Boost Windows Shutdown Speed
Vista is normally fast to shutdown, takes maybe 3 seconds on my beta machine. Some configurations however may lend their selves to a longer shutdown period, some of the time the longer shutdown is due to waiting for Vista to kill some services. If your affected by this the following might help.

Start up Regedit and navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l]
On the right pane look for the “WaitToKillServiceTimeout” string and change its value to 1000 by right clicking the string and selecting Modify. However, to make sure its going to work OK for you modify the value to WaitToKillServiceTimeout=5000 first and try it out.
Modified value WaitToKillServiceTimeout=1000 (1000 is a bit much for this one so be careful)
3000 seems to work just about right but try the 5000 first.
(The default value for WaitToKillServiceTimeout=20000 in case you need to change it back)

Extend Activation period

Would you like to extend the activation period to the maximum 120 days instead of the 30 day period that is set by default? It is possible and legal to do this using the software licensing manager in Windows Vista. Simply run slmgr -rearm to get another 30 days. You can do this a maximum of three times before Microsoft blocks further extensions.

Install Vista without product key

Don’t feel like typing in your product key before installing Windows Vista? It is now possible to install any version of Windows Vista and use it for 14 days before having to enter a product key and activating it.
While on the product key screen during install, just hit the Next button. You will be presented with a new screen that allows you to select the version of Windows Vista you would like to install.

Launch Flip 3D Alt+Tab Replacement

This has been one of the most demonstrated features of Windows Vista and also one that I have been asked the most about how to use it.
Keep in mind that your computer must support the DWM for this feature to run. If you are running Aero Glass right now, it will work perfectly for you.
Launch Flip 3D:
Just press and hold the Windows Key + Tab. Then use the scroll wheel on your mouse or the up and down keyboard arrows to navigate through the windows. When the window you want is on top, release the Windows and Tab keys.

Check Windows Vista Activation Status

Are you a user of Windows Vista Enterprise or Business edition and would like to know the status of activation of a specific computer? Want to make sure that the computer connected properly to the Key Management Server (KMS) or used your Multiple Activation Key (MAK) properly? Or are you a home user and just want to make sure your computer is fully activated?
Included in Windows Vista is very useful utility that will help you check the status of activation of your computer:
1.Click on the Start Button and key in CMD and hit Enter to start up Command Prompt.
2.At the prompt, type in “slmgr.vbs -dli”
3.After a few seconds you will be presented with a pop-up message with your activation status.

Remove Windows Mail splash screen

Are you a frequent user of Windows Mail? Would you like to shave a second off of load time and remove that annoying splash screen? Using a quick reg hack, you can easily remove the splash screen.
1.Click on the start button and type in regedit and hit Enter.
2.Navigate through HKEY_CURRENT_USER, Software, Microsoft and Windows Mail.
3.Create a new DWORD called NoSplash.
4.Set the value of NoSplash to 1.
5.Exit Registry Editor.

Enable Vista Glass look on Unsupported Video Cards

Microsoft Windows Vista, formally Codename longhorn has a new user interface system codenamed Avalon. This new user interface engine greatly enhances the look by utilizing several cool looking 3D effects. Of course, to be able to fully utilize the new engine you need a good 3D video card on top of special drivers, WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model).
To turn on this effect just execute c:\Windows\System32\UXSS.exe or enable and start the User Experience Session Management Service.
1. Open up Regedit.
2. Navigate through HKEY_local_machine, Software, and Microsoft.
3. Create a new KEY called DWM.
4. In the new DWM key you created, create a DWORD called EnableMachineCheck.
5. Make sure this value is set to 0 and hardware checking is now disabled.

Quick Note: Although you can get it to run on older hardware, with the lack of WDDM drivers available, it is going to run very slowly if at all.

Enable Vista Glass on Compatible Hardware

If you have a video card that is using WDDM drivers and supports DirectX 9c but is not allowing you to use vista glass, there is a cool trick that you can use to force Aero to run. Follow the steps below:
1.Click on the start button and key in regedit and hit Enter.
2.Navigate through, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, Software, Microsoft, Windows and DWM.
3.Set Composition to 1 and CompositionPolicy to 2.
4.Restart the DWM by restarting the Desktop Windows Manager Session Manager service. This can be done in services.msc or by typing net stop uxsms and net start uxsms at command prompt.
Once the service restarts you will have glass!

