General System Tweak Guide

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MAVEN
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General System Tweak Guide

You probably know and have lots of friends to play games with. Multiplayer games today are the core of the gaming industry, but as you may personally know not everyone has the high-end system to back up gaming needs, in fact, most people don't have it.

Being a pro for more than 10 years in design and IT field, I learned a lot of things, and since I have and use few old systems to test my products (and play some games) I needed to optimize things to their fullest.

So here is a brief guide on how to optimize your system not just for gaming but for your everyday use. Please note that this guide focuses just on the core instructions, for indeepth instructions on each action/tool use the Internet searches. Use this guide at your own risk.

Before we start, you can start downloading your toolbox from bellow while you read this.

:idea: For more detailed information you can now use Per-App Setup section of this guide.

Resources:
>nCleaner - http://www.nkprods.com/ncleaner/
>CCleaner - http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
>RegistryBooster - http://www.uniblue.com/software/registrybooster/
>SpeedUpMyPC - http://www.uniblue.com/software/speedupmypc/
>Comodo Cleaning Essentials - http://www.comodo.com/business-security/network-protection/cleaning_essentials.php
>MyDefrag - http://mydefrag.com/
>Auslogics Disk Defrag - http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag/
>Disk Scanner - http://www.ariolic.com/disk-scanner.html
>Game Booster - http://www.iobit.com/gamebooster.html
>3D Analyzer - http://www.tommti-systems.de/go.html?http://www.tommti-systems.com/main-Dateien/files.html
>TCPOptimizer - http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php
>Internet connection tests - http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ and pingtest.net
>iolo Memory Mechanic - http://www.crucial.com/promo/index.aspx?prog=uslp_mechanic&cpe=InsiderJan08US
>ComboFix - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/combofix/dl/12/
>Auslogics Registry Cleaner - http://www.auslogics.com/en/downloads/registry-cleaner/registry-cleaner-setup.exe
>MemInfo - http://www.carthagosoft.net/MemInfo.php
>MAVEN's EQF Preset - https://www.dropbox.com/s/gheg071rwzy8ppw/MAVTUNEDEQ.eqf
>mp3 HD Decoder - http://www.winamp.com/plugin/mp3hd-input-plug-in-v1-5-0/221984
>Enhancer v0.17 - http://www.winamp.com/plugin/enhancer-017/81361

The Big Cleanup.

It all starts here, and it needs to be done.

Clean up your pc from the trash accumulated on your system. This can range from unnecessary files to registry keys. I suggest nCleaner and CCleaner as best free alternatives available, combine them both for best result. Or if you have some bucks to spare buy RegistryBooster and SpeedUpMyPC from Uniblue which I personally use for over 4-5 years.

>Remove all unnecessary programs and games before proceeding, to both save resources and let your system breathe.
>Clear trash, all of those cleaners can automatically detect and remove unnecessary trash.
>Clear invalid registry. Don't be afraid, it's safe to use these tools to clear registry, if you are afraid of screwing up something you can always make backups. Or backup the whole registry base by opening Regedit (look up online on how to do that) and exporting it.
>Dump free space. In CCleaner there is an option to wipe out free space, what this means is that you clear data that you deleted but is still available on your hard drive as backup and can be recovered with special tools such as Recuva. This process can take lots of time to finish, specially if you have big slow HDD.
>For maximum impact, manually locate documents and settings folders and browse applications folders per user, remove folders of companies/names that label a product you no longer use, but beware that can also cause damage if you do something wrongly.

Boosting Up.

Now that you got rid of all that trash, you can start boosting up your system to run faster.

>For gaming, create a new user profile/account.
>In nCleaner, in Tweaks section, use lots of tweaks available to speed up your system and enhance privacy, you need to do this on your own and posses at least average knowledge about software and tweaking. There are many other tools that you could use for system tweaking. Disable visual effects in Windows, make it look like the old ugly Windows Classic, disable shadows in windows, animations, shadows on cursors, etc, you get the idea.
>Remove wallpaper, make it blank (accessed by right click properties by default)
>Remove unnecessary shortcuts from your desktop, this chews on your vram.
>Page file, often misunderstood as replacement for RAM memory, pagefile is additional memory allocated on your hard drive for your system and applications. While RAM is in temporary form, pagefile can stay even after you shut your system down, however it's slower, but still very necessary for your system to function well. Many people think that manually setting pagefile size has best effect, however, the very best option is to select one drive, and let system allocate pagefile by itself because that's the best value and you may even notice huge performance improvements.
>Disable or uninstall running processes. If you have many tools that run on startup and all the time, your systems performance will fly through a window, right into the trash can. use CCleaner to manage which programs will start upon system boot and which wont, the less of them start when system is booted, the better your system will do. In addition, if you are an expert with tweaks, I suggest that you get COMODO Cleaning Essentials and it's KillSwitch app, it's by far best of this kind, and it's free.
>De-fragmenting. I suggest MyDefrag and Ausilogics Disk Defrag for HDD defrag tasks. By default, Ausilogics Disk Defrag can do the job, if it can't, run MyDefrag at 1st and Ausilogics Disk Defrag at second, both combined achieve ultimate defragmentation results, MyDefrag in particular has unique technology. Also, you should defragment your registry, to do this you need RegistryBooster from Uniblue or some other tool that can do the job.
>Disk error checkup. Disk Scanner by Ariolic will do the job.
>Stop unnecessary services. Windows in particular runs many services, search online on how to disable services, and once you learn so, disable the ones you don't need.
>Gaming boost. There is a tool called GameBooster, feel free to try it, however I found it that after I optimized my system with the above mentioned steps GameBooster became useless.

