Yes, I'm going to tax your patience again. This is a guide to setup Vista 64 for NLE work, well it actually applies to any kind of work, but NLE machines may profit more than an Office/MSN machine. One caveat: What I suggest here is a lean and mean machine that is mainly dedicated to NLE work.
First: It is always best to start with a clean install and a complete reformat of the disk. That will ensure that your registry is clean and leaves no leftovers from a previous install. Do not partition the drive, format the whole disk as one.
After installation has completed, first select Control Panel and Personalize. Select Change Desktop icons and ensure that at least Computer is selected. You can choose other icons as well if you want to. I have all 5 selected.
Next check Device Manager (right click This Computer, select Properties and then Device Manager) that you have no problems with drivers for any of your hardware. If there are any yellow exclamation symbols, solve these issues first by having Vista search for drivers and if it comes back with the message that no drivers could be found, get the latest 64 bit driver from the internet for this device.
Once Device Manager has no more problems, go to Windows update and install all critical updates. Nothing more at this moment. After installation and rebooting, again check Device Manager for problems. There should be none. Otherwise get on the internet again and reinstall the latest Vista 64 drivers. Next right chick This Computer and select Manage and go to Event Viewer. Open the Windows Logs and click on System. Scroll through the events and check out any errors or warnings you see. Search the Microsoft Technet for solutions. This is the link to the very informative Technet site to help you solve any issues you may have: Microsoft Technet
Next go to Control Panel, select Programs and Features and select turn Windows features on or off. You may not need anymore than these Windows Features and possibly less, for instance if you don't use a network printer. Also this may be a good moment to turn off User Account Control via Control Panel/Security Settings.
Next go to Vista Services and use the instructions and the table shown to modify the services, so only those are started that are needed in your situation. Anything not needed will only increase boot time and will consume resources, placing a higher overhead on the system than needed.
After rebooting, update all your drivers if you have not already done so. For instance, if you have an ATI card, download the latest drivers, but remember you can do without the Catalyst Control Center. Their drivers are typically denoted by y.m (year, month) so currently the latest is version 9.5
Now go to Control Panel, System and select Advanced system settings, select Visual Effects and select Adjust for best performance, apply and then select the Advanced tab, click on Performance settings, select the Advanced tab, Select Adjust for best performance of programs and then change the Virtual memory. Setup your pagefile with a custom size with equal numbers for Initial and Maximum size on another drive than your C disk and set the C drive to No paging file. If you have read my Storage rules for an editing rig guide, you know you need a fixed size of around 1 to 1.5 times installed memory, unless you have lots of RAM, then you can easily go lower.
Reboot and right click on This Computer, select Manage and select Disk Management. Select drive C, right click Properties and make sure that Index this drive for faster searching and Compress this drive to save disk space are both turned off. Click Disk Cleanup and clean what can be deleted. Repeat these steps for all of your drives. Next go to the Tools tab and select Defragment Now and defrag all drives. While you are at the Disk Defragment window, setup a daily defragging schedule, for instance during your lunch break. That will keep your disks optimized.
This will make sure that the space previously occupied by the pagefile on the C drive is reclaimed and that the new pagefile on another drive is not fragmented and at the very beginning of the drive in the fastest location (at least if the disk was newly formatted and not used).
If you haven't done so yet, completely turn off the Sidebar and do not have it autostart.
No application has been installed yet, so it is time to start with some essential utilities.
The first thing I do is turning off Windows Defender and install Symantec Endpoint Protection.
Next I install Ccleaner. A very handy freeware tool to keep your system and the registry clean and to remove or disable registry based auto startup programs.
The next one to install is the Sysinternals Suite and most notably Process Explorer, Process Monitor and Autoruns. Depending on your use, other utilities in the Suite may be nice to install as well. Installation is done by extracting the relevant files to the C:\Windows directory. Run Process Explorer once and in the Options menu select Replace Task Manager.
You are now ready to install your regular software. After installation, registration and activation of all your software use Ccleaner, Tools to check for unnecessary Startup entries in the registry. Disable or remove them. Next check your registry by scanning for issues and fix selected issues. Defragment all your disks again and make a restore point.
If you want to get rid of the ridiculously large shortcut arrow at this moment, go to this site: Remove Shortcut Arrow and follow Method 1.
Reboot and you are ready to go with a hopefully much faster and efficient Vista machine.
If you encounter difficulties and have problems that want to ask about on the forum, be prepared to include a screenshot from Process Explorer and either HWMonitor or Speedfan and a link to DXDIAG.txt
Thanks for your patience and I hope you have found some tips and tricks to improve performance.