I recently bought a new laptop with Windows Vista pre-installed. It is a dell machine and I had to spend around one hour to remove all the junk. This machine has 2GB RAM and surprisingly I saw that the harddisk light is lit almost continuously. My earlier old laptop with Windows XP had much better performance even though it had only 1GB RAM. Also the internet access (using a USB mobile network – Reliance NetConnect) was also much slower in Windows Vista.
I was wondering what the heck is going on! You buy the latest stuff and it appears everything goes back in time. Then I decided to find the real problems behind this performance issue in Windows Vista.
Here is the first important tip. Disable File Search Indexing (which includes processes – SearchProtocolHost, SearchFilterHost and SearchIndexer) in Windows Vista to substantially boost performance. This is a windows service which runs in background always accessing harddisk and network resources. If you disable this, windows search may not be accurate, but that is something I don’t care.
Disbling Windows Search Service is simple. Open up Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Service. Find a service named Windows Search. Stop this service and change its startup type to manual. If you want, you can manually run the service when you are not using your system.
Once I disabled this, I found that harddisk access reduced substantially and also my internet connection was running in top speed.
You can also explore Google Desktop Search which seems to be gentle when it comes to system performance.