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Old February 24, 2009, 07:34 AM
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Default My guide to a smooth running PC

People always ask me tech questions about how to keep a computer running nice and smooth...well, here are my answers...

Get rid of all icons on the desktop... Create a folder in the root of C drive. Call it shortcuts. Cut and paste all your desktop icons into the folder. Then, drag that folder to the top of your screen. This will create a toolbar. Right click on the toolbar and hit "View" and change it to large icons. Right click again, and hit "auto hide", uncheck show text and uncheck show title...voila, a clean desktop with all your icons in easy reach.

Running out of space on your HDD? Go to: Start-->All programs-->Accessories-->Systems Tools-->Disk Cleanup. This will take a bit to load, so be patient. After it loads, check everything off, you'll have to re-enter all your passwords online, if you don't want to do this, don't check that option. Also, go to the More Options tab and clear all System Restore data (this uses ALOT of space!!). This should free up quite a bit of space on your PC. Running this could take quite a while, be patient.

Vista's Defrag utility sucks, I've found a better one...It's called Defraggler, and it'll allow you to defrag individual files as well as defrag free space on your computer... Linky-->Defraggler

MSCONFIG: Clean out your startup files....Start-->Run-->Type MSCONFIG. Go to startup and disable all the crap you don't need like iTunes Helper, Acrobat, etc etc... Go to the services tab and check off "Hide all Microsoft Services"....get rid of the crap you don't need. IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING HERE, LEAVE IT ALONE!!! (I have 46 processes running right now...with a couple open. You should be under 50)

Foxit Reader...a far better way to read PDF files...smaller, leaner, and about 100 times faster...After you get it (unless you make your own PDF files), get rid of adobe acrobat..
Linky-->
Foxit Reader

When running Vista, you don't really need an anti-virus software (assuming you're a smart surfer), Windows Defender takes care of that....but you will need an anti-spyware software...I use Spybot, make sure you update it weekly, it's a manual update, so you have to do it yourself. This is the best one I've found (that's free), but if you have a better one, let me know!! NOTE ABOUT SPYWARE TOOLS...Adaware is EVIL. It's owned by Kazaa. This is bad. Get rid of it NOW.

Registry cleaners are a tough one...but I found one that's amazing, I tried it and it did a great job and cleared up a ton of hard drive space.
Linky-->
CCleaner Registry Cleaner

VSO Image resizer...This is a great utility for resizing pictures, you can do one, or multiples...works great. Trust me, try it.
Linky-->
VSO Image Resizer

For iTunes....First and formost, CONSOLIDATE YOUR LIBRARY...after that's done, DELETE ALL THE OTHER MUSIC, it's been moved to the iTunes folder. This is the best way to keep your iTunes music organized. So, if you DL some music, say 10 songs, add them to iTunes from where they're saved, then, CONSOLIDATE YOUR LIBRARY. Then, delete the downloaded files... The only place I have music on my PC is in my iTunes folder. You don't need multiple copies of your music.

Pictures: One word...PICASA. This is simply the best way to keep track and fix up your pictures in no time. Yes, Photoshop is better, but it's not very user friendly. Picasa also lets you upload pics to your G-Mail account. I have over 1000 pics online. It's awesome.

And last (for now) but not least...Black Viper....Check out the site:
Linky-->
Black Viper Vista This is a list of services that are running in Vista (there's a guide for XP as well)...you can turn quite a bit of crap off in Vista...I use the "Tweaked" setting. It really helps speed things up. AGAIN, IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS IS...LEAVE IT ALONE!!!

That's all for now, if you have any cool tricks to add, let me know, I'm all about learning cool new tricks for my PC..
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Old February 24, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Control panel, system, advanced tab, settings (performance), put a dot in custom, and get rid of the following:

Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
Fade or slide menus into view
Fade or slide ToolTips into view
Fade out menu items after clicking
Slide open combo boxes
Slide taskbar buttons
Smooth scroll list boxes

This of course is XP, so vista will be a bit different, basically get rid of all the crap that makes things "animated" when they don't have to be... maximizing a window should be instant! Makes your PC seem faster for sure.
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Old February 24, 2009, 11:33 AM
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Black Viper? Don't bother. Reducing services isn't going to make enough difference in Vista to warrant it.

MSConfig? Leave it a lone there is better things for startup removal like this -> CodeStuff :: Starter

Windows Defender is an absolute joke. Always install a much better A/V like Avast or Avira.

Removing desktop icons won't do anything. This is a personal preference to make your desktop look nicer.

Most people don't need to bother to defrag their hard drive and if they do it can be done like every 6 months. There is no real need to do it more than that and another good defrag program is Auslogics Defrag.
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
Black Viper? Don't bother. Reducing services isn't going to make enough difference in Vista to warrant it.



Removing desktop icons won't do anything. This is a personal preference to make your desktop look nicer.

