Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
We’re a year into Vista’s reign of terror, and by now most average users have resigned themselves to the fact that they’re stuck with Microsoft’s bloated, pokey, buggy OS. People simply feel powerless to fight the software juggernaut and PC vendors that happily play along by preloading Vista on everything that goes out the door.
Well, you’re better than that—you don’t have to take this nonsense lying down. Vista may never run as smoothly as good ol’ XP, but we’ve compiled an extensive collection of tips that will help you improve the OS considerably. We’ll show you how to enhance performance, ease frustrations, and turn Vista’s eye candy into something that at least does you some good.
No, Vista still won’t be perfect when you’re done, so we’ve got a special treat in store for you if, after you’ve finished reading our tips, you still aren’t satisfied. Flip to page 48 and you’ll find complete instructions for downgrading to XP or setting up a dual-boot machine with both XP and Vista. See? Happy days are here again!
Spare yourself the headache of endless pop-ups.
You won’t get far in Vista before you start losing hair thanks to UAC, Vista’s overbearing security pop-up system. If you’re an even remotely sophisticated user, turning off UAC should be job one. It’s easy to do: Visit the User Accounts control panel and click “Turn User Account Control on or off,” then uncheck the box on the following screen. If you just want a little more control over UAC (without turning it off altogether), download TweakUAC (www.tweak-uac.com), which suppresses UAC messages whenever you’re logged in as an administrator.
|End warning pop-ups with a single click.|
Don’t let the OS limit command-line rights.
Typing cmd in the Start menu’s search box will bring up the familiar command-line window, but depending on your machine’s configuration, you might be stuck in a restricted mode even if you’re logged in as an administrator. To launch an unrestricted Admin command line, type cmd at Start, then press Ctrl-Shift-Enter. You can also do this by right-clicking the CMD.exe result in the search box and selecting Run as Administrator in the drop-down menu. You’ll notice you’re in Admin mode by the Administrator prefix in the window’s title bar. Now you can move and copy files and folders from the command line and run system tools such as msconfig; by default these privileges are locked out.
|Two extra button clicks let you run the command line unrestricted|
Give your PC a modest speed boost.
Look, we know you’ve been promised repeatedly that if you just tweak this one registry entry, your computer will never crash and it’ll run three times faster. And then you did it and nothing happened, right?
TweakVI, a downloadable application designed to fine-tune Windows registry settings, won’t turn a Celeron into a Core 2 Quad, but in our tests it did modestly improve general benchmark performance, in the range of 5 to 10 percent. Download and install the free version of the app from http://tinyurl.com/24yz6q. When you run it, you’ll want to focus your energy on the System Information and Tweaks section, then the CPU Tweaks... subsection under that.
Don’t expect miracles, but try running your usual benchmarks before and after installing TweakVI—you might be surprised. That said, a $50 yearly subscription to unlock all of TweakVI’s features is pretty much out of line; the free version should provide most everything you need.
|Additional TweakVI fixes let you optimize IE, Firefox, and even font smoothing.|