Tech Friday: Lightening up Vista Business

As with all Windows installs, there are lots of possible deviations that you might want to make with the default. We’re shoehorning a Vista Business on to a Mini-ITX machine with 1 meg of RAM and 1.86Mhz Celeron processor (socket M) and we want to keep the level of background processing down. Here’s what we’ve found you can do to reduce the footprint.

  • Turn off User Account Control [link]
  • Turn off Vista automatic searching [link]
  • Set for automatic login – (eliminate the log-in screen)
  • Set Window resolution to 800×600
  • Turn off the enhanced graphics and Aero [link]
  • Turn off Windows firewall. [link]

Both Vista and the Mini-ITX machine that it is running on, from Logic Supply, are growing on me. I attached a $179.00 Dell monitor from Staples to the machine as well as an inexpensive Logitech keyboard and Microsoft mouse. You are better off using newer peripherals; there are no ‘legacy’ connections on the machine. Even the monitor requires a digital connector. Fan noise is a problem when using the unit for video or VoIP calls, so we’ll also be testing a fanless version and crossing our fingers that it won’t run too hot. Cost for the unit, plus Windows, plus the peripherals will put you in the $1000 range. On the other hand, a colleague is testing an Acer 4620 laptop that he got at a special at Best Buy for $499. Comes with Vista Home, (here are the differences between home and business) and it has been running everything that he can throw at it.

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