XP services that can be safely turned off

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davesieg
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2007/12/11 12:53:01 (permalink)

XP services that can be safely turned off

I have a system I have dedicated to just run Sonar 7PE.
It won't be connected to the Internet or even my local ethernet.
I am experiencing random clicks and pops in playback and I would like to
turn off as many of the windows services that I won't be using anyway.
Does anybody have a list of services that can safely be turned off to try
and stop random things from interrupting smooth playback on a DAW?

Sonar 7PE, AMD Athlon XP 1.5Ghz, MSI-6712 ATX MoBo, 1GB RAM, 320GB EIDE drive, 2x Aardvark AAark-24 I/O, Win XP Pro SP2, Tascam MX-1600, 2x Mackie HR-824
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    Jose7822
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 13:03:42 (permalink)
    Hey there!

    Have you tried this yet?

    http://www.musicxp.net/dnn/TuningTips/tabid/59/ctl/Login/Default.aspx?returnurl=%2fdnn%2ftabid%2f59%2fDefault.aspx

    I would start with that. All you have to do is sign up (free) to get their tips on tunning Winbdows XP (assuming that's whay you're using). After that, I would start testing with different buffers/latencies to see what's optimal with your system.


    HTH
    post edited by Jose7822 - 2007/12/11 13:17:28
    #2
    Oaf_Topik
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 13:05:52 (permalink)
    #3
    RLD
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 13:38:09 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: davesieg

    I have a system I have dedicated to just run Sonar 7PE.
    It won't be connected to the Internet or even my local ethernet.
    I am experiencing random clicks and pops in playback and I would like to
    turn off as many of the windows services that I won't be using anyway.
    Does anybody have a list of services that can safely be turned off to try
    and stop random things from interrupting smooth playback on a DAW?



    I'd look for some other reason for your pops and clicks.
    There seems to be a urban myth about turning off these services.
    Someone did a test a while back and came to the conclusion it made little difference and can potentially cause more trouble.
    I've done them in the past, but didn't on my last system and have no problems.
    #4
    Houndawg
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 13:49:08 (permalink)
    See this article by Martin Walker from Sound On Sound, especially the last two paragraphs.

    XP Tweaks For Music


    hounDAWg

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    #5
    davesieg
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 14:04:51 (permalink)
    Wow! This forum rocks! Looks like I've got a lot of reading/experimenting/testing to do.
    If I have any luck I'll report back on what made a difference!
    Thanks!

    Sonar 7PE, AMD Athlon XP 1.5Ghz, MSI-6712 ATX MoBo, 1GB RAM, 320GB EIDE drive, 2x Aardvark AAark-24 I/O, Win XP Pro SP2, Tascam MX-1600, 2x Mackie HR-824
    #6
    KevinD
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 14:09:12 (permalink)
    You can always check out the task manager and see what's running. Most services that are required run very light in background. AV, Adobe's auto=updater and a few others are to look out for and you can close those out.

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    #7
    ChristopherM
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 14:11:47 (permalink)
    I'd look for some other reason for your pops and clicks.
    There seems to be a urban myth about turning off these services.


    +1

    Assuming that you have ruled out the usual prime suspects around audio latency and disk buffers, I'd suspect PCI bus hogging (by a rogue video card or a network card) or perhaps look out for your audio card being forced to share a physical IRQ with something incompatible (typ. video card). I have never found disabling services to make any difference. (I presume here that you have no really out of the ordinary services running).

    Edit - I assume that your sig is current and you do not have a multi-core processor: otherwise, I 'd suggest that you also looked for issues around multi-core scheduling.
    post edited by ChristopherM - 2007/12/11 14:26:22
    #8
    Oaf_Topik
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 14:28:17 (permalink)
    Also turn everything off in the start-up menu (Run - msconfig - start up tab)
    #9
    PH68
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 16:12:14 (permalink)
    All I've ever done is turn off the windows sounds and, when running Sonar, turn off the wireless aerial.
    Otherwise it's a bog-standard XP+SP2

    Never had any issues.

    ~ Cakewalk ~ Arturia ~ Waves ~ Overloud ~ Windows ~
    #10
    Jose7822
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 17:06:27 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: Oaf_Topik

    Also turn everything off in the start-up menu (Run - msconfig - start up tab)



    Be carefull about this though. You do want some things enabled here just make sure you know what they do.

