Guide: Optimized Image

Hellbovine

Well-Known Member
This guide walks users through the entire process of creating an optimized Windows 10 install, designed for maximum performance. These tweaks have been thoroughly researched and tested, to provide a safe and official approach, making it suitable for gamers, power-users, and everyday users too.

Windows 10 version 21H2 (November 2021 Update) is recommended, since there are bugs in the new 22H2 version. Windows 11 is not recommended because it is too new, and all operating systems take several years to mature and become stable. There are also no guarantees that all of these tweaks will work on older versions, as many things were changed throughout Windows 10's lifetime. As such, please do not reply to this thread with issues you have created for yourself by choosing to go off course from this guide's instructions. Instead, create a new thread to ask for help in those circumstances.

If you are a gamer, you do not have many options nowadays for choosing an operating system, since Microsoft has managed to get many companies onboard with their end of life roadmaps, and numerous gaming anti-cheat software and platforms (Steam, Blizzard.net, etcetera) are dropping support for older operating systems (XP, Vista, etcetera), and even dropping older Windows 10 versions too. The term, "dropping support" means your games literally will not load anymore. For example, you cannot play Diablo 3 single player on your PC using an unsupported operating system, even though it was working in the past, because the game launchers were intentionally updated to make it fail.

TWEAK METHODOLOGY
We need to define what "optimized" means, and why this custom Windows is unlike most others on the internet.

- This guide does not focus on component removals, instead it uses registry keys. The benefit here is substantial, because this method ensures that nothing "breaks" in Windows, since all of the keys are the same official method that Microsoft would use to tweak something (meaning they can be reversed). No apps have been uninstalled, everything works, it is just much faster and better on resource usage, with annoyances removed, thus improving the user-experience. In other words, Microsoft could release this as a "Gaming" edition of Windows 10.

- Every individual key has been meticulously tested to ensure that they actually work for this operating system and version. They also all "stick" in a clean install, apply to all users created, and do not get overwritten by the automated processes that happen in the background. This is a big deal, because many tweaks on the internet are bad, meaning the person peddling those tweaks did not test them properly, did not try integrating them into an image, and did not benchmark them. Instead, they go by "feel" which is really just placebo effect in most instances.

- This image was purposely constructed in a modular way, meaning you can take bits and pieces from it, or you could take the whole guide and actually layer it on top of other custom NTLite images. This means someone using a built-in NTLite templates, or a custom XML preset, can still follow this guide and add all of these tweaks to enhance those templates and presets.

RELEASE NOTES
August 23, 2022: the initial guide was released at version 1.0 and includes 584 total registry keys. It took 8 months of about 20 hours a week to work through all of this, and I already have version 2.0 and 3.0 planned out, with heaps of other tweaks that I need more time to thoroughly evaluate before I can update the guide again. Because proper testing is so time consuming, each new version will at least a few months or more. If anyone discovers any problems then I will fix those and update the guide with a minor version change, such as 1.1 to represent that.

December 28, 2022: updated to version 1.1 after adding a registry key that prevents Windows from forcibly downloading and installing a display driver, even if Windows update was paused. Also, cleaned up post formatting, and added information about the release of 22H2 in the introduction.

STEP 1: GETTING STARTED
Before you begin, check that you have everything you need in advance.

1A) Download the files attached to this post. The "Screenshots" folder is an optional download, it just contains a few images showing the resource monitor and LatencyMon results. Compared to a stock Windows 10 21H2 install, this optimized image has 17% fewer processes, 34% fewer threads, 23% fewer handles, reduced memory usage by 300 MB, and a whole lot of tweaks that improve the user-experience which do not really have a way to be measured by a tool. The other folder is "Tweaks" and it contains the XML and registry files you will need to create this image. After downloading the folders, right-click on them and "Extract all", choose a destination, and then "Finish". Afterwards, delete the original zipped folders.

1B) Exit out of all open programs and reboot.

1C) Temporarily disable any antivirus programs, such as Defender (it slows down NTLite).

1D) Right-click on NTLite and select "Run as administrator".

1E) In NTLite, click on "File" then "Check for updates" and update NTLite by choosing the "Update" button below the "Tool" section. If it is greyed out then you are on the latest version already.

