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10 Tweaks for Better Vista Performance - Continued

written by: Jesma•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/27/2009

Top 10 ways to make Vista perform and feel better. We take a look at five more ways to improve the look, feel, and performance of Windows Vista. Do things like: Manage Indexing, change Power Settings, maintain your Hard Disk, enable the Administrator account, and disable User Account Control

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    Adjusting what Vista indexes and what it does not could be crucial to application performance. Indexing uses a lot of resources and should only be used when absolutely necessary. To do this:

    • Go to the "Performance Information and Tools" window.
    • Select "Indexing Options" from the left menu.
    • Click "Modify".
    • Click "Show All Locations".
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    Power Settings

    While the "environment loving hippie" in all of us may protest to the following procedure, the "better performance loving nerd" may win the argument. Typically better performance means higher energy consumption. To adjust your power settings:

    • Go to "Control Panel".
    • Go to "Power Options".
    • Select the option your "inner people" agree on.
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    Hard Disk Management

    Keeping your hard disk clean and organized will help with accessing programs and files faster. To keep it clean, access the "Disk Cleanup" tool and delete unused and/or unnecesary files. To do this:

    • Go to your Start Menu and select "All Programs".
    • Select "Accessories" then "System Tools".
    • Select "Disk Cleanup".
    • Select which files you want to delete then click "OK".

    Your hard drive needs to be organized in a certain way to maximize file access time. Fortunately this is done automatically using the Disk Defragmenter tool. To use it:

    • Go to your Start Menu and select "All Programs".
    • Select "Accessories" then "System Tools".
    • Select "Disk Defragmenter".

    You may choose to set up a schedule to maintain your disk's organization. How often you are installing or uninstalling programs, or adding, deleting, or moving files will dictate how often the Defragmenter should be run. Once a week or once per month are good options. If you would like to always do it manually, you can, and to do this, all you need is to click "Defragment Now".

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    Using the Administrator Account

    By default, Vista does not allow the user to work under the Administrator account, instead requiring them to set up an account that may use administrator privileges. This is done to enhance security, making it nearly impossible for malicious programs to modify your computer without your express permission. If you so choose, though, the following steps will enable the Administrator account so that you can use it as any other.

    • Bring up your Start Menu and type "cmd" into the "Start/Search" input box.
    • Right click the Command Prompt icon that appears at the top of the start menu and select "Run as Administrator".
    • Type "Net user administrator /active:yes" into the command prompt and hit enter. Do not use quotations when typing the command. Do not forget to set a password on the account as you would any other. It is especially important with the Administrator account.
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    Disabling the Annoying Security Features (aka UAC)

    While disabling "User Account Control" (UAC) will inevitably lead to a less secure system, doing so will drastically reduce the annoyance factor of Vista. If you weigh the factors and decide that you would like to do this, simply follow the steps outlined below.

    • Go to "Control Panel" and type "UAC" into the search box.
    • This will bring up the link: "Turn User Account Control (UAC) on or off." Click it.
    • Uncheck the box next to "Use UAC to help protect my computer" then click OK.
    • Rejoice.

10 Tweaks for Better Vista Performance

The 10 best modifications to make Vista perform and feel better
  1. 10 Tweaks for Better Vista Performance
  2. 10 Tweaks for Better Vista Performance - Continued