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Our Favorite Tweaks

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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;


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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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.


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_

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:-
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
into the box
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
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


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


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


with sp1, you can eliminate messenger through the normal gui


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

Restart Windows

10) of course, I disable balloon tips; from regedit;
then set the value of 'EnableBalloonTips' to 0.

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


Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User

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


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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User

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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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:

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

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

close registry


Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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;


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.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User

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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
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

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