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Offline TwistedMage

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Configuration Template
« on: May 16, 2011, 12:33:56 PM »
This one will be a pain in the ass, so let me start by apologizing right off the bat.  I get asked by friends and family to speed up their machines all the time.  I have a little routine I do by going through MSConfig for Services and Startup, setting up Visual Effects, Virtual Memory (setting to 4095 per non-recovery partition), Internet Options (cleaning up plugins, setting "Auto-Config" on LAN, reseting advanced options, cleaning out temporary internet files, and removing any damaged activeX components - even if I have to go through the registry on the worst ones), Windows Updates, Disk Cleanup, Defrag, and cleaning up Task Scheduler and the Run/RunOnce sections of the registry.

This, as you can imagine, is a headache to do every time, and why most techs charge an arm and a leg for a PC Tuneup.  I put together a little self-extracting executable collection to slipstream in Windows updates depending on Windows version/flavor, and have figured out how to automate the Disk Cleanup, Defrag, Scheduler, Run/RunOnce, and Temp/TemporaryInternetFiles cleaning by using batch files, which has shaved off alot of time.  Your app for changing the Visual Effects works great via command line with these tools of mine as long as the machine's XP.

But for changing visual effects in Vista/Win7, and doing the rest of this via command-line, I haven't a clue.  I was wondering if you could help me out with this.  I am skilled with Turbo Pascal and VB6, so most of the coding recommendations online regarding these tweaks are out of my depth, as they mostly use VB.Net programming, and I've been out of the game too long.  Can any of these be done via command line (I'm not opposed to editing the registry via command line or creating a .reg file to silently import via batch)?  Are there other tools out there to do this?  Or am I just way out of my depth for an ex-programmer trying to do modern repair-tech stuff?

I can do this stuff manually, but I'd rather find a way to do it in one-click fashion before I start telling family to do it themselves or pay for it because I get annoyed.  The closest to what I'm trying to do I've found is Advanced System Care, which does some tweaking, but is mostly a glorified registry cleaner, and I don't trust those damned things at all.  I've seen them deactivate the "dummy" folders in Vista and Win7, subsequently destroying backwards compatibility with XP Software.  Blah.

Help!

Thanks for your time.

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Configuration Template
« on: May 16, 2011, 12:33:56 PM »

Offline Shane

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Re: Configuration Template
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 06:08:43 PM »
No problem at all and not a pain at all :wink:

I do this stuff all the time. Not to many people can get Windows to run faster than I can lol (Not meant to sound full of myself lol)

Everything you want to do can be done via the reg. and bat files.
My tool to change the visual effects do work with vista and 7. Windows keeps everything stored in the reg. So any setting or tweak can be done there.

The easiest thing to do is make 1 reg file with all your tweaks. And to add that reg file by a bat file you use

REGEDIT /S C:\regtweaks.reg

And of course have it point to your reg file. This way as you make changes to your tweaks you only need to change the reg file and not mess with the bat file once it is done.

You can set services startup by the reg as well, or in my vista and 7 bat files I have I use this command

Echo Windows Search
sc config Wsearch start= auto

Do a google search on commands, you can almost anything from a bat file.

Shane
(My weekends belong to my wife and kids, I will try my best to answer all posts daily during the work week)

(About Shane)
Site Owner, Top Admin, Lead Programmer, Wife & 5 kids, Needs a lot more coffee.

When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
Honor & Respect is all that matters.

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Offline TwistedMage

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Re: Configuration Template
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 06:00:08 AM »
Everything you want to do can be done via the reg. and bat files.

Thanks for your prompt reply!  My problem is that I cannot figure out which reg values apply to the changes I'm trying to make.  I found the visual effects entries (I even found a workaround for the commonly complained-about issue of it not working for new users by creating a batch in the Default User profile's Startup that imported those keys then removed itself from the new user's Startup folder), and can pretty much clear out startup by deleting the entire Run/RunOnce keys and recreating empty ones; Unfortunately, other things like setting the virual memory and internet options, I can't figure out how to do in the registry.  I've delved into the registry manually before and learned a fair portion of it just dealing with viruses (especially those Rogue agents that mess with the exefile class and enter gibberish keys/values in HKCU\Software), but a lot of this stuff is either buried very well, or uses an entirely different jargon than I use to describe the keys/values I'm looking for.  I was hoping you could help with this.  I know there are certain things you won't want to divulge due to professional competition concerns, but I'm a simple PI in PA trying to do some help for friends and family, so you don't have to worry about me.  Even if you could just PM or email me with that info, that way you wouldn't have to post it publicly, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Thanks again,
  -Joel

Offline Shane

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Re: Configuration Template
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 10:18:23 AM »
Page file is easy. Once you set your you can export out the reg key.

