Tuning 500 clients


We have a customer who wants a tuning pack to run by their users when they need this. I thought that we can run Ccleaner with a script and Defragment.
This must run on Windows XP and Windows 7. Is somebody already having something similar?

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*** Hopeleonie ***IT ManagerAsked:
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arnoldConnect With a Mentor Commented:
defragment can be scheduled by GPO start up script using schtasks.

Not sure what is being asked here?
Could you be clearer?
Purging temp files?
purging user temp files?
purging stale profiles?

disk space issue/concern?
BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You say that your customer wants "a tuning pack to be run by their users when they need this".  I have to pose this question: How will the users know when a "tuning pack" is needed, or whether something else is going on such as a failing hard drive?

I think the expression "tuning pack" is a terrible expression.  It implies that a computer can be given a new lease of life by running a "fix-it" utility in the same way as changing the oil, air filter, spark plugs, etc in a car.  That's why utility suites like Norton Utilities and all these falsely advertised "Registry Optimizers" sell so well, but are not always the holy grail they are made out to be.

OK, so quite often a defrag will improve performance to some slight degree, and certainly deleting user %Temp% and Temporary Internet Files can improve the perceived speed of the computer and Internet activities, but when it goes deeper than that there are quite a few common misunderstandings that have been around for a long time, such as deleting all the "Prefetch" data in the mistaken belief that it is like a colonic irrigation and makes the computer feel a whole lot better.  It doesn't, it slows it down until the Prefetch cache is populated again.  You get the same notions about "defragging the swap file" being a wonderful cure for a slow computer.

I recently heard a work colleague guiding someone through the uninstallation of an Anti-Virus application and it hung at 100% without closing.  I couldn't believe my ears when I heard him say that the user was simultaneously running a defrag and had already uninstalled several large applications and clicked "cancel" to each as it had finished.  Unfortunately that's "users" for you, especially when guided by another "user" with only a bit more knowledge.

Used sensibly and with full knowledge of what each setting does, CCleaner is probably the best "cleaner" I know of because it rarely breaks anything on my systems.  With the default settings it goes deep enough to get rid of common clutter, but not so deep as to (usually) touch settings or files that could cripple Windows or the applications.  It can be controlled by a limited set of command line switches which makes it useful for a scheduled task, but what if that scheduled task kicks in while the user has 4 application windows and loads of unsaved data up?  They cancel it if allowed the option, and if not it loses them hours of work.

Defragging is, as arnold has indicated above, something that really should be scheduled for downtime when it will be more thorough.

I'm not having a go at you personally, just wondering how a company (your client) feels that it would be a good thing for its users to decide when a "CCleaner and Defrag" would be beneficial.

johnb6767Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Well said (as always) by Bill.

I had done some research on Slow Systems for my company, and what I ended up was not with a "Tuning" script, but more of a "Reconfiguration" script.

It does the following....

Disables unneeded services.
Includes various HKCU registry settings to optimize app shutdowns (GPO can certainly be used)
Includes various HKLM registry settings to optimize overall performance  (GPO can certainly be used)
Disables unneeded hardware
Changes Network Provider Order
Enables netbios/tcpip on all connections
Removes clutter from the user/global start-up.
Adds CCleaner/Defraggler to the Start Menu/System Drives

I am not saying this to provide you with the script, but to reinforce the comments by BillDL. I don't think you will be doing your client a good service by giving users the tools to do this (first of all, allot of tools wont run without Admin Rights). It would be a better service for your client to get to the root cause of performance problems, and make the changes accordingly. Optimize the OS so that they do run at peak performance, with some maintenance tasks handled on it's own....

I think you would get a much better result from this type of approach than letting the users do this on their own.....

Plus you get to be the hero for making everyone more efficient...... If you would like to go this route, I would be happy to work to help identify issues with you (I am sure we all will)....

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*** Hopeleonie ***IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
First of all, thanks to you all for taking time to answer. Our customer needs this and we have to do this for them. Because the customer is the King.

Defragment scheduled via GPO is a good solution. We have a customer who wants a tuning pack for there users to run, when the computer becomes slow. Do you recommend Windows Disk cleaner to run also via GPO. Is it possible? But we have also a problem when we schedule this, because the user may want to work exactly at this time. We made bad experience with Antivirus scheduled scan.
We just need to delete … %Temp% and Temporary Internet Files etc.

This is not my company; we just give support for companies like this. Now when a computer is slow they call us. We go and clean there temp files, Disables unneeded services and defragment and come. They want to automate this process. The Manager has told there users to run first the so called “tuning package” and call us only if it doesn’t help. I’m working with Ccleaner and it’s also the best Tool I know. Because of that I asked if it’s possible to run it in command line with default settings (just to clean temp files). We don’t want to use other parts of the Tool. The users will run this Task from Altiris, and it must be run silently.

Very specially thanks for your good advices.


Hi john, didn’t know a name to give. Because of that I called it “tuning pack”. We really need what you mean.
arnoldConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The main point @billdl you have to know the cause for the slowdown.
If the user opens more applications that the available memory in the system, there is nothing you can do to improve the performance.
Adding memory/increasing paging file might be what is needed.

Unless the user is a local administrator/power user they will not be able to make changes to the system.

Using roaming user profiles/folder redirection will limit how much data accumulates on the local PC.

