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  1. Hi everyone! It been a while, I just wanted to post something I found recently. This is important for anyone who tweaks their PC to squeeze the most performance out. As a tech writer, one of my biggest pet peeves is the plethora of bad advice littered across almost every web site dedicated to system tweaking. Besides the tweaks that simply don't work, some of them will actually cause your computer to run even slower—or worse. Let's examine some of the most offensive myths out there regarding PC performance tweaking, and debunk them once and for all. Disabling QoS to Free Up 20% of Bandwidth This tip made the rounds with people believing that Microsoft always allocates 20% of your bandwidth for Windows Update. According to the instructions, you were supposed to disable QoS in order to free up bandwidth. Unfortunately this tip was not only wrong, but disabling QoS will cause problems with applications that rely on it, like some streaming media or VoIP applications. Rather than taking my word for it, you can read the official Microsoft response: "There have been claims in various published technical articles and newsgroup postings that Windows XP always reserves 20 percent of the available bandwidth for QoS. These claims are incorrect... One hundred percent of the network bandwidth is available to be shared by all programs unless a program specifically requests priority bandwidth." Use Multiple Cores to Speed Up Boot Time This bogus tip made the rounds and almost everybody got caught including Lifehacker and big brother site Gizmodo... although commenters called it out quickly on both sides, and the editors updated the posts. (That's yet another reason to always participate in the comments here.) According to this tip, you were supposed to use MS Config to modify the "Number of processors" drop-down on the Boot tab. The problem is that this setting is only used for troubleshooting and debugging, to be able to determine if there is a problem with a single processor, or for a programmer to test their code against a single core while running on a multi-core system. Windows will use all your processors by default without this setting. Clearing Out Windows Prefetch for Faster Startup The Prefetch feature in Windows XP caches parts of applications that you frequently use and tries to optimize the loading process to speed up application start time, so when a number of sites started suggesting that you clean it out regularly to speed up boot time it seemed like good advice... but sadly that's not the case, as pointed out by many Lifehacker commenters. The Prefetch feature is actually used as a sort of index, to tell Windows which parts of an application should be loaded into memory in which order to speed up application load time, but Windows doesn't use the information unless it's actually starting an application. There's also a limit of 128 files that can be stored in the prefetch folder at any point, and Windows cleans out the folder automatically, removing information for applications that haven't been run as frequently. Not only that, but a well-written defrag utility will use the prefetch information to optimize the position of the files on the disk, speeding up access even further. Windows expert Ed Bott explains it: Cleaning the Registry Improves Performance The Windows registry is a massive database of almost every setting imaginable for every application on your system. It only makes sense that cleaning it out would improve performance, right? Sadly it's just a marketing gimmick designed to sell registry cleaner products, as the reality is quite different... registry cleaners only remove a very small number of unused keys, which won't help performance when you consider the hundreds of thousands of keys in the registry. This isn't to say they are completely useless, of course. I'd still recommend cleaning the registry when you are trying to troubleshoot a problem caused by uninstalling buggy software that leaves entries behind, but even then you should be very careful to use a reputable application like previously mentioned CCleaner and review the entries before deleting anything. Ed Bott weighs in with a stronger opinion: Clear Memory by Processing Idle Tasks By this point you should be starting to get the picture... if something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. This well-traveled tip usually claims that you can create an "undocumented" shortcut to Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks that will clear out memory by processing all of the idle tasks wasting memory in the background. What's the problem? Those idle tasks aren't actually waiting in the background... what you are effectively doing is telling the computer that you've walked away so it can now do other processing while you are idle. Except you aren't. The real purpose of this functionality is to finish all processing before running benchmarks to ensure consistent times, and according to the Microsoft documentation there's a whole different story: Clean, Defrag and Boost Your RAM With SnakeOil Memory Optimizer Just take a quick look at any download site, and you'll find hundreds of products that claim to "optimize RAM to make your computer run faster". Give me a break! Almost all of these products do the same things: they call a Windows API function that forces applications to write out their memory to the pagefile, or they allocate and then deallocate a ton of memory quickly so that Windows will be forced to page everything else. Both of the techniques make it appear that you've suddenly freed up memory, when in reality all you've done is trade in your blazing fast RAM for a much slower hard drive. Once you have to switch back to an application that has been moved to the pagefile, it'll be so slow you'll be likely to go all Office Space on your