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Tweaking Companion for Windows XP

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Tgtc xp

  1. 1.                                                     WWW.TWEAKGUIDES.COM  [Version 3.6 ‐ September 2007]
  2. 2. THE TWEAKGUIDES TWEAKING COMPANION     TABLE OF CONTENTS    Table of Contents    Table of Contents........................................................................................................................................................... 2 Copyright & Credits..................................................................................................................................................... 10 Introduction................................................................................................................................................................... 11 Using this Guide .......................................................................................................................................................... 12 Basic Requirements ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Different Versions of Windows ......................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Why is the Guide So Long? .............................................................................................................................................................................. 12 Recommended Software ................................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Links to Other Guides, Articles & Websites ................................................................................................................................................... 13 Pictures and Diagrams....................................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Problems with the Guide.................................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Your Responsibilities.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Basic PC Terminology................................................................................................................................................ 14 Bits & Bytes.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 PC .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 CPU ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Motherboard......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Memory ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 14 Hard Drive ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 15 CD/DVD Drive...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 15 Floppy Drive......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 15 Graphics Card ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 16 Display Device..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 16 Sound Card .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 16 Speakers or Headphones.................................................................................................................................................................................. 16 Power Supply Unit .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 16 Heatsinks and Fans............................................................................................................................................................................................ 17 Case ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 17 Peripheral ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 17 Operating System and Software ...................................................................................................................................................................... 17 System Specifications................................................................................................................................................ 18 System Information Tools .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 18 Windows System Information Tool .................................................................................................................................................................. 18 Device Manager .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 18 DirectX Diagnostics ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 18 Everest.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 19 SIW ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 19 3DMark ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 19 Sandra................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 19 CPU-Z ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Nero InfoTool ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Providing System Specifications............................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Backup & Recovery..................................................................................................................................................... 21 Manual Backup ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 21 Automatic Backup........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 22 Windows Backup Utility...................................................................................................................................................................................... 22 Norton Ghost........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 23 Online Backup ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 23 Using System Restore ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 23 Backing Up the Windows Registry ........................................................................................................................................................................... 24 Backing Up & Restoring Passwords ........................................................................................................................................................................ 24 Backing Up Login Password ............................................................................................................................................................................. 24 Restoring Login Password ................................................................................................................................................................................ 24 Resetting your Login Password........................................................................................................................................................................ 25 Storing Passwords.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 25 Recovering Passwords ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 25 File Deletion and Recovery........................................................................................................................................................................................ 25 Recovering Deleted Files .................................................................................................................................................................................. 25 Permanently Deleting Files ............................................................................................................................................................................... 26Copyright © 2007 Koroush Ghazi   2   
  3. 3. THE TWEAKGUIDES TWEAKING COMPANION     Low Level Format and Zero Fill........................................................................................................................................................................ 26 System Recovery ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 27 Recovering from Corrupted Registry............................................................................................................................................................... 27 Safe Mode ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 27 Table of Contents  Recovery Console............................................................................................................................................................................................... 28 System File Checker .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 29 BIOS Optimization ....................................................................................................................................................... 30 BIOS Post Screen ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 30 BIOS Settings............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 30 BIOS Updates .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 30 Firmware Updates ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 31 Interrupt Requests (IRQs).......................................................................................................................................................................................... 31 Disable Unused Devices.................................................................................................................................................................................... 31 Move Conflicting Devices .................................................................................................................................................................................. 32 Disabling ACPI .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 32 Installing Windows ...................................................................................................................................................... 33 Preparing to Install Windows ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 33 Slipstreaming Windows XP SP2 ...................................................................................................................................................................... 33 NLite ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 34 Formatting the Hard Drive(s) ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 34 NTFS vs. FAT 32 File Systems ........................................................................................................................................................................ 34 Converting Existing FAT32 Disk to NTFS ...................................................................................................................................................... 35 Multiple Partitions................................................................................................................................................................................................ 35 Dual Boot/Multiboot System.............................................................................................................................................................................. 35 RAID Configuration............................................................................................................................................................................................. 36 Formatting and Installing Windows .......................................................................................................................................................................... 36 New Hard Drive ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 36 Hard Drive with Existing install of Windows ................................................................................................................................................... 37 Windows XP Bootdisks ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 37 Windows Product Activation & Windows Genuine Advantage ....................................................................... 38 Windows Product Activation ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 38 Windows Genuine Advantage ................................................................................................................................................................................... 38 Driver Installation ........................................................................................................................................................ 39 Driver Installation Order ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 39 Step 1 - Service Packs....................................................................................................................................................................................... 39 Step 2 - DirectX ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 40 Step 3 - Driver Signing ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 40 Step 4 - Motherboard Drivers ........................................................................................................................................................................... 