Optimize your work and gaming habits.

Yup, you need to know how to do things so your system can perform better. In games for example, how well do you know your hardware? What are your hardware's limitations? In short, the better you understand your hardware's capability the preciser your in-game settings will match the smoothest framerates given as well as best visual/audio quality delivered. Most of the time, to get the best result you will need to tweak your games settings rather than something "globally" on your system.

>Tune the graphics to match your graphic cards capabilities, don't push it to do something it can't or can but poorly. If you want to play a game that doesn't support your system specs, get 3DAnalyzer.
>Tune sound quality to match your systems processing power, specially the channel count (The lower the better).
>Run as fewer games/apps in same time as possible.
>Update ALL drivers.
>RAM memory dump. You can dump your ram memory with tools like iolo Memory Mechanic so that when you play a game you have more RAM available for it.

Protection.

Before we jump to the next big thing, it is important to protect your online activities. Often, people think that if you use your system just for gaming you won't need an antivirus because all you have are games on your system. That's partially true, but if your privacy is not your problem, then your system's performance is. Viruses can slow down your system a lot, some can destroy it. Get a good antivirus, there are plenty free ones, and a good firewall. In addition, clearing system trash will also erase traces of your sensitive footprints left on your system. If you are sure that you don't have your system infected but want to play games offline, you can turn these off, but always use them when online.

The Internet.

Sadly, really good Internet connection is very hard to find, and options are often limited. It is not your download speed that matters, it is your upload speed that will determine your online ping, but more even, connection stability known as Jitter. Avoid 3G modems for gaming, ADSL, DSL, Fiber Optic connections are the best choice, and remember, your upload speed matters more. In addition, to optimize your connection, use TCPOptimizer.
I also suggest, that you run as few programs/apps as possible, specially the ones that make connections and transfer data, ideally you will want to run just a game and that the game you run will be the only source of data traffic use.

Tasks.

All the above tasks should be performed as bellow:

>The Big Cleanup. - Do this every day, or once in every 2-3 days.
>Boosting Up. - Once a week or two.
>Optimize your work and gaming habits. - All the time.
>Protection - All the time.
>The Internet. - Once a month or half a year. If you've found good internet connection, use it for a year or two.
>Tasks. - Do them all.

Per-App Setup.

This a deeper list of things you can do with the tools mentioned in this thread. It's basically set of actions I do with the tools mentioned, it's up to you whether you will follow or not. Use with caution.

nCleaner:

>Clear trash - nCleaner>Clean Now for both registry and files respectively>Scan>Fix
>Clear junk files - nCleaner>Find Junk>Tick all three types>Run a Smart Scan>Be careful what you delete at the end.
>Add tweaks - nCleaner>Tweak

For General tab I suggest the following checked:

Windows: Don't start MS Messenger with Outlook Express.
Windows: Decrease menu show delay.
Windows: Don't autostart CDs (after this one you will need to manually autostart discs)
Windows: Disable Dr. Watson.
Windows: Enable Disk Optimizer on boot.
Windows: Increase NTFS Performance.
Windows: Force Kernel to remain in Physical Memory (sorta risky but can help)

For Privacy tab I suggest the following checked:

Windows: Disable Error Reports.
Windows: Turn off remote desktop support.
Windows: Don't synchronize with Internet time.
Windows: Restrict anonymous guest access.
Windows: Disable integrated Firewall (up to you, can cause false positives with security tools)
Windows: Hide computer in network.
Windows: Don't show last logged on user name.
Windows: Don't report to Microsoft malware infections (optional, can cause errors)
Windows: Disable recent documents history.
Windows: Clear recent documents history on shutdown.
Windows: Disable user tracking.
Internet Explorer: All, except if you use IE.
Media Player: All

Hit Apply per each tab to confirm changes, reboot if necessary.

>Statrups - nCleaner>Startupman> Under applications tab, disable what you don't need, and under System>System Services you can disable services (be extremely careful, and don't touch anything you are unfamiliar with, it's better skipping this than making an error here)
>Free space wipe - nCleaner on main page Shred free space>Select drives>Start (I don't recommend nCleaner's space shredder, if it encounters an error your system can be left stranded with millions of empty files all over the place, I suggest CCleaner for this instead)

CCleaner:

>Cleanup - CCleaner>Cleaner>Select options you deem useful>Run Cleaner and do same for Registry tab.
>Tweaks - CCleaner>Tools>Startup to access startup processes list, use Disable button, in Internet Explorer tab disable all if you don't use IE CCleaner>Tools>Uninstall>Uninstall unnecessary stuff (also use this uninstaller for anything you uninstall) CCleaner>Tools>System Restore>Remove all but one entry, unless you need these.
>Free space wipe - Before you proceed, explore Options and select best options for the task, be EXTREMELY careful not to wipe off your hard drives data as CCleaner supports this, instead, use just free space wipe options, if unsure, don't do anything. CCleaner>Cleaner>Find Wipe Free Space checkbox, check it>Run Cleaner>When done, uncheck this box for normal cleaning tasks.