machine. Windows expert Mark Russinovich agrees: Disabling Shadow Copy/System Restore Improves Performance I've barely come across a Windows Vista tips site that doesn't tell you to disable System Restore to speed up performance, because it takes up to 15% of your hard drive by default, which sounds like good advice. Except it's not. The reality is that System Restore only actually kicks in when you are installing updates or applications, or at pre-scheduled times in the day, and the automatic checkpoints will only happen when your computer is not being used. These checkpoints allow you to easily roll back your system to a pre-crash state, and I can tell you from experience that System Restore is a critical feature when your Vista machine has problems, allowing you to easily get back to a working state. Instead of disabling System Restore to free up space, Ed Bott suggests that you simply use Disk Cleanup to remove all but the most recent restore point. (Under the More Options tab, you'll find a Clean up button). Disabling Services to Speed Up the Computer Perhaps the most common myth is the advice to disable all services that you aren't using. I realize this will generate some controversy, so let me clarify: Disabling non-essential services that are NOT part of Windows will sometimes yield a performance gain if you have identified those services as causing a problem. You can identify or disable those services by opening msconfig.exe and checking the box for "Hide all Microsoft services" on the Services tab: The problem with disabling services is that your devices will often not work once you do: for instance, I disabled the "Unknown" dlbt_device service in the list above, and could no longer print to my Dell printer... disabling the VMware services made VMware unable to run, and so forth. You should be even more careful to not disable built-in Microsoft services in Windows, except for a select few under certain circumstances: Windows Search—If you don't use the Vista search or you use an alternate desktop search engine, you really don't need this service and can increase performance quite a bit by disabling it.Windows Defender - If you are already using another anti-malware product, you really don't need this running as well.[Although the] Windows Vista tweaking guide, offered for download by Microsoft, does suggest disabling unneeded services, when it comes to performance tweaking, a very large amount of testing is required each and every time you make a change. The better option is to simply install more RAM and clean up your PC if you are having performance problems, and perhaps demand a little more proof before applying secret hacks. Source
  2. There is a service called Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) in windows 8 which continuously uses your bandwidth whenever you connect to the internet. This is real pain in a$$ when you try to disable it. After disabling and restarting the computer it recovers again and you connect to the internet - this forever hungry fella comes again and starts eating your bandwidth again. So, I wanna know if there exist a permanent way to disable it so that it can't recover itself after system restart.
  3. This is something most are familiar with.. But incase there are noobs on here, w/an older PC or laptop, looking to get the most out of their machines.. I disable all non-essential services, and create .CMD shortcuts to turn them on when i need them. this reduces CPU and Memory load.. thereby improving overall responsiveness.. Included are .CMD shortcuts for: Power Scheme: i set my laptop to Power Saver every night, and have it hooked up to my stereo while foobar plays the audio of documentaries i've downloaded & converted :)VMware: i have all VMware related services disabled. . and when i need it.. i simply enable the services.. takes a second.VPN: since i have ESET installed.. Windows Firewall can be disabled.. but VPNs require Firewall service among a few others.. so i've created .CMD shortcuts to enable/disable all related services. (if you need a free/reliable VPN service, i use VPN Gate.)Windows Backup: same thing.. it's only required to run right before backing up.Windows Update: same thing.. why waste badwidth when you only need to check once a week.File: CMD.zip CRC: 5AE965BC Size: 4.50 KB (4,613 bytes) How to use: Create a CMD folder under %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.Copy content into created CMD folder.and it should show up on the Start Menu. UPDATE December 9, 2013Found an extremely useful script, which uses wevtutil, for clearing Windows 7 Event Logs for a more responsive OS Do this once a week.. (i do it once a day.. i have no need for the logs.. and disabling Event Log will cause problems.. so DON'T disable)Download: http://paste2.org/Nt00nMIJ Copy & save with Notepad as *Name*.cmdNOTE: noobs would like to argue, clearing the Event Log is dangerous or useless.. that's because they haven't tried or is confusing w/disabling the service. :)
  4. Windows 10 has many Services to make sure that the operating system functions smoothly. While it is best to leave the Service configuration at their default values, there are some performance & tweak enthusiasts who want to make their Windows run even smoother. If you are wondering which Windows 10 Services are safe to disable, then this guide will help you. We strongly recommend that you create a System Restore Point first and also make notes of the changes you make to your Services configuration. Before we go ahead, it’s a good idea to understand Windows Services section. Type services.msc in the search box and hit Enter to open the Windows Services Manager. Once the Services window opens, you can see the complete list of services, both from Windows OS, and the installed applications which are running on your system. Every service has Name, Description, Status, Startup Type