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Author Topic: Vista Tips, or things you'll want to disable right away  (Read 6643 times)
zridling
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« on: April 09, 2007, 07:19:15 PM »

There are already plenty of Vista tips online, but here's a few good sites to start with:

- ItsVista's 30 Vista Tips
- Installing and Tweaking Windows Vista Tweakhound.com
- Lifehacker: Windows Vista upgrade power tips
- Windows Vista Usability Tips Steve Sinchak
- Windows Connected Vista Tips Index
- Tim Sneath Vista Tip blog
- Tech-Recipes' Vista Tips
- TweakVista has several pages of specific Vista tips:
Usability Tips
UI Customizations
Performance Tweaks
Software Tweaks
Security Tweaks
Vista Downloads
Various Vista Links


________________________________________________
TIP 1: Restore desktop background to XP default blue
Desktop Background color: (Control Panel > Personalization > Desktop Background > More...)
Red      0
Green      106
Blue      147

Hue      131
Sat      240
Lum      69
________________________________________________
TIP 2: Disable a few unused Services
— Go to Run, type services.msc, and disable:
   - Offline Files
   - Remote Registry
   - Tablet PC

— Also, go to Control Panel, Select 'Programs and Features' > Turn Windows Features On/Off
- Deselect all but:
   - Games (keep what you want)
   - .NET Framework
   - Print Services
   - Remote Differential Compression
   - Windows DFS Replication Service

— Start > Run > msconfig
- Deselect anything you don't want running on startup
________________________________________________
TIP 3: To Enable Readyboost on a USB Drive
— Start > Run > services.msc > Enable ReadyBoost
- Select the drive in Vista Explorer, right-click and select Properties > ReadyBoost Tab > Use this device
- OR go to Control Panel > Performance and Infomation Tools > Advanced Tools > Configure my Windows ReadyBoost device
________________________________________________
TIP 4: See what's slowing down Vista's startup speed
— Control Panel > Performance and Infomation Tools > Advanced Tools
________________________________________________
TIP 5: Reduce UI Visual overhead
— Control Panel > Performance and Infomation Tools > Adjust visual effects, custom tweak for best performance with these:
   - enable desktop composition
   - show shadows under menus
   - show windows contents while dragging
   - smooth edges of screen fonts
   - smooth-scroll list boxes
   - use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop
   - use visual styles on windows and buttons
________________________________________________
TIP 6: To Change the Default Option When Turning Off Computer
1. Control Panel > Power Options
2. Select a power management plan and then click on "Change Plan Settings."
3. Click on "Change advanced power settings."
4. In the Power Options dialog, expand "Power Buttons and Lid," and then expand "Start menu power button"
5. Click on "Setting" and then choose Shut Down.
________________________________________________
TIP 7: To Underline Keyboard Shortcuts
1. WIN+U, OR CONTROL PANEL
2. Ease of Access Center
3. Under Explore all settings, select: Make the keyboard easier to use.
4 Under Make It Easier To Use Keyboard Shortcuts, select: Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys.
5. Select Save.
________________________________________________
TIP 8: To Reduce Vista's Huge Desktop Icons
— Simply CTRL+click on the desktop and scroll your mouse wheel to the size you want
________________________________________________
TIP 9: Turn off UAC (ultra-annoying control)
— Control Panel > Security Center > Other Security Settings > User Account Control > Turn Off
________________________________________________
TIP 10: Turn Off HD Indexing
— Control Panel > Indexing Options > Modify > Deselect drives
   - Control Panel > Indexing Options > Advanced > File Types, to merely select which types of files will be indexed.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 07:27:41 PM by zridling » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2007, 07:26:33 PM »

Almost all these tips are using Control Panel > Classic View. I didn't mention turning off Aero, as it's highly overrated, imo. To turn Aero off, go to:
— Control Panel > Personalization > Windows Color and Appearance > Appearance Settings > Color Scheme > select Basic, classic, et al.
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Darwin
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2007, 07:34:47 PM »

Wow! Thanks Zaine. This is exactly the sort of tweaking that I always go through when I have a fresh installation of windows to mess up er, play around with. I know that elsewhere I've claimed that I won't be moving to Vista anytime soon but all it's going to take is a fried mother board and I'll be in my nearest Future Shop or Staples, trembling (from computer withdrawal and fear of my wife's wrath) with my credit card at the ready. No doubt I will then be joining the Vista club whether I like it or not, so it's good to know how to tame the beast.

