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Tweaking Vista Performance

Now that Vista has been released many people have implemented it’s use. Many users have found out that their PC does not run as crisp with this operating system. If you have implemented Vista on your PC with only the minimum system requirements you have seen how sluggish it can be. I thought I would put together a list of perfomance enhancing tweaks for users in this particular situation.

Disable User Access Control (UAC)

This feature protects your PC from malware infection by prompting you with a manual confirmation prompt anytime a program or even you attempt to alter or use features which can alter system critical information. This feature can be very annoying.

To disable User Access Control:

-Click Start then Control Panel
-Select User Accounts
-Select Turn User Account Control on or off
-Un-check User Account Control Box
-Restart as recommended

Turn off Windows Search Indexing

Vista search indexing constantly reviews files on your PC to make their contents available for quick searching. This is a nice feature, but it can impact system performance.

To disable this constant indexing:

-Click Start then Computer
-Right Click the C: Drive
-On General Tab, Un-check Index this drive for faster searching
-On the subsequent dialog box, Select Include sub-folders and files

Turn offScheduledDisk Defragmentation

Vista and comes configured with hard drive defragmentation automatically scheduled. You must remember to run defrag manually.

To disable scheduled defragmentation:

-Click Start then all programs
-Select accessories and then system tools
-Select defragmentation
-Uncheck “Run on a schedule”

Turn off Windows Hibernation

Windows hibernation background services use a large amount of system resources and hard drive space. This feature as well in previous versions has caused many blue screens and protection errors.

To disable Hibernation:

-Select the Control Panel then Power Options
-Click Change Plan Settings
-Click on Change Advanced Power Settings
-Expand the Sleep selection
-Expand the Hibernate After selection
-Move the selector down to zero
-Click Apply

Turn off System Restore

Disabling this service will prevent the system restore option from working. In the event of a system crash You will be unable to use system restore.

Disabling System Restore:

-Control Panel>System
-Click System Protection on the left panel
-Un-check the main system drive
-Agree to the confirmation

Turn off Remote Differential Compression

Remote Differential Compression measures the changes in files over a network to transfer them with minimal bandwidth.

To disable these services:

-Open Control Panel
-Switch to Classic View
-Select Program Features
-Choose Turn Windows features on and off
-Scroll down and un-check Remote Differential Compression

Disable Windows Services that Auto-Launch

Vista is configured with many services enabled that load at startup and may never be used.
(these can be re-started manually by reversing the process; please document any changes you make)

Disabling Services:

-Click Start then Control Panel
-Select Administrative Tools
-Choose System Configuration
-Click the Services Tab
-You can safely disable:
Offline Files (unless you’re using Offline File Sync)
Tablet PC Input Service (unless you have a tablet PC)
Terminal Services
Windows Search (If you have already disabled indexing)
Fax (unless you’re using a fax modem)

Disable Extra Windows Features

Vista ships with many other features that are listed separately from the startup services.
You can review and disable these features by following the instructions below:

-Clicking Start then Control Panel
-Select Program Features
-On the left panel, select Turn Windows Features on or off
-You can safely un-check the following:

Note: Please document any changes made in case you need to reverse the changes made.

Indexing Service
Remote Differential Compression
Tablet PC Optional Components
Windows DFS Replication Service
Windows Fax & Scan (Do not disable if you use a modem for faxing)
Windows Meeting Space (Do not disable if you use the Live Meeting Service)

Implementing Ready Boost

Add a 2GB or higher USB Flash drive to implement Windows Ready Boost (Additional Memory Cache). There are many requirements for the devices which want to use this feature. Microsoft is working with manufacturers to label devices which are compatible with this feature. When purchasing such devices you will need to look for the Windows Ready Boost label.

To configure a USB device:

-Insert a USB Flash Drive (preferably 2GB or more)
-Click Start then Computer
-Right Click the USB Drive in My Computer
-Select the Ready Boost Tab
-Choose Use this device

More information on speeding up your computer

Leave a Comment:

Vista Tips says

You can also disable the siebar which speeds up windows vista startup time and turn AERO off (Aero uses more graphics memory than the non-Aero interface)

pbash says

Good suggestion. Maybe we can increase this list with more input from users. Thanks for the comment.

Jim says

I read a tip the other day at PCmag to speed up Vista. There is a defualt power setting in the “Power Saver” plan that limits the CPU to 50%. If you open the Power Options Control Panel you can change the system to “High Performance” mode to give it a full throttle boost in speed.

admin says

I have never heard the power saver tweak, thanks for the great contribution Jim!

jeff says

how do I turn off my password manager? thanks JG

George says

This is great. I have used all the suggestions even the one posted in the comments. My pc is much faster.


admin says

We are glad you like it George.

Please leave us your feedback as well in the comment section below.

admin says

Hi Jeff
Which password manager are you using?

Jimmy says

I recommend using vista performance monitor to find out which unnecessary programs run in the background and leach the Disk, CPU, and Memory parts of your pc’s performance.

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