Publushed Date: Wednesday March 3, 2004
Last Updated: Sunday April 4, 2004


Well, here we are; another build of Longhorn to tinker with. Although not much different from the build that was released at the PDC (4051), this one has some major improvements. It is more stable and more responsive than Build 4051. Well… this is a tweak guide, isn’t it? So lets get busy!


Longhorn System Requirements



WinFS Overview


Sidebar Components

As with 4051, this build has the same number of tiles by default.

This tile displays an analog clock along with the digital time below it and the date. When you click on this tile, a “flyout” appears with a Calendar.

Quick Launch:
This tile displays the items in your Quick Launch folder (which is located at %userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch).

Classic Tray:
This tile displays the items that were once next to the clock on the taskbar. Some icons may not display correctly (colors may appear distorted or elements may be missing) or they may not display at all. To access these icons, click on the tile, and a flyout will appear.

Slide Show:
This tile displays a slide show of all the pictures contained in your “My Pictures” folder. This is great to enable if you have family photos that you enjoy to see, albeit this tile is not very customizable in this build.

This tile is used for file synchronization. Requires WinFS to be enabled to work properly.

If you have Visual Studio.NET “Whidbey” you can create your own tiles.


Changes from Build 4051


Known issues in this build


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I download Windows “Longhorn”?
From the places you would usually obtain such things. We will NOT be going into any detail of where you can obtain Longhorn.

Q: What is the full build number of Longhorn?
Windows® Code Name “Longhorn”
For testing purposes only. Build 4053.main.031022-1720

Q: How do I change the “Registered User” information?
Click Start, and then click Run. Type “regedit” (without the quotes).
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
Edit the "RegisteredOwner" and "RegisteredOrganization" keys to your liking.

Q: What Internet Browser do you suggest I use in Longhorn?
This is really up to your own preference. You could use Internet Explorer, Avant Browser, MyIE2, Opera, Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, or other browsers.

NOTE: In Mozilla Firefox (and possibly Mozilla as well), check boxes, scroll bars, etc do NOT display correctly. This has been an issue since Build 4015.

Q: Why does Longhorn slow down after being logged on after a certain amount of time?
This issue is most likely caused from memory being swapped around. The simplest way to solve this is to log off or reboot.

Q: What Anti Virus applications work with Longhorn?
Norton AntiVirus 2003 and higher most likely work (these have not been tested yet under this build). We recommend you use Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 6.0, which has real-time protection, and is light weight (does not use a lot of system resources). AVG 6.0 Free Edition is available from

Q: What versions of Microsoft Office work under Longhorn?
Microsoft Office 2000, XP, and 2003 work under Longhorn and have been tested (Office 2000 may keep trying to reinstall itself though)

Q: What editions of Longhorn will be available when it is completed?
We don’t know the answer to this as it is 2 years down the road. But we expect that there will most likely be a Home Edition, Professional Edition, and Media Center Edition.

Q: Where can I find a timeline of the Longhorn builds & leak dates?
You can find these around the internet, simply by searching Google. But, for our readers’ convenience, we have compiled an easy to follow timeline with most of the information you need at the end of this guide.


Adding User Accounts in Build 4053

Many people have been asking me about this so I may as well cover it. On most 4053 installs if you add an account normally it will continue to log in to Administrator. Also, if you set a password on the administrator account the computer will not log in. It will complain about a bad password. However, there is a workaround for this issue.

Click Start --> Run. In the run box type "control userpasswords2" (without the quotes).
Check "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer"
After you do that you can also add your accounts through that or do it as you would in Windows XP.



Add Device Manager to the Computer context menu

This INF file will add a link to the Device Manager to the context menu (“right click” menu) of “Computer” (formerly known as My Computer).

To install, download the INF file, browse to the location you saved it. Right click on it and then click “Install”.

Download this script

Add Defragmenter, Disk Check, and Disk Check with Repair to your drives context menu

This INF file will add links to “Defragment this Drive”, “Scan for Errors”, and “Scan and Repair Errors” to the context menus of your disks. This will provide easy access to disk tuneup tools.

Download this script

Restart Explorer

This tool may come in handy if Windows Explorer is consuming large amounts of system resources. 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 shortcut, it will end the Explorer.exe process and restart it.

Download this tool
Un-installation: Delete the batch file and any corresponding shortcuts.

Make your own custom end task “kill” script or restart script:

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 this file from the Restart Explorer tool above.

Once you have KILL.EXE placed in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32, do the following:

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]
@pause >nul

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
@pause >nul

That will kill all Internet Explorer processes, say it is safe to close the window, and immediately open a new 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, the Windows Shell (Explorer.exe) and Windows Messenger processes, and then restart them.

You save your script as a .BAT file (File, Save As, and 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.


Performance Tweaks

Uninstalling Un-needed Components

First you will need to open SYSOC.INF and edit it. You can do this by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Run.

Type "notepad C:\WINDOWS\INF\SYSOC.INF" (without the quotes.)

Then delete all instances of the word HIDE by clicking Edit, Replace.
In the Replace dialog, type “HIDE” (without the quotes) in the “Find what” box, and leave the “Replace with” box blank. Apply these changes and save the file.

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 panel.

Once the Add/Remove Programs applet has loaded, click “Add/Remove Windows Components”

Uncheck the following items and press next.


Disable Unnecessary Services

Click Start, and then click Run.

Type “services.msc” (without the quotes) and press OK.

Double click on each item listed below, and set the “Startup Type” to DISABLED.

Performance Options

Right click on “Computer” in the start menu and click “Properties”.

Click the Advanced tab. Under “Performance” click the Settings button.

