Speed and Reliability

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Tutorials' started by tblount, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    By Terry Blount

    This is a round up of processes, services and features that I have turned off. I have tested these for months under Windows 7. My system is faster and stable and has far less overhead than the day I installed Windows 7. My boot time as recorded by BootRacer is down to 17 seconds and I have had several feedbacks from users who said these tweaks improved their system and reduced bootup time. You may experience different results, so I recommend that you disable a few at a time, reboot and check out your system and make sure you can go online.

    A Win 7 fresh install, has about 200 features that are enabled by default that are NOT needed for the typical home system. It has also been documented that turning off some of these features is the solution to fix several conflicts and close some security holes that can be exploited.

    Since I want my system to focus as much of it's resources as possible to the task that I give to it, I turn off everything that's not essential.

    There are several ways to turn off some features so they may be mentioned more than once. You'll find it easier to go to User Accounts and set your alert to "never noitfy" so you don't have to give permission to every tweak.

    The top 4 "features" I first disable are:

    *** Turn off Windows Search Indexing
    Indexing has a severe impact on system performance. (I think it will be removed in future versions of Windows because it beats a hard drive to death.) My hard drive finds anything I want in a few seconds without indexing. Click "Start" "Computer" (or winkey + e) and Click the C: Drive. Then RIGHT click to get to Properties. On General Tab, Uncheck "Index this drive for faster searching" On the subsequent dialog box, select Include Subfolders and Files. (This has to be done to all hard drives on the system individually.) *** Turn off Hibernation
    Unless you are worried about your laptop battery going out while you are working on an important document and losing the data, Hibernation is a waste of disk space. It builds large files that slow down backup and cloning. To disable hibernation: Click "Start" and type "powercfg -h off" (without quotes) and when you press enter a screen with come up and disappear. Most software that saves data, like text editors, have features to save your work every few minutes.

    *** Turn off Windows Defender - wants too run often.
    Click "Start" and type and enter "def" and select "Windows Defender" click "Tools" "Options" and uncheck the box "Automatically Scan" It's easy to create a desktop shortcut and run it when you want it to run. Create a desktop shortcut to "\program files\windows defender\MSASCui.exe" and run it from time to time. It searches for malware and spyware, much like AdAware.

    *** Turn off automatic Defragmenter
    Defragging every week or two is often enough, so run it manually when you are going to take a break. Click "Start" type "di" and select "Disk Defragmenter"and "Configure scheduler" and uncheck the "Run on schedule" box. If you are doing a demanding task like graphics editing or CAD recalculations and defrag kicks in, you'll just have to go to lunch.

    *** The largest group of unnecessary processes that run are in the Task Scheduler.

    By DEFAULT there are almost 150 tasks enabled after a clean install of Win 7. Most don't actually run all the time but many are diagnostic tasks and some tasks just send report logs to Microsoft. They are triggered by a multitude of events and they take baud width and system resources. I'm convinced that there are enough people who won't turn them off... and Microsoft can check with their customer support department... to get a pretty good idea of what they need to fix, WITHOUT using my computer. They should be paying me to leave these task turned on.
    BAD: there are software programs that insert their updates checks, registration check, error reporting, etc. from the Task Scheduler... they will tax the system and can cause problems when they automatically activate. You can check for updates from within your applications. Updating every time a new feature is available is using your system for beta testing.
    UGLY: worse of all are viruses/trojans/malware/crapware that uses Task Scheduler to get loaded. When they are activated undesirable results are inevitable. If Task Scheduler is turned off, that avenue will no longer be available for them to do their dirty work.
    You can run Task Scheduler and disable them on an individual basis (if you want to leave some running) or simply turn off the Task Scheduler. I have the entire Task Scheduler disabled. It can NOT be disabled by unchecking a box when you run Msconfig and go to Services. Here is the manual method to turn off the Task Scheduler.
    Run these commands from a command prompt or put them into a batch file and run it then reboot.

    takeown /f c:\windows\system32\taskschd.msc /a
    icacls c:\windows\system32\taskschd.msc /grant administrators:f
    cd c:\windows\system32
    ren taskschd.msc taskschd.mscc
    pause

    Verify that it DID get renamed. Things like sharing violations can still get in the way.
    If you have connection lags and problems go to Task Manager /services /services and Disabled the Function Discovery Resource Publication service Note: Windows 7's new "HomeGroup" connectivity requires this service.

