Worst. Vista tips. Ever.

April 5th, 2007

Over on ExtremeTech is probably one of the most dangerous, ill-thought-out tip for speeding up Windows Vista that I've seen yet.  It encourages users to go messing about with Windows Services in order to speed things up.

Feel free to experiment with services; just keep track of which services you tweak and, if something doesn't work, re-enable the last service you turned off. Streamline the system by shutting down as many services as you can, based on your own unique needs.

Yeah, carry on doing that until you permanently trash your installation and have to reinstall.  I've seen the aftermath of tips like this and I'll tell you now, it ain't pretty.

Also, if you're going to give out advice, it's a good idea to follow it yourself.  For example, the author says:

Well-written services include a description of what they do (note that lots of third-party services don't include a description, to which we say: shame).

And then later goes on to list a number of services that he's disabled, but fails to give the reader any insight into the implications of disabling these services.  to that I say: shame.

My Grandmother always used to say "if you can't say anything nice, say nothing," but over the years I've heard from too many people who have trashed their systems from following bogus tips to let it pass.

The easiest and safest way to speed up Windows is to add more RAM or do a wipe and reinstall, remembering to install less junk on the system next time. If that doesn't work, it's time for a new PC. The performance gains from messing about with a few services is next to negligible and the scope for downstream headaches when things don't work as expected are high.

These tips aren't just crap, they're dangerous crap.

Thanks to Ed Bott for the heads up on this one.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2007 at 13:58 and is filed under PC Doctor Tips, PC Doctor's Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Worst. Vista tips. Ever.”

  1. » Why are people so worried about Vista boot times? | Hardware 2.0 | ZDNet.com Says:

    [...] Sudden changes in boot times are usually quite noticeable, but what usually happens in that boot times grow slowly over time.  You start off with a PC with a fresh install of Windows on it and it feels nice and fast (hopefully - if it doesn't then you're in serious trouble and things are only going to get worse, no matter how much you trash your system trying to speed it up).  You then install security software and performance takes a hit.  Install some big apps like Office and boot times take another nose-dive.  I've seen boot times increase by over 100% over the course of setting up a new PC.  It's actually quite depressing to watch.  But as long as you don't need to reboot all that often and your PC is reasonably stable and you're able to use hibernate or sleep, then it's not really a major problem. [...]