So, you’ve turned off the Aero interface, changed your power settings, adjusted indexing, reduced the number of startup programs, and cleaned the hard disk. All of these tasks can improve Vista performance, but what if you want to take your tweaking to the next level? There’s more you can do to improve Vista’s speed.
Go into the Control Panel and click on Performance Information and Tools. In the Task pane, click on Advanced Tools. Here you’ll find some neat options for improving Vista’s performance. First, Windows will list any performance issues that it has encountered under the Performance Issues section. Follow the links to correct these issues.
Once you’ve addressed any known performance issues, go back to the Advanced Tools screen and explore the following links:
• View performance details in Event log – The Event log is a vast database detailing all “events” that have occurred on your Vista computer over time. Browse the information here in search for patterns and clues to poor performance.
• Open Reliability and Performance Monitor – This monitor gives you a graphical, real-time view of your computer’s performance including: CPU, disk, network, and memory performance. Click on the Reliability Monitor link to view a graphical chart detailing your system’s stability over time. Click on a date and view application, hardware, and Windows failures for that date.
• Open Task Manager – The Task Manager shows you every application and process running on your computer at the moment. It also provides you with CPU and memory usage information.
• View advanced system details in System Information – This link takes you to a display listing everything that you could ever imagine about your computer. If you’ve ever wondered what type and version of BIOS your computer has or which service pack and build your copy of Vista has running, this is the place to go.
• Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows – Follow this link to adjust visual effects, page file size, and data execution prevention.
• Open Disk Defragmenter – The Disk Defragmenter tool is used for re-packing the files on your hard disk. Over time, individual files are broken up into smaller files and pieced together by Windows as needed. When the disk becomes excessively defragmented, all of this piecing files back together takes time and sluggish performance is the result. Run the Disk Defragmenter weekly for the best results.
• Generate a System Health Report – Of all the tools listed in Advanced Tools, the System Health Report is the most useful. Click this link and wait for the System Health Report to be generated. Not only will you learn about the status of your Vista computer’s hardware, resources, processes, and response times, the report also lists suggestions for improving performance as well as displays test results for diagnostic operating system, disk, security, system services, and hardware and device driver checks.