Last week I wrote a post on how disabling search indexing can boost Windows vista performance. In this I will look at various methods which you can use to drastically Windows Vista performance.
Ok. You just bought your brand new laptop which comes pre-installed with Windows Vista. But unfortunately your new laptop performance looks worse than your pretty old laptop! Is there any way to improve it?
Well, as an operating system, Windows Vista is stable and I think it is just a matter of tuning to get it performing. Before I go into the methods, here is a word of advise. Get your machine atleast 1GB of RAM since Vista is really memory hungry!
1. Remove all junk software from your PC – Most of the online stores (Dell for example) bundle a lot of software when they sell a Windows Vista installed laptop/pc. You don’t need many of these software and hence removing them can substantially boost Windows Vista performance. First thing to do when you get your PC/Laptop is to remove everything except the bare minimum you need!
2. Disable Windows Defender – One of the biggest complaints about Windows operating systems was its vulnerability to viruses. To address this issue, microsoft added a lot of stuff into Vista, essentially making it bloated and cumbersome. Windows Defender is one such feature. If you are a power user who knows what can cause virus infection or security problems you don’t need Windows Defender.
To disable windows defender, go to control panel->administrative tools -> services -> windows defender and stop it. Also change the startup type to manual.
3. Disable UAC (User Access Control) – This is one of the most annoying features. Whenever you click on anything which affects system configuration, a popup comes up asking whether you want the operation to be executed! Of course, I want that, that is why I clicked on it! For a power user this is the first thing to disable.
To disable user access control, go to control panel->user account->turn user account control off.
4. Use ReadyBoost to extend RAM – If you have below 2GB or below, you can use readyboost feature of Vista to improve performance. For this, you will need a high speed USB 2.0 memory stick (flash drive). Vista will use this as an extension to RAM. This improves system performance and also reduces load on harddisk there by extending its lifespan.
5. Reduce graphics and other UI features – Windows Vista by default has a pretty jazzy user interface. If you are a power user, you rarely bother about these UI features. Disabling these features will dramatically reduce load on your processor and memory. This is one method sure to speed up your experience on Windows Vista.
To optimize system configuration for maximum performance, go to control panel->performance information and tools->advanced tools (on the left menu)->adjust the appearance and performance of windows->Select Adjust for best performance radio button and press Apply.
6. Remove unnecessary startup programs – You might have couple of startup programs configured. Remove all the unnecessary programs to reduce startup time and to improve overall system performance. Anti-virus programs are notorious for reducing system performance and increasing harddisk load.
You can check out startup programs using regedit command (use with caution!). Find all the startup programs under computer->HKEY_CURRENT_USER->Software->Microsoft->Windows->CurrentVersion->Run. (User can also use Windows Defender for this)
7. Disable unncessary services - Your system might have a lot of services which you may not need. But identifying them may not be very easy. Open up control panel->administrative tools->services and stop/disable services. Some of the services I disabled are Windows Search, Windows Defender, Windows Cardspace etc.
8. Disable Windows Search Indexing – As i have written earlier, disabling Windows Search indexing may improve performance substantially, especially when you have a new system.
9. Monitor tasks running – Monitor your task manager regularly. Look for any processes which hogs memory/processor resource. Also monitor for programs which may be accessing harddisk frequently. Find out the real use of resource intensive processes and if not required, remove them.
10. Buy a new PC/ upgrade RAM – If your system performance is still low, you probably need to buy a new PC to run Windows Vista. Also remember to have atleast 2GB RAM for optimal performance!