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Default FAQ of the Software/Operating Systems section - 10-12-2005, 04:28 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

Guru3d FAQ Software and Operating Systems section. If you have a problem or question have a look here first, you never know.

If you are new here at please do start by reading The be-all of announcements

Please feel free to comment and contribute.

Part 1

Operating System
Page file/Swap file/Virtual Memory
Memory related topics
XP Services: Links for services guides
File system
SP2 slipstream guide/ nLite Guide / Unattended CD's / Customization
Microsoft Windows 64-bit: Devices, drivers and software
Miscellaneous questions and problems
Troubleshooting help

Part 2

Error Reporting and Dr. Watson
Windows shutdown problems
Hard Disk, File system, Data corruption
Disk space
Moving a Windows installation to different hardware
Moving Windows to a new hard disk
Installing Windows without using a CD/DVD
Install issues
Manually Installing device drivers under XP
Uninstall issues
Program and process control
Run Commands and Hotkeys

Part 3

Security, Privacy, Virus and Spyware Help

Part 4

Miscellaneous stuff

Part 5

Information on various Tweaks

Operating System:

Page file/Swap file/Virtual Memory:

Windows Swap/Page File Defined
Virtual Memory Optimization Guide Rev. 4.1!
How to determine the appropriate page file size for 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP
RAM, Virtual Memory, PageFile and all that stuff
How to overcome the 4,095 MB paging file size limit in Windows
Understanding Virtual Memory
How to configure paging files for optimization and recovery in Windows XP
The Memory-Optimization Hoax (reg required), (web.archive version is dead)
Inside Memory Management, Part 1 (reg required), (web.archive version is dead)
Inside Windows 2000 (Module 8-3, Physical Memory Management)
Virtual Memory in Windows XP
Paging File Considerations for Windows NT (and family)
Index of Virtual Memory Terms (old stuff)
Guru3d thread: Virtual memory

Guru3d thread: PF Usage graph

forums.anandtech: Performance-oriented Windows tweaking

Memory related topics:

Virtual Address Space
Memory Limits for Windows Releases

Managing Virtual Memory in Win32
Large Memory Support
A description of the 4 GB RAM Tuning feature and the Physical Address Extension switch
/3GB, /PAE, AWE what??? (basic)
Summary of the recent spate of /3GB articles
Comment on Virtual/Physical/Processor address space
Guru3d thread: Memory leaks

XP Services: Links for services guides:

MS: Default settings for services
Service overview and network port requirements for the Windows Server system
Windows XP Services Default Settings Guide
theeldergeek: services guide
blackviper: services guide
Services overview
To enable or disable a service for a hardware profile
Create or Delete A Service in Windows XP
How to delay loading of specific services
SC (Service Controller)


The definitive dual-booting guide: Windows 7, Linux, Vista and XP step-by-step

Dual-Boot Centre
Understanding the Multiboot Process
Understanding MultiBooting


How to edit the Boot.ini file in Windows XP
How to Use and Edit Boot.ini in Windows XP
How Do I remove An Invalid Boot Path From The Boot Ini File


Boot Configuration Data Editor Frequently Asked Questions
BCD Boot Options Reference
How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows Vista

Third party BCD editor

EasyBCD Documentation
EasyBCD forum sticky


Booting and Boot Managers
Booting Linux from Windows' Boot Manager
Ubuntu Linux / Windows Dual Boot Instructional Video
Ubuntu / Vista dual boot and keeping previous Ubuntu
SDB:Uninstalling the Boot Manager GRUB from the MBR
SDB:Uninstalling the Boot Manager LILO from the MBR

Related information

Boot Process: Windows Vista vs. Windows XP

Windows Vista no longer starts after you install an earlier version of the Windows operating system in a dual-boot configuration
You cannot start Windows XP after you install Windows Vista in a dual-boot configuration together with Windows XP

The partition that hosts Windows Vista may disappear if you use Windows XP to create a partition on a computer that has both Windows XP and Windows Vista installed, more info Disappearing Partitions

No restore points are available when you use Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 in a dual-boot configuration together with an earlier Windows operating system

Definitions for system volume and boot volume
How did I get a Boot and System partition?

File system:

Guru3d Poll: WindowsXP Users What file system do you use?
Guru3d: FAT32 or NTFS for gaming

NTFS or FAT32?
The Default Cluster Size for the NTFS and FAT File Systems
NTFS Preinstallation and Windows XP

Slipstream guide/ nLite Guide / Unattended CD's / Customization :

Google: slipstream+service+pack
XP SP2 slipstream
Slipstreaming Windows XP with Service Pack 3
Vista SP1 Slipstream

Originally posted by bakuryu
A tool to furthur customize your XP cd, integrate hot-fixes, remove certain components, along with service pack integration.

nLite Guide nLite
Complete Beginners Guide to nLite Unattended CD's
Hotfixes For Windows XP Professional SP2

Microsoft Windows XP Hotfix Installation and Deployment Guide
Unattended CD Guide

Service Pack

Windows XP Service Pack 2/3 Problem Solver
Windows xp service pack 2 faqs & best practices
Windows XP Service Pack 2 Problem Solver

Microsoft Windows 64-bit: Devices, drivers and software: Microsoft Windows 64-bit compatibility list
Windows 64bit Compatibility Guide: Native 64-Bit Software, Planetamd64 application forum, Extended64: Driver Database

Guru3d :Windows 64-Bit needs found here

Miscellaneous frequently asked questions and problems:

There is no user names in Task manager:

Enable Terminal services

Task Manager Menu Bar and Tabs Are Not Visible:

Double click the frame.

Reported system memory is less then installed:

The system memory that is reported in the System Information dialog box in Windows Vista is less than you expect if 4 GB of RAM is installed
Dude, Where's My 4 Gigabytes of RAM?

My system idle process is showing very high CPU usage:

System Idle Process "In computing, The System Idle Process is a process in the Microsoft Windows operating system that displays, as a percentage, how much CPU resources are "idle" and available for use at any given time. The name of this "process" may be a misnomer, however, as the System Idle Process is more of a counter and less of a process that actually uses the resource percentage that it displays."
The OS will also issue a HLT command. That is what the CPU cooling programs like Waterfall, Rain and cpuidle (made for the Windows 9x series) was for, as 9x did not issue any HLT commands like XP/2000.
The C1 halt state is invoked when the operating system's idle process issues a HLT command. (Windows does this constantly when not under a full load.)

Windows XP hangs on logo at start up:

Disabling Event Log service may cause the delay in start up.

Windows stops loading for about 15 seconds
WinXP starts up for 10 secs
windows xp slow shutdown (event log)

Task Manager, msconfig, regedit issues:

Task Manager, MSCONFIG, REGEDIT launch issues
Error Message: "Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator"

Internet Explorer issues:

You cannot open a new Internet Explorer window or nothing occurs after you click a link
Repair Internet Explorer 6
IEFix - General purpose fix for Internet Explorer

Windows Media Player troubleshooting and error codes:

Troubleshooting Windows Media Player 11
Error Codes for Windows Media Player 11, 10,9
KB886273: Error code information for Windows Media Player 9 Series
KB234019: Windows Media Player Invalid File Format Error Message

Access denied, System Volume Information folder:

How to gain access to the System Volume Information folder:

Show hidden files and folders:

Enable viewing of hidden files and folders:

You Cannot Change the Read-Only of Folders:

You Cannot View or Change the Read-Only or System Attribute of Folders

Windows Update issues:

Windows Update error codes

You cannot install some updates or programs
MS kb: The necessary services are disabled or unavailable
Cryptographic Service Error

How to read the Windowsupdate.log file
Command-line switches for Windows software update packages

Windows Update Gripes
Windows Update Fails
Windows Update Keeps Prompting
Search on page for "Windows Update"

The Windows Update Web site and the Microsoft Update Web site do not scan for updates when you repair a failed installation of Windows XP Service Pack 2 or of Windows XP Service Pack 1

Repaired installations of XP can't be updated; 80 Windows Updates fail to install, more

You receive an access violation error and the system may appear to become unresponsive when you try to install an update from Windows Update or from Microsoft Update

Force install Windows Update Agent:

Use the /wuforce switch Links for the latest Version of the Windows Update Agent

Undeletable files:

You cannot delete a file or a folder on an NTFS file system volume

First you should make sure no program is "using" the file and have it locked/in use. Close all running programs including any processes stuck from programs which has failed to closed correctly, use the Task Manager.

If the problem is frequent one possibility, other then programs messing up is the Hard Disk. So run a full disk check and get any errors fix. If it's very frequent and you are getting overall file corruption, the Hard Disk may be dying. Simple cable issues may be the problem check the cable connections and the cable itself.

Technique One: Use a tool

Locked Files Wizard

Technique Two: Use Safe Mode

Boot in safe mode (F8 before Win loads) and delete the file normally or using cmd.

Technique Three: Use the CMD

This can be done from both safe or normal mode. Depending on what is "locking" the file safe mode may assist, but should not be used unless needed to save the time on reboots.

1. Find the directory in which file is and copy the path and file name.

Directory: C:\Documents and Settings\%UserName%\Desktop\

Or copy the full path to the file, including the Drive letter and file name extension.

Full path: C:\Documents and Settings\%UserName%\Desktop\stupidfile.exe

2. Close all open programs.

3. "Start" > "Run" type cmd press ok

This will open the Command Prompt window leave it open.

4. "Start" > "Run" type taskmgr press ok, or right click the Task bar and select Task Manager.

5. In Task Manager go to the Processes tab and find Explorer.exe then use "End Process" on Explorer.exe to kill the shell. Leave the Task Manager open.