1F) Once NTLite is finished updating then proceed below.

STEP 2: CLEAN START MENU, LIVE TILES, AND TASKBAR
This step prevents all of the "bloat" from getting installed, such as links to trial products, games and apps you did not ask to download (Candy Crush), and other ads and sponsored services designed to get you to spend money. You can still use live tiles and customize that panel, this tweak just cleans up the stuff that many users do not like.

2A) Load an unmodified, official, Windows 10 21H2 image into NTLite by going to "Add" then choosing "Image directory" and pointing to the Windows image you want to use, then double-click on "Windows 10 Home" from within the "Image history" section to load it (if you do not have an image then check my other guides for instructions on how to create one).

2B) After the image has finished loading it automatically moves into the "Mounted images" section, which means we can begin editing. Now right-click on the "Windows 10 Home" that has a green circle and select "Explore mount directory".

2C) Left-click twice in the address bar in the blank space to the right of "NLTmpMnt01" and add the following text exactly as shown below.

\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\

Put that text at the end of the address that already exists in the text box, and then press enter and it should take you to a folder that has 1 file inside.

2D) Next, copy and paste the custom DefaultLayouts.xml and LayoutModification.xml files that you downloaded earlier into this mounted Shell directory, choose the option to "Replace" when prompted, and then hit "Continue" on both screens to approve the action.

2E) Exit the mounted Shell window.

STEP 3: IMPORT NTLITE REGISTRY FILE FOR REAPPLY
This registry file is going to be integrated into all four parts of the Windows image (Install, PE, Setup, Recovery) which changes the default power plan from Balanced to High performance in each of those. This greatly increases the speed at which Windows will install, reducing the total install time by about 50%. This also fixes a bug in Windows, which causes certain older SSDs to hang or be extremely slow during the install process.

3A) Click "Registry" from the left menu, then "Add", choose "Registry files" and then select the Reg_0_NTLite file you downloaded earlier and NTLite will update to show that those keys were added.

STEP 4: UNINSTALL COMPONENTS
This step is optional, but I strongly urge everyone to do it anyway. Here we are removing the only component in this guide, OneDrive. There are several reasons to do this, the biggest one being that it is a resource hog, and because it is not integrated into Windows, instead it is a standalone installer that does not actually install until the first user is created.

Even if you want to use OneDrive, it is still best to remove this outdated installer and go download the latest version to install manually, after Windows is installed. I still cannot recommend that action though, because it is also faster and better overall for users to directly access the OneDrive cloud via their web browser, than to use the app. The app just adds unecessary resource usage to the background of Windows, eats up internet bandwidth, and you will inevitably experience syncing issues and/or file corruption, it just makes more sense to adjust how you use it than it does to try and optimize this unecessary app.

Note: the removal of OneDrive is one of the features that require the purchase of a license for NTLite, and it is more than worth it. You are not only supporting the tremendous amount of work that has gone into the NTLite program, but you are indirectly supporting the members that spend their time trying to help others with guides like these, because as NTLite grows the community grows too. I bought a license just for OneDrive and I have no regrets.

4A) Click "Components" from the left menu, then "Remoting and Privacy", choose "Cloud Files API" and uncheck "OneDrive".

STEP 5: APPLY AND PROCESS PART ONE
At this point we are done with the first set of tweaks and ready to process this image into something we can install Windows with. You could stop here after processing, and be left with a really nice base image to do your own tweaking, or continue on through the remainder of the guide to add in the other tweaks.

5A) Click "Apply" from the left menu, expand "Reapply tasks across editions", check the box for "Integrate - Registry" and then expand it to make sure that all four boxes inside are checked.

5B) On the top left menu bar select "Process" to begin creating the customized image.

Note: it will take several minutes to process the image and a message will appear when it is complete. Also, do not try to combine this step with the remaining steps below. It is best practice to integrate registry keys after processing the removal of components, otherwise you may end up deleting some of the keys you integrated when the components get removed.

STEP 6: IMPORT REMAINING REGISTRY FILES
Now to finish up this custom image we need to load our previously processed image and add a few more layers into it.