    Take care!
    #11
    Rbh
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 19:34:30 (permalink)
    The single most important is the back ground services tweak. There are general configurations that were critical when dealing with the p3 1 to 2 gig speed processors and underpowered graphics drivers. Some are general house keeping sort of things. It's always good to make only the modifications neccessary so that you don't cut something critical out from under XP. It'll basically let you know what that is, if it's able.

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    #12
    Oaf_Topik
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 19:49:06 (permalink)
    Be carefull about this though. You do want some things enabled here just make sure you know what they do.


    You really don't need anything running on start up, if you're only using your computer to record.

    Maybe Battery Backup software, if you want your system to be backed up when your not there, but not necessary if you are in front of your DAW.

    If you use the computer for the Internet you might want Virus Protection software running, but you could always enable/disable that manually.

    I have nothing in my start up folder and my machine works great.
    #13
    tdye
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/11 20:29:06 (permalink)
    I use a product called "The Ultimate Troubleshooter" which I purchased at www.AnswersThatWork.com. I have found it to be really useful in cleaning up my PC and fine-tuning it. It is easy to use and easy to understand. They have a demo version so you can check it out without buying it. Although its cheep at only $29.95 (US Dollars) for a single license.

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    #14
    ChristopherM
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/12 03:48:45 (permalink)
    I have nothing in my start up folder and my machine works great.

    In fact, most start-up items run from places other than the Start Up folder - mainly, registry entries are used. MSCONFIG is the best tool to use to see what is starting up and it can also be used selectively to disable any item.
    #15
    Jose7822
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/12 12:03:16 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: Oaf_Topik

    Be carefull about this though. You do want some things enabled here just make sure you know what they do.


    I have nothing in my start up folder and my machine works great.




    That's because you don't have a Fireface and Total Mix, nor an Alpha Track. They all run in the background while I'm using Sonar and they are all needed for DAW work .


    Take care!
    #16
    Oaf_Topik
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/12 12:56:14 (permalink)
    That's because you don't have a Fireface and Total Mix, nor an Alpha Track. They all run in the background while I'm using Sonar and they are all needed for DAW work .



    Live and learn.
    #17
    epillarbox
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/12 13:17:09 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Houndawg

    See this article by Martin Walker from Sound On Sound, especially the last two paragraphs.

    XP Tweaks For Music



    Interesting. I also spotted this bit which was news to me:



    Change Processor Scheduling to 'Background Services'

    Navigate to the Advanced page of the System applet. Click on the Performance Settings button, select its Advanced tab and click on 'Background Services' for Processor Scheduling (see top pair of screens).
    pcmusician 2
    This is one of the few essential Windows XP tweaks, since it benefits the performance of ASIO drivers, which run as background tasks.

    For anyone using ASIO drivers (and nowadays that includes just about every PC musician), this is the most essential tweak of all, because ASIO drivers run as background services in Windows. Music software and hardware developers Steinberg rely on this setting to ensure low latency without dropouts, and you may be able to run your audio interface at a significantly lower latency after this tweak.



    So I did this. Result was ghastly on my system (my profile for details if you're interested) so I suppose the moral is to try out tweaks one by one and test their impact one at a time.

    Thanks for the link, though.

    Laurence


    edited for typo
    post edited by epillarbox - 2007/12/12 13:31:05
    #18
    John
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/12 13:51:00 (permalink)
    In fact, most start-up items run from places other than the Start Up folder - mainly, registry entries are used. MSCONFIG is the best tool to use to see what is starting up and it can also be used selectively to disable any item.

    Not really. It is OK if thats all you got but MS has a neat utility called Autorun. This can deal with everything. It is not a tool that one uses indiscriminately but it will stop stuff you don't need running.

    It and other such tools can be found Here BTW they are all free and they are written by Microsoft people.

    Best
    John
    #19
    ChristopherM
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/13 06:07:56 (permalink)
    It is not a tool that one uses indiscriminately
    Wow - that's comprehensive, to say the least. Your advice is wise, I'm sure!

