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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Windows as a music workstation
Slimming down Windows
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DrJustice



Joined: Sep 13, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:03 am    Post subject: Slimming down Windows
Subject description: Reclaiming memory and speed
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In accordance with moscs good suggestion I'm copying som hints on Windows 'tuning' from another unrelated thread.

If anobody has more tips to share, please go ahead and post theme here!

jksuperstar wrote:

After you load all you audio apps, ever CTL-ALT-DEL, and kill things like "explorer"? It usually runs 14 - 17MB, and now that I've been experimenting with NetMIDI, explorer will constantly do things on the network, which can cause significant delays in processing when it doesn't get what it wants. Just killing the whole explorer tree (right-click on explorer) saves alot of hacks to settings, services, and the registry. When needed again, just CTL-ALT-DEL again, and under Applications, start a "New Task...", then enter "explorer" to fire up all you window management, icons, and other colorful goodies not needed while playing music.

It's my version of "one more step toward performance" beyond "classic windows mode".



DrJustice wrote:

I use a utility called FSAutoStart. It will stop the services and programs of your choice before starting a given program the way you want. When you exit that program. The stopped services and programs may be restarted again. FSAutoStart stores several profiles like this. As so many good things it comes form the world of gaming; from the flight sim community to be specific. It reclaims more than 100MB and speeds up things a bit when I go into 'gaming mode'. I haven't measured the actual speed gains, but there's usually more fps (may in part be due to the reclaimed memory). I haven never tried it with music apps, but I can't see why that shouldn't work fine.



Here's a link to FSAutoStart

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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow. That tip about turning off the explorer is quite something. I've never tried it. I assumed it would close all of the windows, but they stay there. Restarting explorer brings everything back. Quite cool.
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opg



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Now what about memory leakage? Is this the same? I'm all for force-quitting Explorer (as I've done that before), but my PC will completely space out on me up to 10 seconds almost every time I open a file within a program or through My Computer -> Local C:, etc. It's not limited to just that, however. I never have problems opening a program, just opening files/plugins within programs.

Any idea what this is? And YES, I'd love to switch to a Mac, but I've gotten too attached to Fruity Loops at this point. We'll see what happens in the not-too-distant future...
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

opg wrote:
my PC will completely space out on me up to 10 seconds almost every time I open a file within a program or through My Computer -> Local C:, etc. It's not limited to just that, however. I never have problems opening a program, just opening files/plugins within programs.


I don't have that problem. Sometimes an application has to scan the disk and bulid a data structure of the files, but that happens if you are running the explorer anyway.

Quote:
And YES, I'd love to switch to a Mac, but I've gotten too attached to Fruity Loops at this point. We'll see what happens in the not-too-distant future...


There seems to be a lot of FL enthusiasts. There is a saying in the IT industry, "follow the software." I have Linux/XP/OSX. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey - that FSautostart works great. Well, the first time I created a config, it barfed, but I closed the program & reopened, and it's been working ever since.

I also like how it defrags the memory as well. Plus, I can shut down so many services without having to have a second boot profile, this is great! I like how it gives recommendations on what each service does and whether to stop it or not. The website lists Blackviper.com as a second source of info on these things.

And for those trying it: "Stop" means shutdown the service when you start your program, "Stop & Restart" means shut it down when you start your program, the start it back up when you stop. The instructions aren't clear about that. I finished my first run through, and came back to no explorer and no windows theme. Thanks DrJ!
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Wow. That tip about turning off the explorer is quite something. I've never tried it. I assumed it would close all of the windows, but they stay there. Restarting explorer brings everything back. Quite cool.


I discovered that when explorer chokes up sometimes trying to find a computer on the network that is inaccessible or I mistyped the name. It just hangs there for a LONG time retrying...so I kill it now & restart. It surprised me too! I've never tried cut & paste, etc though without it. I wonder how much of a "window manager" explorer is (like KDE or Gnome), vs. just making things "pretty"?
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Unless I'm mistaken, you can't run a window application on Linux without starting some kind of window manager. Apparently, XP handles windowing at a lower level than explorer.

