Installing and optimizing Windows Vista

Installing Windows Vista: setup procedure

Although the setup procedure of Windows Vista is easy, it is important to make the right decisions right away. This page describes which installation procedure is prefered (and why), and what kind of problems can arise. This page describes some changes to the default settings, which are expected to be done while reading the next pages.

The Security Center, Windows Update, Network and Sharing Center

The Windows Vista Security Center is the place where the security status of the computer is shown. Here, the different security settings for the Windows firewall, Windows Update, Windows Defender (blocking of malicious software) and the detection of viruses can be viewed and changed. This page also describes the security settings of the Network and Sharing Center.

User Account Control (UAC) and adminstrator rights

User Account Control (UAC) offers additional security for Windows to prevent the installing of malicious software and the changes they can make to the system settings. Thanks to this additional security feature, the computer can be secured pretty well without having to worry that crucial system changes will damage the operating system (even in case an administrator account is used). However, many users don't like the restrictions and the many popups shown by UAC. Therefore, this page also contains information about how to disable UAC and how to recognize and fix problems caused by the limited permissions.

Install device drivers for Windows Vista

By default, most of the hardware is supported by Windows Vista (Windows Vista contains 20.000+ drivers, which is more then earlier Windows versions). That's why your older hardware will probably be detected automatically. If there are still unknown devices after installing Windows Vista, first run Windows Update for addistional device drivers. However, always install the latest available device drivers for Windows Vista for the appropriate functioning of the hardware. Visit this page for more information.

Start menu, Taskbar, Quick Launch, Sidebar, Desktop

After Windows and the hardware have been installed, it is time to change the user interface settings to improve the user experience significantly. This page describes the settings concerning a user friendly Start menu, optimizing the Taskbar, adding shortcuts to the Quick Launch menu, adding features to the Sidebar and dressing up the Desktop. For the older/slower computers, the visual effects could be reduced to achieve a faster computer.

Optimizing the Windows Vista settings

After Windows Vista has been installed and a few settings of the Start menu and the desktop have been changed, it is time to make Windows Vista more user-friendly. Think about changing the settings for the Windows Explorer, the recycle bin, the sound settings, the keyboard and the installed software.

Windows Vista features (Photo Gallery, Parental Controls,...)

This page describes the new and improved Windows Vista features like Start Search, burning CD's and DVD's with the Windows Explorer, the Command Prompt, Windows Photo Gallery, Parental Controls, the Task Scheduler, the Snipping Tool, the Backup Center, the Mobility Center (for mobile computing), the Sync Center and the Sync Center (for synchronization between computers, servers and mobile devices like PDA's and MDA's).

Improve performance by disabling Windows Vista-services

By disabling unneeded services, the performance of Windows Vista could improve significantly. This page describes the Windows Vista services which could possibly be disabled in case their features are not used.

MSCONFIG: speeding up Windows Vista startup

Disabling the unwanted or not used software (which start automatically with Windows) can improve the system performance. This page describes how this can be done and what rules to take into account.

Windows Mail and Windows Calendar

By default Windows Vista comes with the mail program Windows Mail, the successor of Outlook Express in Windows XP. Windows Calendar adds calendar functionality to the Windows system. Windows Calendar enables managing, publishing and sharing your calendars with others on the internet. This page describes which default settings to change to improve the user experience.

Optimizing (multiple) user accounts

The possibilities to setup multiple user accounts in Windows Vista is indispensable if the computer is used by more then one person. Each user has his or here own preferred settings, documents, e-mail accounts, contacts, calendar, internet bookmarks (favorites) and probably logged in with an instant messaging program. For every newly created user account, all the preferred settings have to be applied, which is not very efficient. Think about all the Windows settings, which are enough for half an hour long clicking! That's why this page describes how to setup a user account as efficient as possible.

Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenting

After the installation and optimization of Windows, it is time to clean up the unnecessary files of the hard disk. Deleting the unnecessary files, followed by a defragmentation of the hard disk improves system performances significantly. Do not expect any miracles, but every small improvement is important. In comparison to Windows XP, there are not that many files to delete safely in Windows Vista. Besides that, removing the files is not always that easy because they have been secured. But there are still files which can be deleted safely and create additional free space.

Software compatibility issues with Windows Vista

The last page of the Windows Vista chapter contains information about the software compatibility issues with Windows Vista with many tips how to get incompatible tools working.

Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
AVG antivirus
Comodo Internet Security
Back-up/file Sync
Free software
Wireless network
Sharing files
Installing Windows in 10 steps
Backup data/drivers
Resizing partitions
Move personal files

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