6. Go back to the Command Prompt window and paste or type del <full path to file>. Or cd <directory path> enter DEL <filename>

Using full path:
del C:\Documents and Settings\%UserName%\Desktop\stupidfile.exe

Using directory and file name:
cd C:\Documents and Settings\%UserName%\Desktop
del stupidfile.exe

7. Go back to Task Manager, click File, New Task and enter explorer to restart the shell.


Troubleshooting check list

Startup problems

Resources for troubleshooting startup problems in Windows XP
Troubleshooting the Startup Process
How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP
How to perform advanced clean-boot troubleshooting in Windows XP
How to troubleshoot by using the System Configuration utility in Windows XP
How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting
Troubleshooting Disks and File Systems
Tools for Troubleshooting

System Restore

How to restore the operating system to a previous state in Windows XP
How to start the System Restore tool at a command prompt in Windows XP
Running System Restore from the Recovery Console (well, sort of)
Troubleshooting steps for issues when you try to use the System Restore tool in Windows XP

Recovery Console and Command line

Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console
Recovering Windows XP using the Recovery Console

An A-Z Index of the Windows NT/XP command line

How to enable an administrator to log on automatically in Recovery Console
Loosen the Recovery Console restriction to other partitions

Operating system crash (BSOD):

BSOD: Stop Messages

Troubleshooting Windows STOP messages
STOP Errors
Bug Check Codes
Interpreting Bug Check Codes

Memory dump

Preparation Before You Contact Microsoft After Receiving a STOP Message on a Blue Screen
How to read the small memory dump files that Windows creates for debugging
How to Use Dumpchk.exe to Check a Memory Dump File
Overview of memory dump file options for Windows 2000, for Windows XP, and for Windows Server 2003

Debugging memory dumps, tutorials, tools and references:

Debugging Tools for Windows - Overview
Windbg Tutorials
Crash Dump Analysis

Debugger Reference
Common WinDbg Commands

More debugging:
Debugging Toolbox
It Goes To Eleven
NTDebugging Blog

Driver and Hotfix Verifier

Qfecheck.exe Verifies the Installation of Windows 2000 and Windows XP Hotfixes
How to uninstall a hotfix or Service Pack via the Recovery Console ?
Driver Verifier
How to Use Driver Verifier to Troubleshoot Windows Drivers

Device Manager

How to troubleshoot unknown devices that are listed in Device Manager in Windows XP
Explanation of error codes generated by Device Manager in Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Command Line Device Management

There is a tool called devcon which can be used for command line device management. You can not use DevCon with Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition. (Note: According to MS DevCon is unsupported and not redistributable. It's intended for use as a debugging and development tool)

Device Management: DevCon
DevCon quick guide

Event Viewer

How To View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
Events and Errors Message Center
Windows XP Event Viewer
Event ID

Troubleshooting links
Doug Knox
Troubleshooting Error messages in Windows XP
Troubleshooting Windows XP
Smartcomputing: Tech Support Center
Windows XP Professional Resource Kit: Understanding Troubleshooting
Windows XP Software-Related Errors

TechNet On-Demand Webcast: Advanced Windows Troubleshooting with Sysinternals Process Monitor

Repair Install
Clean Install

How to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks

Last edited by Animatrix; 08-15-2009 at 23:27.
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Videocard: BFG 8800GT OC2 512
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750
Mainboard: ABIT IP35 Pro
Memory: Corsair XMS2 4x1GB
Soundcard: SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS
PSU: Corsair VX550W
Default 10-12-2005, 04:29 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

Error Reporting and Dr. Watson

How To Configure and Use Error Reporting in Windows XP
Description of the Dr. Watson for Windows (Drwtsn32.exe) Tool
Dr. Watson overview
Interpreting the DrWtsn32.log
How to Install Symbols for Dr. Watson Error Debugging
labmice.techtarget: Dr. Watson

How to disable Dr. Watson for Windows

To disable Dr. Watson it's suggested (in the MS link above) that you delete the key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AeDebug. Remember to export to key first. To enable Dr. Watson again, at a command prompt type drwtsn32 -i then double-click the .reg file you exported. Note that other debuggers (such as WinDbg) will use the same key if installed as the automatic debugger.

To simply disable the auto start of debugger(s), change the "Auto" data value from 1 to 0
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AeDebug

Specifies the debugger that activates when an application error occurs. If the value of the Auto entry is 1, this debugger starts automatically. If the value of Auto is 0, the user must start the debugger. Dr. Watson (drwtsn32) is the default debugger, but another debugger (such as WinDbg or NTSD) can be installed as the automatic debugger.

Windows shutdown problems

Resources to help troubleshoot shutdown problems in Windows XP
theeldergeek: Troubleshooting Windows XP Shutdown Issues

Troubleshooting Hard Disk, File system and Data corruption

Data Corruption
Windows XP Professional Resource Kit: Troubleshooting Disks and File Systems
Windows 2000 File Systems (FAT, FAT32, NTFS)
Hard Disk Drive Problems: Fix Hard Drive Problems

Disk space

How to locate and correct disk space problems on NTFS volumes in Windows XP
Description of the Low Disk Space Notification in Windows XP
How the System Restore Tool Handles Hard-Disk Space Usage

Moving a Windows installation to different hardware
How to replace the motherboard on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000
Replace Motherboard on a Windows XP System

Changing a Motherboard or Moving a Hard Drive with XP Installed
Moving an Entire Installation
How to move a Windows installation to different hardware
Move your drive with Windows 2000 (or XP) to a new system

How to use the Sysprep tool to automate successful deployment of Windows XP
How to Use Sysprep: An Introduction

Moving files and settings to a new computer running Windows XP

Moving Windows to a new hard disk

Most hard disk manufactures have free tools for transferring the OS to a new drive, go to the manufactures web page and look for a download. For example for Seagate and Maxtor hard disks you have MaxBlast and DiscWizard, both are free versions of Acronis imaging software.

If the software provided by the manufacture is doing a drive-to-drive copy (i.e. it simply copies the files and is not using imaging) i would suggest looking at some of the free imaging software as well, because drive-to-drive copying is not always the most reliable approach. They do work but for the result to be reliable it should preferably be done "off-line", i.e. not booted into the OS.

Free Imaging Software

Installing Windows without using a CD/DVD

With or without Windows using floppy:

Obtaining Windows XP Setup Boot Disks
HOW TO: Install Windows 2000 (or XP perhaps) from DOS without a bootable CDROM

With Windows and no CD/floppy, using a second system to copy from:

Make a image of the CD using the second system and transfer it, then use a virtual drive to install.

With Windows and no CD/floppy, using a second system to copy from:

Use the second system to copy and transfer the install files needed, then install from hard disk --

Without Windows or CD/floppy, using a second system to copy from and DOS;

Harddrive Windows XP installation - no floppy/CD drive

Installing to USB device:

Windows In Your Pocket The link for the HP tool is dead so here is another link HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool

How To Boot From A USB Flash Drive

Install issues:


1. Extract the install files using Winrar or Universal Extractor
, right click the installer and extract. Now look in the extracted files for the installer (setup.exe, install.exe, name varies).

2. Clear temporary files.

3. Move your temporary folders to another partition if one exist, otherwise just try a new location.
  • 1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  • 2. Click the Advanced tab.
  • 3. Click Environment variables.
  • 4. Change the TMP and TEMP folder location to another partition.

DirectX installation:

1. Follow the steps in General.

2. Try the DirectX Redistributable instead of the Web Installer

DirectX End-User Redistributable

DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer

DirectX install errors:

A Cabinet file necessary for the installation cannot be trusted
You cannot install some updates or programs
You may receive the "DirectX did not copy a required file" error message when you install DirectX 9.0 on a Windows XP Professional-based computer
Description of DirectX Setup Error Codes
Guru3d: DirectX 9c Installation Failed

DirectX SDK:

DirectX SDK
What's New in the DirectX SDK
Installing DirectX with DirectSetup


1. Follow the steps in General.

Common installation errors
Google search: Installshield+install+troubleshooting add your program to the search
Google search: demoshield+has+encountered+a+problem

Installshield player failed to load or Demoshield player has encountered a problem

If you receive this error message while trying to install a Creative Labs product AND you have recently installed QuickTime 7 or iTunes, follow one of these steps below:

1 - Follow these steps:

* Right click on Start, then select Explore.
* Browse to c:\windows\system32.
* Find the file quicktime.qts.
* Right click and select Rename.
* Change it to quicktime.old.
* Install the Creative software.
* After installation, browse to c:\windows\system32
* Rename the file back to quicktime.qts.


2 - Uninstall Quicktime 7, install the Creative software, Reinstall Quicktime 7

Apple has reported that they will be releasing version 7.03 of Quicktime in early October. This version of Quicktime will resolve the installation errors that occur while installing some products.
Windows Installer:

1. Follow the steps in General.

Windows Installer
Windows Installer Cleanup Utility
Microsoft KB search on Windows Installer Error
Windows Installer: Error Codes
Windows Installer Team Blog: Troubleshooting
Windows Installer FAQ
How to resolve Common "Windows Installer" Problems
How to Enable Windows Installer Logging in Windows XP

Intel chipset INF Update Utility:

1. Follow the steps in General.

2. Look in the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Intel\InfInst for the installed version. Install success status, and to see if a reboot is needed at all, "reboot" on "yes/no". Start > Run > type regedit find the key.

