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Can I turn Vista into XP or at least get rid of most of the crap

Is there any way to rip of all the 'extra' features out of Vista and turn it into something that at least runs nearly as efficiently as XP?
Thanks,
Al  
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alanlsilverman
Asked:
alanlsilverman
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6 Solutions
 
b0lsc0ttCommented:
Honestly you would need to install XP in my opinion.  Unless there are just one or two things you want to try to change (i.e. theme, etc) you won't be able to make Vista XP unless you install XP.  That would need to be a full, clean install too since you can't "upgrade" XP from Vista.

If there are just one or two things you wish to change or you have a question about a clean install then just let me know.

bol
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MshineCommented:
Even if you reduced all the eye candy there are still so many issue
under Vista that would need to be modified.

The security features can be dumbed down, but the infrustructure is
still there and would require some pretty complex modifications to alter.
Some of which you would be able to do nothing about.

If you are a user who purchased a machine that came with Vista and
are wishing to strip it (dumb it down) to XP levels, perhaps the better
approach might be to answer these questions:

1. What is it you are trying to achieve? (Better performance, less security, etc)
2. What kind of enviroment is this machine? (Home user single machine, home network,
business network, domain, etc..)

Please give us some ideas regarding what it is you are trying to achieve, what
your system specs are, and what this machine is to be used for in general.

There might be suggestions or alternatives that can be achieved without such drastic
measures.

Regards,
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phototropicCommented:
"...Is there any way to ...turn Vista into something that at least runs nearly as efficiently as XP?..."
Sure...wait 2 years, then install it.
Seriously, it took almost that long for XP to turn into the robust and reliable os it is now.  When XP was first released, legions of users wiped their hdd's and re-installed 2000 or 98se.  It wasn't really until after the release of SP2 that XP finally got straightened out - and Vista looks like being the same.
B0lsc0tt is quite correct, you can't "upgrade" (or even "downgrade") from Vista to XP...it would have to be a clean install, and then a search for XP drivers.  
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Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Here is a link, that might be useful inorder to help boost the performance. If you don't have the option to buy more RAM these are little tweaks that can be done.

http://www.netscape.com/viewstory/2007/07/20/how-to-make-windows-vista-run-faster/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fthehiddenguide.blogspot.com%2F2007%2F05%2Fhow-to-make-windows-vista-run-faster.html&frame=true

Hope this helps
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Alan HendersonCommented:
I agree with b0lsc0tt. Vista is resource hungry just as XP was in comparison to its predecessors. If you don't want the extra bells and whistles, or don't have the hardware to do it satisfactorilly, better to install XP.

Otherwise, here are some things you can do.
More detail here, but you need to sign up - it's free:
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=200

#1: Add more RAM

#2: Get a good video card

#3: Eliminate extra startup programs

First check the resource hogs in Task Manager
http://mywitsend.co.nz/?p=14

Some of these you may want, such as antivirus or anti-spyware programs, but many of them you probably dont use or use only occasionally.

Some programs can be prevented from starting automatically by removing them from the Startup folder. Others are configured in the registry to run at startup. Many can be managed through the Windows Defender Software Explorer, which you can access from the Manage Startup Programs link in the left pane of the Performance Information And Tools applet.

#4: Turn off visual enhancements

Animations when minimizing and maximizing windows, fading or sliding menus, shadows under the menus and mouse pointer, and thumbnails of graphics files instead of icons. This uses resources.

The Performance Options dialog box can be accessed through the Adjust Visual Effects link in the left pane of the Performance Information And Tools in Control Panel. On the Visual Effects tab, you can customize these settings individually, turning off the ones you dont want, to help speed performance. Or you can disable all of the visual effects by clicking the Adjust For Best Performance option.

#5: Adjust indexing options

You cant turn the indexing feature off completely, but you can adjust locations indexed by selecting Adjust Indexing Options in the left pane of the Performance Information And Tools applet.

#6: Run Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter.

#7: Adjust your power settings

Set your power settings to High Performance. Click the Power Options applet in Control Panel and select that choice. By default, this is set to Balanced, limiting the CPU to 50% power during normal operation.