40 Step 5 - Graphics Drivers .................................................................................................................................................................................. 41 Step 6 - Sound Drivers....................................................................................................................................................................................... 41 Step 7 - Peripheral Drivers ................................................................................................................................................................................ 42 Step 8 - Firewall, Windows Update & .NET ................................................................................................................................................... 42 General Driver Installation ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 43 The Latest Drivers............................................................................................................................................................................................... 43 Installing Non-Executable Drivers.................................................................................................................................................................... 43 General Driver Tips............................................................................................................................................................................................. 44 PC Security.................................................................................................................................................................... 45 Viruses & Worms ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 45 AVG Antivirus ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 46 Trojan Horses............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 46 A-Squared ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 47 Spyware & Adware...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 47 Bad Spyware/Adware Scanners....................................................................................................................................................................... 48 Ad-aware 2007 .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 48 Rootkits ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 48 Rootkit Revealer.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 49 Sophos Anti-Rootkit............................................................................................................................................................................................ 49 Browser Hijackers........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 49 HijackThis............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 49 General Security Tips ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 50 Background Scanning Vs. Manual Scanning................................................................................................................................................. 50 Firewalls................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 50 Email Usage......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 51 Internet Browsing ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 51 Peer-to-Peer, Messaging and IRC Programs ................................................................................................................................................ 52Copyright © 2007 Koroush Ghazi   3   
  4. 4. THE TWEAKGUIDES TWEAKING COMPANION     Encrypting Files................................................................................................................................................................................................... 52 Balancing Security vs. Performance................................................................................................................................................................ 53 Memory Optimization.................................................................................................................................................. 54 Table of Contents  CPU L1 and L2 Cache................................................................................................................................................................................................ 54 Physical RAM ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 54 RAM Size.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 54 RAM Speed.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 55 RAM Timings ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 55 Video RAM.................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 55 Windows Memory Management Settings................................................................................................................................................................ 55 Disk Cache........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 56 Icon Cache ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 56 General Memory Settings.................................................................................................................................................................................. 56 Windows Prefetcher ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 56 Cacheman ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 57 Virtual Memory in Windows XP................................................................................................................................................................................. 57 Clearing the Pagefile .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 57 Setting the Pagefile - Partitions ........................................................................................................................................................................ 57 Recommended Pagefile size ............................................................................................................................................................................ 58 More RAM ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 59 Drive Optimization ....................................................................................................................................................... 60 Windows Disk Indexing .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 60 Windows Disk Defragmenter ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 60 Background Defragmentation ........................................................................................................................................................................... 61 Advanced Defragmentation ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 61 PageDefrag .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 61 Dirms & Buzzsaw................................................................................................................................................................................................ 61 Diskeeper ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 61 Frequency of Defragmentation.................................................................................................................................................................................. 63 Boot Optimization ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 64 Bootvis .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 64 Analyzing System Startup ................................................................................................................................................................................. 64 Optimizing System Startup................................................................................................................................................................................ 64 The Control Panel ........................................................................................................................................................ 65 Accessibility Options ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 65 Add Hardware .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 65 Add or Remove Programs ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 65 Set Program Access and Defaults ................................................................................................................................................................... 65 Administrative Tools.................................................................................................................................................................................................... 66 Component Services .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 66 Computer Management ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 66 Data Sources (ODBC)........................................................................................................................................................................................ 67 Event Viewer........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 67 Local Security Policy .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 67 Performance ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 67 Services ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 67 Automatic Updates ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 67 Data Sources (ODBC) ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 68 Date and Time.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 68 Date and Time ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 68 Time Zone ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 68 Internet Time........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 68 Display ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 68 Themes ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 68 Desktop................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 68 Screen Saver ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 69 Appearance.......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 69 Settings ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 69 ClearType ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 70 Graphics Card Control Panel............................................................................................................................................................................ 70 Folder Options.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 70 General ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 70 View....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 71 File Types ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 71 Offline Files .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 71 Fonts ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 71Copyright © 2007 Koroush Ghazi   4   
