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Tweaking Windows Vista

A guide to Tweak & Optimize Vista.


Version 3.0, last updated June, 2009

- to change slightly, esp. in order to make something more effective or correct. - get the most out of, make optimal optimiz - modify to achieve maximum efficiency in storage capacity or e time or cost tweak Welcome to the SP2 Edition of Tweaking Windows Vista. This is version 3.0 and includes several additions and clarifications. Tweaking your computer is about more than just speed tweaks. It is also about proper configuration, customizing, and maintenance. Like the XP tweak guide before it I've done my best to explain the tweaks without going overboard. I hope this guide will help you to make your Vista experience a little better. I've set up a place for comments and feedback here. Important Notes On Tweaking & This Guide 1 - Tweaking is best done on a fresh install. 2 - Get as much memory (RAM) as you can afford. RAM is fast and Vista will take advantage of it. You'll hear people whine that Vista hogs RAM...Yep it does, and it's a GOOD THING (RAM is faster than a hard drive). 3 - Use 2 (or more) hard drives. This will speed up access to files and provide a good backup location. (more on this later) 4 - "If you're gonna tweak you gotta be a Geek." (didn't know I was a poet did ya?!) This means: -You know how to recover from problems. Backup, Backup, Backup, Backup -You should understand the effect a tweak will have before you do it. (Google) -The "G" in Geek stands for "Grownup". You take responsibility for your actions, don't whine at me when you ignore the above two points.

5 - Proper Hard Drive Configuration Properly setting up your hard drive(s) allows for both increased performance and reliable backups. To better understand what I mean, see how I do it: How My Drives Are Setup (I use Acronis Disk Director for partitioning.) I'll guarantee you that if you didn't build your own computer or completely wiped the drive then your hard drive isn't properly partitioned. Partitions - A quick example of a proper partition strategy for Vista: Single Drive - Vista / Docs, or Vista / Docs / Other Dual Drives - First Disk, Vista /Other - Second Disk, Page File / Docs If you have a Desktop: -Add a second or even a third hard drive. -Move your Page File and your Documents (and any other non-installed stuff) off the OS drive (I'll show you how later in this guide). -Partition / Repartition your disks. If you have a Laptop: -Partition / Repartition your disks. 6 - Maintain Your Computer. Disk cleanup and defrag is the fastest and easiest way to speed up your computer. 7 - In this guide I show you a few keyboard shortcuts. Learning these can save you an incredible amount of time, you could call it self-tweaking. - For a list of these you don't need to look anywhere but your own computer. Go to Start > Help & Support > in the Search help box type keyboard shortcut. It'll even show you how to create your own shortcuts. 8 - In no way is any of this intended for any computer that is in or connects to a domain or corporate network. 9 - ***Please see: Bad Tweaks (most of this applies to Vista too) 10 - For my fellow geeky Geeks. I've provided as many registry settings as I can. For the most part they are written in grey. 11 - Read through this entire guide before doing anything.

12 - I've worked my butt off on this guide (hours and hours and hours and...). Please don't rip-off my work. 13 - You can purchase a printable PDF for $5. Details here. You get a 3 PDF's totaling 143 pages. The money helps me keep this site going. Windows Vista SP1 & SP2 I highly recommend that if you are not doing a fresh install of Vista that you use Windows Update to install SP1 and then SP2. SP1 is required to be installed prior to SP2. If you choose to download the full version the links are below. SP1 Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Five Language Standalone (KB936330) 434.5 MB Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Five Language Standalone for x64-based Systems (KB936330) 726.5 MB SP2 Windows Vista Service Pack 2 - Five Language Standalone (KB948465) Windows Vista Service Pack 2 - Five Language Standalone for x64-based systems (KB948465) Vista Service Pack Cleanup Once you've installed both Service Packs and everything is running well, AND you are absolutely 100% sure you do not want to uninstall it, AND you have backed up your system... You can run this command compcln.exe . This will allow you to reclaim significant disk space. To do this press the Windows + R keys and type compcln.exe in the run box, or, if you prefer using the command line: press the Windows + R keys and type cmd then type compcln.exe . More info from Microsoft: Windows Component Clean Tool (COMPCLN) The Windows Component Clean Tool (COMPCLN.exe) can be used to remove the files that are archived after Windows Vista SP2 or Windows Server 2008 SP2 is applied. It also removes the files that were archived after Windows Vista SP1 was applied, if they are found on the system. Running this tool is optional.

Installing Windows Vista service packs increases the amount of disk space that is used by the operating system. This space is used to archive files so that the service pack can be uninstalled. Typically, you should run COMPCLN.exe if you want to reclaim this disk space after applying SP2 and if you will not need to uninstall SP2. You cannot uninstall Windows Vista SP2 or Windows Server 2008 SP2 after you run this tool on an image. This tool can be used online or offline. Please do not whine at me if you run into problems and you haven't backed up your computer! Desktop, Start Menu, Taskbar, and Notification Area Auto Login Redundant warning #1...Having a machine set to automatically login is a serious security risk, especially for laptops. You're on your own... Press the Windows + R keys > type netplwiz > uncheck Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer. > in the resulting screen pick the appropriate User and type in the password and click Apply. Organize The Start Menu I prefer the old style start menu. It's bland looking I know but it is more organized which means you get things done faster. If you wish to switch to this, right-click on the Start button and choose Properties, check Classic Start menu, click Apply. (click on thumbnails for a larger image) Classic Menu Default Menu

From the default style start menu: Add and remove features, right-click on the Start button and choose Properties, click the Customize button. In the resulting Window (I'll give these to you in order, top to bottom): -For Computer, Control Panel, and Documents check Display as menu. -Check the Run box -under System administrative tools, check Display on the All Programs menu and the Start menu. -click OK, then Apply. Organize - Go to START > All PROGRAMS > right click > EXPLORE, repeat and this time right click EXPLORE ALL USERS. Open (double-click) the Programs folder. I create my own folders using names like: Sound, Pix, Video, Office, Apps, etc. To do this right-click in an empty space in the window and choose New > New Folder and name it. Then drag or cut and paste the old folders into the ones you made. I also like to cleanup my desktop by renaming icons to one line names (right click > RENAME), and moving them to where I want them on the screen. If you have created multiple users, it is a good idea to check each one to make sure that they have all your programs. Some programs need to be installed on each user account. (You may want to open all your applications now to make sure they work.) Shut down your computer.

