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Thread: Windows Vista Tips and Tricks

  1. #1
    A+, Security+, Mobility+ Shinobi's Avatar
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    Windows Vista Tips and Tricks

    Even though Vista has some problems.. I think it might be cool to have this thread stickied on top with everyone can post in it tips and tricks that make Vista a bit better for both home user as well as people in IT.


    One Vista install tip, if installing Vista stalls out right at the start of the install, with just a cursor and the Vista background screen, try disabling "external cache" in your computer's bios. After the install, just turn it back on. This happend to two computers that I have, plus I have read other people have had this problem as well.
    Last edited by Shinobi; 08-30-08 at 09:37 PM.
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    A few I've discovered/come up with from my use of Vista. Some are common sense, others parallel with traditional wisdom.

    * You can do a "clean" install using the Vista upgrade version. Boot from the DVD, install as clean WITHOUT entering your serial number and making sure "activate when I'm online" is not checked, and once you're finally in Windows proper, run setup.exe again from the DVD. It will "upgrade" the clean install, basically installing itself all over again. This time, enter your CD-key, and voila. Time consuming, but good for those with upgrade versions.

    * Disable UAC when installing all your programs and settings, then re-enable it once you've gotten everything the way you like it. You'll only face it occasionally once you do that (at least in my experience).

    * Don't be satisfied with the default drivers! Unlike XP, a clean install of Vista will likely install drivers for all your hardware, so it will seem like drivers aren't needed. Do the old tried-and-true routine as normal. Chipset, video, audio/LAN, and peripherals.

    * Resist the urge to disable Windows Search. Your hard drive will grind a lot for a week or so (or a bit more, depending on how much data you've on your drive(s)), but after that, you're done. Fast searching, indexing, and thumbnail updating overall.

    * Make sure "Enable Advanced Performance" is enabled for your hard drive. Device Manager > Disk Drives > Hard Drive > Properties > Policies. In several Vista clean installs, I've never seen it checked by default. I feel an appreciable "umph" once it's enabled.

    * Pressing the ALT key will reveal the old-school File/Edit menu. Helpful if you want to keep the newer GUI layout. Curiously, Windows Mail doesn't follow Explorer's paradigm.

    * Personal option: uncheck "Include recommended updates" in the Windows Updates options. I've gotten burned a couple of times on driver updates Windows installed automatically, usually LAN drivers that toasted my networking for some reason.

    * No. 1 tip. DON'T FREAK OUT when Vista uses all your RAM. SuperFetch is helping program boot faster, and memory is released as programs and games need it. It used to bug me, then I realized that having 3 GB of free RAM like I did in XP is a waste.

    * And of course, disable System Restore and use Acronis instead!
    Last edited by Brk; 08-30-08 at 10:11 PM.

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    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    A few I've discovered/come up with from my use of Vista. Some are common sense, others parallel with traditional wisdom.





    * Make sure "Enable Advanced Performance" is enabled for your hard drive. Device Manager > Disk Drives > Hard Drive > Properties > Policies. In several Vista clean installs, I've never seen it checked by default. I feel an appreciable "umph" once it's enabled.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Picture of Device Manager
    Is that a SATA hard drive?

    Also, is it attached to the onboard IDE/SATA connector? If it's on a secondary one or a PCI card or something, the option won't be available I believe.

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    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    Is that a SATA hard drive?

    Also, is it attached to the onboard IDE/SATA connector? If it's on a secondary one or a PCI card or something, the option won't be available I believe.
    yes,it's a sata connected directly to the mobo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    yes,it's a sata connected directly to the mobo
    Do you have the Intel Matrix storage drivers installed?

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    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    Do you have the Intel Matrix storage drivers installed?
    I don't know,do you mean ??

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    check in your installed programs to see if the Intel Matrix drivers are listed. If not, you may not have AHCI enabled, or maybe your Hard drive is not a SATAII type?

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    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    check in your installed programs to see if the Intel Matrix drivers are listed. If not, you may not have AHCI enabled, or maybe your Hard drive is not a SATAII type?
    ya I guess i do,

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    As long as that's installed, you won;t have access to those options.

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    Dan, those options are only available for certain hard drives and chipsets. Intel has their own optimizers built into their software so you won't be able to enable them, you might want to try the Intel Turbo Memory software.


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    Resize all of your desktop icons on the fly:

    Hold the Ctrl key, either left or right, then use your scoll button on your mouse to make all of your desktop icons either smaller or large in size.
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    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Vista Aero not showing as available?
    Regedit
    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM

    DWords for Composition to 1, and CompositionPolicy to 2.
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  14. #14
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    If SP1 fails to install..manually, or fails to show up in available updates, this System Readiness Tool has fixed this issue for me.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947821
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    a site to help with some things you might not like in vista...

    http://lifehacker.com/5016951/how-to...-less-annoying
    Every normal man must be tempted at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
    I often wonder if the voices in my head ever get frustrated because I'm just too damn lazy to climb that clock tower.
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    very helpful link , thx alot bastid

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