Videoguys Tips & Tweaks for Windows Vista 64

Windows Vista 64Its official – Videoguys now recommends Windows Vista 64 for your video editing workstation!

We've been warning our customers to stay away from Vista for quite some time, and we still do not recommend the 32-bit version because the operating requires a lot of RAM for reliable operation and that's one of the greatest advantages of Vista 64.

Based on the fantastic results we are able to achieve with our DIY7 Intel Core i7 based NLE workstation, we discovered that Vista 64 SP1 is very stable and provided us with excellent performance for our favorite video editing applications and hardware. Just follow the tips and tweaks below and you to can start taking advantage of Vista 64!!


  • For best results, put it on brand new system like the Videoguys' DIY7 with an Intel i7 processor and 6GB RAM or more. If not, a Quad-core or faster with at least 4GB of RAM would make an excellent machine.
  • If you're going to try it on an older dual-core machine, then feed it more RAM (8GB) to make up for the less powerful processor.
  • We do not recommend running Vista 64 on a single core processor or with less then 3GB of RAM. If your machine is that old, stick with Windows XP 32.
  • Make sure all of your hardware and software supports Vista 64. Trying to run software and especially hardware without Vista 64 support will create lots of problems including but not limited to: instability, sluggish performance, crashing, lock-ups, and even failure to boot.

Tech Note: While the Videoguys now recommends Vista 64, we do not recommend the 32-bit version of Vista for video editing. To run Vista right you need the extra RAM, and that is the primary benefit right now of Vista 64. If you can't go 64-bit, stick with good old reliable Windows XP Professional 32-bit operating system.


  1. Turn Off User Account Control (UAC)Turn Off User Account Control (UAC)

    User Account Control or UAC is definitely the most annoying feature about Vista. Vista asks for permission to do system software tasks and also run programs. This can drive you CRAZY! I was so happy when we learned how to shut it off.

    With the default Category Control Panel:

    1. Head to Start;
    2. Select Control Panel;
    3. Select System and Maintenance;
    4. Select Administrative Tools;
    5. Select the System Configuration button;
    6. Select the Continue button (if UAC is active);
    7. Select the Tools Tab;
    8. Select "Disable UAC";
    9. Select the Launch button;
    10. Select the Ok button to close the panel

    You will have to reboot for the setting to take effect.

    Warning: This is a power user tweak. If you disable UAC, you need to use extra caution when surfing the web, installing new software etc.

  2. Disable Vista Search IndexingDisable Vista Search Indexing

    All versions of Vista have Search Indexing enabled by default which is an unneeded resource for most. Its function is to continuously update files on your system so that they can be made available for faster searching. Unfortunately, this takes its toll on system performance which is why it's listed in several tweaking programs as a top tweak; I agree totally.

    To disable Windows Vista Search Indexing:

    1. Click Start, then Computer;
    2. Right click on Local Disk 'C:';
    3. Left click on Properties;
    4. Uncheck 'Index this Drive for Faster Searching';
    5. Let it complete and select 'Include subfolders and files' in any subsequent dialog box

    From here we will go one step further and turn off Windows Search in your services

    1. Click on start/run and type in 'MSConfig' and hit ok
    2. Click on Services tab and find Windows Search
    3. Uncheck/Apply and Ok, you're done!!!

If you think you'll need search, don't mess with this, but if not, it's a great way to speed-up your system

  1. Turn Off Unused Windows FeaturesTurn Off Unused Windows Features

    This tweak is actually a 'two in one' as it saves disk space by turning off unneeded windows features as well as improving performance by shutting down Remote Differential Compression (RDC). Briefly, RDC monitors changes in files in order to transfer them with minimum compression over a network, thus eliminating the transfer of an entire file which has been already moved. This checking and rechecking can hinder system performance. With respect to the other features that I will suggest shutting off, I myself only leave Games, Ultimate Extras (both self explanatory) and Tablet PC. I choose to leave tablet PC as it enables a little feature called Snipping Tool which I absolutely love. Anyone who hasn't used it, type 'snipping tool' in the 'Run' box and enjoy.

    In any case, the tweak is as follows:

    1. Press Start/Control Panel/Classic View and select Programs and Features
    2. Choose "Turn Windows Features On and Off"
    3. You can safely unselect:
      - Indexing Service
      - Remote Differential Compression
      - Tablet PC Optional Components (if you don't want Snipping Tool)
      - Windows DFS Replication Service
      - Windows Fax & Scan (unless you use Fax through a modem)
      - Windows Meeting Space
      - And, if you want to be really smart, DFS Replication duplicates files for use among multiple PCs in a network and keeps them in sync. It's not very useful on a stand alone.