Reg Values: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced] "Start_AdminToolsRoot"=dword:00000002 "Start_ShowMyComputer"=dword:00000002 "Start_ShowControlPanel"=dword:00000002 "Start_ShowMyDocs"=dword:00000002 "Start_ShowRun"=dword:00000001 From the classic style start menu: Add and remove features, right-click On the Start button and choose Properties, click the Customize button > I recommend the following boxes be checked, uncheck the rest: -Display Administrative Tools -Display Run -Enable dragging and dropping -Expand Control Panel -Expand My Documents -Expand Network Connections -click OK, then Apply. Organize - Go to START > PROGRAMS > right click > EXPLORE, repeat and this time right click EXPLORE ALL USERS. I create my own folders using names like: Sound, Pix, Video, Office, Apps, etc. To do this right-click in an empty space in the window and choose New > New Folder and name it. Then drag or cut and paste the old folders into the ones you made. I also like to cleanup my desktop by renaming icons to one line names (right click > RENAME), and moving them to where I want them on the screen. If you have created multiple users, it is a good idea to check each one to make sure that they have

all your programs. Some programs need to be installed on each user account. (You may want to open all your applications now to make sure they work.) Shut down your computer. Reg Values: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced] "StartMenuAdminTools"="YES" "StartMenuFavorites"=dword:00000000 "StartMenuLogoff"=dword:00000000 "StartMenuRun"=dword:00000001 "CascadeControlPanel"="YES" "CascadeMyDocuments"="YES" "CascadeNetworkConnections"="YES" "ClassicViewState"=dword:00000000

Other Start Menu Options Right-click on the Start button and choose Properties. In the Start Menu Pane under Privacy, deselect: -Store and display a list of recently opened files -Store and display a list of recently opened programs Click Apply. Reg Values:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced] "Start_TrackProgs"=dword:00000001 "Start_TrackDocs"=dword:00000001 In the Taskbar Pane uncheck: Group similar taskbar buttons Show Quick Launch Show window previews (thumbnails) Click Apply Reg Values: ; Don't Show Quick Launch [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer] "EnableAutoTray"=dword:00000001 ; Don't Group Similar Taskbar Buttons [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced] "TaskbarGlomming"=dword:00000000 ; unfortunately Show window previews (thumbnails) is a huge combined binary value located here: ; HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\ShellBrowser ; "ITBar7Layout"= In the Notification Area pane uncheck -Hide inactive icons Click Apply Reg Value:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer] "EnableAutoTray"=dword:00000000 Dealing With The Sidebar This can use a significant amount of memory and some gadgets eat RAM wholesale. I have a couple of gadgets installed and often I use the Sidebar. But I don't want it to start automatically. If you want to keep it from autostarting: Right-click in the Sidebar area and choose Properties > uncheck Start Sidebar when Windows starts. You can start it any time from the run box. Press the Windows + R keys and type sidebar. Turn Off System Sounds What this does is disable the Sound Scheme. The sound scheme contains things like the sound you hear when you click on something. I'm really not concerned so much with the resources it uses but I just find the sounds to be annoying. Either way... Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel (or Start > Control Panel) > Sound . Click on the Sounds tab. First save your current scheme, click on the Save As... button, enter a name, I used "1", and click OK. Next, in the upper most box, click on the arrow on the right side and choose No Sounds and click Apply at the bottom, right. Visual Tweaks Visual Effects Press the Windows + Pause Break keys > in the left pane click on Advanced system settings. In the resulting window, in the Performance section click the Settings... button. In the Visual Effects pane check your options. I uncheck all except: -Enable desktop composition

-Smooth edges of screen fonts -Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop -Use Visual Styles on windows and buttons Click Apply All the options: Animate controls and elements inside windows Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing Enable desktop composition Enable transparent glass Fade or slide menus into view Fade or slide ToolTips into view Fade out menu items after clicking Show preview and filters in folder Show shadows under menus Show shadows under mouse pointer Show thumbnails instead of icons Show translucent selection rectangle Show window contents while dragging Slide open combo boxes Slide taskbar buttons Smooth edges of screen fonts Smooth-scroll list boxes Use a background image for each folder type Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop

Use visual styles on windows and buttons

***Note - The values below are the ones I can find that change individually. To change all the values to the settings above using regedit you must use these AND the UserPreferencesMask value below. Reg Values: ; Visual Effects Settings [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced] "WebView"=dword:00000000 "IconsOnly"=dword:00000001 "ListviewAlphaSelect"=dword:00000000 "ListviewShadow"=dword:00000001 "ListviewWatermark"=dword:00000000 "TaskbarAnimations"=dword:00000000 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop] "DragFullWindows"="0" "FontSmoothing"="2" [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics] "MinAnimate"="0" [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM] "CompositionPolicy"=dword:00000000

; Unfortunately these values are all stored together, to use the settings above use this: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop] "UserPreferencesMask"=hex:90,12,03,80,10,00,00,00

Aero One of the things that makes Vista...well...Vista, is the new Aero interface. The Aero Options Screen (click for a larger image)

Disable Transparency This can make Aero a little "snappier". Right-click in an empty space on your desktop, choose Personalize > click on Window Color and Appearance > uncheck Enable transparency. While you're there you can change the look of Aero by choosing a color, I use Graphite. Reg Value: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM] "ColorizationOpaqueBlend"=dword:00000001 Disable Aero While most of you know the key to tweaking a machine for performance involves the culmination of numerous tweaks I feel I should inform you that many benchmarks have shown no real correlation between disabling Aero altogether and increased performance. I do not disable Aero. Right-click in an empty space on your desktop, choose Personalize > click on Window Color and Appearance > click on Open classic appearance properties for more color options > under Color scheme: choose Windows Vista Basic > click Apply and OK.

Reg Value: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM] "Composition"=dword:00000000 Here is a differing opinion on Aero: Aero Theme is bad, disable it Drive & File System Tweaks Move Your Documents Vista really hosed things by replacing the My Documents folder. Moving this info has two benefits: 1 - These files are safe from any OS problems and are unaffected if you need to restore the OS from backup. 2 - Cuts down on disk fragmentation. In the Classic Start Menu, Click on your User Name icon or In the new menu style click on your User Name. For each of the folders you want to replace, Copy and Paste them to the desired new location. (ensure you do not have a folder there by that name) Next, for each folder you copied, Right-click on that folder and choose Properties. Click on the Location pane and then click the Move... button. Navigate to corresponding folder in the new location Click Apply, answer Yes in the resulting pop-up (choose Copy and Replace for any other screens). You can do this for any folder here but I recommend moving: Contacts

Documents Downloads Music Pictures Videos Turn Off Indexing or Configure which drives you want indexed Warning - One of the touted features of Vista is its Search feature, messing with Indexing will hinder this ability. I must confess I've never understood the fascination with searching or search tools. The better solution is to organize your data from the start. Once organized you can tell each program where to put files (via preferences). i.e. - All pics go in the Pictures folder, all mp3's go in the Music folder, etc. A couple of notes: 1 - Many people have noticed a lot of "disk activity" or "disk thrashing" in Vista. Disabling this will stop SOME of this activity but NOT all. Other Vista services like Prefetch and ReadyBoost account for some of this 2 - Disabling Indexing does not mean you can't use Windows Search but it does mean searches will take more time. The fast way to disable all: Disable the Windows Search service (Start > Run > type services.msc) Disable Indexing on selected drives: Click on Computer. Right-click on any drives/partition you do not want Indexed.