RegistryBooster:

>Clear registry - RegistryBooster>Start Scan>Fix (create backups if you need so)
>Defragment registry - RegistryBooster>Registry Scan>Registry Defrag, reboot if necessary.
>Cleanup - RegistryBooster>Restore>Remove old backups.

SpeedUpMyPC:

>Similar as for RegistryBooster.

Comodo Cleaning Essentials:

Using this set of tools is recommended only for pros, if you are not an experienced user don't use this as it can cause serious damage.

>Malware Scan - CCE(find in dir)>Scan>Update or Skip>Start>Next>Fix
>Autoruns - Autoruns(find in dir)>Scan>Disable/delete the ones you think are not needed, you may detect well over 1000 startup processes, it is advised that even pro tweakers take EXTREME precaution tuning up anything in this tool.
>End processes and/or connections, analyze data - KillSwitch(find in dir)>Select which of the tasks you want to do, end processes that are unnecessary or suspicious, do same for connections, use analytics provided for technical assistance.

MyDefrag:

>Defrag - MyDefrag>Defragment only>Select drives>Run>On finish, File>Close

Auslogics Disk Defrag:

>Defrag - Ausilogics Disk Defrag>Select drives>Defrag (select no if popup shows)

Disk Scanner:

>Scan disk for errors - Disk Scanner>Start Scan

Game Booster:

>Optimize - Game Booster>Boost

3DAnalyzer:

>Tuneup - 3DAnalyzer>Find game executable>Select proper options>Launch.

TCPOptimizer:

>Optimize your connection - TCPOptimizer>Select your connection/card>Optimal radio button>Apply/Exit

Network tests:

>Test speed - You can use Speakeasy's speed tester, it's simplest or you can do a simple search for "speed test" and find many good solutions, either way, use these tests to see what's your Internet speed.
>Test Ping - Pingtest.net is best for this. ideally, you will want a connection with as smaller ping as possible, with no packet loss and no or near low amount of Jitter.

iolo Memory Mechanic:

>Dump RAM memory - iolo Memory Mechanic>Optimize(run it few times if necessary)>Close (also, if you want to save up more on RAM, shut it's process with Task manager)

Auslogics Registry Cleaner:

>Super easy to use. Just launch the main app, click on the scan button, examine the results, tick/untick what's to be repaired and then click on repair button. If you experience issues, launch rescue center applet (from Registry Cleaner directory) and use a backup. It is worth noting that this program uses native language on your os also.

Service On Demand:

WARNING, advanced users only.

As operating systems get more advanced and ease of use is becoming more common, the lack of options for users is becoming more common these days as well. There are many security and online programs that run at your system's boot up and all the time, on top of draining your network traffic and system performance some may even exploit this to gather your sensitive data.

A good example is Hamachi. Sure it's a very good and reliable tool for private networks be it for games or communication, but what if your Hamachi is infected or there are dozen of illicit connections coming your way and your firewall can't stop this? Or what if your system is only rarely ever online but your antivirus hogs your single player game or your working suites?

Services on demand is solution.

On almost any OS you can stop and start services remotely often via tiny piece of code. The easiest way on Windows systems is to use batch parameters and since most of use here use Windows this will be demonstrated.

If you have a service (program) that is running all the time but it's not needed and you can't stop it otherwise, do the following (Example for Microsoft Security Essentials):

1. Create a text file and open it.
2. Open your Control Panel and find Services applet, find the corresponding service and inspect its Properties, you should be able to see it's Service Name (Original not the label) such as MsMpSvc for Microsoft Security Essentials. Type this service name into your text file you just created and close Service applet without changing anything there.
3. In your text file, you can choose two types of service starting or stopping. One is detailed with more information and other is simpler. I prefer the simpler way, so in the text file type this "net start SERVICENAME" without quotes where SERVICENAME is name of your service for example "net start MsMpSvc" then in a new line bellow type pause. Click on save, the go to file>save as and save this file as Service Start.bat. (Instead of "net" you can also use "sc" command for more advanced service handling, however this is not necessary)
4. Copy and paste the newly created .bat file (batch) and rename it to Service Stop, then right click>edit it, you will now see it open in an text editor, replace start with stop so that it looks something like "net stop MsMpSvc" and save this file via file>save.
5. Find the corresponding executable of the service in question (product) and create a shortcut to it on your desktop. You will access this shortcut each time you stopped and then started the desired service in question. For MSE you would like to create a shortcut to msseces.exe for example so that when you start it's service again you can see the UI of the program.
6. You are now ready to use your services on demand. Run Service Stop batch file (when you want to stop a service) and kill the program executable from task manager or run Service Start batch file to start your service again and in addition run the program shortcut so the UI restores.

Please note that you should NEVER disable firewall both offline or online. The rare exception is when you are using internet only rarely on your system. You should also not disable your antivirus while browsing online. If you are sure that your system is clean of any infections and you want to just play a game online you can temporarily disable your AV. You should also note that some programs (Such as Norton antivirus) use multiple services and executables to start/stop, which means that you would need to start and stop all of those services as well. To do this just add extra lines of start/stop code to your batch files, example bellow:

net start SERVICE1
net start SERVICE2
net start SERVICE3
pause

or for stopping:

net stop SERVICE1
net stop SERVICE2
net stop SERVICE3
pause

And that's it. You can now have a little bit more bandwidth and processing power available to your games while still being able to use all of your professional security and/or online tools.

