This guide was last updated on Monday, January 27, 2003

 Special Thanks goes out to AlphaAlien from Hardwaregeeks who wrote the original longhorn guides.  These expand on his guides which were an excellent base!






Uninstall Unnecessary Components in Longhorn


            This will allow you to uninstall all unnecessary components in Longhorn that make it slow and/or unstable.


            Open the file C:\Windows\Inf\sysoc.inf in notepad

            Delete all instances of the word hide and save changes and exit notepad.

            Click Start > Control Panel

Click “Add or Remove Programs”.

When the Add or Remove Programs dialog appears, click “Add/Remove Windows Components”

The Windows Components Wizard should appear within a few seconds/minutes depending on the speed of your computer.


Uninstall the following components:



   Tablet PC Components

   Automatic Updates

   WinFS (Windows Future Storage Services)


After you have done this reboot for the changed to take effect.

Note: When uninstalling components DO NOT uncheck the blank entry at the top.  This is NT Core Components, which consists of Avalon, WMI, Windows Messenger, IE, COM+, and Distributed Transaction Coordinator.


            System Performance Tweaks


            This will fine tune the performance of Longhorn and make things NOTICEABLY faster.


            Right click on My Computer and go to Properties.

            Click the Advanced tab and under Performance click Settings.


Uncheck all items except for the following:


   Show shadows under mouse pointer

               Use Drop shadows for icon labels on desktop

               Use visual styles on windows and buttons


            After this is done proceed to the My Computer window.

            Go to Tools > Folder options and click the view tab.

            Apply the following settings to the following components (Check/Uncheck)


            - Automatically search for network folders and printers – Uncheck

            - Choose smart icon size when opening new windows – Uncheck

            - Display File Icon on Thumbnails – Uncheck

            - Display file size information in folder tips – Uncheck

            - Display simple folder view in Explorer’s Folder list – Uncheck

            - Display the Contents of system folders – Check

            - Hidden Files and Folders – Select Show hidden files and folders

            - Hide extensions for known file types – Uncheck

            - Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) – Uncheck

            - Use breadcrumb bar – Uncheck

            - Use Domain folder sharing wizard – Uncheck

            - Use simple file sharing (Recommended) – Uncheck           


Remove IDWLOG from your start-up


As far as I know, this is like an “ET, Phone home” kind of thing, and I feel a bit better knowing its not loading at start-up. Here is how to disable it:


Click Start, and then right click My Computer. Select Properties.

Click the Advanced tab, and under “Performance” click Settings.

Click the “Start-Up Applications Monitor” tab.

Uncheck IDWLOG, and then right click it and press Delete.

Select yes to delete the IDWLOG file.


Install Windows Media Player 9 Series


Normally, Windows Media Player 9 series wont install on Longhorn, but there is a way to make it install.


Download the Windows XP version of Windows Media Player 9.0 from

Save the file to your Desktop.

Once downloaded, go to your desktop and right click MpsetupXP and select “Properties”

Click the Compatibility tab.

Check “Run this program in compatibility mode” and then select “Windows XP” from the Dropdown list.

Press OK.

Run Windows Media Player 9 Series set-up.


            Install Nero Burning ROM


                        Normally Nero will install but it will not see your CD Burner.  Here’s how to fix this small issue:

                        Download Nero.

Once downloaded, go to your desktop and right click Nero set-up file and select “Properties”

Click the Compatibility tab.

Check “Run this program in compatibility mode” and then select “Windows XP” from the Dropdown list.

Press OK.

Install and have fun burning!



Disable Un-necessary services


You should disable some services that you don’t need so that Longhorn will run a little bit better.


Click Start > Run.

Type “services.msc” (without the quotes)

Disable the following services:


Castle Service

            Automatic Updates

            Error Reporting Service

            IPSEC Services

            Logon Hours

            Remote Registry

            System Restore Service (unless you use System Restore)


Turn on/off the Sidebar


In my opinion, the sidebar is one of the best components in Longhorn. And some new Longhorn users have no idea where it is, so... here is how to turn it on/off J


Right click the Taskbar and select Properties.

