Last Updated: Wednesday, May 14, 2003


Table of Contents


·         Longhorn System Requirements

·         Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”)

·         What has changed since Build 3683 (“Milestone 3”)?

·         List of known issues in Build 4008

·         Utilities by Nighthawk

·         Performance and Stability Tweaks

·         How-to: Make Explorer Use Less Memory

·         Components of the Sidebar

·         Adding Tiles to the Sidebar

·         New Meets Old: Longhorn Build 4015 (“Milestone 5”) Welcome Screen on Build 4008 (“Milestone 4”)

·         New Meets Old: Longhorn Build 4015 (“Milestone 5”) Boot Screen on build 4008 (“Milestone 4”)

·         Forcing Driver and Application Installation

·         Screenshot Gallery

·         Useful Downloads

·         Upcoming Additions to the Guide

·         Credits



Longhorn System Requirements

The system requirements for Longhorn Build 4008 are much more demanding than that of Windows XP. Our recommendation is:

·        600Mhz Processor or Higher

·        256MB RAM

·        3GB or more of disk space is necessary

·        1024x768 minimum resolution recommended

·        16MB Graphics Card supporting 32bit color recommended

·        For Internet Applications such as Windows Messenger, an internet connection would be required.



How do I change registered User/Company information?
Click Start, and then Run. Type "regedit" in the run box, (without the quotes).
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion.
Edit the "RegisteredOwner" and "RegisteredOrganization" keys to your liking.

How can I remove the build number from the desktop?

Currently, you can’t. If you do, you will break the operating system. Someone’s likely to find a patch sooner or later. When there is a patch, we will update this guide with the appropriate information.

Why doesn’t SmartFTP work?

The reason for this is unknown; it could possibly be a new DLL in Longhorn causing problems. Running the application in any of the compatibility modes will not work either. We suggest you use another application such as FlashFXP.

What Internet Browser do you suggest I use in Longhorn?

Well, this is really up to you. You could use the version of Internet Explorer that comes with it, but that is not recommended because there are no updates for Longhorn’s Internet Explorer. You could also use a browser such as Mozilla, Firebird, Netscape, or Opera. It’s your choice.

Why does Longhorn slow down after being logged on after a certain amount of hours?

This is most likely caused from memory usage change, etc. To fix this, the simplest solution is to save your work, log off, and log back on.

MMD3 won’t work on Winamp3!

You need to run Winamp3 under the Windows XP Compatibility Layer for the skin to work. This may also apply to other skins as well.

Why does setup fail?

If you attempted to edit the contents of the CD, and re-burnt it, your CD-writer application may have truncated, (or shortened), the names of some files and folders required for setup, which will leave you with a bad CD. You will need to re-obtain a non-edited CD Image (ISO or RAR Parts) and burn that to a CD.

Also, setup may freeze or throw up a STOP error when attempting to install on a RAID drive. This is a known problem and there does not seem to be a fix to this other than installing to a drive which uses IDE for hard disks.

What Anti-Virus applications work with Windows Longhorn?

So far, we have confirmed that Norton Antivirus 2003 and Grisoft AVG 6.0 Free Edition work absolutely fine under Longhorn. If you need a light-weight, free antivirus utility with real-time scanning and email scanning, download AVG 6 from

Does Office 2000/XP/2003 Beta work in Longhorn?

Yes, Office 2000, Office XP and the Office 2003 Beta (formerly known as Office 11) work almost normally under Longhorn. Outlook 2000 may keep trying to reinstall itself.

Where can I get Longhorn?

We are 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 will be available by

According to the new information released at WinHEC, Longhorn will have 4 editions, based off what is called a “Base OS”. What happens, is you take the Base OS, and add “SKU”s to it, meaning it will be able to release updates and customize the Longhorn CDs through an unattended script, called “unattend.xml”.

·         SKU #1 – “Home Edition”

·         SKU #2 – “Professional Edition”

·         SKU #3 – “Media Center Edition”

·         SKU #4 – “Tablet PC Edition”


Remember, the names of each edition could be changed at any time.

What has changed since Build 3683?

·        Avalon display properties are not present in this build (They were present but not fully functional in 3683)

·        Sidebar Transparency has been removed as well as the desktop manager and the date above the clock.

·        The Plex visual style has been cleaned up and looks MUCH nicer in this build.

·        My Contacts is now somewhat functional. Seems it only fully works inside Microsoft Labs.

·        Web Views in Explorer are updated. They run a bit faster but don’t really look as nice.

·        You can now disable the preview pane fully.

·        My Hardware is now called Hardware and Devices.

·        Internet Explorer is now fully functional (YES YOU CAN DOWNLOAD STUFF!)