Show Run Command on Start Menu

Windows Vista has a new search bar located on the Start Panel. You can use the new search box to find items in the various folders of your Start Menu as well as run any application from it. Just type in the name of the executable and it will search your hard drive for it and run it. This is a great feature but if you have a lot of files on your computer, then be prepared for a short delay since it may have to search for a while.
If you do not want to wait that long, there is a quick way to get the old Run command back on your Start Panel.
1. Right click on your taskbar and select Properties.
2. Click on the Start Menu Tab and then select Customize.
3. Scroll through the list and check the Run Command check box.
4. Hit OK a few times and it is back.

Disable pop-up balloon tips

Tired of pop-up tips showing up all over the interface? With group policy editor, you can easily stop them from showing up for good.
1.Start up the group policy editor by clicking on the start button and keying in gpedit.msc and pressing Enter.
2.Expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates and Start Menu and Taskbar.
3.Select Remove Balloon Tips on Start Menu items, right click on it and select Properties.
4.Select Enable and hit OK.
5.Close Group Policy Editor and you are finished.

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!

How to disable user access protection ( UAP )-

While logged in with admin rights. Press the key combo Win+R (the “Run command” box comes up).
Run “msconfig”.
Go to the “Tools” tab.
Scroll down to “disable UAP”, & click the “launch” button below.
It will execute a command & leave behind a CMD window, exit that, reboot Vista, and you’re done!

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\UserLis t

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

Disable some Visual Effects

Browse to Control panel/ System/ Advanced system settings/ Advanced tab/ Performance-Settings/ Visual effects (Default Tab)

Uncheck the following boxes:

– Animate controls and elements inside windows
– Fade or slide menus into view
– Fade or slide tooltips into view
– Fade out items after clicking
– Show shadows under menus
– Show shadow under mouse pointer
– Show translucent selection rectangle
– Slide open combo boxes
– Slide taskbar buttons

Optionals (Affecting Vista Eye candy)
– Enable transparent glass
– Enable Desktop composition
– Use a background Image for each folder type
* And all other Visual effects. Feel free to toy with them and uncheck what you don’t consider vital. As we mentioned before we will optimize Vista while keeping alive the “Eye-Candy” that’s why we leave the “optinals” effects for you to decide what to disable and what not.

Apply changes.

Adjusting Virtual Memory (Pagefile, Swapfile size)

Memory management in Windows Vista is very similar to what we saw in Windows XP taking into account that there is more use of it now with the indexing and superfetch features. At the same time it is different to that under the previous Windows 95/98/SE/ME series. No matter how much physical RAM you have in your system, your Windows Vista Virtual Memory (also called the Swapfile or Pagefile) settings will have a major impact on your system’s performance. if you want to gain a clearer understanding of what virtual memory is, and why most of the myths you’ve heard concerning virtual memory and ‘freeing up RAM’ are blatantly untrue we recommend you to read these articles Here and Here for references.

Before setting a new pagefile size, first clear your existing pagefile. To do this select the ‘No Paging File’ option and click the Set button, then reboot your system. This step does two things: first it deletes the pagefile, fixing any potential pagefile corruption which can occur after a bad shutdown (remember this tip for future troubleshooting purposes); and secondly it ensures that any new pagefile you create will start off as a single unfragmented contiguous block on your hard drive for optimal performance.

Once you’ve cleared your existing pagefile, you can now set a new pagefile. Which drive or partition this pagefile should be located on is based loosely on the following rules:

One hard drive and one partition: The pagefile can only be located on the primary partition of your hard drive.

One hard drive and multiple partitions: Make sure the pagefile is placed on the first partition as this is the fastest partition. Placing it on another partition does not simulate the benefits of having two hard drives since the read head of the Hard Drive can still only seek information from one place at a time.

