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Speeding up Windows Vista RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hey man, Many of us including me have felt that using vista  on our existing computers, is not a good experience,. the computer slows down and also you are not getting good performance, most of the cpu is being utilized by vista itself, leaving little for our programs.

    So here is a guide that i have found, that you can use to tweek vista.
    Monday, September 17, 2007 5:40 PM

All replies

  • Speeding up Windows Vista is easy. In fact, if you've ever tinkered around with Windows XP to increase performance, then you'd pretty much understand how to do the same with Windows Vista. This is because Windows Vista is essentially Windows XP with major enhancements; the base still pretty much remains the same.

    She's Pretty but Not Smart

    The first and the most obvious performance hog is the new Windows Aero look. (Aero is the name of the new Windows transparent feel that Vista has.) It's good looking no doubt, but nothing great - considering that you can do the same with Windows XP with "Windows Transformation pack".

    Shutting Aero off at first will definitely make Vista lose its coolness value, but take it from me: if your system is running sluggish, this is the first thing that you must go.



    1. Click on "Start > Control Panel > System". Alternatively, you can use a keyboard shortcut: press "Windows Key + Pause Break". Pause Break key is above/close to the "Num Lock" key.
    2. Once in System page, you'll see your computer's hardware information neatly displayed here. Look to the right hand side, and click on "Advanced system settings".
    3. The System Properties has now opened up. This is the same as right-clicking on My Computer and then going to Properties on previous versions of Windows.
    4. You're already in the "Advanced" tab; click on "Settings" button in "Performance".
    5. You're now on the "Visual Effects" page. Here, simply click on "Adjust for best Performance", click "OK" and - Viola!

    Windows Vista now looks just like Windows 98 or 2000. Quite a drastic difference. Windows Vista has certainly lost its coolness factor - but is now ready for pure performance.

    In case you aren't too happy with the look, you can always go back and change the settings to "Adjust for best appearance". Or better still, instead of switching all the effects on, you can select what you'd like to enable or disable in the list given. For instance, you could scroll all the way down and switch on the last option only: "Use Visual Styles on windows and buttons". This would ensure that you get the Windows Basic look - not the complete Aero (transparent glass feel) - minus all the performance hogging stuff. In effect, a good balance between appearance and performance.
    Monday, September 17, 2007 5:40 PM
  • Side Please! Sidebar
    The second most obvious resource hog is Windows Vista Sidebar. Yes - that thing, which makes Windows Vista look as pretty as Mac OS and provides instant access to gadgets. (Gadgets are those small applications that provide easier access to most frequently used tools, such as the clock or the yellow sticky notes, etc.)


    Although this can be very useful, but it's also a top resource hog - especially if your computer is lacking processing power or free memory. If this is the case, you have no choice but to disable it. But then, what happens to the accessing these applications when you want them? What have you forgotten already? Good old fashioned Windows shortcuts is the way.



    1. Just right-click the Windows Sidebar icon, and then click "Exit".
    2. You may be asked whether you want to remove Windows Sidebar from starting with Windows: choose "Yes" to bar it from starting with Windows.
    3. If you didn't get that choice, simply right-click the icon before you exit, click on "Properties", deselect "Start Sidebar when Windows Starts".
    Monday, September 17, 2007 5:41 PM
  • Startup'n'Shutdown Programs
    Alright! this isn't Windows Vista's doing, but there are various programs that insist on starting up without apparent cause along with Windows - such as Quicktime, iTunes, Winamp Agent, etc. Have a look at your system tray on the right hand side, next to the clock. How many programs are there running? That's right: weird programs that you haven' even heard of are maybe sitting there. Fret not: we'll make those little buggers stay off our precious memory.


    Instinct directs us to right-click and exit the unwanted program: but this is only a temporary solution. The wiser method is to go to the respective program, and disable it from starting with Windows. You can do this to most programs through "Options", "Preferences", "Settings", and the like. You may have to do a bit of hunting to spot the option, though.