Check/Uncheck “Enable the sidebar” (depending if you want it on or off)


Add things to the Longhorn Sidebar


By default, the Longhorn sidebar is empty. Here is how you add/remove things to the Sidebar.


Click “Options” at the top of the sidebar.

Click “Add a Tile >>”

Click the title of the feature you wish to have on the sidebar. These include:


            The infamous Longhorn Clock (Clock)

            Virtual Desktop Management (DesktopManager)

            Programs List (MFU)


            Quick Launch


            User Tile (no real use yet...)


What each of them does:



            A nicely coloured analog clock, which sports the Longhorn logo in the background with the date at the top. Probably one of the nicest things of the Sidebar, in my opinion.


            Programs List (MFR):

            A list of your most frequently used programs. This list changes as you use Longhorn.


            Virtual Desktop Management (DesktopManager):

            Longhorn has a new feature, which in my opinion is a really good option to have. This tile adds clickable previews of your Virtual Desktops. You can also switch virtual desktops by pressing the Windows Key and a number between 1 and 4.

            Note: I recommend not using this feature because it causes a massive memory leak in explorer.exe.  It will easily eat up over 100 MB of memory.



            You enter text that you wish to search for and then press Enter, its like having Google or MSN Search available at all times.


            Quick Launch:

            This adds the Quick Launch toolbar (which premiered in Windows 95 + Active Desktop and Windows 98) to the sidebar. You can customize the items displayed in this bar so it can be like a static Programs List.



            This displays a slideshow of pictures in a folder that you choose. A nice feature, but it is also a bit of a hog.


            User Tile:

            I think this is going to be for user switching in the future. Currently it only displays the name of the person who is logged on and their user picture. It is useless at this point.


The sidebar is quite customizable even at this point, and is probably one of the reasons people like Longhorn.


Got a program that works fine on Windows XP but not Longhorn?


This is most likely just because the Windows version has changed. Longhorn at this point is still Windows XP with some add-ons and new features, but the version number has changed to 6.0.3683, and not 5.1.2600, which some programs look for. Run the program’s set-up in Compatibility mode and you should be able to install the program fine. Here is how you do that:


Open My Computer, and browse to wherever the set-up application is.

Right click the program and select Properties.

Click the “Compatibility” tab.

Check “Run this program in compatibility mode” and then select “Windows XP” in the drop-down list.

Press OK.

Try to run the set-up program now.


If that doesn’t work, you could try another compatibility mode such as “Windows 2000” or “Windows 98”.



Frequently Asked Questions


What is new in Longhorn so far?


(Thank you to Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows “Longhorn FAQ” for the information used for “What is new in Longhorn so far?” – This info is partially inaccurate.  Get your shit straight Paul.


The Longhorn Start Menu and task bar will be enhanced with a new Sidebar component that can optionally appear locked to one side of the desktop. The Sidebar is an XML-based panel that includes links to local and remote resources. This is TRUE.


Longhorn will include a database-like file system called Windows Future Storage (WinFS), which is based on technology from SQL Server 2003 (code-named Yukon). This file system will abstract physical file locations from the user and allow for the sorts of complex data searching that are impossible today. For example, today, your email messages, contacts, Word documents, and music files are all completely separate. That won't be the case in Longhorn. This is Partially True.  Yukon is different then the file system.  It will be SQL Based but is in no way part of YUKON.


Longhorn will take full advantage of 3D video hardware to render special effects that will make the screen more photo realistic and deep. This doesn't mean that the basic windows and mouse interface is being replaced; just that it will look a lot better. The GUI Will be 3D accelerated but will NOT be fully 3D in any way, shape or form!



What Anti Virus Programs work in Longhorn?


To my knowledge, AVG Anti-Virus Professional/Free Edition and surprisingly, Norton Anti-Virus 2003 work fine on Longhorn. There isn’t too many problems with these; (except NAV’s Tray icon is in 16 bit color)


Does Office 2000/XP/11 Beta work in Longhorn?