FWIW, I agree with you about aero. I bought WindowBlinds 5 specifically so that I could play with the aero look under XP (18 months ago, now) because I was very enamoured of per pixel shading and the "look" when the first betas of Vista started to appear. In using it, while I think it is visually stunning, I find that over time I tire of it and return to Windows Classic view. The length of time between these bouts of "aero madness" are getting longer and longer apart and I rather regret buying WindowBlinds as I've no real interest in skinning my system. Fool. Money. etc.
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zridling
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2007, 07:58:28 PM »

Ha! I often do that with desktop backgrounds. I'll have a neat photo up there — usually of something naked — and then I ask, who's looking at this except me? Feh, just put it back to default blue. I'll take performance over beauty anyday, and thus one more attraction to Linux (although Freespire, Xandros, and Ubuntu are each quite elegant).
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2007, 09:17:36 PM »

Turning off Aero is not really going to give you a performance boost, unless you have an ancient graphics card (in which case you probably should not be running Vista anyway, and Vista won't give you the full Aero experience to start with. Aero will never use software rendering). Aero is completely HW accelerated and uses your GPU for all the effects.

As for services, I use dto do that with XP, but in the end its just not worth it, IMO. Anything which is not getting used is simply going to be paged out, and will not affect the system. I haven't experimented with Vista yet though.
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Darwin
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 09:26:17 PM »

Sadly, I'm not the only one who would be gazing on whatever graces my desktop, so I have a limited range of options available to me in selecting wallpaper  Sad Fortunately, like you, I can't stomach wasting valuable resources on eye candy (yeah, I know, what was I thinking when I bought WindowBlinds?!  embarassed) so it's not really such a hardship  cheesy
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f0dder
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2007, 01:09:56 AM »

Quote from: MrCrispy
Aero is completely HW accelerated and uses your GPU for all the effects.
Funny thing is that it feels no faster than the XP gui... but people tend to forget that GDI has been hardware accelerated for ages, even if not using superfancy 3d.

Quote from: MrCrispy
As for services, I use dto do that with XP, but in the end its just not worth it, IMO. Anything which is not getting used is simply going to be paged out, and will not affect the system.
It's better not to load in the first place, than having to page out. Paging out = writing to disk = slow. Also, reducing unnecessary services can mean a faster system boot (even with all the fancy features for faster booting added in vista).

Even on my XP box, I've set the VMWare and PerfectDisk services to manual load, since I don't run these programs very often... shaves some time off booting, and saves about 30 megs of physical memory (not a lot compared to the 2gig I got in my system, perhaps, but it's still 30 megs that can be used for other stuff).
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2007, 01:42:48 AM »

Its hard to make the GUI in normal use feel 'faster' - most of the time the cpu and gpu are idling, and even a pc from 5 years ago could do overlapping windows. However, start playing videos, have an unresponsive app or two, drag the windows around, and see how quickly the screen repaints and what the overall effect is. This is where Vista (and OSX with Quartz Extreme, and Beryl, and pretty much any composited desktop with display buffering) will shine. GDI has been accelerated but only for drawing. Vista has a completely new unified memory architecture that can page video memory and use it uniformly, alogwith the gpu.

I agree with you on services, I do the same (manual start). But it requires expert knowledge and many times can do more harm than good, esp if you turn off rarely used but important services. For a normal user like my friends/parents, I'd advise them to leave such things as they are!
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