6A) Click "Source" from the left menu, then double-click on the "Windows 10 Home" inside the "Image history" to load it again (it now includes all the previous tweaks we just did, baked in). When it is finished loading, click "Registry" from the left menu and then do the following tasks.

6B) Click "Add", choose "Registry files", select "Reg_1_Power".

6C) Click "Add", choose "Registry files", select "Reg_2_Security".

6D) Click "Add", choose "Registry files", select "Reg_3_Settings".

6E) Click "Add", choose "Registry files", select "Reg_4_Control".

6F) Click "Add", choose "Registry files", select "Reg_5_Apps".

6G) Click "Add", choose "Registry files", select "Reg_6_Other".

Below is a list of a few highlights that each of these registry files are responsible for. This is not everything, but it should give you a basic idea of what is going on at least. If you want to learn more, right-click and edit a registry file from within Windows and it will show comments on what each item inside does. If you really do not want a certain feature to be tweaked then you can delete those registry keys from the files, though I highly recommend trying everything as-is for at least a week before modifying things, so you can give this curated product a fair try and see if maybe some of the preferences rub off on you. Nothing here is slapped together, it was all very carefully crafted to create an overall better experience for Windows users, based on what I have learned after 30 years of doing this kind of thing.

Reg_1_Power: disables hibernation (saves several gigabytes of space, while still keeping sleep available), disables fast startup, converts the original High performance power plan into the equivalent of the Microsoft Ultimate power plan and the Bitsum power plan combined, plus a few other additional performance improvements. While performance improved, temperatures actually decreased in this image because there is less background overhead and so the processor is not working as hard all the time.

Reg_2_Security: this file has to do with the Windows Security center app, it disables Defender, firewall, and many of the overly aggressive security features which substantially interfere with gaming, especially multiplayer games. This is where most of the bad game pings, DPC, stutter, and general game issues come from. There is a reason why older operating systems perform better, because they lack these features by default.

Reg_3_Settings: there are tons of tweaks in this file, and all of them are things that a user can toggle on/off straight from within the Windows "Settings" pages. There are a lot of settings that fix the DWM and theme management in Windows, disables syncing, disables various telemetry, pauses Windows Update until 2026 (but can still be manually resumed and paused again as desired), and so much more.

Reg_4_Control: everything inside this file has to do with settings inside the Control Panel. A lot of annoyances are disabled here, such as disabling various user tracking, cleans up some of the user interfaces, some basic keyboard and mouse tweaks for gamers, and disables the constant user account control nagging, among other changes.

Reg_5_Apps: this file contains the settings that handle all of the background apps, and stops them from running in the background for no reason except to consume resources unecessarily.

Reg_6_Other: all of the miscellaneous tweaks are here, along with a lot of the desktop/taskbar being cleaned up and made more user friendly. Also disables prefetch, disables superfetch, disables indexer, disables file compression, and a number of other tweaks to make things less annoying, more stable, or to reduce overhead.

STEP 7: APPLY AND PROCESS PART TWO
For the last step all we have to do is process the addition of those remaining registry files.

7A) Click "Apply" from the left menu, then select "Process" to begin creating the customized image.

Once NTLite has finished processing it will give a message that it is complete, then you can exit NTLite and copy these newly edited files onto a USB drive, then boot into that drive and install your custom Windows! If you are not sure how to install Windows or how to deal with drivers, then check out my other guides on that topic.

KNOWN ISSUES
There are no known issues with this custom image, but below are some things that might be asked about.

- The Xbox Game Bar will not run when you click on it from the start menu. This is by Microsoft's design, and it is not intuitive. If you need to use the Game Bar just go to Start > Settings > Gaming > and toggle it on, and the Game Bar will now run when clicked from the start menu.

- I tried really hard to not use GPO (group policy registry keys) unless it was absolutely required because there was no other documentated way to accomplish something. In the end I had to use about a half dozen policies. This is not a bad thing, but the downside to policies is they do lock down those settings, so the user cannot toggle them on/off from within Windows. Instead the user will need to delete the policy key. In the future I will continue to work on reducing the use of policies and hopefully get rid of them all.

