Technology as a way of life

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser...

Oct 25, 2008

Bad Vista Tweaks

Well i was very skeptical about Vista in the past but it doesn't seem that bad after all. Anyway i must inform you that i made my own tweaked Vista dvd and installed from there (all ram hungry and yseless services were removed, as the annoying UAC, Firewall and Defender cause i am using third party anyways. Total size of the DVD is 1.2GB compared to 2.6GB of the original wich was full of useless drivers which we have to update to the latest versions from the manufacturers websites, so there was really no point in keeping them... or the support for chineese LOL.

Some Vista tweaks found all over the internet can do more harm than good. They won't kill your windows, blow up your dog or date with your wife(small chance though) but they may hurt performance. Some of them may have worked with older Windows versions, but are redundant now. Frankly speaking, the best "tweak" is to throw RAM at it ! Or else even one simple thing like 'reducing start ups' will make a lot of difference in performance !

Always Unload DLL (Disable DLL Caching) to free up memory and improve performance. Using this tweak on Windows 2000, XP or Vista has absolutely no effect. This registry key is no longer supported in all post-2000 Windows OS's.

Cleaning the Prefetch Folder. Every time you clean up the Prefetch folder, you delay application load times, the next time you launch them. Its only after the second time that you regain optimal application load times. Only one Prefetch file is created per application . Windows cleans this folder at 128 entries, down to the 32 most used Application's prefetcher files. In Vista this folder does not occupy more than around 50MB. Cleaning the Prefetcher can therefore be construed actually as a...a temporary self-inflicted un-optimization ! Now why would you want to do that ! The developers of the memory management system of Windows Vista have done a good question about this one.

Disabling Certain Services. Don't take this advice to its extremes, for in fact this could actually cripple your system ! For instance Disabling the task Scheduler to improve performance actually prevents the Prefetcher and the Layout.ini file from forming or being updated ! Forcing, inter alia, longer application startup times. Never ever shutdown the System Restore Service...never know when it may save your day ! Disabling the DNS Client Service may decrease the the overall performance of the client computer, and the network traffic for DNS queries increases if the DNS resolver cache is deactivated. This effectively reduces Internet Performance for sites you have previously visited and puts an unnecessary load on your ISP's DNS server.
Simply use a safe Program like Tune-Up Utilities. Shutting down services indiscriminately is a sure shot prescription for trouble !

Page (Swap) File Tweaks. "Create a Fixed Size Page File to improve performance" : This was relevant in the earlier days of Windows; Definitely irrelevant for Vista ! "Eliminate your Page File completely, if you have a large amount of memory installed" : There are simply NO published benchmarks establishing any performance gains from doing so ! And in any case Windows wasn’t designed to run without a page file.

The ReadyBoost Tweak. Several ways being suggested on the net as to how to make ur USB compatible with some hacks/tweaks. Here is one for example :
1. Plug the device and open the device properties : Start > My Computer > Right click Device > Properties > Readyboost Tab
2. Select, “Stop retesting this device when I plug it in.” Remove the device.
3. Open Regedit : Start > Type regedit in the search bar
4. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft /
Windows-NT / CurrentVersion / EMDgmt
Change the Device Status to 2, ReadSpeedKBs to 1000, WriteSpeedKBs to 1000.
5. Re-Plug the device. Readyboost should work.
But using such methods only fools Vista into thinking that such USB drive are compatible. Expect no performance gains in such cases !

"How to turn the PC 'on' in 10 seconds" ! Modifying the regkey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Control\ ContentIndex some claim makes your PC start in 10 secs ! Changing the default value of its '"Startup Delay/Decimal" from 4800000 to 40000 makes this happen; are the claims.
This has nothing to do with the time it takes for windows to load, only the duration that the welcome screen shows up. And its is my opinion that this is best left at its default value, as a certain delay in startup is required so that necessary programs & services can be fired up properly.

Here is a link to a reliable service configuration site "BlackViper" and the top 9 tweaks for a better Vista experience


lmiller7 said...

A good article, except for the very last sentence. The Black Viper website is often considered an authority, but not by true experts. His description of virtual memory is hopeless.

There are many more "tweaks" that should be avoided.

1. DisablePagingExecutive: Does virtually nothing.
2. LargeSystemCache: Counterproductive for workstation use and dangerous.
3. IOPageLockLimit: Does nothing.
4. IRQ8Priority: Does nothing.
5. EnablePrefetcher: Counterproductive.
6. /prefetch:1 in shortcuts: Does nothing.
7. ConservativeSwapFileUsage=1: Does nothing on NT systems.
8. Deleting ntosboot*.* in script: Slows boot time.

That only includes the most common ones.

The fact of the matter is: for most users Vista is fully tweaked right out of the box. Microsoft has always been interested in performance and in later years this might be more properly descrobed as an obcession. If any setting could improve performacne even slightly and did not have serious problems, it would be set by default.

Larry Miller
Microsoft MCSA


Post a Comment