Disable System Restore

In Windows Vista, the System Restore service is one cause of performance issues. Even when this has changed compared to the earlier releases of Windows Vista we recommend you to use PC Backups periodically instead running the System Restore service. To turn off System Restore follow the instructions bellow:

1. Click on the “Start” button.
2. Right click “Computer”, and then click “Properties”.
3. On the panel (left hand side), click “Advanced Settings”.
4. If asked to permit, click “Allow”.
5. Click on the “System Protection” tab.
6. Uncheck any checkbox listed for your hard drives.
7. Apply changes.

Disable Hibernation

Windows places a file on your hard drive that it uses when your computer goes into hibernation mode. If you do not use hibernation mode, you may want to disable hibernation and clear the file off your hard drive to free up some space (the file will use as much space as you have in physical memory, so if you have 1GB of RAM, it’s going to use 1GB of your hard drive space).

There are two ways of disabling it:

To disable using Disk Cleanup:

1. Click Start/ All Programs/ Accessories/ System Tools/ Disk Cleanup
2. If prompted to choose a drive, select the drive in which Windows Vista is installed onto and press OK.
3. Disk Cleanup will scan the hard drive and present you with a list of options.
4. Check “Hibernation File Cleaner”, and then click OK.
5. When asked “Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files?” click on the Delete Files

To disable hibernation using the Command Prompt:

1. Click Start, All Programs, and then right click on “Command Prompt”.
2. From the context menu click on “Run as administrator”.
3. If User Account Control prompts you to allow the action, click on Continue.
4. In the command prompt window, type “powercfg -H OFF” (without the quotes).
4. Close the Command Prompt window.

Two or more physical hard drives: You should put the main pagefile on the drive that doesn’t contain your Windows installation and installed applications. This will reduce hard drive head movement on the main disk and speed up access to the pagefile on the other disk.

CPU Priority

This Registry hack will tweak your CPU Priority if you don’t have a PnP BIOS.
What could this trick do for you? Well basically the system will be configured to dedicate more processor power to the applications you launch (all foreground tasks in general), dedicating at the same time less processor power for background applications. Some people say that you really notice no performance gain. In my personal opinion you DO notice a great performance improvement in your system. It becomes more responsive to your clicks and as far as I’m concerned it has a major impact under Windows vista.

Here is what to do:

Run Regedit and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\PriorityControl

Look for a DWORD [REG_DWORD] Value called “Win32PrioritySeparation”, double-click on it and type into value data box: “6”(Hexadecimal value; no quotes). Click OK to save.

When this value is set to 1, the foreground (active) application has more CPU Power than the background (inactive) applications (if any), and if you set the value to 2, you get even more power to the foreground application(s):

0 = Foreground and background applications equally responsive.
1 = Foreground application more responsive than background.
2 = Best foreground application response time.
The maximum value allowed is 26 (Hex) or 38 (Decimal).
Play around with these values until you find your own “sweet spot”.

Notes:Higher settings will drag down system resources considerably. Ask a Professional to know the better settings for you in this tweak. NEVER use a value of 0 because that will lock up your PC

How to disable the command prompt during the Windows Vista Enterprise installation process
In some cases, you may want to use the command prompt to troubleshoot the Windows Vista Enterprise installation process. By default, the command prompt is enabled in Windows Vista Enterprise. This article describes how to disable the command prompt during the Windows Vista Enterprise installation process.

Note To start a command prompt during the Windows Vista Enterprise installation process, press SHIFT+F10.
During all phases of the Windows Vista Enterprise installation process, Windows Setup and the related setup files examine the Windows Vista Enterprise setup directory for a file that is named the DisableCMDRequest.tag file. When Windows Setup and the related setup files find the DisableCMDRequest.tag file, Windows Setup disables the command prompt for the duration of the Windows Vista Enterprise installation process.

The Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) runs when you start Windows Setup for the first time. To disable the command prompt during the Windows Vista Enterprise installation process, follow these steps: 1.Verify that the computer has Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) or Windows OEM Preinstall Kit (Windows OPK) installed.2.Click Start, click All Programs, click Windows AIK or Windows OPK, and then click Windows PE Tools Command Prompt.

