Mr. Fixit's Upgrading & Performance Tips
Windows VISTA
New Features:

Faster Startup

Microsoft improved the startup code by changing the way Vista starts up. Older versions of Windows had to
wait for ALL startup processes to finish before handing control to the user, bringing up the desktop. Vista
does this in reverse. It starts to bring up the desktop first while running other tasks in the background. The
only drawback is a program that you require for work hasn't finished it's task when the desktop appears,
then you're still waiting.

Sleep Mode

This feature is a combination of both Standby and Hibernation modes. Standby mode shuts down everything
except critical components such as the memory and the CPU. Move the mouse or touch the keyboard and
the screen comes back up. If there is a power failure, your work is lost. Hibernation mode saves all of your
work then powers down the system. Turn the power back on and the desktop reappears as you left it. Sleep
mode does BOTH. It shuts down everything except critical components (Standby) and saves all of your work
(Hibernation). If there is a power failure, the computer can still restart from the hibernation part of the Sleep
mode.

SuperFetch and ReadyBoost

SuperFetch is an improved version of Prefetch that was introduced in Windows XP. Prefetch monitored your
files and anticipates which data would be needed and load it into memory. Memory access is much faster
than accessing the hard drive. SuperFetch creates a profile of your programs and data you use over time
giving it a better prediction on what to load into memory, increasing performance. SuperFetch also goes a
step further. Both Prefetch (XP) and SuperFetch (Vista) uses system memory to improve performance. This
is why ReadyBoost technology was added to SuperFetch. It freed up system memory to run programs. If you
plug in a USB 2.0 Flash drive, SuperFetch will use the memory of the flash drive, using ReadyBoost, instead
of your system memory. Flash drives are slower than system memory but much faster than accessing the
hard drive. Any Flash card will work with proper card reader. ReadyBoost cannot use the entire drive/card
memory capacity because it can only use the fast flash memory since most also contain slow flash memory.

Plug in a USB 2.0 flash drive into an available USB 2.0 port or a flash card into the reader. When Autoplay
comes up, choose "Speed up my system", then choose what Windows recommends for capacity. Cannot
use ReadyBoost on multiple flash drives/cards.

Windows Defender

Windows Vista's Anti-Spyware program to prevent installations of spyware and to look for
suspicious spyware activity.

Parental Controls

As part of the User Controls in the Control Panel, this feature allows parents with children to permit and
restrict them from certain sites. Parents can block/allow specific sites, setup Kids Websites Only, Block
sites by category (porn, bomb making, mature contents,etc.), restrict games based on rating, block file
downloads, restrict time of computer use, block programs, etc.

Transactional NTFS (TxF)

This new feature is a lot like System Restore except instead of having to restore the entire System, you can
restore a single file, a folder, or volume.

Diagnostic Tools

Disk Diagnostics monitors the Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology, or SMART, embedded
in todays hard drives to warn of possible failures.
Memory Diagnostics works with Microsoft's Online Crash Analysis to see if defective memory modules are
causing program crashes.
Memory Leak Diagnostics  looks for and fixes programs using increasing amounts of memory.
Resource Exhaustion Detection and Resolution warns of any program or process that have been identified
as resource hogs.
Network Diagnostics inspects network problems. It can either fix the problem automatically or instruct the
user on how to fix the problem.