Our Favorite Tweaks

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by Perris Calderon, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    well, the original became too hard to navigate didn't it.

    so, I'm going to start this one up again...

    those of you that want to take a look at the original, go to;

    MY FAVORITE TWEAKS

    we're going to lock this one up right from the start, and we're going to put up the ideas from the original that we like the most...if there's a new one, that'll be unusual, and there is going to be some double posting from us, as we'll all have different favorites...still, it'll be easier to find stuff then it was on the original thread.

    most of these will have of course already been mentioned on the original thread, and this thread is just serving to make them easier to find


    if anyone has a GUI tweak you'd like us to try, just pm the idea to any one of us...if we can try it, and it works, we'll post it for you with a credit of course

    now, I'm only willing to experiment with GUI tweaks, as I no longer have time to break my box for the greater good...so, please understand that if your ideas and Pm's will go un answered

    also, I unlocked the original thread, so if anybody wants everybody to try something, just post it there
     
  2. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    I'm going to kick this one off with a cut and copy (as most of these will be), from the very first post.

    First, and most important let me remind everybody, make backups before you try any adjustments to your OS, or registry, ie, please create restore points or registry backups before you try each one of these ideas.

    MY PERSONAL ORDER, FOR TURBO CHARGING MY OS,
    AFTER REFORMAT
    1)

    a restart button on your desktop:

    1. Create a shortcut (Right-click on desktop, select New > Shortcut).

    2. For location, type the following:

    shutdown -r -t 0

    3. Click Next, enter a name for the shortcut ("Restart" is appropriate), and click Fini

    2) Since I use the system restore as my registry backup, and I backup often, I put the system restore shortcut on my desktop also, the target is %SystemRoot%\System32\restore\rstrui.exe

    3) I love device manager on my desktop, target %windir%\system32\mmc.exe c:\windows\system32\devmgmt.msc
    I’m also in the registry a lot, so that’s on the desktop too, target C:\WINDOWS\regedit.exe

    4) I turn off all the startup programs possible, in msconfig.

    5) I turn off all the services possible; go from administrative tools, to services, turn to manual or disable whatever you can, go to www.blkviper.com for ideas on what you can safely turn off.

    6) I increase the icon cache, On XP the Max Cached Icons is set too low for some of us...if your icons ooz into view, try this;

    to changed this got to regedit,HKEY_LOCAL_
    MACHINE-Software-Microsoft-Windows-currentversion-Explorer

    in the right window, double click max cached icons, type the value 8192.
    If you don't have this, open up your registry and make your way here:-
    HKEY_LOCAL_
    MACHINE / Software / Microsoft / Windows /currentversion / Explorer
    in the right side, right-click a blank area and choose "New" "String Value" and call it
    Max Cached Icons
    Double-click this new Key and type the value
    8192
    into the box
    P.S.
    If you want to try the DWORD version, follow the above but instead of making a new String Value, you should make a "New" "DWORD Value" and call it
    MaxCachedIcons
    and give it a Value of
    2000 in Hexadecimal, or
    8192 in Decimal.
    then reboot you should see a big speed boost icon load, and opening folders.

    7)I can’t stand logging in, I do it automatically,
    Enabling/Disabling Automatic Logon
    1. Click Start on the Windows taskbar, and then click Run.
    2. In the Open box, type "control userpasswords2" (without quotes),
    and then click OK.
    3. In the dialog box that appears,
    You'll see: "Users must enter a user name and password to use
    this computer" check box.
    Enabled will require users to logon, disabling will make XP
    automatically logon to the Administrator account.

    I have updated the pagefile information with an instructional by TwoZigzagColt45

    First, we need to dispel anything you've heard about fragmentation on the Pagefile.

    To make a long explanation as short as possible, it does not happen, and fragmentation of the Pagefile is not an issue, even when expansion is enabled...disregard any advice that might recommend a static Pagefile...it is a counterproductive idea in XP...what is a good idea though is to defrag the pagefile with the free pagefile defrag program posted on the free programs thread.

    once the pagefile is defarged, ( do this after any adjustments you make manually), the pagefile will remain defraggmented forever

    Settings;

    1) If you have more than 256meg RAM – do nothing, let XP manage the Pagefile.

    2) 256meg RAM or less – increase the initial minimum to 512meg, it is very important for you to leave a maximum value to about 4x your ram, or whatever the OS allows.

    Placement for speed;

    1) Single disk with no partitions is the quickest for most users.

    2) For Power Users who use ram intensive programs, you can create a Partition purely for the Pagefile. This will allow for quickest expansion if your needs ever exceed what you've estimated for your use.

