Tweaking Vista Visual Effects

Right click on Computer, select "Properties" then chose "Advanced System Settings", and, on the "Advanced" tab, click the "Settings" button under the "Performance" section. Go to the "Visual Effects" tab; there you can choose options to enable or disable certain visual effects, very similar to the User Interface of Windows XP.
Significant performance gains in this build have been seen when using the "Adjust for best performance" option, although the benefit of the snappy new interface will be partially lost.

Note: Disabling certain Visual Effects will also disable Aero Glass effects.

Improve the visual aesthetics of the Basic theme

As Basic stands, there is a lot of border padding on each of the windows; the same width if you had Aero is solid blue with basic.
To make this a much better width aesthetically, go to:

Personalization> Window Color and Appearance, Select "Basic" and Click "Advanced". From the Drop Down box, select "Border Padding" and change the value from 4 to 0 or 1.

Virtual Memory

Go to the "Advanced" tab; click the "Settings" button under the "Performance" section. This will open the "Performance Options" dialog. Select the "Advanced" tab there, go to the Virtual Memory section, and click on the Change button; uncheck the box that says "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives", highlight the drive you want your page file to be located on, which is usually the drive you installed Vista on (if you have a secondary drive you may be able to increase performance by putting the page file there but make sure you don't already have a page file from another OS there!), then click the radio button that says "Custom size" and set both the minimum and maximum to the desired size (it is usually recommended this be at least one and one half times the amount of ram you have), then click "Set". This will help reduce fragmentation of the page file and your drive.

A large paging file can also significantly improve performance of Vista, and if possible, where you have more than one physical hard drive, we would recommend putting a large enough paging file on each separate drive (NOT on each partition, but one only per physical drive. If you are unsure what this advice means, then you should NOT follow it, as you may decrease performance instead of increasing it.)

Insufficiently large paging files on the other hand, will hinder the performance of Windows Vista, which uses a technology called SuperFetch to store boot information, Graphic User Interface (GUI) data, and other essentials in the paging file(s) between work sessions. It has been found that an overly small paging file can also cause GUI mishaps, especially at higher screen resolutions.

Ideally, paging files should be located on faster hard drives, for performance gains.

Startup and Recovery

On the "Advanced tab", click the "Settings" button under the "Startup and Recovery" section. In the "Write debugging information" combo box, select "(none)".

Run Command

To put the Run Command back on the start menu:

  1. Right click on the Start button, and click "Properties".
  2. In the Dialog box that opens, make sure the Start Menu tab is selected, and click the "Customize" button next to Start Menu.
  3. Scroll down the list and check the box next to "Run command next to it.
  4. Click OK to close the second dialogue, and then OK to close the first.

Run will now show up on your start menu.

The Vista Scripting Host

Is a handy tool to view your licensing & activation information.

To view all the options:

at the command prompt right click and chose "Run as Administrator" then type in "slmgr /?" (without the quotes).

Command line defrag

This will give you the status of the drive plus the results when done.

To view all the options:
at the command prompt right click and chose "Run as Administrator" then type in "defrag /?" (without the quotes).

Place the IE icon on your desktop

Paste this in a reg file and merge it then refresh the desktop (F5):

Note: The code line directly under the Windows Registry Editor Version must all be on one line, including NewStartPanel]. It is split in the code box below to avoid page distortion.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



If one just makes a shortcut then you don't get the properties dialogs that one does from the IE icon in XP

Resize Partitions With Vista Disk Manager

Windows Vista Tips & Tricks: Resize Partitions With Vista Disk Manager

The release of Windows Vista will bring a number of welcome enhancements to the built-in set of system tools, including the ability to dynamically resize partitions. Prior to Windows Vista, the ability to shrink and extend disk volumes has only been available through third party tools such as Partition Magic.

Although not as full featured as some third party partition management applications, Windows Disk Management console will allow users to shrink, extend, create, and format partitions. The new resizing features will allow users to shrink a single partition with unused space, and then create a new partition in the resulting free space, as well as extending a current partition if there is available free space after it.

To access Disk Management, right click on My Computer, and select Manage from the context menu – this will open the Computer Management console (alternatively, Disk Management may be accessed from Control Panel> Administrative Tools> Computer Management).