System Restore Points Advanced Removal:

Most if not all cleaner programs that are out for Windows have the option to scan for and remove restore points. What these tools however do is clip only "head" parts of those restore points off and all the restore data is left behind, this data can pile up over time and take some serious space you could use for something else, we are talking about tens of GB's here.

Wiz suggested the easiest solution that works perfect for Windows Vista and W7/W8 but not W XP, however give it a shot:

Right click on My Computer>Properties>System Restore>Settings>Delete Restores.

This should remove most of the data left behind. However, Since even this doesn't remove the data left behind you may want to try this advanced approach:

WARNING: This tweak is for experienced users only, use with extreme caution as there is no backup method to reverse any changes.

Each drive (As per settings) has a folder specially designated for restore points and restore data. On most systems, this folder is titled _restore and has a genuine drive serial key attached to it. This folder is neither searchable or removable, so what you need to do is find it first.

You can find this folder by monitoring cleaner logs, scanner logs, windows error report logs etc. You can also find this folder by doing next - Open your My Computer browser, go to your OS default drive (Common C:\) there, in browser drop down menus and options go to Folder Options under Tools, tick Hidden Files and Folders and untick Hide Protected System Files, next up go to C:\System Volume Information\ and open your _restore folder, copy its name to a text file as well as its address and save the text file to your desktop, access Folder Options again and reverse changes you previously made, then you can use the _restore address from your text file to use the tweak later on. It is worth noting that only system OS System Volume Information folder is accessible while other drives are not but have their own System Volume Information folders respectively, to access these just use your C:\ drive _restore link and change to X:\ where X is the desired drive label.

Once you find the right values you are all set.

The folder should look something like this - X:\System Volume Information\_restore{RANDOM-SERIAL-NUMBER}

Where RANDOM-SERIAL-NUMBER is the random number attached to _restore folder and Secret is desired drive, default is C:\

Once you do enter this folder (You can paste it in your explorer dir bar) you will see several other folders as well as some text files. The important thing here is to never ever delete any text filed or files that are directly in _restore folder, but only files in those sub folders. The sub folders in question have random generic names such as RPXXX where XXX is a random number. These folders are safe to delete, so you are free to delete them. If a folder does not want to delete, don't force it, it will be deleted on next boot once an attempt is made.

You should now have a lot more free space. On several of my drives I managed to free up to ~40 GB of free space respectively which is a lot of space gone to waste. If this tweak helped you free a lot of space too, you should do it once a week.

Graphics Aperture Size:

NOTE: Please note that this option is available on some graphic cards only and is risky to use thus I recommend it only to experienced users.

G.A.S. - Graphics Aperture Size is basically a "parameter" in BIOS settings with purpose to increase texture load performance. By default, Windows machines BIOS G.A.S. setting will be set at 64 or 128 MB, which is perfectly fine and whatsoever recommended left unaltered if you are going to use your system for music, videos and internet. However, most modern games today, specially the open world sandboxes like ArmA 2 are resource hungry programs. ArmA 2 in particular requires a lot of memory where it can store textures for a quick use. In some cases, even if you have a very high end system it may happen that your game crashes after a period of time, the reason for this is that your GPU may be running out of free memory, so let's say for example you have 8 GB of local RAM, i7 processor but a GPU that has only 512 MB onboard RAM memory, if your game crashes after a period of time and nothing else can fix that what you would want to do is alter G.A.S. BIOS setting so that your GPU gets extra RAM memory to store textures into and not crash your game. What G.A.S. basically does is takes your local RAM memory amount you pre-definded in BIOS settings and reserves it for your GPU. To put it simple, if you have 2 GB of local RAM installed and GPU with 256 MB of onboard RAM, to add more memory for your GPU you would slice off 512 MB from your local RAM so that in the end it appears that you have a system with 2 GB of local RAM memory installed but only 1.5 or even 1 GB available while your GPU will still have it's 256 MB except with addition that it can now use your local RAM memory as backup. It's sort of like Page file file caching for your local RAM. One thing though, G.A.S. is NOT a replacement for your GPU RAM or an addition, it may help your GPU but will not be a complete replacement, the only true way to get more GPU RAM is to get a better GPU.

Here's how to adjust G.A.S. - Access BIOS settings, then under Advanced tab (by default) find chip settings or chip configuration, you should see a field named Graphics Aperture Size and a value set to it (Default 64 or 128) enter this setting and select 512 MB (Higher values NOT recommended, but may prove useful in some cases). If your G.A.S is already on 512 MB or higher then let it be, if not, after you set it to 512 MB, go to BIOS exit point and save changes. Your system should reboot and you should be able to play games a lot smoother without sudden crashes.

Wiz's DNS Flusher:

To quote Wiz "I wrote it because, on my old network, the line would disconnect everytime the phone rang Sad And to fix the issue, I would have to do all of this manually... Thats not a problem for me, but if i was out on the road; i was getting endless calls saying " The nets down again ! " and explaining it over the phone was a pain."

So go ahead and give this tool a try, you can download it from here - http://cyb3rweb.com/tools/DNSflusher.zip

System Recovery.