    *** Here are about 30 Win 7 services that can be turned off:
    Note: Services can be set to Automatic, Manual or Disabled so it's recommended you use "services.msc" because Msconfig just disables them.
    HOWEVER, I ignored that advice and use Msconfig to disable them because I want them turned OFF and it's much easier to do that by unchecking their boxes under services - when you run Msconfig. They can all be easily turned back on by checking their box.
    Click on the Name field to list them alphabetically and find them easier.
    Application Experience - Older "non-Vista or Windows 7 compatible" programs may need this service running.
    Bitlocker - Unless you need to protect trade secrets or national security documents it's best to avoid all encryption software.
    The best security is to store sensitive data on a USB and lock it up.
    Bluetooth - you know if you use bluetooth devices
    Desktop Window Manager Session Manager - reverts back to basic style themes when running applications that are not compatible with Windows 7
    Distributed Link Tracking Client - not needed for home network
    Error Reporting Service - I don't run it, it's not connected with Administrative error logs under Event Viewer \custom
    Google Updater - Not a Windows service but I'm including it because I'm suspicious when it comes to testing new software for Google or anyone.
    I'll manually update when/if I want to. I have included this it as an example of what you may find listed.
    IP Helper - Very few ISP's offer a native IPv6 network to home users and no reason exists to have both IPv6 and the tried and true IPv4 on a home network.
    Offline files - If you do not synchronize files between computers, disable this service.
    Print Spooler - If this service is disabled, printing to a local or network printer will not work
    or any applications that use the printing sub-system (like PDF converters)...normal printing doesn't need this.
    Remote (everything) To prevent remote use of this computer, clear the checkboxes, If you use a hardware gateway or router, this service is not required.
    Secondary Logon - not needed
    Server - My system runs ok without it.. there have been security vulnerabilities with this service and we still don't know if its secure.
    Smart card (both) - you know if you use smart cards
    Tablet PC Input Service - you know if you use table pc
    Task Scheduler - doesn't matter.. if you uncheck it, it will just be checked next time. The only way to turn it off is to rename taskschd.msc as I mentioned above.
    TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper - If your network does not use NetBIOS and/or WINS, disable this function
    Telephony - This service is only required for dial-up modem connectivity and to use the Fax service
    Windows Backup - Provides Windows Backup and Restore capabilities. You can still backup and restore manually. Cloning your hard drive to a bootable
    backup hard drive is THE only real (smart/effective/reliable) method to backup. Use Acronis True Image.
    Windows Media (both) - TV and FM broadcast reception
    Windows Media Center Service Launcher - Starts and stops recording of TV programs within Windows Media Center
    Windows search - Searching for a file does not take "that" long to justify always having this service taking up resources and beating the life out of my hard drive.
    Wlan Autoconfig - This service is only required for Wireless Networks -- however it polls for a better connection every 60 seconds... sometimes
    causing brief freezes.
    Most of the details came from this great site... with a lot more excellent info about windows 7 services: Windows 7 Service Configurations by Black Viper

    Also, when you run Msconfig, go to startup and uncheck anything you don't need to load automatically at bootup. There is an excellent free program called Autoruns you can Google for that will display everything your computer is set to load at startup....and another really excellent program you can Google called StartupMonitor that will alert you when malware is trying to load into your startup menu.
    If you want to go really hardcore, there are over 100 MORE services you can tweak. These websites builds a .reg file to automatically optimize or disable about 150 windows services (with a single click of the mouse.) You look over/modify and accept their recommendations and it builds a reg file you just download and merge. Use some caution... you may lose a finger or two if you aren't careful. http://serviceseditor.com/http://www.blackviper.com/WinVista/customREG.htm
    Although I haven't setup any side by side test like this one that demonstrates Windows 7 memory management Vs. Vista (Opening 70 windows on identical systems side by side under Vista and Win 7) Viddler.com - Windows 7 memory managment - Uploaded by engadget

