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Windows Tweaks

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Moderator #666
Nov 13, 2001
Windows Tweaks

UPDATED: 9/7/2005 by WarriorII

My Disclaimer:
I tried to verify all web links & update them as needed, one or two sites need
more navigation than I could provide in a link to you here.

Some listings of various websites
that are frequented & recommended for Tweaking Windows:

DISCLAIMER: Use at your own risk. ;)

Use of these programs may be hazardious
to your beloveds pc, or make yours faster. :D

- Various FREE DL's at these sites.

http://www.speedguide.net - TcpOptimizer - great tool

http://www.dslreports.com -tweaks & line speed testing - java required













I'm sure there is more that I missed, just drop a PM to a MOD & we'll see it gets added.


Special thanks to Moderator Shadow00 for originally posting this.
Last edited by a moderator:


Moderator #666
Nov 13, 2001
In no particular order:_____

Submitted by Breadfan:

Clean up your taskbar:

In regedit:
[hkey_local_machine][SOFTWARE][Microsoft][Windows][Current Version]

And then go to:
[Run Once]
[Run Services]

Find the stuff you don't need and/or want in the taskbar and remove 'em

Restart and enjoy uncluttered taskbar goodness

Submitted by Turd:

Very good compressive securing your system guide (basic)



Submitted by SpeedFreak:

Would you like to very easily improve your download speeds?
On my last job I did some installations for SpeedChoice (.com) and one of the very easy
registry entries that we used to do is:


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\VxD\MSTCP]

By default the MSTCP Receive socket size is 4K up it to the max of 48K.
This means you'll receive 1/10th of the packets. Therefore more of the data contained in
the packets are usable and not filled with TCP header and footer information.

This is tested with Win95/98/Me if you have an NT Kernel I don't know where to enter this.


Submitted by Emericana:

The most important tool for any hardcore windows editor is resource hacker.
It can be gotten from download.com . This tool allows you to view the contents of the .exe files that
make up a winnt based os. Through this program, you can make your own logon screen
(by editing logonui.exe), your own bootscreen (by editing ntoskrnl.exe), and change the
startbutton text (by editing explorer.exe). You can also change EVERYTHING in
the windows xp "Luna" theme by editing the .msstyles file (located in c:\windows\resources\themes).
Here is some more good stuff.


Submitted by ToastGodSupreme:

Regarding Win2k (possibly XP too) and the swapfile. I hear that with a smaller swap file (500Mb),
The computer will start hitting it sooner than a computer with a larger swap file (1Gb).
I have not tested this yet as my monitor on my main rig is fried and I'm waiting for a new one to be shipped.
But with how large today's hard drives are, don't you think you could spare 500Mb from your main and second
drive each to make for a performance increase? Oh yeah, split the swap file up across the hard drives.

Services are a good source of tweakage. Learn what each of them does. Learn how they affect the computer.
Even if you don't intend on tweaking them, just know to know. Very useful later on.

Turn off disk performance counters.

Remove the scheduled tasks entry from the registry. Apparently it speeds up browsing of other computers.

In the Memory Management key in the registry, turn on ConservativeSwapFile, and also LargeSystemCache
(for systems with more than 256Mb of ram. Those with only 256Mb this is not recommended).
(Not for those with only 256mb memory)

O&O Defrag. Win2k/XP has stripped down version of it installed by default.
I suggest getting a copy and using it.
1% system fragmentation is a beautiful thing.

For you NVIDIA kids, jump into the display properties, and into NVIDIA's control panel area.
Tweak out your vid card. I used to use NVMAX but lately anything I want it to do I can just as
easily do from the NVIDIA control panel.


Submitted by Maestro:

Shutdown Shortcut:

Now its time for the good'ol ever popular shutdown shortcut trick used widely in windows 98.
But the same c:\windows\rundll.exe user.exe, exit windows trick doesn't work in Windows XP anymore.
Well everything is same just a little change in file execution and its mode of execution.

Right click on an empty space on the desktop and select New > Shortcut

In the command line box type that following:

[For shutdown]
C:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe -s -t 00

[For restart]
C:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe -r -t 00


Anudder by Maestro:

Increasing options in add/remove programs:

Not a fan of MSN Messenger? Don’t want Windows Media Player on your system? Fair enough,
but if you go to Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel, by default none of Windows XP's 'built in'
programs are visible. it's fairly easy to change, though... just open the file X:\Windows\inf\sysoc.inf
(where X: is the drive letter where Windows XP is installed) in Notepad. You should see a section of the
file something like this:

IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2
fp_extensions=fp40ext.dll,FrontPage4Extensions,fp4 0ext.inf,,7

This is a list of all components installed at the moment. I've taken the example of MSN Messenger
- The program entry called 'msmsgs', third-last line. You can see the word 'hide' highlighted
- This is the string which tells Windows not to display the component in the Add/Remove Programs list.
Fix this up by simply deleting the word 'hide' like so:


To this:


Now, after restarting, you should be able to see MSN Messenger in the Add/Remove Programs list.
If you want to be able to quickly view and remove all components, simply open the sysoc.inf file
and do a global find and replace for the word ",hide" and replace it with a single comma ",".


