Windows 7 Speed Enhancements
Although I am primarily a Linux user, there are some applications that I use which are only available in a Windows environment. Windows 7 is the current version of choice, and it is much better than Vista, but it can run much faster with a small number of software adjustments. As with speed tweaks on other operating systems, the keys are to relieve the CPU of unnecessary loads and get maximum hard drive performance. The finite processing power available should be devoted to tasks needed by the user and not wasted un unnecessary action.
Routine Maintenance for your Windows 7 system:
- Defragment the hard disk
- Update Windows 7
- Update device drivers
- Install only necessary software
- Remove any junk software
- Scan for and remove viruses, malware, and spyware
Visual Settings Adjustments
Windows 7 is pretty to look at, but the graphics consume a lot of CPU capacity. Aero Glass should be reduced to a more minimalist condition for faster performance. Go to the control panel and begin setting Visual Effects options.
Start off by unchecking the following items, then click "OK" when finished:
- Animate controls and elements inside windows
- Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
- Enable transparent glass
- Fade or slide menus into view
- Fade or slide ToolTips into view
- Fade out menu items after clicking
- Show shadows under windows
- show thumbnails instead of icons
- show translucent selection rectangle
- Show window contents while dragging
- Slide open combo boxes
Disable Unnecessary Services
Unnecessary services in Windows consume quite a lot of CPU capacity. On the command line, enter "services.msc" to bring up the Services Management Console. Disable or stop services by selecting the service, right clicking then selecting "properties." Change the service\'s startup type to Disabled, to prevent loading it at startup, and click the stop button to terminate it immediately. Bear in mind that some applications may need certain services, and those should be left on or set to start automatically. Click "OK" when finished. Consider turning off the following services:
- Block Level Backup Engine Service
- Bonjour Service
- Certificate Propagation
- Group Policy Client
- HomeGroup Listener
- HomeGroup Provider
- Offline Files
- Portable Device Enumerator Service
- Software Protection
- SSDP Discovery
- Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
- Windows Search
Remove Startup Programs
On the command line, enter "msconfig" to bring up the System Configuration Utility. Select the startup tab, then uncheck all applications that you don\'t absolutely need when you boot the computer. Click "OK" when finished.
Install More Memory
One of the best ways to speed up a computer is to add more RAM. Programs run much faster when the computer is not doing so many reads and writes to the hard drive. Virtual memory is always slower than RAM, so install at least two if not four gigabytes of RAM.
Despite the presence of abundant RAM, it is good to keep the pagefile (virtual memory) enabled. If the pagefile is disabled, Windows 7 will grab a large portion of physical memory for programs. The programs may not actually use the memory that is taken, and ultimately deny resources to other parts of the system. Speeds are higher with plenty of RAM and an enabled pagefile.
Use a Solid State Drive
This enhancement can make a dramatic difference in computer speed. New solid state drives offer plenty of storage space at speeds considerably faster than conventional hard drives. Evidence indicates that solid state drives will last longer than their spinning counterparts due to robust electronic design and a lack of moving parts. SSDs can fail, but they are showing trends superior to conventional hard drives.