Note If you follow these steps on a Windows Vista Enterprise-based computer, right-click the Command Prompt window, and then click Run as Administrator.3.Use the ImageX tool to mount the Boot.wim file to a folder. To do this, run the following command: md \mount imagex /mountrw WimFileFolderName\boot.wim 2 \mount
Note In this command, WimFileFolderName is a placeholder for the name of the folder that contains the Boot.wim file.4.In the Windows Vista Enterprise setup directory, create the DisableCMDRequest.tag file. To do this, run the following command: md \mount\windows\setup\scripts echo.>\mount\windows\setup\scripts\DisableCMDReque st.TAG
5.Apply the changes to the Boot.wim file. To do this, run the following command: Imagex /unmount /commit \mount
6.Deploy the image. To do this, use the methods that are specified in the documentation for Windows AIK, for Windows OPK, or for Windows Deployment Services.Note After you follow these steps, you cannot run audit mode by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+F3.

Speed Up Start Menu
Are you on Vista and having issues with the Start menu response? Is it taking a few seconds to open up a program folder? Well there is no magic here. Just a few clicks and you will be set. Right Click the Taskbar and select Properties. Click on Start Menu tab/ Customize and uncheck the “Highlight newly installed programs” box in the options. Click Apply, OK and you are ready to go.

Also you may want to modify the following registry value:

Navigate to: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
String Value: ‘MenuShowDelay’
Default value: ‘MenuShowDelay’=’400’
Modified value: ‘MenuShowDelay’=’0’

Disable performance counters
Open a Command Prompt by going to Start/ Search box type “cmd” (without quotes), the cmd.exe will show up on the search results. Right Click the cmd.exe icon on the list and select “Run as Administrator”.

Once the MS DOS prompt is open, type the following lines exactly as shown, pressing return after each:

Set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

In the Device Manager window that opens go to the “View” menu and select “Show Hidden Devices”. Now start looking through all the devices. Devices in gray are usually old/unused and safe to remove by right clicking on each one and selecting “Uninstall”. In particular, you might find several entries under the Monitors section from previous graphics driver installations. You can typically delete all the greyed out entries but at least one un-greyed entry should remain. You may also find old entries for previous graphics cards under the Display Adapters section that again can be removed. Remember that even with only one monitor connected there are usually two entries for most ATI graphics cards, one of which is the Secondary – this is normal. You should not remove any Microsoft devices such as those under the Sound section, or devices that you are unclear about. Once done, you can close Device Manager the usual way and the next time you open it up it will not show unused devices until you again use this method to do so. Close and reopen Device Manager and disable any unused device you are not using in your system. For example you may have installed a Floppy Disk Drive which is useless on these days. If that’s your case you want to disable it to prevent the system from loading unnecessary drivers. That will reduce your boot times waiting and free up some system resources. Do the same to any other device you don’t use. See the screenshot.

Turn off unnecessary Services
Note: Even when we suggest in our guide to disable services it is important that you know that some 3rd party programs may call some of these services to run properly. For that reason we would like to point out that the “Disable Service” could be set to “MANUAL” instead and it will have the same effect in your system, allowing the OS to start running the service when a specific program requires it to run… With this said, it is up to the end user what action to take. Good Luck and Backup before Tweaking.

Computer Browser: Maintains an updated list of computers on the network and supplies this list to computers designated as browsers.
If you aren’t on a network environment, set to Disabled.

Desktop Window Manager Session Manager: Provides Desktop Window Manager startup and maintenance services.
If you are not running the Aero Glass transparency interface, set to Disabled.
Distributed Link Tracking Client: Maintains links between NTFS files within a computer or across computers in a network.
If you don’t have links between NTFS Files, set to Disabled.

IP Helper: Provides automatic IPv6 connectivity over an IPv4 network.
If you don’t need IPv6 support, set to Disabled

Offline Files: The Offline Files
service performs maintenance activities on the Offline Files cache, responds to user logon and logoff events, implements the internals of the public API, and dispatches interesting events to those interested in Offline Files activities and changes in cache state. If you don’t use offline files, set to Disabled.

Portable Device Enumerator Service
: Enforces group policy for removable mass-storage devices. Enables applications such as Windows Media Player and Image Import Wizard to transfer and synchronize content using removable mass-storage devices.
If you don’t own any portable device, set to Disabled. If you do then set it to Manual

Print Spooler: Loads files to memory for later printing
If you have no printer installed in your system, set to Disable. If you do have a printer or you decide to install one later, make sure to Enable this service otherwise your printer installation may fail. This service manages the printing priority in your system plus the order in which documents will be printed after loading them to memory.