Submitted by up2Tim:

If you like TweakUI then you will really like Xsetup, which has a lot more stuff. You can find
it here at http://www.xteq.com/ .


Submitted by Drunkmonkey:

The best kept secret in desktop organization:
1: Make a folder in mydocuments called desktop
2: Put that folder on your active desktop
3: Now you have a nice, sortable, scrollable, and customizable window to put those millions of icons in.
It's also drag-n-drop.


Submitted by el:

More keyboard stuff.



A Ton, Submitted by ShadowOO & friends.

Shift Right click any file in 9x to get the "open with" option.

Shift delete completely removes a file instead of moving it to the recycle bin.

Alt F4 closes annoying pop up banners (of course it will also close any other
open window if you hit it too many times)

Ctrl + X will cut text

Ctrl + C will copy text

Ctrl + V will paste text

Have several windows open? Try Alt + Tab to switch between them.

Ctrl + Esc will bring up the start menu

Windows key + E will bring up Explorer

Windows key + D will minimize all windows

windows key + f will bring up the windows search window. (or F3)

shift + right click adds some choices to the menu like run as. (Win 2k) (thanks kendan!)

Type overclockers in the address bar of IE then hold down the ctrl key and hit enter.
This will enter the www. and the .com. (thanks kendan!)

Ctrl + D will automatically make a page you are viewing your home page for your browser...
..as well as dragging the lil blue E in the address to your home button.

To get a screen shot, press the Print Scrn button, then open Paint (or a similar program),
Click edit, then paste. This will take a pic of everything (including tool bar) on your monitor.
If you want to take a pic of a specific window, hold down the alt key when you press Print Scrn.

Changing what it says in System Properties (right click my computer...select properties)

In NT/2K/XP go to start.....select run and type in Regedit.

Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion and
change RegisteredOrganization's value to whatever you like.

You can also change RegisteredOwner as well.

In 9x go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion and
change the same values.
Check this thread to also learn how to change the pic in that window.

XP moves the most used apps to a faster section of your hard drive.
But it only does it about once every 3 days. To move them "on call" to the fastest part,
go to run and type Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll, ProcessIdleTasks.

To speed XP boot times, go to www.microsoft.com/HWDEV/fastboot/ and download bootvis.
This will optimize slow loading drivers.

TWEAK UI!!! Can't say enough about how handy this utility is.

I also recommend Power Toys and many of the other tweaks.

Wanna uninstall Internet Explorer? 98lite.com has your utility. It's called IEradicator. (See Link above)

Why would you want to get rid of Internet Explorer? Well for one it's extremely bulky.
Unless you're pushing the heavy horsepower of today's modern processors, this may be a
major "bog" to your system. All those nifty features and flashy buttons, tend to add up
to a lot of extra garbage you'll probably never use. Opera is one alternative that comes
to mind which is a rather popular alternative to Internet Explorer.

Think Internet Explorer is heavy? You should see how well Windows runs w/o the bulk of Explorer.
Although there are a few alternatives, I've found Lite Step to be a favorite. Let me warn you though,
this is not for the average tweaker. Can take quiet some time to set up.

Got a bad CD/DVD that you can't read? CD/DVD Diagnostic may be able to help.

All 9x systems should be set up to run as a network server. I'm not positive why there even
is another option, but here's how to check yours.
Right click My Computer and select properties.
Under the Performance tab click File System. There's a drop down menu by the "Typical role of this computer"
which should say Network Server. If it doesn't, change it and be sure to click apply.

Ever End a task and have to wait 30 seconds for an End Now window to appear?

Start....Run....type in regedit.

Under HKEY_Current User\Control Panel\Desktop highlight desktop in the right window.
Now look for HungAppTimeout and double click that. Change the value to 3000 (3 seconds).

You'll also need to Right Click the right hand window and Create a new String Value
called WaitToKillAppTimeout (just like I typed it).
Double click your new string and set the value to 3000 as well.

Windows has a delay built in to the time it takes the start menu to actually display what you want it to.
To get rid of this delay and speed the start menu, go to Start...run...regedit.
Under HKEY_CURRENT USER\Control Panel\Desktop,
create a new string called MenuShowDelay. Set the value from 0-999 (milliseconds).

Swap file management. There's a thousand different opinions on what size your swap file should be,
but I'll try to get you started with a basic rule of thumb setting.
For 9x, right click My Computer and select Properties.
Under the Performance tab click Virtual Memory. Choose Let my specify my own virtual memory settings.
If you have 128 megs or less, it's a good idea to set the minimum to around 128 megs
(or double your memory size) and max to the same number.

If you have more than 128 (up to 512) you can probably get away with a swap file the same
size as the memory you have, and if you have 512 or more, you may consider running your
system with no virtual memory at all.

Change the settings and play with your system a bit. This is only a starting point
from which to begin tweaking, as everyone's needs are different.

You'll have to reboot after each change.

In the bios, disable video shadowing. It's old school. Nuff said. While you're at it,
also disable System bios cacheable, Video bios cacheable and video ram cacheable.
If your L1 and L2 cache aren't enabled, enable them.