From the Computer Management console, click on Disk Management which is located under the Storage section in the left hand pane. To shrink a current volume, locate the partition to be resized from the Disk Manager, right click on it, and from the context menu select Shrink Volume.

A Shrink dialog box will open from which you can enter the amount of space in MB to shrink the partition. This dialog box will also show the current size of the partition, the size of available shrink space available, and the total size after shrinking. Once you have selected the amount of space to shrink the partition by, click on the Shrink button.*Note: the size of the available shrink space can be restricted due to page files, restore files, and hibernation files.

Once the Shrink operation has completed, you will now have the selected amount of unallocated free space available immediately following the shrunken partition.

To extend a current volume, locate the partition to be resized from the Disk Manager, right click on it, and from the context menu select Extend Volume. The Extend Volume Wizard will then open, click Next. You will then be given a dialog box to select the disks to extend. Select the amount of space in MB to extend the volume, and click next. The selected partition will then be extended by the amount of MB selected. *Note: If the partition you want to extend is a boot or system, or cannot be converted to dynamic, you will only be able to extend the volume to the immediately adjacent free space.

Once volumes have been resized, a new partition can be created and formatted in any unallocated free space by right clicking on the unallocated space in the Disk Manager, selecting the type of volume to create, and completing the New Volume Wizard.

With the new enhancements to Windows Vista Disk Management, shrinking and extending partitions is now easily accomplished. As always, when making changing to the partition structure, users should ensure that all important files and data are backed up.

Show Administrator on Welcome Screen

start > run = " control userpasswords2 " select administrator account, click reset password (input new pass) / Ok

start > run = " regedit " create the key below

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList

create "DWORD (32bit) Value"
Value Name: Administrator
Value Data: 1

Enable DWM on None supported Video Cards

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Enabling addition Avalon effects

Once you have the new Aero engine enabled on your build of Windows codename Longhorn, you can enable additional transition effects that are currently turned off in builds. Follow the steps below to add some additional desktop and explorer effects:

1. Open up regedit.
2. Navigate thru HKEY_Local_Machine, Software, Microsoft, Windows, Current Version, and Explorer.
3. Create a new DWORD and call it MILDesktop.
4. Set the value of MILDesktop to 1.
5. Create a new DWORD and call it MILExplorer.
6. Set the value of MILExplorer to 1.
7. Exit explorer and restart.

I hope your system and drivers can handle the new effects!

5 Essential Vista Performance Monitoring Gadgets

The new sidebar in Windows Vista provides many opportunities to present the user with information. For those of you that like to monitor your system performance, the sidebar is the perfect place to run various performance monitoring gadgets. Windows Vista ships with a simple CPU and Memory usage gadget, however, there are many more gadgets out there that are much more useful and help you monitor almost every aspect of Windows.

1. Wireless Signal and IP Address Gadget

This gadget displays your wireless network information such as it's status, signal strength and security. This gadget also displays your internal IP and gives you a direct link to your router's / wireless gateway's web based control panel.

2. Battery Meter Gadget

Monitor the battery level of your laptop with this gadget.  This gadget provides a much more accurate level reading than the tiny system tray icon.

3. Multi-Meter Gadget

Info shown: - Cpu usage % ( 2 cores ) - Ram Usage % - Ram info ( Total, used, left size) - Status bars animated above 90% - 100 Skins + background selection

4. Uptime Gadget

This gadget allows you to see how much time has passed since you last restarted your computer.

5. Free Space Gadget

This gadget monitors your PC's drives and shows you the available space for those you've selected

Speed up aero by disabling min/max animations

The new animations in Windows Vista look great for the first month or so but then they can become an annoyance since they feel like they increase the amount of time it takes to minimize and maximize a window. If you can live without the minimize and maximize animations that you can bring back the super fast feeling of your windows instantly disappearing and appearing by disabling the min/max animations.

Follow the steps below to make your windows faster:

1. Click on the Start Menu and key in SystemPropertiesPerformance and hit Enter.
2. On the Visual Effects tab uncheck Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing.
3. Click OK.