WINDOWS 7 TWEAK GUIDE

May 26, 2009 by in The Pit Blog

the-one1

The recent confirmation by Microsoft that Windows7 will reach retail outlets in 2009 continues to feed the frenzy that is pushing public acceptance of Windows 7. Our very first Tips & Tweaks article went out in the March 25th newsletter but was mostly Features and Tips.

I’m following up now with a more agressive Tweak Guide. Not for the faint of heart, this is a tweak guide and not a Features Guide. If you are into gaming, overclocking and benchmarking, this is for you. The purpose of the suggested tweaks is to increase speed and potential performance by lowering the drain of unnecessary processes and services. This is not about adding secret, hard to find functions, This is not about doing more, it’s about doing less and doing it faster.

After some pretty exhaustive research I was surprised at the lack of real tweaks and suggestions for Windows 7, so here’s your chance. Put your proven and personal tweaks in the comments section and I will add them to the article as a part of our Windows 7 Tweak Guide.

Keep in mind that there are many suggestions on the WWW that are completely bogus. For example there are several articles outlining how to use the msconfig utility to enable multicore processing on startup. This is not a tweak. It does nothing to increase performance as the correct number of processors are enabled after boot as they are needed. Also, If you are going to suggest a tweak to reduce boot times be sure you’ve tested it. I’ve tried several suggestons that just don’t do a thing.

Some of the suggestions will be the same as were used for previous operating systems but don’t believe it when you read, “if it worked for Vista it will work for Windows 7″. There are too many basic changes to follow that line of thought successfully.

Windows 7 SuperTweaks

1. Best Performance. This is still the biggest and easiest of all the SuperTweaks available. This tweak works for XP, Vista, and now Windows 7. It’s super easy, carries little to no risk, and shows super results. bestperfmThe results are easily measured using the PC Pitstop OverDrive Test and many other benchmarks. Be sure to run an OverDrive scan before using this tweak and then again after. You will see an immediate jump in you overall score. Start/Right Click Computer/Properties/Advanced System Settings/Performance Settings/Adjust for best performance/OK/OK.

2. Turn off UAC. Even though it is less intrusive than it was on the dreaded Vista abomination, it can still be a pain. This is an easy to perform and easy to reverse tweak that carries no risk as far as how the tweak will affect the system. UAC on the strongest setting offers fantastic protection, but anything less and your system can be hacked as easily as XP. uacfinal Great protection with all the inconvenience of Vista or the half-baked protection offered by the default setting, why bother? Turn it off. Start/Control Panel/User Accounts/Change User Account Control setting/Set slider to Never Notify/ OK.

3. Turn off System Restore. Simply go to Start/Right Click Computer /Properties/ System Protection/ Highlight the correct drive/Configure/Turn off sytem protection/OK/OK. Keep in mind that I think this is a great feature and I have it enabled on my work box but for performance and benchmarking it’s just not needed. Turning the feature off carries no risk to your system, in fact it removes a safe haven for Virus and malware activity.

4. Disable services. The big question is how many and which ones. There is no better site for this than Black Viper. Find complete information on every service with the defaults shown for each one. This is followed by some “Safe” suggestions and then some “Tweaked” suggestions. In each case remember that you are disabling a service. That means it won’t work. Make these changes at your own risk. Be sure to keep track of the changes so you don’t have to go through every one to figure out why something isn’t working later.

5. Use Ready Boost. Unlike previous versions, W7 puts Ready Boost to work. If your system is marginal on memory this may be just what you need. Grab a USB, flash, or thumb drive, stick it in and let Windows use it as memory cache. This should reduce the cpu usage, disc activity, and help apps and files to load faster.

No more 4 Gigabyte restriction as was imposed by Vista. Ready Boost now allows for multiple devices to be used at the same time. Once inserted, Windows 7 will tell you if your flash drive is acceptable. Give it a try.

Readers Tweaks

6. We Will Add Your Windows 7 Tweak here.

7. We Will Add Your Windows 7 Tweak here.

64 Responses to WINDOWS 7 TWEAK GUIDE

  1. Chuck says:

    Every tweaker knows the risks, go easy on the first bloods and give them easy solid and sound explanations to what to do !!!. Before jumping in head first create an all important restore point so you can rectify any mistakes, otherwise you’ll lose it and wish you the universe wasn’t so big !!!.


  2. schijon says:

    You can free up a nice chunk of memory by simply switching your theme to Windows Classic rather than using an Aero supported theme. Just right click on the desktop, click Personalize, and choose the Windows Classic theme.