  5. 5. THE TWEAKGUIDES TWEAKING COMPANION     Game Controllers ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 72 Internet Options ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 72 Keyboard....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 72 Mouse ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 72 Table of Contents  Pointers................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 72 Pointer Options.................................................................................................................................................................................................... 72 Wheel .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 73 Increasing USB Sample Rate ........................................................................................................................................................................... 73 Network Connections.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 73 QoS Packet Scheduler....................................................................................................................................................................................... 73 Windows Firewall ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 73 Network Setup Wizard ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 73 Phone and Modem ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 74 Portable Media Devices ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 74 Power Options.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 74 Power Schemes .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 74 Advanced.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 74 Hibernate .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 74 UPS ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 75 Printers and Faxes ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 75 Regional and Language Options .............................................................................................................................................................................. 75 Regional Options................................................................................................................................................................................................. 75 Languages............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 75 Advanced.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 76 Scanners and Cameras.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 76 Scheduled Tasks ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 76 Security Center ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 76 Sounds and Audio Devices........................................................................................................................................................................................ 77 Volume.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 77 Sounds.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 77 Audio, Voice......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 78 Optimal Sound Configuration............................................................................................................................................................................ 78 Speech ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 79 System ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 79 General ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 79 Computer Name .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 79 Hardware .............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 79 Device Manager .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 79 Optimize Drives ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 80 Remove Unused Devices .................................................................................................................................................................................. 81 Advanced.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 82 System Restore................................................................................................................................................................................................... 84 Automatic Updates ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 84 Remote ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 84 Taskbar and Start Menu............................................................................................................................................................................................. 84 Taskbar ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 84 Start Menu............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 84 User Accounts.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 85 Fast Startup - Skipping Login Screen.............................................................................................................................................................. 85 User Accounts - Advanced ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 85 Users ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 86 Advanced.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 86 Windows Firewall......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 86 Wireless Network Setup Wizard ............................................................................................................................................................................... 87 Startup Programs......................................................................................................................................................... 88 Microsoft System Configuration Utility ..................................................................................................................................................................... 88 General ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 88 System.ini & Win.ini............................................................................................................................................................................................ 88 Boot.ini .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 88 Services ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 89 Startup................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 89 Startup Program Identification and Removal.......................................................................................................................................................... 90 Windows Startup Inspector ............................................................................................................................................................................... 91 Autoruns ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 91 HijackFree ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 91 Services.......................................................................................................................................................................... 92Copyright © 2007 Koroush Ghazi   5   
  6. 6. THE TWEAKGUIDES TWEAKING COMPANION     Services Utility.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 92 Microsoft Services............................................................................................................................................................................................... 92 Non-Microsoft Services...................................................................................................................................................................................... 93 Identifying Non-Microsoft Services .................................................................................................................................................................. 93 Table of Contents  Cleaning Windows....................................................................................................................................................... 95 Disk Cleanup ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 95 Remove Unnecessary Windows Files............................................................................................................................................................. 95 Add or Remove Windows Components .......................................................................................................................................................... 95 Remove Old System Restore Points............................................................................................................................................................... 96 Advanced Disk Cleanup Usage........................................................................................................................................................................ 96 Recycle Bin................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 96 Configuration Advice .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 96 Renaming or Deleting the Recycle Bin ........................................................................................................................................................... 97 CCleaner ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 97 Configuration Advice .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 97 Analyzing and Deleting Unnecessary Files.................................................................................................................................................... 98 Manual Drive Cleaning ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 98 Task Manager................................................................................................................................................................ 99 Configuration Advice................................................................................................................................................................................................... 99 Resource Usage Monitoring ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 99 Processes............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 99 Commit Charge ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 100 CPU Usage ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 100 Memory Usage .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 100 Setting Processor Affinity ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 101 Windows Registry...................................................................................................................................................... 103 Cleaning the Registry................................................................................................................................................................................................ 103 RegSupreme...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 103 RegCleaner ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 104 Compacting the Registry.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 105 NTRegOpt .......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 105 Registry Editor............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 105 Editing Existing Entries .................................................................................................................................................................................... 105 Creating New Registry Entries ....................................................................................................................................................................... 106 Backing Up Portions of the Registry.............................................................................................................................................................. 106 Restoring Sections of the Registry ................................................................................................................................................................ 106 Registry Tweaks ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 107 Improve Menu Responsiveness and Shutdown Speeds ........................................................................................................................... 107 Increase NTFS System Performance............................................................................................................................................................ 107 Prevent MSN Messenger From Running...................................................................................................................................................... 108 Turn Off CD Autoplay ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 108 Turn Off Windows XP Built-in CD Burning ................................................................................................................................................... 108 Change Thumbnail Quality & Size ................................................................................................................................................................. 109 Disable Thumbnail Cache ............................................................................................................................................................................... 109 Turn Off Low Disk Space Notification .......................................................................................................................................................... 109 Disable Balloon Tips......................................................................................................................................................................................... 109 Turn Off System Beeps.................................................................................................................................................................................... 110 Disable Windows Key ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 110 Change Foreground Application Priority....................................................................................................................................................... 