Friday, October 1, 2010

Windows 7 Optimization – Improving Performance Post Deployment

All this week we have talked about methods for improving Windows 7's performance prior to deployment. While these items could be changed post deployment to address performance issues on a specific machine, today we will focus on a couple tools that are already on the workstation specifically focused on addressing performance issues on machines after they are in the hands of the end-user.

Performance Troubleshooting Wizard

The Performance Troubleshooting Wizard is a tool Microsoft provides that is intended to help find and fix performance related problems. The Performance troubleshooter checks issues that might slow down your computer's performance, such as how many users are currently logged on to the computer and whether multiple programs are running at the same time.
To launch the Performance Troubleshooting Wizard, simply select the Check for performance issues under the System and Security Heading in the Troubleshooting area of the Control Panel. You will be presented with a screen similar to the following:

Simply follow the prompts and answer the various questions it returns with, such as whether or not applications should be loaded at startup. The wizard will then reconfigure your system based upon the answers provided.

System Configuration Editor

The System Configuration Editor provides a simple means to control what applications and programs are launching at system startup. Many times there are applications launching at system startup that really do not need to be and these programs drain system resources away from the tasks that should be running. While this is a common means of launching for many types of malware, including the fake antivirus applications, many times there are "innocent" applications added to the system startup by the normal application installers in an effort to give you the appearance that an application launches faster. Several of the Office Applications, iTunes, QuickTime, and Acrobat are some of the many applications that use this "trick".
To launch the System Configuration Editor, simply run MSCONFIG at any command prompt. You will then see a screen similar to the following:

Simply Navigate over to the Startup Tab. All of the programs that are set to start from the Run Keys in the registry will be listed on this tab. If you find a program that is either suspicious or simply not needed, just uncheck the checkmark next to its entry. This will disable its launch at future logins.
Note: For those that are relatively new to the registry, all programs whose location begins with HKLM will launch for all users of the machine, while those whose location begins with HKCU will launch only for the current user.

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