TUTORIAL: How to Optimize Your Operating System

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by whitedragon551, Oct 7, 2008.

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  1. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    The first thing you want to do if you have an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) operating system install is to go download PC Decrapifier. For example HP puts a pre-registered OS on their computers with the HP tools.

    PC Decrapifier will remove the unwanted garbage that is preloaded by the manufacturer. The download link:

    http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

    The next thing you will want to do is clean up the registry from all those programs you just uninstalled. There are tons of great paid for tools to do this but Im going to keep this as cheap as possible for you. Wise Registry Cleaner can do this for you. It supports 64-bit Vista and XP operating systems which alot dont. The download link:

    http://www.wisecleaner.com/

    The registry is essentially the heart of the Windows Operating system. Which means if a program you use messes something up or you miss something in the registry cleaning program that is vital to your operating system and its stability you may need to reinstall the entire operating system to fix the issue. However there is a program that one of the members brought to my attention. It creates a backup of your registry so that if anything does go wrong you use the backup and put everything in place as it was before you cleaned it. This program also offers options to restore the registry back to the original settings in the off chance that your system becomes unbootable in safe mode. This program is called ERUNT and comes in many different languages for all users. The download link:

    http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/

    Next thing you will want to do is have a tool to uninstall the programs that you install if you decide they arent for you. Basically what they do is they run the programs default uninstall tool and then scan the registry for left over references so you dont have to run a registry cleaner after every uninstall you do. There are tons of programs that do this such as Your Uninstaller 2008 (which I use) but its a paid program. You can use Revo Uninstaller. Its the best free Uninstall manager I have found. The download link:

    http://www.revouninstaller.com/

    After that you should manage your start up programs that start when you boot up. I used the built in start up manager in Spybot Search and Destroy. Thats about all its good for. Or you can use Start Up Control Panel made by Mike Lin. It also works very well and isnt complicated. The key here is to get rid of anything and everything you possibly can do without at the startup of your system to speed things up. You dont need to use this tool if your comfortable with using the built in start up manager in CCleaner or if you dont want duplicate programs to perform the same task. The download link:

    http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml

    Another good program is made by Sysinternals. Its called AutoRuns. Its alot more advanced than the other programs, but is effective and does much more than manages start up programs. The download link:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

    Now on for optimizing the Windows Services that start up with Windows. Some of them are un-needed and others are security loop holes. For this I use a website called BlackViper. It has different configurations for each OS (2000 and up) and the Windows Services that start with each. I used the "tweaked" category to optimize my Vista OS on my laptop and havent had any problems yet. Now you need to realize that what someone may consider un-needed another may rely upon. You can choose to tweak each one or leave it alone. This is just a guide for the average user. The website link:

    http://www.blackviper.com/

    When you install Microsoft Windows Vista you may not need all its Services to be running. If you are a tweak enthusiast you can always use Services to make the changes. Black Vipers is a great guide to help you. However, the problem here is how we can do it in a safe way, because tweaking Windows services in a wrong way may lead to many problems like failure in launching some Windows applications, Performance problems, Security risks or in some cases a total system crash.

    This is were Vista Services Optimizer comes into place. Vista Services Optimizer is a free tweaking utility that can help you tweak Windows services in an automatic and a very safe way according to the way you use your computer and which software are installed on your system.

    Vista Services Optimizer also enables you to tweak Windows Vista services manually for advanced users who need more control over Windows services in an easy and safe way. It provides you with detailed information about certain services and enables you to query some services information using Google or Yahoo search engine to help you identify some of Windows services function. The download link:

    http://smartpcutilities.bravehost.com/servicesoptimizer.html

    After that you will need to restart and see how your OS reacted to all the changes. After you are back into your operating system you will want to clean up unnecessary files and defragment the drive.

    To clean up I use CCLeaner as many of you do. Just run that and you should be fine.

    To defrag the hard drive you have millions of free ware defraggers available. JKDefrag is the preferred application here. It has a minimalistic GUI, but is extremely fast and it works. The download link:

    http://www.kessels.com/Jkdefrag/

    GUI for JKDefrag:

    http://www.emro.nl/freeware/

    Other things you may want to do:

    -Enable write caching on disk.

    To do this you go into 'My Computer' and right click on your OS partition and go into the properties. Go to the hardware tab at the top and select the hard drive from the list. Usually there will be a few things in there which will include virtual drives and CD/DVD readers. After you select it hit the properties tab. Go into the policy tab and check the box that says 'Enable Write Caching on Disk' and then check the box under it that says 'Enable Advanced Performance'.

    -Disable 8.3 File Name Creation, Enable Boot Defrag, and Increase NTFS Performance by Disabling LATS (Last Access Time Stamp)

    For this I use a program called TweakVI. Its a paid program if you want all the plug ins, but for the standard program its free. You can do these by altering the registry, but I dont want to be responsible for others messing up their computers. Install TweakVI and go to the left hand side. There will be some tabs there. Go into the System Information and Tweaks tab. And then on the right hand side will be some topics. Click on the second one that says Hard Drive Info. At the top will be some tabs. Click the tab that says Hide Disc Drives/Hard Drive Tweaks. Check the boxes that say Disable 8.3 File Name Creation, Enable Boot Defrag, and Increase NTFS Performance by Disabling LATS (Last Access Time Stamp), apply and your done.

    -Make Vista Shutdown Services Faster

    This is a registry tweak. You need to open regedit via the run option. You open the run box, type in regedit, and press enter. Your registry should appear. Next you need to navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

    You should see a key titled 'WaitToKillServiceTimeout' with a default value of 20000. Thats in milliseconds so it would be 20 seconds. You can change this value to as low as you want, but cant go under a 4 digit number. The lower the number the faster your computer will shut down. I have mine set at 2000. So its 2 seconds. The recommended value for this is 5000.

