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The FAQ of GTA IV tells me to turn off Windows Event Log in msconfig. This will handle the game more efficiently. And it does!

But turning off windows processes always worries me. So therefore: After playing GTA IV. Should I turn on Windows Event Log again?

If so: What does it do?
If not: Why is it booted by windows in the first place?

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Can you please post a link to the FAQ? All I can find is a couple of people mentioning it, but not the actual FAQ. –  Synetech May 25 '11 at 13:31
@Synetech inc. I found it right here: support.rockstargames.com/entries/… –  Marnix May 25 '11 at 13:46
I added a couple of more suggestions based on the FAQ. –  Synetech May 25 '11 at 14:00
+1 on the question because this should be exploited heavily. Rockstar should not make suggestions like this. –  David May 25 '11 at 14:25
This is an appalling move by rockstar. Looks to me like the developers are blaming the OS instead of the crap code they wrote and didn't bother fixing. –  Spectre May 25 '11 at 15:16
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4 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I find it surprising and shocking that Rockstar would actually recommend disabling the Event Log. It’s not just some extraneous service that most people don’t use, it’s a required service that Windows expects to be running, and frankly I would be surprised if you don’t get a crash at some point if it is disabled. (It’s like trying to run Windows with the RPC service disabled: you might be able to do it for a bit, but expect a BSOD soon.)

Besides, the Event Log does not normally cause any sort of performance problem whatsoever (it is normally idle unless a relevant event has been generated), so if GTA IV actually gets bogged down when it’s running, then the problem is either due to a bad audio or video driver, in which case you should update it to alleviate the problem, or else the issue is that the game has a bug that is causing many (read thousands of events per seconds) to get written to the log. In that case, they should fix the bug rather than recommend users compromise the integrity of their systems to accommodate their sloppy programming.

From the FAQ, it sounds like either GTA IV is not compatible with Win64 (in which case it is incumbent on Rockstar to fix—and I would be surprised if they couldn’t since they updated GTA 1 and 2 to run well on XP), or else it is an input driver or software that is causing something to be displayed on screen whenever you press a key (eg an OSD, hence the flashes). See if there is an updated keyboard driver available or check your keyboard manufacturer’s FAQs or forums for mentions of this issue. Also see if there is some sort of keyboard program (eg MS Intellipoint, Logitech iTouch) running and either quit it or disable the OSD.

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@Synetech I'm using intelliPoint. Should I quit it? Is that what you mean by disabling the on-screen display (OSD)? That would kill my keyboard driver... Doesn't sound safe –  Marnix May 25 '11 at 14:20
IntelliPoint isn’t the actual driver, it’s software that provides you with extras for your Microsoft keyboard like showing the volume on screen when you turn the knob or display other green text on the screen when you press other multi-media keys. It also allows you to re-program the extra keys to do things like run different applications and such. You should be able to exit the program without affecting the actual driver. Also, there should be an option to turn of OSD features (the green text and graphics) in IP. –  Synetech May 25 '11 at 15:40
Also, check what other apps are running on your system. It really sounds like something keeps trying to display stuff on the screen and grabbing the focus, causing the full-screen game to flicker (I have seen this plenty of times with other games and apps). It may be some app that keeps trying to popup a tooltip (check the tray). However, that disabling the Event Log fixes it seems strange. Perhaps disabling the Event Log prevents the other app from running at all, thus also preventing it from trying to flash stuff on the screen… –  Synetech May 25 '11 at 15:42
@Synetech: I will check the apps running already. Very good tip! Maybe I have asked it a bit wrongly, because the game doesn't flicker. The game is playing, but it just speeds up and slows down every 2 seconds. It has an unstable update loop. –  Marnix May 25 '11 at 15:57
So disabling the Event Log had minimal effect and it was still slowing down? Then what you’ll want to do is get Process Explorer and let it run for a some time while idling and examine the CPU graphs. If you see regularly occurring spikes, then you can hover the cursor over them to see what process caused it and hopefully get closer to a solution. You can repeat the process while playing the game to see if there is are any points in the graph where another process spikes above GTA’s process. –  Synetech May 25 '11 at 21:08
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Yes, you should turn it back on. It is a vital piece of the operating system. If you need a performance boost, I would suggest an upgraded video card, more RAM, or a completely new computer.

The following information was found at this wiki page. The following is a quote from that page.

This service manages events and event logs. It supports logging events, querying events, subscribing to events, archiving event logs, and managing event metadata. It can display events in both XML and plain text format. Stopping this service may compromise security and reliability of the system.

I thought knowing the type of logs would be helpful to you, so I found this page. The following is a quote from that page.

Three types of logs are recorded: Application, System, and Security. All users can view Application and System logs; only administrators can access Security logs.

Application log The Application log contains events logged by applications or programs. For example, a database program might record a file error in the Application log. The program developer decides which events to record.

System log The System log contains events logged by the Windows 2000 system components. For example, the failure of a driver or other system component to load during startup is recorded in the System log. The event types logged by system components are predetermined by Windows 2000.

Security log

The Security log can record security events such as valid and invalid logon attempts as well as events related to resource use such as creating, opening, or deleting files. An administrator can specify what events are recorded in the Security log.

If you need anymore help, let me know.

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My computer is very new. I don't like the case that I would need to upgrade it already. It's an ATI Radeon HD 4600 (1GB). But maybe I should buy a second hard disk? Everything is coming from my C drive. –  Marnix May 25 '11 at 13:50
Depending on the model, that may not be as good of a graphics card as you think. 1GB of DDR2 is not that good. HDD doesn't effect performance that much unless you are not using the current standard of 7200 RPMs (5400 or even 5300 RPM HDDs are still available sadly). How much RAM and what kind of RAM do you have? Another option would be to turn the graphics settings down on GTA IV (i.e. don't use the highest resolution, etc...). –  David May 25 '11 at 14:08
I have 4GB of DDR3 RAM. The game is playing, but it just speeds up and slows down every 2 seconds. It has an unstable update loop. –  Marnix May 25 '11 at 14:30
And this completely goes away when you apply there "fix" @Marnix? If so, Rockstar screwed something up really bad. 4GB or DDR3 ought to be overkill unless you have another power hungry process running in the background... –  David May 25 '11 at 14:38
True, and GTA displays in the game that it's not using a lot of GPU memory as well. I can even set it to only 200MB. Looking at the Windows Performance Measure (maybe not the best to look at), it gives me a 5.9 for my systems. It hangs on a 5.9 for RAM and for my HDD. So somehow, I don't think it's my system... Doing a defrag right now. –  Marnix May 25 '11 at 16:00
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I had this problem but updated GTA to the latest official patch 1.0.7 and its running fine now. You can find the patch here.

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thanks for the patch. –  Marnix Nov 22 '11 at 11:14
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It is indeed a critical service - required for other services like 'Task Scheduler' to work. It has been optimized to take up minimal resources. You can however reduce its 'priority' to an even lower state; fix the sources of some of the Error Event generating programs and lastly clear the event log with the following command in a Command Prompt:

for /F "tokens=*" %1 in ('wevtutil.exe el') DO wevtutil.exe cl "%1"

You may also set up a scheduled task to clear the logs periodically.

I believe that clearing the logs does result in some kind of performance increase.

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