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Fast User Switching > Disable or Disregard?

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  • Fast User Switching > Disable or Disregard?

    I've heard that disabling "Fast User Switching" in my xp home edition would speed things up. If I leave it "able" (for rare occasions)
    but don't use it generally, will I be at full speed when I'm the only one logged on?
    When the wife and I want to switch using the computer, we "log out" and "log in" (not the fast method). I know our proggys will run faster this way, but even though we didn't "fast switch" would they be even faster if that option wasn't there?

  • #2
    IMO Fast user swicthing can take a hike. Sure it's a nice feature for the family but it's a wonderful waste of resources. Here are a few exerpts from Mirosoft on Fast User switching.

    Fast User Switching is enabled by default in Windows XP Home Edition and Professional on computers with more than 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM. However, Fast User Switching is not available on Windows XP Professional-based computers that are part of a domain network.

    What makes fast user switching possible...

    Winlogon: This is the logon subsystem of Windows XP. Winlogon includes Winlogon.exe, Msgina.dll, and other components that provide user identification and authentication services to the operating system.

    Windows user subsystem: This contains support for the desktop programming interfaces that support the creation of multiple desktops and the setting of the currently visible desktop.

    Security subsystem: This contains the security functionality of Windows, which includes support for access control lists (ACLs) and user security tokens.

    Windows shell: This is the user interface of Windows. It contains the Start menu, the taskbar, the file and folder management user interface, and Control Panel.

    To log on to a computer that has the Fast User Switching feature enabled:

    When the computer first restarts, it starts at the Welcome screen. At this screen, the user enters the appropriate identification information and, if necessary, enters a password. The Welcome screen is on a desktop known as the Winlogon desktop, which is sometimes referred to as the secure desktop because other programs cannot be run on this desktop.
    After the user has entered the appropriate identification information, the credentials of the user are authenticated by Winlogon.
    The token and profile information of the user are returned to Winlogon by the Msgina.dll file.
    Winlogon checks the list of users that are currently logged on to the computer. If the user is already on the list, Winlogon switches to the existing desktop of the user, and the logon process is complete.
    If the user is not already logged on to the computer, Winlogon creates a new thread for this user and transfers the information to that thread.
    The thread of the user creates a new desktop for this user, sets up the user environment, and then starts the user shell on the newly created desktop. The thread and desktop information are added to the list of users that are currently logged on to the computer. Winlogon switches to the new desktop of the user, and the logon process is complete.

    The following services use the Fast User Switching feature:

    Terminal Services: This provides a multiple-session environment that enables multiple users to be logged on to the computer at the same time. If this service is not started, only one user can log on to the computer at a time.

    Fast User Switching Compatibility Services: Some programs had been designed only to run in a single-user environment. This service provides assistance to many of those programs to enable them to run in a multiple-user environment

    Disable that awful thing. Log out and Log in to another profile take the extra 20 seconds and get a cup of coffee. Sorry I just woke up.
    Brad Bentley