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Thread: Optimizing Vista for better PC performance

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Optimizing Vista for better PC performance

    Vista comes with all sorts of changes from the Windows XP interface - and I guess we're going to have to get used to it eventually. Here is a handy list of things you can do if your Vista machine starts slowing down.

    If you're not sure exactly how to go about any of the following, this Vista tips page might prove useful.

    Delete programs you never use
    Quite often our computer comes with a software bundle, including programs we never use. I also tend to experiment with programs and then end up never using them. Even if we are not using them, they might be quietly working in the background. Uninstall any programs you never use.

    Limit how many programs load at startup
    Many programs are designed to load up automatically at start-up. If you don't use them, or commonly don't use them straight away, they are wasting resources.

    Clean up your hard disk
    The disk clean up routine will remove lots of little temporary files that tend to accumulate on our computer.

    Defragment your hard drive
    This will improve file accessing and load times.

    Run fewer programs at the same time
    This will keep more RAM memory available for the task you are currently running. If you have too many programs running at the same time, you can exceed the RAM available on your computer and processing will start using the memory swop file on your hard drive which will result in a drastic drop in performance.

    Turn off visual effects
    All that fancy fade in/fade out functionality is drawing on resources. If you're tight on available memory - lose the fancy effects.

    Restart regularly
    Programs don't always close down as cleanly as one might hope for. Don't just leave your computer on for weeks at a time. (Eskom is probably helping you out with this one just at the moment )

    Add more memory
    If processing has slowed down dramatically, you might be into the swap file. Add more RAM to keep everything in "instant memory."

    Check for viruses and spyware
    Our worst nightmare. And they can be a real resource hog too.

    Check your computer’s speed
    Vista has a tool called the Windows Experience Index. This measures a number of hardware and software elements to give you an idea of how your PC is performing.

    Disable services you don’t need
    Windows runs many different programs in the background - you might not need them all running. One for the experts only!

    There are even more Vista performance enhancing tips here.
    Last edited by Dave A; 02-Feb-08 at 09:54 AM.
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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Turn off visual effects
    All that fancy fade in/fade out functionality is drawing on resources. If you're tight on available memory - lose the fancy effects.
    This is a big one! I had a look at memory usage with the Vista Aero theme (the one with all the fancy transparency etc.) and it was using more than 30MB of memory (and who knows how much processing power). Changed to the Vista basic theme, and memory usage is under 1MB.

    To change it, right click on the desktop, then choose Personalize, followed by Window Color and Appearance. Set the colour scheme to Vista basic.

    If you have less than 1GB of ram you can also use a USB 2.0 flash drive as extra ram (apparently not much affect if you have more than a gig of ram) . Plug it in and one of the options is ReadyBoost.
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    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    The best performance tip for Vista I can give right now, is to backup your data, format, and get XP back on as soon as possible.... Microsoft has released the pre-release Service Pack 1 for Vista, but it's still very far from the "Wow" that Billy boy has been bloating about...

    Microsoft has extended the retailing of XP until June 2008, I suggest you get copies now...

    ***

    For those wanting ReadyBoost performance on Windows XP, check out eBoostr

    Be sure to get USB Flash Drives that are ReadyBoost verified if you're planning to use it with Vista, here is some interesting reading:

    Windows Vista's Windows ReadyBoost sounds too good to be true, and based on our extensive lab tests, it is. The technology promises to let you speed up Windows by plugging an inexpensive USB flash drive into your PC. But we found that while ReadyBoost may speed up Vista a tiny bit, it can also slow it down in some instances.

    PC World Article: ReadyBoost Flash Drives Lack Significant Boost

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    Or probably the best tip: "Uninstall Vista and replace with something (anything) else". Apparently Microsoft is also thinking this is a good idea:
    Microsoft will be discontinuing the Operating system from 2009, that translates into a dismal failure for Microsoft, they are having poor sales and uptake, much like Windows ME ( who ever remembers that)
    See these links:
    http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/35641/118/
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,13...p/article.html
    http://www.news.com/The-XP-alternati...3-6209481.html
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=543
    http://www.computerworld.com/action/...icleId=9040318
    http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/...staship_1.html

    Just do a google search on Windows Vista downgrade XP

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    I have given up with Vista. After uninstalling Norton, life with Vista become alot more tolerable but it still has unpredictable behaviour and does things without asking. Having to present a workshop and every now and then having to make changes to the display settings because Vista just decides after 30 mins "agh, let me swop the screens around or maybe 640x480 display would work better" is not my idea of making life interesting. Another one is simply decide "lets block internet access" or "disconnect the 3g modem on that USB port maybe this guy is enjoying his notebook to much" I will definately replace my notebook with an XP OS as soon as I can afford it.

    Vista on a notebook simply doesn't work imo

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I've got Vista on my notebook (Fujitsu Siemens), and I have not had any hassles. The biggest hassle was Quickbooks 2006 which doesn't support Vista, but it was possible to get it running (2007 and up do support Vista).

    I run a variety of uncommon programmes due to my engineering needs, and so far have no complaints. I've never put Norton's on, but I can't stand Norton's anyway (kills performance). The laptop does have 2GB of memory, and I turned off all the fancy graphics (maybe that helps).

    With everything, YMMV (especially depending on your hardware).
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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    The laptop does have 2GB of memory, and I turned off all the fancy graphics (maybe that helps).
    One of the first things I did was ensuring that my computer has no fancy nonsense running all the time. It's performance improved slightly but it still has irritating and unpredictable behavior. I find it most annoying!

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Which office package do you have installed?
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    Office 2000 Pro SR1

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I was just asking as another friend of mine has also had problems with Vista, but she is running Office 2007 I think.

    I did do a reinstall when I got my laptop, but then just installed all the stuff I needed and no Norton or MS Office software (using OpenOffice.org)
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