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Windows 2000 Tweak Guide (Page 4/4)

Posted: May 29, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Disabling System Sounds

I know, for a lot of you, this is a novelty that makes your computer feel 'special.' But for those of us that spend a great deal of time at the computer, they get redundant very fast, and they take up quite a few system resources. To disable them in Windows 2000, go into the Sounds and Multimedia Properties applet. On the sounds tab, there is a 'schemes' setting. Instead of manually removing each sound, you can use the default "No Sounds" scheme to remove all of the sounds on your system.

Disabling Visual Effects

If you aren't using TweakUI, you should take note that you can disable several of the visual effects using the display properties applet. As a matter of fact, I'd recommend checking here after using TweakUI anyway, just in case some of them didn't get disabled. Under the Effects tab of the Display applet, you are going to want to disable Use Transition Effects, Smooth Edges of Screen Fonts, Use Large Icons (unless you need them), and Show Window Contents while Dragging.

Changing your Shell

Changing your shell in Windows 2000 isn't nearly as important as it was in Win9x due to the fact that the version of Explorer included in Win2k is actually stable, but you can still shave off a couple of MB of system overhead by switching to another shell. For Win2k, at this point, you really only have two options that are stable enough to work - the Task Manager (included in Win2k, although it is much different from the Win9x equivalent) and GeOShell. In here, I will cover how to set up the task manager - setting up GeOShell is just about the same.

You have two options after you have decided to use the Task Manager as a shell - you have the option to use the Win9x version or the Win2k version. What? Yes, the Win9x version will also work with Win2k, and has a much smaller footprint. However, I think you will find that the Win2k version is more user friendly. Either way it is up to you.

There is a registry value you will need to change to set the shell to the task manager, and it is as follows:

HKLM\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\winlogon - Shell value

If you are going to use the Win2k version of the program, the path is C:\winnt\system32\taskmgr.exe, and if you decide to use the Win9x version of the program, the path is C:\windows\taskmgr.exe. You will need to reboot for the change to take effect.

Removing Extraneous Windows Components

A kind reader sent in this tweak that was originally posted on a French Windows 2000 website called The tweak is as follows - it allows you more flexibility in the Windows Components section of the Add/Remove programs applet. To perform the tweak, you need to open the file sysoc.inf (which is located in the winnt/inf folder) in notepad. In the file there are several 'HIDE' commands, which need to be removed. Delete the word hide and the appropriate extra comma on all of the lines that have the command and then save the file. When you go back and open up the windows components in the Add/Remove programs applet, you should have several more features to choose from, and remove if you like.

Miscellaneous Hard Drive Tweaking

This tweak really should have made it into the last revision of the Win2k Hard Drive and Memory Tweak Guide, but I overlooked it in my notes so I will share it with you now. By default, Windows 2000 logs the I/O traffic of your hard drive. While this is a very useful setting for servers, for workstations it doesn't do anything except use up system resources. To disable it, go to the run menu and type diskperf -n to disable the logging.


Hopefully, you found this guide to be of some help in your quest to tweak out of Win2k. As always, feel free to email me with your comments/suggestions - oh, and tweaks too. ;)

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