and Log On As. Double click on any Service to look at its Properties. Startup Type: Some services are set to Automatic or Automatic (Delayed), while others are Manual and Disabled. Service Status: It is the current status of the service. Action buttons are available for you to change it. Dependencies: Many services depend on other small and big services. Some other function can also rely on it. If that’s the case, you will be warned if you choose to disable it. You will notice that many services which set to Manual. These services are started only when they are needed. They might be kept running or set to stop mode when not needed anymore. Services with Startup Type as Automatic start with Windows. Applications like the AntiVirus program need to be available as soon as Windows 10 starts. The best strategy to disable Windows 10 Services Many want to disable services because they might help to speed up their computer. It is best to look at services which are in Automatic mode. They are the only ones which increase computer boot time. In the services list, click on the Startup Type header to list all automatic services. Now click on the Service, and check if you can change status. Sometimes none of the buttons are enabled including Stop. If that’s the case, skip this service and move to the next one. When you find a service which can be stopped or set to manual, make sure to read about the service and check on dependencies. If you see any service is depending on this one, do not disable it. If it’s a stand-alone service, check to what the service is related. For example, the Bonjour Service is needed by applications from Apple like iTunes. You can choose to disable it or choose Automatic (Delayed). On the contrary, services like IP Helper should not be disabled if you use IPv6. It is essential for 6to4, ISATAP, Port Proxy, and Teredo, and IP-HTTPS. It’s best to leave Windows 10 Services as is Any service which is from Microsoft, i.e., Windows 10 “ONLY” Services, should be kept as is. It’s not easy to understand for a general consumer to understand the impact it will make when you disable a service. While many websites and blogs would suggest you services which you can disable, we don’t support that logic. If there is a service that belongs to a third-party application, you can choose to set to Manual or Automatic (Delayed). That will help to boot your computer fast. Even better, make sure to remove the application from the Startup List. Which Windows 10 services are safe to disable Nevertheless, if you still want to see what you can disable, then it all depends on your system: Are you a single PC home user? Do you use the Internet? Are you connected to a network or domain? Are you using a desktop or a laptop? And so on. The following Windows Services can be safely disabled. Instead of setting the Startup type to Disabled, you may set it to Manual, to be on the safe side. AVCTP service – Disable it if you do not use Bluetooth Audio Device or Wireless Headphones. BitLocker Drive Encryption Service – disable it if you do not use BitLocker storage encryption. Bluetooth Support Service – Disable it if you do not use any Bluetooth device Computer Browser – This will then disable Network discovery of systems on the local network Connected User Experiences and Telemetry – Disables Feedback, Telemetry and Data Collection Diagnostic Policy Service Diagnostic Tracking Service – Turns off Telemetry and Data Collection Distributed Link Tracking Client – If your PC is not connected to a network Downloaded Maps Manager – If you don’t use the Bing Maps app File History Service – If you never use Windows Backup or System Restore IP Helper – (If you don’t use IPv6 connection) Infrared monitor service – If you never use File transfer via infrared devices. Internet Connection Sharing – An old service that can be disabled Netlogon – Disable it if you are not on a domain controller environment. Program Compatibility Assistant Service – This will hinder your running in the Compatibility Mode though Print Spooler – If you don’t use a Printer Parental Control – If you do not use the Parental Control feature. Remote Registry – Best to disable it. No one will be able to access your Registry remotely. Secondary Logon TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper – If you are not a part of a Workgroup network Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service – If you do not have a touch device Windows Error Reporting Service – If you don’t want to save or send error reports Windows Image Acquisition – If you don’t use a Scanner Windows Camera Frame Server – If you never use a webcam or an integrated camera Windows Insider Service – Disable it if you are not a part of the Windows Insider Program. Windows Search – Do it only if you never use Windows Search but instead use a 3rd-party search software. So you see there is no one-shoe-fits-all scenario, and so it becomes imperative that you know your system and what you want. If you need good advice, then the Black Viper’s Windows 10 Service Configurations is one resource advanced users may want to look at. Windows 7 users may want to look at this Windows 7 Services Optimization Guide Source: Which Windows 10 Services can you safely disable? (The Windows Club)
