How can I get Vista to run faster?

How can I get Vista to run faster without the added expense of buying more memory? I have 1.5 gigs of virtual memory (RAM).? I have used a registry cleaner, checked for malware, etc. I have had Vista for about 1.5 years and I'm now getting to where I really like it. But I don't the fact that it takes so much memory to run. I wasn't aware of this until after I'd ordered my computer or I wold have gotten more RAM. However, it keeps sloooooooooooowing down. Any help, please?

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Tony_Bruke4 years ago
reinstall your operating system...
orksecurity7 years ago
More memory (I recently bought 4GB of RAM for about $120; I suspect lower prices are possible but I went with a supplier and brand I trusted.). Or dump Vista and downgrade to XT, if your machine came with a downgradable license. Or dump Microsoft and run Linux.
Though I should say 1.5G is marginal for XT too, depending on what you're doing with it. I ran that way for years, but now that I have a few more background tasks tying up memory (a VOIP connection, for example), I found that the memory upgrade was more than worth the cost. (There's also at least one instructable on tuning Vista, and other info out on the web. I won't go near Vista, so I can't vouch for how good or bad any of those suggestions might be.)
I hate to break it to you, but it's called "XP", not "XT" :). And you really got ripped off on the RAM, you paid about double what you should have. However, I do agree with you, the more RAM you have the better.
As far as RAM costs go... I honestly don't remember exactly what I paid, and was trying to set an upper limit. Memory prices are subject to sudden changes; always shop around.
Sorry; apparently I crossed Win-XP with my old PC-XT. Either that or I just got my fingers tangled. Ya get what ya pay for; proofreading costs extra.
V-Man7377 years ago
Wipe your hard drive.
Install DSL on it.
Speed off into the electronic sunset.
winslow1217 years ago
You could delete all of the demo files. Or another way to make the computer go faster is to take off the outer case and buy some compressed air and blow out the dust. (Dust cause heat and makes the computer run slower)
Really, how? (or were you joking) L
yea the dust in a computer makes it slow down. In in a pc managment class and our teacher told us that dust makes computres run slower because it builds up heat.
How (in a PC)?

That's true in some laptops, where they actively manage CPU speed against temperature. The idea is to allow bursts of higher performance than they can cool reliably, while keeping the beast from building up heat and cooking itself. On those machines, yes, clearing the fan channel may be useful if the system is running hot. (Most laptops also come with an application that will let you see the processor temperature; if it's hitting the top when you aren't actually doing much with the machine, that's a good indication that either there's a background task burning lots of cycles or the air path is a bit clogged.) I don't know of any desktops which are designed this way. Desktops can afford bigger fans and bigger heat exchangers.
I was thinking of desktops, but that answers the question thanks. L
Assuming you don't want to spend money for hardware upgrades, here are a few options to try:

1.) The ideal option is to re-install Vista. I hate to say it but I've yet to see a Windows PC that wouldn't benefit from a fresh install every 2 years or so. This more than anything will make a noticeable difference in speed right away. I realize that may not be an option so here are some other things to try:

2.) Stop all non-essential services
This can make a huge difference in performance (and is good for PC security as well). See here for all the detail you need:
(Take notes on everything you change in case you need to revert back later!)

3.) If you haven't done so already, download and run these two (free) PC cleaning programs:
a.) CCleaner: http://www.ccleaner.com/
b.) Spybot Search & Destroy: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/

4.) Remove any type of picture or dynamic background that you may have installed on your Vista desktop. The same is true for Vista Gadgets. They can eat up a considerable amount of memory and CPU depending on the gadget.

5.) Try to limit programs that start automatically upon Vista boot-up and programs that run constantly in your system tray. They all eat up memory, CPU, and slow your boot time. (see #6 for a tool that can help identify the programs that do this)

6.) Find out what is using all your memory and/or CPU. This tool will let you temporarily disable things from starting automatically with every boot (often hidden from the user). It goes in to great detail about what is running on your system.
It is called "HijackThis" and can be found here: http://download.cnet.com/Trend-Micro-HijackThis/3000-8022_4-10227353.html

- Disclaimer -
Be careful with any of these tools and make sure you have a backup of your data before running them.
Re-design7 years ago
Pull out that old cpu and upgrade to a much faster cpu after you try the other suggestions and still are not satisfied.
RelaxedSoup7 years ago
Most if not all store bought computers are loaded up with all sorts of bloatware - stuff that the manufacturer thinks you "need". I'd recommend completely uninstalling all of the pre-installed software (for example, Toshiba has some sort of "health monitoring" software that sits in the taskbar and uses up resources). Don't get rid of anything you actually use (i.e Office, etc).

Also, watch out for the number of programs you have running at startup. I only have 5 out of the previous 25 (although sometimes a few others try and sneak in there), so my system starts up fairly fast. To disable a program or programs from running at startup, go to the Start menu, type "msconfig" in the Search box, and hit Enter. This will load a nifty little program called System Configuration. Go to the "Startup" tab, and un-check everything you don't need. Examples: Adobe Acrobat, Java Updater, etc. If you don't know what a program is/does, Google it before disabling. Most programs will load on demand, so disabling them on startup won't hurt your system (a good example is download managers).

Vista also has a search indexer which claims to be creating a reference table of all your files, so searches take less time. I think it's real purpose is to run your hard drive to death, so that the hard drive companies make more money. It really likes to eat up the resources, but the good news is that you can disable it. Here's a good guide. I used a different one but for some reason I can't find it.

Defragging your hard drive(s) is almost always a good idea, as is running a registry cleaner/compacter and deleting large files that you don't need.

Last, but certainly not least, most anti-virus programs use up a huge amount of system resources. Often I find them to be more of a pain that actually having a virus. McAfee, Trend-Micro, and Norton are a few of the biggest resource hogs. I've found a few very nice, lightweight, and effective A/V's that fit the bill nicely. One of them is Avira Antivir, which has a free home version. Another is NOD32, but it's not free, unfortunately. AVG is also pretty good, but I found it to be less satisfactoy than the previous two A/V's. Be sure to uninstall your old antivirus software before installing the new, as they can conflict with each other and otherwise do bad things.

I've found a peice of software called Tuneup Utilities to be very useful in optimizing operating systems. It has the standard registry defrag and compacter, disk defrag functions, etc., but it will also give you recommendations on which startup programs to disable, and tell you what they all do. It's very useful if you don't want to manually do some of the steps outlined above, I'd recommend getting the trial.

Best of luck, I hope this guide helps and doesn't give you eyestrain from reading it ;). Contact me if you have any questions, and let me know how it works out!
Bartboy7 years ago
Im sure you could find a 2 gb memory expansion for cheap. Delete EVERYTHINg you don't need, but it would be best if you backed it up first.