If you have ECC enable, disable it.
Software is already set up to do it's own error correction, and this is just another
(however small) resource hog. This is NOT specific to ECC Memory...that's another story.

One of the essentials for OC'ing your Vid card.....PowerStrip.

Take control of the bloated Swap file in 9x by opening your SYSTEM.INI file and under the
header [386Enh] add the line ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1. While you're there, go to the [vcache] header
and create the line MaxFileCache=8192 and MenuFileCache=8192. These direct windows to only use 8 megs of
memory to cache the hard drive.

If you're running a VIA chipset, after a fresh OS install, the first thing you should
install are new 4 in 1 drivers.

I've seen really crazy problems w/o these drivers,
such as hard drives not being recognized or modems causing system reboots.

Want to know if your system will run XP? Get the compatibility checker.

Not so much a tweak, but finding and removing spyware from your computer can be rather important. Download AdAware.

In WinXP/2k, go start/run and type in "gpedit.msc" to be able to edit a ton of windows options.
Most useful for XP but there is still some good stuff there if you have 2000.

Also, if for whatever reason you want pure DOS in windows nt4/2k/xp ,
goto http://www.winternals.com/ and download NTFSDOS.
Very useful sometimes. (thanks Emericana!)

Thanks jbell, plague, & fearless !


Submitted by The Coolest:

Some info I found regarding RAM drives for those who want to set a RAM drive on boot.

(not for XP or 2K)

You have to check if you have the file "RAMDRIVE.SYS" (I didn't look for it in Win2k yet,
but it works in Win9x mode, if the sysdisk is compatible)

Open your Config.sys with notepad or other text editor and just add the next line
(better after the HIMEM.SYS load, if using boot disk) devicehigh=%pathforthefile%\RAMDRIVE.SYS /E sizein KBs

Devicehigh=C:\windows\command\ebd\ramdrive.sys /e 10240

This will create a 10MB RAM drive.

1MB = 1024KB = 1048576bytes


Submitted by SpeedFreak:

RAMDisk NT is a great product that allows you to break the 32 MB limit from previous
device drivers such as the RAMDRIVE provided from MS. The nice thing is that it allow
you to create the drive and format it as NTFS and apply security to the RAM Drive.
I have 1.2GB of RAM on my system and when I play a system intense gave I create a
640MB Ramdrive and copy the entire game cd to the RAM Drive and use fask cd drive to open it.
There is NO WAIT on ANY GAMES!

Allows up to a 4GB RAM Drive. Also, databases FLY. This is a great all purpose driver/application.

Give it a try it is shareware... and the price is cheap!


$25 for 9x and $35 for NT/2k (work fine on XP).


Submitted by Smizack:

You can get a shell replacement for XP at astonshell. They've got some other good stuff also.



Submitted by el:

Removing the MSN Messenger

If you want to remove the MSN Messenger from always starting in the system tray, do

Start / Run
Then enter in the following string: RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

from here http://www.onecomputerguy.com/windo...m#msn_messenger


And Anudder by el:

If you want to have the original NT style windows logon screen with XP,
Simply hold the Ctrl-Alt keys and press the delete key twice.

To make a permanent change so the logon screen is always like the traditional NT4/2000 style:

Go to the Control Panel
Open up User Accounts
Click Change the way users log on and off
Uncheck Use the Welcome screen
Click on Apply Options


While there are a lot of command line utilities in WindowsXP, here are some that I have been using lately.

bootcfg - Configures, queries, or changes Boot.ini file settings.

driverquery - Displays a list of all installed device drivers and their properties.

getmac - Returns the media access control (MAC) address and list of network protocols associated
with each address for all network cards in each computer

gpresult - Displays Group Policy settings and Resultant Set of Policy (RSOP) for a user or a computer

netsh - You can use commands in the Netsh Interface IP context to configure the TCP/IP protocol

schtasks - Schedules commands and programs to run periodically or at a specific time

systeminfo - Displays detailed configuration information about a computer and its operating system


Submitted by Shadowdr

Tired of reformatting and reinstalling windows? When things go bad like missing or corrupted
system files.system files over written(wrongly) by other software. Better than a system restore
because it doesn't use disc space. Better than a system repair because it is easier.

Use system file checker. Fairly well know in 98 environments it searches all system files and
replaces corrupted (or over written)files. Although 98's version would be hard to explain here
in detail you can go (http://helpdesk.wisc.edu/page.php?s=30&id=916) for complete instructions.

As for the nt environment (win 2000 and xp as far as I know)it exists as a command prompt.
This is a part of windows nt that is supposed to be done at system startup, however it uses the
windows cache which is already corrupt at that point and is really useless.

I am not sure why but this feature is wrongly documented as being only in win 98 by the link above
and as far as I could tell even by ms itself.

Anyway at command prompt type in sfc /scannow,sfc for system file checker /scannow
to scan immediately.

To find all the switches and language, click help, type in system file checker and click
on the subject. My mistake after farther research I found
(http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;222471) for 2000.and for xp
go (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;310747) .

Hope this helps someone avoid the dreaded reinstall.