For me, my default is a 2048 mb file on the C drive. This is for normal systems for my customers. They should never need bigger than 2GB. If they are using over 2GB of the page file, which runs off the hard drive, then they have some real problems.

Here is the reg info for the file

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):43,00,3a,00,5c,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,6c,\
  00,65,00,2e,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,32,00,30,00,34,00,38,00,20,00,32,00,\
  30,00,34,00,38,00,00,00,00,00

You can change yours on your system then simply export that key out, and there you go. :wink:

Shane
(My weekends belong to my wife and kids, I will try my best to answer all posts daily during the work week)

(About Shane)
Site Owner, Top Admin, Lead Programmer, Wife & 5 kids, Needs a lot more coffee.

When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
Honor & Respect is all that matters.

Owner & Programmer of: www.pcwintech.com & www.tweaking.com

Offline TwistedMage

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Re: Configuration Template
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 05:40:41 AM »
Interesting, perhaps I misunderstood exactly what the page file is.  I was under the impression that the paging file was an overflow for physical memory where Windows would store data that was in lower priority or disuse (such as a trayapp that hasn't been used since the machine was booted).  Also that everytime the system went over the current pagefile size, it cached the current pagefile, and wrote a new one at a larger size (up to the maximum set), then wrote the cached data from the original pagefile to the new larger one.  With this in mind, I've always set the minimum and maximums at 4095 per partition, so that 1:  the system wouldn't have to waste resources rewriting the pagefile when it exceeded the initial size; and 2:  if it is overflow for RAM, the more stored in it, the more of the faster RAM could be used for active apps and background tasks while relegating the passive, inactive apps to the pagefile, where read/write speed isn't as much a concern.  Heck, in systems with over 4gb of RAM and Vista/7, I'll leave the pagefile as system managed because Windows will then sometimes set it as high as 8gb, or even more in 64-bit systems with more than 8gb. 

People I've done these tuneups for have always been happy, and I've gotten performance marks out of a machine that are sometimes only 5% slower than a clean install (always allowing for specific background apps in use, of course; anything using SQL Server, for instance, will obviously be lacking SOME free resources)!  If I've been running the pagefile incorrectly, it'd be nice to boast a better tuneup result than a lot of the professional techs in the area selling them for $100 or more a pop!

So are you saying the minimum should be 2gb, or the max?  Is that based on RAM and OS, or is that a pretty constant figure?  How would you adjust for a 64-bit machine as opposed to a 32-bit machine? 

Offline Shane

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Re: Configuration Template
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 10:38:45 AM »
2GB is the min and max I set.

The pagefile runs off the hard drive, and the hard drive is the bottle neck of performance. The less the page file is used the better. This is why my CleanMem app helps so much, keeps windows from needing the page file as much :wink:

If you want to get a system screaming fast, the trick is take the load of the drive as much as possible.
I am on Windows 7 64 bit 8Gb of ram and have my page file turned off. My system never goes over 2GB of memory usage. And that is with everything I use going.

Of course even on my 8GB system I still use my CleanMem program.

The page file size and what is actually being used are 2 very different numbers.
Windows will make the page file as big as what would be needed if it had to dump all the memory to it. Even though it should never need to and almost never does. This is why by default it says you should have 1.5 times the memory you have for the page file.

But actual page file usage is small, on my system before I turned off the page file I was only using 75 MB of the 8 GB page file it wanted. Wasted space and slow down. When ever I would run some programs, like VMware, even though I had tons of memory, Windows still loaded a ton of vmware into the pagefile, brings my system to a snails pace as I waited on the drive to process such a large file. Screw that lol. Got rid of my page file and haven't had a slow down once with vmware.

But this is my setup. Every one is different. If you have a large page file, and it is getting filled, then the system will run like a snail and you know you have a problem. The page file shouldn't ever be used that much, if it is then you have a program with a bad memory leak. :wink:

Shane
(My weekends belong to my wife and kids, I will try my best to answer all posts daily during the work week)

(About Shane)
Site Owner, Top Admin, Lead Programmer, Wife & 5 kids, Needs a lot more coffee.

When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
Honor & Respect is all that matters.

Owner & Programmer of: www.pcwintech.com & www.tweaking.com

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Re: Configuration Template
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 10:38:45 AM »

 

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