#8: Turn off the sidebar

#9: Turn off Aero

Right-click the desktop, select Personalize, then click Windows Color And Appearance. Now, click Open Classic Appearance Properties For More Color Options. From the drop-down list box on the Appearance tab, select any theme except Aero.
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Alan HendersonCommented:
Sorry Spec01,
I've duplicated some of your info.
Took too long editing :o(
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SysExpertCommented:
also see

http://www.blackviper.com/WinVista/servicecfg.htm

for what services to disable.

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MshineCommented:
I beg to differ on the opinion the XP is more efficient now post SP2 than it was initially.
More secure now, YES, more efficient, I don;t think so.

I ran early beta versions of XP SP1 and it ran MUCH fast than it does post SP2. I saw
a big difference almost immediately after the SP2 installation. Especially in Explorer and
Internet Explorer.

Vista is a "Pretty OS" and I like some of it features, but efficient it will never be. Especially
if you want to use your system for intense operations.

Sure the technology in the hardware and memory is right about there and able to "handle"
vista, but I think it is overkill....

Sort of like, sure there is enough gas at the gas station to run a DODGE RAM SRT V10, but
does that mean I want to own a vehicle that requires a gallon of gas to go 4 miles??

Do you want an OS that requires a GIG of RAM just to function?
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
Photropic said:
"...Is there any way to ...turn Vista into something that at least runs nearly as efficiently as XP?..."
Sure...wait 2 years, then install it.
Seriously, it took almost that long for XP to turn into the robust and reliable os it is now.  When XP was first released, legions of users wiped their hdd's and re-installed 2000 or 98se.  It wasn't really until after the release of SP2 that XP finally got straightened out - and Vista looks like being the same.
B0lsc0tt is quite correct, you can't "upgrade" (or even "downgrade") from Vista to XP...it would have to be a clean install, and then a search for XP drivers.  

Perhaps it s true.  I hope so.  But what if Vista really turns out being to XP what Millennium was to 98SE?  

The way Microsoft foisted Vista on the world, pulling every XP machine the moment Vista came out, they should be whacked with a massive anti-trust suit.  It s incredible.  But then they own the world.

I work with many older people, helping them use the Internet and computers.  I simplify everything, get the desktop down to the few reliable applications they need and nothing else.  Get rid of all the useless crap.

My immediate problem is that an older retired woman asked me to buy a computer for her.  After discussing it at length I think the Dell Small Business Vostro 1700 would serve her well.  I m really a desktop person.  I toyed with just getting her two desktops for the two primary places she ll be using them. They might even cost less than the laptop.  But I don t think that would work as well.  

Dell small business is one of the few places you can still buy an XP computer.  In fact they ve begun to expand that option, probably because they ve begun to see the handwriting on the wall.  (Vista is a bloated pile of shiest.)  You can now get XP on almost their whole Latitude line and some of the Vostros, but not on the 1700.

 I ve been talking with a Dell rep, asking when/if they ll start building the Vostro 1700 with XP on it.  He doesn t know or won t say.  Right now I can buy this woman a 1700 with all the features she needs for around $450 off.  
But I can t get it with XP.  I m toying with the idea of getting it anyway and making Vista work, which mainly means cutting out all the crap I possibly can.  I suppose I could wipe Vista and put on XP (I ve done this with a slew of HP laptops) but with this Dell it s a bad idea for a lot of reasons (warranty/labor cost).  

So do I pop for the Vista machine or wait?  That s what prompted the question.  I think I ll get this woman get some kind of laptop carrier (with wheels?) to make it easier for her to transport.  Does anyone know of a carrier that does the job for a decent price? Also, what is your opinion of the 1700?  Try this link to see them.
http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/vostronb_1700?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&~tab=bundlestab 

Thanks,
Al

Alan L. Silverman
{company name removed}
Stone Ridge, NY
{email removed}
{personal webiste removed}
{above items removed by ee_ai_construct, cs moderator}
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Alan HendersonCommented:
"an older retired woman asked me to buy a computer for her"
"opinion of the 1700"

From an older retired man.   :o)

OK with these options:
NVIDIA┬«  GeForceTM  Go 8600M GT with 256MB DDR2 dedicated graphic memory
Windows Vista® Business - Home Basic is a ripoff.