The slowdowns experienced could have nothing to do with the workstation the user is working on but with the external resources the user's application needs.
i.e. database backend, etc. that is overloaded, the network that is being saturated etc.

The items I outlined are a generic/simple fix that can be done, but it does not guarantee the fix for what might be going on in a specific case.

Scheduling tasks should be based on estimated usage.
i.e. defrag near the lunch hour period. etc.
The deletion of temp files can be done on boot or on logon.
startup script to delete all thing in %temp%
on logon delete all thing in %temp% which would often be equivalent based on the OS xp/windows 7 %userprofile%\local settings\temp or %userpfrofile%\local\temp
johnb6767Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Ok, what you need to do (and you might not like this from a business perspective, unless you can bill for ALL of it), but I would spend some time researching with a few of the users and see EXACTLY what is slow. Make a plan to optimize the systems....

Check out the services....

Black Viper’s Windows XP x86 (32-bit) Service Pack 3 Service Configurations

See what you can trim out. Research them, and trim out all you absolutely dont need. If there are some you arent sure about, test, test  and retest. Script them out so you can deploy to all machines.

Search for tweaks. Ill post a handful that I have found helpful (tomorrow), but you really need to find out exactly what is slow, and go from there. But make the baseline better, dont just shoot for a quick fix.....

And Arnold is absolutley right as well. On all points. You can implement all of those suggestions in an ongoing task/script.....
BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Looking forward to reading your tweaks John, just to compare with my own.

hopeleonie, it may well be that John will suggest this in the info he will post later, but I'm just going to mention it now.  It will probably will be the case that your client's users may be resilient to the change, but the biggest single "tweak" (or actually several similar "tweaks") you can make to any Windows computer is to set everything to as "classic" a display as possible.

It is a corporate environment where IT can enforce things, but if the users are complaining about slow computers and really want them faster, then rather than enforcing changes it should be done in a cooperative way.

- Windows Explorer Thumbnail View is a hog, and Details view will speed up browsing folders.
- Limit the columns displayed in Windows Explorer to only those that are useful to the nature of the business.
- Replace the users' wallpaper with bare colour or a small, quick-loading shared company logo.  Redrawing the massive BMP wallpaper of the family in Hawaii each time the desktop refreshes is a waste of resources.
- Discourage the storing of files and folders on the desktop where possible and get them into proper folders.
- Disable all except important sound events.
- Disable all unnecessary fancy visual animations.  System Properties > Advanced tab > click "Settings" button under "Performance" tab.  Maybe just leave "show window contents when dragging" and "smooth screen fonts".  The users don't need to see the application window flying down to the taskbar when minimized.  None of us do.
- Control Panel > Mouse.  Enhance pointer precision - set slightly "faster" and disable "pointer trails".

Settings for these are in:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
(set "MenuShowDelay to 190 or 200 for faster menus)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse
(Set "MouseHoverTime" to 200 milliseconds)
Loads of tweaks in these keys:

Most (maybe all) of these will be enforcable as "policies", but what I am suggesting is that you perhaps demonstrate to the client how much faster one example workstation will (perceptively in some cases) run with "Windows Classic" appearance and little or no unnecessary visual eye candy, and perhaps they might realise that it's not all about temp file clutter and defragging.

Changes like this will always be met with resilience by the ignorant though.
johnb6767Connect With a Mentor Commented:

I consolidated a few of my recent and my old ones... I do NOT use this one on my current builds, as I use one more consolidated. But Ther were alot of things in there that I just liked to have, so I provided them as a reference. There are also a few that were debunked, just left them in there to emphasize the comment above on them....

There might even be a handful of them that have since been debunked. a few I never really tested thoroughly.

Not all of these are designed to increase performance, but added functinality, or enforced a setting that I wanted.

Theres also a section to show you how to load the Default User Profile....

If I can make a few suggestions on what you should focus on though.....

Startup Entries/Services.

Trim them out, and either enforce it via this "Tune Up" script or via GPO. You can save several hundred MB of used memory on bootup. This will also release the amount of open handles/threads running.....

Easy way to figure out what GPO coincides with one of these tweaks, is to google the value. MS' Core Services will usually be at the top, and will show what policy it covers....

If you have any questions, I would be glad to answer them....

And this goes without warning, but DO NOT RUN THIS AS IT IS. I CANNOT GAURUNTEE THAT IT WILL NOT JACK YOUR SYSTEM UP. It needs to be customized....

johnb6767Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Also.... Use Free software. Examples....

Instead of the bloated Nero/Roxio CD/DVD authoring suites, use CDBurnerXP
Instead of the clunky Windows Media Player, use VLC.
Instead of the clunky Norton/McAfee, use Microsoft Security Essentials. (Free up to 10 systems, even for Business Use)

johnb6767Connect With a Mentor Commented:
And to add to Bill's above.....

HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop

Another area you can tweak some minor appearance settings....
*** Hopeleonie ***IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Hi all

I was abroad for business matters. So I was offline and now back.
Really got some great information from you all! Will award points, but just only have 500.

Thanks to all again!
Have a nice day.
Thank you hopeleonie.
Hope you can get some use out of the information posted.... Good luck....
*** Hopeleonie ***IT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Hi Genius Experts

I want to thank you all again. Really got some obtain valuable information’s form you Genius Experts. I’m young but could argue a lot with your points in the meeting. Pity that I could not give more points to you all!

Have a nice weekend
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