In the General pane uncheck Index this drive for faster searching, click Apply, In the resulting window choose Apply changes to drive X:\, subfolders and files, click OK Click OK or Continue for any pop-ups, and ignore all for any error messages. I did this for every drive. Make Sure Your SATA Drives Are configured For Max Speed Vista doesn't always set all the performance options to maximum for your SATA drives. To set all the options to max, open device manager. Press the Windows + R keys and type devmgmt.msc > expand the Disk drives section by clicking on the plus sign > double-click on the drive you want to configure the click the Policies tab > Check the Optimize for performance button > Check both the Enable write caching on the disk and the Enable advanced performance boxes. See the warnings about power loss? They are there for a reason.

Make Sure Your External Drives Are configured For Max Speed This tweak isn't as important unless you are constantly writing/reading to/from an external drive, or, unless you're a Geek!

Press the Windows + R keys and type devmgmt.msc > expand the Disk drives section by clicking on the plus sign > double-click on the drive you want to configure the click the Policies tab > Check the Optimize for performance button.

Move Print Spool Directory For most people this tweak works on the machine that the printer is physically attached to. This tweak is most effective if you move it to a separate drive from your OS, preferably the first partition on that disk or the second partition on that disk if you are using the first for your page file.

from the classic style menu: Create a new folder on that partition called PrintSpool > now go to START > Printers > click on File at the top left of the window > scroll down and click Server Properties > click on the Advanced tab > type the COMPLETE path to the PrintSpool folder you just created (i.e. - D:\\PrintSpool) from the default style menu: Create a new folder on that partition called PrintSpool > now go to START > Control Panel > Printers > click on File at the top left of the window > scroll down and click Server Properties > click on the Advanced tab > type the COMPLETE path to the PrintSpool folder you just created (i.e. - D:\\PrintSpool) Regedit Only Tweaks To access the registry: Press the Windows + R keys > in the resulting windows type regedit and then click OK. To navigate to or within a specific key you simply click the arrows next to it. If there is no arrow then click on the name of the key itself. More info on the registry can be found here. I've put these all in a text file for you below. It is called tweakhound_vista_other.txt. To make it a registry file simply rename it to a file with a .reg extension. i.e. tweakhound_vista_other.reg. Right-click on this link an click "save link as" or "save target as". Link = tweakhound_vista_other.txt ; NTFS, Disable 8.3 names and Last Access (speeds up disk access) [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem]

"NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation"=dword:00000001 "NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate"=dword:00000001 ; Specifies the time, following user input, during which the system keeps apps from moving into the foreground. [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop] "ForegroundLockTimeout"=dword:00000000 ; Faster Shutdown, may cause an error at shutdown with misbehaving apps (ZoneAlarm 7 is one) [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control] "WaitToKillServiceTimeout"="5000" ; Disable Low disk space checks [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer] "NoLowDiskSpaceChecks"=dword:00000001 ; Disable Ballon Tips [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced] "EnableBalloonTips"=dword:00000000 "StartButtonBalloonTip"=dword:00000000 "FolderContentsInfoTip"=dword:00000000 Security Center & Other Security Related Tweaks I realize what I'm about to say will seem condescending to some folks but it needs to be said, sorry.

For Geeks many of the security features in Vista range from really annoying to unneeded. For many people all these features really do help them secure their computer. Most computer users fall somewhere in the middle. The decision on what features to keep or not is yours, as is the responsibility. The price you may pay for a wrong decision is an unusable computer or loss of personal or financial information. Consider yourself warned.

Recommendation: IMHO, the average user should not disable: Security Center Windows Defender (if you do not have another anti-spyware tool) User Account Control System Restore (if you do not have another backup method) Automatic Updates (configure it instead)

If you are not familiar with the security features in Vista PLEASE read this before changing anything security related: Some guidelines for securing your Windows Vista PC (word.doc)

Stop Security Notifications You must to this BEFORE you disable the Security Center. In the Notification Area (bottom-right where the time is), right-click on the Security Shield and choose Open Security Center. In the left pane of the resulting window choose Change the way Security Center alerts me, choose Don't notify me and don't display the icon, *poof* the shield is gone!

Reg Value:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center\Svc\S-1-5-21-some series of numbers, diff on each machine] "EnableNotifications"=dword:00000000 ;note - the value below EnableNotifications is EnableNotificationsRef, it shows the number of times the above value is changed. ;if you like you may delete but leaving it hurts nothing

Don't Monitor Specific Events Must be done from regedit Reg Values: ; 00000000, or 0 = On, 00000001 or 1 = Off, Off means do not monitor [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center\Svc] "AntiVirusOverride"=dword:00000001 "AntiSpywareOverride"=dword:00000001 "FirewallOverride"=dword:00000001

Disable Security Center * see Stop Security Notifications above. Press the Windows + R keys > type services.msc . Scroll down to Security Center and double-click on it. In the resulting window, click in the box next to Startup type: and choose Disable. To stop the service now click the Stop button, otherwise the changes will be in effect on reboot. Reg Value: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\wscsvc] "Start"=dword:00000004

Disable Windows Defender Go to Start > Programs > Windows Defender > Tools > Options > Uncheck everything, especially Use Windows Defender. Click Save. You need to do this before you disable the service or else you'll generate an error. Reg Value: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender] "DisableAntiSpyware"=dword:00000001

TweakUAC If the only reason you are going to disable User Access Control (UAC) is because it annoys you you may want out check out TweakUAC. It is a free program that allows you to adjust UAC to run in quiet mode. TweakUAC is a free software tool that you can use to quickly turn UAC on or off, or to make UAC operate in the quiet mode.

Disable User Account Control (UAC) initial source If you want to argue over UAC see here: Neowin - The Great UAC Debate. ***Very important. If you intend to disable User Access Control (UAC) as I have then you should do this BEFORE YOU INSTALL ANY PROGRAM. Not doing so can lead to problems later. ***Important Disabling UAC will cripple Internet Explorer 7 & 8's Protected Mode. Protected Mode will show enabled in the Internet Options box but Protected Mode will always read Off in the actual IE window. (Reason # 1,857,343 to use Firefox) You can use the above program, TweakUAC to do disable UAC or: Press the Windows + R keys > type msconfig > open the Tools pane. Scroll down to Disable UAC and click once on that line.

