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Author Topic: Win XP Advice  (Read 2753 times)
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MahaROGa
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« on: October 18, 2004, 04:33:01 PM »

Shortly I'll have a new system, and of course it's will be coming with WinXP.  I'm also going to be upgrading my current system to WinXP so that the wife can load a pgm that she has that requires WinXP.  However prior to all this I've been a Win98 holdout, it's been going just fine up until now...  Do to my "holdout" status I generally ignore any hints/tips that I se regarding WinXP, and now I'm wishing I had paid more attention.

So I'm looking for some general recommendations/tips for the new WinXP user.  Maybe a "walkthrough" site?

I'm curious about things like;

Should I go NTFS or FAT32, are older programs less liekly to work with NTFS than FAT32 under WinXP?

What kinds of utilities should I get?  I've always used Norton Utilities, but it seems that over they years their utilities have become less valuable than they were in the early days of Windows?

I suspect that I should turn off the "firewall" that WinXP wants to run.  Should I also disable autoupdate?  I hate it when my games get interupted by a automated download (or automated anything really)

Thanks for any advice!
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Jeff
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2004, 05:12:41 PM »

NTFS will have no effect on how games run. NTFS allows for more security options, and is generally more efficient than FAT32.

What you will lose, if you go NTFS however, is the ability to see the contents of the drive if you were to boot up with a DOS floppy disk. Your XP CD is bootable, though, and it will see the NTFS partitions. Personally, I run all of my partitions in NTFS.

I recommend avoiding the latest renditions of Norton (Symantec) products. In my opinion, they have become bloated and too aggressive. There are freeware tools that are available to do the same things, without hogging your system's resources.

My site www.jeffjones.org has a lot of links to get you started.

the XP firewall: I find it to be pretty harmless. I personally don't use it, but that's because I have a hardware firewall (a router), so I don't need it.

Auto-updates: I turn those off, because like you said, I don't care for the interruptions, and I just like to handle updates on my own. I just check WindowsUpdate.com once a week or so.

My personal utility choices:

Defrag: Diskeeper Pro (extremely fast, lightweight, and single-minded)

Registry Maintenance: Regcleaner (freeware)

Anti-virus: F-Prot for Windows. (I love this program, very small footprint, and very effective)

Firewall: DLink 604 Cable/DSL router

My other favorite tool is StartupEditor, for controlling what loads when windows loads.

Links for these are on my home page.
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Cota
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2004, 10:43:04 PM »

I was like you until a few months ago. The only the only things I did were:

1. Turn off the built in messenger. I gather that people can force the messenger to pop up with spam.

2. Turn off the built in firewall. I had already been using the freebie Zone Alarm so I kept using that.

3. I either turned off auto updates, or it came that way by default, I don't recall.

I also run NTFS on all my partitions, but then I don't know enough about it to know why I wouldn't. smile

-Cota
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abintra
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2004, 05:47:08 AM »

I just turn AU to notify but don't download.  That shouldn't affect bandwidth at all (not sure as I don't game).
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dangerballs
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2004, 06:01:01 AM »

Grab the following:

adaware se from http://www.lavasoft.de

spybot from http://www.kolla.de

Spywareblaster from http://www.javacoolsoftware.com

Make sure you run spywareblaster.  It will prevent spyware from even installing in the first place.

Also here is an utility that you might find useful:

http://www.pivx.com/qwikfixDownloadPage.asp

Its called Qwikfix Pro.  It is free currently.  It locks down XP pretty hard through registry tweaks and other means.  If youre looking from some serious security, it is a good solution along with a firewall.  You may need to disable it every now and then, because it can break some insecure websites.

I also suggest the following freeware programs from Gibson Research.
They are fairly simple, but they make some registry tweaks for you that make your computer a little more secure:

http://www.grc.com/files/shootthemessenger.exe (turns off windows messenger)

http://www.grc.com/files/unpnp.exe  (turns off universal plug and play which is a network thing, not the hardware thing)

http://www.grc.com/files/dcombob.exe (turns off some dangerous DCOM functions)

http://www.grc.com/files/socketlock.exe (turns off raw sockets in xp which can be dangerous)
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Thin_J
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2004, 09:18:41 AM »

So, today I finally uninstall all of the norton garbage and switch to Zonealarm and AVG. The results are pathetically obvious.

If you didn't know what I did and you used my PC all the time, you'd swear I added a new processor and some RAM or something. Windows come up faster, programs open quicker, everything's faster.

I highly recommend switching to other programs for anybody that has norton installed right now.
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Jeff
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2004, 01:40:47 PM »

Quote from: "Thin_J"
So, today I finally uninstall all of the norton garbage and switch to Zonealarm and AVG. The results are pathetically obvious.

If you didn't know what I did and you used my PC all the time, you'd swear I added a new processor and some RAM or something. Windows come up faster, programs open quicker, everything's faster.

I highly recommend switching to other programs for anybody that has norton installed right now.


Hey, glad to hear things worked out well for you Thin_J. I've seen what you describe time & time again, when I've serviced home PC's.
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whiteboyskim
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2004, 02:34:56 PM »

I've got Norton 2003 on my rig and it comes up quickly and cleanly. I'd heard that the latest version was bloated beyond belief so I just renewed by AV subscription rather than buy the new stuff.

How about that "Shoot the Messenger" program that removes Windows Messenger? Does it just turn it off in the registry or remove it altogether? 'Cause that would just be neat if it killed it. biggrin
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MahaROGa
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2004, 03:57:24 PM »

Thanks for the advice, everyone!  It is really making me feel much more comfortable about switching from my 20th century operating system  smile .
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2004, 04:38:11 PM »

I used to have to reformat and reinstall Windows 98 once or twice a year just because it got "clogged" and began crashing.  I upgraded to XP in March of '03 and I'm still running the same installation.  No problemo.
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Beer Goggles
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2004, 04:44:47 PM »

I would also recommend TweakUI and XP-Antispy.
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Jeff
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2004, 05:20:42 PM »

Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
I've got Norton 2003 on my rig and it comes up quickly and cleanly. I'd heard that the latest version was bloated beyond belief so I just renewed by AV subscription rather than buy the new stuff.

How about that "Shoot the Messenger" program that removes Windows Messenger? Does it just turn it off in the registry or remove it altogether? 'Cause that would just be neat if it killed it. biggrin


The messenger service is now turned off by default (the service that allowed spammers to infiltrate those nasty grey pop up ads) with SP2.

Windows Messenger, the little chat thing that seems hard as hell to get rid of, is actually easy to remove, if you know how.

Go to: c:\windows\inf and look for a file called sysoc.inf

In that file look for the line:
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7

remove the 'hide' part

msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7

so that it looks like this:

msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,,7

Notice the commas are still there.

Now, go to Add/Remove Programs, and on the left bar, click on Add/Remove Windows Components

Look for Windows Messenger, and it will now be there for you to uninstall. The "hide" in that sysoc file was hiding it from being shown in Add/Remove Components.
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