Vista Tweak Guide

Number one: Disable UAC

User Account Control or UAC is a new feature in Vista that asks for permission to do system software tasks and also run programs. Unfortunately, this security feature is also annoying. II cannot predict the future of your system or what kind of security vulnerabilities will be used to attack systems, and as such, you need to decide for yourself if you desire to keep UAC active. If you do wish to disable it, here is how I do it:

With the default Category Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select System and Maintenance
4. Select Administrative Tools
5. Select the System Configuration button
6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
7. Select the Tools Tab
8. Select “Disable UAC”
9. Select the Launch button
10. Select the Ok button to close the panel

You will have to reboot for the setting to take effect.

Number Two: System Restore and Indexing Features

If you are experiencing “random” slowdowns and “high” CPU usage for no reason, these two features are the most

likely cause of the problem. These features are also a major cause of “missing” disk space. System Restore could be taking up to 15% of your hard drive space, just on it’s own. On a 200GB hard drive, that is 30GB!

System Restore Service creates system snap shots or “restore points” for returning to at a later time. Every time you install a program or new driver, plus on a schedule, this service creates a restore point to roll back to if a problem occurs. This is the first thing that I get rid of on a clean installation. If you use this and enjoy it, good for you. I never will. I feel it is faster and less hassle to just install clean.

If you do not use System Restore Service, I highly recommend you back up your important files using, for example, a CD/DVD burner or an external USB 2.0 hard drive. A rather good (and possibly the only) reason to use this “feature” is to roll backyour OS after installing an unknown program or testing software. For example: BETA software of any kind or before installing a Service Pack .

NOTE: If you disable this service, your previous “restore points” will be deleted. If, for what ever reason, you do not want this to happen, do not disable this service.

The Indexing Service, by default, searches the start menu and the user account directory (C:/Users/<account>/) to assist in faster searching. However, with the tasks that I personally do, I rarely, use the Windows Search feature.

The indexing feature has improved, though, as it is much more sensitive to an active user and will reduce the resources used while a person is actively using the system.

Get rid of System Restore and Indexing. Where do you find it?

With the default Category Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select System and Maintenance
4. Select Backup and Restore Center
5. Select Create a restore point or change settings (on the left side)
6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
7. Select System Protection Tab (should be there already)
8. Uncheck your hard drives listed under “Automatic restore points”
9. Select the Turn System Restore Off button
10. Select the Ok button to apply the settings

With the Classic View:

* Head to Start
* Select Control Panel
* Select Backup and Restore Center
* Select Create a restore point or change settings (on the left side)
* Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
* Select System Protection Tab (should be there already)
* Uncheck your hard drives listed under “Automatic restore points”
* Select the Turn System Restore Off button
* Select the Ok button to apply the settings

You can now disable the Indexing Feature:

With the default Category Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select System and Maintenance
4. Select Indexing Options
5. Select the Modify button
6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
7. Select the Show all locations button
8. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
9. Double click “Users” in the “Summary of selected locations”
10. Uncheck Users directory
11. Double click “Start Menu ” in the “Summary of selected locations”
12. Uncheck Start Menu directory
13. Select the Ok button to close the panel

With the Classic Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select System and Maintenance
4. Select Indexing Options
5. Select the Modify button
6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
7. Select the Show all locations button
8. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
9. Double click “Users” in the “Summary of selected locations”
10. Uncheck Users directory
11. Double click “Start Menu ” in the “Summary of selected locations”
12. Uncheck Start Menu directory
13. Select the Ok button to close the panel

Number Three: Windows Sidebar

The new Windows Vista Sidebar uses between 12MB and 20MB of RAM with the default 3 Gadgets and no news headline

feed.

Desire to disable the Sidebar? Several ways exist, but here are two of them:

1. Locate the Windows Sidebar icon in the System Tray (lower right, near the clock display)
1. Show hidden icons if it is not displayed
2. Right click the icon to bring up the context menu
3. Select Properties
4. Uncheck Start Sidebar when Windows starts
5. Select the Ok button to apply the settings

You can disable the Sidebar also by:

* Right click on an unused area of the Sidebar (between Gadgets or at the bottom) to bring up the context menu
* Select Properties
* Uncheck Start Sidebar when Windows starts
* Select the Ok button to apply the settings

Number Four: Vista Aero (Themes)

Reduce the overhead associated with Windows Vista’s new Themes. As a side note, the new Aero is a big reason to upgrade to Vista and I really enjoy the new look. However, if you are using an older system that does not meet the recommended requirements to run the new Aero Glass engine, disable the themes to make it look like Windows 2000/XP(with it’s new theme disabled) and save the memory.

