Windows Longhorn Build 4074 Tweak Guide

Published Date: Wednesday, 05/05/04
Last Updated: Friday, 10/22/04

/* Please Note: Copy this and I will kill you */


On May 4th, 2004, at the WinHEC 2004 engineering conference, Microsoft unveiled Windows Code-Named "Longhorn", Build 4074. This build has a number of improvements over the previous version, Build 4051, which was released in October 2003 at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC 2003). People who attended the PDC will be pleased to know that the product keys recieved at that conference will successfully activate this build. The downside to Longhorn is the massive memory consumption issues. WinFS, the new database storage technology, uses upwards of 200MB of RAM, and can easily slow down a system. With this guide, we will show you how to optimize Longhorn to achieve a large performance increase.

Longhorn System Requirements

While Microsoft have not officially published requirements for Longhorn this is what we would reccomend as the minimum for a smooth running Longhorn:

Note: Don't e-mail us if you have it running on a lower spec system, we don't care. This is just a guideline and what our tests have proven to be the minimum usable spec without occasional freeze ups and overall slow performance.

Longhorn Installation Reccomendations

First and foremost, an excellent resource for Longhorn installation tips as well as a list of known issues is the following Microsoft KB Article:;en-us;829967

One tip from that Article that is crucial is letting Longhorn sit for ONE HOUR after install has completed and logged in as Administrator. It needs this time to index the help files as well as index a whole slew of other things that weren't taken care of at compile time. It is very important that this is done and according to our tests it reduces the memory leaks, especially in explorer.

Uninstall Un-needed Windows Components

Longhorn by default ships with a lot of new technologies turned on by default. The problem with this is that some people don't have the appropriate hardware to take advantage of these technologies, and as a result, they are consuming resources that could be used elsewhere. Also, some components, such as WinFS, use a lot of memory for no apparent reason. In this section we will show you how to remove such un-necessary items.

First, we will need to modify SYSOC.INF. This file tells the Add/Remove Programs applet what components can be removed by end users. By removing the "HIDE" text from this file, all options become available for us to modify as we see fit.

To do this, click Start, Run. Type "notepad C:\WINDOWS\INF\SYSOC.INF". Press OK.
In the Notepad window, click Edit, Replace. In the "Find what" box, type HIDE. Leave the "Replace with" box empty. Next, click Replace All.
Save the file and close Notepad.
Click Start, Control Panel. Click "Add/Remove Programs".
In the Add/Remove Programs dialog, on the left side, click "Add/Remove Windows Components".
In the Windows Component Selection window, uncheck the following items:

Disable Un-needed Services

Longhorn has some new system services, some of which can cause slowdowns and lockups. To speed up Longhorn, we will want to disable a number of services. To do this, follow these instructions:

Click Start, Run. Type "services.msc" and press OK.
To disable a service, double click on it. Under the "Startup Type" field, select "Disabled".
Disable the following services:

It is recommended that you restart your computer after this step.

Also, for all of the lazy people out there who don't want to manually disable the services, we have made a batch file that disables and then stops the services for you. Download the batch file HERE.

Windows Explorer: Performance Options

Click Start, right click on "Computer", and click Properties.
Click on the Advanced tab. Under Performance, click Settings.
Uncheck these options:

Close the Performance Options & System Properties dialogs.

Click Start, Run. Type "control folders". Press OK.
Click the View tab. Modify the settings as shown below.



Windows Explorer: Fixes

New Folders - IMPROVED!
The Windows shell, also known as Explorer, is somewhat buggy in this build. For instance, the "New Folder" command in just about every area of the operating system doesn't work. It is a very weird bug, but we do have a fix.

Create a reg file using Notepad with the following in it:

Remove the Search & Help and Support Icons from the Desktop
For some unknown reason, after using Longhorn for a certain amount of time, two new icons will appear on your desktop. They are Search, and Help and Support. Normally, you cannot delete these. But we have found a way to remove them, by modifying the registry.

WARNING: Modifying the registry incorrectly can cause problems and system instabilities. Please be careful.

Click Start, Run, and type "regedit". Press OK.
Delete the following keys from the registry:

Remove the Unneeded Icons from My Computer - NEW!
Providing you have WinFS disabled then there is a slew of icons in the Computer window that you don't even need. Delete the following registry keys to remove them:

Folders In A Separate Process - NEW!

Earlier in this tweak guide we told you to check the option to launch folder windows in a seperate process. But this simply isn't enough because anything launched off the desktop, or launched from the run box runs in the main process which is what we definately don't want happening. The following patch will fix this problem. Download the zip file, run the batch, say yes to merging the registry file and you're good to go!

Download Here

Note: Folders on the desktop will still run in the main process but everything else has been fixed (Computer window etc...).

File Searching In Longhorn - NEW!

File searching in Longhorn build 4074 is buggy at best. Especially with the new search interface in this build. No more option for classic search like there was in 4053. In order to effectively search in 4074 a seperate search application is needed. We reccomend Effective File Search which can be found at This is a great tool that can search for files extremely fast.

This can also be replaced as the program that opens when clicking search in the start menu. Just use gameguy's Start Panel Editor which can be found on the Neowin forums to do it. Since the program looks for Service pack 1 copy the following and merge it into the registry (This might even fix compatibility issues with apps that look for XP SP1):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"CSDVersion"="Service Pack 1"

Installing Windows Media Player 10 FINAL on Longhorn 4074 - NEW!

  1. Download the Windows Media Player 10 Technical Beta installer and save it to your hard disk.
  2. Extract the contents of the installer using a program such as WinZip or WinRAR. Extract them to anywhere you wish.
  3. Open the new folder containing the extracted files.
  4. Select all the INF files EXCEPT "WMP10.INF". Right click and choose install. If asked to restart, click No.
  5. Right click on WMP10.INF and click Install.
  6. Click Start > Run, and type "Regedit".
  7. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Setup\InstalledVersions.
    You will see three DWORD keys called "wmp.dll", "wmplayer.exe", and "wmploc.dll".
    Change the value of all three keys to:
    00 00 0A 00 3e 0e 00 00
  8. Run Windows Media Player. You should now see a screen welcoming you to Windows Media Player 10.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I download Windows “Longhorn”?
You can obtain Longhorn from the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) if you are an MSDN Universal subscriber.

Q: What is the full build number of Longhorn?
Windows® Code Name “Longhorn”
Evaluation Copy. Build 4074.idx02.040425-1535

Q: How do I change the “Registered User” information?
Click Start, Run. Type “regedit”.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion, and 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.

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 2004 and below do not work, 2005 Beta does however. 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 XP and 2003 work under Longhorn and have been tested. Office 2000 is compatible as well but has several issues.

Q: What editions of Longhorn will be available when it is completed?
Currently, there are planned versions of Home Edition, Professional, Tablet PC, 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.

Changes since build 4051 & 4053:

Known issues in this build

Sidebar Tiles List

Longhorn Timeline

Copyright 2004 Chris123NT. All Rights Reserved.