January 9th, 2007
I’m now told that Superfecth (by design) will try to gobble up most ram you have, so it’s normal to see virtually no free Ram with superfetch running. The idea is that if you load a program SF will quickly give you back ram, so (in theory) its not a bad idea to keep SF running).
Also, while I did not see specific improvements in performance with Superfetch and Readyboost, a number of reviews, e.g. by TomsHardware do have evidence that it helps.
Vista is very resource heavy. The following tips show you how to disable some of the unnecessary stuff, speed up your PC, and use Vista more effectively:
- These tips are for power users only - don’t change system settings unless you know what you are doing!
- Some of these settings (e.g. disabling defender) make your PC more vulnerable to malware etc. Also, disabling some services can cause your PC to malfunction / behave unpredictably, and / or pop up a video of Steve Ballmer doing the developper dance. Or not.
- By following these tips you agree that if you mess your PC I’m not responsible. Please back up your PC before attempting these tips.
VISTA Tips and Tricks list:
1. Disable Windows defender
- Open control panel- click classic view.
- Open defender - it’s at the bottom, next to Firewall and other stuff like Sidebar.
- Click Tools - then Options - and untick everything you see, such as:
Untick automatically scan my PC
scroll down, untick use real time protection
untick advanced options, click save
- If user access control is on, you may get a warning. Click continue.
2. Disable User Access Control
On most versions of Vista, User Access Control is enabled - basically this is a security procedure which warns you before you (or any application) enables to do something considered risky, e.g. modifying system settings. Disable it only if you know what you are doing.
- Open Control Panel
- Open User Accounts
- Click turn user account control on/off.
- Untick use user access control
- click OK (you may need to restart).
3. Turn off hibernation
If you don’t use the hibernation feature, you can disable it and recover around a gigabyte of hard disk space.
To do this, run “powercfg - H off”
4. Press Alt
In most windows, you can get the traditional menu (File, Edit, View..) by just tapping the Alt key.
5. Turn on hidden files view
- In any drive window, click Alt, then click Tools - Folder Options
- Click View tab
- Select Show hidden files and folders.
- You can also untick various other annoying “Idiot mode” options like Hide extensions for known file types, and “Remember each folders view settings”.
6. Disable the sidebar
If you get tired of the sidebar, you can disable it easily via the control panel.
- Open Control Panel - Sidebar Properties
- Untick start sidebar when windows starts
7. Move swap file to another drive/partition
If you have another drive, you can speed up Vista a bit by moving the swap file to that drive. Even if you are using only one drive, moving the swap file to another partition is useful (if you intend to back up your primary partiton via a compressed mirror, saving space on the primary partition will speed up the process and reduce the backup file size).
- Press Windows + Pause/break key
- Click advanced system settings
- Click the advanced tab
- Click the settings button
- Now click Advanced (yes I know this is a bit confusing)
- Under virtual memory click change
- Untick automatically manage
- Select the new drive/partition you want to use for swap file and click system managed, click set (Note: Unlike Ubuntu, windows will not wipe the drive or partition - instead it just makes a file called pagefile.sys).
- To cancel the swap file on C click C and select no page file, click set
8. Disable unnecessary services
Warning - disabling services can cause your system to behave unpredictably, reduce security, not boot at all, or rupture the space-time continuum. Proceed with caution, only if you know what you are doing:
Navigate to: control panel - administrative tools - services Then try disabling the following (doubleclick, select disabled under startup type, click OK).
- Background Intelligent Transfer Service
- DHCP client (Only if you use a static IP, see Dan’s note below!)
- Diagnostic policy service
- Diagnostic System Host
- Distributed link tracking client
- DNS client
- IP Helper
- Offline Files (See http://22.214.171.124/Windows/en-US/Help/93a550df-34cd-4497-85d0-8732602f59591033.mspx for more info on what this is)
- Portable Device Enumerator Service
- ReadyBoost (if you are not using this feature (no flash drive)
- Secondary Logon (This may prevent you from using the “Run As/Run as Administrator” option.
- Security Center (prolly kills off defender etc).
- Shell Hardware Detection Service (Kills autorun - and good riddance).
- SSDP discovery (Something to do with UPNP devices. Darned if I know or care)
- Superfetch (This is Vista’s amazing caching service. Think of it as Vista’s Smartdrv. In theory it will slow down some operations but AFAIK it didn’t make much of a difference, and released a LOT of RAM).
- System Event Notification Service.
- Tablet PC input service (If no.. tablet PC?).
- Terminal Serives.
- Web client.
- Windows Defender (First disable it from control panel).
- Windows Error Reporting.
- Windows Event Log.
- Windows Image Acquisition (if no scanner and you are using your digital camera via a card reader).
- Windows Search (This is that annoying indexing utility. Keep it if you need to find files fast).
- Windows Time.
- Windows Update (if you can’t manually update, turn this back on).
- Print spooler (if you dont have a printer).
- Tip: Don’t disable task scheduler as defragment depends on it.
9. Setting up custom network settings
Vista will usually automatically detect your network, but if you need to set it up manually, heres how:
- Right click the Network Icon on the taskbar
- click Network and Sharing center
- Click the blue View Status link (if it’s not visible, ensure your cable is plugged in and click connect..)
- Click properties
- Doubleclick Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
- Enter your custom network configuration (The IP for this PC, the subnet, default gateway and DNS server - gateway and DNS server are usually your routers IP.
- You may need to restart your PC.
After restarting, you can select your type of network (e.g. Home) and you are good to go.
If you have other tips for Vista, please list them here as comments!