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Updated: 01.12.2016


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HINTS FOR WINDOWS XP VERSION


Then for Windows XP and its "visual style" in particular, I certainly set everything that's possible to set to "Classic" style. For instance, I to set to "Classic" the Windows Explorer's Start-Menu, then Windows Folders option under Windows Explorer's "Tools" menu-item, "Folder Options...", the General tab, Tasks section is set to "Use classic folders" (as opposed to "Show common tasks in folders"); well it was set like this before using other programs as my default Windows shell and default file-manager. And well, I certainly do not use nor need themes, i.e. I disable the (in)famous "Luna theme" right away after installing Windows, and further, I also disable the Themes service completely (beside many others NT-services, see below), while here below is a complete list of all the things I recommend to set to classic with Group Policy or gpedit.msc:


Local Computer Policy - Computer Configuration - Administrative Templates

System -- Logon -- Allways use classic logon (logon screen)


Local Computer Policy - User Configuration - Administrative Templates

Start Menu and Taskbar -- Force classic Start Menu

Control Panel -- Display -- Desktop Themes -- Load a specific visual style or force Windows Classic

Windows Components -- Windows Explorer -- Turn On Classic Shell (disables Active Desktop and Web view)

And here are also two important "tweaks", things that can be disabled from inside any Windows Explorer window's settings dialogs. Optionally, you can uncheck also many others radio-buttons. See what fits to your needs, and your machine. Open an instance of Windows Explorer, and then go to:


Menu -- Tools -- Folder Options -- General -- View


uncheck these features:

Automatically search for network directories and printers

Do not cache thumbnails

The benefit of doing this has been argued a lot on many forums, but anyway; on Windows XP setup, I always disable all the not-needed and useless NT-services (for my particular hardware specs, configuration and way of usage) with services.msc. However, the general "truth" is that if a service is not being used, it will use no CPU time. And regarding the memory used by a particular service; Windows will reclaim its memory as needed, so until then it effectively uses no memory either. But see below for more thorough explanation.

I set to MANUAL these services:

Computer Browser, DNS Client, Internet Connection Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing, NT LM security Support Provider, Performance Logs and Alerts, QoS RSVP, Remote Access Auto Connection Manager, Routing and Remote Access, Security Accounts Manager, Server service, SSDP Discovery Service, Telephony Service, Volume Shadow Copy

I set to DISABLED these services:

Alerter, Automatic Updates, ClipBook, Distributed Link Tracking Client, Distributed Transaction Coordinator, Error Reporting Service, Fast User Switching Compatibility, Fax Service, Human Interface Device Access, IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service, Indexing Service, IPSEC Services, Messenger, Netlogon service, NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing, Network DDE, Print Spooler, Remote Registry Service, Remote Desktop Help Session Manager, Secondary Logon, Smart Card, Smart Card Helper, System Restore Service, TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper, Telnet, Themes, Universal Plug and Play Device Host, Wireless Zero Configuration

Just a further opinion of mine on services that aren't actually used or needed. As it is generally agreed on the Ars Technica forum where I participate on a daily basis, it is totally unnecessary or even dangerous to some extent (since in situations if/when the service would be in fact needed, it would be very hard to troubleshoot why some program/component is not working properly or at all) to change the default "startup types" (i.e. to disable them for instance) of any of the default XP's services. You see, if the service is not used on a particular computer, then the data that it uses (RAM that it occupies) is paged-out to the pagefile anyways if the RAM is needed for some other program to run etc., while regarding the CPU cycles that not-used services consume, it's quite similar as in the memory-related example above, i.e. if the respective service is not actually used, then it simply doesn't consume any% of CPU whatsoever even if the service-process is running, while the great majority of them run (i.e. the service are "hosted" by this process) in a single dedicated "svchost.exe" process, which is up and running in any case.






HINTS FOR WINDOWS 98 VERSION


As the most important thing for users who still use Windows 9x (though I am not sure for Windows ME), I additionally make a few performance modifications to the "System.ini" file itself, which means to change the values of entires like: "DMABufferSize", "MaxBPs", "PerVMFiles", "PageBuffers", "ComBoostTime", KeyBoostTime" etc., yeah, this list could go on and on. Usually, the "System.ini" file resides in/under the ""C:\Windows\" directory (the variable "%windir% or "%systemroot%"), on your primary/bot/system partition, where Windows 9x OS is installed. For instance, it is generally recommended for better performance, to set "MinFileCache" and "MaxFileCache" values to be identical, and for the "chunksize" parameter, try to keep/set it to the number, which is multiple of the integer 2: 1x2, 2x2, ...

The list of the most useful multipliers of number 2, I made for myself for similar situatons:

2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384, 32768, 65536, 131072

For lines under the [386Enh] section, you should only modify the "universal" and relatively safe entries/lines (anyway, I post only these), and if you will, just specify some reasonable value. I mean to modify only the generic entires like "LocalLoadHigh", "WindowUpdateTime", "ConservativeSwapfileUsage", "MinPagingFileSize" (which can be also set under Control Panel), and for other lines under the [vcache] header, which contains system's File Cache settings (and other memory management-related parameters), like the "MaxFileCache", "MinFileCache" and "chunksize" parameters/entries. Here below are the crucial lines from my "System.ini" file, that you can add to your own System.ini file, to improve the operational speed of your 9x system. But please be warned: do it at your very own risk!!

Note that it is not the whole file (I didn't post the whole file), because System.ini files contain mostly OS's particular/specific lines (various paths, devices, driver's file-image-names, and similar stuff), and these lines are in general "unique" to each system. For example OS-specific lines under sections like [keyboard], [mci], [drivers32], [Password Lists] and so on, so I put/paste here only lines under the two respective headers. If any line is already there, just replace if with the "optimized" one, meaning there shoudn't be two same lines inside file in the end. So here below are those mentioned lines from the "System.ini" file with values for optimized performance of Windows 9x systems (i.e., 95/98/98SE/ME), but you can optionally use any other values. For example under [vcache] header, you might put the same values for Min/Max FileCache, then you could put number 32768 instead of 65536 for MaxFileCache (if you don't have much RAM), and number 1024 instead of 2048 for chunksize etc.:

[386Enh]
LocalLoadHigh=1
32BitDiskAccess=on
32BitFileAccess=on
DMABufferSize=64
MinTimeSlice=40
MaxBPs=65530
PageBuffers=32
WindowUpdateTime=200
PerVMFiles=150
ComBoostTime=4
ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1
MinSPs=8
KeyBoostTime=.005
PagingDrive=C:
MinPagingFileSize=262144
MaxPagingFileSize=262144

[vcache]
MinFileCache=16384
MaxFileCache=32768
chunksize=1024


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