Boosting Microsoft Vista

It’s been well documented that Windows Vista requires a fair bit of processing power to use all of its features and pretty graphics. However, it’s possible to run Windows Vista on a lower spec machine by making some changes to the way Vista is installed and configured.

Listed below are some of our best suggestions for improving your system performance if you have Windows Vista:

  1. Add RAM: Pound for pound adding more RAM is easily the best upgrade you can give your P.C. RAM prices are quite low, and fitting is usually exceptionally easy (Just make sure you get the right type for your P.C.) One point worth mentioning though is that unless you have the 64bit version of Vista, you won’t be able to use any more than 4 gigabytes.
  2. Turn Off Aero: All those nice transparent screens and taskbars and 3D Windows flip are very nice, but they put a serious strain on your graphics card and processor. Right click on a blank area of the desktop and select Personalize then select Windows Colour and Appearance then click on Open Classic appearance properties for more colour options in this dialog you can then adjust the Vista appearance options, or even disable Vista appearance altogether and revert to Windows Classic appearance.
  3. Update Drivers: Drivers are the link between your hardware and software, especially your Operating Syatem. With Windows Vista still being relatively new, manufacturers are still developing, refining and tweaking their drivers to get the best performance.
  4. Keep Windows Updated: Microsoft regularly release patches and updates for Windows Vista, these can often improve both the performance and reliability of your system. Whilst you can manually check for Windows updates, we would strongly recommend that you set your system to automatically check for updates.
  5. Use ReadyBoost: Windows Vista has a new feature known as ready boost, if you have a spare USB 2.0 memory stick, then you can use it to gain a an improvement in much the same way as adding RAM. THe performance gains aren’t as impressive as adding ‘proper’ RAM, but it will help. Not all sticks are ReadyBoost compatible, if yours is, you will be offered it as an option when the Autoplay screen pops up after you plug it in
  6. Turn Off Indexing: Windows Vista, more than any of its predecessors, indexes the entire contents of your hard drive, so it knows where everything is – that’s what allows it to perform the instant search feature you get when you click the Windows Button. However all this disk activity can take up a serious amount of processing power and disk time, turning it off in the Control Panel will help to speed things up.
  7. Remove Unused Programs: With hard drives sizes being as huge as they are these days, it’s very tempting to try out lots of programs, and not bother to uninstall them. However having all this unnecessary data clogging up your hard drive is a sure fire way to slow things down. Use thePrograms and features applet in the Control Panel to remove any unwanted or unused programs.
  8. Check Startup Programs: Use Windows Defender to check which programs are automatically starting themselves when your computer starts up. Many programs put themselves in the Startup folder when they don’t really need to be there, keeping them there will not only slow down your boot up but it will also slow down the general running of your machine.
  9. Defrag Your Drive: As you use your P.C. more and more, the data on your hard drive has tendency to become fragmented. Type ‘defrag’ into the search box to find the Disk Defragmenter program, and set it to defrag your P.C. during quite moments.
  10. Turn Off System Restore: If you’re feeling a little brave you could try turning off ‘System Restore’. System Restore allows you to roll your computer configuration back to a previous date should things go wrong, or become unstable. However this feature does take up large chunks of disk space and processing power, so turning it off could be an advantage, just be aware though that you now have no safety net if things go wrong, and you will need to organise your own back-ups.