Check out #5d below . .
1. The article "Computer Speed and Performance May Decrease (Q310419)" explains - among other things - that running services and programs started automatically when you start your computer typically run all the time and uses a portion of your computer's system resources that cannot be used for any other task. The more used the slower your computer gets -- makes sense.
2. Are unnecessary Counter Logs used? Are they really necessary?
a. Click Start, Control Panel, Performance and Maintenance, Administrative Tools and then click Performance.
b. Double click Performance Logs and Alerts, Counter Logs and note what is listed in the details pane. A green icon indicates that a log is running; a red icon indicates that a log has been stopped.
c. If desired, you may also right-click a blank area of the details pane and click New Log Settings, enter a name for a log to create in the Name box:, and then click OK. Click General, Add, and select the counters wanted too. If you want to change the default file and schedule information, make the changes on the Log Files and Schedule tabs.
d. To remove whatever you wish to circumvent running/logging simple highlight the name of the counter in the legend in the System Monitor details pane and press the Delete key.
3. Supplemental reading:
a. "Disabling AutoUpdate Service in Control Panel Does Not Shut Down the Service (Q283151)."
b. "Description of the Windows XP Logman.exe, Relog.exe, and Typeperf.exe Tools (Q303133)."
c. "Failure Events Are Logged When the Welcome Screen Is Enabled (Q305822)."
d. "HOW TO: Configure Recovery Techniques in Windows XP (Q307973)", concerning severe errors (also called a fatal system error, or stop error)
e. "HOW TO: Set Performance Options (Q308417)."
f. "HOW TO: Use Computer Management in Windows XP (Q308423)."
g. "HOW TO: View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer (Q308427)."
h. "HOW TO: Set Up Administrative Alerts in Windows XP (Q310490)."
i. "Windows XP May Slow Down If Users Are Logged On with Fast User Switching (Q312058)."
4. After enabling the Run logon scripts synchronously policy setting, Windows directs the system to wait for the logon scripts to finish running before it starts the interface program and creates the desktop and these "Scripts May Not Run Before Windows Explorer Starts Even Though the "Run Logon Scripts Synchronously" Setting is Enabled (Q304970)" and occurs because a logon performance enhancement is enabled by default. This enhancement causes the computer to not wait for Group Policy processing before an environment is initialized.
5. " Services" (click to see an example screenshot) are programs that run when the computer is booted and continue to run as they aid system functionality. You will find many services loaded and are simply not needed which take up memory space and CPU time. Circumventing those unneeded services will free up system resources and speed up overall computer operation.
a. Click Start, Run type services.msc and then press Enter.
b. The Services applet will load listing services currently in session/use. What you have to consider/decide is which service(s) is/are not right for you -- good luck.
c. Please review the topics:
(1) The article "HOW TO: Perform Advanced Clean-Boot Troubleshooting in Windows XP (Q316434)" provides a partial list of core operating system services that load and varies according to the services that are installed and the version of Windows XP used. If automatic events and services constantly run and eat up system resources, perhaps eliminating those consider extraneous and unnecessary could help improve system performance. Remember, they can always be reinstated.
(2) "Default settings for services."
(3) "A Description of Svchost.exe in Windows XP (Q314056)."
d. To configure how a service is started:
(1) Open Services and right-click the service to configure, and then click Properties.
(2) On the General tab, in the Startup type box, click either Automatic, Manual, or Disabled.
(3) To specify the user account that the service can use to log on, click the Log On tab, and then do one of the following:
(a) To specify that the service use the LocalSystem account, click Local System account.
(b) To specify that the service use the LocalService account, click This account, and then type NT AUTHORITY\LocalService.
(c) To specify that the service use the NetworkService account, click This account, and then type NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService.
(d) To specify another account, click This account, click Browse, and then specify a user account in the Select User dialog box. When you are finished, click OK.
(e) Type the password for the user account in the Password box and in the Confirm password box, and then click OK.
e. Interesting reading:
"System Services for the Windows Server 2003 Family and Windows XP Operating Systems." Read the topic "Workstations" specifically, and if it is not needed, disable.
"Black Viper's Windows XP Services Configurations."
"Windows XP Tweaking Guide - VIA/Arena."
f. Please note, that if a service runs for catalog indexing such as Cidaemon.exe that is discussed in the Win2k article [Q156756], further discussed in [Q308202] for both Win2k and WinXP, it is suggested that some testing be conducted to perhaps check whether certain services are necessary and used only after you read the article, "HOW TO: Use Computer Management in Windows XP (Q308423)."