    After you run that you should be on your way to installing your operating system windows updates and any software you use.


    *NOTE: I will update as I see fit or get more suggestions on things to add. If you have other ways or other programs that are free that do a better job shoot me a PM or let me know here so we can make this a better topic.*



    Change Log
    *Added the Enable Write Caching on Disk
    *Added AutoRuns to Start Up managing
    *Added Disable 8.3 File Name Creation, Enable Boot Defrag, and Increase NTFS Performance by Disabling LATS (Last Access Time Stamp)
    *Added Make Vista Shutdown Services Faster
    *Added ERUNT and registry backup
    *Added Windows Vista Services Optimizer Program
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  2. norky

    norky Registered Member

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    You can just use the startup tool in revouninstaller or ccleaner if you want to simplify a little bit. Also, for people newer to computers, the GUI for jkdefrag @ http://www.emro.nl/freeware/ is nice.

    Good guide, I like seeing the link to blackviper.com.

    Thanks for putting this together.
     
  3. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I have found the start up tool in those to be selective. They dont pick everything up.
     
  4. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

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    I'd recommend SysInternals/MS Autoruns for startup control and for basic startup control, good old msconfig.
     
  5. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I was actually going to put that there, but its a little more advanced. If you disable something there then you can totally mess up your computer. I will add the reference to it though to the first post.
     
  6. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I think you should mention the importation of registry file tweaks. Many issues that can be corrected with a 3rd party utility can be corrected with reg tweaks. The services being a great example. Since you seem to be eluding to how to clean up a fresh install anyway.

    Better yet, incorprate the reg files and even some of these apps into the setup routine, so that just before first logon, one can do some sprucing up.

    Sul.
     
  7. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Very true. I have not tried to incorporate that into an auto installing disc. So I dont know how to merge the reg files. But yes these programs are just pretty GUIs for registry tweaks that can be done.
     
  8. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Incorporating them is not too hard. You should head over to msfn.org and check out thier unattended guide. There are a number of ways to get the reg files to merge. Look for cmdlines.txt and RunOnceEx.cmd. You will find all that is needed over there, and then some.

    Personally, that is the way I do it. I have either reg tweaks, portable apps that are installed so I can start them on first logon, or I use AutoIt or similar to script an app, such as WindowsWormCleaner. Although, even with that, a reg file will again do the same thing.

    Sul.
     
  9. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    I had what I thought was a reasonably clean system. I use crap cleaner, Advanced Windows Care 2 and jv16. over the years I have learned how to correct the errors that these programs make. Then I tried wisecleaner and discovered why so many dislike this sort of program. Although initially my system appeared stable I found that I had reboot problems. Restored a shadow protect image and all working fine again. I doubt if I will try wisecleaner again. With a good deal of corrective work It would probably be fine but I'm not sure that it is worth the effort.
     
  10. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    JV16 is an extremely powerful tool. If you dont check everything and cross reference what it wants to get rid of you are certain to get problems with it. Maybe I should put something about creating some sort of recovery discs in here as a back up reference in case any of the optimization does go wrong.

    I have limited experience with this. Is there anyone who would like to contribute this section to the tutorial?
     
  11. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I think there is a big difference between a user who likes to tinker and the user who truly understands what is going on and how to fix it. Maybe you should break your 3rd party apps down into 2 groups. The expert group for the ones that could cause issues and the Advanced group for those that probably won't do much in way of problems. I think that in 'cleaning up' it would be common for the user to be very 'zealous' in cleaning up, adding to potential problems.

    Sul.
     
  12. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Just to be clear here - I get on fine with JV16 - it was wisecleaner that was a bit too clever and did some damage - easily sorted with Shadow Protect. My view may be extreme but I would say that anyone wanting to optimse their registry should start by learning to image first. Many of the backup/restore functions are just not good enough. how do you restore having optimised 5 times over the last week ? just too much trouble. Restoring an image made a week ago seems to me to be a better idea.
     
  13. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    You should include something like ERUNT. Easy to read README, backup to a pen with good ole copy paste, before venturing into the unknown.
     
  14. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I just put in a section about registry back up with ERUNT.
     
  15. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Are we allowed to bump?

    :doubt:
     
  16. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Guess so since no one answered. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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    Howdy whitedragon551, my take on reg backups is that they ain't that good with images being a much better option.

    With reg backups:
    Any reg entry that is changed or deleted a reg backup will change back or add back but anything added to the reg remains even after a reg restore.

    Elder Geek - Registry
     
  18. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Thanks for bumping this tutorial thread, very helpful. I am adding a bookmark for it to my favorites.
     
  19. tlu

    tlu Guest

    This is not recommended. JKDefrag doesn't support Boot Defrag at the moment (the new version to be published soon will, though) - thus enabling Boot Defrag will unwind the optimizations by JKDefrag to some extent.

    Disabling LATS isn't recommended either as the last access time is used by JKDefrag for the Spacehogs. See here and here.
     
  20. Espresso

    Espresso Registered Member

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    ERUNT makes complete hive backups. You're referring to backing up as .REG files which I would only recommend for individual keys.


    I always disable LATS. It's the only way I can get a true Created date for new files. Often, installers and unzippers will copy the saved Creation date when they install/unzip files. When LATS is disabled, the access time is set to the current date and it doesn't change. I sort my System32 folder by access time so I can see what has been added and in what order.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
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