Tweaking my HP Compaq Presario Windows XP SP2 OEM Image.

(This was all done in October 2009)


Start > Right-Click and choose “Properties”


Enable only the following:

  • Select “Classic Start menu”
  • Click on “Customize” button
  • Display Administrative Tools
  • Display Run
  • Enable dragging and dropping
  • Expand Control Panel
  • Expand Printers
  • Show Small Icons in Start menu

(NOTE: These changes do not appear in the first 2 images I made)

Enable only the following:

  • Lock the taskbar
  • Keep taskbar on top of other windows
  • Show Quick Launch
  • Show the clock

Run msconfig
Choose “Selective Startup” and uncheck:

  • Load System Services and
  • Load Startup Items

Then restart as required.
Upon reboot, check the box that says “do not remind me again”.

Start > Programs > Right-click any entry and choose “Sort by Name”
This will arrange all programs entries in alphabetical order.

Then navigate to:
Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs
When the program list displays sort it by size. That way you can find what is taking up the most space.

On Compaq Presario OEM install, the “Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003” is only a 6month trial. In my opinion, it is better to remove this trial ed. and install either Licensed copy of Office or Open Office suites, or both. In this case, we will only uninstall the trial for now. By the way: Office trial is taking ~ 4 GB.

Click “Remove” to uninstall MS Office.

Remove the following also:

  • Microsoft Works 284 MB
  • FATE from Compaq (remove only)
  • Microsoft Money 2006 108 MB
  • Quicken 2006 72.31 MB
  • Snowboard Super Jam from Compaq (remove only) 66.72 MB
  • Norton Internet Security 2006 (Symantec Corporation) 63.98 MB
  • – Bear in mind, whenever uninstalling any Norton or Symantec products, one should use the newest “Norton Removal Tool” to fully uninstall the application suite and any other ‘droppings’ that Norton may have left behind. Norton will require you to reboot, so be sure to do so.

  • PC-Doctor 5 for Windows 55.68 MB
  • Compaq Organize 45.37 MB
    – Pay attention here:
    > Keep comdlg32.ocx.  This is an important common diaglog ActiveX control.
  • Netscape Browser (remove only) 44.35 MB
  • RealPlayer 39.14 MB
    – We can remove this because will install the free “Real Alternative” later, which also plays real media files.  You will need to manually go in and remove the “Real” directory in Program Files.
  • Lemonade Tycoon 2 from Compaq (remove only) 29.52 MB
  • HP Rhapsody 25.76 MB
  • Ricochet Lost Worlds from Compaq (remove only) 25.50 MB
  • Family Feud 16.54 MB
  • Boggle Supreme fom Compaq (remove only) 14.87 MB
  • Blasterball 2 from Compaq (remove only) 14.69 MB
  • Polar Bowler from Compaq (remove only) 14.68 MB
  • SCRABBLE from Compaq (remove only) 14.14 MB
  • Polar Golfer from Compaq (remove only) 13.98 MB
  • Insaniquarium Deluxe from Compaq (remove only) 13.90 MB
  • Mah Jong Quest from Compaq (remove only) 13.26 MB
  • Bejeweled 2 Deluxe from Compaq (remove only) 12.78 MB
  • AstroPop Deluxe from Compaq (remove only) 12.34 MB

… I think we get the point here: remove all games from compaq. 😉

Guess what? I just found out that uninstalling this:
“HP Game Console & Games”
automatically uninstalls like all 30-some Compaq games!

  • Remove WeatherBug Installer
  • Microsoft Office 2003 60 Day Trial Editon Tour
  • WildTangent Web Driver
  • HP Boot Optimizer
  • Compaq Connections (remove only)
  • Customer Experience Enhancement
  • Easy Internet Sign-up
  • HP Support Overview

Reboot computer.

