Videoguys' Windows XP Tips & Tricks for Video Editing

Videoguys recommends Windows XP Professional as the most stable PC operating system for most video editing software and hardware available today.

Read our Windows XP Tips and Tricks for:

1. Videoguys Top WinXP tips
2. WinXP Cool Extras
3. WinXP Issues
4. David LaBorde's TWEAKS for Windows XP for Video Editing (v 1.0)
5. David LaBorde's Windows XP TWEAKS / Optimization for Video Editing Systems

Videoguys' Top Windows XP Tips

  1. Make sure you have Win XP drivers for ALL your hardware and software.
    The key word here is ALL. It only takes one outdated or not ready for XP driver to kill your XP systems performance. Worse yet, you could crash or lock up. You really want to do your homework BEFORE you install XP. Here are a few steps that will take some time, but save you hours of frustration in the long run:
    • Go to your motherboard vendor's website and make sure you are running a chipset and BIOS that will support XP.
    • If necessary update your BIOS before doing anything else.
    • Make sure your graphics, sound, network, mass storage controller and modem all have WinXP drivers. Get these drivers from the Vendors websites directly. We do not recommend letting WInXP install it's own drivers. These may be fine for websurfing and spreadsheets, but desk top video demands maximum performance.
    • Get your system up and running with ALL drivers approved for XP.
    • Get the latest WinXP drivers for your video editing gear.
    • If there isn't an official driver for XP yet, check and see how other users are gettting along with the old Win2K driver or new XP beta drivers. Only experienced users should try this.
  2. You need to login to Windows XP as the Power-User or Administrator
    In order to install and or run most of our products. We recommend setting up a Power User account. Here is how to create a Power User Account:
    • Right-click My Computer, Choose Manage , Click system tools , Click Local Users and Groups
    • Right-click Users, and then choose New User from the Context menu.
    • New user Dialog, Type info, Click Create, then click Close.
    • Click Users , Double-click New User Icon, The Username properties dialog box appears.
    • Click the Member Of tab, and Click Add
    • Type in Power Users, then Click the Check Names button
    • Click OK.

      Adding Special Privileges to the Power User Account:
    • Control Panel>Performance and Maintenance>Administrative Tools
    • Double Click Local Security Policy, Click on Local Policies, Double Click User Rights Assignment, Double click Increasing Scheduling Priority.
    • Click Add User or Group button, Type the name of the User that you want to be able to access XPDV, Click Check names , Click OK, Click OK again.
  3. Windows XP needs lots of RAM. We recommend a minimum of 1GB, and with RAM so cheap, get 4GB!
  4. Give your video editing software full use of your system resources. Windows XP allows you to give programs priority for processor and memory usage. Here is how you do it.
    • Right-click on the My Computer icon, select Advances, click the Performance "Settings" button, you'll see a new tab Visual Effects and then An Advanced tab.
    • Click Advanced tab and you will notice A section that says Processor Scheduling and Memory usage.
    • In the Processor scheduling select Programs (for Best Performance). This gives priority for running programs.
    • Now on Memory usage select Programs. Again this gives programs priority to run programs from you memory.
    • Now hit Apply and go to item #5 before closing out and re-booting.
  5. Make sure Visual Effects are set to "Best Performance." Visual Effects are the fancy new animations XP uses for opening and closing windows and dialog boxes on your VGA screen. These effects waste valuable system resources and they can conflict with the XDV GUI. Here is how to turn them off.
    • Right-click on the My Computer icon, select Advances, click the Performance "Settings" button, you'll see a new tab Visual Effects and then An Advanced tab.
    • Click the Visual Effects tab. Once there select adjust for best performance. This will allow the best format for processing performance of your video desktop display.
    • Once completed hit Apply and proceed to close out and reboot (select yes) if prompted to.
  6. Enable Clear Type. This makes a noticeable impact on 2D performance and the view is great. Contrary to some reports it is not designed just for LCD screens. To turn this on:
    • Right click on a blank area of the Desktop and choose Properties -Click on the Appearance Tab
    • Click Effects - Check the box: Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts.
    • In the drop down box select: Clear Type.

