All the tips/hints/fixes/other information posted here are at your own risk. Some of the steps here could result in damage to your computer. For example, using a Windows registry editor like RegEdit could result in unintended serious changes that may be difficult or impossible to reverse. Backups are always encouraged.

17 March 2008

Services You Should Disable If You Aren't on a Microsoft Network

These being disabled won't affect Internet usage, but you won't be able to do Microsoft networking stuff. For me, those features are more of a liability than a help. Some are disabled by default, because even Microsoft has determined that they are risky.

  • Alerter
  • ClipBook
  • Computer Browser
  • Distributed File System
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • Messenger
  • Net Logon
  • Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service
  • Netmeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
  • Network DDE
  • Network DDE DSDM
  • Remote Registry
  • Server (and uncheck Client for Microsoft Networks and File and Printer Sharing in your network connection properties)
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper (and disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP in your network connection TCP/IP properties)
  • Telnet
  • Terminal Services Session Directory
Others that you might want to disable but might not apply to you:
  • Distributed Link Tracking Server
  • Error Reporting Service
  • IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service (unnecessary if you have burning software, I believe)
  • Indexing Service
  • Intersite Messaging
  • Kerberos Key Distribution Center
  • License Logging
  • Network Provisioning Service
  • Performance Logs and Alerts
  • Remote Desktop Help Session Manager
  • Routing and Remote Access
  • Smart Card
  • WebClient
Be smart and do research before you muck too much with this stuff. I recommend Turbo Services Manager so that you can see what depends on what. If you disable one service, you should disable all the services that depend on it, but if doing so would disable something you should keep, don't disable that first service in the first place!

Some Services Are Just Supposed to Run "Manual"

I tweak with Services settings for better security and performance, but it's a silly endeavor, because the services themselves are quirky: they might not start correctly if they are set to Manual when they should be Automatic (3rd party services especially, it seems) and vice versa!

Here are some services that should have their startup types be Manual even though they are running most of the time:

  • COM+ Event System
  • Network Connections
  • Network Location Awareness (NLA)
  • Remote Access Connection Manager
  • Telephony
  • Terminal Services

16 March 2008

2 Nice & Free Security Utilities: Seconfig and SpywareBlaster

What's nice about these is that they help secure your machine without having anything run in the background to slow you down at all: Seconfig and SpywareBlaster

Scan Downloaded Files with ClamWin and Firefox

I do this instead of running antivirus in the background constantly, but that point of view is apparently controversial. Use the Download Scan Firefox extension and configure as follows:

Exclude these types: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, htm, css, asx
Path to clamwin.exe
Parameters: --mode=scanner --path=%1 --close

My opinion is that downloaded files are the main source of virus trouble, so scanning upon download is good for safety; where constant background scanning is overkill and a drain on system performance.

Fixing the High Pitched Noise

If you're Intel-powered laptop has a high-pitched noise problem, this might be the solution (copied from Yubastard's post at TabletPCReview)

I knew RMClock was the tool but didn't know how to use it until tonight. The above "Run HLT..." option works because it takes the CPU out of the Hard C4 state(battery), you can see Task Manager @ 100% (because RMClock idles instead of Windows), thus reducing battery life noticiably.

Instead, use these settings:
  1. Management page:
    • uncheck: "Use OS load-based management"
    • uncheck: "Run HLT command when OS is idle(requires restart)"
    • check: "Restore CPU defaults..." - both options
    • select: from the "CPU defaults selection" drop-down menu: "CPU-defined default FID/VID"
  2. Profiles page(if you know what ur doin'):
    • for AC power choose Maximal Performance profile and, under AC tab, check "Use P-States..." and "Use Throttling(ODCM)", use index #6 for both.
    • for battery power choose Power Saving profile and, under battery tab, check "Use P-States..." and use index #1, unckeck "Use Throttling(ODCM)", or, alternatively, use "Performance on Demand" profile and check nothing.
  3. Advanced CPU Settings page:
    • Processor Tab:
      • uncheck: "Enable Thermal Monitor 1" (makes CPU jumpy when it gets hot, that's why there's TM2)
      • check: "Enable Thermal Monior 2" (replaces TM1)
      • check these Enhanced Low Power States: C1E, C2E, Hard C4E.
    • Platform Tab:
      • check: "Enable Popdown Mode"
      • THE MOST IMPORTANT!! uncheck: "Enable Popup Mode"

That last one is the most important as it's the one that silences the noise! All of the other ones where just to preserve battery life and keep everything safe if you exit RMClock. You can also check: "Run application automatically when Windows session starts" for hassle-free power management (tho' it seems to keep working after you exit!).

Press "Apply" and ur done... but wait, these settings, if improperly set, may heat up any computer, so, please, do it at your own risk. I'm a computer engineering student and know my way around, more or less, but it works and preserves battery, on my Core Duo T2500 2.0Ghz with BIOS version 78.03, haven't tested it with newer 78.04.

Also, it pumps it up on AC power, without too much heating or jumpyness after long standby.

Hope it works for other Core Duo users and even Pentium M, and I hope I was clear enough. I wish I could keep experimenting and try to get more life out of battery but it's 5:30am and I'm tired. @ least, I don't have the whinning anymore and have more than 4 hours of battery life

I forgot!!!

In "Adavcend CPU Setings" page, check the "Apply these settings at startup", beside the Refresh button, at bottom.

This is so when you restart, these power management settings will kick in.

ToolTipFixer failing to launch in Windows 2003

I am a big fan of TooltipFixer which fixes a Windows shell bug where tooltips in the notification area would be eclipsed by the taskbar itself.

In Windows 2003, the service would have problems at startup and trigger the annoying and unhelpful: "At least one service or driver has failed to start" error dialog. This can be fixed by adjusting the properties of the NST ToolTipFixer service to log on as "Local Service" rather than "Local System".

The Annoying Icon that says "Acquring Network Address" When You're Already Connected

This complaint is all over the web, but I first saw a solution at DSL Reports

Using Intel Proset/Wireless software to manage wireless network connections, there was a weird and annoying issue where connection to a wireless network would work fine, but the little notification area wireless icon would animate endlessly with the tooltip "acquiring network address." Using the Hide Inactive Icons feature of the Start Menu control panel didn't work; the icon would reappear. This KB article is no help either.

The problem is that the Network Location Awareness Service wasn't running. Launch services.msc and change its startup type to Manual.