  5. BEIJING/HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - In China, the sales maxim of ‘know your customer’ is being taken to new lengths. One of the first firms to join an Alibaba Group Holding Ltd program that provides years of consumer shopping history, snack food chain Bestore Co Ltd plans to link facial recognition technology with the e-commerce giant’s account data by the year’s end. For customers opting to have their facial data in Bestore’s systems, that means shop assistants will be able to check on what food they like the moment they enter one of its stores. Bestore, which already offers customers the option of paying with Alibaba’s face scanning tablets, has also started using Alibaba’s other services for more successful marketing. It can now arrange for a person who likes salty food, owns an SUV and probably has a family to receive an ad suggesting suitable Bestore snacks for a Spring holiday road trip, Huang Xiao, Bestore’s head of e-commerce, told Reuters. “With the partnership, our strategies are more focused, sales behaviors are more targeted and resources are better allocated,” Huang said. The Alibaba program, called A100 and which counts Nestle SA and Procter & Gamble Co as clients, is part of a major push by e-commerce giants in China to retool their relationship with merchants - offering them a trove of shopper data in return for broader and closer partnerships. The shift is integral to what Chinese e-commerce firms call ‘new retail’ or ‘boundary-less retail’ - the marrying of data available from internet shopping and gathered through brick-and-mortar stores to provide highly personalized services. It has been enabled by the widespread use of payments by smartphone, the rise of facial recognition technology and Chinese consumer tolerance of data-sharing between businesses. Other services Alibaba offers to retail clients include shopper movement ‘heat maps’ to help stores better design the layout of products, as well as its chat app Dingtalk to communicate within their own companies and with customers. SEEKING MORE DATA Keeping merchants happy and signing them up for more services has taken on added urgency for Alibaba and rival JD.com. Both are seeking to diversify amid slowing e-commerce revenue growth at home - due in part to saturated markets in China’s biggest cities, flagging consumer confidence from the U.S.-China trade war and increased competition from rivals such as newly listed Pinduoduo Inc. “For Alibaba and JD.com this is critical for their overall ecosystem because they have pretty much already exhausted the online growth,” said Beijing-based Jason Ding, partner at consulting firm Bain & Company. By providing data-driven tools to retail stores, e-commerce firms can expand the amount of data collected. “It’s not just about money, it’s about continuing to grow, and hopefully they will find a way to monetize that,” he said. JD.com, which provides similar services to Alibaba, says it helped U.S. diaper brand “Huggies” work out why Chinese competitors were rising in popularity, prompting Huggies to change to a material that is more absorbent and comfortable when wet. That contributed to a 60% percent rise in Huggies sales on JD.com in 2018, the Chinese firm said. A spokesman for Kimberly Clark, which owns the Huggies brand, declined to comment on the details of its partnership with JD.com. After a trial run of a new product, JD.com said it creates a ‘profile’ of a potential buyer based on early sales that is cross-checked with its entire userbase, before targeted ads are sent to close matches. Other tools JD.com offers to retail clients include an customer service chatbot powered by artificial intelligence that can the “sense” the mood of customers, and adjust its tone to appear more empathetic. It has also rolled out checkouts in some Hong Kong convenience stores that can scan several items at once and charge customers using their ID-linked accounts, which it says cuts the average checkout time by 30%. FREE FOR NOW Both JD.com and Alibaba executives say they are not charging companies for most data services at the moment, noting the new partnerships facilitate sales of other services such as cloud computing and logistics. Nestle, which sells Haagen Daaz and Nespresso through third-party retail locations in China, says it now has one warehouse instead of four after tapping into data at Alibaba distribution centers which give real-time updates on orders. “You don’t have to carry huge inventory in your warehouse,” said Rashid Qureshi, chief executive of Nestle’s Greater China business, adding it’s the first time Nestle has integrated an e-commerce firm’s data into its own systems. Where previously Bestore and Nestle would have dealt with different parts of the Alibaba empire for delivery, payments, cloud computing and messaging, they now work with one Alibaba team dedicated to their company which organizes a range of tailored services. “It’s a change that subverts the way our entire company has operated,” Alibaba’s Jet Jing told Reuters in an interview. Jing, formerly president of Alibaba’s retail site Tmall, has since become assistant to CEO Daniel Zhang. Alibaba has not disclosed how many companies are currently participating in its A100 program, but some analysts say for now only big firms will be able to benefit as smaller firms do not have the funds to justify major organizational changes. One risk for retailers, however, is that they may become overly dependent on their e-commerce partners. The Chinese market remains tough for brands to crack independently and Alibaba and JD.com represent the two biggest online retail channels into the country. In the face of such tough competition, Amazon.com Inc said in April it is shutting its China online store. “It’s a must for the brands to be involved,” says Bain & Company’s Ding. “But everyone would like to have a balance and not put their eggs in one basket.” More broadly, questions remain over how big e-commerce firms manage their data in a way that is fair to all parties using their services. EU regulators in September launched a preliminary antitrust investigation into Amazon over concerns it is collecting similar data from brands that it might use to boost competing products of its own. Alibaba and JD.com do not produce their own products but both have made significant investments in retail stores including experimental grocery and convenience store formats. Source
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