November 15, 2003
Well here we are,
the moment we have all been waiting for. The PDC has finally arrived, and with
it so has Longhorn Pre-Beta build 4051. There are many new things in this build
that are worth checking out as well as a few disappointments we'd like to express.
The main goal of this tweak guide is to get 4051 running in a way that it could
possibly be suitable for day-to-day use. Well this is a tweak guide isn't it?
Lets get tweaking!
4051 System Requirements
- 800 MHz PIII Processor
- 512MB of RAM
is STRONGLY recommended
- At least 3.5
GB HDD Space
WinFS - What is it and how does it work?
- WinFS is the codename for the next generation
storage technology that will be integrated into Longhorn. WinFS allows for
faster searching, easier organization of files and much more (this is Microsoft's
vision of WinFS at least). How does WinFS work? It's really quite simple.
Say you have a ton of files that consist of movie clips, music, pictures,
documents and downloads. All you have to do is put them in the Storage folder
and WinFS will automatically sort the files into the proper places (Music,
- Longhorn 4051 does have WinFS built in and
WinFS does do all of the things i mentioned above. But theres one problem.
When working with WinFS the system becomes very slow and the WinFS engine
sucks down resources. This will be fixed in time of course as Microsoft optimizes
the code but for now it is best to disable WinFS to get a massive speed gain
in Longhorn (plus i wouldn't trust WinFS to be stable enough to house my data
just yet). Disabling WinFS will kill Outlook Express because it relies on
the database storage features of WinFS. Whether or not you disable it is purely
up to you but I am just letting my opinion be heard.
Of the Sidebar
This is one of the disappointments of build 4051
if you ask me. Microsoft seriously downsized the amount of tiles available,
theres only 5 tiles in this build.
- Clock Tile - The analog clock that we've seen
in 4029, although its been redesigned slightly. It looks alot better and now
has the "digital time" (EG: 5:23PM) and the date below it.
- Quick Launch - Displays the items in your Quick
Launch. Slightly redesigned, no longer has the names by the items.
- Classic Tray Tile - Displays the System Tray.
Some icons may not appear correctly or at all. You can access them by clicking
on the tile itself, which will display a list of the tray icons. (Note: It
doesn't seem to refresh well)
- Slide Show Tile - display a picture slideshow
on the sidebar, cool if you're bored and need something to stare at. Seems
to only display the contents of My Pictures and is not customizable in this
- Sync - Used for file syncronization. Requires
Changes Over Build 4029
- Welcome screen is similar to 4029 but now sports
black as the color of choice to match the new Slate theme.
- The setup routine has been redone for this
build and is much nicer than previous builds.
- New Slate theme included in this build, Plex
is gone for good.
- Carousel view in Hardware and Devices has been
- New sidebar clock design yet again.
- Preview pane polished but still somewhat slow.
- Download manager in Internet Explorer works
intermittently (reported by numorous people that it works on and off or not
- Popup blocker in Internet Explorer improved,
works very nicely.
- New boot screen (Looks a bit weird).
Bugs and Known Issues in 4051
- Explorer is still leaky with the sidebar on
(see below). Classic Tray tile seems to be the main cause of the leak.
- In Outlook 2003 when you click Personal Folders
it displays the html code instead of Outlook Today.
- Network Browsing is broken by default. See
"Repair Longhorns Networking" later on in this guide.
- Internet Explorer's download manager is flakey.
Sometimes it work, sometimes it doesn't.
- If a menu overlaps the sidebar, it may remove
the sidebar gredient from the overlapped area. To fix this, just resize another
tile over the missing gredient area and things should return to normal.
- If Windows Explorer or Internet Explorer lock
up, you will get a glimpse of where the original titlebar (from previous windows
versions) is in Explorer.
- The TCP/IP Stack in Longhorn 4051 is completely
rewritten. Microsoft messed up the internet routing portion so if you set
a static IP the Internet dies. See below for a workaround.
- Because of the bug mentioned above, your internet
connection may run a bit slower under Longhorn (well it does for me at least,
i have 10mbit download and get 6mbit in LH)
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Q: Why is my Longhorn CD not bootable?
A: Because the original release was missing its boot record. You will need to
obtain a fixed ISO or find a patch to make the CD bootable.
Q: Does the memory leak still exist in Explorer?
Unfortunatly, it does, but there are two solutions to repair the leak or
stop it completely. Read the rest of the guide for more information.
Here's where the fun begins. This build has a lot to be tweaked to speed it
up so here we go!
Uninstalling un-needed components:
- First open SYSOC.INF. You can do this by clicking
the Windows flag (Start), and then clicking Run. Type "notepad C:\WINDOWS\INF\SYSOC.INF"
(without the quotes.
- Then delete all instances of the word HIDE
- Before: msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,HIDE,7
- After: msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,,7
Now navigate to Add/Remove Programs in the Control
Go to Add/Remove Windows Components
Uninstall the following:
- Windows File System Services (WinFS)
- Windows Storage Full-text Index
Disabling Unnecessary Services:
Go to Start --> Run and type Services.msc
Now set the following services to DISABLED
- Automatic Updates
- Base Firewall Engine
- Biometric Resource Manager
- Castle Service
- Certificate Propogation
- Computer Data Synchronization Manager
- Digital ID Management Service
- Error Reporting Service
- Font Cache Service
- Fusion Isolation Service
- ICF/ICS - Firewall and connection sharing
- IPSEC Services
- Logon Hours
- Offline Files Service
- Parental Control Auditing
- Remote Registry
- Secondary Logon
- Software Licensing Service
- SSDP Discovery Service
- System Maintenance Service
- System Restore Service
- Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Now go to Computer properties --> Advanced
Tab, under Performance options click the Settings button.