ComboFix (As suggested by Wiz)

If your system's health is severe (software-wise) perhaps it got a virus or it's painfully slow even after you applied all of the previous suggestions, use ComboFix. It's a nice tool that will restore and fix all common problems on your system. Bear in mind however that ComboFix will reset some things to their default and that it is recommended for experienced users only.

RAM and VRAM Memory Dump and Fix.

Admit it, we all play games at one point or another and it just happens those games crash seldom or often. Sure you can blame your hardware for all the lacking resources games demand today but it is not the only thing to take into account. Your Operating System is a huge bloatware that leaks RAM and data within its system like an overused bucket, this, unless patched with updates and drivers, is the key reason why your games crash.

Thankfully there is a tool I been using for years and that got a lot better recently.

It is called MemInfo. Just download it, install it, run it. Under settings tweak parameters as follows:

General>Change bar to red when memory above: Set to 75%
General>On High memory usage: Tick Defrag Memory on.
Additional>Defrag hotkey>Input your desired hotkey (Mine is CTRL+O, that's not a number)

And you are ready to go. WhatMem Info does is it dumps VRAM and RAM memory that is not used so that you can have more of it for your games, essentially, if you are about to run out of memory it will automatically release all VRAM thus prevent game crashes in most cases (In some cases it can actually crash games, so disable auto defrag if you encounter issues) In addition, you can ALT-TAB your game to desktop, right click MemInfo in system tray and click on Memory Defragmenter to manually dump memory, ALT-TAB back in game and continue playing. If you have a fast processor and a good GPU that lacks VRAM memory, then MemInfo will help you a lot.

Give it a try.

Audio TuneUp for Audiophiles.

I know that some of you may be music-addicts and prefer a high end gear coupled with software to listen to your music. Sure enough, expensive gear will give you a blast, but there are few things you can do to enhance your experience even further.

Besides of my primary design and software development profession, I do sound design as well. This experience helped me better understand audio input, output and remastering a lot better. Many players today can use many enhancement plugins but not all are the perfect choice, why, you may wonder? Simply put, even those plugins require hard-core tuning for truly best results. If you are not fond of audio tuning then this one is for you.

Each of us audiophiles has his/her own favorite music player. I personally use Winamp for many reasons, one of which is it has the best free enhancement plugin in its database and it is so easy to manage and tune up.

The instructions bellow are a "soft" version of in-studio audio remastering procedure, ie, mimicking professional output settings such as in music studios (FLStudio, Sonar, virtual tools for example) by publicly available resources and means. Needless to say that these instructions are my own suggestion and that the results may vary from person to person, system to system, so take that into account when proceeding, either way, I strongly recommend that you at least try this regardless.

Instructions as follows:

First of all, if you don't have Winamp, either download it or find a way to adapt the instructions bellow for your player.

Master EQualization - To get this, open your Winamp, then go to View>Equalizer>Tick On button>Tick Auto button off>Presets>Load>From EQF and then load the custom designed preset I designed and attached in this article in links section. Optionally, under Presets, you can save this preset in your player under any name you wish and later load it from Presets menu at any time should you lose changes.

Master Volume Adaptation - Open up your Windows Volume Control Panel, set main volume to 90% and Wave channel to 80%. In Winamp, set the volume to 88% (for other players 50% is the norm).

Best System Output - Open your sound card driver manager, set the system to use setup as per your real hardware, ie, if you are using headphones, use this, if you have a 5.1 system, use this, etc. Apply Adult Filtration in ear settings (if any) to further adapt sound output, this is optional however.

Remove Background Noise - Open System Volume Panel and do this: BassBost (if you have it) to 0% and Mute, CD Player, Microphone, Aux, Line In, Phone, and Mono Out all to 0% and mute (Please note that this should be done for Playback devices only, you can list all playback devices under Options>Properties if on XP and Vista or Under Options if on W7 and W8) You will no longer hear any background humming and clipping when audio plays or when you are using your microphone.

MP3 in Ultra HD - MP3 HD is not a new standard, but to many it surely is as it is not widely spread and used. That being said, not all publishers support it yet, however, even regular old school MP3 files contain a "script" that can help turn regular MP3 files into MP3 HD on the fly as you listen to your music. What MP3 HD does is it broadens sound and wavelength range to achieve lossless output, in other words, you will hear instruments and singing a lot more clearly and in addition you may hear even the tiniest of audio ripples and instruments that you could never hear before, think of it as a sharpener tool in photography but for audio. To set your MP3 HD output in Winamp or other players that support it, download MP3 HD plugin from the links above, install the plugin in your Winamp plugins directory, launch Winamp and go to (Make sure no music is playing) Options>Preferences>Plugins>Input>Technicolor mp3HD Decoder>Configure>Default quality>mp3HD>Click ok and close settings window.

Master Audio Output and Ambience Enhancements: Download and install Enhancer v0.17 in your Winamp plugins folder. Open Winamp and go to Options>Preferences>Plugins>DSP/Effect>Click on Enhancer v0.17>Configure, from there a green window will pop out, click on Cancel popup window and set as follows - Power button unlit, Boost unlit, click on Presets>House>Load>Ok button and then turn Power button on (lit up) Then click on small yellow X on Enhancers window. Hit stop on your player, close Winamp, open again.

