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