    ... but I must say, even my warped sense of humour is not good for "Bluescreen".
    post edited by ChristopherM - 2007/12/13 06:22:04
    #20
    Noel Borthwick [Cakewalk]
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/13 08:21:29 (permalink)
    I don't recommend this. Setting the sheduling to background for "better performance" with drivers is a myth. At best this is masking a real problem with the driver. All this does is change the quanta for the timeslice assigned by the windows scheduler. By making the time slice longer you are potentially setting up a scenario where the high priority audio threads in the host application might be denied frequent enough servicing by the scheduler! This might actually result in more dropouts or clicks.

    Here is a quote from an MSDN article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308417

    • If you click Programs, the foreground program runs more smoothly and responds more quickly. If you want a background task such as a Backup utility to run faster, click Background services.
    • The Programs option allocates short, variable time slices (quanta) to running programs, and the Background services option assigns long, fixed quanta.


    Contrarary to the SOS article that says "this is the most essential tweak of all, because ASIO drivers run as background services in Windows." An ASIO driver is just another a dll running in the process memory space, its NOT a background service - at least not typically. I've never seen an ASIO driver that installs an actual Windows service (you would see that in the services view otherwise). Its just a DLL running a user mode thread to service the audio device and asio callbacks. The thread is no different from the threads that run in the host application itself. If the driver is coded to have the thread priority set to time critical and its thread is not being blocked by something else there should be no need to change this setting. i.e. for the few people this "helps" its likely that all its doing is masking another more fundamental problem.
    Additionally setting the sheduling to background is allowing ALL other background tasks on your computer to get a longer timeslice - i.e some other windows service or background application is now more likely might to start interfering with the host task.

    ORIGINAL: epillarbox

    Interesting. I also spotted this bit which was news to me:

    Change Processor Scheduling to 'Background Services'

    Navigate to the Advanced page of the System applet. Click on the Performance Settings button, select its Advanced tab and click on 'Background Services' for Processor Scheduling (see top pair of screens).
    pcmusician 2
    This is one of the few essential Windows XP tweaks, since it benefits the performance of ASIO drivers, which run as background tasks.

    For anyone using ASIO drivers (and nowadays that includes just about every PC musician), this is the most essential tweak of all, because ASIO drivers run as background services in Windows. Music software and hardware developers Steinberg rely on this setting to ensure low latency without dropouts, and you may be able to run your audio interface at a significantly lower latency after this tweak.


    So I did this. Result was ghastly on my system (my profile for details if you're interested) so I suppose the moral is to try out tweaks one by one and test their impact one at a time.

    Thanks for the link, though.

    Laurence


    edited for typo

    post edited by Noel Borthwick [Cakewalk] - 2007/12/13 08:38:44

    Noel Borthwick
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    #21
    epillarbox
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/13 08:34:30 (permalink)
    Noel, thanks for your detailed contribution here. It's reassuring to have my empirical view endorsed by solid technical expertise.

    Laurence
    #22
    Jose7822
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/13 09:34:07 (permalink)
    Wow, and all this time I thought this was a major tweak. Thanks so much for clearing that one up Noel!

    Take care!


    EDIT: This merits a run through the Sonar Benchmark test. Hopefully I'll see some improvements.
    post edited by Jose7822 - 2007/12/13 09:48:39
    #23
    jm24
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2007/12/13 10:47:55 (permalink)

    Recently I changed motherboards and had lots of trouble getting the audio interface on its own IRQ. I was getting an occasional drop-out. So I went hunting.

    So, after doing all the winodws things (set restore points often) do the IRQ thing.

    BIOS setup: disable all devices not used: on-board audio, serial ports, parallel port, USB, non-used drive channels: SATA, IDE,..... Some BIOS have a setting to disable polling of unused RAMM slots. And so on.

    I only one USB device: A USB 1.0 midi interface, and do not use a usb mouse/keyboard, so I disabled usb legacy and usb 2.0.
    Then in windows I disabled all USB ports that were not in use.

    I was then, finally, able to get the sound card on its own IRQ.

    J


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    #24
    Houndawg
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2008/01/01 14:30:42 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: Jose7822

    Wow, and all this time I thought this was a major tweak. Thanks so much for clearing that one up Noel!

    Take care!


    EDIT: This merits a run through the Sonar Benchmark test. Hopefully I'll see some improvements.


