The Agilist Network

Tales and Tips from Agile Software Projects

Fast Vista – Finally!!!

Posted by kenhoward on August 12, 2008

I’ve been a frustrated Vista Ultimate user for a while now. Frustrated at how painfully slow it was running on my 1.83 Ghz Dell Laptop with 2GB RAM. After making the following adjustments, I’m thrilled with the performance of my machine:

1) Deleted files I didn’t need. My hard drive was near capacity, so this had to be bogging down the virtual memory. Old media files can be huge, and an 80GB laptop hard drive is no place for them.

2) Uninstalled programs I’ll never use.

3) Cleaned out additional junk files using CCCleaner (freeware). I’m not really sure if this helps, but the cleansing process feels good nevertheless.

4) Turned off the Vista Sidebar. It’s cute, but seemed to consume a lot of system resources I’d rather use for something else.

5) Turned off most of the Vista visual effects. Again, cute, but after the initial appeal has worn off, they didn’t do much for me.

6) Ran MSCONFIG and un-ticked a few startup programs and services I didn’t need.

7) Turned off Google Desktop. Vista’s search works great, so Google Desktop is redundant.

8) And now the biggie – I installed the Vista Service Pack. I thought I already had it, but as it turns out, Windows Update had repeatedly failed to install it. I searched the Microsoft site and downloaded and installed it manually, and it made a HUGE difference to the performance of my laptop.

9) And by the way, I also bought a replacement battery. When I ran a battery utility I discovered that my battery was only operating at 10% of its design capacity. Every time my PC went to sleep, it would run out of juice and perform a total shut-down. Now I can avoid time consuming boot-up, and just wake up my laptop when needed.

Next on my to-do list is to set up my flash drive for ReadyBoost, which is supposed to add up to 2GB additional RAM.


One Response to “Fast Vista – Finally!!!”

  1. Todd Girvin said

    Microsoft OneCare does many of these things for you: deletes unused file, offers to remove un-used auto-start programs, warns when updates should be installed. It also handles backups.I, too, ran into the uninstalled SP1 problem on my home computer. I had to find the multi-language x64 version and install it myself. Not sure why Windows couldn’t handle it.

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