3. Third party drivers are currently installed and/or no update is needed/possible. Which is why there is a Overwrite switch IF needed. DO NOT USE unless you know what you are doing.
-OVER ALL: Updates ALL INF drivers even if third party drivers are currently installed. This flag works in Interactive Mode only.
4. You can also use the -B switch on the extracted setup file SETUP.EXE -b (with path) to test if a install is successful, but no boot prompt is given (Silent success), like what you should be able to see in the Registry.
-B: Automatically reboots the system after installation. This flag is ignored if '-A' flag is specified. This flag works in either Silent Mode or Interactive Mode.
Look in readme.txt for help (readme (from

Flash player:

Troubleshoot Adobe Flash Player installation for Windows
Exe installer
Shockwave Player


1. Follow the steps in General.

2. Copy the CD/DVD to the Hard disk and install.

3. Disable or uninstall any emulators and/or virtual drives (blows i know).

4. If your getting CRC errors often then your RAM may be bad, run test, Download (Pre-built & ISOs)


1. Follow the steps in General.
2. Do a manual install using the extracted file.

Manually Installing device drivers under XP:

1. Open the Device manager. Start > Control panel, click System go to the Hardware tab and click Device manager. Or Start > Run > type devmgmt.msc

2. Look for the device you want to update the driver for, double click it.

3. Go to the driver tab and click on update driver.

4. This will pop up the "Hardware update install Wizard". Select No, not this time click next. Select Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)click next. Select Don't search. I will choose the driver to install

5. Select Have Disk, click the Browse button. Navigate to where you have extracted the files/driver and find the .inf file to your device. XP will help by filtering the files by extension (inf).

Optional step:

If your in the dark about what file to use you can tell XP to search the extracted files.

Repeat steps 1 to 3:

4. This will pop up the "Hardware update install Wizard". Select No, not this time click next. Select Install from a list or specific location (Advanced) click next. Select Search for the best driver in these locations. Uncheck search removable media and check on Include this location in search. Click the Browse button and go to the directory where you extracted the files/driver, click next and let it scan, install if driver is found.

Again XP will filter the files by extension (.inf) but this time folders are excluded i.e. You can't press ok on a folder which has no driver.

HOW TO: Manage Devices in Windows XP

Uninstall issues:


There are DirectX uninstallers, but you should be warned that they seem to in some cases cause issues and there are mixed reports on their sucess.

DirectX Happy Uninstall
DirectX Eradicator 2.0


Removing Norton AntiVirus 2003 or earlier by using the Rnav2003.exe removal utility when Add/Remove programs fails
Removing your Norton program using SymNRT
Norton Removal Tool (SymNRT)
Guru3d: complete way to remove nav2004-5 from xp

Macromedia Flash

How to uninstall the Macromedia Flash Player plug-in and ActiveX control
Installers and Uninstallers

Uninstall, Clean Up and file deletion tools

Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility
Revo Uninstaller
ZSoft Uninstaller
Freeware-guide: Uninstallers
Brute Force Uninstaller (BFU) and other Merijn tools
Killbox (file deletion)
Sysinternals Process-Explorer
Sysinternals Autoruns
Sysinternals: has various tools for tracking

Program and process control

Uninstall Programs Manually
Windows Program Automatic Startup Locations
A Collection of Autostart Locations
How to manage Windows Startup?
Default Processes in Windows 2000
A description of Svchost.exe in Windows XP
How to determine what services are running under a SVCHOST.EXE process
Glossary of Windows 2000 Services
Default Processes in Windows 2000
CurrentControlSet\Services Subkey Entries
Windows NT Subsystems and Associated Files
How to troubleshoot by using the System Configuration utility in Windows XP
Description of Windows XP System Information (Msinfo32.exe) Tool Search on process name

Run Commands and Hotkeys:

List of the keyboard shortcuts that are available in Windows XP
Windowsnetworking: Windows XP Keyboard Shortcuts
How can I navigate in Windows and NT and XP using just keystrokes on the keyboard?
Guru3d: Windows Hot Keys
Useful Run Commands

Last edited by Animatrix; 05-04-2009 at 22:49.
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Processor: Amd Athlon64 3500+ @2.3GHz
Mainboard: Asus A8n-E
Memory: 2 x 1GB DDR 400 @ 2.5-3-3-8 2T
Soundcard: Onboard Realtek ALC850
PSU: 500W Antec SmartPower 2.0
Default 10-12-2005, 07:25 | posts: 3,270 | Location: India

Here's another site for 'STOP errors' :

And just to add to the tools for "deleting files" I used HijackThis, open it's misc tools section, and there's an option to delete a file on reboot.

Ohh and here's just a backup of blackviper's site :

A tool to furthur customize your XP cd, integrate hot-fixes, remove certain components, along with service pack integration.


and adding to the Miscellaneous issues:
My system idle process is showing very high CPU usage

It's normal. It gives a measure of how much idle your CPU is. Higher percent shown is good !

Ohh , btw .. great work Animatrix

Should get a sticky

Last edited by bakuryu; 10-12-2005 at 08:00.
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Ancient Guru
Animatrix's Avatar
Videocard: BFG 8800GT OC2 512
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750
Mainboard: ABIT IP35 Pro
Memory: Corsair XMS2 4x1GB
Soundcard: SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS
PSU: Corsair VX550W
Default 10-12-2005, 09:14 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

Security, Virus and Spyware Help:

1. Keep your Operating System fully updated

Operating System vulnerabilities are bad and needs to be patched. Because of the level and integration at which the flaw exists they can be used to compromise systems easier and deeper. If updating with the latest service pack is giving you trouble please try making a Slipstream and do a fresh install using that new CD.

2. Keep your applications updated

Application vulnerabilities

In theory all or most applications can be misused and exploited. If the application does something it can do it wrong and that can lead to bad things if misused. Don't be fooled into thinking seemingly powerless applications are safe and pose no threat. Obviously the more popular and widely used the application is the larger the attack surface and motivation to attack will be. Looking at flaws in browsers and integrated applications like Flash, Java and Java script when used on popular sites, the numbers of people it can reach in a short span of time is quite large.

Exploits using flaws in applications can be used to attacks systems involving such things as malformed files, pdf, image, sound, video etc.

Secunia Software Inspector

These vulnerabilities start out as 0day exploits

Depending on the actual vulnerability some security programs may catch the exploit. But this will all depend on both the program and vulnerability. An example might be the windows metafile vulnerability, this was blocked by some programs generically and others needed a update. As this type of exploit always starts out as a 0day exploit most definition based protection will fail to stop the exploit at first. 0day exploits are combated using 0day protection, there is more then one type of protection which qualifies as 0day protection.

3. Secure your connection

People behind NAT routers are well protected from unsolicited traffic (guests knocking at your door you did not invite). NAT routers may have build-in firewalls and do filtering. NAT (Network Address Translation) however offers no protection for outgoing traffic, unlike most software firewalls. If you run a router remember to change the default administrator password and pick a strong pass. Disable all features of the router you don't use. If you are relying on UPnP i urge you to do the configurations manually instead, having software change router setting behind your back is not cool, if the software turns out to be untrustworthy you may have a problem (NAT Router Security Solutions). The people connecting directly to a modem should really have a firewall in place like Windows own firewall. Net-aware malware like worms do not need any user interaction to spread. Dialup'ers should take special care of spy-ware known as dialers.

4. Run Anti-malware, do system scan every week or two

Just how badly you need Anti-malware protection like Anti-virus and Anti-spyware software do somewhat depend on your habits and computer know-how. Just remember malware can come from unexpected places.

If you install software left, right and center with no regard, you surf blindly and unsafe places, well then you probably need Anti-malware protection. Or you can do what most people does who have to reinstall windows, again. Wait until you get infected and then install them for cleaning, oh and pray they can clean it so you wont have to reinstall, again. Remember protection is not used retroactively and cleaning after the fact is not how you best protect yourself, that's just damaged control.

If you have a bad habit of installing software that ends up damaging the system or if you just like to install more software then is healthy, you should look into virtual machines and virtualization in general. It will isolate and contain any issues caused by software to the guest OS, and can't harm the main system, known as the host OS. You can do a lot of testing and fun stuff without having to worry about the system (Note: Malware should be handled with care, there are procedures to testing malware in a VM).

Your browser and it's settings are also important, my recommendation is go with Firefox and use NoScript or Opera. If you use IE make sure your IE security settings are not set low and install Spywareblaster for some extra passive protection. Update to IE7 if you haven't. If you are a high risk surfer i would suggest looking into sandboxing, like Sandboxie and other forms of strong protection (Virtualization, HIPS, disaster recovery and system restore/rollback).

Understanding Spyware, Browser Hijackers, and Dialers
Malware FAQ

The scanning programs databases must be updated regularly.

It is very important to keep the Anti-virus program "database" ("signature file", "definition file") updated. The database is needed for AV programs to recognize viruses reliably. Having a updated database is needed for the programs to recognize new viruses reliably. Without a database the Anti-virus program will have to rely on Heuristics and other techniques. Even with the best Anti-virus programs that's not where you want to "lay all your eggs". Heuristics are not meant for, or to be used as a replacement for databases. When a new virus strikes, in the early stage before the database can get updated Heuristics is used.

If money is preventing you from running an updated Anti-virus program or you just feel you can't be bothered to renew your update service, i strongly advice you to pick a free Anti-virus program as the updates are what really counts. There are perfectly good free Anti-virus programs out there and compared to some old Anti-virus program with a old database, it's a "no brainer".

Free Anti-Virus Programs

AntiVir Personal Edition Classic

avast! home

BitDefender Free Edition

Grisoft AVG AntiVirus Free Edition

All scans should preferably be done on a regular basis, say weekly. You don't have to scan the same 250GB every week but do scan your system drive or just the Windows, Documents and Settings and Program Files folders.