Submitted by: Amedeo602:

Editing the "Send To" command on the context menu (aka right-click popup menu) in XP
(works in other OS's too, but you have to go to a different folder):

Go to your documents and settings folder, then click your username, then open the SendTo folder.
In here you can add shortcuts for folders, apps, etc.

Adding "Copy to folder..." and "Move to folder..." to the context menu: You can do it yourself
thru the registry or copy/paste this text into a *.reg file and merge it.

(backup registry first...not responsible for accidents!)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AllFilesystemO bjects\shellex]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AllFilesystemO bjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AllFilesystemO bjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Copy To]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AllFilesystemO bjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Move To]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AllFilesystemO bjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Send To]

(I got this somewhere on a tweak site...I think it was www.ntfs.org)


Submitted by White Star:

Windows tweak.

Windows is loud. At MIT whenever the network slows to a crawl, they all start looking for the [email protected]$$
who's transferring files via SMB. Windows doesn't have to be that loud. At least 2k and XP don't.
Here's what we do. The instructions may be a little different from XP. XPs Netsh.exe is distinctly
different from 2k, as somethings are added and some removed.

Go into cmd.exe
c:\>netsh dump >>whatever.txt
That'll give you your original pre-tweaked configuration. Always a useful step.
routing ip>dump
And then it will list off a whole bunch of need stuff. If you scroll back towards the top of the dump,
you'll notice this little line.

set filter name="Local Area Connection" fragcheck=disable

It's a packet defragger. Why it's disabled by default is beyond me. I haven't done a whole lot of
testing with it to see exactly how useful it is, however one thing I did note that it took my computer
about 17 packets to re-connect to a couple of network drives.
With the frag check enabled, it took about 6 packets.

So here's what we do.
routing ip>set filter name="Local Area Connection" fragcheck=enable
And you should be good to go.

I had a paper written about all sorts of different stuff you can do with netsh.exe. Where it went
off to, I don't know. I tried having someone post it on their web page but the guy said that it was
too confusing for his target audience. So I thought I'd just put this little tweak here to see if
it interests people. If it does, I'll try to find that paper again, or write it again, and take another
crack at getting it out on the internet.


Submitted by Shuruga2:

Here is another shutdown command I dug up (for xp) since
C:\windows\system32\shutdown.exe -s -t 00
Wasn’t working for me.

c:\windows\system32\taskkill /im pq.exe /t /f
Kills any running program. /t = thread tree (gets rid of all the child processes as well).
/f = forces the closure of the process. /im = specifies the process to kill.
pq.exe (progress quest) is an example of a program that ignores most normal 'kill' commands.

c:\windows\system32\tsshutdn 5 /powerdown
This is great for those whose computer doesn’t power down when they use shutdown. The 5 is the
delay in seconds (default is 60)


Submitted by mojhAle:

I've been doing a lot of tweaking to 2k pro, and it was really a pain. make sure you mention ResHacker.
Good utility. I also couldn't find anyone who knew how to change the start button icon.
I finally found it in system root/system32/user32.dll. Disabling file protection is a pain too.
It's not necessary if you change the registry to read new system files. ie: make a copy of explorer.exe
and name it explorer1.exe and edit the registry to read explorer1.exe instead. It would probably be a little
safer than disabling file protection as well.


Submitted by Fiz:

Win 9X can only use 512 megs of ram normally. I think if you run MSCONFIG there is an option in there
that will help you. Look for one called "Limit memory to XXX".

When you find it, slap your amount of ram in there, you should be all good.


Submitted by sourskittles:

To change the start button on the lower left corner go to http://www.kibria.de/frhed.html and
download frhed. Use it to open up explorer.exe found in the windows folder.

Look on the left and look for something that starts with "0412ad" It might be a little different
But it should start with "0412" after you find it look over to the left on the same row there should be
the word start separated by periods so something like this s.t.a.r.t.

Change the start to any five letter word you want and then click on file, save as,
And save it as explorer1.exe, make sure you type in the .exe too otherwise you might screw up your comp.
Once it is saved open regedit and look in the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, SOFTWARE, Microsoft, Windows NT, Current Version folders,

Then go to the winlogon subfolder and a list of values should appear in the right pane.

Right click on shell and change Explorer.exe to explorer1.exe save the changes and reboot.
This tweak only works with WinXP to my knowledge. And you might want to back up your explorer.exe
Just in case something goes wrong.


Submitted by cozmo_d:

This is an awesome Tweak page that will help you find Identify & disable those pesky/unwanted apps that
are running in the background of XP also tips for 98/me/2000/NT

Best dam link I’ve found in ages

NOTE: Navigate there from : http://www.answersthatwork.com/


Submitted by Mithrandir:

Every time you use IE4 or greater to visit a web site it makes one connection to download the html
code and another to download graphics.

Increasing the number of connections can make better use of your bandwidth and significantly boost
the speed at which pages appear in your browser. Naturally this tweak won't have any effect if the
site you're visiting is designed to block more then 2 connections.

Backup your registry then choose start, run, type in regedit and press <Enter> In the tree pane on
the left navigate to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings.
with Internet Settings selected on the left, look for an icon that's
labeled MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server and another labeled MaxConnectionsPerServer.