- On laptops, Microsft decided it was a good idea to alter the power buttons, so that instead of shutting down when "Shut down" is clicked, it silently goes to sleep instead. This is turning out to be difficult to combat, and I know that I can address it in a clean, proper way, but it is simply eating up way too much time and I needed to put it on the backburner so I could release this guide, since I was many months behind my projected finish date. This is Microsoft's issue though, not anything to do with my tweaks. Laptops are much more difficult to handle because Windows autodetects the power capabilities of laptops and overwrites several dozen settings based on that. I will fix this in a minor update or in version 2.0, but I really do not recommend anyone using Windows on a laptop to begin with. Especially if you are a gamer, there is no such thing as a gaming laptop, it is all just marketing unfortunately.

- Defender and Firewall have been disabled, but it is not as scary as some people will lead you to believe. If you use a good browser and keep it updated, but also spend time optimizing the browser settings to disable things like prefetching, autofill forms, etcetera, and practice common sense on the internet you will be fine (do not visit shady sites, do not download anything that is not from extremely reputable sources). Install a good ad-blocker though, such as uBlock Origin (I have tested them all and it is superior by far). I cannot even use the internet anymore these days without this extension, the number of ads and crap cluttering up every page is beyond obnoxious, but with this extension installed all of that is removed, including ads in things like YouTube videos. It also speeds up page loading because it prevents all that garbage from being downloaded to begin with.

For more guides like this one, visit the following link:
https://www.ntlite.com/community/index.php?threads/gaming-lounge.2999/
 

Attachments

  • Screenshots.zip
    294 KB
  • Tweaks.zip
    23.1 KB
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Hellbovine

Well-Known Member
ernesto7, I do not have Windows 8.1 to test, sorry.

Windows 8.1 reaches end of life on January 10th, 2023. I talk more about the operating systems in the introduction to this guide. If you want to test this optimized image on 8.1 though, it would only take a couple of hours, since all the registry keys are commented on what they do and tell you where to find the settings.

Also, here is some data to consider:
https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/Steam-Hardware-Software-Survey-Welcome-to-Steam

Steam has over 120 million users, and of those, 69.06% of them are on Windows 10 64-bit, while 23.78% of them are on Windows 11 64-bit, with just 00.51% on Windows 8.1--This is the type of data that companies are using to determine when to drop support. It is getting harder these days to stay on older operating systems than it was in the past.
 
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devilink

Member
I see virtual memory off in the registry. I think this option is wrong, virtual memory can be set to auto, but he can't be without.
Some games use virtual memory, for example: Chinese online games, https://www.yjwujian.cn/

The computer memory is 16GB, and I set the virtual memory to 16GB. The game will use 30%~40% of the virtual memory all the time. In-game usage has not been calculated yet.

World of Tanks, requires 1.8+% in game

Virtual Memory Guidelines https://www.minitool.com/lib/virtual-memory.html
 

garlin

Moderator
Staff member
As a rule, virtual memory should be equal or larger than physical memory. Sometimes, performance increases when you add more virtual memory (not because it's required), but because Windows assigns some resources based on percentage. The larger the virtual memory, the more it will assign to specific memory buffers.

But increasing it too much will stop making a difference. 1.5X - 2X of physical memory is usually a good rule.
 

devilink

Member
As a rule, virtual memory should be equal or larger than physical memory. Sometimes, performance increases when you add more virtual memory (not because it's required), but because Windows assigns some resources based on percentage. The larger the virtual memory, the more it will assign to specific memory buffers.

But increasing it too much will stop making a difference. 1.5X - 2X of physical memory is usually a good rule.
Yes, virtual memory can be automatically managed, Microsoft only gives a very small amount. But he cannot do without, because some software really needs the existence of virtual memory.
 

Hellbovine

Well-Known Member
I went through all the registry notes, what I call basic settings.
Thank you for taking the time to look through it all. The goal of version 1.0 was to get a safe and effective baseline to calm down the OS, without breaking anything. I've got a ton more planned for v2.0 and 3.0, but because I test and research all of the keys first, it just takes a long time to get through thousands of keys. More often than not stuff turns out to be snake oil, or is highly circumstantial and so it doesn't make the cut.