And that's it, you now have a remastered audio output experience all on your very own system. Sure this is not an actual remastering setup but it is as close as it can get to for public players. Make sure that if you have other audio enhancement plugins installed you either uninstall or disable them because they can conflict with the instructions above. I strongly recommend that you buy/use a decent headset or a pair of earphones as the results can be best heard this way. Also, buy the songs you listen to, this way you get 320kbps audio quality (Or even better if in other audio formats such as losless MP4 or OGG or even Apple's MPA)

Enjoy the experience.

Stealth Ports for Hosts

I've been using Comodo and ClearPackets firewalls for years, always as my primary firewalls of choice. As an ex Gray Hat I learned a lot about the dangers online connections can bring, and ever since I have all my security suites set up with custom filters to provide the maximum security possible. Such is the case with my firewalls where I slealthed all my systems from online presence.

What is Stealth Port System?

A stealthed port on a system is basically your system with a security suite set to block all incoming traffic and heavily filter every single packet then apply custom rules on each of those. While it does sound complex, in recent years modern day firewalls come with auto-stealth options buried in advanced settings. This is not something everyone should use but if you are into more privacy for your buck you should use Stealth Ports.

What is the benefit of a Stealth Port System?

Your system is invisible online, no machine can reach out to you since it doesn't know your system exists and is online, as such, hacker attacks are greatly reduced.

To activate a Stealth Port, dig through your firewalls Advanced Settings page and either switch Stealth Ports On or create a custom ruleset for your firewall that blocks all incoming traffic.

But what if you are a host?

Say for example you are running a server and want to host something. Your system will need incoming traffic, and if you are using Stealth Ports this is a big no go for you. That's unless you create a custom filter as bellow.

Stealth Port Exception Rulesets.

To enable an application to receive specific incoming trafic, go to your firewalls Advanced Setting and under Application rules add a ruleset that enables the mentioned application to make specific incoming connections.

In Comodo, for ArmA 2 for example you can do this:

>Go to Advanced Firewall Settings.
>Add ArmA 2 executable into firewall applications under Custom ruleset.
>Add a sub-rule with the following - UDP packet type, In or Out, tick Log box, name it UDP filter, under both port fields add port ranges from 2300 to 2399, or you may create 2 separate rulesets for 2302 (data traffic) and 2305 (VON traffic).
>After you are done confirm changes with Ok buttons and that's it.

You can now have your system with Stealth Ports while you can host games, podcasts, video sessions etc, assuming you created specific filters for those applications.

WARNING: Do not allow unnecessary traffic type or too broad IP and Port ranges as this greatly decreases Stealth Ports efficiency, instead, do a research on what connections your application makes and create specific filters accordingly.

TS3 and Mumble FIX:

Many argue which one is better, but what some may agree on for both is they are buggy, and at times these bugs can cause serious issues including lag and crashing. Here's how to fix these.

Patch memory leaks:

TS3:

I've dug through their official forums only to find dozens of unanswered threads raising this issue with no official reply or bugfix whatsoever. Users complain about 50% processing power usage by TS3 executable even on high end systems. What TS3 devs may but won't admit is that TS3 has huge memory leaking holes within their software, these, if unpatched cause extreme lag and crash users over periods of time.

To manually fix this, do next:

1. Open TS3.
2. Go to Settings>Options>Design and untick both boxes for Animated GIF support.
3. Go to Settings>Options>Capture> Untick Echo Cancellation (This setting turned on, combined with some memory leaks causes lag and crashes)
4. Click on Ok button to save settings.
5. Close TS3 and restart it.

Mumble:

Although very stable and usually in a perfect working condition, Mumble is not without its own flaws. Namely, by default Mumble uses more resources than it actually needs to, most notably computing power. If you experience lag during games while using mumble you can manually set Mumble.exe process priority each time to Normal AFTER you join a channel, or you can create two useful scripts to do this for you as bellow:

In notepad, create these files (separately) with the quoted text and save them as .vbs files (name them whatever you want)

Normal process priority

Const BELOW_NORMAL = 32

strComputer = "."
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")

Set colProcesses = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
("Select * from Win32_Process Where Name = 'mumble.exe'")
For Each objProcess in colProcesses
objProcess.SetPriority(BELOW_NORMAL)
Next

Save this as Normal.vbs

For mumble LOW process priority

Const BELOW_NORMAL = 64

strComputer = "."
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")

Set colProcesses = objWMIService.ExecQuery _
("Select * from Win32_Process Where Name = 'mumble.exe'")
For Each objProcess in colProcesses
objProcess.SetPriority(BELOW_NORMAL)
Next

Save this as Low.vbs

How to use:

1. Open Mumble.
2. Join channel.
3. Execute Low.vbs (or whatever you named it) this script will lower process priority for Mumble executable thus reduce resource consumption.
4. Use Mumble.
5. If you want to restore normal processing priority run Normal.vbs.
6. Repeat procedure on every Mumble restart/session.

You should now be able to use both Mumble and TS3 with reduced crashes and memory leaks, which should in turn give you huge FPS boost in games since the resources the two wasted are now available to your games. Keep in mind however that these methods may not work for everyone and may actually cause glitches on their own but are proven to fix memory leaks and crashes. In addition, you should use TS3 and Mumble Beta releases since those are by default tuned to run in "safe mode"

Conclusion.