    However, there's an alternative to this, especially in the case when a program strangely doesn't have the option or you can't locate it. Those that have tinkered around previously with startup programs would know of this - that's right: "msconfig". It works just as well in Windows Vista.

    There are 2 quick ways to access it in Windows Vista. The first one works with every version of Windows:
    1. Hit "Windows Key + R" to get the Run dialog box.
    2. Type in "msconfig", and hit "Enter".

    The second way is possible only in Windows Vista: I personally like the way it's been implemented. You can launch just about anything this way - even Device Manager.
    1. Click on the Windows globe button (where the Windows Start button used to be in previous Windows versions).
    2. Start typing in the search box "msconfig", and hit "Enter".



    This is the System Configuration Utility - an excellent tool to disable all programs that bother you during startup.
    1. Click on the "Start up" tab.
    2. Under this tab you'll see a list of programs that run during the startup. Carefully select the program that you want to disable, and click "OK".
    3. You'll be asked to restart the PC: choose "Restart Later" if you want to continue working. The next time your PC restarts, the program won't start along with it.
    Monday, September 17, 2007 5:41 PM
  • Slimming down Windows Vista
    By now, Windows Vista must have got a lot faster and more responsive than ever before. But there is always room for improvement. Here we're going to shed some of the weight (overheads) that Windows Vista carries. This will probably ring a bell with Windows XP tweakers - services.msc.


    Services.msc is a management console that lets one check what all services are running in one's computer. These services don't necessarily show up in the taskbar that we're so used to seeing; they work silently in the background. The only way to glance at them is through Windows Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC).



    1. Access services.msc the same way you do msconfig (mentioned above).
    2. You'll now see all the varied services listed. To sort them out a bit, simply click on "Startup Type". Here all services that startup automatically with Windows show up.

    Now let's get to what we can do away with. A word of caution here: disabling just any service won't do, as Windows requires certain essential services. So, we're going to shut off only a limited number of services that we're sure of.

    Here's a list of what you can safely shut off:

    - Computer Browser
    - Distributed Link Tracking Client
    - IKE and AuthIP IP Keying Modules
    - Offline Files
    - Remote Registry
    - Tablet PC Input Service (If you're using a tablet PC, leave this on.)
    - Windows Error Reporting
    - Windows Time (Fear not - this won't shut off time on the PC, but only the automatic synchronisation with servers.)
    - Windows Update (Caution: If you disable this, Windows will never be able to update online automatically. So, if you never want to update, go ahead and shut off this service.)
    - Windows Firewall (Disable only if you use another firewall program)
    - Windows Defender (Disable only if you use another anti-spyware program)

    Monday, September 17, 2007 5:42 PM
  • ReadyBoost
    ReadyBoost is an innovative method of boosting Windows Vista. It's a disk caching technology that makes use of a Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash device or any other form of flash memory to boost system performance. But don't kid yourself into thinking that this method is a substitute to Random Access Module (RAM) upgrades. Also, as far as system performance goes, you'd see noticeable performance gain only if you've RAM below 1GB.




    To enable ReadyBoost, simply plug in a flash device. The system will automatically detect the drive and offer to use it either as an external drive or as a ReadyBoost drive. Choose the latter. You can even set the amount of memory to be allocated for ReadyBoost feature - though Microsoft recommends atleast the same size as your system RAM. Don't worry: the information in the drive that is being precached is encrypted; nobody can snoop at it.
    Monday, September 17, 2007 5:42 PM
  • Well, I hope these tweaks are as helpful to you as they've been to me. In case you're looking for even more tweaks, checkout some of these tweaking utilities:

    Tweaking Utils

    TweakVI
    http://www.totalidea.com/content/tweakvi

    TweakVista
    http://www.tweakvista.com/tweakvistautility/

    Tweak Now
    http://www.tweaknow.com/

    Monday, September 17, 2007 5:43 PM