How to Upgrade your Present OS with Windows 7 Features?
Sounds unbelievable? It is true! No need to wait for the official release of Windows 7 to get the features in your PC. These include better look, quicker booting and efficient tools.
‘Fast’ is the byword in various informal user reviews of Windows 7. It is generally felt that Windows 7 provides faster operation. This impression may be due to the restrained quality of User Account Control in the new edition than in Vista, which doesn’t bug the user frequently. It is perfectly possible to upgrade Vista to attain these features.
Vista normally takes almost 2 minutes to boot, while Windows 7 does it in the range of 45 minutes. This vast difference in the booting-up time is definitely an attraction to the fast-paced users.
How to: Vista or XP OS can be made to boot faster by various means. The most important is to upgrade the 1GB RAM to 2GB or above. This change will help not only in booting but also improve other features of your PC. ‘Startup Delayer’, a free download can help in delaying the initiation of numerous not-so-important programs in your PC at the time of booting-up. These programs normally start running at the startup itself, which results in more time taken for booting. These programs can be set to run after 5 or 10 minutes.
In case your PC is a few years old, by wiping clean the hard drive, the system can be made to boot quicker. This tricky procedure will clear your PC of all the junk accumulated over years and make it as good as new. There are various sites giving instructions on how to do this.
Easy-to-use User Account Control (UAC)
UAC is the main feature of Vista and despite its good intentions is bothersome. Either you can suffer its continuous bugging or you can turn it off negating its value. The UAC in Windows 7 keeps out of sight and do not irritate you. This allows you to retain its safety features. There are four levels of security to choose from that determine the frequency of notifications from Microsoft.
How to: In Vista, you can have either UAC 1.0 or none. However, there is an option to disable the facility altogether and go for a totally different one like Norton User Account Control. It comes with the added feature of ability to memorize your responses and act accordingly without bugging you. There is also the ‘Don’t ask me again’ option. It gives you a detailed report on the security alert. UAC Snooze is another choice. This keeps UAC in snooze mode for a pre-specified time interval. This is useful while executing tweaking job, which results in alert in every step if using UAC 1.0.
Windows 7 is attributed fast booting feature compared to Vista in all reviews. Is this really so? The answer is not in the affirmative. In the trial runs performed to verify this claim, it is found that Windows 7 has only a slight edge over Vista, where speed is concerned. However, testers claim that Windows 7 feels faster. As perception is to be given due consideration, this has to be acknowledged.
How to: You can get the same feeling in Vista with a little bit of fine-tuning. Many unnecessary features in Vista slow down your PC. By disabling or eliminating them, you can make the PC perform much faster. How to do this is detailed in various web sites.
Another method to unclutter the PC is to run a clean-up program like CCleaner. It helps in removing unused temporary files, both from Windows and third party apps. It also clears the Registry and removes the software-plaque from the system. After running the clean-up program and fine-tuning the system, Vista will resemble a bullet rather than a slug.
Taming System Notifications
System Notifications are the bane of Vista. Anyone who has used Vista will agree. They are annoying, interrupt work and generally cause a lot of heartburn. Windows 7 has contained this beast and made the User Account Control more user-friendly. You can choose the application for which the system-tray notification balloon will popup. This will not happen without your permission. The applications are arranged together in groups, which helps streamlining the problem. This leads to fewer popups and interruptions in Windows 7.
How to: The same method can be used in Vista to make it less irritating. Take a short tour of the Registry and switch off the balloon notification system in Vista. Take care while doing work on the PC Registry, as this can be tricky. Before venturing to work on the Registry, it is recommended to read up articles on the topic like ‘Top 10 Registry Dos and Don’ts’. The most important advice is to make a backup copy of the present Registry before making any changes in it.
Here is how to prick the balloon in Vista.
- Click Start. Key in ‘regedit’. Press ‘Enter’.
- Click the value at HKEY_ CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
- In the right-hand side pane, right click. Select New, DWORD (32-bit) Value. Enter ‘EnableBalloonTips’.
- Right click on the new value. Select ‘Modify’. Ensure that ‘Value data’ is entered as 0.
- Exit from the Registry and Restart the PC.
For Windows XP users, the balloons can be disabled by making use of Microsoft TweakUI utility. TweakUI is an easy-to-use utility that has ‘Enable balloon tips’ button in the Taskbar. Uncheck the setting to disable balloon notification. It is as simple as that.
There are various sites offering a comprehensive download packages to upgrade XP or Vista to perform like Windows 7. Here ends your long wait for Windows 7 to improve the performance of your PC. Who knows what troubles Windows 7 has in store for you? Better the known devil than the unknown angel.