Cool Windows XP Extras

  1. Windows XP Tip: Device Driver Rollback
  2. One of XP's new features is the Device Driver Rollback. With this feature you finally have the option to quickly go back to a previous version of a device driver if the updated driver causes problems. When you update a driver, the old one will be saved to a special directory in Windows. You won't have the option to roll back a driver if you've never updated it. Since every device has the ability to roll back its driver, you're going to need to access your Device Manager to do this. Here's how to access the Driver Rollback feature for a particular device inside the Device Manager:
  • Left-click the Start menu and then select Control Panel.
  • Double-click the Performance and Maintenance icon.
  • Double-click the System icon.
  • Click the Hardware tab.
  • Click the Device Manager button to open the Device Manager.
  • Expand the device menu you'd like to roll back.
  • Locate the device you'd like to roll back and double-click it to bring up its properties.
  • When you launch the properties for a particular device, click on the Driver tab.
  • Click the button labeled "Roll Back Driver" to complete the process.
  • TWELVE handy shortcuts you can type into your XP run menu to get the utilities you want and need.
    1. compmgmt.msc - Computer management
    2. devmgmt.msc - Device manager
    3. diskmgmt.msc - Disk management
    4. dfrg.msc - Disk defrag
    5. eventvwr.msc - Event viewer
    6. fsmgmt.msc - Shared folders
    7. gpedit.msc - Group policies
    8. lusrmgr.msc - Local users and groups
    9. perfmon.msc - Performance monitor
    10. rsop.msc - Resultant set of policies
    11. secpol.msc - Local security settings
    12. services.msc - Services
  • Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP. PowerToys are additional programs that developers work on after a product has been released to manufacturing. They add fun and functionality to the Windows experience!
    • Super-Fast User Switcher - With this PowerToy you can switch between users without having to go through the Logon screen.
    • Open Command Window Here - This PowerToy adds an "Open Command Window Here" context menu option on file system folders, giving you a quick way to open a command window (cmd.exe) pointing at the selected folder.
    • Alt-Tab Replacement - With this PowerToy, in addition to seeing the icon of the application window you are switching to, you will also see a preview of the page. This helps particularly when multiple sessions of an application are open.
    • Tweak UI - This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.
    • Power Calculator - With this PowerToy you can graph and evaluate functions as well as perform many different types of conversions.
    • Image Resizer - This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click.
    • CD Slide Show Generator - With this PowerToy you can view images burned to a CD as a slide show. The Generator works downlevel on Windows 9x machines as well.
    • Virtual Desktop Manager - Manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar with this PowerToy.
    • Taskbar Magnifier - Use this PowerToy to magnify part of the screen from the taskbar.
    • HTML Slide Show Wizard - This wizard helps you create an HTML slide show of your digital pictures, ready to place on your Web site.
    • Webcam Timershot - This PowerToy lets you take pictures at specified time intervals from a Webcam connected to your computer and save them to a location that you designate.

      Download PowerToys here

  • Windows XP Issues

    1. WinXp product activation is no big deal. When XP first started shipping there was lots of talk about the product activation. We feel this is a non-issue. Activating WinXP is a painless process. If you rebuild your computer often, or add and remove hardware several times, you may have a small problem re-activating WinXP. If this happens a quick call into Microsoft will get you a new activation code with little or no hassle at all.
    2. Don't upgrade over your old OS, install fresh.
    3. Yes, this will take more time and require you to re-format your hard drive and re-install all your hardware and software. DO IT! Back up all your important files and data first. Just as with the past 3 OS releases, upgrading your existing system is nothing but bad news for digital videographers.
    4. We have seen that almost half of the tech support problems our users are running into are graphic card related. You need to make sure that you are running the very latest OEM drivers with XP support for your card. Almost every graphic card on the market is now based on technology from the big 3 players - NVidia, ATI & Matrox. Find out which chipset is in your card and go to these sites to download the latest drivers.

    Dave Laborde's TWEAKS for Windows XP for Video Editing

    The following link is to the WinXP tweaks that were provided by Dave Laborde. I reformatted his Word doc into an easier to read and faster to download html page. You will also notice that some of our top windows tweaks listed above are from this document. Dave is a Videoguys customer and is very active on several user group message boards. Thanx a million Dave! Click here for Dave's WinXP TWEAKS

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