If you don't see them, right-click in the right pane and choose New > DWORD Value.
Type MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server and press <ENTER>, Right-click a second time and
create a DWORD value named MaxConnectionsPerServer. Now double click on MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server .

The default value is 4, but since you want to increase this, enter a larger value in the 'Value data'
box (use the decimal setting) say 8. (Some web sites recommend a value as high as 20 so feel free to experiment)

Now click okay , the double click MaxConnectionsPerServer and change the value to 4 (the default is 2) some
People have had it has high as 10.

Click ok and exit the registry. With luck your surfing will be noticeably faster.

and Anudder one:

Keep DLL Files Out of Cache Memory

Even though DLL (dynamic-Lynk library) files are crucial to system operation its not necessary
for WinXP to keep them close by in case they're needed. Despite the fact that DLL files consume cache memory that
could be spared for more important data WinXP does exactly that.

To change this behavior via the registry, browse to


With the Explorer key highlighted, create another key by clicking Edit, New and Key.

Type AlwaysUnloadDLL to name the key, press <ENTER>, double-click its default value, type 1 in
the Value Data field and click ok.

Close the Registry Editor and reboot your computer.

WinXP should now empty DLL files from Cache memory when it finishes using them.


Submitted by tseongsun:

For WinXP:

One thing people haven't mentioned is that when you use the SystemRestore option it really fragments
up your hdd. I use Norton Systemworks and it told me that the most fragmented files were all system restore files.

The way to fix this is to turn off system restore on your C drive to clear out that folder, then turn
it back on and make a new restore point (just in case). My HDD went from 23% fragmented to 2%.

Also, it's pretty much a waste of space to have system restore on any drive other than your system drive.


Submitted by HvH:

Good link to XP tweaks: http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm


Submitted by sQUIRLY:

Tired of windows cdrom autoplay? Just hold shift after insertion and presto, nothing. :)


Submitted by redduc900:

Granted, it's easy enough to add a link to the Microsoft Knowledge Base (MSKB) directly to
your Favorites or Links folders...but if you'd like to add an IE toolbar button
which opens a new browser window directly to the MSKB,

copy and paste the following into Notepad, and save it with a *.reg extension.

You can then merge the saved file into the Registry
by right clicking and selecting "Merge", or just by double-clicking it.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Extensions\{8b2d996f-b7d1-4961-a929-414d9cf5ba7b}]
"Default Visible"="Yes"

NOTE: - Open IE | Tools | Internet Options | "Advanced" tab | Check to make sure
"Reuse windows for launching shortcuts" is unchecked


Submitted by tom10167:

BootVIS DOES NOT work for Windows 2000 :-/

Ok, I've got a few nobody has mentioned, surprisingly. The first set is for Windows 2000,
Maybe even XP, older OS's don't have this "feature."

Every time you go in to program files, WINNT, or System 32, you have to click "show files."
Apparently Microsoft doesn't trust the average user, well, I don't trust Microsoft, so here's
how to get rid of that.

First, make sure you can see ALL files. Menubar tools, Folder Options, the view tab, then
make sure you have it set to "Show Hidden files" and UNCHECK "Hide protected operating system files."
Now go to folder C:\winnt\web and copy the folder.htt file.
Paste and replace in Program Files, Winnt, and System32, and you're all set, had this done for years, working fine.

The next apply to all operating systems, as it's more of a Windows/Winamp tweak.

The beauty of Overlay mode. This one has a lot of small steps that take forever, so I'll break it down quick.

What we're going to do is find the EXACT color of our 3d buttons, and tell Winamp to overlay
it with some really cool trippy looking moving graphics(Visualization studio)

In most cases, 3d bars are (usually a grey, default in XP is a sort of blue, but it
fades, so I can't help you there.) To do this push the print screen button, and paste it into MSPaint.

Then push the Pick Color button, and select the grey. Now go to colors Menubar, and
hit edit colors, and push define custom colors, you will see your grey, and six sets of
numbers. Red, green, blue, hue, saturation, and something else.(Luminescence?)

Right those six sets of numbers down, making sure you know what number goes to what property
(red number goes to red, etc.)

Now open up Winamp, I'm using 5, I know this worked in 2, and nobody uses three. So they all work.

There are A LOT of ways to do this, and they've changed some stuff between versions, so I'm using
the universal, but basically, just open up the Visualization studio

CTRL+SHIFT+K does it.

You should see a little window of crazy-changing colors, if you just see black, don't worry.
Right click in that pane and select AVS editor. Menubar SETTINGS, and go to display.

Now on the upper-right side, you see a sub-pane called Overlay mode. There's a thing that says color,
and a button that says default color. Click the COLOR thing, and a window pops up, similar to what we saw in Paint.
Punch the numbers in that you wrote down and close it. Now check the overlay mode box.

If it was black before, right click again and hit Winamp picks, and just choose one.
There's a lot of fun tweaks you can do, so just explore.
If you need any help DO NOT hesitate to PM me.


Submitted by Germanjulian:

Configure which files WinXP should preview Post Comment
WinXP is very aggressive about being user friendly, and provides a nice preview feature
for showing details and snapshots of pictures and movies.