    I have done my own torture test and opened over 50 programs and browser windows and defragged at the same time and only about 50% of my resources were used. I have confidence that I could probably open 100 applications without crashing... and I only have 3 gb memory.
     
    Mike and (deleted member) like this.
  2. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Thanks a lot tblount. I have moved this out to a new thread, rather than a reply to the "Please do not post questions" sticky.
     
  3. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Disabling non-essential services

    For those who may be interested in disabling non-essential services (with caution) check out Blackviper's Guide to disabling Windows services at Black Viper's Web Site
     
  4. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

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    I turn of indexing and I use a program called Locate 32 64 bit version for my file searches far superior to windows search
    Locate32 Web Site - Home
     
  5. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    I haven't searched for anything on my system in the past couple months. After I got my system setup I knew where to find my documents, photos and music, etc. I doubt the average user searches for anything other than an old email they have saved... and the search feature won't find a saved email. I have concluded that indexing is the greatest waste of resources in Win 7. That's probably why there are two ways to turn it off... either by typing Services and going to Windows Indexing and disable it.. or go to Properties on individual drives and uncheck the box.
     
  6. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

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    I use it at times if I need to find a stored program and cannot quite remember where or what drive I stored it on. I also use it if I searching for a particular dll or certain windows file
     
  7. tblount

    tblount New Member

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    My top Windows 7 tips

    My Top 10 Windows 7 Tips - by Terry Blount - Windows 7 Tweaks, Tricks, Tips, Secrets, Shortcuts, Solutions and Fixes

    1. Clone your hard drive! Hard drive prices are down to 5 cents per GB, which is VERY cheap. Acronis True Image is the premium program for cloning. There are free versions for Seagate and WD hard drives on their sites. The cloning process takes about 15 minutes per 100gb. When your drive is cloned you have the simple option of changing your boot priority in your bios to be up and running in less than 90 seconds - if you have a system or primary hard drive failure. Everything is exactly as it was when you did the last clone, no software to install, nothing to setup or activate. I would say it's the closest thing to a miracle there is in protecting your data and recovering from a failure. True Image also has an option to test "stuff" and NOT change your system, unless you give it permission to save the changes. It's called Try and Decide.

    2. Backup to the internet. Even if you only move between home and office you'll find it easy to attach documents to an email and shoot them off to a Yahoo or Gmail account and have them backed up and available from any computer in the world with Internet access. For larger files an FTP site is better. Your provider probably gives you a gb of webspace for a home page.

    3. Google's RSS reader... I find the Google RSS reader the best time saver, by far. It's easy to setup and you can use it from any computer in the world that has Internet access. You can add RSS feeds for major news sites and all kinds of feeds, ranging from twitter, blogs, forums, jobs, price watching, etc. You will never miss anything important to you AND you'll have the time saving advantage of looking over all the headlines that may be interesting or useful in your research without wading through dozens of websites. If a headline looks good you can click to get full details. http://reader.google.com

    4. Shortcuts to websites frequently used... if you like to check a few specific websites daily or bi-weekly, or just every Friday, it's a hassle to go to favorites or to saved shortcuts on the desktop and load them individually... AND they will overwrite the previous website. Instead, create a batch file that will open all your favorite websites in their own separate windows instantly like this:
    *First you may have to show the file extensions so you can create a .bat file: Click "Start" and type and enter "hide file" and uncheck the box "Hide extensions for known file types."
    *Right click on your desktop and select "New" "Text Document" then press enter twice. That will put you in edit mode in the txt file. Copy and paste the following lines to the text file. (Note: These links are for "hot deals" sites and forums, you can easily edit the url's to load your favorite sites.)