Program Compatibility Assistant Service: Provides support for the Program Compatibility Assistant.
If you don’t use the Program Compatibility Assistant, set to Disabled.

ReadyBoost: Provides support for improving system performance using ReadyBoost.
If you don’t use USB drives (flash drives) as a memory booster, set to Disabled. Otherwise buy a flash drive, connect it to your USB and using it as system memory you will notice the great improvement in performance right away.

Security Center: Monitors system security settings and configurations.
If you run an Antivirus software, firewall, etc and you don’t want Windows to monitor your system security configuration, set to Disabled. Note that this action must be taken only if you monitor and take care of your system security by yourself. Most users use third party applications to secure their OS. If that’s your case you do NOT need to have this service enable.

Server: Supports file, print, and named-pipe sharing over the network for this computer.
If you don’t send files or print them over a network, set to Disabled. Your system doesn’t need to run as a server at anytime unless you have a Home network to share files and print documents.

Table PC Input Service: Enables Tablet PC pen and ink functionality.
If you don’t toy with Tablet PC, set to Disabled.

TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper: Provides support for the NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) service and NetBIOS name resolution for clients on the network, therefore enabling users to share files, print, and log on to the network.
If you don’t plan to share files between computers within a network, set to Disabled.

Terminal Services: Allows users to connect interactively to a remote computer.
If you don’t remotely connect to other computers, set to Disabled.

WebClient: Enables Windows-based programs to create, access, and modify Internet-based files.
If you don’t use it, set to Disable. The WebClient service provides WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning) integration in the Explorer shell. It makes it possible to use “web folders” and to browse the file systems of web servers (not unlike FTP, but better – adds secure password authentication and file locking) within an Explorer window. WebDAV is an extension of the HTTP/1.1 protocol. It is not needed. You can use Internet Explorer 5 and above for this functionality (File > Open > enter URL and check the “Open as Web Folder” checkbox), as well as a host of other downloadable tools that implement WebDAV.

Windows Defender: Scan your computer for unwanted software, schedule scans, and get the latest unwanted software definitions.
Personally I shutdown Windows Defender service and disable it from running at startup. Of course I use 3rd party applications to keep my system as secure and clean as possible. In my personal opinion Windows Defender has proven to be a useless Windows application to protect your system. I don’t pretend to have a discussion about this at all. Do what you believe is better for your system. I pick to shut it down…

Windows Error Reporting Service: Allows errors to be reported when programs stop working or responding and allows existing solutions to be delivered. Also allows logs to be generated for diagnostic and repair services.
If you feel bothered when a program stops working and Windows asks you to send a report, set to Disabled. Bye bye report. You can leave it as is if you think you may need it for reports and troubleshooting.

Windows Time: Maintains date and time synchronization on all clients and servers in the network.
If you don’t need to keep your system synchronized, set to Disabled. (It auto-updates the system clock)

Windows Update: Enables the detection, download, and installation of updates for Windows and other programs.
Not every day you receive a new update from Microsoft but you do have the service running 24/7. We recommend you to set this service to Manual and check for updates manually once a week or maybe once every 15 days. Note that changing it to Manual will prevent the service to run when the system boots up but it will be automatically loaded when you run Windows Update manually. To run Windows Update, click on Start/ All Programs/ Windows Update.

Create a Custom Boot Logo for Windows Vista

If you are a desktop customization kinda guy, one of the first things you’ll want to figure out is how to create a customized boot logo. There’s a little utility that you can use to create the boot logo formats.
First you’ll need to download the Vista Boot Logo Generator 1.1 utility, which we’ll use to create the correct logo image type. Once it’s installed, you need to make sure that you run the application as administrator:

We should choose an appropriate logo file. Since I’m a big fan of linux, and not as big a fan of Windows Vista, I chose an image of Tux making windows suck that I found over here.