It won't be a screamer, but it would be a dog without a graphics card.

I have a Dell notebook with the WUXGA (1920x1200) display. Without an external monitor the DPI setting needs to be increased to 120. WXGA+ (1440x900) should suffice.

Mine is a Dell Inspiron 9400 over a year old (with 256MB graphics) - excellent machine. I've installed Vista Home Premium on it and it seems to perform as well as it did on XP.

You could always buy her a used XP tyre burner. :o)

Alan.
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
A key question is if I can turn off that function that keeps on asking whether or not you want to do something. (Great new security feature.)  

Any opinions about the rolling Targus notebook case for $80?  

About Vista Business/Premium/Basic, because I want to get rid of stuff, not add on, I think that basic would be best/have the least crap.  But ya gotta take what they want to give you. Is there any real function in premium/business that would be useful for an older person really getting into computers for the first time?

The only Vista laptop I have actually customized I did for an older man. I ALWAYS rip out McAfee or Norton and put in AVG Free, though I might go for the AVG with antispyware.  

Any opinions about antispyware?   I put in Adaware 2007 and Spybot Search and Destroy.  Sometimes I make Spybot resident, but Resident asks questions and I need programs that do what they are supposed to do without asking a lot of questions that clients have no idea how to answer and generally answer wrong when they get the chance.

If anyone is interested I can email you whatever Dell cart I finally come up with.  Jesus, I cant believe Im talking myself into getting a Vista machine.  I must be nuts.

Thanks,
Al  
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Alan HendersonCommented:
You can disable Vista User Account Control (UAC) through the Disable command on the Tools menu of the System Configuration tool:

Windows key + R
type msconfig
click OK

This is, however, strongly discouraged.

Full coverage here:
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/window-on-windows/?p=460&tag=nl.e132

In addition to Windows built in Defender, Ad-Aware &  Spybot you need:

1.  AVG Antispyware  (free for home use)
http://free.grisoft.com/doc/download-free-anti-spyware/us/frt/0

OR

2.   SUPERAntispyware (free for home use)
http://www.superantispyware.com/

Alan.
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MshineCommented:
One thing MS has seemed to have done right, what spyware control and removal
in IE7!!!

I noticed a marked reduction in leftover crap after running IE7's Delete Browsing History
tools as compared to IE6 which left a lot of stuff behind for Adaware and Spybot to find.

Not most times both tools do not find much of anything!
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
I thought AVG Antispyware was tryware - you had to pay for it after 30 days.  IE7 screwed up a few of my customer's computers on XP machines.  Don't know if they do any better with Vista. .  Firefox and Opera are much better than IE7 anyway.  If I disable Vista User Account Control will that stop the incessant questions asking the user if they really want to do the next thing they want to do?
Al
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
I've decided that you can't turn a sows ear into a silk purse and I cant make Vista a decent product for my customers.  I think Im going to get her a latitude D531, LCD monitor and wireless keyboard/mouse and say the heck with Vista.  The latitude has an analog connection for a monitor. She might even be able to transport the LCD some of the time.  Or maybe I can get her two LCDs for the two primary places she works and it will probably still cost less than the vostro.  What do you think of that?

Heres the latitude Im looking at.  It should be the more expensive smart value:
http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/latit_d531?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&~ck=FamCustom

Al


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SysExpertCommented:
Go for the XP Lattitude.

IT SHOULD STILL BE MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR A SIMPLE USER.



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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
That's what I think too.  I'm going to go with it.  That's what we consultants are for, to make the tough decisions.   I've got a web cam I'm going to give her too, so I can actually see how she (or whomever she can get) hooks it up when she'd down in Florida or wherever she goes in the winter.
Thanks to you all.
Al
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