In the Forums...
Posted: May 29, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
So, you've decided to take the plunge into the vast world of Windows 2000, but you aren't sure where to start the tweaking process. Even though the operating system is superficially very similar to Win9x, when you get down into the guts of it the similarities end very quickly. Hopefully, this will be the answer to (some of) your prayers or whatnot. This is not, however, your standard tweak guide. This guide is more a menagerie than the other guides we have up about Windows 2000. All of the other Win2K tweak guides are limited by some kind of hardware focus. This guide, however, will hold anything else that doesn't have it's own guide devoted to it, or even just extra stuff that would fit in another guide but isn't big enough to justify its own update. This includes random performance tweaks, and - for the time being anyway - shell customization information.
Just for your information, several of these tweaks won't 'take' and will be set back to the default by the system if you aren't running in Administrator mode - so do it already, would you?
PS/2 Mouse Sample Rate
In Windows 9x, you had to download a copy of PS/2 rate to change the sampling rate of your PS/2 mouse. However, in Windows 2000, they have made the process much simpler by adding the property to the mouse's entry in the device manager. To get to the feature, go into the device manager, right click on the mouse entry, and enter its properties. Click on the Advanced Settings tab and from there you can change two settings - Sample Rate and Input Buffer Length. I would recommend setting the Sample rate to 100 Hz (maximum setting - still inferior to PS/2 Rate but better than nothing) and upping the buffer length to about 400 to avoid a buffer overrun from the higher sampling speed.
TweakUI for Win2K
Someone sent me a URL of another Windows 2000 guide shortly after I posted up the Hard Drive/Memory Tweak Guide, and while it didnít have much in the way to offer as far as tweaks (they basically had all the ones I already had posted/knew about, and didnít do a great job explaining them to boot), it did have one novelty Ė a beta version of TweakUI for Windows 2000. I have uploaded a copy of it to our servers so that you can download it locally here. Keep in mind that it is a beta, and as such might have a few bugs in it. However, Iíve been playing with it for a while and havenít found any as so far. If you are uncomfortable with the thought of installing a beta, however, you can always download and use the Windows 98 version (itís compatible, believe it or not!) but it doesnít have all the cool little features I will be discussing here in a moment.
Before we continue with the TweakUI tweaks, I would like to point out that it is my personal preference to turn off all of the extra crap in my OS that I don't need. Other than colors and icons (which I have no choice but to have), the only other customizing feature that I leave enabled is that sometimes I have something other than a solid color for a background. All of my sounds are disabled, and all of Windows "neat effects" are disabled as well. If you like some of those things, feel free to leave them enabled, but remember that they are at least slightly detrimental to performance.