6. If you have thousands of files on your computer, you may speed up your searches by turning on the "Indexing Service" to run in the background (the equivalent of FastFind previously used on older Windows systems which everybody learned to do without). If you don't have thousands of documents to search through, you're unlikely to benefit much from indexing. Please note that if the number of documents is large, insufficient memory will seriously affect performance. You can also improve performance by adding more memory and increasing the amount of memory dedicated to mapping the property cache. A faster CPU and hard drive improves the performance of indexing and the speed of processing queries as well.
a. From My Computer, right-click the hard drive and select Properties.
b. Note the entry at the bottom labeled "Allow indexing service to index this disk for faster searches".
c. Uncheck the box and then click OK.
d. An applet will pop-up prompting whether to apply this option to all folders and subfolders.
7. A "memory leak occurs" when a memory pool allocates some of its memory to a process and the process does not return the memory. When this happens repeatedly, the memory pool is depleted, [Q130926]. Are there any on your system which create this anomaly?
8. The "System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG.EXE) (Q310560) can be used to prevent unnecessary items from loading when a system is started.
Note: If you change any startup setting by using System Configuration Utility, the following message appears the next time you log on to the system:
You have used the System Configuration Utility to change the way Windows starts.
The System Configuration Utility is currently in Diagnostic or Selective Startup mode, causing this message to be displayed and the utility to run every time Windows starts.
Choose the Normal Startup mode on the General tab to start Windows normally and undo the changes you made using the System Configuration Utility.
8. Hint: It is not necessary for a user to log off the computer since a user's account is always logged on and the user can switch quickly between all open accounts. For example, Dad comes home and starts using his machine. He opens Microsoft PowerPoint and starts working on a document. Bill then comes up to him and asks to use the computer. Bill goes to the Welcome screen, clicks Bill, logs on, and starts playing a game. Meanwhile, Dad remains logged on; Dad's PowerPoint presentation is open and his Internet connection is preserved. If Dad wants to, he can switch to his open account without logging off Bill. In essence, with Windows XP many users can simultaneously use the computer. When a machine is left alone with a user logged on, the system will return to the Welcome screen while keeping all the applications running. Additionally, notifications appear on the Welcome screen providing information such as the number of users who are logged on, whether a user has unread e-mail, and how many programs are running, [Q279765].
10. Autoplay tab Missing and CD's Don't Autoplay: Since registered components on a system is invoked using the Shell Hardware Detection service and also because non-volume handlers are invoked through it, this service cannot be deactivated. If it is, a user may find they have no access to or can they use either Volume-based or Non-volume-based devices.
a. The primary purpose of Autoplay is to provide a software response to hardware actions initiated by the user on a machine. AutoPlay is a feature that detects content such as pictures, music, or video files on removable media and removable devices. AutoPlay then automatically launches applications to play or display that content. Media and device types supported AutoPlay include:
Removable storage media
External hot plug USB or 1394 fixed drives
Supported content types, which include:
Pictures (.jpg, .bmp, .gif, .tif)
Music Files (.mp3, .wma)
Video (.mpg, .asf)
b. If the Shell Hardware Detection service is stopped, you will loose the Hardware Autoplay functionality.
Volume-based device events are events that affect devices that appear as volumes -- that is, all disk drives accessible via Windows file system APIs. This includes CD drives, removable disk drives, hard disk drives, removable media readers, and mass storage devices. Basically, if it shows up under My Computer with a drive letter, it's a volume-based device.
Non-volume-based devices include, well, everything else. Specific examples of these devices include digital video cameras and portable music players that do not expose their content as a file system supported by WinXP. This does not mean that all video cameras and portable music players are non-volume devices. For example, newer digital cameras and portable music players that use the USB Mass Storage stack are treated as volume devices since they appear to the system as volumes. Digital camera devices which are non-volume devices get special treatment from Windows. Even though they are non-volume devices, they are handled by the Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) component for backward compatibility reasons.
Note: The article [Q307001] states that by default, the Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) service logs errors to a file named Wiadebug.log in the Windows_folder folder and controlled by settings in the following registry address:
c. The TechNet article [Autoplay in Windows XP: Automatically Detect and React to New Devices on a System] discusses two tools for download (mentioned for your information and possible use only).
The first, APDiag.exe provides some insight into the Shell Hardware Detection service processing of hardware events (click to see an example screenshot), and is a tool that listens for updates to the %SystemRoot%\Autoplay.log file and dumps the changes to its edit box. This tool is mostly useful for diagnosing non-volume Autoplay problems, but it can also be used in some cases to trace volume Autoplay operations.
The second, APPMDiag.exe performs an Autoplay post-mortem diagnosis of the last Autoplay attempt for a specific drive. It is meant to be used for the diagnosis of volume Autoplay events (click to see an example screenshot) and as its name implies, it should be run after a volume Autoplay scenario has been carried out.