·        The search tile does not work until a registry key is changed, for that, see “Adding Tiles to the Sidebar” near the bottom of the guide.

·        Newer Direct X 9 Build is included in this build.

·        Windows Media Player 9 build 2991 is included.

·        Putting the taskbar on the sidebar is now functional. Applications minimize to the sidebar (Looks a bit weird but it works)

·        Most of the logos (with the exception of the boot screen) are now changed to say Longhorn instead of XP, refer to New Meets Old: Longhorn Build 4015 (“Milestone 5”) Boot Screen on build 4008 (“Milestone 4”) to change the boot screen.

·        There seems to be a Download Manager in the works (not yet functional).

·        Parental controls are now implemented to limit the amount of time your children spend on the computer (this has been a feature on domains since at least Windows 2000 Server).


List of known issues in Build 4008

·        Right clicking a page in Internet Explorer and Selecting “Properties” does not work. Nothing happens.

·        Some applications look horrible with the new visual style, some things don't skin properly. (This is to be expected of a Visual Style in alpha stage)

·        Menu in Device Manager does not display unless item is hovered over.

·        When changing themes, "Now Playing" text in Media Player reverts to Microsoft Sans Serif - this is a problem with Media Player 9 itself.

·        Sometimes icons on the desktop can suddenly change to other icons. Restarting explorer.exe fixes this.

·        Enabling the new taskbar causes the Windows Shell Process (Explorer.exe) to leak horribly. To stop the leaking, simple disable the new taskbar and restart explorer.

·        Browsing Drives can become slow after a long period of uptime. To fix this, restart Explorer.exe.

·        The Search tile does not function until you change a registry key, more information on how to fix the search tile can be found by reading the second below, Adding Tiles to the Sidebar.

·        After a long period of logged on (about 2 days), the system can become slow. To fix this, simply log off and back on.

·        The search tile only seems to search the root drive (C:\), and not any other drives located on your computer.

·        SmartFTP doesn’t work. Period.

·        When you have the sidebar turned on and you switch screen resolutions, the sidebar will turn black. To resolve this, right click the taskbar and select Properties. Uncheck “enable sidebar”, and then click apply. After the sidebar is turned off, re-check “Enable Sidebar” and press OK.


Utilities by Nighthawk



            INF Files:

Download the INF file you want to a place such as your desktop. Once downloaded, right click on it and select “Install”. This will install the functions of the INF file. To uninstall the functionality, download the Uninstaller for the corresponding INF file to your desktop, right click on it, and select Install. This will remove the functionality added by the INF file.


Restart Explorer Script:

Download the selection labeled “Restart Explorer Script” below to a location of your choice. Using an extraction utility such as Windows’ Compressed Folders wizard, WinRAR, or WinZip, extract the files to %WINDIR%\SYSTEM32. Create a shortcut on your desktop, quick launch menu, start menu, or location of your choice to the file “RestartExplorer.bat” (without the quotes). When you click on the button, it will end the Explorer.exe process and restart it.


Kill Internet Explorer Processes Script:

Download the selection labeled “Kill Internet Explorer Processes” below to a location of your choice. Using an extraction utility such as Windows’ Compressed Folders wizard, WinRAR, or WinZip, extract the files to %WINDIR%\SYSTEM32. Create a shortcut on your desktop, quick launch menu, start menu, or location of your choice to the file “Kill_IE_Processes.bat” (without the quotes). When you click on the button, it will end any open Internet Explorer processes (great to use if Internet Explorer has stopped responding)


How to make a custom end-process (“kill”) script:

You will need the file KILL.EXE located in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 before we continue. You can download the file from the Restart Explorer script or Kill Internet Explorer Processes script below.


Open Notepad (Start, Run, “notepad” – without the quotes).

You can use this as a base for your end-process script:


@kill.exe -f iexplore.exe

            @ECHO [You can now safely close this window]


Save the text in Notepad as a batch file (.BAT). The above will end any Internet Explorer (IEXPLORE.EXE) processes running on the system. You can design a script for any application you wish, but it is wise to save any data in that program if you are ending a normal working process, as it will terminate it without giving you the chance to save.


To restart an application, you use this:


            @kill.exe -f iexplore.exe

            @ECHO [It is now safe to close this window]



That will kill all internet explorer processes, say it is safe to close the window, and immediately open an Internet Explorer process. For multiple applications, you can use the following as a base:


            @kill.exe -f iexplore.exe

            @kill.exe -f explorer.exe

            @kill.exe -f msmsgs.exe

            @explorer.exe C:\Progra~1\Intern~1\IEXPLORE.EXE C:\Progra~1\Messen~1\MSMSGS.EXE


The above will terminate the Internet Explorer, Windows Shell (Explorer.exe) and Windows Messenger processes, and then restart them.


