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Thread: Power User Setup for Windows XP

  1. #1
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    Default Power User Setup for Windows XP

    This guide is mostly intended for a novice user with an older or
    entry level computer, it works on faster computers also.


    update:
    Every computer needs Security software installed (Antivirus+Firewall) and should start up with Windows/run in the background.
    I did not agree with this statement when I wrote this guide, however the web is a lot more dangerous now
    http://users.telenet.be/bluepatchy/m...wcomputer.html


    A couple of years ago I beta tested Windows 2003 Server, to my surprise
    when it installed, everything was just like I do when I set my Windows xp up.
    Now why is that? Someone that's paying $700 for an OS wants it ready to
    use, not crippled like the Xp default install.

    First let's start with the task bar, right click(properties), there's a whole hidden world in the right mouse click. Let's uncheck hide inactive icons.

    From here on in learn to hit the highlighted Apply button.

    Next the start menu tab at the top, tick Classic Start menu . Apply and OK out.

    Now we are ready to do some serious work, see that My Computer icon, right click, properties again. Advanced tab, Performance-
    Settings, tick adjust for best performace and tick smooth edges of screen fonts

    There's a lot more that we can do here, but it's slightly dangerous, we
    will wait and return. A&0(Apply and OK)

    At this point you could repeat the steps and make sure everything's changed.

    Now open My Computer, right click C drive, properties, uncheck allow indexing
    service to.......
    and when it tell you a file is access denied, click ignore all. Next disk cleanup, learn to read sizes(15,000KB), see something big besides compress old files, check it and OK out.

    Tools tab, just for the heck of it let's run an error check. Check automatically fix file system errors. Before we defrag, got any temporary large video files,
    finish with them and delete. Make sure you have emptied the trash bin
    and norton's protected also. Now defrag.

    Hopefully defrag won't take so long after this.

    Now let's open up C drive thru my computer.
    Using view I set to icons, then under tools/folder options,
    I check Use Windows classic folders, next in the View tab,
    I uncheck Hide extensions(this is very important), then I uncheck hide protected system
    files, now check Display contents of system folders, display full path in .., show hidden files,
    and show control panel in my computer. Hit apply then go to top and hit apply to all folders.
    As long as you leave the "Leave the remember each folder's view setting" checked, you can customize individual folders like my pictures later.
    OK out now.
    Now see all those new files on the root directory of the C drive,
    Don't ever touch them, they enable windows to boot!

    Use the back button and see that Control Panel in my computer,
    go there, let's go to Add or Remove Programs, see a bunch of stuff you tried and never use anymore, lets get rid of them. If you don't know what something is, leave it alone(try and find out what it is tho).
    While we are here, let's go to Add/Remove Windows Components.
    Here's where the hidden fax feature is for Pro version, see something you never use like MSN Explorer or Windows Messenger, remove them? Leave Paint under accessories.
    I don't like windows media player so I remove it, but you'll need a replacement.
    Last edited by Chewy; 26 May 2007 at 08:29 PM

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    If you haven't already, use the guide "How to free up some system resources or system memory in XP"
    http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=56373

    This is very important and a lot easier than some of the later tweaks we will do.

    Defrag again!

    Now do you hibernate(laptops need to to save battery life)?
    I don't so I turn it off and free up a little room on my hard drive.
    Search for hibernate in the help section
    Pick an empty spot on the desktop and right click/propeties, in themes I use
    classic, makes that mess of a desktop easier to use, also none for the desktop backgound and I either turn off screensaver or make the time fairly high. In screensaver hit power, I select never for all, hibernate tab next.
    Hybernation is enabled by default, windows keeps a file reserved for
    all the ram installed? If you never use, lose it.

    Next under appearance tab, and effects, I select clear type to smooth edges of screen fonts, this was one of the best features of XP and it's turned off by default.

    Now under Settings tab, got a newer video card and good cpu and play games? You're fine, here unless you want to change the screen resolution. Do you have 2-3 yr old video that's onboard with shared ram
    or an even older video card with sdram, then experiment with 16 bit color.

    Hope you A&O'd?

    Ok, lets all put our tin foil hats on(computer geeks are crazy)
    http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/
    and do a THREE FINGER SALUTE,
    with you left hand hold down cntrl & alt keys, with right hand tap del key

    We're here looking at the guts of XP, under applications you should only see
    the browser you are using to view this web page and any background tasks
    you are performing. Under processes I only have 26 running and the System
    Idle Process is at 99%(that's good, that's how much of my cpu is available).
    If you ever have an application that hangs, this is where you try to stop it
    or as a last resort reboot(shut down at top). Windows xp is letting you down
    inside it's kernel here(a little ways). Now in performance we are only interested in Physical Memory(K), , with a power user setup,
    512 megs is plenty Total (mine) 523056, what's important is AVAILABLE. I have over 350 MB free, if you have a Gig of ram, windows will use a
    little more, don't even bother with much video work unless you can keep
    a few hundred megs free. What's even more important is how little memory
    I am using, 512 - 350 = ~160 megs. This is the goal, to reduce this number,
    and have more memory and resources available for video work.
    Last edited by Chewy; 28 Apr 2006 at 08:46 PM

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    Just a (stupid) question Chewie...what will this do for me? I have Xp sp2 and was reading this and I am not sure what to do with it? it seems like simple instructions to follow but I would like to know what the end result is.. Thanks Chewie!




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    consider this computing 101

    it's all about turning a toy into a tool

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    Excuse my ignorance I will admit I have had a computer for a while but I never bothered to learn it but I am starting to crack down and learn it so correct me if I am wrong.Dont this shut off the animated stuff and free up more of the processor
    Last edited by BR7; 11 Jan 2006 at 10:58 AM

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    ahhh so if I wanna leave it as a toy I guess what I want to know is will it make it work faster? I do a a pretty darn good system but anything I can do to make it better.




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    good
    -------------------------------------------

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derree
    ahhh so if I wanna leave it as a toy I guess what I want to know is will it make it work faster? I do a a pretty darn good system but anything I can do to make it better.
    On the same machine was windows 98 faster than XP? A lot of what I am doing just decreases XP's "footprint"! and is considered good computer maintenance.

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    well I just got the think in feb of 05 and it came with xp so I guess I can't really compare that way




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    Chewy I am following every step but I have a ? At the start of jmet's guide it states to make sure you backup before going into it.I am waiting on a Maxtor one touch to arrive which I am going to use to backup my system.Here's my ? should I wait to do that before using the guide and proceeding?Part 1 looks really good and I am sorry about the other thing.I didn't know.I think I should have said backup my whole system.
    Last edited by soup; 11 Jan 2006 at 10:57 AM

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    Not a god of digital video blutach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewy
    If you haven't already, use the guide "How to free up some system resources or system memory in XP"
    What guide is this? Do you have a URL please?

    Regards

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    Here Blu I think this is what he means
    http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=56373




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    Just click back blutach it is at the top of the page.

  13. #13
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    Thanks guys - I don't usually come to this page via the GC sub-forum, so it was a bit confusing. I thought that was the guide Chewy was referring to but wasn't sure. Maybe he can make it a link.

    Regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by blutach
    Maybe he can make it a link.
    *hint hint wink wink nudge nudge*




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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BR7
    Excuse my ignorance I will admit I have had a computer for a while but I never bothered to learn it but I am starting to crack down and learn it so correct me if I am wrong.Dont this shut off the animated stuff and free up more of the processor
    Excuse my tardiness, that's exactly the point of this, in other words you hit the nail on the head!

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