But if the media-file is flawed, then the preview feature starts to scan the entire file
(F.ex. with AVI and MPG/MPEG files where the header or the index at the end of
the file is broken). This can lead to high CPU usage and the file being locked,
so when trying move or delete the file it gives the error:

Cannot delete/move <filename>: It is being used by another person or program. Close any
programs that might be using the file and try again.

Disable preview for AVI files by deleting the (Default) in registry (Make a backup first):
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \SystemFileAssociations \.avi \shellex \PropertyHandler]
(Default) = (Value not set)
Note to disable preview for other file-types just exchange the .avi with the wanted filetype
and delete the (Default) for the wanted file-type.

Note if one likes the preview feature but just cannot delete a file then one can try:
Momentarily unregister shmedia.dll (Media File Property Extractor Shell Extension ) to delete the file:
regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll
(delete the file)
regsvr32 shmedia.dll

Rename the file so it no longer has the extension of a media file
Create a new folder and move the file into the new folder and delete the new folder
Close all explorer.exe and use the command-prompt.
Boot in safemode and delete the file, as the preview feature is disabled.

Note if have a directory containing many media files (Like mp3), then the preview feature will
cause a slowdown when opening the folder, because it wants to extract information for each file.

Related Change Webview for all folders to stop movie preview

More Info MS KB 822430

Credits TweakXp.com


Submitted by Axhed:

You ever notice when spyware and crap install themselves,
then you remove them, but the startup item is still there, mocking you?
I must have had 25-30 unchecked startup items that just, well, they were THERE.
Unchecking them is easy enough, but I asked around and nobody seemed to know how to make them disappear.
I just found this article in the Microsoft knowledge base and here is the important part:

The two main tools used to interact with the Registry are Regedit.exe and Regedt32.exe.
The settings that control which utilities always run automatically at startup tend to be
stored in four different locations: two under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, and another two under HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

In both cases, the most common place to look for startup settings is
under the \Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ folder (or key), where you’ll
find two important folders: Run and RunServices. Both folders will contain values that
specify the path to programs or services to be launched automatically, as shown below.

To prevent a program or service from starting automatically, delete the value associated
with the offending program. However, be sure to note exactly which programs you need to
remove prior to taking this action. You won’t be prompted to save any of your changes, and
mistakenly deleting a required application or service may render your system unbootable.

Of course, once you get in there, the only entries you will find are the ones that
are checked off to be run at startup. So before you go hit the registry, go start > run > "msconfig" > startup
tab and make sure everything is checked. Then EXIT WITHOUT RESTART to save yourself some headaches,
and then start > run > "regedit" will get you into the registry editor.

And always use extreme caution when editing the registry,
or you may end up having to do a fresh install of windows.


Submitted by Username17:

In response to Win+D to minimize windows is a way to do it, but it's not the best way to do it.

Win+M minimizes all, but the nice thing is that Shift+Win+M restores all the windows that you just minimizes.
I find myself wanting to restore all my windows after I use Win+D, so IMO Win+M is better.


Submitted by [email protected]:

When you browse a network machine from a Windows 2000 or XP system,
extra time is taken to determine if any scheduled tasks or printers are
enabled on the destination computer.

Open your registry and find the key below:
"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/ CurrentVersion/Explorer/Remote Computer/NameSpace"

To disable checking for scheduled tasks delete the

{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF} sub-key.

To disable checking for printers delete the

{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} sub-key.

The change should take effect immediately.


Also submitted by [email protected]:

The majority of these tips & tweaks were posted by Nikeus & Co at FTC so the credit
has to go to them, legends in their own right !

These tutorials are available at Tutorial Town and the Tutorial Town Forums.
If you need help with them then post here or in the help section or at TT forums.

(See link above)

*Before we start going through the tips & tweaks I've picked up over time let
me warn you that some of them involve modifying the registry.

Always backup your registry before modifying it. You can do this by going to Run & typing Regedit.

Now go to File -> Export and save it somewhere safe. If you ever want to go back 2
The way it was you can just double click the save file and it will add the original back.
An alternative to this is to set a System Restore point so if it goes wrong you can just hop back to the way it was.

To increase system performance
Right click my computer. Click properties.
Click advanced.
Click settings (under performance).
Click Adjust for best performance.
Scroll to the bottom and check the last one “use visual styles on windows and buttons”.

How to disable XP's crap built in CD Burner

Click the start button.
Select Run.
Type services.msc and click ok.
Go to IMAPI CD-Burning Com Services open it and click on start up type, change to "Disabled".

These Settings will fine tune your systems memory

You need at least 256MB of ram to do this:

Go to start\run\regedit -and then to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management

1.DisablePagingExecutive -double click it and in the decimal put a 1 - this allows XP
to keep data in memory now instead of paging sections of ram to harddrive yields faster performance.

2.LargeSystemCache- double click it and change the decimal to 1 -this allows XP Kernel
to Run in memory and improves system performance a lot.

3.Create a new dword and name it IOPageLockLimit - double click it and set the
value in hex - 4000 if you have 128MB of ram or set it to 10000 if you have 256MB set
it to 40000 if you have more than 512MB of ram -this tweak will speed up your disckcache.