If any of this is missing please do it now.

Online scanners


Multi-engine single file scan:

Single engine fully system scan:

Kaspersky (no cleaning)
Panda (activescan triggers detection by some AV's)
Trendmicro, new version

Malware Analysis:


Security tests

Browser Security test
Secunia Software Inspector
McAfee Siteadvisor

E-mails for submitting samples to AV companies

Firewall and Antivirus

Free Windows Firewalls (Big list)
Spywarewarrior: Antivirus list
Free Antivirus, online and normal
Other Firewalls Sticky Posts and Other Useful Links

Anti-Malware/Spyware, Rootkits

a-squared Free
Comodo BOClean
Google Pack: Spyware Doctor Starter Edition and Norton Security Scan
Spybot Search & Destroy
Spyware Blaster (residual protection)
SpywareBlaster Troubleshooting and Tips & Tricks
Windows AntiSpyware

Trustworthy Anti-Spyware Products
Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products

List of Dedicated Anti Trojan Products

Sandbox, HIPS, Virtualization, & System Hardening apps
Rootkit Detection and Removal
Rootkits and how to combat them

Tools, Command line and stand-alone scanners

CCleaner, general system cleaner
ATF Cleaner, temp file removal tool
Killbox, file deletion tool
Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, More Information
Stinger Stand-alone AV
Dr. Web: Cure-it
Kaspersky: AVPTool, Info
AVZ (Russian site but they have a English version)
A-squared command line scanner
Mcafee command line scanner (
Sophos command line scanner, definitions
Trend Micro command line scanner (Sysclean), definitions
Ikarus command line scanner
ClamWin Portable
Automated virus / spyware removal script

Boot CDs

Avira AntiVir Rescue System

Bitdefender: LinuxDefender Live! CD

Dr.Web LiveCD

Kaspersky Rescue Disk

Ultimate Boot CD for Windows

Word of warning on cleaning with boot CDs

Specialized removal tools:

These tools should really only be used after specific instructions telling you to do so. Make sure you know what you are doing and used them responsibly, at your own risk. More often then not analyzing a hijackthis log will be need before you can really tell which tool you should use. However if your system is already completely hosed by malware to the point were you are about to format and reinstall just run them all, follow the instructions.

VirtumundoBeGone (if VundoFix do not work)
VundoFix/VirtumundoBeGone Guide: How to Remove WinFixer / Virtumonde / Msevents / Trojan.vundo

Smit*****Fix Guide: How to remove the Smit***** / Generic Zlob / Quicknavigate / Virtual Maid

Running ComboFix
A guide and tutorial on using ComboFix

Using SDFix

CWShredder, for CoolWebSearch

HijackThis, log tutorials and guides, online analysis

Hijackthis is a tool for dealing with unwanted run commands. It can make logs for people to help assist in the removal (note HijackThis was bought by Trend Micro and is now at version 2. Most still use the old version unless v2 is needed for when running Vista).

HijackThis V1
HijackThis V2

HijackThis Tutorial - How to use HijackThis to remove Browser Hijackers & Spyware

HijackThis log file analysis

LSP-Fix Repairs Winsock 2 settings, caused by buggy or improperly-removed Internet software, that result in loss of Internet access.

Sysinternals Tools:

Sysinternals Forum

Process Explorer, a real task manager
Process Monitor, shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity.
TCPView, detailed listings of all TCP and UDP endpoints
RootkitRevealer, no cleaning capacities
Sysinternals Suite

Uninstallers, integrity checkers/snapshot compare, system logging (live)

pcBaseline: Snapshot
SysAnalyzer: Snapshot
Tiny Watcher: Snapshot/Integrity checker
Sentinel: Integrity checker
freeware-guide: Uninstallers
ZSoft Uninstaller: Uninstaller
Osiris: Host Integrity Monitoring

Reviews and Tests

Virus Bulletin (babelfish)
Personal HIPS Tests

Malware Removal Guides

Guru3D: Malware cleaning guides

GENERAL Virus and Trojan removal Instructions
How to remove a Trojan, Virus, Worms, or other Malware
Dealing with Unwanted Spyware and Parasites
Spyware and Malware Removal Guides and Reading Room
Viruses/Spyware/Malware, preliminary removal instructions
TechNet On-Demand Webcast: Advanced Malware Cleaning

Databases and search engines to help identify objects

System Setup and Hardening

Protecting Your Privacy & Security
Security Configuration Guides (NSA)
Home computer security
Home network security
Securing Your Web Browser
Internet Explorer 6 Security and Privacy
Internet Explorer: Setting Up Security Zones

Windows Worms Doors Cleaner

LUA/Non admin:

Aaron Margosis' "Non-Admin" WebLog,
Non-admin for home users
Reducing browser privileges
Wilderssecurity: SuRun: Easily running Windows XP as a limited user
Ruin a malware author's whole day with a Software Restriction Policy!
Using Software Restriction Policies to Protect Against Unauthorized Software

Articles, Papers Whitepapers Reading room Antivirus Links & Papers (Computer Virus/Antivirus Resources)
Malware Defense History and its Secrets
The Antivirus Defense-in-Depth Guide
Can Viruses Be Detected?
Internet Firewalls: Frequently Asked Questions

Vulnerabilities and advisory

Microsoft Security Bulletin Search
Microsoft: Virus Alerts
Microsoft: Security Bulletins and Advisories
SANS Internet Storm Center
FrSIRT: Security Threats Watch 24x7

Malware status pages


Links Malware News, Research & Removal

Security news portal
Peter Gutmann, Encryption and Security-related Resources

Test your AV installation:

The Anti-Virus test file


wikipedia: Privacy, Anonymity, Internet privacy, Proxies

Free Anonymous Surfing Tor (Look for the Tor link on the left side)
Onion routing

wikipedia: Cryptography and encryption, Steganography, Security through obscurity

Snake Oil Warning Signs: Encryption Software to Avoid

Data sanitization and secure deletion

Data remanence

When most computers delete a file, they do not actually remove the contents of the file. Instead, they simply unlink the file from the file directory system, leaving the contents of the file in the disk sectors. These data will remain there until the operating system reuses those sectors to write new data.

Disk formatting

As with regular deletion, data on a disk is not fully destroyed during a high-level format. Instead, the area on the disk containing the data is merely marked as available, and retains the old data until it's overwritten by new files.
Technically what happens varies depending on both the operating system and file system used, so do the recovery method.

Deleted Files, FAT and NTFS
Recovery of deleted files
The Windows XP MS-DOS Startup Disk: An Example in Basic Forensics and Data Recovery
Gromit's Technical Guide to Partitions/Formatting/Data Recovery
Computer forensics
Peter Gutmann: Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory Read the Epilogue.
Can Intelligence Agencies Read Overwritten Data? A repsonse to Gutmann.

To avoid recovery of data it should be overwritten. To avoid recovery of any non-secure deleted data and data which may have leaked into free space (such as decrypted data leaked into non-encrypted free space), all free space including slack space should be overwritten. There are both free and pay File Shredding and Disk Wiping software. Some hard disk manufactures may have a utility used to do what is often referred to as a low level format (it's not really a low level format, ReInitializing). This Reinitializing will fill the hard disk with ones and zeros and should do just fine for when you are getting rid of old drives. To clean partitions/drives booting to a CD like Dban is another option.

Snake oil appears here as with most software. So if you really are in need of secure deletion and your not just doing it for psychological reasons then you should scrutinize the validity and trustworthiness of the software. Test has shown commercial secure deletion software that partially fail the secure deletion, and then there are programs that simply don't do anything. One way to do a test is to use data recovery software and see if you can recover the files you securely deleted.

Evaluating Commercial Counter-Forensic Tools (PDF)
Wilderssecurity: How to verify secure deletion
The Hard Disk Shred/Wipe Page Test shows time used for wipes with different patterns
Wikipedia: File wiping

Overwrite patterns or sanitization matrixs can be used when doing overwrite passes. The pattern is just what data is used to overwrite with. For modern hard disks a few passes with random data should do just fine. A known and pretty fast pattern is, "a character, then its complement and then random characters".

Unless you have some good reason for fearing data recovery i would not concern myself about it to much. If you have any concerns about privacy information or sensitive data purge the hard disk with random data. If you do decide to overwrite using multiple passes i would keep it down to 3 passes, say with ones and zeros and then random data. Anything more is just a waste of time if you ask me. Depending on the size of the drive it can take quite some time doing the very "secure" overwrite passes, and passes such as the 35 Gutmann wipe on a 200GB hard disk is just plain silly.

Anyway it was made for a completely different hard disk type and covers a "blend of scenarios". From the epilogue of Gutmann's paper (read the full epilogue).

In fact performing the full 35-pass overwrite is pointless for any drive since it targets a blend of scenarios involving all types of (normally-used) encoding technology, which covers everything back to 30+-year-old MFM methods (if you don't understand that statement, re-read the paper). If you're using a drive which uses encoding technology X, you only need to perform the passes specific to X, and you never need to perform all 35 passes. For any modern PRML/EPRML drive, a few passes of random scrubbing is the best you can do. As the paper says, "A good scrubbing with random data will do about as well as can be expected". This was true in 1996, and is still true now.

If your talking about situations with zero margin for error, then destruction is the only viable option, there are just to many variables. Software is prone to error. You will need to confirm that all overwrite passes are a success every time, so just counting the man hours or labor it's cheaper and safer to just destroy.

Contrary to popular belief data overwrite sanitization appears to no longer be approved by anybody in the US and Canada for truly sensitive information.