Uncheck the following items (ones labeled VERY IMPORTANT are crucial to disable)

Folder Options

Click Start, and then click “Computer”.

Click “Tools” and then click “Folder Options”

Uncheck the following items:

Check the following items:


Installing DirectX 9.0b On Longhorn (And making Halo work)

One thing that puzzled me about this Longhorn build is why Microsoft left DirectX 9.0a in it. 9.0b was out way before 4053 was compiled so it really doesn't make any sense. So thanks to Goku-San on xBetas we've figured out how to install it. Note that this tweak is for advanced users and I will not support it if something goes wrong. If it messes up it's probably due to you doing something wrong. Anyway here's how to do it.

  1. Download the DirectX 9 redist package from HERE.
  2. Extract the redist package to a folder using Winrar.
  3. Open the extracted folder and view icons by type.
  4. Select all of the .inf files, right click and select Install.
  5. It will begin copying files. Answer "Yes" to any dialogs about overwriting newer files.
  6. Enjoy DirectX 9.0b on Longhorn

Making Halo: Combat Evolved work on Longhorn
Even if you install DirectX 9.0b Halo still thinks that DirectX 9.0b is not installed. The fix is to use d3d8.dll and d3d9.dll from a Windows XP Install. Download the fix using the link below and apply using the included batch file. Enjoy playing Halo on your Longhorn install.

Download Halo Fix for Longhorn


Explorer Tweaks

Removing the Search Icon and the Help and Support Icon from the desktop

Delete the following keys in the registry:

Removing Shared Documents, WinFS Store, And other Unneeded Icons from the Computer Window

Delete the following keys in the registry:

Removing Unneeded WinFS Network Shares

Download and run the batch file located HERE.


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 mask 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.


Networking Fix - Internet Slowdown In Longhorn

In Longhorn the speed of your internet connection is significantly slower, depending on the speed of your conection. My Internet connection is 10 mbit and i could not exceed 3 mbit in Longhorn. I tried drtcp and that failed so I then tried Cablenut and played with the settings and it worked. Here is how to do it:

Before applying the Tweak:

Download CableNut here:
Install CableNut with all of the default settings.
Double click the CableNut shortcut on the desktop and inside the folder that opens double click on Adjuster.exe.
When it asks what OS select "Windows 2000"

Enter these settings into the fields:

After applying those settings click Save to Registry. Then exit and reboot.

Here's a screenshot of my speed test after applying this tweak:

Bug Fixes

Sidebar Tile Uninstaller

One of the reasons that the Windows Shell (explorer.exe) leaks memory with the sidebar enabled is because when you load a sidebar tile, and then remove that same tile, it doesn’t actually unload the tile. It just hides it. And when you re-add that tile, it copies the tile to the TEMP folder in your user profile. What then begins to happen is that the sidebar loads the same tiles over and over, even if they are not enabled, which causes memory consummation. So we’ve created a simple little batch script that will delete the temporary tile DLL’s from your user profile.

WARNING: This deletes all DLL’s in the base TEMP folder. Use extreme caution when using this “uninstaller”.


MSN Messenger Automatic Sign-in

Just like in Build 4051, MSN Messenger does not log on automatically, even when you set it to remember your login information. This may be caused by a problem with the .NET Passport Wizard or some other networking feature.

To fix this issue, follow these instructions:

  1. Open C:\Program Files\MSN Messenger
  2. Right click on MSNMSGR.EXE and click “Properties”.
  3. Click on the Compatibility tab. Under “Compatibility mode”, select Windows 2000.
  4. Check “Allow non-administrators to run this program”.
  5. Click OK to close the Properties window.
  6. Run MSN Messenger. It may appear to reinstall itself, don’t worry about this.
  7. Click “Sign In”. The old style logon box will appear. Type your Passport information, and check “Automatically sign in….”.

Winamp 5 Installation Instructions

If you install Winamp 5 with the default settings, it will crash when you try to start it. To fix this, uninstall Winamp, and reinstall it, WITHOUT the Media Library.

Longhorn Timeline

Build 3683 – Leaked November 19, 2002. First public leak of Windows “Longhorn”. Lab_06N Build; contained extras from the Avalon lab that are not seen in other builds (new display properties dialog box, etc). Some features were broken, such as Internet Explorer downloads.

Build 4008 – Leaked February 28, 2003. Second leak. Contained a cleaner version of the “Plex” visual style; Internet Explorer downloads fixed, more sidebar tiles.

Build 4015 – Leaked April 2003. Third Leak. We prefer to call this the build from hell. Not much different from 4008, except the new style taskbar was enabled by default and could only be disabled by turning off the sidebar. This build consumed HUGE amounts of memory in very little time.

Build 4029 – Leaked September 23, 2003. Fourth leak. Displayed the beginnings of the new style Explorer windows, contained a new sidebar clock.

Build 4051 – Leaked October 25, 2003. Released at the Professional Developer Conference, this build was supposed to be quite stable, as it was the first developer preview of Longhorn, but it ended up being horrible as far as being able to develop and test sidebar tiles went. It just leaked too much memory which hindered the ability to do anything useful with it. Introduction of the “Slate” theme, “Plex” was removed.

Build 4053 – Leaked March 1, 2004. Latest leak. Explorer memory leak seems to have been fixed for the most part. More responsive than 4051.

Longhorn Programming Resources

Longhorn SDK – provides samples of code for Longhorn and information on the new technologies contained within the operating system.

Longhorn Developer Center

This guide is Copyright ©2004, Chris123NT and Nighthawk. All Rights Reserved.

Microsoft, “Longhorn”, Windows, and other names mentioned herein are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Other trademarks mentioned in this document are trademarks of their respective owners.