11. The following anomalous behavior can occur if "Speech Recognition" is installed in WinXP and has not been correctly configured, [Q313176] :
a. programs may quit, start, or lose and gain focus randomly
b. text in programs may be unreadable
c. the logon screen may appear to be controlled by someone who is remotely connected to the computer
12. When MSN Explorer is installed on a system, the Loadqm.exe file (the MSN Queue Manager [MSNQ] component which manages queuing for the background file-transfer mechanism that is known as the drizzling service) is added to the Startup folder and starts each time the system boots, [Q309418].
Note: When messages are sent to a remote computer and the network connection is lost, the application may have a 12-second to 17-second delay in response to the Message Queuing send function and occurs every five seconds, because the Message Queuing Manager tries to reconnect to target computers that do not have a working TCP/IP session. If the target computer is not available, this connection attempt can be blocked. Message Queuing uses a limited number of working threads to handle these network connections and local applications. Since there is no limit to the number of working threads to retry these connection attempts, this can lead to all worker threads being tied up in connection attempts. Since there may be more than one worker thread attempting to connect to the same target computer, this can leave no worker threads available for local applications until one of the threads that is used for a connection attempt times out, [Q321784]. To resolve this problem, obtain and install the latest service pack for WinXP.
a. MSMQ supports two modes of message delivery:
Express messages are stored in RAM memory during routing and delivery, providing extremely fast performance but no recoverability when machines fail.
Recoverable messages are written to disk during routing and delivery, making them somewhat slower than express messages but ideal when failures cannot be tolerated and when machine shutdowns are expected to occur while messages remain in queues (for example, a mobile application running on a laptop).
Note: In both cases, however, working copies of messages are kept in RAM memory -- MSMQ only accesses disk-based copies of recoverable messages in the event of a failure. When RAM memory is exhausted, Windows has to swap memory pages out to disk, which degrades performance. To maximize performance, there should be enough memory on a given machine to hold all of the messages that are expected to accumulate in its queues under normal operation.
b. If a machine crashes immediately after MSMQ accepts a message for delivery, but before the message is delivered to the target queue, MSMQ will find the message on disk when service restarts and will resume the sending process automatically. In a similar fashion, when an application reads a recoverable message from a queue, MSMQ makes a record of the read operation on disk. Even if the machine crashes immediately after the read operation occurs, MSMQ will not deliver the same copy of the message again when the machine restarts (although another copy of the message may be resent by the sending queue manager; transactional queues are required for once-only delivery).
c. When changing domains on a WinXP Professional computer, the following error message may be received when Computer Management is used to display public queues. Message Queuing queries for public queues. The Message Queuing queue manager only queries the domain of the current computer and not the Global Catalog server for the list of public queues, [Q305808]:
Not all public queues can be displayed. Only public queues cached locally can be displayed. Error: The Object was not found in Active Directory.
13. At some point, you may want to disable some of the new interface components in order to improve the computer's "performance" (click to see an example screenshot). Enabling or disabling these components can significantly hinder or enhance performance depending on the hardware specifications, [Q288186]. Portions of the New Interface are:
Animate Windows when minimizing and maximizing
Draw gradient in Windows captions
Enable per-folder type watermarks
"Fade" (click to see an example screenshot) in taskbar
Fade out menu items after invocation
Fade/ slide menu items into view, [Q819946]
Fade/ slide taskbar items into view
Hot-track menu items and other elements
Show alpha blended selection rectangle
Show shadows under menus
Show shadows under mouse pointer
Show window contents while dragging
Slide icons over background images in folders
Slide open combo boxes
Slide taskbar buttons
Smooth edges of screen fonts
Smooth-scroll list boxes
Use drop shadows for icon labels on the Desktop
Use visual styles on windows and buttons. CAVEAT: "Unable to change Visual style of Windows and buttons (Q555512)."
Use Web view in folders
14. Although Microsoft strongly recommends using the default dynamically configured video-based effects as follows, is because that is what most users will use. However, the visual effects settings can be changed quite easily.
Slide taskbar buttons
Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop
Smooth edges of screen fonts
Fade or slide menus into view
Fade out menu items after clicking
Fade or slide ToolTips into view
Show shadows under menus
Show translucent selection rectangle
15. The article [Q312113] warns that if the .NET Framework is installed on a system that is running Windows XP (Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, and then scroll through the list), any process that uses the Performance Data Helper (PDH) functions to retrieve performance counters may stop responding ("hang") for 60 seconds, is caused by a bug in the .NET Framework performance extension Mscoree.DLL file, and that after the 60-second delay, the process exits as expected. Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in the Microsoft product, provides steps to turn off this counter by editing the system registry, but in my opinion it would be to your advantage to uninstall any feature not useful. The .NET Framework consists of two main parts: the common language runtime (CLR) and a unified, hierarchical class library that includes a revolutionary advance to Active Server Pages (ASP.NET), an environment for building smart client applications (Windows Forms), and a loosely-coupled data access subsystem (ADO.NET).