Hit the Launch button. Reg Values: ; Disable UAC [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System] "EnableLUA"=dword:00000000

; turn off UAC prompt [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System] "ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin"=dword:00000002 "ConsentPromptBehaviorUser"=dword:00000001

Luafv.sys If you have choose to permanently disable UAC and you are in the mood for an advanced tweak: This comes from Chris123NT and suggested by Ouzel (thanks!) via the comments section. Based on my understanding and in simple terms, UAC uses a driver called the UAC File Virtualization Filter Driver or luafv.sys to trick legacy apps (apps that aren't correctly written for UAC's least privilege) into thinking they are running with the privileges they think they need but really don't. Of course, if you aren't using UAC then you do not need this driver loaded. ***Please visit Chris123NT's Page for more info, he was the one that discovered it. And BTW Chris, awesome find and nice tweak!

The setting is located in the registry: This is they key in it's default (enabled) [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\luafv] "Start"=dword:00000002 This is the key disabled:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\luafv] "Start"=dword:00000004

An easy way to disable it is to use Autoruns and uncheck it (it's in the drivers section). Did I mention this is an advanced tweak?

Turn Off System Restore Be sure you have another backup/restore option BEFORE you do this. Disabling System Restore means that you will not be able to use Shadow Copies or Driver Rollback. See Windows Vista Backup Strategies For Home Users for more info. Press the Windows + Pause Break keys > in the left pane click on Advanced system settings. In the resulting window, switch to the System Protection pane. Uncheck all drives. A pop-up will happen asking "Are you sure..." (what, are you my wife? stop freakin' nagging me!), click Turn System Restore Off, the click Apply.

Reg Value: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SystemRestore] "RPSessionInterval"=dword:00000000

Turn Off Remote Assistance Press the Windows + Pause Break keys > in the left pane click on Advanced system settings. In the resulting window, switch to the Remote pane. Uncheck Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer .

Reg Value: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Remote Assistance] "fAllowToGetHelp"=dword:00000000

Turn Off or Configure Automatic Updates There is no sense in having Windows incessantly checking for updates. Microsoft releases their updates on Tuesdays and usually once a month. If you are a Geek and hit the tech sites often you'll know when updates are released and you can update manually. Non-Geeks should use the second option. To Disable Automatic Update: Launch Windows Update, in the left pane click Change Settings. In the resulting windows check Never check for updates, click OK. Reg Value: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update] "AUOptions"=dword:00000001

To Configure Automatic Update: Launch Windows Update, in the left pane click Change Settings. In the resulting windows check Install updates automatically( recommended), under Install new updates, change the day to Wednesday and the time to 1:00 AM, click OK. (click thumbnail for larger view)

The Page File, SuperFetch, and ReadyBoost Before we get into this, a few comments... I've never seen more misunderstanding, FUD, bad-mouthing, and bad advice on any computer related topic than I have with Windows memory management issues. Many of us Geeks had a go-round about this topic in the early days of XP. Being the curious type I set out for answers, the right ones (and I found them). I do not purport to be an expert in the field of memory management in Vista (or anything else for that matter). But, I do understand how the process works thanks to a lot of studying and listening to the advice of people who are experts. It is my belief that overall Vista has the most advanced memory management of any OS and there is far more to it than the 3 topics listed here. With that thought my recommendation is basically this; If you don't know what you're doing then don't mess with any settings regarding the page file, SuperFetch, or ReadyBoost. If you really want to understand how Vista's memory management works see: Inside the Windows Vista Kernel: Part 2 See this page for more good links on memory management. The Page File 1. The average user is best served by LEAVING THE PAGE FILE ALONE. Vista does an excellent job of managing the page file settings for most people. 2. For 99.999% of the configurations on the planet you need a page file. Vista itself wants one and a number of programs out there do too. If you think you can run your machine optimally without a page file you do not understand how Vista (or any NT based OS works). (Please dont email me to argue this, I wont respond. Find a forum to argue about it.)

3.

The recommendations below are not designed to give you the highest scores on a synthetic

benchmark but to give you the best overall performance for your system (including stability). The size of hard drives today are huge and making the page file a little larger than it "needs" to be hurts nothing and youre covered if youre ever doing something that requires more.

One hard drive: If you only have one hard drive or your other drives are significantly slower than your OS drive. 1 - Leave it alone. (recommended) 2 - Make it static. Vista has the ability to resize the page file on the fly if need be (usually it isn't). If the page file is resized and then later returned to normal your disk may become fragmented. (please note I said "disk" not "page file" and "may" not "will") If you have the disk space and you're anal about such things you can adjust the minimum and max to the same setting. The size (min and max) should be whatever the Recommended: size is in the Virtual Memory window. Two hard drives: The second drive should be near as fast or faster than the OS drive or there is no reason to do this. Make 2 page files, one on the OS drive, one on the first partition of the second drive. The sizes should be at least the size of the amount of memory you have. For example, if you have 2 GB of RAM then 2 page files of 2048 MB. This allows for plenty of space and Vista can choose the drive that is least busy when it needs to access the page file. ***Author's note - Based on emails I've received I do not seem to be making myself clear. If you have one hard drive DO NOT MOVE OR MAKE A SECOND PAGE FILE. If you have 2 drives and you make a second page file you should leave at least a small page file on the OS partition. The second page file should be on the FIRST PARTITION of the second drive.

To adjust the settings: Press the Windows + Pause Break keys > in the left pane click on Advanced system settings > click on the Advanced tab > in the Performance section click the Settings... button > click on the Advanced tab . click on the Change... button. Highlight the drive you wish to work with.

SuperFetch (description) My recommendation: Don't mess with it, period.

I only even list the option in this guide because so many places on the web talk about adjusting on even stopping it. SuperFetch is a highly improved version of XP's prefetch: "SuperFetch keeps track of which applications you use most and loads this information in RAM so that programs load faster than they would if the hard disk had to be accessed every time. Windows SuperFetch prioritizes the programs you're currently using over background tasks and adapts to the way you work by tracking the programs you use most often and pre-loading these into memory. With SuperFetch, background tasks still run when the computer is idle. However, when the background task is finished, SuperFetch repopulates system memory with the data you were working with before the background task ran. Now, when you return to your desk, your programs will continue to run as efficiently as they did before you left. It is even smart enough to know what day it is in the event you use different applications more often on certain days." Windows Vista - SuperFetch & ReadyBoost How is this not a good thing???