Most people don't need to bother to defrag their hard drive and if they do it can be done like every 6 months. There is no real need to do it more than that and another good defrag program is Auslogics Defrag.


I never defrag either.
Actually following BV website ideas can in some cases with hid stuff cause keyboard issues in xp
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Old February 24, 2009, 12:37 PM
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  • I don't think XP tweakology works the same with Vista as enaberif touched on. Also, if your system is good enough tweaking visuals will do nothing for you. Might as well leave em on but it's all preference.
  • I also don't use MSCONFIG, I use autoruns for startup programs.
  • Firewall/AV is preference but I always recommend Kaspersky IS or Esset. Avast and Avira are good too.
  • I love a clean desktop too. I use a custom toolbar in my taskbar for frequently used programs and all my games are in my quick launch.
  • JKDefrag is another good defrag.

There is a video in this Vista guide that will show you how XP tweakology is useless in Vista. Check it out.
TweakGuides.com - Vista Annoyances Resolved
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Old February 24, 2009, 01:01 PM
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you guys don't defrag??? Why not? It make everything run smoother and faster. A friend of mine (an anti-defrag guy) had never defragged his drive, and when he did he gained about 15% in bench marks and his load times for game went waaaaaay down.

Ok, the Black Viper Vista thing is a bit hardcore, but some people want the minimum amount of stuff running...usually benchmark junkies.

As for the anti-virus...I know I'm gonna get flamed for this...but what's the point? I NEVER use one and I never get any bugs. I'm just a little cautious of what I download.

I've found Defraggler to be better than the Auslogic defrag utility...that's just personal experience.

MSCONFIG...Someone said leave this alone??? What about people with 80+ processes running in the background of their computers? What kind of boot times do they have? Having iTunes running in the background is a waste, same with Adobe, Office, and whatever else you don't need.
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Old February 24, 2009, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toronto122 View Post
you guys don't defrag??? Why not? It make everything run smoother and faster. A friend of mine (an anti-defrag guy) had never defragged his drive, and when he did he gained about 15% in bench marks and his load times for game went waaaaaay down.

Ok, the Black Viper Vista thing is a bit hardcore, but some people want the minimum amount of stuff running...usually benchmark junkies.

As for the anti-virus...I know I'm gonna get flamed for this...but what's the point? I NEVER use one and I never get any bugs. I'm just a little cautious of what I download.

I've found Defraggler to be better than the Auslogic defrag utility...that's just personal experience.

MSCONFIG...Someone said leave this alone??? What about people with 80+ processes running in the background of their computers? What kind of boot times do they have? Having iTunes running in the background is a waste, same with Adobe, Office, and whatever else you don't need.
I never said don't defrag I said you don't need to defrag often. Unless your constantly removing and adding stuff to the hdd believe it or not it doesn't get that fragmented that bad.

I don't run a A/V either, but I still recommend them as they don't take up much resources and better security for most people.

Just because it shows 80 processes does not mean they are all running. Some are manual, some are automatic, and others get started when needed. Playing around with services is a dangerous game and best left to people who really know what they are doing.

If you insist on playing around with the services then go into the Admin section not MSConfig and do it properly.
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Old February 24, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Defrag? What's that? lol. There really is no need for any of that. My files are all meticulously organized, and I rarely install anything new, so I've never had a need for it. Turn services off in Vista? There is no need assuming your hardware is up to date and you have enough ram. The only thing mentioned that I use, is Spybot. I run it once every couple months, and it rarely finds anything. Same goes for anti virus software. I don't use any of that windows garbage, nor do I have anything installed. I've never had a problem, ever. I have a copy of NOD that I will install to fix a problem, but i've never used it on my main rig.

Good surfing habits, and actually reading every step on a new install, and unchecking any garbage goes a long way to having a smooth running PC.
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Old February 24, 2009, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meth View Post
Defrag? What's that? lol. There really is no need for any of that. My files are all meticulously organized, and I rarely install anything new, so I've never had a need for it. Turn services off in Vista? There is no need assuming your hardware is up to date and you have enough ram. The only thing mentioned that I use, is Spybot. I run it once every couple months, and it rarely finds anything. Same goes for anti virus software. I don't use any of that windows garbage, nor do I have anything installed. I've never had a problem, ever. I have a copy of NOD that I will install to fix a problem, but i've never used it on my main rig.

Good surfing habits, and actually reading every step on a new install, and unchecking any garbage goes a long way to having a smooth running PC.
Very true but you are often not given a choice, aka: Adobe, Apple, Google, Nvidia, Razer... to name a few. Also many people have to share their machine so Firewall/AV is a good idea. And even if you don't share it regularly, it takes one stupid niece/nephew when you're not looking to eat up malware/adware and viruses before you can say WTF. I've seen it happen.
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Old February 24, 2009, 05:55 PM
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start/run/services.msc rather than MSConfig. Gives you better control over what's running in the background and under what conditions it runs.
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