"Look at me babe, I'm a stallion babe! My paws burnin'! Kachoo Kachoo! yeeehaaaa, yeah I'm da stallion yiiiheeeeeaaaaaaaaaa!" - Does your system feel like this? Probably not, but hey, it's helluva faster Wink

If you manage to tweak your system according to this guide like I tweaked my systems, you, by yourself may be able to run games like MOH2010, ArmA 2, Tomb Raider Underworld, Prince Of Persia, Need For Speed Shift, Cryisis and many other on High or at least medium settings (depending from your system specifications that is) The above mentioned games are the ones I was able to run on one of my older systems, in fact the oldest, some 10 years old single core P4, and it works like new.

I hope this guide helped you a bit. If you want some detail clarified or something explained, let me know. Smile

PUBLISHERS NOTE: Since the sasclan.org forums are locked for forum members only, you as a clan member or clan owner may want to share this tweak guide with your peers. You can now do this freely under the following rules:

1. You must post an unaltered form of this guide including the thread title and its content whereas the content of the main thread (Guide) must be quoted if additional text is to be added to republished thread.
2. You must provide a proper credit to both sasclan.org for being the main host of this guide as well as guide authors.
3. If you would like to add something new to the guide outside these forums, you are free to do so but the original form of the guide must be quoted 1st with the additions following as a separate quote.
4. You may save this guide in a text form either in a plain TXT file or a PDF for personal use only. The Guide must remain unaltered.
5. You may post a link to this guide (Thread) on other forums freely without attaching URL redirects (Such as adfly or bitly).
6. If you do decide to republish this guide, you are advised to update your publication periodically as new additions are added to the original guide (Thread)
7. You may never sell or commercially distribute any parts of this guide altered or not. This guide is free for personal and non commercial use only.
8. The Publishers Note may change over time and you must provide a copy of it in your publication in original and unaltered form.

Abiding by the rules listed above, you are free to share this guide to your friends, team mates, or to anyone else who could benefit from this guide Smile

Speed, Precision, Experience, Endurance. General System Tweak Guide

SAS_DUKE
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Again a detailed guide - nice work there, MAVEN Exclaim

Like the other guide worth a sticky.

DUKE, Germany

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Track'em, find'em, kill'em!"

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Thanks, Duke, thanks for making this guide a sticky.

As usual, I hope that others will contribute as well and that the guide will grow over time. I will add more tweaks later on when I have more free time.

Cheers Smile

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All pretty obvious stuff...but most users dont realise it all.

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Guide updated, added more detailed instructions for each of the programs mentioned, as well as another useful tool iolo Memory Mechanic Wink

All pretty obvious stuff...but most users dont realise it all.

It's true, but hey, not everyone is perfect, not even me or you, and besides, it's not users fault that big companies create crappy operating systems... :?

Linux for example is open source (developed by crowd) and yet it has far less bugs and errors than rather bloaty Windows or even Mac OS. BSD by far is the best. Lol

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About cleaning up the system:

I read the following in a PC magazine and use it since years without any problems, followed up with the program regcleaner (http://www.regcleaner.com/) and windows defragmentation tool.

--> Delete all files with the endings *.SIK, *.BAK and *.TMP in order to speed up your system.

As a warning: The old gamebooster worked excellent. I upgraded to a new version - all fine so far. Then gamebooster offered me to tune up my system, which I accepted and as result my system was messed up ExclaimDiablo Only the windows system recovery saved the day.

DUKE, Germany

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Track'em, find'em, kill'em!"

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I would say that 99% of the PCs that i service due to poor performance are usually caused by a combination of a zillion startup processes running and dirty case fans. I simply remove the fans, wash under a tap, make sure that they are thoroughly dry (very important) with a hairdryer, and then turn off almost all startup items. Users are amazed by the increase in performance.

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I used Registry Mechanic, it was good, but RegistryBooster beats it hands-down (sometimes amazes me really) maybe things changed over time though. Either way, keep these tips coming Blum 3

Wiz, I agree with you. Dirty cases slow things down, particularly RAM memory chips that get dusted. I didn't have time to write about this one, if you will to do it, go ahead, and I'll credit you Smile

If anyone has tips SHARE THEM Biggrin and if you want it included in the guide (along your credit) just mention it in comments so that I know Wink

P.S. Has anyone tried this guide fully? Share your experiences and feedback, both positive and negative, so that it can be improved over time.

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Of course you can put my above post into your guide if you want. No need to credit me for these few lines... Dirol

DUKE, Germany

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Track'em, find'em, kill'em!"

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We ran gamebooster on our 2 SAS dedicated machines for a while to boost server performance, with i must say; very little results

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Duke, can you please provide information for Registry Mechanic just like I did for other tools under Per-App Setups section? Once you do that, I will add it in the guide Smile

Wiz, never heard of anyone using Game Booster for server-machine boosting before. I have mixed experiences with GB, in some cases it helped, in other it actually caused damage (specially when it disabled some of the services I needed and then it crashed) In short, it's a good tool for rookies, but if anyone has the skill to tweak their system like from this guide, then I suggest the manual tweaking instead.

By the way, that you mentioned server host machine tweaking. Have you tried to apply physics tweaks for Swat 4 servers and see if there's PING improvement?