With the default Category Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select Appearance and Personalization
4. Select Personalization
5. Select Theme
6. From the drop down box, select “Windows Classic”
7. Select the Ok button

With the Classic Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select Personalization
4. Select Theme
5. From the drop down box, select “Windows Classic”
6. Select the Ok button

Fine tune visual performance options:

With the default Category Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select System and Maintenance
4. Select Performance Information and Tools
5. Select Adjust visual effects (on the left side)
6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
7. Select “Adjust for best performance.”
8. Select the Ok button

With the Classic Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select System
4. Select Advanced system settings (on the left side)
5. Select Advanced Tab
6. Under Performance, select the Settings button
7. Select Visual Effects Tab
8. Select “Adjust for best performance.”
9. Select the Ok button

After that, Disable and Stop the Themes service.

With the default Category Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select All Programs
3. Select Administrative Tools
4. Select Services
5. Select “Themes” service (Double Click)
6. Select General Tab
7. In the Startup type: select “Disabled”
8. In the Service status area: select “Stop”
9. Select the Ok button to close the panel

Number Five: Add/Remove Programs

Uninstall Windows Vista features that are unused:

With the default Category Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select Programs
4. Select Programs and Features
5. Select Turn Windows features on or off (on the left side)
6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active)
7. Check or Uncheck needed/unneeded Windows features
8. Select the Ok button

Number SIX: Services

Adjust for any additional unneeded services. Windows Vista Services.

With the default Category Control Panel:

1. Head to Start
2. Select Control Panel
3. Select System and Maintenance
4. Select Administrative Tools
5. Select Services
6. Select a service to adjust by double-clicking
7. In the General tab, Startup type section, select Automatic (Delayed Start), Automatic, Manual or Disabled.

If you like, you can also do: Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> Run –> type in services.msc –> Select

OK.

For a Great Service Guide visit this Web page: http://www.blackviper.com/WinVista/servicecfg.htm

After configuring all services that you desire to change, reboot to see the effects of your tweaking.

Note: Do not use msconfig to stop services. It basically is “disabling” a service. Use the above procedure and setto “manual” instead for testing purposes.

Number Seven: Add the Run command to the Start Menu

To add the Run command back to the Vista Start Menu, follow these steps:

1. Right click the Taskbar in an open area
2. Click on Properties
3. Click the Customize button to get to the Customize Start Menu
4. Click OK and the Run command will now appear on the Start Menu.

Number Eight. Disable the Welcome Center

The Windows Vista default setting is to show the Welcome Center on startup. While the Welcome Center is mildly interesting the first time you see it, you will quickly tire of it appearing every time you boot your Vista PC.

This behavior is easily changed by unchecking the Run a Startup button located at the bottom of the Welcome Center.

Number Nine: Start Windows Explorer at somewhere other than documents

1. Copy the Windows Explorer shortcut, usually found in the Start Menu under Accessories, to the Desktop.
2. Right click the shortcut and click properties.
3. Change the Target filed to the desired location.

For example, to have Windows Explorer start at C:\ type in”
C:\Windows\explorer.exe /n, /e, c:\

4. Click OK


Number Ten. Adjust power settings

By default, Windows Vista sets the power options to what it calls a “Balanced” plan. If you are running this on a desktop you will want to change this to preformance. to do this go to control panel –> Power Options

Number Eleven. Increase SATA Disk Drive Performance

You can squeeze a more performance out of your SATA hard disk drive by enabling write caching. The price though, is an increased risk for data loss/corruption should you experienced a power loss – this risk is less in a laptop because of its battery:

1. Click on the Start Button, enter Device Manager and hit Enter.
2. Expand Disk Drives.
3. Right-click on your hard disk drive and select Properties.
4. On the Policies tab, check Enable Advanced Performance.
5. Click OK and close Device Manager.

Number Twelve. Enable ReadyBoost

In order for ReadyBoost to work in Windows Vista, your USB storage device must meet the following requirements:
– the device must have at least 64MB storage.
– the device must be USB 2.0 compliant.
– the device must have a minimum read speed of 3.5 MB/s.
– the device must have a minimum write speed of 2.5 MB/s.

Follow these steps to enable ReadyBoost:
1. Plug in USB storage device.
2. Go to Computer, right-click on the removable storage device and select Properties.
3. Click on the ReadyBoost tab.
4. Select Use This Device and set the amount of space to use for the system file.
5. Click OK.

Number Twelve. Enable ReadyBoost on a non-vista certified usb drive.

1. First things first. Plug the device in. Ignore AutoPlay if you have the enabled, and go to Computer in the start menu. When it pops up, right-click the USB stick and select properties.

2. Click on the Readyboost tab on the properties menu and check Do not restest this device. Click okay and unplug the stick from your computer.

3. Open the registry and go to: HKLM (Local Machine) -> SOFTWARE -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> CurrentVersion -> EMDgmt. You’ll have a list of USB devices the computer has encountered, one of which should be your USB stick. Click on it.

Here there’s a few details you need to edit. Double click on Device Status and change the value to 2, then ok. Do the same for ReadSpeedKBs and WriteSpeedKBs, changing their values to both 1000

4.Now all that’s left to do is put the stick back in and once again go to the device properties (Computer > Right-click on drive). If you look under the Readyboost Tab, you’ll be able to now select Use this device.

Credits to PC Apex

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