ReadyBoost ReadyBoost has been called a "gimmick" by many because they misunderstand what it's supposed to do (see links below). For systems with less than 3GB of RAM, I'll tell you here and now you can increase the responsiveness of Vista by taking advantage of it, I've seen it and felt it first hand. I use it on my desktop but I do not use it on my laptop because it is impractical ( I wonder if anyone will come out with an internal option for laptops?). ReadyBoost is not: - a replacement for an adequate amount of system memory - a replacement for the page file (it works in tandem with it)

How Do You Use It? Open up Computer > right-click on the drive that you want to use and choose Properties > click the ReadyBoost tab > click Use this device > optionally choose how much of the device to use. tip - Use a USB port in the back of your computer. Yep, I broke a drive sticking out of the front when I bumped into it (dooh!) ReadyBoost Spec's & FAQ (mostly from here) Type of drive - USB 2.0 flash drive (often called a thumb drive) or SD card. See: Grant Gibson's ReadyBoost Compatibility List Space needed - min. 256 MB, max 4 GB (because ReadyBoost can compact this data this can yield up to 512 MB and 8 GB respectively) recommended, ratio 1:1 to 2.5:1 (2 GB RAM would be 2 GB - 4 GB of flash drive) How many drives can I use? - One (man, I would love to see someone come up with a way to RAID a couple of drives for this!) Security risk? - No, the data is encrypted. I'm not going to get long-winded on this topic, for the curious you should look at these links: Inside the Windows Vista Kernel: Part 2 Tom Archer's Blog - ReadyBoost Q&A Windows Vista: Features Explained: Windows ReadyBoost Windows Vista - SuperFetch & ReadyBoost

Windows Vista Services Guide No plagiarism please. 1 - BACKUP your computer BEFORE you mess with the services. 2 - Changing the status of a service that doesn't start Automatically anyway does nothing for you performance wise. i.e. - If XYZ service doesn't start when you start your computer, what good does it do to disable it? You risk a loss of functionality down the road and you've gained nothing as far as performance is concerned. However, there are some things that may pose a security risk and I've highlighted that below. 3 - The recommendations are specifically NOT for computers that are involved in any way with a Domain or Corporate network. It is entirely up to you to evaluate each and every change you make. For instance let us look at the Secondary Logon service. A quick bit of research will show that you need this enabled if you have standard user accounts. And how about the DFS Replication service? It is a Windows Vista program that can be uninstalled, removing the entry from the services menu altogether. Bottom line is, know what you are disabling before you disable it. 4 - The table below contains the Vista Default Services Settings for you to reference. These were taken from Windows Vista Ultimate Edition which means it will list more services than other versions. If you don't see it listed in your services don't stress out, you don't have it. 5 - Needed For? - This column is a short & sweet description of why it's there, or what you'll lose if you disable it. If it doesn't apply to a home network I'll simply list Corporate. 6 - I've provided my recommendations towards the bottom of this page. I've divided them into specific categories, be mindful of them. TweakHound's Vista Services Recommendations (click here for faster access) TweakHound - Vista Services Guide Name Application Experience Application Information Application Layer Gateway Service Application Management Background Intelligent Transfer Service Base Filtering Engine Block Level Backup Engine Service Certificate Propagation CNG Key Isolation COM+ Event System

Default Startup Type Automatic Manual Manual Manual Automatic (Delayed Start) Automatic Manual Manual Manual Automatic

Needed For ? Enables 3rd party apps to run / run correctly in Vista. "Run as" admin ICS Corporate Windows Update Firewall, ICS, others I've no clue what this really does, can't find anything that uses it, can't find any documentation on it. Smart Cards Encryption lots of essential services

COM+ System Application Computer Browser Cryptographic Services DCOM Server Process Launcher Desktop Window Manager Session Manager DFS Replication DHCP Client Diagnostic Policy Service Diagnostic Service Host Diagnostic System Host Distributed Link Tracking Client Distributed Transaction Coordinator DNS Client Extensible Authentication Protocol Fax Function Discovery Provider Host Function Discovery Resource Publication Group Policy Client Health Key and Certificate Management Human Interface Device Access IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules Interactive Services Detection Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) IP Helper IPsec Policy Agent KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v2.0.50727_X86 Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service

Manual Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic Manual Automatic Automatic Manual Manual Automatic Manual Automatic Manual Manual Manual Automatic Automatic Manual Manual Automatic Manual Disabled Automatic Automatic Automatic (Delayed Start) Manual Manual Manual

see above keeps a list of active computers on your net, it is not needed for browsing the net but can make it snappier. lots of essential services lots of essential services Aero theme Corporate Internet, Network Problem solving Problem solving Problem solving Corporate (usually) Corporate Internet, Network WiFi, VPN's Faxing External networked devices others can see what you got (see above) lots of essential services Encryption some keyboards, remotes (leave as is) Corporate answer system event pop-ups just buy a router already IPv6 Corporate databases pretty little network map .Net Corporate

Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider Multimedia Class Scheduler Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service Netlogon Network Access Protection Agent Network Connections Network List Service Network Location Awareness Network Store Interface Service Offline Files Parental Controls Peer Name Resolution Protocol Peer Networking Grouping Peer Networking Identity Manager Performance Logs & Alerts Plug and Play PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator PNRP Machine Name Publication Service Portable Device Enumerator Service Print Spooler Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support Program Compatibility Assistant Service Protected Storage Quality Windows Audio Video Experience ReadyBoost Remote Access Auto Connection Manager Remote Access Connection Manager Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator

Manual Automatic Disabled Manual Manual Manual Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic Manual Manual Manual Manual Manual Automatic Manual Manual Automatic Automatic Manual Automatic Manual Manual Automatic Manual Manual Automatic Manual

backups allows multimedia apps to snag more resources allows .net apps to share ports Corporate Corporate Internet, Network Internet, Network Internet, Network Internet, Network Corporate (usually) Keeping the rug rats away from bad things Corporate Corporate Corporate perfmon what it says External networked devices Corporate restricts use of things like ipods Printing lookup what went wrong "compatibility mode" saved passwords QOS for home networks speeds caching you'll need yet more hardware allows apps to connect to the net Internet, Network lots of essential services Corporate

Remote Registry Routing and Remote Access Secondary Logon Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol Service Security Accounts Manager Security Center Server Shell Hardware Detection SL UI Notification Service Smart Card Smart Card Removal Policy SNMP Trap Software Licensing SSDP Discovery Superfetch System Event Notification Service Tablet PC Input Service Task Scheduler

Manual Disabled Automatic Manual Automatic Automatic (Delayed Start) Automatic Automatic Manual Manual Manual Manual Automatic Manual Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic

TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper

Automatic

Telephony Terminal Services

Manual Automatic

huge security risk Corporate allows "Run as" admin VPN protocol stores passwords, GPE settings, etc Protects noobs from themselves Alows sharing of files Autoplay MS anti-piracy garbage what it says allows computer to be locked on card removal Corporate (usually) MS anti-piracy garbage allows discovery of UPnP devices, security risk monitors and preloads the stuff you use the most making your overall computing faster tracks system events and notifies apps of them "pen and ink" functionality what it says TCP/IP NetBIOS is a networking protocol. The default for Windows peer-to-peer networks is to use this protocol for sharing. However it is possible (and recommended for the security minded) to disable this service and still have sharing on your network). This requires a little extra configuration on your part. See Petri & Microsoft For those who use Linux and Samba, disabling this may cause problems. Are you still using a modem? This is said to be a security risk.

