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Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows

Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows - PCSTATS
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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

First Boot the Essential Tweaks: Tips 17-20

17. Enable DVD playback in Vista Basic and Vista Business

Can't play DVD's in Windows Vista? Unfortunately, Microsoft Windows Vista does not support DVD playback evenly across all its many versions; only Vista Ultimate and Home Premium have the MPEG/2 codec installed out of the box. Notebooks and desktop computers running Vista Business or Vista Home Basic lack this crucial software component, preventing them from playing DVDs.

For the new Vista user settling down to watch a favourite movie, there is nothing more alarming than the unexpected blank DVD screen that results... no matter if the media player is Windows Media Player 11 (WMP11), PowerDVD, or VLC. Luckily, fixing this isn't difficult.

Oddly enough Vista Business / Home Basic itself doesn't offer any great help, suggesting an "upgrade to Vista Ultimate", or occassionally to "reduce screen resolution". There is no need to upgrade the entire operating system just to watch a DVD, and screen size is just fine. The fix is much simpler, and you don't need to go online and pay $15 to $50 for the privilege of adding this feature. A better course of action is to download a free codec pack, essentially a set of decoding tools to allow Windows to read and playback DVD (and DivX for that matter) media.

PCSTATS recommends the K-Lite codec pack, available here or via an easy Google search. K-Lite Codec Pack 3.6.5 Standard covers all your DVD watching needs, and a good many other codecs too. Download K-Lite from the link above, install the default set or select just the codec you need, then restart the media player. From now on you will be able to watch DVDs in Windows Vista.

Incidently, codec's are like drivers for media files. Whichever media player you choose to watch DVDs on will work once it has access to the correct codec files, but without them even a versatile player like VideoLAN VLC will be unable to play DVD content.

If you are running Windows Vista X64 Business with the 64-bit version of Windows Media Player 11, you will need K-Lite Codec Pack 64-bit Add-on 1.2.0. It can be found here at Betanews.com.

18. Make the 64-bit version of Windows Media Player 11 the default player in Windows Vista x64

Windows Vista x64 users may want to take one additional step because the 64-bit Windows Vista defaults to the 32-bit version of Windows Media Player 11 to ensure broad file and media compatibility. To specify the 64-bit version of Windows Media Player 11 as the default WMP player for 64-bit Vista, we need to redirect a few program shortcuts.

The 32-bit WMP11 program is located in the '.../ProgramFiles(x86)/' folder, while the native 64-bit version of WMP11 is located in the '.../ProgramFiles/' folder.

To set your Vista x64 operating system to default to the 64-bit version of Windows Media Player 11:

Go to Start (the Vista icon in the lower left corner) > and use one of the following commands (without quotes)...

To set 64-bit WMP11 as default player type: "unregmp2.exe /SwapTo:64"

To revert to 32-bit WMP11 as the default player type: "unregmp2.exe /SwapTo:32"

From now on in Windows Vista x64 you will automatically be able to watch DVDs on the 64-bit version of Windows Media player 11. On the off chance the SwapTo command doesn't work, there is a more advanced set of commands detailed here.

19. Update Vista!

Keep your Vista install current. Many of the patches and hotfixes that Microsoft has put out in the year since Vista's release increase performance, either by streamlining the functions of the OS or by fixing things that were broken. To squeeze the most speed out of your Vista system, it has to be kept current.

To update Vista, just open the 'start' menu and type 'update' in the search bar.

20. Run programs with administrator rights

Microsoft added a second layer of security to Windows Vista by ensuring that standard user accounts do not have full administrative privileges. This helps to protect the OS by ensuring that users cannot easily change some system settings but it also serves to annoy users who want to easily change some system settings. Fortunately, there's an easy fix. You may already know how to do this if you are Vista savvy, but if you are not, this is required to carry out many of the following tips.

To run a program with Administrative rights:

Type the name of the program in the 'start' menu searchbar.

Right click on the program's icon in the search results and choose 'run as administrator.'

Now you have the power.

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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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