Tarekith's Guide To Optimizing WinXP for DAWs

Set Visual Effects To Minimum

Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Performance Settings > Visual Effects Tab > Adjust for best performance, re-enable “Show Window Contents While Dragging”.

Set Processor Scheduling to “Background Services”

Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Performance Settings > Advanced Tab > Background Services.

Startup and Recovery Options

Start > Settings > Control Panel>  System > Advanced > Startup and Recovery Settings > Untick Automatically Restart.

Disable Error Reporting

Start > Settings > Control Panel>  System > Advanced > Error Reporting > Disable Error Reporting.

Fix Swap File (Virtual Memory)

Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Performance Settings > Advanced > Virtual Memory Change > Custom Size. Set initial and maximum size to the same value.

Disable Fast User Switching

Start > Settings > Control Panel > User Accounts > Change the way users log on or off > Untick Use Fast User Switching

Switch Off Power Schemes

Start > Settings > Control Panel > Power Options > Always On > Turn off monitor and turn off hard discs to Never

Switch Off Hibernation

Start > Settings > Control Panel > Power Options > Hibernate > Untick Hibernation

Disable System Sounds

Start > Settings > Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > Sounds Tab > Sound Scheme to None.

Do Not Map Through Soundcard

Start > Settings > Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > Hardware Tab > (your soundcard) > Properties > Audio Devices > (your soundcard) > Properties > Check the "Do not map through this device" checkbox.

Disable System Restore

Start > Settings > Control Panel>  System > System Restore Tab. Tick the "Turn off System Restore on all Drives"

Disable Automatic Updates

Start > Settings > Control Panel>  System > Automatic Updates > Turn off automatic updating. I want to update my computer manually

Disable Remote Assistance

Start > Settings > Control Panel>  System > Remote > Untick Allow remote assistance invitations to be sent from this computer

Disable Remote Desktop

Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Remote > Untick "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer"

Disable Internet Synchronise Time

Start > Settings > Control Panel > Date and Time > Internet Time > Untick "Automatically synchronize with internet time server"

Disable Hide Inactive Icons

Start > Settings > Taskbar and Start Menu > Taskbar TAB > Uncheck "Hide Inactive Icons"

Disable Automatic Desktop Cleanup Wizard

Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display > Desktop > Customise Desktop > Untick "Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days"

Remove Unused XP Components

C:Windows > Inf folder > Sysoc.inf. Replace the word "hide" with nothing, save file. Control Panel > "Add or Remove Programs” > "Add/Remove Windows Components". Components to be removed: Accesibility Options, Indexing Service, Update Root Certificates, Windows Automatic Updates, Windows Messenger, Games, Desktop Wallpaper, Explorer, Communications, MSN Explorer.

Disable Disk I/O Performance Logging

Start > Select Run > Type in “diskperf –n”, then hit Ok.

More User Options (XP Pro only)

Start > Select Run > Type in GPEDIT.MSC

Make Windows Explorer start in a different folder:

Right click on the Windows Explorer Icon, select Properties. Then copy the following into the “Target” field:

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, c:\

Clean your prefetch to improve performance.

Cpen C:/windows/prefetch, delete all files, reboot. Should only be done once a month.

Registry Tweaks

Speed Up Menus

Start > Run > Regedit > HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > Desktop Folder. Set MenuShowDelay to 1

Disable Notification Area Balloon Tips

Start > Run > Regedit > HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Advanced. Create a new DWORD value called EnableBalloonTips and set to 0.

Disable CDROM Autoplay

Start > Run > Regedit > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > System > CurrentControlSet > Services > Cdrom. Set autorun to 0.

Disable Recent Documents History

Start > Run > Regedit > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies >
Explorer. Create a new DWORD 'NoRecentDocsHistory' set to '1'.

Disable Unused XP Sevices

Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services

NOTE: This Services guide was designed for a PC running ONLY music software. This does not apply to PC's online, on networks, or with printers and other peripherals attached. In my own experience I have found that messing with Services rarely has any measureable performance benefit. I never even bother changing these anymore as a result, but if you really have to, here's a list to get you started.

Use at your own risk please.

Alerter- Disabled
Application Layer Gateway Service- Manual
Application Management - Manual Automatic Updates- Manual
Background Intelligent Transfer Service- Disabled
ClipBook- Disabled
COM+ Event System- Manual
COM+ System Application- Manual
Computer Browser- Manual Cryptographic Services- Automatic
DHCP Client- Manual
Distributed Link Tracking Client- Manual Distributed Transaction Coordinator- Manual
DNS Client- Manual
Error Reporting Service- Disabled
Event Log- Automatic
Fast User Switching Compatibility- Manual
Fax Service- Manual
FTP Publishing Service- Manual
Help and Support- Disabled
Human Interface Device Access- Disabled
IIS Admin- Manual
IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service- Manual
Indexing Service- Disabled
Internet Connection Firewall- Manual Internet Connection Sharing- Manual IPSEC Services- Disabled
Logical Disk Manager- Manual
Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service- Manual
Message Queuing- Manual
Message Queuing Triggers- Manual
Messenger- Disabled
MS Software Shadow Copy Provider- Manual
Net Login- Disabled
NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing- Disabled
Network Connections- Manual
Network DDE- Disabled
Network DDE DSDM- Disabled
Network Location Awareness- NLA- Manual
NT LM Security Support Provider- Disabled
Performance Logs and Alerts- Disabled
Plug and Play- Automatic

Portable Media Serial Number- Manual
Print Spooler- Manual
Protected Storage- Manual
QoS RSVP- Disabled
Remote Access Auto Connection Manager- Manual
Remote Access Connection Manager- Manual
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager- Disabled
Remote Procedure Call- RPC- Automatic
Remote Procedure Call- RPC Locator- Manual
Remote Registry Service- Disabled
Removable Storage- Manual
Routing and Remote Access- Disabled
Secondary Logon- Disabled
Security Accounts Manager- Manual
Server- Manual
Shell Hardware Detection- Manual
Smart Card- Disabled
Smart Card Helper- Disabled
SSDP Discovery Service- Disabled
System Event Notification- Manual
System Restore Service- Disabled
Task Scheduler- Manual
TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service- Disabled Telephony- Manual
Telnet- Disabled
Terminal Services- Manual
Themes- Manual
Uninterruptible Power Supply- Disabled
Universal Plug and Play Device Host- Manual Upload Manager- Disabled
Volume Shadow Copy- Manual
WebClient- Disabled
Windows Audio- Automatic
Windows Image Acquisition- WIA- Disabled
Windows Installer- Manual
Windows Management Instrumentation- Automatic
Windows Management Instrumentation Driver Extension- Manual
Windows Time- Disabled
Wireless Zero Configuration- Disabled
WMI Performance Adapter- Disabled
Workstation- Automatic