Bored? Help me make Windows 21h2 super light: low handles

kzkzpkt

New Member
I'm seeking the lowest "handle count" and "idle ram usage" possible with nothing else running.

Applications I use:
"w3champions.exe" (www.w3champions.com - uses "Bonjour Service" or "mDNSResponder.exe", as well as "flo-worker.exe")
"Warcraft III.exe" (Networked Directx 11 game uses both TCP and UDP, launched with -launch option.)
"chrome.exe" for video playing on http://www.twitch.tv, and www.discord.com.

On my current setup, I set "Taskmgr.exe" as the default GUI shell for minimum handle count. I notice in this mode, Windows trims handle count measurably, as opposed to its behavior in the explorer.exe shell where handle count steadily rises.

My graphics is Intel, and requires Intel Graphic Command Center for graphics calibration. This is only available as an APPX or MSU. This should be integrated to avoid needing windows firewall, update, and store.

I am experimenting with not installing any drivers besides graphics and Wifi for lowest handle count and input lag for gaming.

I thought I would post here and see if someone seasoned and bored wanted to try this. I'm attempting it myself. USB (for mouse and keyboard) is needed.

One thing that bothers me about my current setup is that I can tell there is a lot of background EXEs magically running and sending and receiving data to MSFT / Intel. I really want a stripped out system32.

Machine is a laptop that connects to Wifi.

I would be eternally grateful if someone could do this.

For reference, my current setup with Chrome, Warcraft III, and w3champions running is 39,000 Handles and 7.5 Gigabytes of RAM committed. Despite all of my configurations, disablements, and tweaks (disabling services and drivers, renaming system32 EXEs, killing processes), I still notice random EXEs running that are attached to no service or task in task scheduler, and most devastatingly, cause network spikes from background .exe network activities.

All network protocols should be gutted except what's explicitly needed by the "3 applications".

I know Windows 10 is bad for gaming but I'm on modern hardware.

I'm currently awaiting a USB stick in the mail and when it arrives I will start experimenting. My goal is 4 Gigs of ram committed to eliminate the pagefile, and 25,000 handles. Warcraft III alone is 9,000 handles.

I'm researching MDT and Autopilot: or Is NTLite more geared for what I want? (Low Handle Count, Ram and no background EXE activity)

I understand I can tweak further eliminating intel mitigations, but the focus is handle count.

Thank you for your time.

My biggest concern is UNDOCUMENTED EXEs in system32 running amok at random intervals causing network spikes. Stuff that is impossible to monitor even with sysinternals suite.

I would like a system so stripped that you could leave it on for 30 days straight and the handle count would stay the exact same #.

Windows should be uncompressed for best memory performance.
 
Last edited:

garlin

Moderator
Staff member
I'm researching MDT and Autopilot: or Is NTLite more geared for what I want? (Low Handle Count, Ram and no background EXE activity)

MDT, Autopilot are primarily tools for managing enterprise deployments. The folks who actually depend on those resource sucking apps & services you wanted to disable. NTLite is fine, once you know what to tune. Most of which is figuring out which services are "non-essential".

I'm gonna leave the floor open to our resident gamer freaks. Browse our two longest gaming threads.

https://www.ntlite.com/community/index.php?threads/gameros-windows-10-11-diy-preset.2350/
https://www.ntlite.com/community/in...ximum-compatibility-for-x64-uefi-systems.771/
 

Clanger

Well-Known Member
I can get LTSC 1809 down to 8xxx handles on a full default install but major surgery will be required.
Pagefile might be required on some games.
 

kzkzpkt

New Member
MDT, Autopilot are primarily tools for managing enterprise deployments. The folks who actually depend on those resource sucking apps & services you wanted to disable. NTLite is fine, once you know what to tune. Most of which is figuring out which services are "non-essential".

I'm gonna leave the floor open to our resident gamer freaks. Browse our two longest gaming threads.

https://www.ntlite.com/community/index.php?threads/gameros-windows-10-11-diy-preset.2350/
https://www.ntlite.com/community/in...ximum-compatibility-for-x64-uefi-systems.771/
Thank you for the information.
I can get LTSC 1809 down to 8xxx handles on a full default install but major surgery will be required.
Pagefile might be required on some games.
That sounds wonderful. Are you confident you're able to have the "three applications" operable?