To be honest, even though I got really super fast internet yesterday, I and many other people get PINGs around 60-90 (with my previus ISP I had around 250 and stunning amount of Jitter over 80%) it's not bad, and it's on all servers, but compare that to, say, ArmA 2 where my ping is around 20 and even 10 in some cases, and yet it runs many operations. Seems like Swat 4 is resource hungry, any ideas what could improve this? Maybe I can hardcode some bug fixes for the patch me and Mcfluff work on.

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Good work there Maven, im sure people will find this guide - long guide useful.
I tried some of the tools myself and yah it is gud but for lazy people... I suggest disk cleaning it takes 5-10 mins of your time :).
P.S there is another tool im using atm - Registry Easy it has some good tools including scan and clean options, system fix and system speed up with backup option.
----- http://www.regeasycleaner.com ------
Keep the good work.

;;;;;;;;;;Signature;;;;;;;;;;;

Who Dares Wins!! Smile

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If anyone is thinking of playing with their registry, i would advise that you make sure that you have system restore turned on (windows) and you create a restore point, playing with registry hives can be fatal if you mess up. Also make sure that you have your windows disk handy....just in case Wink

Now i have a black screen laptop to fix Smile happy days Smile

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Just as WIZ suggested, cleaning your system hardware is as equaly essential.

It took a hour and half and I needed a long shower, but I just finished "annual" cleaning on all my systems, from workstation ones to the ones I use for games, and the results are amazing, if not shocking.

My workstation systems shown some ~20% improvements while the systems I use for testing (and games) shown as much as 60-80% improvements Exclaim

What I did was simple dust cleaning with compressed air, over time I learned how to do that as techies who were cleaning my systems taught me how to do basics (note, I am n00bish with hardware) so, I don't recommend you to do this on your own, hire an expert to do it for you, someone like WIZ. After the hardware cleanup, I did all steps from my guide, and gained even more performance boost. The end result is stunning so I suggest that you clean your hardware as well Biggrin

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Its not for performance, dirty hardware just makes me throw up Biggrin

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Hey guys.

A copy of this guide was posted on BI forums today with full credit being given to sasclan.org for both being the one to have it first and put it as a sticky.

So many people struggle with their systems performance there that I decided to try help them with the guide.

I was actually going to link the original, but since forums are for members only now I re-posted it there.

Happy Holidays Smile

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Thanks for support, Maven ExclaimLol

CheersCheersCheers

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Track'em, find'em, kill'em!"

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Essential for all windows users.... http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/combofix/dl/12/

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You are welcome Duke Smile

Wiz, do you want me to add that to both guides? I already used that tool you suggested me before, it's indeed a good one Wink

By the way, there is a special section where i could promote Swat 4. What do you guys think, is promoting S4 on non S4 forums a good idea? A2 community seems to be very mature and to prefer serious gaming.

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#Maven
Sure, I by far think that Combofix is the ultimate free tool, and the more people in the world that know about it...The easier my life would be Biggrin

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Lol Wiz. Indeed.

I added it to this guide. By the way, since I will also add it to BI forums, would you like to be credited there as well?

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***Sticky removed ***

Link of this topic is in "Fluffy's Computer Help" - topic.

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Track'em, find'em, kill'em!"

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Thankyou secretary Smile Good display of admin roles.

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That's fine by me. No need to cramp sticky field with more discussions if they are linked Blum 3

And I agree, Duke is such a good administrator, give him a medal Wink

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BUMP

Thread updated. Service On Demand field in Per-App Setup added.
I will add two more and even better tweaks soon so stay put Wink

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I have created a simple program to help beginners, if they are having trouble openinng webpages, or simply cannot connect to a network or router.
Download it below.
P.s It's a very simple program, and feel free to share it, I wrote it Wink

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Nice one Wiz Biggrin

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IMAGE(http://i50.tinypic.com/16abp6s.gif)

I wrote it because, on my old network, the line would disconnect everytime the phone rang Sad And to fix the issue, I would have to do all of this manually... Thats not a problem for me, but if i was out on the road; i was getting endless calls saying " The nets down again ! " and explaining it over the phone was a pain.

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Two new tweaks added to the guide. Titled - System Restore Points Advanced Removal and Graphics Aperture Size.

Feel free to give them a try. Sorry for being a bit late about this addition Biggrin

Wiz, I would like to add your DNS tool to the guide, can you provide a link to it?

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pm sent

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Added to the thread Smile

P.S. If you guys have any useful suggestions or your own tools do feel free to post here Biggrin
P.S. 2 Publishers Note added, this enables all of you who want to share the guide to do so by the rules as listed in Publishers Note (attached at the thread end)

P.S. 3 Yet another update to the guide. I added a link and per-app instructions for a very good free registry cleaner called Auslogics Registry Cleaner.

Not only was it super easy to use, so light and fast but even after CCleaner and nCleaner cleared registry from junk ARC found over 2000 invalid registry entries (!) which is a lot. This kind of registry recovery and repair was only available in commercial products before such as UniBlue's Registry Booster. With ARC, you get the commercial grade service 100% free. I strongly recommend this app.

P.S 4 Guide updated. I found and added a good method of finding the _restore folder needed for the advanced restore tweak mentioned in the guide.

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