Speed up Vista in Minutes
It has been quite some time since the Windows Vista, the long awaited operating system from Microsoft, was released. Vista offers a rich, secure and user friendly environment. Despite of all these bells and whistles, Vista tends to slow down you system, even if you meet the recommended system requirements. If you were thinking of upgrading your hardware before switching to Windows Vista, think again. This guide will help you tweak Vista to run super fast on your existing hardware.
Why is Vista too slow?Vista slows down even systems that are way above the recommended requirements. Such problems are noticeable when you run graphic intensive applications like games etc. There are two main reasons for this. One is lots of services loaded in your RAM. If you have 1GM RAM it gets limited to 512 MB due to all the services loaded in the rest 512 MB. Gamers get a low FPS as Vista consumes 32MB of graphics memory itself.
One easy but expensive solution is to upgrade to more memory. Other solution is to disable the "services" running in the background. This guide will help you optimize your system performance for Windows Vista.
Here are few techniques that can help speed up your system in minutes.
- Use ReadyBoost
- Disable the Indexing Service
- Enable advanced write caching
- Speed up Start Menu Search
- Disable Unwanted Startup Services
- Tweak the Side Bar
- Tweak Aero: Disable Transparency
- Tweak Aero: Fine Tune Flip 3D
- Tweak Aero: min-max animation
- Stop extra services
- Increase Internet Explorer 7 downloads
- Disable Network Printer Search
- Defragment Frequently
With Vista you can use your USB drive to improve performance. It does not increase the physical memory (RAM), but it serves as a cache. Hard drives are a very show medium as compared with the contemporary USB drives, the reason is that USB drive is a circuit (direct access) and hard drive involves rotational motion. ReadyBoost caches the disk reads so it can retrieve data quickly when needed. ReadyBoost also encrypts the cached data for privacy concerns.
It is recommended that size of USB drive should be equal to that of main memory (RAM). If you have 1GB RAM than go for a 1GB USB. Choose a USB with higher read/write speeds. For example Kingston Migo and Elite have much higher speeds. Such small factors can really boost performance to much larger extent. Do not use a USB drive with less than 64 MB memory or read/write speed below 3 MB/s.
To use ReadyBoost for making Vista perform super fast, follow the procedure:
- Plug-in your USB drive
- Windows will show a message to either use it as an external drive or as ReadyBoost drive. If no window is displayed then right click and select the ReadyBoost tab manually. If there is no such tab then your USB drive is not compatible with this technology.
- Choose ReadyBoost.
- You can also change the amount of space to be used for ReadyBoost.
- Click the OK button to finalize.
- Select Start and type "index options", without quotations
- After the Indexing Options are loaded, click the Modify button.
- Then click Show all Locations
- A list of locations will be displayed in the form of a tree. Uncheck those folders which you do not want to be indexed. You can also use the Advanced button to specify file types to be indexed, but this part is optional.
- Click OK button to finalize.
- Go to the hard drive properties
- Select the Policies tab
- Select the radio button labeled Optimize for performance.
- Check the boxes titled "Enable write caching on the diskÃ¢" and "Enable Advance Performance"
- Click OK button to finish.
- Place mouse pointer on Start button and right click
- From the menu select Properties option
- Click on the Customize button
- If the Search Communications option is checked then uncheck it.
- Click OK buttons to commit the changes.
- Go to Start>Run or press Windows + R
- Type "msconfig" and click OK
- The System Configuration dialogue box will be displayed, select the Startup
- You will see list of checkboxes, most of them will be checked. Uncheck those ones which are not needed. More unchecked boxes will lead to better performance.
- Click OK button to finish this tweaking step.
Vista comes with lots of bells and whistles. Side Bar is one cool looking component of Vista's interface. The Side bar provides easy access to the gadgets you install. To improve overall performance I recommend you to disable this feature or at least use those gadgets that are extremely important. By applying this performance tweak you will free lots on Memory and processing power. To improve performance, just follow these steps:
- Position your mouse pointer on the Side Bar and Right Click
- Click on the Properties option
- In the menu uncheck the box titled Start Side Bar When Windows Starts
- Click the OK button. From now on the bar won't be loaded on startup.
You can remove transparency in Vista to boost performance. Just follow the steps:
- While on the desktop, Right Click
- Select the Personalize option
- Click the "Windows Color and Appearance" option
- Uncheck the box "Enable transparency"
- Press OK button to finish.
To speed up Flip 3D, just follow these steps:
- Select Start>Run
- Type the command "regedit" without quotations and press OK button
- Registry Editor Window will show up
- Before going any further I recommend you to make a backup of your registry. Use the File>Export option in the Registry Editor window
- Go to the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Software>Microsoft>Windows>DWM.
- While DVM is selected right click to create a new DWORD
- Assign any value between 4 and 9 to the newly created key. You can play around with different values to get most of your hardware without sacrificing much of cool looking interface.
- Reboot to finalize.
- In the Start menu type "SystemPropertiesPerformance" and press enter button.
- In the window go to Visual Effects tab
- Uncheck the box with label Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing.
- Finally press OK button.
- Go to Start>Run and type "msconfig" without quotations.
- System Configuration window will be displayed.
- Go to the Services tab (middle one)
- To be on the safe side check the box "Hide all Microsoft Services"
- Now you will have a reduced version of the list, select ones that you feel are unnecessary.
- Press OK to finish.
There are some Windows Vista's services that you can disable without any glitch:
- Windows Error Reporting
- Tablet PC Input Service ( don't disable if you are using a tablet PC)
- Remote Registry
- Offline Files
- IKE and AuthIP IP Keying Modules
- Distributed Link Tracking Client
- Computer Browser
- Start>Run and type regedit to open the Registry Editor
- Navigate to the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Software>Microsoft>Windows>CurrentVersion>Internet
- Look for a key named "MaxConnectionsPerServer"
- Right click to modify it.
- Assign it a decimal value larger than 2 (it's the max download limit, by default its 2)
- Similarly perform the same operation for "MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server"
- Restart your computer
- While you are in the explorer (My Computer), go to the Tools menu
- Select Folder options
- Go to the View tab
- Uncheck the box named "Automatically search for network printers"