If you have registry keys that you really like, and you didn't see them here, please send them my way! If you could mail me them through the forum I'd appreciate that, and will add them all to my todo list.
 

devilink

Member
Thank you for taking the time to look through it all. The goal of version 1.0 was to get a safe and effective baseline to calm down the OS, without breaking anything. I've got a ton more planned for v2.0 and 3.0, but because I test and research all of the keys first, it just takes a long time to get through thousands of keys. More often than not stuff turns out to be snake oil, or is highly circumstantial and so it doesn't make the cut.

If you have registry keys that you really like, and you didn't see them here, please send them my way! If you could mail me them through the forum I'd appreciate that, and will add them all to my todo list.
I like it very much.
Looking forward to your next 2.0~3.0
Follow your ideas, send it to you now will increase your troubles, believe me, I have experienced it.
 
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Hellbovine

Well-Known Member
Re: Pagefile

This is a discussion that has been around for ages, and tends to be a polarizing topic, so I'm just going to give a quick summary and then some options for everyone, that way they can choose what's right for them. If anyone wants to discuss it in depth though, I'd be happy to start a dedicated thread we can all dive into.

The vast majority of all programs, including Windows, run perfectly without a pagefile. It is not best practice, nor is it common practice, for a program to absolutely require a pagefile to function. It is safe to disable the pagefile, and is something countless gamers and performance enthusiasts have done forever. However, there's always some developer out there that wants to be difficult, so we need solutions for those cases.

Windows gives you three options for the pagefile. It can be disabled, set to a static size (non-changing), or set to a dynamic size (adjusts automatically). Manually changing the pagefile through the Windows user interface is really easy, just follow this navigation:

Start > Settings > System > About > Advanced system settings > Advanced > Performance (Settings) > Advanced > Virtual memory

If you prefer registry keys instead (useful for integrating into an image or a post-install script), I made those options available below:

; Disable Pagefile
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 2048-2048 (2 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,32,00,30,00,34,00,38,00,20,00,32,\
00,30,00,34,00,38,00,00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 4096-4096 (4 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,34,00,30,00,39,00,36,00,20,00,34,\
00,30,00,39,00,36,00,00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 8192-8192 (8 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,38,00,31,00,39,00,32,00,20,00,38,\
00,31,00,39,00,32,00,00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 16384-16384 (16 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,31,00,36,00,33,00,38,00,34,00,20,\
00,31,00,36,00,33,00,38,00,34,00,00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 32768-32768 (32 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,33,00,32,00,37,00,36,00,38,00,20,\
00,33,00,32,00,37,00,36,00,38,00,00,00,00,00

Note: I cannot recommend a dynamic pagefile (automatic) because it leads to unecessary fragmentation and resource usage as it shrinks and expands. I also cannot guarantee these hex keys work on anything other than Windows 10, which is what this guide is written for. You will need to reboot after changing the pagefile.
 
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devilink

Member
Re: Pagefile

This is a discussion that has been around for ages, and tends to be a polarizing topic, so I'm just going to give a quick summary and then some options for everyone, that way they can choose what's right for them. If anyone wants to discuss it in depth though, I'd be happy to start a dedicated thread we can all dive into.

The vast majority of all programs, including Windows, run perfectly without a pagefile. It is not best practice, nor is it common practice, for a program to absolutely require a pagefile to function. It is safe to disable the pagefile, and is something countless gamers and performance enthusiasts have done forever. However, there's always some developer out there that wants to be difficult, so we need solutions for those cases.

Windows gives you three options for the pagefile. It can be disabled, set to a static size (non-changing), or set to a dynamic size (adjusts automatically). Manually changing the pagefile through the Windows user interface is really easy, just follow this navigation:

Start > Settings > System > About > Advanced system settings > Advanced > Performance (Settings) > Advanced > Virtual memory

If you prefer registry keys instead (useful for integrating into an image or a post-install script), I made those options available below:

; Disable Pagefile
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 2048-2048 (2 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,32,00,30,00,34,00,38,00,20,00,32,\
00,30,00,34,00,38,00,00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 4096-4096 (4 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,34,00,30,00,39,00,36,00,20,00,34,\
00,30,00,39,00,36,00,00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 8192-8192 (8 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,38,00,31,00,39,00,32,00,20,00,38,\
00,31,00,39,00,32,00,00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 16384-16384 (16 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,31,00,36,00,33,00,38,00,34,00,20,\
00,31,00,36,00,33,00,38,00,34,00,00,00,00,00

; Static Pagefile 32768-32768 (32 GB)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
"PagingFiles"=hex(7):63,00,3A,00,5C,00,70,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,\
6C,00,65,00,2E,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,20,00,33,00,32,00,37,00,36,00,38,00,20,\
00,33,00,32,00,37,00,36,00,38,00,00,00,00,00

Note: I cannot recommend a dynamic pagefile (automatic) because it leads to unecessary fragmentation as it shrinks and expands. I also cannot guarantee these hex keys work on anything other than Windows 10, which is what this guide is written for. You will need to reboot after changing the pagefile.
In today's SSD use, there is no need to care about fragmentation.
 

Hellbovine

Well-Known Member
It's not just fragmentation you have to consider, it costs resources to adjust the pagefile too, it's a literal file that sits on the drive and it's not free, it has consequences in the form of overhead. If you need a pagefile, a static pagefile gives you the exact same functionality as auto, but without constantly adjusting the file on the disk. This is why I didn't want to dive into it here, because there's far more nuances to consider than just the regurgitated articles on the web.
 

garlin

Moderator
Staff member
Pagefile is absolutely required if you expect to capture BSOD (blue screen) dumps, to analyze why your device driver or kernel exception has crashed the system. Most people DGAF about it. It's well known Windows can run w/o any pagefile, but it's not the NEED for a pagefile that matters but you cannot increase virtual memory without a page file present. That's not how operating systems work.

Again, if you have a percentage-based resource allocation and it's not based on a fixed value -- how else are you going to adjust that setting?
 

garlin

Moderator
Staff member
On spinning disks, it's not so much fragmentation but inefficient disk seek if your pagefile wasn't allocated all at once. When Windows first installs, its creates a continuous pagefile so the probability of random seek is very small. If you assign or resize the pagefile later, on a "dirty" system then there's no guarantee the new pagefile's blocks are near each other. Thus increasing random seek.

Now if you have the crappiest 5400 RPM laptop drive, it matters more than a M2 SSD drive. These are all guidelines; without understanding OS design principles, you can always argue for one advice or another unless you know exactly how the system is built.
 

Hellbovine

Well-Known Member
I am interested in what everyone has to say, I'm open minded and will gladly go back to the drawing board and re-test things and do further research. I just don't want to keep discussing pagefile in this thread, because it will undoubtedly spawn many pages of replies since it has historically been a hot topic. Let's please continue over here:

https://www.ntlite.com/community/index.php?threads/pagefile.3099/
 
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Maitschl

New Member
Here I am again! In the meantime I was able to purchase a Windows 10 LTSC 2021 license and got a suitable ISO. What improvements do you think I could adopt from your guide?
 

Hellbovine

Well-Known Member
Here I am again! In the meantime I was able to purchase a Windows 10 LTSC 2021 license and got a suitable ISO. What improvements do you think I could adopt from your guide?
I've never used an LTSC version myself, but most, if not all of the registry keys should work still, since I designed everything around Home edition, which is the most difficult version to work with. It's unlikely you will come across something that works for Home edition, but doesn't work on others, as it's usually the other way around.

The big difference most people notice with LTSC versus Home/Pro is that it comes already stripped down quite a bit, so there isn't nearly as much stuff running in the background by default, compared to other editions, which just makes it easier and faster to tweak and reach a place you're satisfied with. The only real reason LTSC isn't more popular is just because of how difficult it is to acquire a legitimate copy.
 

Maitschl

New Member
Okay I'll try some of your tweaks.

LTSC just wasn't that hard to come by. The license cost me about $35. In my opinion Windows should only be sold like LTSC. Windows 10/11 by default are really a disaster.


Unfortunately you are right! For gaming you need Windows, because Linux is just not really suitable for it. Even though it has gotten better thanks to Proton, there are always problems with performance, stability and generally one has to hope that the game will run.
 
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