Making Windows Vista Boot Faster

Throughout the years, all Windows versions have shared a common problem: they degrade in performance over time and boot more slowly the longer the computer is used. Microsoft addressed this gradual sludgification somewhat in Windows Vista, and compared to Windows XP there are certainly some improvements. For example, unlike XP, it’s actually possible to take a year-old Windows Vista install, clean some things up, and get it back in tip-top shape. With XP, you’d eventually be forced to reinstall the entire OS in order to regain lost performance.

Boot-up speed, of course, is a primary concern. In order to speed the time it takes for your PC to return to life each time you sit down in front of it, there are a number of steps
you can take:

• Remove unwanted startup items: Over time, as you install more and more software on your computer, the number of small utilities, application launchers, and, most annoyingly, application prelaunchers (which essentially make it look like those applications start more quickly later because large chunks of them are already pre-loaded) that are configured to run at startup multiply dramatically. There are several ways you can cull this list, but the best one is a hidden feature inside Windows Defender, the antispyware utility that’s built into Windows Vista. (What’s a start-time optimizer doing in Windows Defender, you ask? Well, Windows Defender is based on a product Microsoft purchased that once included a number of cool PC utilities, and this one was apparently deemed good enough to keep it included in the product.) To cull the list of startup applications, open Windows Defender (Start Menu Search, and enter defender) and click the Tools link in the toolbar. Then click Software Explorer to see the interface. Before attempting to make any changes, you must click the button Show for All Users. After dealing with the User Account Control prompt that appears, you can scan the list on the left side, looking for any suspicious or unwanted startup applications. As you click each option, the right side of the application will provide information about the selection. You can also remove or disable unwanted items. Success!

• Do a little cleanup: There is a number of things you can clean up on your PC that will have mild effects on performance. One of the more effective is Vista’s hidden Disk Cleanup tool (Start Menu Search, and type disk clean). This little wonder frees up hard drive space by removing unused temporary files. (Free hard drive space is important for keeping virtual memory running optimally. Virtual-memory optimization is covered in just a bit.)

Source of Information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

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