Start > Programs > should have the following now:

  • Accessories
  • Acronis
  • Administrative Tools
  • Easus Partion Master 4.0 Home Edition
  • Games
  • Hot Deals
  • HP
  • Online Services
  • PC Help & Tools
  • Snapfish for your photos
  • Sonic
  • Startup
  • User’s Guides
  • Adobe Reader 7.0
  • Compaq Easy Setup
  • DVD Play
  • eBay
  • HP Music
  • Internet Explorer
  • MSN
  • Multi-channel Sound Manager
  • Outlook Express
  • Remote Assistance
  • Windows Media Player
  • Windows Messenger
  • Windows Movie Maker


(NOTE: Make sure, anytime you delete a folder or file from the Start Menu/Programs (hereafter referred to as “SMP”), that you do it only in the “All Users” profile, unless otherwise stated.)

Remove the Games folder.
(These are the games that come with Windows.)
Navigate to “Add or Remove Programs” and click “Add/Remove Windows Components” in the left panel.
Disable “Games” under Accessories and Utilities, then click OK.
While you are there, also uncheck MSN Explorer & Outlook Express.
Delete Games folder in SMP

Remove User’s Guides
Navigate to c:hp and delete the entire folder of “usp”
Remove “User’s Guides” folder from the Start Menu programs folder.

Delete the “pcintro” folder from C:windowssystem32
Remove “Compaq Easy Setup” shortcut in SMP

Delete the following shortcuts from Start Menu/Programs:

  • eBay
  • HP Music

Delete the Snapfish folder from SMP. (it is just a link to hp’s photo sharing website)

NOTE: In “PC Help & Tools” there is a link to create Compaq Recovery CD’s or DVD’s. However, somehow the computer knows that recovery discs have already been created and therefore, won’t let you create any more. Google search might reveal that renaming “HPCD.SYS” to .bak on PRESARIO_HP, and in C:WindowsSMINST works to enable creation of multiple copies, but that is not the case with this user’s PC. This user had to use system restore and tried the renaming trick again, to no avail.

Installed WinRar 3.90

Delete the Hot Deals folder in SMP

Delete all “arrowed” shortcuts on All UsersDesktop

Delete any remaining “arrowed” shortcuts from current user’s desktop

Delete the following Shortcuts from All UsersStart Menu:

  • Encarta
  • Snapfish
  • Windows Catalog

Delete “Online Services” in SMP.



Defragment C: drive to improve performance.

Disable System Restore

Set Date and Time

Install Windows Washer 6.0 (Build

  • Uncheck “Store wash statistics”


    • Internet Explorer 6.0 – check everything.
    • Start Menu and Desktop – check all.
    • Windows System Items – Uncheck “Clipboard contents”.
    • Recent Activity – check all.
    • Outlook Express 6.0 – un-check all.
    • Custom Wash Items – Show all & “Show only installed Custom Wash Items”


    • Method: DOD
    • Wash Slack Space? Yes


    • Uncheck Load Window Washer at Windows startup

    Install Windows Washer Update 6.5.5.

    • Check all new “Custom Wash Items” that are detected.

    Create ISO image of Acronis Rescue Boot disk (~55MB), then burn to DVD with Sonic DigitalMedia Plus v7.



    Navigate to “Windows Firewall” in Control Panel and ensure the radio button (circle) that says “Off” is checked.

    Launch the installer executable (Requires only 93.70 MB).

    Do not enter email, and click “Next”.

    Check the boxes next to Antivirus and Firewall only; do not install LivePCSupport.

    Choose “I do NOT want to join th Threatcast community”, because there is a good chance Comodo would send out information about websites and applications you use if you choose the other option.

    Uncheck All of the following:

    • Install COMODO Hopsurf Toolbar
    • Make my default search provider
    • Make my homepage

    Although this may be a useful option in the future, for now, chose NOT to use Secure DNS servers.

    Restart PC as Comodo requires.

    Under DEFENSE+ Tab, click on “My Own Safe Files”.
    Navigate through Program Files (PF) and add every .exe file that you know is safe. This is a painstaking process, but you will be glad you did it in the end!

    (NOTE: Each time you install a new program that you trust (Photoshop, Quicken, Shareaza, etc.) you should add the exe’s from it’s PF directory to this list as well).

    Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.41

    Run a full scan on the C: drive, as Recommended.
    Files on computer: 114,809
    Time to scan: 12min30sec.