BTW, you can cut and paste from application to application without explorer, and you can spawn new windows too. Resize and minimize also work. Looks like explorer handles the desktop mainly, with you really don't need if you have a file manager open.

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So, basically, if the file manager is enough for you you don't actually need Explorer at all?
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Even in Linux though, there's the X-windows server, then there's the window manager. So for audio stations on Linux, some people like Fluxbox or similar because it's "light weight". It's my guess that something similar is happening here in XP.

Kass- I suppose you'd need some other file explorer (3rd party) other than windows explorer, since MS integrated those components. If you try opening a windows explorer to browse files, you'll get your pretty desktop back.

[edit - here's an example 3rd party file manager: http://www.explorerxp.com/ ]

Last edited by jksuperstar on Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh.

Erm, would Windows 3.11 install?

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Apparently, XP handles windowing at a lower level than explorer.


As I've always understood it the 'window' is a pretty low level concept in ms-windows, also needed for message exchange, and not necessarily, or more approriately: almost never, a visible thing.

This is different from unix where messaging is a lower level concept than windowing. For windows, given its history a DOS shell, it makes sense though in a way. But it's reversed develpment of course :-)

@Kassen :

In windows 3.x (and maybe before, but 3.1 is the first I used) you had a file manager and a program manager. I guess the program manager can best be compared to what currently is your desktop and the file manager to what now is explorer. But from windows 95 on both were integrated into the explorer, although I just read on wikipedia : the program manager (progman.exe) has (for compatibility reasons) been available up to win-xp-sp1 - from sp-2 on it is a dummy. (and indeed under sp-2 you can type "progman" into a dos box and nothing will happen, no error, just nothing).

Funny though, that when you kill the explorer, and you run a file open or save dialog (which also is an explorer window) your desktop will not re-appear - so apparently there are different sorts of explorers still.

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opg



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

When I had a SLOOOOOW PC in college, I tried out several shell replacement programs. I settled on LiteStep. I was able to strip everything down to the bare minimum, and there was a noticeable difference in speed.
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

And there is a little bug of course :-)

Kill explorer, minimize some windows, then restart explorer and the minimized windows will both be on the desktop and in the task bar.

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klangumsetzer



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
I also like how it defrags the memory as well.

would this help with the logic audio 5.5.1 memory bug? if you have more than 512 mb of ram installed logic will often tell you that there isn't enough memory left, due to defragmentation. the more complex an arrangement the more likely this is to happen - very annoying! Mad


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Check out this site: -

http://www.tweakguides.com/

I know at first it looks like a very game orientated site, but this guy has researched everything there is to know about squeezing every little bit of power out of any windows PC.
Especially download, read through and implement some stuff from the Tweak Guides Tweaking Companion. It's a 175 page pdf which literally covers it all.
I couldn't recommend any other site/guru/philosophy as adamantly as this dude. I think the only optimiser I use which he doesn't mention is Easycleaner by ToniArts. Very safe, very un-doable.

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borgnagar



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here you can find some good tips about tweaking windows for music workstations: http://www.musicxp.net/
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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

To save some system resources, especially for slower machines (or fast machines which just run slower because of Windows)

Go to Ctrl-Panel, System, Advanced, Performance -> Settings, Visual Effects,
Adjust For Best Performance.

I usually do this on any laptop I use because I don't care how Windows looks, as long as it runs better.
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

cappy2112 wrote:
because I don't care how Windows looks, as long as it runs better.


Funny, I do care how it looks, so all that shit has to be off (except for the shadow on the mouse pointer & the menus) Very Happy

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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
cappy2112 wrote:
because I don't care how Windows looks, as long as it runs better.


Funny, I do care how it looks, so all that shit has to be off (except for the shadow on the mouse pointer & the menus) Very Happy


I've turned on the GIANT mouse pointer so I can find it when I can't find my reading glasses.
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