Unable to delete from Avi files from HD

XP holds files in its memory even after you have closed the application using them
making it impossible to delete them from your harddrive. To fix this:

Start -> Run -> Regedit
Find the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.avi\shel lex\PropertyHandler\ directory and delete the "DEFAULT" key.

Tweak The Swap File

For Users with 256 MB RAM or more this tweak will boost their Windows- and Game-Performance.
What it does: It tells Windows not to use any Swap File until there is really no more free RAM left.

Open the System Configuration Utility by typing msconfig.exe in the RUN command.
There in your System.ini you have to add "ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1" under the 386enh section.

Restart your Windows and enjoy better Game performance

Disable Services

XP Pro runs a lot of services by default that are pointless if you’re not on a corporate network,
The following services are ones that I safely disable thereby freeing up memory but
check what each one does first to make sure you’re not using it for something:

Go to Run and type services.msc, right click on each service, properties and choose disable.

Application Layer Gateway Service,
Application Management
Automatic Updates
Background Intelligent Transfer
Distributed Link Tracking Client
Distributed Transaction Coordinater
Error Reporting Service
Fast User Switching Compatibility
IMAPI CD-Burning
Indexing Service
IPSEC Services
Net Logon
Net Meeting
Remote Desktop Sharing
Network DDE
Network DDE DSDM
Portable Media Serial Number
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager
Remote Registry
Secondary Logon
SSDP Discovery Service
Telnet Themes
Uninterruptible Power Supply
Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Upload Manager
Wireless Zero Configuration
WMI Performance Adaptor

Speed Up The File System

NTFS is a great file system, but its feature-set comes at a slight cost in performance.
You can negate this a little with the following tips:

* By default NTFS will automatically update timestamps whenever a directory is traversed.
This isn't a necessary feature, and it slows down large volumes. Disable it by going to Run and type regedit:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\FileSystem and set 'DisableNTFSLastAccessUpdate' to 1.

* NTFS uses disparate master file control tables to store filesystem information about
your drives. Over time these core MFT files grow and become fragmented, slowing down all
accesses to the drive. By setting aside a little space, MFT's can grow without becoming fragmented.

In the same key where you disabled the last access feature create a new DWORD value
called 'NtfsMftZoneReservation' and set it to 2.

Disable DLL Caching

Windows Explorer caches DLLs (Dynamic-Link Libraries) in memory for a period of time
after the application using them has been closed. This can be an inefficient use of memory.

1. Find the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Explorer].

2. Create a new DWORD sub-key named 'AlwaysUnloadDLL' and set the default value to
equal '1' to disable Windows caching the DLL in memory.

3. Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

Tweak The Prefetch

1. Run "Regedit"
2. Goto:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnablePrefetcher]

3. Set the value to either 0-Disable, 1-App launch prefetch, 2-Boot Prefetch, 3-Both ("3" is recommended).

4. Reboot.

It will decrease the boot time but double and increase the performance of your XP.

SpeedUp Your Connection By 20% (Cable Users Only)

1.Log on as "Administrator".
2. Run - gpedit.msc
3. Expand the "Local Computer Policy" branch.
4. Then expand the "Administrative Templates" branch.
5. Expand the "Network" branch.
6. Highlight the "QoS Packet Scheduler" in left pane.
7. In the right window pane double-click the "Limit Reservable Bandwidth" setting.
8. On the settings tab check the "Enabled" item.
9. Change "Bandwidth limit %" to read 0.
10. Then go to your Network connections Start=>Control Panel>Network & Internet
connections>Network Connections and right-click on your connection.
Then under the General or the Networking tab,
(where it lists your protocols) make sure QoS packet scheduler is enabled.

It may take effect immediately on some systems. To be sure, just re-boot.

I don't advise doing these all at once, do 1 then reboot to make sure you’re cool,
I also accept no responsibility for what may happen to your OS.

Hope everyone finds these useful.


Submitted by Chris_F:

Ok, this is how to change the text on the start button.

I have only done this in Windows XP Pro SP1

To change the text of the start button with XP Style start bar:

1. Make a copy of Explorer.exe
2. Open the new Explorer.exe in a hex editor.
3. Go to byte 4208Eh and change "s t a r t" to what ever you want.
You have to keep the blanks in between. If the word you want to replace
start with is less then 5 characters just fill the remaining characters with spaces.

If you want to make it more then 5 characters look for a byte with a
value of 05h directly before the string "s t a r t". Change the values of that
byte to the length of the new string. In order to add the string you'll have to
add bytes, don't continue to type overtop data after the first 5 bytes in the string start.

To change the text of the start button with Classic start bar:

1. Do the same as above but go to byte 41F03h instead.

Ok, now save the new explorer.exe as something like L337.exe

Place the file in C:\Windows\ and then go to run and open regedit.

Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon and open Shell.
Change the value from Explorer.exe to the new file name and your all set.

Sorry if this is kind of confusing. This isn't exactly n00b friendly.

Make sure you know what you are doing.


Submitted by sp_100:

Can offer my site...

How to optimize Windows XP, 2000, ME
For the best performance (Step-by-step Visual Guide):

Spyware/Virus Removal and Prevention:
(Links to online virus scans on the same page)

How to successfully install Windows XP Service Pack 2:
Last edited:
here's the only software you will ever need for tweaking Xp period.. not to mention a pdf guide of almost ever hack you can think of.

