Tech Friday: Putting Vista Business on a Diet

Last week’s Tech Friday discussed how to remove several enhancements of the Vista interface using Vista business. Today, I’m at it again…and now have supplied the details. Links go to sites where I found a source of the information. This is all basic stuff, but it is hard to find it all at once; and I’m in a situation where I may need to install ten machines with Vista in the next couple of days.

• Turn off Welcome Center
Uncheck on Welcome Center, lower left-hand corner of window

• Turn off Sidebar
Right click Sidebar icon in the system tray and then select exit

• Turn off User Account Control
Control Panel | User Accounts | Turn User Account Control On or Off
(requires a restart)

Turn off Balloon Help (requires a registry tweak)

Click Start, Run and type Regedit.exe
Navigate to the following subkey:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced
Create a new REG_DWORD (32 bit) value named EnableBalloonTips
Double-click EnableBalloonTips, and then assign a value data of 0
Exit the Registry Editor
Log off Windows, and then log back on.

Turn off Vista automatic searching
This requires stopping the Windows Search Service
1. Type “Services” in the start search box.
2. If User Account Control asks for permission, click Continue. (but turn it off, see above)
3. Locate an service named Windows Search. Right click on Windows Search, and then select Properties on contextual menu.
4. Click on Stop button to stop the indexing service immediately.
5. On the Startup Type dropdown box, select Disabled.
6. Click on OK button.

Set for automatic login – (eliminate the log-in screen)
1. Type netplwiz in the Windows Search box
2. You’ll see the user account window. Make sure your account is highlighted
3. Uncheck “User must enter name and password”
Upon a reboot, the machine will not ask for a name and password. Note, this only works if your machine is not part of a Windows domain or an active directory

• Set Window resolution to 800×600
We’ll use 800×600 because ultimately, we’re sending the output to a tv screen.

Turn off the enhanced graphics and Aero
Rightclick on the desktop and choose Personalize
Windows Color and Appearance| Color Scheme choose “Windows Vista Basic”

Turn off Windows firewall.
Click on the start “orb”
Select the Control Panel
Select Security
Select the Firewall | Turn Windwos Firewall on or off

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