    START /d "C:\Program Files\internet explorer" iexplore.exe SlickDeals.net Forums
    START /d "C:\Program Files\internet explorer" iexplore.exe hot-deals - constantly updated with the best deals
    START /d "C:\Program Files\internet explorer" iexplore.exe Woot : One Day, One Deal (SM)*Save and close. With the batch file highlighted press F2 and rename .txt to.bat (for example new text document.txt to deals.bat ) When you click on the batch file the web sites will be opened in their own IE windows.
    If you only want to open one desktop shortcut link in *it's own window,* so that it doesn't overwrite other open webpages, create a shortcut and copy and paste this: (Modify the url to your favorite url.)
    "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" Windows 7 Forums - tblount - Blogs

    5. Google a program named StartupMonitor and run it. It will alert you when software is trying to insert itself to load when your computer boots... and give you the option to say no. This program catches stuff almost EVERY time you install software because nearly ALL software inserts something like version checker or nagware to load and run all the time. It also shows you that EVERY time you run MS Live Messenger and some other software that is already installed, it wants to set itself up to run automatically all the time. StartupMonitor give you power over all this nonsense and frequently catches viruses and trojans that creep on via websites.

    6. Click "Start" run "Msconfig" and uncheck all unwanted stuff that is loading at startup... and click "Start" and type and enter "ind" and turn OFF indexing. The search feature is plenty fast without it and you probably won't be searching for many files since documents, photos and music have their own folders that are directly accessed from the start menu.

    7. I personally recommend turning off Task Manager because it runs about 150 unnecessary programs/tasks, that are automatically kicked off by various events. You will have to defrag and run a spyware program manually from time to time but that's a small price to pay because many programs, spyware, nagware and viruses are using the Task Manager to launch themselves without your permission or notification. Disabling the Task Manager will shut down this avenue for attacks and give your applications more processing power.
    You can't actually turn it off. You have to rename the file so it can't be found and run at bootup. In order to gain access to rename it you have to run two commands from the command prompt. Go to the command prompt and run these 3 commands:
    takeown /f c:\windows\system32\taskschd.msc /a
    icacls c:\windows\system32\taskschd.msc /grant administrators:f
    ren c:\windows\system32\taskschd.msc c:\windows\system32\taskschd.mscc

    8. Cool tool
    If you did a clean install or bought a new computer system, here is an online application that can make installing FREE software easy. Just select the software you want and it will be installed for you. About 70 applications to chose from, including Microsoft Security Essential, Ccleaner, Defraggler, WinRar and many more. Ninite Easy PC Setup - Download/Install Multiple Programs Fast

    9. System File Checker - A great Windows fix tool.
    Not so many people know about the System File Checker but YOU should. It checks your main system files and automatically replaces incorrect corrupted, changed, or damaged versions with the correct versions if possible.
    At the risk of over-hyping it's value I'll say that it's frequently as good as re-installing your OS. I would recommend running it when you do weekly/monthly maintenance. Run it from a command prompt and when it finishes it will give a brief report. It takes a few minutes to run and it may tell you that you have to reboot to finish any repairs it needs to make.
    SFC /scannow
    If you get a message saying it couldn't fix some something: Load: C:\WINDOWS\LOGS\CBS\CBS.LOG in a text editor and search for "unfixable" You can take a stab at manually fixing a problem -- or if your system runs ok you can ignore it.
    Two more great diag/fix features include:
    Click Start and type "perfmon /report" and press enter... it takes 60 seconds to gather a comprehensive diagnostic report and then it presents resolutions.
    Click Start and type and enter "ev" and it will run the Event Viewer. Look under Custom at the Administrative logs. Problems with initializing drivers are logged here at startup.

    10. Save America, VOTE but do NOT vote for ANY incumbents in the next few elections. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome.
     

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