Enterprise Software

Tech Tip: Fine-tune your system with these registry edits


As you know, editing the registry is a serious undertaking and potentially risky. However, if you use caution when working with the registry, you can enhance both the appearance and performance of your system. Here are four registry tweaks to try.

Change the system font

It's easy to change the system font installed on your NT system. Import the registry change below, and modify "vgasys.fon" to the font name you wish to display. Make sure the font name has the .fon file extension.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\
CurrentVersion\GRE_Initialize]

"FONTS.FON"="vgasys.fon"

Speed up NTFS performance

When browsing a directory on an NTFS volume, the system updates the LastAccess time stamp for every directory detected. But with a large number of directories, updating can take a very long time.

To disable the update, make the following registry change:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\
FileSystem]

"NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate"=dword:00000001

Load balance your network cards

If you have multiple NIC cards using the same wire (Ethernet or Token Ring), you may want to load balance the communications on the cards. Importing the following registry changes to your system can accomplish this:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\
NetBT\Parameters]

"RandomAdapter"=dword:00000001
"SingleResponse"=dword:00000001

Changing the values to 0 disables this ability.

Zero out the page file on shutdown

When you shut down your NT machine, the page file retains anything that the system stored during its last access. This can become a security problem if someone gains access to the page file.

To make the inactive pages in the page file fill with zeros, import the following change to your registry:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\
Session Manager\Memory Management]
"ClearPageFileAtShutdown"=dword:00000001

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before saving any changes.