Terminal Services Configuration Terminal Services UserMode Port Redirector Themes Thread Ordering Server TPM Base Services UPnP Device Host User Profile Service Virtual Disk Volume Shadow Copy

Manual Manual Automatic Manual Manual Automatic Automatic Manual Manual

WebClient

Automatic

Windows Audio Windows Audio Endpoint Builder Windows Backup Windows CardSpace Windows Color System Windows Connect Now - Config Registrar Windows Defender Windows Driver Foundation - User-mode Driver Framework Windows Error Reporting Service

Automatic Automatic Manual Manual Manual Manual Automatic Manual Automatic

Allows you to connect to another machine as if it were your own. Remote Desktop, and Windows Media Extender require this. see above see above, above :-) Gives your desktop the pretty colors allows multi-threaded apps to do their thing part of Vista's security, required for BitLocker Said to be a security risk. Allows networking with devices that also use UPnP. Routers, some media players, X-box? Loads your profile, some settings unique to you are there. Got RAID? (other disk management too) backups Connect to a WebDAV directory by adding the directory to the list of Network Places and display the contents as if it were part of the same file system on your local computer. (source) what it says see above what it says Support for digital ID (source) makes your colors look like they're supposed to (source) this is a new one to me, see here anti-spyware allows your hardware to run correctly Allows MS to know they ruined your day, not that they care. real answer - reports errors to MS so, in theory

Windows Event Collector Windows Event Log Windows Firewall Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) Windows Installer Windows Management Instrumentation Windows Media Center Extender Service Windows Media Center Receiver Service Windows Media Center Scheduler Service Windows Media Center Service Launcher Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service Windows Modules Installer Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache 3.0.0.0 Windows Remote Management (WS-Management)

Manual Automatic Automatic Manual Manual Automatic Disabled Manual Manual Automatic (Delayed Start) Manual Manual Manual Manual

Windows Search Windows Time Windows Update WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service Wired AutoConfig WLAN AutoConfig

Automatic Automatic Automatic (Delayed Start) Manual Manual Manual

they can find a fix. You on their payroll? I ain't. Can put errors for elsewhere in your event logs. Manages your event logs, Task Scheduler needs this. what it says gets pics from scanners and cameras what it says lots of essential services Got one, need it TV and radio record TV starts the above 2 if you got a TV card for playing your music / videos on other PC's, see the sharing section in WMP options "Enables installation, modification, and removal of Windows updates and optional components" caches fonts for .Net 3.0 apps Corporate (should be safe to disable for the security minded) Resource hogging, annoying little... ahem, the old Indexing service on steroids. Learn to organize your data and ditch this thing. Keeps your computers time correct what it says Corporate Corporate (usually) 802.1X authentication allows Windows to detect the available

WMI Performance Adapter Workstation

Manual Automatic

wireless networks and automatically connect to the most preferred wireless network (source) collects performance data lots of networking services

TweakHound's Vista Services Recommendations Giving good, detailed recommendations on Services settings is nearly impossible. I do not know what your computer experience level is, what sort of privileges you run under, how many people use the computer, or what version of Vista you are running. With that in mind... These recommendations are how I would set up a computer in my house. Most of them (except the first table) assume you are running under an Admin account. Before you security nuts get on my back...Yes I know, but I and most Geeks run under Admin in Windows and in truth most home users do too. Though running as a Standard User in Vista is better than previous Windows versions it is still a PITA, unlike Linux. *Note - A change in the recommendation for the ReadyBoost service. ReadyBoost, ReadyBoot, and Vista's new prefetching scheme are all tied together. To take advantage of all these options you should leave the ReadyBoost service enabled even if you do not have a ReadyBoost drive. If not the basic scheme defaults back to an XP-like setting. During testing the biggest effect I noticed was a 10-15 second difference in boot times (faster after re-enabling ReadyBoost). Step 1 Open your services, Press the Windows + R keys (= Start > Run), type services.msc. Maximize the window. You'll see a column labeled Status. Double-click it so that all the services that are started are up top. These are the only ones you need to worry about. If it isn't started, leave it alone.

See pics below for an example. (click on thumbnails for a larger image) The services screen in its default The services screen ordered with started services at state. the top.

TweakHound's Vista Services Recommendations - Absolute Safe Settings If you are not comfortable adjusting Services or do not understand them either leave them alone or use these settings. DFS Replication Diagnostic Policy Service (change to manual) Distributed Link Tracking Client Disabl e IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules IPsec Policy Agent KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator Offline Files Remote Registry (for security reasons) Tablet PC Input Service Windows Error Reporting Service Windows Search (if you do a lot of searching on your computer then leave this alone) TweakHound's Vista Services Recommendations - Desktop Disabl e Safe Networked + Networked +

Sharing (non-essential stuff off) DFS Replication Diagnostic Policy Service (change to manual) Distributed Link Tracking Client IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules IPsec Policy Agent KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator Offline Files reasons) Secondary Logon Security Center reasons) Tablet PC Input Service Terminal Services Windows Defender Windows Error Reporting Service Windows Search DFS Replication Diagnostic Policy Service (change to manual) Distributed Link Tracking Client IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules IP Helper IPsec Policy Agent KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator

Not sharing from this computer Computer Browser* DFS Replication Diagnostic Policy Service (change to manual) Distributed Link Tracking Client Function Discovery Provider Host Function Discovery Resource Publication IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules IP Helper IPsec Policy Agent Coordinator Offline Files Remote Registry (for security reasons) Secondary Logon Security Center Server SSDP Discovery (for security reasons) Tablet PC Input Service

Remote Registry (for security Offline Files reasons) Secondary Logon SSDP Discovery (for security reasons) Tablet PC Input Service Terminal Services UPnP Device Host Windows Defender Windows Error Reporting

Remote Registry (for security KtmRm for Distributed Transaction

SSDP Discovery (for security Security Center

Service Windows Search

Terminal Services UPnP Device Host Windows Defender Windows Error Reporting Service Windows Search * - if you want to use the Computer Browser service you'll need to keep the Server service enabled

TweakHound's Vista Services Recommendations - Desktop, part 2 Disable DFS Replication Diagnostic Policy Service (change to manual) Distributed Link Tracking Client Function Discovery Provider Host Function Discovery Resource Publication IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules IP Helper IPsec Policy Agent Offline Files Not Networked Computer Browser Tweaked Out (Geeks Only!!!) Computer Browser Desktop Window Manager Session Manager DFS Replication Diagnostic Policy Service (change to manual) Distributed Link Tracking Client Function Discovery Provider Host Function Discovery Resource Publication IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules IP Helper KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator

KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator IPsec Policy Agent

Remote Registry (for security reasons) Secondary Logon Security Center Server SSDP Discovery (for security reasons) Tablet PC Input Service TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Terminal Services UPnP Device Host Windows Defender Windows Error Reporting Service Windows Search

Offline Files Print Spooler Remote Registry (for security reasons) Secondary Logon Security Center Server SSDP Discovery (for security reasons) Tablet PC Input Service TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Terminal Services Themes UPnP Device Host Windows Defender Windows Error Reporting Service Windows Event Log (I wouldn't disable this) Windows Search Windows Time

TweakHound's Vista Services Recommendations - Laptop Best results will most likely be achieved in between this 2 categories. Disable DFS Replication Diagnostic Policy Service (change to manual) Distributed Link Tracking Client Safe Tweaked Out (Geeks Only!!!) Computer Browser Desktop Window Manager Session Manager DFS Replication

IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules IPsec Policy Agent Offline Files Remote Registry (for security reasons) Secondary Logon Security Center SSDP Discovery (for security reasons) Tablet PC Input Service Terminal Services Windows Defender Windows Error Reporting Service Windows Search

Diagnostic Policy Service (change to manual) Distributed Link Tracking Client Function Discovery Resource Publication IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules IP Helper IPsec Policy Agent KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator Offline Files Print Spooler Remote Registry (for security reasons) Secondary Logon Security Center Server SSDP Discovery (for security reasons) Tablet PC Input Service TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Terminal Services Themes UPnP Device Host Windows Defender Windows Error Reporting Service Windows Event Log (I wouldn't disable this) Windows Search Windows Time

KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator Function Discovery Provider Host

Internet & Networking Tweaks

Internet Explorer 8 Increase Max Connections This tweak may be able to increase your page loads and possibly your download speed. *2 notes 1 - Folks were in such a hurry to post this tweak when ie8 came out that the vast majority of places are using the wrong registry keys, making their so-called tweak useless. (most were trying to use the old 1/2 open connections tweak) 2 - Every post I've seen seems to mention that 10 is the max for this setting. Other than the fact that that is the number that Microsoft suggest you use I do not know where this came from as I've seen no Microsoft documentation to suggest this is the max. So, I tested the vales 10, 16, 24, and 50 under both XP and Vista. Under Vista I was able to establish 10 and 16 connections but not 24 or 50. Under XP I was able to establish 10, and 16. Under the setting of 24 and 50 I was able to max out at 20. Now there can be a variety of reasons for this which are too in depth for this article. Today in real world browsing and downloading, I don't know that you'll se a difference after 10 connections which is what the below tool sets it at. I'm going to set mine at 16. Keep in mind that too many connections could possibly get you banned or disconnected from web sites (and others may limit your number). If you want to do a quick test yourself try this link and hit refresh several times to hit your max: http://www.spasche.net/files/parallel_connections See here for the default settings and more info: Connectivity Enhancements in Internet Explorer 8 The easy way:

Go here and click on the Fix It icon: How do I configure Internet Explorer to download more than two files at one time?

Clicking on that icon will download the file EnableTenIEDownloadSessions.msi. Double-click it to run it. This changes adds the following to the registry (I know because I monitored it): [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings] "MaxConnectionsPerServer"=dword:0000000a "MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server"=dword:0000000a The hard way: Below are the registry keys. You'll notice it is different than the one above (decimal value of 16 vs. 10 above) [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings] "MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server"=dword:00000010 "MaxConnectionsPerServer"=dword:00000010 If you desire, you can download this text file, and change the extension from .txt to .reg and run it: Right-click and "save link as" or "save target as": ie8maxconnections.txt. Put the menu bar back up top and remove the search pane. First you have to have the bar visible. Go to View > Toolbars > check Menu bar. The 2 keys below must be added manually or via a reg file. Put the menu bar up top: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser] "ITBar7Position"=dword:00000001 Remove the Search pane: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\InfoDelivery\Restrictions] "NoSearchBox"=dword:00000001 I've put these all in a text file for you below. It is called tweakhound_ie8tweaks.txt. To make it a registry file simply rename it to a file with a .reg extension. i.e. tweakhound_ie8tweaks.reg. Right-click on this link an click "save link as" or "save target as". tweakhound_ie8tweaks.txt

Firefox Recommended Addons: Adblock Plus IE View NoScript - This is a security addon but some folks don't like the hassle. Tweak Network - Careful with this sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't. For most folks Firefox runs just fine as-is. There are many good Addons for Firefox. Some speed things up, some add functionality, others add neat little features like weather info. I would only urge you to limit what addons you use to stuff you really want or need. Loading too many addons can hinder performance. Disable IPV6:

Open Firefox > in the address bar type about:config > scroll down to the line: network.dns.disableIPv6 , double-click it to change its value to true. Disable Automatic Image Resizing: Open Firefox > in the address bar type about:config > scroll down to the line: browser.enable_automatic_image_resizing , double-click it to change its value to false. Remove the Search pane: Open Firefox > go to View > Toolbars > Customize. click (and hold) in the search box and drag it into the Customize Toolbar box. Network Settings Networking in Vista is vastly improved over XP. In fact Vista actually tweaks it's own network settings on the fly! (see: TCP Receive Window Auto-Tuning, Network Diagnostics Framework in Windows Vista, Advances in Windows Vista TCP/IP) For me, my benchmarks have shown that Vista out-of-the-box is equally as fast as XP and Linux that have been tweaked. To date I've not found a single tweak for Vista that speeds up actual networking or downloading from the net. So why tweak it? The tweaks here are designed to cut down on network chatter and to secure your box (see here for an example of the chatter I'm talking about). Let me make this clear though, I've seen no network performance improvement using these tweaks and I do not believe any home users will. These settings do not cover Services, for those see the Services section of this guide. Possible settings to disable: Client for Microsoft Networks

This IS the Workstation Service. Because of the complexity of this Service (and its dependencies) I do not disable this even on computers that aren't networked. QOS Unneeded for the home user, (and in truth is unused in most home environments). File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks Needed if you connect to another computer or vice versa. Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) At some point in the future all our computers will be able to take advantage of IPv6, however if you are a home user that time is not now. In other words, chances are your network and ISP don't support it so even if its is enabled you aren't using it.I hesitate to even pass that along because when/if IPv6 is available/useable to you, you are going to want to take advantage of it. Before you disable it you might want to see if in fact you can connect via IPv6. See this page for a list of IPv6 accessible sites. If you can connect to them you're in luck. More Info: IPv6.org, and Everything you need to know about IPv6 excellent article. Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Essential Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver Basically this enables the pretty little Network Map in Vista. There are 2 problems with the Network Map. The first is that it only works from Vista so it is useless on XP machines (put they can be seen if you install the LLTD Responder for XP). The second problem is that it ain't perfect: see The Vista Network Map, Troubleshoot problems with computers not appearing on the network map.