    Malwarebytes found Adware.Minibug as a registry key. I Googled it and found out that it is related to ad-supported version of Weatherbug.
    I went ahead and removed Minibug.

    Finally, now that you have protection installed, you can connect the internet for the first time and update Comodo, Malwarebytes, and Windows.

    Now that I have connected my PC to my router.

    Comodo detected “New Private Network”.

    Check “I would like to be fully accessible to the other PC’s in this network”.
    Named network “Main Home”.

    Updated Comodo –> No updates available today (10/14/09).

    Updated Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) (to ver. 2964)

    Ran “Quick Scan” with MBAM

    Launch Windows Update

    Choose CUSTOM installation.

    Installed Windows Update.

    Install all detected updates.

    UPDATE:  At this point, after testing IE8 for almost a month, I recommend against it’s installation, as of 10/30/09, due to exreme sluggishness & slow load times. In case I forget to mention it, also check “Don’t show this update again” in Windows Update for IE8 and also for Windows Search.)

    Install INTERNET EXPLORER 8, as it is one of the updates.
    Choose “I do not want to participate right now”.
    Leave “Install Updates” checked.

    Treat mrtstub.exe as a trusted app. It is part of Windows Malicious Software Removal tool from MS.

    “Do you want to discover webistes you might like based on websites you’ve visited?” NO.

    “Choose custom settings”.

    No. No.

    Turn off all Accelerators.

    Turn off SmartScreen Filter.

    No, don’t use “Compatibility View” updates.

    (NOTE: The WEB SLICE feature of IE8 seems promising. I might try it later.)

    Run Windows Update again. Install recommended Java update.

    Let computer restart, then run Windows Update again.

    Select Google Toolbar as default Search provider.

    No more High Priority updates.

    Install all recommended Software and Hardware updates. Windows says it should take 8 minutes. (9:58PM)



    Install MS Office

    Install Adobe CS4

    NOTE: For some reason, it takes about an hour for CS4 to install!

    When you finally have CS4 installed, run Distiller or Acrobat Full. It will say: “Adobe Acrobat was installed as part of a suite. To enable Adobe Acrobat please start another component of this suite (such as photoshop).”

    NOTE: I think I’m going to remove Windows Search. Also, Windows Washer has a bug, so after I back-up Photoshop version of image, I’m going to attempt to update Windows Washer.

    Uninstalled Windows Search 4 from Add/Remove Programs.

    Will install printer drivers next.

    NOTE: I burned a set with normal compression, and it took 3 discs and about 45 minutes. When attempting to use less disks by enabling maximum compression, it took about 1 hour before it asked for disc 2, and an hour later, progress bar hung saying “3 more minutes” for about 1.5 hours. I will only use Normal compression from now on!


    Disabled Comodo.

    Uncheck “Include the HP Yahoo! toolbar…”

    Choose Advanced Install.

    Choose to check for updates manually.

    Choose custom install.

    Uncheck HP Customer Participation Program.

    Uncheck Shop for HP Supplies.

    These selection together total: 344 MB.

    Guess what, I have to figure out why my used space shows as unformatted in Easus Partition Master.

    10/17/09 (1:09 AM) – No luck googling solution to above problem. What if I simply unplug the hard drive and restart, and then possibly power off, plug slave drive in again, then restart again?

    Had to download an IE8 compatible version of HP Smart Web Printing

    Well, unplugging and re-plugging the SATA slave (drive 2) did not change anything.

    12:00 PM – Woke up and file transfer still had not completed because it was stuck on one of those “…is a system file, do you want to move it” messages.

    After tranferring all my files off of my 200 GB Seagate SATA drive to an external HD, I went ahead and first did a partion on the 2NDary SATA, then I did a format. Format caused PC reboot, but said it was successful. When boot finished I tried to launch EPM, but received this message:

    “Some application locked the service database, please close it before running EASEUS Partition Master!” Google offers no help on this error.

    I went ahead and used Windows to format the leftover portion of 2ndary drive. Easus only took about 3 minutes to format 100 GB, but Windows is taking about 45 min to format 80 GB!