You save your script as a .BAT file (File > Save As > In the Save dialog, under “Save as Type”, choose “All Files”. In the filename box, type ScriptName.bat (Substitute ScriptName for the name of your batch file (it can be anything of your choice), but it MUST have the .BAT extension.



·        Restart Explorer Script | Download

·        Kill Internet Explorer Processes | Download

·        Add Device Manager to My Computer's context menu | Download | Uninstaller

·        Add Defrag, Disk Check, and Disk Check and Repair to your drives context menu | Download | Uninstaller


Performance and Stability Tweaks

1. System Performance Tweaks

Performing the process below will fine tune the performance of Longhorn and make things NOTICEABLY faster.

Click Start, and right click "My Computer". Click 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

Press OK, and do not close the My Computer window just yet.
Go to Tools > Folder Options. Under the first tab, select "Use Windows Classic Folders". Press Apply.
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

·        Disable Preview Pane – Check

·        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 NEW breadcrumb bar – Uncheck

·        Use Domain folder sharing wizard – Uncheck

·        Use simple file sharing (Recommended) – Uncheck

2. Disable Un-necessary services

You should disable some services that you don’t need so that Longhorn will run much faster.

Click Start, and then click Run.
Type “msconfig” (without the quotes)

    Uncheck the following services:

·      Castle Service

·      Automatic Updates

·      Error Reporting Service

·      Fast User Switching Service

·      IPSEC Services

·      Remote Registry

·      System Restore Service (unless you use System Restore)

·      Font Caching Service

·      Fusion Isolation Service

·      Logon Hours (unless you are using Parental Controls)

·      MSSearch Indexer

·      MSSearch Gatherer

·      NUI Message Receiver

·      Windows File Promotion Manager

·      Windows Future Storage


Next, click the “Startup” tab, and uncheck:


·        IDW Logging Service

·        adfsvcs


Press OK, and then restart your computer.


Make Explorer Use Less Memory


By default, Longhorn’s shell (explorer.exe) can use anywhere from 5MB to 60MB RAM, possibly even more.


To lower the RAM usage, open a Windows Explorer window, such as My Computer. Minimize it to the taskbar. Right click the taskbar and select “Task Manager”. Look for the process “explorer.exe” – it should be using less memory now. You should leave the minimized window going to keep memory usage down, although you can repeat the process when needed if you wish not to leave the window open in your taskbar.

Components of the Sidebar

Unlike build 3683; the sidebar is enabled by default in build 4008. Below we explain the different components of the Longhorn sidebar and what they are used for.

In this build, it is not possible to make the sidebar transparent.

By default, the Longhorn sidebar has 3 things on it; the Clock, the Slideshow, and the Quick Launch tiles. Here is how to add/remove more tiles:

Right click anywhere on the sidebar.
Hover over "Add a Tile"
Click the title of the feature you wish to have on the sidebar. These include:

·        The infamous Longhorn Analog Clock (Real Name: Clock)

·        Your most frequently used applications (Real Name: Most Frequent Apps)

·        Search

·        Quick Launch

·        Slide Show

·        A tile that displays your user name and selected picture (Real Name: User)

·        Tray Icons (Real Name: Legacy Notifications)


Adding Tiles to The Longhorn Sidebar

This will show you guys how to add some hidden tiles to the sidebar in Longhorn.  The tiles that I write about are the ones that work and serve some sort of a purpose.

Start the Registry Editor -> Click Start, Run, and type “regedit” (without the quotes)

Messenger Status Tile

Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartBar\Modules\]

Create a new KEY called {62F329E0-B71B-4DDA-8323-628AC066531D}

In the new Key Create the following STRING Values and set the values to what is to the right of the equals sign.

·         "AssemblyName"="Microsoft.Windows.PPLRTC1"

·         "Friendly Name"="Messenger Status"

·         "Type"="MS.Internal.Communications.Controls.MeTile"


NOTE: This tile only works if you are using Windows Messenger. You cannot use MSN Messenger with this tile. Also, this tile does not work with Windows Messenger 4.0, you will need 4.6 or 4.7 for it to function correctly.


Fix the Search Tile

By default the search tile in Longhorn 4008 does not work.  This is because someone at MS screwed up and set one of the registry values wrong.  Here’s how to fix it:

Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartBar\Modules\{a135a56c-bc29-4e57-87a3-35e2425e455a}]

Change the Value of “AssemblyName” to “Microsoft.Windows.Client” (without the quotes)

New Meets Old:  Longhorn 4015 Welcome Screen In Build 4008


We have discovered a way to use the new welcome screen from Build 4015 on Build 4008. This has been thoroughly tested and it works with only 2 minor issues which will be covered in Step 8.