*I'm told there is an update that allows Xboxes to be seen with LLTD. Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper Responder Allows a Vista computer to be seen from another Vista computer in the Network Map. I've divided the tweaks into 3 separate categories. Pick the category that applies to you and make your window look the same as the one in that category. Note - unchecking these items does not uninstall them, it unbinds them from that specific connection. Access Network Connection Properties Go to Start > Control Panel (or Start > Settings > Control Panel) > Network and Internet < Network and Sharing Center > in the left pane click Manage network connections > for Local Area Connection and/or Wireless Network Connection, right-click and choose Properties. *Tip - Yes, you can configure each connection differently! Tip - While your here, if you aren't going to use one of the connections, disable it (right-click > Disable). On my laptop I disable the Wireless connection while at home because I network it via Ethernet. When needed I just come back here and enable it.

Not Networked or Not Sharing Recommended For Advanced Users Only

Networked, Sharing

Networked, Sharing, *No other Vista Machines (or networked Xboxes)

Other Network Tweaks Uninstall Remote Differential Compression This is unneeded in a home network.

Go to Start > Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a program > Turn Windows Features on or off. Deselect (uncheck), Remote Differential Compression. Click OK and then reboot if prompted. RDC Google search

Disable Vista Auto-Tuning Please read Notes below first! *These are run from the command prompt. Start > Run (or press the Windows+R keys)> type cmd, hit Enter > copy/paste command, hit Enter. Disable: netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disable Enable: netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal Notes - There are any number of variables that can have an effect on your network speed. Some (usually older) network equipment cant do Window Tuning. Some download methods / programs (torrent etc.) may also have issues with Windows Tuning. I DO NOT use this tweak. More info: Windows Core Networking - Receive Window Auto-Tuning on Vista , MS KB929868, Neoblog Vista + Network = Slow

Clean, Defrag, & Optimize First download and install CCleaner Slim.

Configure it - Poke around and choose your options (I enable: Run CCleaner when the computer starts). Run it. Next, download Autoruns. Extract the folder to your root drive (usually C). We will work with this in a minute. Step 1: Get everything you possibly can out of the Notification Area (by the time in the lower right hand of the screen) The best way to do this is in the applications options. If that fails, use Autoruns. Navigate to and open the Autoruns folder, double-click autoruns.exe. Click on the Logon tab, Uncheck anything you do not want to start with Vista. The fewer things the better. If you dont know what it is, leave it alone. Advanced users may want to go to the SERVICES tab and make modifications there. Autoruns

Step 2: Open Internet Explorer > Go to Tools > Delete Browsing History > Pick the stuff you want to clean. I use Delete all... and in the resulting window I check the box Also delete files and settings stored by addons, but be careful as this deletes your passwords too > when finished, close Internet Explorer. If you use Firefox (and you should). Open Firefox > in the top menu go to Tools > Options > click on Privacy and then the Settings... button > check what you would like to clean then click OK, uncheck the box next to Ask me before clearing private data (like you need something else in Vista nagging you) and click OK. We have just set the options for the following... Open Firefox > in the top menu go to Tools > Clear Private Data (you can now use this as often as you like). Close Firefox.

Firefox, Clear Private Data Screens. Click thumbnails for a larger Image.

Step 3: (optional and advanced) *see note below Go to C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch (substitute the drive letter your OS is on). On the menu bar click on View and select Sort By > Type. Select all the PF files and delete them.

*Note -DO NOT mess with any other prefetch settings. Only use this step for an initial install or after completing this guide. Prefetching is a good thing. I recommend doing this only under the above circumstances because we've now disabled/removed several things that were previously prefetched. Again, this is not a necessary step but I find it useful in making an optimized image (see Step 8). It should not be used except in this circumstance.

Step 4: Start up in Safe Mode (press F8 while booting and choose Safe Mode) -If you downloaded CCleaner, run it. -Remove Old Restore Points If you keep System Restore active: To remove old system restore points go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup > select the drive XP is installed on and click OK > click the More Options tab > in the System Restore section, click the Clean up button and Yes in the resulting screen. -Advanced Disk Cleanup

Press the Windows + R keys, type cleanmgr /sageset:50 Select the options you desire, I choose them all. Click OK and close out the window. Press the Windows + R keys, type cleanmgr /sagerun:50. (note - there is a space between the r and the /) * You can use this command at any time for regular disk cleanups. I use the number 50 because it is easy to remember, you can use any number you want. *Tip To make Disk Cleanup faster. Disable "Compress Old Files" Copy the text below into notepad and save as " fastdiskclean.reg ". Double-click it to enable it (answer Yes to any pop-up screens).

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\C ompress old files]

Step 5: Defragment your drive. Go to Start > Accessories > System Tools> Disk Defragmenter. Highlight the drive you installed XP on, usually C >click the Defragment button. While you are here you may want to reconfigure or disable Automatic Defrag. When finished shut down and restart. If you use a 3rd party defragmenter, use that instead of Windows defragmenter. If you do not use a 3rd party defragmenter download PageDefrag and run it.

Step 6: If you use a drive imaging program, make an image now.

***Step 7: After 4-7 days of use repeat this section except for Step 3. Then make an image. This will give you a perfect image with prefetching optimized.

COOL TOOLS These are FREE, useful tools I use with Windows Vista (in no particular order). For more of these see: What I Use, Cool Tools, and The Freeware Vista Machine in my blog. CCleaner (slim) - CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware! Autoruns - This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP. Ultimate Windows Tweaker - This is the only Vista tweak program I recommend. Careful with this folks. If you don't know what the setting does then either reaearch it or leave it alone. WinBubble - A decent tweaker but I just prefer UWT (above) for most tweaking. I do like to Customize The Way Vista Looks with it though. RocketDock - An Apple-style app launcher. Very cool. A screenshot and more info in my blog. iGoogle - A personalized web page with email via Gmail. Highly recommended.

Firefox - My web browser of choice. Thunderbird - My email client of choice. 7-Zip - 7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio. IZArc - IZArc is the ultimate freeware archive utility supporting many archive formats. Renamer - ReNamer is a very powerful and flexible file renaming tool, which offers all the standard renaming procedures, including prefixes, suffixes, replacements, case changes, as well as removing contents of brackets, adding number sequences, changing file extensions, etc. System Information for Windows (SIW) - SIW is an advanced System Information for Windows tool that gathers detailed information about your system properties and settings and displays it in an extremely comprehensible manner.