NSA only approves degaussing or physical destruction for hard disks.


DSS now follows the NSA guidelines.

DSS Clearing and Sanitization Matrix

NISPOM (National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual) remove the guidelines found in section "8-304. Maintenance" and now refers to DSS.

Data sanitization

DoD 5220.22-M is sometimes cited as a standard for sanitization to counter data remanence. The NISPOM actually covers the entire field of government-industrial security, of which data sanitization is a very small part (about two paragraphs in a 100 page document).[4] Furthermore, the NISPOM does not actually specify any particular method. Standards for sanitization are left up to the Cognizant Security Authority. The Defense Security Service provides a Clearing and Sanitization Matrix (C&SM) which does specify methods.[5] As of the June 2007 edition of the DSS C&SM, overwriting is no longer acceptable for sanitization of magnetic media; only degaussing or physical destruction is acceptable.
Old DOD 5220.22-M, chapter 8-306. Maintenance, Clearing and Sanitization Matrix (using web.archive)

2006 NISPOM (DoD 5220.22-M)

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) only recommends overwrite sanitization for so called cleaning, i.e. to avoid software recovery methods. To protect against laboratory attacks or truly sensitive information only purging is recommend, meaning degaussing or physical destruction.

NIST Special Publication 800-88

RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) only allows data overwrite sanitization (i.e. cleaning) for hard drives containing the following security level of information:

Protected “A” (Protected)
Protected “B” (Protected)
Confidential (Classified)

Using triple pass, binary 0s are written on the first pass, binary 1s on the second pass and an ASCII text pattern composed of the DSX version number and date/time stamp for the third pass. Each overwrite pass is followed by a read verify pass.

For a hard drives containing the following security level of information:

Protected “C” (Protected)
Secret (Protected)
Top Secret (Classified)

Or for a hard drive which is deemed to be non-functioning. Only degaussing or physical destruction is approved.

Hard Drive Secure Information Removal and Destruction Guidelines

It is important to initially emphasize that erasure security can only be relative. There is no method giving absolutely secure erase. Government document DoD 522.22M is commonly quoted on erasure methods, and requires physical destruction of the storage medium (the magnetic disks) for data classified higher than Secret. However, even such physical destruction is not absolute if any remaining disk pieces are larger than a single 512-byte record block in size, about 1/125” today’s drives. Pieces of this size are found in bags of destroyed disk pieces studied at CMRR. Magnetic microscopy can image the stored recorded media bits, using the CMRR scanning magnetoresistive microscope. Physical destruction nevertheless offers the highest level of erasure because recovering any actual user data from a magnetic image requires overcoming almost a dozen independent recording technology hurdles.

Last edited by Animatrix; 02-17-2009 at 17:04.
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Default 10-13-2005, 07:57 | posts: 3,270 | Location: India

Just to add one more to the tweaks section :

XP updates .... all in one (released every month)
Autopatcher (helpful, if u want to format and then update XP, without downloading again from MS)

Some other Links to check for MS updates, just to make sure your system is patched and up to date :

All Recently Published Microsoft Windows Downloads

All Recently Published Microsoft Office and Home Downloads

Newest Downloads (all categories)

Last edited by bakuryu; 10-13-2005 at 08:14.
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Soundcard: SoundMAX4 XL Onboard
Default 10-13-2005, 09:12 | posts: 4,079 | Location: Egypt

Man, this is just great. That's one hell of a job Animatrix.
And if I get anything on my mind that I think it could be added here, I'll post it for sure...

Another vote for a sticky...
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Default 10-13-2005, 09:20 | posts: 4,079 | Location: Egypt

I think this could be added to Task Manager issues. It was asked for a few times on this forum.

If you get a "Task Manager has been disabled by your adminstrator" error message.

1- Open Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) and navigate to:
HKCU \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies\ System

In the right-pane, double-click DisableTaskMgr and set it's data to 0

2- Get this registry fix
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Default 10-13-2005, 09:35 | posts: 16,441 | Location: Locked in Guru3D Server Room. Help!

Stuck, because I'm so nice =)

Great FAQ, I'll be changing and combining my Linux guides soon probably, just so we don't end up with a lot of stickies.
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Default 10-13-2005, 22:52 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark



Software sites

Guru3d: software threads:

Guru3d: Freeware / Opensource Programs
Guru3d: Software u just CAN'T go without
Guru3d: Poll Best P2p ?
Guru3d: Poll What Anti Virus do you use ?
Secure Yourself
Guru3d: Firefox and Mozilla: The Monsters Garage

Video and Audio:

Gspot establishes what audio and video codecs are required to play a media file.

Winamp or other? Which is your favorite?
Make Winamp sound better
Winamp Equalizer


Guru3d: Sticky's

MS Beta links:

Microsoft Beta
Microsoft Connect

Various Windows XP Information:

Windows Product Activation (WPA) on Windows XP
Data Execution Prevention (DEP)
A general description of IRQ sharing in Windows XP
IRQ Conflicts
Scheduling, Thread Context, and IRQL
Locks, Deadlocks, and Synchronization

Windows XP: Kernel Improvements Create a More Robust, Powerful, and Scalable OS
Kernel Enhancements
Memory Management

Windows XP Performance
Benchmarking on Windows XP

Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2

Windows XP supported upgrade paths

Windows XP Home Edition Comparison Guide
Windows XP Home Edition vs. Professional Edition: What's the difference?

SHELL32 Function Usage
Using Rundll

Random stuff:

Windows Registry

Inside the Registry
Description of the Microsoft Windows registry


Customizing Right-Click Menu Options in Windows

Add Target > Open Container to the right-click context menu of your shortcuts (Like Vista's open file location), link.


What other shell enhancements or other tweaks do you recommend for Windows 2000/XP/2003?
Google search: Shell enhancements


Links, if you have a good link just let me know:
Tweakhound: Bad Tweaks
techspot: Gaming Guides
Optimize XP
Benchmarking on Windows XP
Performance Tuning Guidelines for Microsoft Services for Network File System
1001 Secrets for Windows NT Registry
jsifaq: Windows Tips and Tricks
Performance-oriented Windows tweaking
Guru3d: PCI latency? a Q for Gurus

Boot Time:

As boot time is often asked about, i'll just post a few things.

1. Set BIOS for fastest boot

Set the HD as first boot device. Use quick boot check, default/on for most BIOS some may have a separate fast/slow check for the HD as well. Disable all devices not used on the motherboard in the BIOS.

2. Set OS for fastest boot

Disable devices and channels not in use:

Open the Device manager, Start > Run > type devmgmt.msc

Using Device manager disable any other devices not in use that you can't disable using the BIOS (not on-board etc.). With at least a decent BIOS most on-board devices like COM ports, firewire etc. can be disabled using the BIOS and when disabled they won't show up in device manager.

Using Device manager find IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller (other wording may be used, anyway it's the HD Controller) expand and double click the IDE channels > go to the Advanced settings tab and set Device Type: on None for all channels NOT in use.

Disabling Group Policy (gpedit.msc)

(*Group Policy Editor is only available in XP Pro)

Disabling Group Policy may give a faster boot. For me it seem to give a faster log off (reboot) but in any case if your not using the Group Policy i see no reason not to give it a try.

Start > Run > type gpedit.msc > right click "Local Computer Policy" and click properties > under "Disabled" check both computer and user, press apply.
Specifies whether or not to process computer configuration settings in this Group Policy object. If you do not use computer configuration settings, select this option to start up the computer faster.

Run ProcessIdleTasks:

This will force all pending IdleTasks to complete and will invoke the boot optimization routines found in XP. ProcessIdleTasks is suggested as something to do before running benchmarks by MS, it can also be beneficial on newly installed systems to force all IdleTasks to complete.

Idle Task Scheduling: The ProcessIdleTask API

Go to Start > Run > type or paste Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks hit enter, let it finish (look at the case led light), after perform a normal system defrag.

Alternatively you can also preform just the boot optimization defrag from the console: Got to Start > Run > type cmd > type defrag C: -b hit enter, when the prompt appear again it is done. Optionally BootVis can also be used and it has a on-screen visual indication of when the task has completed.

Keep the system clean

The more that has to load at time of boot the longer it will take. Learn to control windows startup of software. Don't install what you don't need. Uninstall what you don't use. Programs, windows components and features, get rid of services you do not need, remember to defrag the system drive, rebuild the registry hives (NTREGOPT)


Bootvis is a "tracing and visualization tool" which can be used to trace the boot time and load delays (drivers etc.). It can also force the file placement optimization routine to be run by using Trace > Optimize System from the menu.
Fast Boot / Fast Resume Design

Bootvis.exe is a performance tracing and visualization tool that Microsoft designed to help PC system designers and software developers identify performance issues for boot/resume timing while developing new PC products or supporting software.

Please note that Bootvis.exe is not a tool that will improve boot/resume performance for end users. Contrary to some published reports, Bootvis.exe cannot reduce or alter a system's boot or resume performance. The boot optimization routines invoked by Bootvis.exe are built into Windows XP. These routines run automatically at pre-determined times as part of the normal operation of the operating system.

The Bootvis.exe tool is no longer available from this site.
*Note: There are some trace data issues with HT CPU's and XP SP1, hotfix exists but MS would rather you'd install SP2.
Performance trace data from the BootVis.exe tool is corrupted or missing

The file placement optimization routines invoked by Bootvis.exe is not really documented anywhere but appears to simply be the same as running the command defrag <system drive> -b from the console which im thinking is part of the ProcessIdleTasks routine. The -b switch is not documented either (i can't find it) but do "work" 1). there is a defrag performed and it's short 2.) There is no error given by the prompt.