  2. Speed-up Windows Vista's AeroSpeed-up Windows Vista's Aero

    Windows Vista is a step-up in terms of eye candy but it can slow your system down a bit. There are 2 things you can do to speed-up the Aero interface in Windows Vista:

    Disable Transparency - Want to still use Aero, but lighten up the features a little? One of the heavier aspects of Aero is the transparency (as it was with XP), so turning it off can save you a little resources.

    1. Right click on the desktop and select 'Personalize'
    2. Select 'Windows Color and Appearance'
    3. Uncheck 'Enable Transparency'

    You still get all the other benefits of Aero, but your system should be a little less sluggish.

Disable Minimize/Maximize Animations - Some performance increases have nothing to do with strain on hardware, or amount of processing. Sometimes, things are designed to take longer than they should, though only maybe 1/2 a second, but the end result to the user is a faster machine. This is one of those tweaks. Minimizing and maximizing does an animation. Watch closely. Pretty quick eh? Still, it does slow you down, and, really, what does it add to your experience? I am all about vanity and aesthetics, but this feature has got to go.

Relish in the fact you will be increasing your productivity by 0.2 seconds per minimize/maximize. :)

  • Open your start menu, go to run, and type in 'systempropertiesperformance'
  • From the Visual Effects tab, uncheck 'Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing'
  • While you are here, might as well check out the other goodies you can disable.
  1. Stop Applications That Auto-start On StartupStop Applications That Auto-start On Startup

    There are 2 ways to stop applications that auto-start when you login to Windows Vista. You can either use the System Configuration Utility or the new Software Explorer in Windows Defender:

    Method 1: System Configuration Utility

    1. Click on the Start Button, enter msconfig and hit Enter.
    2. Click on the Startup tab.
    3. Uncheck items that you do want to auto-start and click OK.

    Method 2: Windows Defender

    1. Click on the Start Button, enter Windows Defender and hit Enter.
    2. Click on the Tools from the top menu bar.
    3. Click on Software Explorer and select Show for All Users.
    4. Select an application to either Remove or Disable.
  2. Reduce System Restore disk usageReduce System Restore disk usage:

    By default Windows Vista allocates 15% of your hard drive to storing System Restore points - which comes to 75GB on a 500GB drive! The user-friendly Windows XP slider bar which sets System Restore space is no longer in Vista. Instead you need to use the command line action to reset this percentage.

    1. Go to Vista's command line with administrative rights
    2. Type:
      vssadmin list shadowstorage to see the current allocation.
    3. To change it, use:
      vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=[drive]: /for=[drive]: /maxsize=[size]
    4. We recommend using 1% of your boot drive, so for a 500GB drive we would set the maxsize to 5GB:
      vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=C: /for=C: /maxsize=5GB

  3. Adjust the size of the virtual memory paging file. (This tip comes directly from Adobe)

    Virtual memory enables the system to use hard-disk space to store information normally stored in RAM. Windows manages virtual memory using a paging file. To improve performance in Premiere Pro CS4, adjust the size of the paging file to a maximum of twice the amount of installed RAM.

To adjust the size of the virtual memory paging file:

  1. Log into the system as an administrator.
  2. Quit all applications.
  3. Choose Start > Control Panel, and then double-click System.
  4. Select Advanced system settings. If you are asked for permission to continue, click continue.
  5. In the Performance section, select Settings, and then click the Advanced tab.
  6. In the Virtual Memory section, click Change.
  7. Deselect Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
  8. From the Drive list, select a hard disk that has available space equal to at least twice the amount of the installed RAM on the system. For example, if your computer has 1 GB of RAM, select a hard disk that has at least 2 GB of free space.
  9. Select the Custom size: option
  10. Enter an Initial Size equal to the amount of RAM installed on the system plus 12 MB (i.e. 1036 for a system with 1 GB of RAM. 1 GB = 1024 MB)
  11. In the Maximum Size box, enter a value equal to twice the amount of your computer's installed RAM.
  12. Close the System Properties Window:
    * Click Set, and then click OK.
    * Click OK System Properties dialog box
    * Click OK in the Performance Options dialog box.
    * Click OK in the System Properties Window.
  13. Click Restart to restart the system

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