How to keep Vista running smoothly

I’ve noticed that Vista is the most problematic of operating systems to come out of Microsoft in a long time.   It had a lot of bad press, and when it shipped, it shipped on poor hardware.  Things have gotten better in the few years that it’s been out, and I don’t think it deserves the rap it has received, though  I’m not a huge fan of it myself.

First things first: stopping turning it off mid-shutdown.  Sure, if it goes on for hours at a time, go ahead and pull the plug, but, if it doesn’t boot afterwards, follow these steps:

Defragment the hard drive – the built in defragment tool isn’t that great.  This “How to Defrag in Windows Vista” is a good article instructing you on using the Vista defrag tool to its limit, but I like another tool better.  It used to be known as JKDefrag, now known as “MyDefrag” , and is one of the best available Windows defragmentation programs available today, and it’s free.   Many technicians use it, and employ it in some scripting tool or another.

Apply all the Windows updates you are missing. This may have been what caused the machine to not shut down in the first place.  However, not having these updates can cause you even more problems.  Personally, if at first you don’t succeed, try again, but slowly.  By this, I mean use Microsoft update to download and install one at a time.  After each installation, reboot the computer, and attempt the next installation.

Another tool to run is “CCleaner”, another free utility designed to optimize and clean your system.  It deletes your temporary files, removes old and unused Registry entries (which can bog down your system), and problematic third party applications.

There’s a lot more that can help you keep your computer running smoothly, sometimes better than new.  I’ll be sharing additional tips soon. Thoughts or comments are greatly appreciated.