While the discussion pertains to Vista particularly, the same applies to Windows in general too ! For a general user the first three are usually more than sufficient to make your Vista faster. The remaining are some more which a tweak enthusiast may wish to consider. Utilities like WinPatrol or Tune-Up Utilities can help you in most of the cases.
1. Restrict the no. of start-ups. Why have programs starting up when you dont really use them. Even those you use can always be started manually by clicking on the. I personally prefer not to have ANY starups. I click on my Internet Defense Suite manually, before connecting to the Internet. So decide for yourself which one’s you really need as start-ups.
2. Disable services which one may not require. For example, if your pc is a stand-alone one, there may be sevral services which you can disable or switch over to manual mode. Auto-starting and closing down of services takes time & resources. These can be saved. BlackViper’s Vista Service Configurations is an excellent guide to follow.
3. Reducing visual effects (eye candy).
Right-click on “My Computer” > Properties > Advanced > Performance-Settings > Visual Effects > Adjust for best performance > Apply > OK.
To allow the themes and the glass effects, you may have to check on the boxes : enable transperant glass and use visual styles; this way atleast the spirit of Vista will be preserved- else be prepared for a really bland Vista ! Use your discretion. I know disabling all can actually negate the purpose of ‘eye-friendly’ Vista.
4. Ensure that boot defragmentation is enabled, so that files used during start-up are clubbed together.
Start Regedit. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Dfrg\ BootOptimizeFunction . Select Enable from the list on the right.
Right Click on it and select Modify. Change the value to Y to enable and N to disable. Reboot.
5. Disable : “clear page file on shutdown” option. Cleaning the page-file on every shutdown means overwriting the data by zeros, and it takes time.
To clear/not clear page file you can apply this reg tweak. Back up registry before trying this.
GotoHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\ Session Manager\ Memory Management
Modify (if not present, rt click in open space and create) the Value Data Type/s and Value Name/s :
Data Type: REG_DWORD [Dword Value]
Value Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown
Setting for Value Data: [0 = Clear Page File Disabled / 1 = Clear Page File Enabled]
Exit Registry and Reboot.
6. Defragment your System Disk & Fine Tune your Registry. If you find the Vista’s in-built defragger slow, you can try SysInternals Power Defragmenter which works on Vista too ! Use the freeware CCleaner to clear up your PC Junk and clean up the Registry. Compacting the Registry occasionally is a good idea too !