Time wise the task performed by Bootvis fit's with the defrag <system drive> -b. The ProcessIdleTasks routine performs other tasks as well as the file placement optimization. The so called "pre-determined times" referred to is system idle time, plus the fact that the operation is done "no more often than once every three days".
Idle Task Scheduling: The ProcessIdleTask API

The file placement optimization, which is done no more often than once every three days, is an example of a task that is carried out when the system is deemed to be idle. System Restore and other features of Windows XP also attempt to defer some work until the system is deemed to be idle. There are also some done-once-after-setup work items that also operate under the Idle Task Scheduling mechanisms.

All of these "idle tasks" are controllable by a system API in advapi32.dll, ProcessIdleTasks. The APIs sole purpose is to allow benchmarks a simple way to force any pending idle tasks to be executed immediately, without having to wait a lengthy period of time.

The API ProcessIdleTasks can be called in one of two ways, from the command line or synchronously from a program. To call ProcessIdleTasks from the command line, use this syntax:

Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

When called from the command line, the ProcessIdleTasks work is done in the background asynchronously. It can take 10 to 15 minutes for idle tasks to complete. Task Manager will report processes running, and the disk will likely be active during this time.
Idle Task Scheduling: The ProcessIdleTask API
Fast System Startup for PCs Running Windows XP
Fast Boot / Fast Resume Design SpeedUp Improve XPs Boot and Start Up Time
Hack #3: Speed Up Boot and Shutdown Times

Windows Program Automatic Startup Locations
How to manage Windows Startup?
Default Processes in Windows 2000

Free Defrag Programs:


JkDefrag GUI

Power Defragmenter GUI 2.0.125


Ultra Defragmenter (uses kernel-mode driver)

Auslogics Disk Defrag

IObit SmartDefrag

Diskeeper Lite 7.0 Build 418

O&O Defrag 2000 Freeware Edition 3.5.562



Rebasing dlls

Disclaimer: This is not for all and i will take NO responsibility for anything going wrong.

So what's this all about ?
The Preferred Load Address and DLL Rebasing

All DLLs are created with an address known as the Preferred Load Address. This is the address where we want the DLL to be loaded into a process’ virtual address space. Unfortunately, many developers do not think to define a specific Preferred Load Address for a DLL that they create. Without explicitly defining one, Visual C++ assigns the default load address of 0x10000000. The result is that every time you run your application, you see messages that one or more DLLs had to be relocated. This is because they all want to load at the default Preferred Load Address of 0x10000000 and that is physically impossible.

When a DLL is loaded at runtime, the system checks to see if there is space to load the DLL at the Preferred Load Address. If the address space range from the Preferred Load Address to the load address plus the image size is not available, then the operating system loads the DLL somewhere else in memory. This means that not only must two or more DLLs not use the same Preferred Load Address, but they also must use addresses that ensure that they load outside the range required by each of the other DLLs to be loaded by the process. In Figure 4 Overlapping DLLs, A.DLL is loaded into the process’ address space first at the Preferred Load Address of 0x60000000. Then an attempt is made to load B.DLL at the Preferred Load Address of 0x60010000. However, the Preferred Load Address of B.DLL lies within the range of the address space occupied by A.DLL. B.DLL cannot overlap A.DLL in the process address space.
Rebasing Win32 DLLs: The Whole Story
Rebasing Win32 DLLs
Optimizing DLL Load Time Performance
Overcoming Windows Memory Allocation Limitations
Map Files And DLL Rebasing
Rebase those dlls

With that said, here is how you rebase .dlls using rebase.exe

1. Get Rebase.exe SDK

2. Get Process Explorer to find dlls base addresses (info on dll address range later). Start Process Explorer click View > Lower Pane View > select Dlls. Then View > Select columns > go to the DLL tab and check on Base Address. Then Options > Configure highlighting > check on Relocated dlls and pick a color.

3. Use whatever method you like and works for you for editing/changing files in use, just realize that as long as the dll is in use you can't rebase it.

People who don't know how to work with system files should probably just stop now or only rebase the dlls not loaded at boot and/or program dlls easily controlled. The rest will know what the issue is and how to work around it. (*Hint* The recovery console do NOT support the rebase command).

Rebase usage: rebase -b HEX base address

Example: rebase -b 0x70000000 xpsp2res.dll

Infomation on ranges:


A Suggested Preferred Load Address Assignment Scheme

The Microsoft documentation suggests the following scheme for defining a base address for your DLLs based on the first letter of the DLL name:

First Letter -- Base Address

A – C > 0x60000000

D – F > 0x61000000

G – I > 0x62000000

J – L > 0x63000000

M – O > 0x64000000

P – R > 0x65000000

S – U > 0x66000000

V – X > 0x67000000

Y – Z > 0x68000000

According to the MSDN library documentation, the system DLLs are currently based in memory from 0x70000000 to 0x78000000 (0x68000000 to 0x78000000 on MIPS). Therefore, you should base your DLLs from 0x60000000 to 0x68000000. It is best to base DLLs from the top of the address range down, instead of from the bottom up. Dynamic memory is allocated from the bottom up and if a DLL tries to load where dynamic memory has been allocated, it will be relocated, just as if a DLL was loaded at that address.
So what dlls to rebase ?. Well either dlls which are using bad or conflicting addresses i.e. An address which is in use and so "If a DLL cannot load at its base address because the memory is already occupied, the loader places the DLL elsewhere in virtual memory, then updates all calls into the DLL to reflect the new base address." which obviously takes time slowing the load. It can also lead to virtual memory fragmentation (see hotfix last).

xpsp2res.dll base address:
Quote: (power point) (google view of power point)

Windows XP SP2

* Windows XP Service Pack 2 has a badly placed DLL
* Start Windows in Safe Mode with Command Prompt
* Enter commands:

cd \terra
copy c:\windows\system32\xpsp2res.dll c:\terra
rebase -b 0x70000000 xpsp2res.dll
move c:\windows\system32\xpsp2res.dll c:\
copy xpsp2res.dll c:\windows\system32
Restart Windows
Information on base address of XP SP2 xpsp2res.dll
xpsp2res.dll on XP SP2 specifying a base load-address of 0x20000000.
I have rebased my xpsp2res.dll to the address suggested above and have seen no harmful side effects from it, however im not truly sure of the effect. But in theory xpsp2res.dll base address is bad and goes against MS's own suggested base address for system dlls (0x70000000 to 0x78000000).

There is even a hotfix for it.
Third-party programs that require lots of memory do not run in Windows XP Service Pack 2

This problem occurs if the third-party program has to reserve lots of contiguous memory. For example, the problem occurs if the third-party program has to reserve several hundred megabytes of contiguous memory. The new Xpsp2res.dll file that is added in Windows XP SP2 loads into memory at location 0x20000000. This causes the virtual memory that is available to the third-party program to be fragmented.

Last edited by Animatrix; 11-29-2008 at 21:59.
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Default 10-13-2005, 22:54 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

Information on various Tweaks:

This is just meant as a collection of information about various tweaks, both functional and non functional. Not all settings here are bad, but surprisingly many are. Either they are non functional, OS version specific, or misinformation has simply taken over and it's true function is unknown. I will add more stuff along the way.

Registry keys:



Key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
REG_DWORD: DisablePagingExecutive
Data: 0

Prevents pageable "User-mode and kernel-mode drivers and kernel-mode system code" from getting paged out (from memory) to disk (page file). This one is used by many and do "work" (i.e. it's not bogus). The MS documentation for workstation OS (2000/XP) mainly points to it's usefulness for debuging purposes, the server documentation also points to improved performance. However don't expect any miracles (if anything) and certainly nothing near what's often claimed by many tweak apps and guides.
How to stop the NT Executive from paging to disk

User-mode and kernel-mode drivers and kernel-mode system code is usually written to be either pageable or non-pageable. In cases where drivers or system code is pageable, you can use the following registry entry to keep this pageable code in RAM, but this is only advisable on systems with extremely large amounts of RAM.

This entry specifies whether user-mode and kernel-mode drivers and kernel-mode system code can be paged to disk when not in use. If the value of this entry is 1, the drivers and kernel must remain in physical memory. If it is set to 0, they can be paged to disk as needed.
DisablePagingExecutive (Windows 2000)
Specifies whether user-mode and kernel-mode drivers and kernel-mode system code can be paged to disk when not in use. Setting this value to 1 is useful when debugging drivers, because all of the code and data is always memory resident.
DisablePagingExecutive (Windows 2003),DisablePagingExecutive (Windows 2003)

Setting this value to 1 is useful when debugging drivers, because all of the code and data is always memory resident. It also improves performance on machines with a lot of memory, because it prevents disk reads to get code or data.
Adobe referring to the use of DisablePagingExecutive


Key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
REG_DWORD LargeSystemCache
Data: 0 (Default value Windows XP Professional: 0 Windows Server 2003: 1)

LargeSystemCache 1 is the same setting as System > Advanced > Performance Settings > Advanced > Memory usage on System Cache.

Server OS has a Server Optimization tab in Network and Dial-up Connections which is the interface for setting the "Size" key registry data value (interface is not in XP or 2000 pro, but the "Size" key is).

"This entry (LargeSystemCache) and the "Size" entry (which is in the HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServe r\Parameters subkey) store the setting of the Optimization section of the Server Optimization tab in Network and Dial-up Connections."
Because setting the value of this entry to 1 is not recommended for computers running Windows XP Professional, you cannot use Network and Dial-up Connections in Windows XP Professional to change the value of this entry.
LargeSystemCache is for file heavy I/O operation needs like the type file servers has. "It is not appropriate for application servers" (such as Web server). "Many applications, such as SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange, change the value of the LargeSystemCache entry to 0".