    Machines with Two disks sharing the same controller;

    1) The Pagefile is accessed much quicker if it’s on the second disk

    Machines with Two or more disks each on their own ide controller;

    1) The quickest place for the Pagefile is in a separate disk & controller...In this situation the pf can be split across disks
    & both page files can be accessed simultaneously with out bottlenecking.

    Ide1 Disk 1 - XP & apps
    Ide2 Disk 2 - ½ Pagefile
    Ide3 Disk 3 – ½ Pagefile

    2z

    to get to the pagefile, hit the windows key+break, from the window that posps up, hit advanced, performance, hit settings, here hit advanced, and here hit, if you are going to increase the pf, hit virtual memory.


    9) I eradicate the messenger, the easiest method; Click Start / Run, and paste

    EDIT

    with sp1, you can eliminate messenger through the normal gui

    otherwise;

    RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

    Press ENTER
    Restart Windows

    10) of course, I disable balloon tips; from regedit;
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
    then set the value of 'EnableBalloonTips' to 0.

    Or if you have TweakUI, dissable tips is in that program

    FEEL FREE TO POST YOUR OWN TURBOCHARGE IDEAS ON THE ORIGINAL THREAD, I WANT TO TRY EVERY TWEAK I CAN GET MY HANDS ONupdate
     
  3. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    allright

    this next one is so simple, and it never made it into the original thread as aggresively as I'm going to make it now

    hit the windows key+r

    paste this in

    msconfig

    hit the start up tab

    uncheck everything but your real time anti virus and your firewall

    if you have a laptop, you probably need to keep the mouse pad in startup also
     
  4. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    and here is my favorite idea for those of you with 250 mbs of ram and less

    alas, there will be a price to pay in your graphics, (which most people can not see, but some of you can)...so there is a trade in this one...performance, versus a small price in appearance...try it and judge your visuals before you decide to keep this one;

    right click anywhere on your desktop and hit properties

    go to settings and change the color frm the default, which is the maximum to 16 bits

    now, if you have 250 mbs ir less, you will notice a big improvewment in performance...most people I show this to do not notice the hit in the appearance
     
  5. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    here is one of the very first things I do;

    I can't stand wasted space in my browser, and I can get all of the functionality of INTERNET explorer with just one tool bar,

    this is almost as good as an f11 view, but I still have all of my buttons and tools (see screen shot)

    allright...right click the tool bar, and hit customize

    now, remove all of the buttons you don't use, or hardly use

    for instance, most people have their home page in their favorites, and don't need it on the toolbar...I never use the print button on the tool bar either

    also, there's no reason for the separators, and they take more room then you think, so get rid of all of those

    next, bottom left, get rid of all of those text labels...by now, you should know what the buttons mean

    and now, go to small icons...aply and exit

    next, right click again, and unlock the tool bars

    starting from the bottom right, you can grab the dotted line, move it to the right and up

    continue with the next dotted line, and so on

    you don't need more then and inch and a half for the address bar, so move that over to a as small a serviceable size as you like

    that's it...lock the too bar when you have all of this up to one bar

    now, if you like, you can also auto hide the task bar on the bottom by right clicking, properties, task bar.

    and of course, check auto hide

    take a look at the screen shot to get a good idea.

    now, what you are looking at is not my f11 view, it's the normal browser view
     
  6. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    allright

    even better then that is the f11 view with a check in autohide by right clicking the toobar and checking it,

    also autohide the task bar and pow, 100 percent content

    this is so big it's scary...take a look
     
  7. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    here's a new one that I have never seen

    some of you like to delete your tmeporary internet files on a sechedule

    if this is you, then schedule your temp internet file deletion to coincide with your defrag

    the temp files get fragmented the most, so fi you're giing to delete them anyway, you might as well do it before a degrag

    this will really speed the defrag process wuite a bit

    personally, I don't think it's a good ida to delete these files untill or unless they are causing an issue...but for those of you that do, this is a very nice little tweak
     
  8. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    alright, for the restart on your desktop, if you want, you can make it an f key shortcut

    shut right click on the icon, hit properties

    in the shortcut box, just hit any f key you think you can do without, and it becomes a shortcut for the desktop icon of your choice

    I have f key shortcuts for my mail client, and a restart

    to get the sf key back to the default, just hit the backspace while you're in the shortcut box
     
  9. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    here's a standard mentioned on every site, but with my own little twist;

    I love the eye candy in XP, but it's expensive in terms of performance, there's a good compromise that I use, and here it is;

    control panel > appearance and maintenance > visual affects ...