Uncheck the following:
(all of these are optional, but the ones marked VERY IMPORTANT are best to disable)
- Animate Windows when Minimizing and Maximizing
- Fade or slide menus into view
- Fade or slide tool tips into view
- Fade out menu items after clicking
- Show preview and filters in folders (VERY
- Show shadows under menus
- Slide open combo boxes
- Slide taskbar buttons
- Smooth edges of screen fonts
- Smooth-scroll list boxes
- Use a background image for each folder type
Now open Computer and go to Tools --> Folder
Options and click View Tab and uncheck the following:
- Use Domain folder sharing wizard
- Use simple file sharing
The Infamous Explorer Memory Leak
Everyone remember the explorer.exe
memory leak that was present in 4015 and 4029? Well suprise! Its still here!
Good news is it can be capped off for good with a few simple steps.
- Start by disabling the sidebar (right click
sidebar --> properties uncheck Enable Sidebar)
- Go into Computer, go to tools --> Folder
Options, View Tab and check "Launch folder
windows in a seperate process"
- Right click Computer and go to properties,
Advanced tab, under performance hit settings and uncheck "Show preview
and filters in folder"
- Now reboot and there will be no more memory
leak. The sidebar has pretty much been turned into a waste of space in this
build, and filters are sort of broken in places, so theres no real need to
have them turned on.
Explorer Lag when opening My Computer
This bug either happens or it doesn't. It depends
on your hardware configuration. Particularly if you have a scanner or not. If
you have a scanner you will most likely experience a very large lag when opening
the My Computer window. The only way to fix this is to go into services.msc
and disable the Windows Image Aquisition Service, yes this
will stop your scanner from working so do not use this method unless you don't
use your scanner or if you value speedy explorer browsing.
Repair Longhorns Networking
In terms of Networking, build 4051 is sort of..
well.. messed up. You may not be able to browse some computers' network shares
or even the entire network itself. To fix this, follow the instructions below.
- Make sure that your workgroup is set the same
as all of your other machines. You can change this by clicking the Windows
flag (Start), right-clicking on My Computer, and selecting Properties. Click
the Computer Name tab, and then click the Change button. Change the workgroup
name and press OK.
- Restart your computer.
After performing the above steps you should be
able to browse through network shares and other network related items without
Networking Fix For Longhorn – Static
IP Kills the Internet
Longhorn build 4051 sports a rewritten TCP/IP
stack which in a lot of ways is nice, but it has more than its share of bugs.
One of the most critical bugs is that changing to a Static IP in network settings
will kill the network route going to the gateway, which in turn kills the internet
connection. At first I had no idea how to fix this and then i began to dig and
found the problem.
The problem is that the gateway route (as i mentioned
above) is gone after switching to a static IP. It can be fixed by using a DOS
command, see below.
To fix the Internet route in Longhorn 4051 open
the command prompt (Start --> run, cmd.exe and press enter).
Type the following:
route change 0.0.0.0 mask 0.0.0.0 x.x.x.x metric 1 if X
x.x.x.x is the IP address of your gateway and X is the metric ID of your network
card. See below on finding the metric ID.
Now your Internet will work. Good and dandy right?
WRONG! After a reboot it will be messed up again so here's what you have to
do. Put the command i mentioned above in a bat file and save it to C:. Then
go into gpedit.msc and navigate to Computer Configuration --> Windows Settings
--> Scripts. Double click startup. Click add and point it to where you saved
the batch file. Now on every reboot it will fix the internet before login.
Cannot Complete the Network Setup
to Samael on xBetas for figuring this out)
To set up a network you must have permission to configure Internet Connection
Sharing, Internet Connection Firewall, and network bridging.
Control panel --> Click on user accounts --> Click on "start the
network identification wizard”
MSN Messenger Auto Sign-in Bug
to Samael on xBetas for figuring this out)
Problem: MSN Messenger does not auto sign-in on boot even
if you tell it to.
- Find MSNMSGR.EXE and right click on the icon
- Select properties
- Select Compatibility
- Select windows 2000
- Check Mark the Allow non-administrators to use
- Click ok all the way back out
- Relogon and make sure to check automatically sign in.
- Voila its working right!
Here's a few screenshots of different features
in Longhorn, more will be added if i find anything worth posting.
- Computer (Formerly My Computer) window open showing the slate design on explorer
Contacts Window - Shows the look of the Contacts
window with filters off (filters cause memory leak too).
Longhorn Help Center - The new help center
which sports a new and somewhat promising look.
Hardware And Devices - Notice the carousel
view that was in 4029 is not in here. I wonder why they removed it.
You'll Like this one - The only screen of
my main machine of all of these, just had to throw this in to give you guys
something to envy :P.
Copyright 2003 Chris123NT and Nighthawk.