2003: LargeSystemCache
2000: LargeSystemCache
File Cache Performance and Tuning


Key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityCont rol
REG_DWORD: Win32PrioritySeparation
Data: 2

Or using the XP interface Control Panel > System > Advanced tab > Performance settings button > Advanced tab > Processor Scheduling

When you install XP this data value is set to 2 for backwards compatibility with NT (NTs version of foreground priority). XP's normal value for foreground priority is 26 in hexadecimal or 38 in decimal (the same value). If you go to Processor Scheduling and set it to Background services and apply, this will set the data value to 18 hexadecimal/24 decimal. Now set it back to Programs and apply, the value/data will change to 26 hexadecimal/38 decimal which as said is XP normal value for foreground priority. This setting as of windows 2000 has changed and now uses whats known as Quantum Accounting.
Inside Microsoft® Windows® 2000, Third Edition Chapter 6: Processes, Threads, and Jobs (continued)
Controlling the Quantum

The registry value HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityCont rol\Win32PrioritySeparation allows you to specify the relative length of thread quantums (short or long) and whether or not threads in the foreground process should have their quantums boosted (and if so, the amount of the boost). This value consists of 6 bits divided into the three 2-bit fields shown in Figure 6-15.

Figure 6-15 Fields of the Win32PrioritySeparation registry value

* Short vs. Long 1 specifies long, and 2 specifies short. 0 or 3 indicates that the default will be used (short for Windows 2000 Professional, long for Windows 2000 Server).

* Variable vs. Fixed 1 means to vary the quantum for the foreground process, and 2 means that quantum values don't change for foreground processes. 0 or 3 means that the default will be used (variable for Windows 2000 Professional, fixed for Windows 2000 Server).

* Foreground Quantum Boost This field, which must have a value of 0, 1, or 2 (3 is invalid and treated as 2) is an index into a three-entry quantum table used to obtain the quantum for the threads in the foreground process. The quantum for threads in background processes is taken from the first entry in this quantum table. The field's value is stored in the kernel variable PsPrioritySeparation.

The foreground process is the process that owns the thread that owns the window that's in focus. When the foreground window changes to one owned by a thread in a process higher than the Idle priority class, the Win32 subsystem changes the quantum values for all the threads in that process by using the lower-order 2 bits of the Win32PrioritySeparation registry value as an index into a three-element array named PspForegroundQuantum. This array contains values determined by the other two bit fields in the Win32PrioritySeparation registry value. Table 6-17 shows the possible settings for PspForegroundQuantum.
Quantum calculation:

Table of the three 2 bits values:


Optimize Performance for Applications:
32 + 4 + 2 = 38 Dec / 26 Hex = Short Quantum, Variable Quantum for foreground, High foreground boost.

Optimize Performance for Background Services:
16 + 8 + 0 = 24 Dec / 18 Hex = Long Quantum, Fixed Quantum, No foreground boots.


32 + 8 + 2 = 42 Dec / 2A Hex = Short, Fixed , High foreground boost.
32 + 8 + 1 = 41 Dec / 29 Hex = Short, Fixed , Medium foreground boost.
32 + 8 + 0 = 40 Dec / 28 Hex = Short, Fixed , No foreground boost.

32 + 4 + 2 = 38 Dec / 26 Hex = Short, Variable , High foreground boost.
32 + 4 + 1 = 37 Dec / 25 Hex = Short, Variable , Medium foreground boost.
32 + 4 + 0 = 36 Dec / 24 Hex = Short, Variable , No foreground boost.

16 + 8 + 2 = 26 Dec / 1A Hex = Long, Fixed, High foreground boost.
16 + 8 + 1 = 25 Dec / 19 Hex = Long, Fixed, Medium foreground boost.
16 + 8 + 0 = 24 Dec / 18 Hex = Long, Fixed, No foreground boost.

16 + 4 + 2 = 22 Dec / 16 Hex = Long, Variable, High foreground boost.
16 + 4 + 1 = 21 Dec / 15 Hex = Long, Variable, Medium foreground boost.
16 + 4 + 0 = 20 Dec / 14 Hex = Long, Variable, No foreground boost.


Resolution of system timer

The system timer tick interval affects thread scheduling.
Know Thy Tick

Of course the real reason why the tick interval is important is that it affects thread scheduling. The Windows scheduler gives each thread a “quantum” of time to execute before allowing another task, at the same priority level, to run. The quantum that the scheduler assigns to a thread is a multiple of the tick interval. The specific quantum value chosen for a specific thread is bit beyond where I want to go with this article.

For now, let’s just examine the default quantum value for a foreground thread in XPe. In this case the Windows scheduler assigns a quantum of 18 or 6 tick intervals (Yes, to convert quantum to tick intervals, one must divide by 3. I could throw in a gratuitous comment about obfuscation here, but the reason for the multiple is to allow the scheduler the ability to “charge” a thread for doing an operation which causes it to suspend.) This means that on my PC, a foreground thread is allowed to hog the processor for about 94 milliseconds before another task of the same priority level is given a chance.
Here is his run down on the quantum, Master Your Quantum

As mentioned, applications can change the resolution. For example running Windows Media Player will set it to 3.906 and when playing something set it to "0.977". Using the "/TIMERES=" switch in the boot.ini will set the resolution of the system timer.

• Sets the resolution of the system timer on the standard x86 multiprocessor HAL (Halmps.dll). The argument is a number interpreted in hundreds of nanoseconds, but the rate is set to the closest resolution the HAL supports that isn't larger than the one requested. The HAL supports the following resolutions: Hundreds of nanoseconds Milliseconds (ms) 9766 0.98 19532 2.00 39063 3.90 78125 7.80 The default resolution is 7.8 ms. The system timer resolution affects the resolution of waitable timers. Example: /TIMERES=21000 would set the timer to a resolution of 2.0 ms.
Set Windows Timer Resolution
CSS game server (Tickrate)
Inside Windows NT High Resolution Timers


Do only work for Windows versions before 2000 SP1
Quote from Inside Windows 2000, 3rd Ed.

Specifies the limit of the number of bytes that can be locked in a user process for I/O operations. When this value is 0, the system uses the default (512 KB). The maximum value is approximately the equivalent of physical memory minus 7 MB. This registry key isn't used in Windows 2000 Datacenter Server and is no longer used in Windows 2000 starting with Windows 2000 Service Pack 1.
The IoPageLockLimit value was valid in NT 4.0, and in the RTM version of Windows 2000. However, as of Service Pack 1 and all subsequent versions of Windows (i.e., Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, etc.), all references to this setting were deleted and control over the page-locking function was made totally automatic. Setting this option in anything other than the RTM version of Windows 2000 and all versions of NT 4.0 has no effect. There is no harm in putting this tweak into place, but no benefit, either.

IRQ# Priority - There are no IRQ priority boosting possibility on windows through registry entry. IRQs have a priority level at which they are interrupted by the CPU. The IRQ number (which is fix for some hardware components and otherwise relates to the install process where hardware gets detected and assigned a IRQ) determines the priority level.
Interrupt Priority
The PC processes device interrupts according to their priority level. This is a function of which interrupt line they use to enter the interrupt controller. For this reason, the priority levels are directly tied to the interrupt number:

Secondly if we look at linux where there's actually a app called IRQTUNE which can changes the IRQ priority of devices, it is using a kernel module, which is not quite the same as just adding a registry entry.
IRQTUNE -- A Linux IRQ Priority Optimizer
irqtune changes the IRQ priority of devices

How do I use irqtune? Don't I have to rebuild my kernel?

No, we do not have to rebuild the kernel. irqtune uses insmod and rmmod to dynamically load and unload a kernel module. But it is correct to sense that irqtune is a kernel patch.

SecondLevelDataCache - Will do nothing for modern CPU's (P2 and later).

Detailed Explanation of SecondLevelDataCache

This is not related to the hardware; it is only useful for computers with direct-mapped L2 caches. Pentium II and later processors do not have direct- mapped L2 caches.


For operating systems prior to Windows 2000.

Unloading the DLL

The Shell automatically unloads a DLL when its usage count is zero, but only after the DLL has not been used for a period of time. This inactive period might be unacceptably long at times, especially when a Shell extension DLL is being debugged. For operating systems prior to Windows 2000, you can shorten the inactive period by adding the following information to the registry.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Explorer


Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters
REG_DWORD: EnablePrefetcher
Data: 3, looks like this 0x00000003 (3)

Only 1, 2 and 3 are valid values, not 5 or whatever else people may claim.

1 = app prefetching
2 = boot prefetching
3 = app and boot prefetching

Memory Management

Extensible Performance Counters

guru3d thread

Other tweaks:

QoS - The actual workings of QoS, both in use, use of, technical background, OS version differences etc. is not at all well known by most, even the people using it.

1. There is no global bandwidth de/increase.
2. Only QoS aware programs can take use of the "reserved" bandwidth, 20% by default.
3. Only applies to when QoS aware programs are sending data.
4. If the program that reserved the bandwidth is not sending sufficient data to use it, the unused part of the reserved bandwidth is available for other data flows on the same host.

In my opinion people should simply uninstall the protocol, that is if not needed (VoIP stuff and the like) , removing all unneeded protocols is more likely to improve the network, this includes the file and printer sharing.
Windows XP Quality of Service (QoS) enhancements and behavior
Correction of some incorrect claims about Windows XP QoS support

There have been claims in various published technical articles and newsgroup postings that Windows XP always reserves 20 percent of the available bandwidth for QoS. These claims are incorrect. The information in the "Clarification about QoS in end computers that are Running Windows XP" section correctly describes the behavior of Windows XP systems.

