Speeding up Vista - Enhancing performance in Windows Vista - Tweak Vista
(in decreasing efectiveness order)
If your pc or laptop has installed only 512MB of ram or even less the first step you should take is to install more ram. This will speed up the start of Vista, running programs under Vista and the shut down process. 512MB is simply to less ram for Vista. It was enough ram for XP, but for Vista you need 1GB. 1 GB of ram is considered the lowest acceptable limit of installed ram. More can get installed but hasn't the same effect as enhancing ram from 512MB to 1GB. Especially if you intend to edit videos you should have more ram installed. You should have a look in the user manual of your laptop or your mainboard what sizes of ram and combinations are allowed and supported by the mainboard.
If you own a fast USB-stick with more than 1GB you can activate Windows-Readyboost. Click in Explorer right on the drive and you'll get the drive properties dialog. Now click on the tab Readyboost and then on use this drive, set the amount of ram as high as you can afford and you're done. If you later want to deactivate Readyboost, click in this dialog on 'deactivate Readyboost'.
With regedit goto HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control >Session Manager > Memory Management > PrefetchParameters. Click in the right pane on EnableSuperFetch. In the DWORD-dialog insert under value a '2'. Restart Windows. Starting should be faster now. Alternatively you may stop it in “services”. Double click on “Superfetch”, and chose as start option “deactivated”. Close with OK.
Deactivate/enable Aero with batch files. Instead of permanently stopping the Aero services a switchable Aero enable/deactivate is more comfortable. By hand you may insert in the Command-line 'net stop uxsms' to stop Aero or 'net start uxsms' to start Aero. Or use batch-files which you can start from the desktop.
Very few of the Vista services you may stop/deactivate or use 'manual start'. But this is not recommended, because if you later need the service reenabled you may perhaps no more remember what you have changed. Caution! Stopping some of these services may be dangerous, because some central system services depend on them. Services are normally rather small programs which do not help you much if you're short in ram and normally very well programmed so that they eat minimal amounts of Cpu-Time. So the unexperienced user should leave these unchanged. Disabling prefetch may help you more.
In Explorer right click on a drive. You get the drive properties dialog. Click on Rules. Check 'Optimize performance' and then check enhance performance.
Deactivate indexing (search function deactivated) : open Explorer, right click on drive (C,D,E...), you get the properties dialog, remove check “indexing drive for faster search”. This can improve the performance considerably in laptops, because sometimes you find rather slow drives here and indexing is one of the main reasons for drive activity.
Start msconfig.exe in command line. Chose the autostart tab. Look which programs you think they are important enough that they always have to reside in memory. Try to get information about every single in the net. Uncheck all where you find sufficient arguments to throw it out. (if you want to spend more time on it: download a somewhat better autostart analyzer and repeat the steps.)
From time to time you should (manually) defragment your drives. Although this is by far no more so important than in earlier times, every year or halve year it may make sense.