    2:21 PM – Format complete!

    Guess what? The solution to the above mentioned “locked database” error was to format the rest of the sata drive.

    Now I am going to try to “Restore” my last image to my new 80 GB D: Primary drive.

    3:55 PM – Ok. I ended merging the drive in one big 186 GB drive, then formatting as a PRIMARY drive partition, and did the restore (#3) on it, without resizing.

    To do it right, I will have to install the router software before the printer drivers so that printer will detect network.

    4:22 PM – I am formatting the whole SATA 2ndary drive again (with windows) because I am getting that “locked service database” error again.

    6:04 PM – Restore partion.
    Restore as
    * Yes RESIZE partions
    * Active (not Primary)
    (2nd SATA is parted into 80GB & 105GB

    7:18 PM
    Many dead-ends tonight. I took a break and spent about 1hr searching for a good tool schism drum track. Now I have just created a WinXp boot USB drive so I can access command prompt and run dos commands like diskpart.

    8:25 PM
    I have removed the Disk 1, only Disk 2. Acronis gives me option to restore MBR, so I am going to try that.

    8:38 PM

    EUREKA – SOLUTION: After restoring partion, then restore MBR!

    So now, I am going to try to restore my newest image (#3) from the 3 disks. Always start with last one first.

    8:45 PM
    Began restore.

    Had to change out all 3 disks twice already!

    Machine was automatically updated by windows update after successful re-imaging.


    9:39 PM
    Default router password is “admin” I changed it to blank.

    Set default webpage as

    10:15 PM
    Reset router for 90 sec. Unplugged router. Ran msconfig. Rebooted PC.

    Got right into setup page after pressing reset on back of router for 30 sec. Key is to make sure you are actually applying enough pressure to the button. Now I’ve got to figure out how to set up my network again. 🙂

    Upgraded Firmware v. 1.52.6 to 1.52.7. Now the interface after upgrade is blue and gray AND purple.

    11:13 PM
    Changed my PC’s IP to static, though I left router settings as DHCP. Also, checked box “Show icon in notification area when connected” — I wondered why that wasn’t showing up! 🙂

    Setup router wireless security to use WPA2 Personal, tkip-aes

    11:38 PM
    Now I’m going to install PRINTER DRIVERS.

    (follow same procedure as above)
    Since this is a wireless printer, do make sure to choose connect “through a wireless network”.
    Printer was detected successfully!
    For printer registration choose “Don’t remind me again”.

    12:36 AM

    (Follow same instructions for the photosmart printer above)

    12:52 AM
    Printer installation complete!



    5:22 PM
    Port Checker kept saying my port was blocked, though I had already forwarded it in my router config. Also, in Comodo I had gone into the “Defense+” tab and added “utorrent.exe” under “My Own Safe Files”. Right concept, but wrong place — It needed to be added under “Firewall” tab > “Define a New Trusted Application”. When I did this and refreshed, now port checker says green check — Good to go! 🙂

    I’ve got a file called “Blocklist update – Augusgt 2009.txt” which seems to be the best one available. I checked Demonoid, but they are down indefinitely. Whenever I attempt update of PG2 lists I only get “Error contacting URL”.
    Make a folder in root of C: called “Peer Guardian Lists” and copy all your list in there before importing into Peerguardian because it will be easier to manage your updates that way.

  • Date Published: 2009-11-03
    Date Updated: 2022-09-04

    Eric Hepperle

    Eric loves to write code, play guitar, and help businesses solve challenges with code and design.
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    Kevin Gassen

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    Really Nice blog you have here, what theme are you using, I mean is it custom or template one?



    Thanks for your compliment on my blog! I am using a WordPress theme called: MistyLook by Sadish. However, the actual blogs themselves I usually handcode with html and css.

    Thanks again, and havea great day!



    I did read at …


    I know some people are futurists, but reading…

    “A total solar eclipse occurred on July 22, 2010…” simply what occured to me was “date error?”

    I thought: ((Hmm, memory/date error?))




    Thanks for your astute observation! You are correct that this was the wrong Year, and I appreciate you pointing this out so I can fix it!


    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x