Yes, it does. You might have a few difficulties, but yes, they work.


Where can I get Longhorn?


I’m not really going to help with this, but I know you can get it from IRC. You’ll need mIRC (, and knowledge of where this stuff would be.


What editions of Longhorn are there going to be?


This is unclear, but so far there is supposed to be:


            Longhorn Home Edition - UNCONFIRMED

            Longhorn Professional - CONFIRMED

            Longhorn Media Center Edition - CONFIRMED

            Longhorn Tablet PC Edition – UNCONFIRMED


What is with the new look in Longhorn?


That is the theme currently being used for the testing stages of longhorn right now, and it is called “Plex”. Longhorn will bear little or no resemblance to this by the final product.


The Windows XP visual style is still available, as well as Windows Classic.

Just open up the (old) Display Properties dialog and then click the Appearance tab, and then select Windows XP style or Windows Classic style.


Where is the Windows XP default background (Bliss)?


This doesn’t seem to be in Longhorn, but you can restore it by using a Windows XP CD and extracting it from the I386 folder.


Open up a Command Prompt, and type this exactly the way it is here (substitute the drive letters and Windows folder):


            C:\>expand X:\I386\bliss.jp_ C:\WINDOWS\Web\Wallpaper\Bliss.jpg


Remember, C:\> is the root of your hard-drive and D:\ is your CD-ROM.


            Does Remote Assistance work in Longhorn?


                        Not by the looks of it.


            Worms World Party does not work correctly


                        Right click the short cut to Worms World Party and Select Properties.

                        Click the Compatibility Tab, and check “Run this program in compatibility mode”. Select Windows XP from the Dropdown list.

                        Under Settings, check “Run in 256 Colors” and “Run in 640x480 Screen Resolution”. The latter may not be needed. Try it, if it works, try un-checking it to see if it works.


            SmartFTP does not work!


                        At this point, we don’t know how to fix this problem. For us, SmartFTP just crashes when we try to start it. Use FlashFXP for the time being.


            Where can I get the “Plex” style for Windows XP?


                        You’ll need a 3rd party UXTHEME.DLL to use it. Click here to get the Plex visual style; click here to download the UXTHEME.DLL patch (Click “UXTheme Patch for Everything”)




            I can’t change my User Icon!


If you have enabled the Sidebar and have ever enabled the User Tile, your user picture could be stuck. There’s no way to change it except create a new user account, transfer your files to it, etc. Change your user picture before you enable the sidebar or user tile. It’s the one you’ll be stuck with.


            Right clicking a page in Internet Explorer and Selecting “Properties” don’t work!


                        This is a known bug, and I don’t think there is anything that can be done to fix it.



I can’t download anything in Internet Explorer!


That’s because some bitmaps are missing from windows – this includes the download animation in Internet Explorer. You can fix this by clicking here. I recommend getting this BEFORE you install Longhorn, or use another browser such Mozilla to download the fix.


            Paint crashes on Exit!


                        God only knows why it does this.


            User Control Panel crashes when I close it!


                        Same as above. We don’t know why they crash on exit.


            When I change themes, sometimes the start menu text changes to “st


                        Reboot your machine, it should return to normal.


            MMD3 skin for Winamp3 doesn’t work right!


                        Run Winamp3 under Compatibility mode setting “Windows XP”. It should fix it.


SETUP Questions


Why does it ask for my Windows XP CD when I try to install Longhorn?


It does this because Longhorn is built upon an XP install. You need to rename your CD to WXPVOL_EN in order to fix this problem. You can also copy all of the files from the ISO or from your Longhorn CD to your desktop and install it from there.


            I get non-fatal errors after setup has finished


                        Don’t worry about these. Longhorn still works fine.


            Is it possible to install Longhorn from my Hard Drive?


                        Yes, it is. Extract the ISO to a folder on your hard drive. Try to make sure you have 2 partitions, and then run SETUP.EXE and install Longhorn to the Second Partition.