1.       First download this file.  Contained within the RAR archive are the files you need for the new welcome screen.

2.       Then delete logonui.exe from C:\WINDOWS\I386 and C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DLLCACHE.

3.       Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 and rename logonui.exe to logonui.bak

4.       Using WinRAR, extract the files into C:\WINDOWS\I386, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DLLCACHE, and C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32.

5.       Cancel any Windows File Protection Errors that may appear.

6.       Optional: To make the new login screen look more authentic under build 4008, you need to enable ClearType font smoothing technology on the welcome screen. To do that, download this file to your desktop and double click it. When it asks you to merge the information into the registry, press “yes”. After that, delete the file from your desktop or wherever you saved it if you wish to do so.

7.       Enjoy the 4015 Welcome Screen on 4008!

8.       Note: The login screen will be completely functional and there should be no need to reboot. The only known issue is when typing in a bad password and it prompts you about it; the button that should be labeled “OK” is completely blank. The button still works normally though, as well, the shutdown button does not seem to appear, you will need to shut the machine down after logging onto a user account.


Screen Capture of Longhorn 4015’s Welcome Screen running on Longhorn 4008:


[Click the picture for larger image]


New Meets Old: Longhorn Build 4015 Boot Screen on build 4008

After working hard, we have created a boot screen for your Longhorn 4008 installation to replace the outdated Windows XP boot screen. This boot screen that we have created is almost identical to Build 4015’s, and it works great.

1.       Download this file. Save it to the Desktop.

2.       Open the ZIP file with WinZIP or WinRAR. Extract the two files to C:\BootScreen

3.       Reboot, and press F8 before the boot screen. Select Safe Mode.

4.       Log onto Windows. Open up My Computer and browse to C:\WINDOWS\I386


6.       Open another explorer window and copy the two files from C:\BootScreen to C:\WINDOWS\I386

7.       Once you have done that, open C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DLLCACHE, and copy the NTOSKRNL.EXE and NTUPKRNL.EXE files to that folder.


9.       Restart your machine. You should now have the Windows Longhorn Build 4015 Boot screen.


Screen Capture of the Longhorn 4015 Boot Screen on Build 4008:


Forcing Driver and Application Installation

Nero Burning ROM

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

Download Nero.
Once downloaded, go to the folder where you saved it and right click on it. Click “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!

ATI Radeon Catalyst Drivers

So you want to install drivers for your ATI Radeon so you can play OpenGL Games? Well here's How!

1. Download the latest catalyst drivers for your video card at
2. Go to the folder where you downloaded the executable and right click on it. Click “Properties”.
3. Go to the compatibility tab and select “Windows XP”.
4. Install the drivers and repeat these steps for the ATI Control Panel.


nVIDIA Detonator Drivers


Following these steps should allow you to install the nVIDIA Detonator Drivers without conflicts or problems.


1.       Download the latest nVIDIA Drivers from

2.       Go to the folder where you downloaded the setup file. Right click on it and select Properties.

3.       Click the Compatibility tab and select “Windows XP”.

4.       Press OK and run the setup file.


Note: The nVIDIA control panel under Display Properties > Advanced will not display.

These same steps should work for most other programs that will not run or install correctly in Longhorn.



Screenshot Gallery


Here are some screenshots for you to feast your eyes on; click the thumbnail for the full sized image.



The Longhorn Desktop – displaying taskbar, default wallpaper, and sidebar with Clock, Search, User, legacy notifications, slideshow, and Most Frequently used applications list tiles.







System Properties dialog, displaying the windows version “Microsoft Longhorn XP Professional, Version 2003”







Hardware and Devices: a Control-Panel/Device Manager combination which will most likely one day replace the device manager in Windows.








Internet Explorer about Dialog, Version 6.05.4008








Parental Controls dialog, where you can set the time that a user can log onto the system.








Windows Media Player 9 build 2991 – newer than what is available from






Useful Downloads


·         Windows Messenger 4.7

·         Mozilla

·         Winamp 2.9

·         Winamp 3

·         mIRC

·         Ad-aware 6

·         Nero Burning ROM

Upcoming Additions

No known additions are expected within the near future.




Utilities – Nighthawk

Performance and Stability Tweaks – Chris123NT, Nighthawk

Boot Screen – Nighthawk

F.A.Q. – Nighthawk, Chris123NT

Known Issues List – Chris123NT, Nighthawk

Changes since Build 3683 (“Milestone 3”) List – Chris123NT




[ Guide Copyright ©2003, Nighthawk and Chris123NT – All Rights Reserved ]

Microsoft, “Longhorn”, Windows, Windows Messenger, and other names mentioned herein are

Registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Other products mentioned herein are registered trademarks

Of their respective owners.