Software to do anything you can think of to tweak, increase performance and somewhat help in troubleshooting...

TweakUIXP - already been posted
TuneXP - http://www.driverheaven.net/dforce/default.php
Tweak Now Powerpack 2006 Proffesional - http://www.tweaknow.com/powerPack.html

The best Tweaking/Registry Guide Ever Created..

The Tweaking Experience - http://windowsxp.homedns.org/xp/asp/twg/twg.asp


May 22, 2005
Why is crap like AlwaysUnloadDLL, DisablePagingExecutive, and IOPageaLockLimit in this topic? Maybe you should actually know what those "tweaks" do before actually putting them in this topic? Just about every "performance tweak" in this topic will do absolutely nothing to help performance. IOPageLockLimit doesn't even do anything at all. Windows has not even looked at it since Windows 2000 SP1.


Moderator #666
Nov 13, 2001
aqeel said:
whats the best one if my computer startsup slow

:welcome: to the forums ! :D

Slow start up huh. I would probably start with all those little icons that get loaded
into the system tray/ task bar, at the bottom upon startup.

You'll need to read through these and figure out what you have on your pc.

And what ones you want to keep / discard / delete / or alter.



Nov 17, 2002
san diego
BrutalDrew said:
Why is crap like AlwaysUnloadDLL, DisablePagingExecutive, and IOPageaLockLimit in this topic? Maybe you should actually know what those "tweaks" do before actually putting them in this topic? Just about every "performance tweak" in this topic will do absolutely nothing to help performance. IOPageLockLimit doesn't even do anything at all. Windows has not even looked at it since Windows 2000 SP1.

guys please read this before doing any of the mentioned tweaks above. i was once a believer of these tweaks but realized ive been wasting my time.

edit- and why are those tweaks still posted?> warrior remove em plz. or better yet make a sticky for "Windows Tweaks MYTHS & B.S."


May 22, 2005
and why are those tweaks still posted?> warrior remove em plz. or better yet make a sticky for "Windows Tweaks MYTHS & B.S."

In addition to this, it would be much better the tweaks that were actually usefull in this thread were in a particular order. I hate how it says "Submitted by..." and then what they submitted. It is important to give credit where credit is due, but at least order the tweaks in a better way.


Mar 6, 2006
New York
i love tweaking my xp all the time runs so much better and faster :) i never really do anything with the registry i just shut down services that i dont need :-D


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Destroyer of Trolls & Spammers
Jan 7, 2005
redrumy3 said:
i love tweaking my xp all the time runs so much better and faster :) i never really do anything with the registry i just shut down services that i dont need :-D

But how can I be sure of the services I don't need? I have looked and studied them and sometimes I think "that can go" and somewhere else it suggests it's necessary. Just turn them off, reboot, and see what happens?


Mar 6, 2006
New York
RollingThunder said:
But how can I be sure of the services I don't need? I have looked and studied them and sometimes I think "that can go" and somewhere else it suggests it's necessary. Just turn them off, reboot, and see what happens?

After i did all the xp updates and everything else i turned off all these and havent had a problem everything works just fine. i have a few more disabled cause i know for sure i dont need them

but keep in mind what u turn off just incase something happens and try at your own risk :)

Application Layer Gateway Service, 
Application Management
Automatic Updates 
Background Intelligent Transfer 
Distributed Link Tracking Client 
Distributed Transaction Coordinater 
Error Reporting Service 
Fast User Switching Compatibility 
IMAPI CD-Burning 
Indexing Service 
IPSEC Services 
Net Logon 
Net Meeting 
Remote Desktop Sharing 
Network DDE 
Network DDE DSDM 
Portable Media Serial Number
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager 
Remote Registry 
Secondary Logon 
SSDP Discovery Service 
Telnet Themes 
Uninterruptible Power Supply 
Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Upload Manager 
Wireless Zero Configuration 
WMI Performance Adapto


Destroyer of Trolls & Spammers
Jan 7, 2005
redrumy3 said:
but keep in mind what u turn off just incase something happens and try at your own risk :)

Application Layer Gateway Service, 
Application Management
Automatic Updates 
Background Intelligent Transfer 
Distributed Link Tracking Client 
Distributed Transaction Coordinater 
Error Reporting Service 
Fast User Switching Compatibility 
IMAPI CD-Burning 
Indexing Service 
IPSEC Services 
Net Logon 
Net Meeting 
Remote Desktop Sharing 
Network DDE 
Network DDE DSDM 
Portable Media Serial Number
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager 
Remote Registry 
Secondary Logon 
SSDP Discovery Service 
Telnet Themes 
Uninterruptible Power Supply 
Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Upload Manager 
Wireless Zero Configuration 
WMI Performance Adaptor


Thank you. Of course I realize every system is different and I'm on my own turning off anything. Some services are obviously not needed and I have turned them off while some are unclear and there's only one way to find out! I'll print these out and try them one at a time.

Thanks for the start. You won't get a PM from me if I turn off the wrong ones! :D