guide, detailed and yet easy to follow, good job!

  3. #3
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    Thanks :)

    Don't be afraid to poke holes in it though. I did a lot of searching around to research and back up what I wrote, but if you find an inaccuracy please let me know so I can fix it.

  4. #4
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    aite, lets scrutinize

    page 3

    inactive icons, should be on, easier for refresh and looks better too

    the common tabs isn't that bad, i would recommend keeping it on, easy navigation

    "Launch folder windows in a separate process" for improved performance. - should turn it on, just incase the folder crashes, it doesn't take explorer.exe along with it..even though it takes more memory, its worth it

    page 4

    indexing is acutally pretty nice when you have like 100k files and you want to find something really quick =P

    a good rule of thumb is to defrag every 2 days =)

    rd drive optimisation is covered in the System section. Change CD/DVD/CDRW settings to taste. - typo, optimization

    the recycle bin part should be set to around 2%, doesn't "waste" extra space

    page 5

    wallpapers don't actually hurt that much and they also give a personal feel to your desktop

    appearance
    should turn on clear type atleast and then goto system->advanced->performance settings->untick everything but [mouse shadow, smooth fonts, smooth scroll, common tasks, visual styles and buttons]

    page 6

    translucent actually slows your selecting down a bit with older video cards

    virtual memory should be set to when [64p - 512v] [128p - 512v] [256p - 256v] [384p - 256v] [512p+ - 128v] 1.5 times is too much

    i used to think that system restore was useless but now after having the necessity of using it a couple of times, i feel that there is a need to use it even for hardcore tweakers

    page 7

    should keep system restore service on =)

    page 11

    tweakui is actually pretty useful and should have been included within the main portion of the guide

    thats about it, rest is pretty good

  5. #5
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    Alrighty let's see what my comebacks are :)

    I recommend not hiding inactive icons because a lot of people don't know what's in their systray (and hence loaded at bootup) and these can conflict with games/etc as well as take up performance. Best to see what's loading into your systray.

    Launching folders in separate process is a resource drain and I've never had explorer.exe crash on me when a window's frozen. XP is good with isolating that sort of stuff.

    Indexing takes up a large amount of resources and disk space just to speed up a function (searching) which a lot of people don't use all that often.

    Defrag at least once a week, but yes more often is probably better.

    Optimisation/optimization - it was a struggle between me and Word on this one...sometimes I'd win, sometimes word would win :)

    Recycle Bin can be set to whatever - it doesn't "pre-mark" the space. Better to have it at say 10% in case you delete some large files and want them back straight away. Depends on drive size too. 10% of 120GB is huge, while 2% of 12GB is too small.

    I didn't recommend turning off wallpapers. I've got one myself. Just suggested that large ones take up memory (like 2MB bitmap wallpapers). Turn it off or use a smaller file size for better memory usage.

    I don't like cleartype at all - never seen the benefit of it unless you have an LCD screen.

    You're probably right about translucent rectangle - I'll edit the guide to remove it.

    Virtual memory needs to be bigger. At least 1.5 times RAM, more if you have less RAM. At lot of game crashes to desktop are actually virtual memory related - the system has had problems resizing the pagefile or if it's fixed and too small - the game crashes trying to rapidly swap info back and forth between RAM and pagefile.

    System Restore is based on your confidence. I've never once had to use it (or regretted not having it on). It takes up a massive amount of disk space, especially with lots of restore points.

    Tweak guides are hard because a lot of so-called tweaks are actually based on taste (like the indexing one you mentioned). I've tried to get the balance between visual quality and performance right in this one, so thanks for your feedback.

  6. #6
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    Like you said, a lot of it really boils down to personal taste. But in general, it's a nice guide. Well done. :thumb:

  7. #7
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    hmmm, refute =)

    inactive icons can be seen by pressing that little arrow =)

    acutally, it doesn't drain that many resources, just about 15 mbs of memory.lol and it does help, or has helped me in the past

    searching is actually pretty useful but ya i guess with people and their 100 gb hds is does waste a lot of space..hehe

    defrag intervals should depend on the amount of software you download/install/uninstall, i mean if you never add/change anything, there really isn't a need

    ahh, screw the recycle bin..haha

    acutally, the only reason you have 2mb wallpapers are because of bmps, so just use the 1mb jpgs =P

    you should try cleartype, helps considerably

    i want to know one game that has crashed because of virtual memory on my 512p + 128v setup =), there isn't really one since they all use about 100-200mbs of physical which is enough, unless your bootup takes like 300mbs..

    system restore doesn't take that much when you try beta microsoft software that you can't uninstall and only go back to a restore point..aka wmp9 =)

    yup, your tweak guide is still pretty good cause now you don't have to go through like 50 pages of tweak guides on like 10 different sites..good job

  8. #8
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    you don't have to go through like 50 pages of tweak guides on like 10 different sites..good job
    And not only that, but I hope that as new tweaks are discovered through new benchmark software and new Tweak programs, that you will add them in, and then whenever you add them, put a little note in bold as to when they were added. For example...

    :Insert generic new tweak here: (Added 7-28-02)
    "In their capacity as a tool, computers will be but a ripple on the surface of our culture. In their capacity as intellectual challenge, they are without precedent in the cultural history of mankind." - Edsger Dijkstra

  9. #9
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    Thanks guys. That was the whole point of this guide, to bring together all the major tweaks in one place. Basically I last reformatted a few months ago and I remember it was a huge pain just going through all the settings in XP and remembering what the optimal settings were. Then searching the internet to find all the main performance tweaks in Regedit and the like.

    What's even worse is that in putting together this guide I found some of the tweaks in other guides are actually wrong, or not explained correctly, so I made sure this one has only working tweaks in it.

    And yes, the plan is to update this guide with major tweaks as they come along. I've already added in the solution to the Outlook Express "loading slowdown" if you disable MSN Messenger in the Regedit section due to popular demand.

    More will follow - probably when SP1 is released :)

  10. #10
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    Good work. Most seems to work well. It easier than finding out by hit or miss experimentation.

    :cool:

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