Wednesday, September 03, 2008

35. Computer Optimization Guide

By: jpzsports

*This Guide has up-to-date information and tips from what to do when you first get your computer and also for those who already have been using their computer for some time.

*This Guide is meant to be simple and avoid any potentially damaging changes. Most of these tweaks/changes are meant to have no drawbacks or cause any problems.

*These programs and tips are from my own personal experiences and also from other guides on this forum and others.

*I will update this thread often and add in any advice that other people recommend so please post your comments.

*Please Note: This info is not guaranteed to perform the same on your computer as it did on mine or anyone else's.

Also, this Guide is meant for Vista computers, but should also work on XP, etc.

Lastly, All of the tweaks mentioned are rather basic and don't involve anything drastic. If you want in-depth tweaks, see NBR Vista Tips and Tweaks Guide ( - Les

*Please Comment and Rep and post anything that you think I should add in / edit.

When you first get your computer

Check to make sure you have all the parts and read through the manuals, etc.
Check for dead pixels on your screen.
Go through the User setup and other first-time settings.
Make your recovery discs (if needed)
Update all your drivers, bios, Windows, etc.
(This guide is geared towards optimization so I'm going to skip past the real basics of when you first get a computer)

Bloatware removal

You have 2 options:
1. Reinstall Windows - see Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION by orev

2. Remove the bloatware manually
- Remove programs using the Control Panel Uninstaller (ie any trial software such as Norton, etc.)
- Download and run CCleaner - ( )
- Go into Computer and go to C:\Program Files and clean up any folders that were left behind after the Uninstall. There are some other directories that you might want to look around for old files such as \Program Data, etc but be careful not to delete anything you're not sure about.
- You can also try

Antivirus, Firewall, and AntiSpyware

1. Antivirus - Look for an antivirus with good ratings and one that is light on System Resources.
My personal favorite is AVG. It has antivirus and antispyware.
( )

2. Firewall - I'm a fan of Windows Firewall because it come with Windows. But many people don't like it since it doesn't protect against outbound traffic.
So, if you want, you can use Comondo ( )

3. AntiSpyware - I recommend Windows Defender. It comes pre-installed with Vista. And you also have AVG's antispyware so you've got double protection.
(Note: you can have more than 1 antispyware, but never use more than 1 antivirus or firewall because they can conflict with one another)


Now we get to the good stuff.

1. Clean up your startup programs.

Go to Start > Run and type msconfig and go to the startup tab.
Go to for information regarding each item. Disable only the programs that you are sure about. Items such as AIM, qttask, Adobe Update Manager, etc can be unchecked.
- You can also use Startup Inspector if you wish ( )

2. Clean up Services that aren't needed

Go to Start > Run and type services.msc
Go to and use that as your survival guide.

3. Run a General Maintenance Utility Program.

My personal favorite is Iobit Windows AdvancedCare or Glary Utilities.
It scans for spyware, prevents spyware from being installed by blocking malicious Active-X files, cleans the registry, has a system optimization function*, startup manager, privacy sweep and junk files cleaner, and the beta has a disk defragmenter and other utilities.
* The system optimization feature allows you to make some changes that Iobit believes will enhance your PC's performance. Please look at the detailed analysis and feel free to disabled many of the changes they recommend because you may not want some of them.

4. Disable (Some) Indexing Options
See this article:

5. Set Vista's power profile to High Performance (when you're not using battery power)

Go to the Control Panel

Click on 'classic view' in the left hand pane.

Open Power Options.

Select the 'high performance' power plan.

6. Disable some Windows Features you don't need.
See this:,00.asp

7. If you want to get more in-depth, check out Les' awesome Tweak Guide:

Other Advice

- Download and use Firefox 3 as your main web browser

- you may want to go into Control Panel and tweak the settings to your liking as well.

- I recommend using OpenOffice as a Microsoft Office substitute.

- Use OpenDNS

Things to do:

- Update your Antivirus and AntiSpyware Definitions

- Perform a full virus scan and spyware scan
- Do a backup
- Run Windows Update
- Run a Disk Defragmenter ( I recommend using the Windows Vista defrag)
- Run Advanced WindowsCare and CCleaner

-check for updates to your programs
- Check for new drivers
- Perform chkdsk

- Clean out the dust from your PC using a can of condensed air
- If your PC is running sluggish then perform a backup and then restore your computer to original using your restore disks and then move back the necessary files

- More Coming Soon

This guide is meant to be a basic guide for people to get an understanding of some simple and pretty important tweaks/programs.

I will update this thread with more detailed info in the future when I have time.

Feel free to add in comments.

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