Does your Windows Vista installation run slow and sluggish, programs take ages to open and it's just not fun? Do you need to buy a new PC? Downgrade to XP? Maybe ... But you can fix all this for FREE in 5 easy steps!!! This web page is a community service to help you make your Vista PC run properly. It does not venture into the "Was Vista a good upgrade, or should we have gone directly to Windows 7" argument, but provides practical, simple and easy-to-follow advice.
What do I need to do to get my Vista PC running "as new"?
1. Remove any viruses, spyware and malware - by running two simple and well-known free programs! 2. Remove any "garbage" on your computer - using two Windows' built-in tools 3. Do systems maintenance to fix "wear & tear" on your computer - run 3 free programs ... 4. Change some Windows Vista settings for optimized operation - basic and advanced. 5. Set up a schedule to do 1) and 2) regularly - easy! 6. Read Vista Books and Guides to learn the secrets of getting the most performance out of Windows Vista.
FAST-TRACK - Remove the speed-zapping Malware and Registry "gunk" quickly and easily from your PC
If you need fast relief of your Vista speed and reliability problems and don't have time for system maintenance described above, follow these two easy steps: 1. Scan your PC with RegCure's Fix Vista Errors - Repair to diagnose, repair and optimise your computer. 2. Download and run Vista AntiVirus Pro from Paretologic until it reports that your Windows Vista is "clean". These two programs will immediately speed-up and stabilise your Windows Vista - do the other steps on this page when you have more time...
Step 1: Remove all Viruses and other Malware from your PC: Run a free Anti-Virus/Spyware program
One of the most reliable and popular virus checkers is the free AVG; it does not slow down your PC. Uninstall any other AntiVirus software first, then download and install the latest AVG version (go to "Site Map" at the bottom of the page, then "AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition"). Make sure you enable automatic updating.
There are also many Malware/Spyware Checkers, but the new versions of AVG include this function.
As a commercial-strength product, we also recommend AntiVirus Pro. Run both programs repeatedly until they show no more infections.
Why? PC viruses and malware are dangerous and slow down you computer.
Step 2: Remove any "Garbage" on your computer: Run two free Windows Clean-up programs ...
Delete unnecessary files: Go to Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools and run "Disk Cleanup", check all boxes but not "Compress Files", unless you want to increase your disk space. After a while you will get a list of the files to be deleted; click "OK".
Move older files into an archive: DropBox offers up to 18Gb Free "Cloud" Storage!
Delete unnecessary programs: Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel and run "Add or Remove Programs". Carefully remove any programs you don't want on your PC. Leave all Windows programs and patches alone.
Why? Any "garbage" slows down your PC!
Step 3: Do maintenance to fix "wear & tear" on your computer: Run three free programs ...
Check and fix your hard disk: Go to Start -> Run..., then type in "cmd", then type in "chkdsk". The PC will either run the disk check immediately or when the PC is next rebooted.
Fix registry problems (and delete more unnecessary files) with the free www.CCleaner.com. Download, install (unclicking the Yahoo Toolbar option) and run both CCleaner functions: "Cleaner" and "Registry". The "Registry" option will search for problem entries in the registry - mostly broken links. Scan first, then Fix. The program will ask if you want to save a backup before fixing - choose "yes" so you'll be able to put things back the way they were if necessary. If you prefer a commercial product, we recommend the RegCure Advanced Registry Cleaner or Registry Easy Cean & Repair.
Defragment the Registry with the free Registry Defrag utility from Auslogics. This program cleans and compacts the registry; your PC will reboot after the program has compacted the Registry and the program will show the size reduction.
Defragment your hard disk: Go to Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools and run "Disk Defragmenter". To efficiently defragment your hard drive you need to have a minimum of 15% free disk space, but 25% or more is better. The first time you run this, it can take several hours to complete. Re-run until no more fragmented files are reported.
Step 4: Optimise Windows Vista settings for faster operation
Unnecessary programs running on your PC can very much decrease performance. You can see some of these programs as small icons in the System Tray next to the clock, the volume control and - for laptops - the battery meter. These additional and mostly unneeded programs use up your memory and processing power. You don't need CD burning, video settings, printer management, instant messaging and similar programs to run continuously. Rather than these program starting automatically when you boot up your PC, start the programs when you need them - your PC will run faster and respond more “snappily”! To stop unnecessary programs from starting at boot-up: Go to Start -> Run..., then type in "msconfig", click "GO" then go to the "Startup" tab. All the programs you see listed are not part of standard Windows Vista. Your goal is to remove as many of the programs as possible. Un-check any program listed that you don't need and re-boot. If you are missing an add-on function that is important to you, just go back and re-enable the program... After you reboot, you will see a message saying the configuration utility was edited - mark the check box at the bottom and continue.
Choose simpler and faster display style: Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Performance -> Settings -> Visual Effects -> Adjust for best performance
Fix page-file size: Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Performance -> Settings -> Advanced -> Virtual Memory -> Change -> Custom Size and set the Initial Size and Maximum size to 1500.
Tune the Prefetch Queue
Why? For best performance, PCs need tuning like any other equipment, eg car, etc.
Step 5: Set up an automatic maintenance schedule
Update and run the Virus/Malware checker as described in Step 1
Delete unnecessary files as described in Step 2 (You can also check if some unwanted programs have been installed...)
Defrag Registry and hard disk as described in Step 3
Check defragmentation - Systernals.com
Why? Windows Vista performance continually deteriorates with use and time, so the above must be run regularly = weekly!
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