Choose two versions of the image, one needs to be 800×600 at 24 bit color, and the other 1024×768 at the same color depth. Both files must be in Bitmap(BMP) format. Save the file somewhere like your desktop, because we can’t yet copy directly to the correct directory, until we take ownership of the file.
To take ownership of the file, you’ll have to open an administrator command prompt. (type cmd into the start menu search box, and hit Ctrl+Shift+Enter), and then run this command:

takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\en-US\winload.exe.mui

Now run this command, substituting geek for your username:

cacls C:\Windows\System32\en-US\winload.exe.mui /G geek:F

Now copy the file that you created into the C:\windows\system32\en-US\ directory. Make sure you choose the overwrite option.
Now you’ll need to use the msconfig utility. Just type msconfig into the start menu search box, and then click the Boot tab:

Check the “No GUI boot” option, and we’re all ready to reboot and test it out. Sweet!

Disable Windows Sidebar in Vista
Let’s be honest: The Windows Sidebar in Windows Vista is cheesy and useless. It’s also easy to disable.

To disable this, right click on the sidebar or sidebar icon, and choose properties:

Uncheck the “Start Sidebar when Windows starts” checkbox:

Then right-click on the icon, and choose Exit to close the sidebar:

Enable Run Command on Windows Vista Start Menu
A number of people wants to know that how to enable the old Run dialog that existed on every other version of Windows until Vista. One of the nice features of the old Run dialog was that it saved the history of what you had typed in.
We should note first that you can always get to the run dialog by just hitting Win + R on the keyboard, which is the simplest way to do so, and would probably be worth getting used to.
Otherwise, you can re-enable the run dialog by right-clicking on the Start Button, selecting Properties, and then clicking Customize on the ensuing dialog window. You’ll be taken to the Customize Start Menu screen.

Check the “Run command” checkbox in the list, and you should now be in business:.

Note the addition of the Run… button.

Stop an Application from Running at Startup in Windows Vista
Back in the old days, there were a lot of places an application could hook itself to run at startup. You had to check the registry in more than one place, as well as your start menu. With Windows Vista, there’s a built-in panel that handles all that for you.
To quickly get to this panel, you can open Control Panel, and then type “startup” into the search box. The link for “Stop a program from running at startup” shows up immediately. You could have also opened Windows Defender and fooled around with the menus until you find the right spot, but this seems quicker to me.

Now you can see the Windows Defender screen that lets you manage the startup programs.

You can choose to Remove or just Disable any startup item using this panel, as well as lots of other useful information so that you can see what each item is.

Disable Power Management on Windows Vista
If you are using a desktop computer, chances are that you don’t want the computer to go to sleep automatically. This is even more the case if you are running Vista in a virtual machine for testing purposes.
Disabling power management is simple and easy. First go to the start menu and click on the Control Panel.
Click on the System and Maintenance link:

Then click on the Power Options link:

Then select High Performance:

This will disable the automatic sleep mode, but will still turn off the display. You can click on Change Plan Settings to disable that as well if you want.
Tested on: Windows Vista RC1

Enable or Disable UAC From the Windows Vista Command Line
If you’ve used Windows Vista for more than 3.7 minutes, you know what UAC (User Account Control) is.. it’s the obnoxious, nagging popup window that will be your life for the next 3-5 years unless you switch back to XP in frustration, or to a better OS like… OS X, Suse, Ubuntu, or even XP.
Windows need your permission to annoy the crap out of you:

There’s a quick way you can enable or disable this annoying window from the command line:
Disable UAC

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /k %windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Pol icies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Enable UAC

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /k %windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Pol icies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

After you enable or disable UAC, you will have to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect

Using Windows Vista System Restore
Windows Vista has a feature called System Restore that automatically backs up registry and system files whenever you install new software or drivers. This feature is useful when you install evil software that makes your computer run really slow. But don’t worry, System Restore won’t remove Windows Vista.

Using System Restore in Windows
There are two places that you can use the system restore feature from. From within Windows, you can just type restore into the Start menu search box, and you’ll immediately see System Restore at the top of the start menu:

Or you can type rstrui into the search box and hit enter. Your choice.
Note: If you choose the more geeky way of launching System Restore, you will be rewarded with unlimited credit to Newegg. I’m lying, but wouldn’t that be sweet?
You will immediate see a screen where you can choose to roll back the system to the last restore point. You can select “Recommended restore”, and just click next, or you can choose a different restore point.