    Jose,

    Done any benchmarks with and without this tweak?

    hounDAWg

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    #25
    Jose7822
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2008/01/01 16:09:11 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: Houndawg


    ORIGINAL: Jose7822

    Wow, and all this time I thought this was a major tweak. Thanks so much for clearing that one up Noel!

    Take care!


    EDIT: This merits a run through the Sonar Benchmark test. Hopefully I'll see some improvements.


    Jose,

    Done any benchmarks with and without this tweak?



    Hey Houndawg!

    First of all, Happy New Year! I hope you had a great time on New Year's Eve.

    Now, to answer your question, I did try Noel's suggestion and noticed a slight improvement setting Processor Scheduling to Programs. I was only able to squeeze out two extra Multiband Compressors before any glitches or droputs against having the Scheduling set to Background Services. It's small but an improvement nontheless, so I'll take it . Unfortunately, I also noticed that my dual monitor setup came at a higher price since, with the higher monitor resolution, the number of MC plugs I was able to get before dropped a bit. I like the new resolution though so I'll just live with it. Give it a try and tell us how it went for you.

    Take care!
    #26
    tarsier
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2008/10/18 14:26:05 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Noel Borthwick [Cakewalk]
    I don't recommend this. Setting the sheduling to background for "better performance" with drivers is a myth. At best this is masking a real problem with the driver. All this does is change the quanta for the timeslice assigned by the windows scheduler. By making the time slice longer you are potentially setting up a scenario where the high priority audio threads in the host application might be denied frequent enough servicing by the scheduler! This might actually result in more dropouts or clicks.

    Here is a quote from an MSDN article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308417

    • If you click Programs, the foreground program runs more smoothly and responds more quickly. If you want a background task such as a Backup utility to run faster, click Background services.
    • The Programs option allocates short, variable time slices (quanta) to running programs, and the Background services option assigns long, fixed quanta.


    Contrarary to the SOS article that says "this is the most essential tweak of all, because ASIO drivers run as background services in Windows." An ASIO driver is just another a dll running in the process memory space, its NOT a background service - at least not typically. I've never seen an ASIO driver that installs an actual Windows service (you would see that in the services view otherwise). Its just a DLL running a user mode thread to service the audio device and asio callbacks. The thread is no different from the threads that run in the host application itself. If the driver is coded to have the thread priority set to time critical and its thread is not being blocked by something else there should be no need to change this setting. i.e. for the few people this "helps" its likely that all its doing is masking another more fundamental problem.
    Additionally setting the sheduling to background is allowing ALL other background tasks on your computer to get a longer timeslice - i.e some other windows service or background application is now more likely might to start interfering with the host task.


    I just had to bump this, since EQ mag just repeated the background services myth that Noel busted here.
    #27
    slartabartfast
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2008/10/18 19:27:35 (permalink)
    You do not say what type of material is having dropouts. But your sig seems to indicate you are running an AMD 1.5 ghz processor, 1 GB of ram and a single hard drive. If you are running a demanding project on that hardware, you may not have to look very far for the source of clicks and pops. Freezing tracks might be more useful than operating system tweaks.
    #28
    WDI
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    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2008/10/19 02:27:40 (permalink)
    Original:Noel Borthwick [Cakewalk]

    I don't recommend this. Setting the sheduling to background for "better performance" with drivers is a myth. At best this is masking a real problem with the driver. All this does is change the quanta for the timeslice assigned by the windows scheduler. By making the time slice longer you are potentially setting up a scenario where the high priority audio threads in the host application might be denied frequent enough servicing by the scheduler! This might actually result in more dropouts or clicks.

    Here is a quote from an MSDN article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308417

    • If you click Programs, the foreground program runs more smoothly and responds more quickly. If you want a background task such as a Backup utility to run faster, click Background services.
    • The Programs option allocates short, variable time slices (quanta) to running programs, and the Background services option assigns long, fixed quanta.


    Contrarary to the SOS article that says "this is the most essential tweak of all, because ASIO drivers run as background services in Windows." An ASIO driver is just another a dll running in the process memory space, its NOT a background service - at least not typically. I've never seen an ASIO driver that installs an actual Windows service (you would see that in the services view otherwise). Its just a DLL running a user mode thread to service the audio device and asio callbacks. The thread is no different from the threads that run in the host application itself. If the driver is coded to have the thread priority set to time critical and its thread is not being blocked by something else there should be no need to change this setting. i.e. for the few people this "helps" its likely that all its doing is masking another more fundamental problem.
    Additionally setting the sheduling to background is allowing ALL other background tasks on your computer to get a longer timeslice - i.e some other windows service or background application is now more likely might to start interfering with the host task.