    NOW HERE'S THE IMPORTANT PART; if you adjust for best performance, computing is usually noticeably faster,

    however, you can turn off selective candy, still have most of the good xp-erience (he he), and the box will still speed the box up just about as much ...

    what we're doing here is customizing the box, and making it personal, so pick the features you don't notice or don't like, and dump them


    Here's what I DISABLE:


    fade or slide menu into view

    fade or slide tool tips into view

    fade out menu items after clicking

    show shadows under menus

    slide open combo boxes

    slide taskbar buttons

    use a background image for each folder type

    ok, now you still have XP candy, but computing should be noticeably faster
     
  10. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    I know many experts use a differant backup then sytem restore...me too, but system restore is my first attempt at a recovery, so I like it

    Alot of people think system restore is a resource hog, me too.

    lower the disc space reserved for it; go to system restore, ( use the desktop shortcut we made from the first post...hehe), then go to system restore settings on the right, lower disc usage to around 8%.

    if you've got a huge drive, go ahead and lower it even more then that
     
  11. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    The Start menu has a delay between different tiers of the menu hierarchy. To speed this, you can change the value to a lower number...I don't think you'll like zero, so experiment with what suits you.

    This will allow the different tiers to appear instantly.

    Start regedit and navigate to :
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop

    Select MenuShowDelay from the list on the right.
    Right on it and select Modify.
    Change the value to 0, something less then the default
    Reboot your computer.

    If you have other accounts you might also go to:

    HKEY_USERS/DEFAULT/Control Panel/Desktop

    and do the same thing.
     
  12. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    of course, everyone needs to do the following;

    This is to increase the number of max downloads to 10.



    find the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
    InternetSettings

    On the Edit menu, click Add Value , and then add the following « Dword » values:

    MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server = Dword:0000000a
    MaxConnectionsPerServer = Dword:0000000a

    close registry

    Reboot
     
  13. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    something I should have put right on top...IF, AND ONLY IF YOU ARE NOT ON A COMPUTER NETWORK...if you have not set to manual the workstation service, try it, that'll speed the boot by seconds...you should still be able to get away with setting this to manual even if you are on a network, so give that a shot, now some people have trouble with zone alarm pro if the sevice is totally dissabled, mine used to work fine without wprkstation set to manual, but if might be an issue with your za.
     
  14. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    I JUST HAD TO RENAME MY "RECYCLE BIN"...sheeesh, who came up with "recycle bin"

    ...it's a trash can, or garbage can, or anything you want, but you can not call it "recycle bin", so here's how to give yourself access to re nameing it.

    hit that regedit shortcut you have on your desktop by now, and go here;

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder

    change "Attributes" to show 50,01,00,20
    change "CallForAttributes" to show 00000000

    now you just right click on the bin, and "re name" becomes available.

    you might as well give yourself a new icon for it too, thus;

    right-click on the desktop and go to Display Properties, Desktop Tab, Customize Desktop Button and change icon for trash.
     
  15. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    you know, ever since dirk first posted this reg hack, every tweak program has since made it a feature

    anyway, here from the original source;

    (by Dirk Diggler)

    That blue toolbar up top, that does so little? lets rebrand it ... do this;

    In Registry key:

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    add or change the value named Window Title, changing its current data which may be none, but whatever it is, change it to whatever you want.
     
  16. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    and one of my favorite tweaks;

    the border that's sits on top of your toolbar is actually an excellant browsing tool

    instead of clicking the minimize or maximize muttons on the top right, justn double click that toolbar border, and it will minimize or maximize hte window.

    get used to this and you'll never use those little boxes again
     
  17. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    another of the first things I do to a fresh install;

    I hate that "Are you sure you want to delete this file?" message the recycle bin gives...look, the recycle bin is a holding file, so I don't need to confirm the deletion here

    You can turn the confirmation dialog boxes off permanently.... Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop, Properties, and clear the checkmark next to Display delete confirmation dialog box.
     
  18. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    allright

    this next one I invented only a couple of months ago, and let me tell you, I use this every day, all of the time;

    I have a huge list of favorites...huge...

    anyway, it's hard for me to find some of the sites by looking

    here you go...right click in the favorites area, create a new folder

    leave the folder empty, and leave it at the top of the favorites list

    now, when you click the empty folder, your keyboard becomes active in the favorites tree, and all you ahve to do to find a site is hit the first letter of the website.

    by hitting the letter, you'll be able to scroll down the list of the websites of that letter

    I then rename this emkpty folder to "search" and I changed the icon to something more appropriate then the folder icon
     
  19. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    similaryly, when in regedit, it's much simper then scrolling the registry.

    just strike the keyboard key, and keep striking it till you get where you want.

    for instance, if you're in the registry, and you want to go to current user, just hit the "c" till you get there
     
  20. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    and of course this is true of all of your folders, but most people forget about this feature.

    get used to using this feature, it's pretty nice