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Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows

Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows - PCSTATS
Abstract: Newest Update! Take control of Windows with help from PCSTATS. We've got 99 ways to squeeze out better performance, enhance boot times, free up hard drive space and trim away Windows's fat.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Feb 25 2014   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 35-38

35. Force 32-bit Windows Vista to use all your memory by enabling PAE

As we stated above, the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista will only recognize a maximum of a little more than 3GB of memory if you have 4GB of RAM physically installed. It is possible, however to gain access to the rest of your 4GB of memory by enabling Page Address Extension (PAE) mode within Vista.

This feature works with 64-bit Intel and AMD processors to add an extra memory address space over and above what is usually available to the operating system. This will not allow enough headroom to access much more than 4GB of physical memory, so you'll have to move to Vista 64 or Linux to go further, but for users who have 4GB and would like it all to be used by Vista, this tip is worth a try.

One caveat; the extra memory addresses added by PAE require some extra work by Vista in order to use them, so you need to balance the benefit of the extra memory compared to this extra overhead. When it comes to apps that are not really memory hungry, enabling PAE may only slow your computer down. Still, it's easy to enable and easy to remove again, so why not try?

To enable PAE mode in Windows Vista:

Open an administrative command prompt (see Tip #20 for instructions on doing this)

Type the following: 'bcdedit /set pae forceenable'. Restart the computer.

Vista should now see your full 4GB of memory.

If you find performance has not improved the way you would like, you can disable PAE again by opening the administrative command prompt and typing 'BCDedit /set PAE forcedisable' followed by a restart.

36. Used advanced disk cleanup tools to regain more space

The program behind Vista's disk cleanup tool is the 'cleanmgr.exe' file. If you access this file from the command prompt, you can enable several previously hidden options which give you more control in terms of what is removed from your computer when you run disk cleanup. Let's look at doing this.

To use the cleanmgr command to create custom drive cleaning options:

Open an administrative command prompt (open the start menu, type 'cmd' in the search box and press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER).

Type 'cleanmgr /sagetset: 1' and hit Enter. This brings up a checklist of the items you can set diskcleanup to delete when it is run. You'll notice that there are several options here which are otherwise not available. Choose the options you prefer.

When you hit 'ok' you have saved a cleaning profile. To run that cleaning profile and remove the items you specified from all drives, just enter the following in the command prompt: 'cleanmgr /sagerun: 1'

37. Shut down operating system services faster, for a faster shutdown

When you shut down Windows Vista, all running services are shut down as part of the process (obviously). Now if one or more of these services are engaged in doing something or are hung, Windows will wait as long as 20 seconds before making the executive decision to close each of them down. One easy way to speed up your shutdown process is to shorten the amount of time that Windows will wait before putting the hammer down on errant processes.

To shorten the service shutdown grace period:

Open the 'start' menu, type 'regedit' and hit Enter.

Navigate to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control'

Double click the 'WaitToKillServiceTimeout' DWORD value to edit it. Give it a value between 5000 (5 seconds) and 12000 depending on how conservative you are feeling.

Your computer should now shutdown faster.

38. Disable the Vista sidebar

The Vista sidebar is one of the new features of the OS that has attracted wrath and praise in equal amounts. Whether or not you appreciate it's style, ease of use and array of handy gadgets, or hate it's space hogging, system clogging ways, it's impossible to deny that it eats up system resources, even when you are doing other things and not looking at it.

Disabling the Vista gadget sidebar will increase the performance and reduce the load time of your computer system slightly (which is, after all, the point of this PCSTATS Guide). If you do not want to take the drastic step of disabling the sidebar completely, some tips follow which will show you how to make more efficient use of the bar and its gadgets.

To disable the Windows sidebar:

Right click on a blank area of the sidebar and choose 'properties.'

Uncheck the 'Start sidebar when windows starts' option. Hit OK.

Right click on a blank area of the taskbar and choose 'close sidebar.'

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows
 Pg 2.  System Preparation - Tweak Insurance: Tips 1-3
 Pg 3.  System Preparation - Hardware: Tips 4-7
 Pg 4.  System Preparation - Hardware: Tips 8-10
 Pg 5.  First Boot the Essential Tweaks: Tips 11-12
 Pg 6.  First Booth the Essential Tweaks: Tips 13-16
 Pg 7.  First Boot the Essential Tweaks: Tips 17-20
 Pg 8.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 21-23
 Pg 9.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 24-26
 Pg 10.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 27-29
 Pg 11.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 30-31
 Pg 12.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 32-34
 Pg 13.  — Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 35-38
 Pg 14.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 39-41
 Pg 15.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 42-44
 Pg 16.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 45-47
 Pg 17.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 48-50
 Pg 18.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 51-53
 Pg 19.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 54-57
 Pg 20.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 58-61
 Pg 21.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 62-64
 Pg 22.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 65-68
 Pg 23.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 69-71
 Pg 24.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 72-74
 Pg 25.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 75-77
 Pg 26.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 78-81
 Pg 27.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 82-83
 Pg 28.  Customizing Vista Aeroglass Interface: Tips 84-87
 Pg 29.  Network and Internet Performance Tweaks: Tips 88-91
 Pg 30.  Vista Tuning for Notebooks: Tips 92-94
 Pg 31.  Windows Vista Gaming: Tips 95-99

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