  3. ksgog says:

    Also, it is amazing how much it can affect on all the loading and startup times if you simply defrag your disk(s) regularly…


  4. Populous says:

    I always jump to the comments before I read the article to save time and get my opinions out there… I guess I can start bashing the article now?

    It is amazing how fast 7 runs with the tweaks listed here and I like it, but I am neither stupid or faint hearted, can do manual maintenance tasks. Absolutely I will continue to flag articles like this one on my websites every time you ramp it up or go out of the box.


  5. Mo says:

    Hello dear readers:
    I am a fan of any thing that stop hackers from attacking my computers. This is why I installed a very good anti virus program and also an anti spy and adware program, however windows 7 doesn’t like it when I try to clean my system from al the ad wares and spy wares that i get in a form of cookies from the internet. even when I try to use the simple spy ware prog that comes with yahoo tool bar it always asks for an admin permisson to delete any add ware or spy ware. I turned the UAC off, butt my stupid window 7 Ultimate still doesn’t want me to remove anything from the system.


  6. Joseph says:

    UAC IS POO… THIS IS FOR TWEAKING…

    If you are into gaming, overclocking and benchmarking, this is for you.

    FOR GAMERS … IDIOTS

    # truth Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:48 am

    lol, already name says it all…

    UAC = Unnecessary Annoying Crap

    AGREED…

    AND FINAL IF YOU ARE A NOOB IDIOT WHO DOESN’T”T KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING OR HAVE KIDS THAT LIKE TO RUIN YOUR COMPUTER…. OR AN IDIOT WHO DOESN’T”T READ THE BEGINNING OF THIS …. LEAVE IT ON AND STFU GO TO THE NEXT THREAD!


  7. Si says:

    Should have added this above.

    UAC is useless anyway – if it doesn’t require a password (ie for admin permissions in corportate enviroment) the user will just blindly click yes for everything.

    Do they always understand what it means? Probably not
    Do they know that clicking accept will let them get on with what they are doing? Yes

    Extra messages asking “do you want to”, “are you sure”, “are you double sure” will not stop people, it will make them just learn the pattern to click through to clear them as fast as possible.

    (OR instantly cry off to some tech savvy relation about the most mundane message that explains what it is for in the message).


  8. Si says:

    @Howard

    Users will never read the message anyway and will always click accept, making the whole point usless.

    Most large offices will already be disabling the Security Center service in XP already, and I suggest it to anyone with half a brain or more.


  9. Oz says:

    Really poor article. Leave UAC on, especially in light of today’s attack vectors:
    1. Click-jacking – Imagine two Web pages: one benign and one malicious. The benign page might be from an ecommerce site or any other page often accessed in everyday activity. The malicious site could be nothing more than links and buttons on an otherwise blank page that serve to launch malware executables. If the malicious page has been formatted to place its links in the same spot as the links on the benign page, users are actually executing the malicious links without realizing it. This is referred to as Click-jacking by many within the security industry.
    2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) poisoning – occurs when hackers manipulate search engine results to make their links appear higher than legitimate results. As a user searches for related terms, infected links appear near the top of the search results resulting in users unknowingly being redirected to an infected website to get the information they’re seeking, only to have Malware automatically downloaded to their system. Recent versions do not require the user to accept or click a download or popup dialogue window, simply browsing to the web site is enough to infect the system.


  10. Medyo says:

    BOTTOMLINE: IF YOU ARE A DAM AS THEN LEAVE THE DEFAULT FEATURES ON BUT IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND YOU DON’T DO ANYTHING STUPID TO CRASH YOUR MACHINE, TURN THOSE FEATURES OFF!

    ONLY STUPID USERS WOULD WANT THOSE ANNOYING FEATURES TURNED ON!


  11. Bentobaku says:

    Simply enough, those who are not smart enough to operate without the UAC are also dumb enough to allow the virus/malware/toolbar to install with the UAC on. I Game and a lot of new game security feature rename the program constantly. I don’t want to be ask constantly asked if i am sure if i want to do the action i just told the PC to do. It is my experience that most people will allow everything anyways cause you get annoyed with being asked if your sure. Secondly I work as a PC repairman, and I can tell you i have come across quite a few PC’s that have locked up cause the awesome UAC interrupted the install and corrupted files. I understand peoples opinion that the UAC is there for your protection, and idealistically its a great invention. The reality is it isn’t an ideal world and it does not function as smooth as it should. I run win7 and just use my usual protection programs without the UAC and i have no problems… unfortunately I cant say the same (even with win7) thing with the UAC on. Bottom line, if you feel comfortable without it, disable it, if you still need a security blanket to sleep, keep it. As with most all of windows features, some people need them some don’t.


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