110 Group Policy ............................................................................................................................................................... 111 Group Editor Tweaks ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 111 Disable System Restore .................................................................................................................................................................................. 111 Turn off built-in XP CD Burning ...................................................................................................................................................................... 111 Prevent Windows Media Digital Rights Management from Internet Access .......................................................................................... 111 Remove Shared Documents Folder............................................................................................................................................................. 111 Remove Shutdown/Logoff/Restart messages ............................................................................................................................................. 111 Turn off User Tracking (will Also disable personalized menus)................................................................................................................ 111 Prevent Access to Windows Components ................................................................................................................................................... 112 Turn off CD/DVD Autoplay .............................................................................................................................................................................. 112 Disable Internet Explorer splashscreen ........................................................................................................................................................ 112 Disable Windows Messenger ......................................................................................................................................................................... 112 Customize Internet Explorer Appearance..................................................................................................................................................... 112 Remove Recycle Bin Icon from Desktop ...................................................................................................................................................... 112 Remove My Documents Icon from Desktop................................................................................................................................................. 112 Remove My Computer Icon from Desktop ................................................................................................................................................... 112Copyright © 2007 Koroush Ghazi   6   
  7. 7. THE TWEAKGUIDES TWEAKING COMPANION     TweakUI........................................................................................................................................................................ 113 Configuration Advice................................................................................................................................................................................................. 113 General ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 113 General>Focus.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 113 Table of Contents  Explorer............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 113 Explorer>Shortcut ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 113 Explorer>Thumbnails ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 113 Explorer>Customizations................................................................................................................................................................................. 113 My Computer>Autoplay>Types...................................................................................................................................................................... 113 Taskbar and Start Menu .................................................................................................................................................................................. 113 Control Panel ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 114 Windows Explorer ..................................................................................................................................................... 115 Set Explorers Default Startup Folder............................................................................................................................................................ 115 Speed Up Explorer ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 115 Remove Shared Documents From My Computer ..................................................................................................................................... 115 Force All Columns in Explorer To Be Visible ............................................................................................................................................... 116 Rename Multiple Files...................................................................................................................................................................................... 116 Edit Context Menus .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 116 Add Copy To and Move To Commands to Context Menus.................................................................................................................... 117 Context Menu Editors....................................................................................................................................................................................... 117 Folder Views Not Being Saved....................................................................................................................................................................... 117 Repair Incorrectly Displayed Icons ................................................................................................................................................................ 118 Move the My Documents Folder .................................................................................................................................................................... 118 Make the My Documents Folder Private....................................................................................................................................................... 118 Disable Windows File Protection.................................................................................................................................................................... 118 Change Default Location for Programs and Common Files...................................................................................................................... 119 Internet Explorer ........................................................................................................................................................ 120 Internet Explorer 6 & 7.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 120 Configuration Advice................................................................................................................................................................................................. 120 General ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 120 Security ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 121 Privacy ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 121 Content ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 121 Connections ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 122 Programs ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 122 Advanced............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 123 Tips & Tweaks............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 124 Streamlined Internet Explorer View ............................................................................................................................................................... 124 Change or Disable Internet Explorer Click Sound ...................................................................................................................................... 124 Internet Explorer Launched From Shortcuts ................................................................................................................................................ 125 Internet Explorer Launched From Hyperlinks .............................................................................................................................................. 125 Change Internet Explorer Default Download Directory .............................................................................................................................. 126 Remove Links Folder in Favorites................................................................................................................................................................ 126 Customize Internet Explorer Title Bar ........................................................................................................................................................... 126 Increase Maximum Simultaneous Downloads............................................................................................................................................. 126 Disable Internet Explorer Search Assistant.................................................................................................................................................. 127 Use Customized Internet Explorer Search Assistant ................................................................................................................................. 127 Change Internet Explorer Address Bar Search Engine ............................................................................................................................. 127 Repairing Internet Explorer...................................................................................................................................................................................... 128 Scan for Malicious Software ........................................................................................................................................................................... 128 Reinstall Internet Explorer ............................................................................................................................................................................... 128 Temporary Internet Files Folder ..................................................................................................................................................................... 129 DNS Cache Issues ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 129 Windows Update........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 130 Windows Update Usage .................................................................................................................................................................................. 130 Security Patch Links and Release Dates ..................................................................................................................................................... 130 Windows Update on Other Browsers ............................................................................................................................................................ 131 Repairing Windows Update............................................................................................................................................................................. 131 Other Internet Browsers ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 131 Outlook Express ........................................................................................................................................................ 132 Configuration Advice................................................................................................................................................................................................. 132 General ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 132 Read.................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 132 Receipts.............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 132 Send .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 132Copyright © 2007 Koroush Ghazi   7   

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