If you do choose a different restore point, you will see a list of restore points that you can choose from. How many times have I typed the word choose at this point?
You’ll notice in the screenshot below that the last thing I did was install Virtual CloneDrive to mount ISO images, but right before that I installed the NVIDIA drivers.

Click one of them, and you will have to confirm and then restart your computer to roll the system back.

If your system won’t boot
If you can’t even get into windows, you can boot off the installation dvd, and choose the “Repair your computer” option on the lower left hand side. Click next on the next screen.
Now choose System Restore from the System Recovery dialog. It will take a few seconds to come up, and you will see the same screen that you would see in Windows:

Click next, and on the next screen select the drive that your copy of Windows Vista is installed on.
Click Finish, and Vista will roll back to the previous restore point. Really pretty simple stuff.

I’d absolutely recommend keeping the system restore feature on in Vista. I’ve already blown the system up at least 3 times, and had to restore.

Test Your Computer’s Memory Using Windows Vista Memory Diagnostic Tool
If you are an overclocker, or are just suspecting a memory problem with your computer, you should probably run some memory tests. Rather than spending money, you can use the free tool included in Windows Vista.
Using this tool will require a reboot, so keep that in mind before you launch it.
Type in memory into the start menu, and you should see the first option will say Memory Diagnostics Tool.

A dialog will pop up asking if you want to reboot and check for problems now, or check for problems the next time you restart.

If you choose to restart now, Vista will reboot into the memory diagnostic utility:

You can also get to this utility directly from the boot manager menu. You’ll notice it at the bottom of the window in the screenshot below:

Getting to it is a little strange, though, if you only have Vista installed on the machine. You’ll have to hold down F8 for the boot menu, and then hit Esc to get to the screen above.

Set XP as the Default OS in a Windows Vista Dual-Boot Setup
When you install Windows Vista as a dual-boot with your regular Windows XP partition, Vista is always set as the default OS. If you want to set XP as the default OS instead, there’s a quick command you can run to change it back.

First you’ll have to open an administrator command prompt. Type cmd into the search box, and then hit Ctrl+Shift + Enter to open it in administrator mode. You should be prompted for the UAC dialog.

Enter in the following command:

bcdedit /default {ntldr}


C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit /default {ntldr}
The operation completed successfully.

Now when you reboot, it will set XP as the default.

Resize a Partition for Free in Windows Vista
Windows Vista includes a built-in functionality in Disk Management to shrink and expand partitions. No more 3rd party utilities needed!

To get to this utility, open up Control Panel, and type in partition into the search box.. you’ll immediately see the link show up:

Shrink a Partition
In the Disk Management screen, just right-click on the partition that you want to shrink, and select “Shrink Volume” from the menu.
In the Shrink dialog, you will want to enter the amount you want to shrink by, not the new size. For example, if you want to shrink your 50gb partition by roughly 10gb so that it will now be roughly 40gb, enter 10000 into the box:

Extend a Partition
In the Disk Management screen, just right-click on the partition that you want to shrink, and select “Extend Volume” from the menu.

On this screen, you can specify the amount that you want to increase the partition by. In this case, I’m going to extend it back to the roughly 50GB size that it was before.
Note that the extend partition feature only works with contiguous space.

Configure Disk Defragmenter Schedule in Windows Vista
Windows Vista automatically configures Disk Defrag to schedule defragment to run once a week, usually at 1am on Wednesday. I don’t know about you, but I’m usually awake at 1am on wednesday, and I’d rather schedule it for a different time.

To open up the defragment utility, just type defrag into the Start menu search box, and hit enter. Click through the obnoxious UAC prompt, and you should see this screen:

From this screen, you can disable automatic defrag by unchecking the box. You can also modify the schedule by clicking the Modify schedule button (no surprise there)

Much better.. Not like I’m ever awake at 8am.

[ I have been working on these tweaks for so many days, although I had taken them from different websites but I have myself checked all the tweaks and all of them are working fine. I would be posting new tips and tricks regularly here. If you have anything to add, just post a reply! Constructive feedback and criticism is also welcome.]

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