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: epillarbox

    Interesting. I also spotted this bit which was news to me:

    Change Processor Scheduling to 'Background Services'

    Navigate to the Advanced page of the System applet. Click on the Performance Settings button, select its Advanced tab and click on 'Background Services' for Processor Scheduling (see top pair of screens).
    pcmusician 2
    This is one of the few essential Windows XP tweaks, since it benefits the performance of ASIO drivers, which run as background tasks.

    For anyone using ASIO drivers (and nowadays that includes just about every PC musician), this is the most essential tweak of all, because ASIO drivers run as background services in Windows. Music software and hardware developers Steinberg rely on this setting to ensure low latency without dropouts, and you may be able to run your audio interface at a significantly lower latency after this tweak.


    So I did this. Result was ghastly on my system (my profile for details if you're interested) so I suppose the moral is to try out tweaks one by one and test their impact one at a time.

    Thanks for the link, though.

    Laurence



    edited for typo



    < Message edited by Noel Borthwick [Cakewalk] -- 12/13/2007 8:38:44 AM >

    _____________________________

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    CTO, Cakewalk
    CD - A New Leaf


    OK, here's where things gets confusing. The following text in bold italics was copied directly from the instructions for setting up the Edirol FA-66 provided by Edirol included in the download file for the drivers from Edirol website ( http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.aspx?dsection=d_downloads&ObjectId=731 ). I'm using the FA-66 Driver Version 1.0.2 for Windows XP 32-Bit Edition. Extract all and click the Readme_E.htm.


    Before you begin
    "Performance Options" settings of System Properties
    Our tests show that occasional disruptions in the sound may occur if the following setting is not made. By making this setting, you may be able to alleviate the problem. Please be sure to make the setting before using the unit.

    Open the "Control Panel," and double-click "System." * If the above icon cannot be found, click the "Performance and Maintenance," and click the "System."

    Click the "Advanced" tab, and then click [Settings] in "Performance."
    Click the "Advanced" tab.
    Select "Background services," and click [OK].

    Click [OK] to close "System Properties."


    I believe this is exactly the same unit as Cakewalks SPS-66 sold with SONAR POWER STUDIO 660. Also note that Edirol is part of Roland just as Cakewalk is now a part of Roland. I'm not trying to dismiss what Noel is saying. In fact I never set my processor scheduling for background services. However, it can be really confusing seeing two sources saying completely different things.

    Perhaps I'm not understanding the issue? Or perhaps it's interface dependent?
    post edited by WDI - 2008/10/19 02:35:15

    Sonar 7 PE
    Windows XP Pofessional (SP3)
    MSI K8N Neo4-F
    AMD Athlon 64 3500+
    2 GB PC 3200 Ram
    RME Fireface 800
    Edirol FA-66
    CM Labs MotorMix

    Old stuff: ARJO
    #29
    WDI
    Max Output Level: -54.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2069
    • Joined: 2007/08/28 02:31:11
    • Status: offline
    RE: XP services that can be safely turned off 2008/10/19 02:43:36 (permalink)
    And this leads me to another point. If cakewalk would just come out with specifications for a couple systems known to work (motherboard and all the other hardware including the audio interface) including how to set up the operating system for optimal performance Cakewalk might see many of the negative posts on this forum go away. Personally, I'm lucky as my current system runs very stable. However, my previous system I could not get to work for the life of me (and I was working in IT setting up computer systems at the time).

    However, no one wants to take responsibility for doing this I guess. I mean, you could just add some kind of disclaimer that you would not be held responsible for any problems.
    post edited by WDI - 2008/10/19 03:08:51

    Sonar 7 PE
    Windows XP Pofessional (SP3)
    MSI K8N Neo4-F
    AMD Athlon 64 3500+
    2 GB PC 3200 Ram
    RME Fireface 800
    Edirol FA-66
    CM Labs MotorMix

    Old stuff: ARJO
    #30
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