Clarification about the use of QoS in end computers that are running Windows XP

As in Windows 2000, programs can take advantage of QoS through the QoS APIs in Windows XP. One hundred percent of the network bandwidth is available to be shared by all programs unless a program specifically requests priority bandwidth. This "reserved" bandwidth is still available to other programs unless the requesting program is sending data. By default, programs can reserve up to an aggregate bandwidth of 20 percent of the underlying link speed on each interface on an end computer. If the program that reserved the bandwidth is not sending sufficient data to use it, the unused part of the reserved bandwidth is available for other data flows on the same host.
QoS Technical Reference
Quality of Service Technical White Paper

Introduction to QOS (programming)

win 2000
QoS Traffic Control in Windows 2000
Description of Reservation State in RSVP
Description of the Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP)
Windows XP QOS Support
Windows XP removes support for RSVP signaling and the Admission Control Service (ACS). Windows 2000 maintains support for applications that make use of RSVP signaling and the Admission Control Service.
Cisco: Quality of Service (QoS)

/prefetch:# commandline "tweak"

The prefetch commandline flag is used for multipurpose programs (works generically but only WMP seems to use it). By specifying a /prefetch:# flag with a different number for each "mode" the multipurpose app can do, each mode gets its own separate hash file so as to get the prefetch done properly. It do NOT speed up the launch of programs beyond what prefetching does in the first place. Unless various dll's are used at launch time, for a "mode" of opration there is no point using it. As this is a part of prefetching and how it generically works, and all apps gets prefetch, you would think that software makers would be using the flag if it was needed for their apps, but they don't.
WMP is a multipurpose application and may do many different things. The DLLs and code that it touches will be very different when playing a WMV than when playing a DVD, or when ripping a CD, or when listening to a Shoutcast stream, or any of the other things that WMP can do. If we only had one hash for WMP, then the prefetch would only be correct for one such use. Having incorrect prefetch data would not be a fatal error -- it'd just load pages into memory that'd never get used, and then get swapped back out to disk as soon as possible. Still, it's counterproductive. By specifying a /prefetch:# flag with a different number for each "mode" that WMP can do, each mode gets its own separate hash file, and thus we properly prefetch. (This behavior isn't specific to WMP -- it does the same for any app.)

Last edited by Animatrix; 07-23-2007 at 00:56.
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Default 10-13-2005, 23:01 | posts: 4,079 | Location: Egypt

Originally posted by Animatrix
just give a link to the solution so we don't get to much text.
That is probably better. Links will free up space and make the thread neat and clean...
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Default 10-13-2005, 23:18 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

Yes i think so, plus im unsure what the character limit is now. It used to be 15000 but i am using more already (unless my word count is screwed) , i bumped my old qustion in the Feedback & News forum.

Edit: Oh man 20000 nice, even if it's "only" 5000 more

Last edited by Animatrix; 10-14-2005 at 00:48.
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Default 10-13-2005, 23:28 | posts: 4,079 | Location: Egypt

Yea... I just read that.
167xx... Something like that.
Let's wait for a reply from Hilbert...

According to IB, the limit should be 20k now...

Last edited by omarmakki; 10-13-2005 at 23:35.
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Default 10-14-2005, 06:24 | posts: 3,270 | Location: India

I am sure Hilbert increased it, when David wanted to add something to his longhorn thread,

Ahh found the thread

Last edited by bakuryu; 10-14-2005 at 10:20.
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Default 10-17-2005, 20:24 | posts: 3,270 | Location: India

hmm .... I am not sure if this link is present ........ lol there are so many MS kb links .

How to backup data :
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Default 10-18-2005, 05:32 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

The "Disaster Recovery Tools" link under Windows troubleshooting, has a section on "Backup".
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Default 10-31-2005, 23:41 | posts: 2,542 | Location: Toronto, Ontario

NVM, just found the link I was going to post.

Last edited by stormy; 10-31-2005 at 23:43.
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Default 11-21-2005, 08:41 | posts: 3,270 | Location: India

LOL ..... i just realized that ALL of MS hotfixes and security updates can just be integrated as SP2 is integrate like ::

kb****** /integrate:<location where xp files are saved in the hard disk>
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Default 12-06-2005, 13:50 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

EDIT: For stuff

DevCon quick guide

Enable/disable a device using devcon (devcon.exe copyed to system folder i.e. windows or system32 for easy access)

1. Start > Run > type cmd press ok > type devcon help for a list of all commands.

2. To disable a device first we need to get the hardware ID either by using the Device Manager or the Console and devcon.

2.1. Using Device Manager to get hardware ID;

Double click the device your interested in and go to the Details tab, using the Property dropdown menu select Hardware Ids. Depending on the device there may be multiple strings and long string with "&" connecting parts (layman term). We are only intrested in the first part of the string (ID) before any "&" character.

Example of Hardware Ids:

COM Port = ACPI\PNP0501

Sound card, first full string = PCI\VEN_1102&DEV_0004&SUBSYS_20021102&REV_04

Part of Sound card string we will use = PCI\VEN_1102

2.2. Using the Console to get hardware ID;

Type devcon /classes a list of device classes is presented. Find the device class your interested in e.g. MEDIA for sound card. Using the MEDIA device class as
example we now type devcon /listclass MEDIA, this will give a list of devices. Again we are only interested in the first part of the string before any "&" character.

Example of "devcon /listclass MEDIA".
PCI\VEN_1102&DEV_0004&SUBSYS_20021102&REV_04\4&2E98101C&0&58F0: Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS (WDM)

SW\{EEC12DB6-AD9C-4168-8658-B03DAEF417FE}\{ABD61E00-9350-47E2-A632-4438B90C6641}: Microsoft Kernel DRM Audio Descrambler

3. Continuing using the sound card as example we now have the ID and can enable or disable it by typing devcon /enable PCI\VEN_1102 or devcon /disable PCI\VEN_1102 in the console.

bat. file example.
@echo off
devcon /enable PCI\VEN_1102


The System Configuration Utility, aka Msconfig, is a diagnostic tool. It's used for troubleshooting and diagnosing Windows configuration issues. By using check boxes it's much easier to work with the settings, and to toggle between settings (on/off toggle style) then it would otherwise be when working with the settings in the actual files (like boot.ini), using the tools (like the services snap-in), or otherwise having to be many places, e.g. regedit, services snap-in, the boot.ini file. Check boxes also reduce the risk of typing errors.
System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe) automates the routine troubleshooting steps that Microsoft Product Support Services technicians use when diagnosing Windows configuration issues. You can use this tool to modify the system configuration through a process of elimination with check boxes, reducing the risk of typing errors.
Practically non of the configurations you can modify through msconfig is meant for permanent changes, as i otherwise often see it referred to. Most of the time it's the startup programs and services which some believe should be controlled through msconfig, this is not true.

Services should be controlled using the "Services" snap-in found under your Administrative Tools. To do more advance things like deleting a service you need to use the command prompt (start > run > type cmd press ok) typing sc ? in the prompt displays all commands.

Controlling what starts up along with windows is in reality quite difficult as Windows has about a million ways to auto start programs and other stuff. This is also how and why spyware can hide it's run command from the casual PC user.

A Collection of Autostart Locations

The three places most used by legitimate programs are:

:\Documents and Settings\*UserName*\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

I'd suggest getting Autoruns from sysinternals.

Ask the Performance Team: Who’s That Hiding in my Windows?

What to uncheck and what not

FAQ: Common Autoruns Issues

For those who are interested i'd suggest learning a bit about how windows can start stuff, as well as getting acquainted with system tools like Regedit, Services, CMD and so on.

Last edited by Animatrix; 02-23-2009 at 19:19.
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Default 02-05-2006, 18:41 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

Troubleshooting check list:

1. Look for updates to software, drivers and the operating system.

2. Run System File Checker.

Instructions: Vista / XP

3. Run a disk check. Also go to your hard disk manufacture support page and look for a diagnostic utility.

Instructions: Vista / XP

4. Test your RAM for errors.

5. Troubleshoot background running processes, use process of elimination. Autoruns is a tool used as msconfig only it's much more powerful. Process Explorer is another tool, it work like task manager only again much, much more powerful.

Last edited by Animatrix; 10-05-2008 at 21:01.
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Default 02-05-2006, 18:57 | posts: 3,270 | Location: India

Instead of Part1, part2 etc, could you give names like :

Part 1 : General trouble shooting
Part 3 : Tweaks

etc, etc
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Default 02-05-2006, 19:44 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

I did think about doing that and it's a good idea. It's just im not sure i can have or keep each part containing only one subject, so im a bit in doubt. But i guess i can give a part a name that has all the subjects in it.

Like this "Part 3: Virus and Spyware Help, Programs, Miscellaneous stuff".

What do you think ?.

Last edited by Animatrix; 02-05-2006 at 19:47.
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Default 02-05-2006, 19:50 | posts: 3,270 | Location: India

Yes That's better. btw you added a lot of new stuff. got to go through the dll part tomorrow morning. Great links man
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Default 02-05-2006, 19:56 | posts: 6,843 | Location: Denmark

That looks ok i think, thank for mentioning it i might not have do so otherwise.

Yes the dll stuff is interesting, i just hope nobody kills there system.
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Default 02-06-2006, 14:02 | posts: 3,270 | Location: India

I think you should add this link also :
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