Sans applications, I currently idle at 25,000, though I haven't disabled all unnecessary drivers and services. I noticed if you disable certain drivers, Windows will use a legacy mode for the monitor, similar to what you see in the UEFI / pre-OS environment (which is uncomfortable to look at, as the monitor flashes). For context, I was disabling drivers in groups of five and realized this after roughly 50 driver disablements. I believe it's related to BasicDisplay or GpuEnergyDrv.

I'm looking to have power schemes intact so the laptop remains thermally sound. I use "Balanced (Recommended)" which throttles the CPU. There doesn't have to be GUI controls, but I would like the ability to shift power schemes, if I choose to use "full power".

Regedit and BCDEdit should be intact for tweaks...

That's all I can think of for now. :)

Also a way to get my hands on LTSC would be fantastic.. PM me if you do :) Thank you.
 

Clanger

Well-Known Member
Are you confident you're able to have the "three applications" operable?
No, because i dont use those programs. The renames and service configuration i use might mess them up too. Plus you are using a different version.
I dont have a preset, they are a bunch of things i do post install. i gave you the approximate Handles figure so you can see how low it is possible to go(on ltsc 1809). You are better off using the Gamer links garlin gave you.

Idle at 25,000? ahahahahaha, thats the funniest thing ive heard all week :D
I reckon you will end up somewhere between 10,000 and 12,xxx handles at iddle.
 
Last edited:

garlin

Moderator
Staff member
Read about powercfg, it's the command line tool for modifying and switching power plans. You can export/import profiles for later use.
Many of the GUID's (identifiers) have aliases to make it more readable. Write a CMD wrapper script to switch power plans when launching games.

On my current setup, I set "Taskmgr.exe" as the default GUI shell for minimum handle count. I notice in this mode, Windows trims handle count measurably, as opposed to its behavior in the explorer.exe shell where handle count steadily rises.

For every Explorer window, it's constantly polling the state of viewable filesystem objects. This is why there is no "refresh" to see new changes, and that polling could be expensive. Imagine what happens when you have 1000 files in view (like \Windows\WinSxS).
 

Clanger

Well-Known Member
On my current setup, I set "Taskmgr.exe" as the default GUI shell for minimum handle count. I notice in this mode, Windows trims handle count measurably
Interesting, how do you do that?
Do you disable DWM? when i disable its service windows has conniptions.
 

garson

Member
He probably set taskmgr.exe as default shell (easy to change in registry).
Using same alternative shell and explorer replacement (like exporer++) can help lower number of handles.
Clanger What do you do to lower number of handles?
 

Clanger

Well-Known Member
Clanger What do you do to lower number of handles?
More of a case of what i dont do,,,
Kill Defender and Search/Cortana immediately post install.
Rename quite a few things - see below. I use my own .CLA extension rather than .bak.
Reduce instances of svchost with winaero tweaker, major gains with this alone.
Barebone Scheduled Tasks.
Barebone Services.

Kludges = Rename, quicker for me than liting and i dont share them because the are on a fine line of liting. I havnt translated them into a preset.
 
Last edited:

garson

Member
Ok, svchost processes are mostly from services.
What does winaero tweaker do regarding that? Disable some services?
 

Clanger

Well-Known Member
What does winaero tweaker do regarding that?
Its a reg tweak, not a service. Open WAT and type svchost into the search box, you'll find it. Think it works on how much ram you have and so it might different on each machine then. Sniff WATs output with RegFromApp.
 

garson

Member
Probably misunderstanding. What I meant is that most of instances of svchost.exe in task manager are from running services. If you right click on some svchost.exe instance in task manager (details tab) and click on Go to service(s) it will take you to Services tab with selected service that runs this svchost.exe instance.
So Winaero tweaker is reg tweaker?
 

Clanger

Well-Known Member
Use Process Explorer to see what each instance of svchost is running. I dont know the science behind it just that it reduces the amount of instances. Disable a service and that'll be one less svchost running.
Most of what WAT does in in the registry so that can be sniffed/saved to .reg with RFA.
 

garson

Member
I am working on ltsc 2021 barebone image (using NTLite), need to check number of handles I have at the moment. I think it was 12-13k on default without turning off services.
 

Clanger

Well-Known Member
I am not able to put in the work to barebone an os anymore so i have to take the quick n easy routes when i am able to do stuff.
 

Clanger

Well-Known Member
Hmm, might be good running Server without Desktop Experience pack which does increase resource usage like. Or with that tweak, whatever is applicable. Now what Server did i test resources on a while back,,,,,,,

Edit - Ahh, found it. Server 2019.
Anyone know exactly is in a Server Desktop Experience pack?
 
Last edited:
Top