I have a vista laptop (Toshiba if that makes a difference). It works ok some times, but a lot of the time the disk seems to grid and the system is pretty unresponsive when I am not doing very much with it.

What can I turn off/remove to make it run faster? It seems that a lot of the default stuff doesn’t do me any good. But I am pretty sure if I just disable a load of services things will break.

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Turning off aero can usually speed things up.

Edit: Here's some registry hacks. And turning off programs at start up (like Quicktime or MSN Messenger) I use CCleaner for this.

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Actually, of all the big OEMs (HP, Dell, etc.), Toshiba is IMO the worst offender for putting preinstalled cruft in your Startup. On a laptop, you'll want some of it but there is a lot of stuff that shouldn't be running. Ditto for programs like Adobe Reader, Java, Quicktime, etc. that insist on shoving themselves into Startup. It isn't necessary to do registry hacks or run CCleaner for this purpose (although I do like it for maintenance*). All you need to do is manage your Startup to see what's going on. If you don't know what something is, you Google its name (or of course you can post back here if you can't find it). That way you can make an informed decision about whether you want it running in the background. After all, what you need to have run and what I need to have run may be different.

So here's how to manage your Startup on Vista:

Start Orb>Search box>type: msconfig and when it appears in the Results box above, right-click and choose "Run as Administrator".

If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue. Then see what is on the Startup tab. You don't need to restart immediately, but the next time you do you'll get a dialog saying you've used the Utility. Usually in Vista this will be blocked by Windows Defender and you'll need to allow it so you can then tick the box that says in effect, "don't bother me about this again".

Important - Do not use the System Configuration Utility to stop processes. Instead, use Services.

Start Orb>Search box>type: services and when it appears in the Results box above, right-click and choose "Run As Administrator". Confirm elevation as needed.

The free Autoruns program is very useful for managing your Startup http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx

And of course, you need to have at least 2GB of RAM (memory) for Vista to run acceptably. If you have 1GB, consider adding another gig since RAM is cheap.

*Just don't use the registry cleaner part.

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