Tricks and Tips

Windows Vista Tips,Tricks and Tweaks

published on
Boost Windows Shutdown Speed
Vista is normally fast to shutdown, takes maybe 3 seconds on my beta machine. Some configurations however may lend their selves to a longer shutdown period, some of the time the longer shutdown is due to waiting for Vista to kill some services. If your affected by this the following might help.

Start up Regedit and navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetContro l]
On the right pane look for the "WaitToKillServiceTimeout" string and change its value to 1000 by right clicking the string and selecting Modify. However, to make sure its going to work OK for you modify the value to WaitToKillServiceTimeout=5000 first and try it out.
Modified value WaitToKillServiceTimeout=1000 (1000 is a bit much for this one so be careful)
3000 seems to work just about right but try the 5000 first.
(The default value for WaitToKillServiceTimeout=20000 in case you need to change it back)

Extend Activation period

Would you like to extend the activation period to the maximum 120 days instead of the 30 day period that is set by default? It is possible and legal to do this using the software licensing manager in Windows Vista. Simply run slmgr -rearm to get another 30 days. You can do this a maximum of three times before Microsoft blocks further extensions.

Install Vista without product key

Don't feel like typing in your product key before installing Windows Vista? It is now possible to install any version of Windows Vista and use it for 14 days before having to enter a product key and activating it.
While on the product key screen during install, just hit the Next button. You will be presented with a new screen that allows you to select the version of Windows Vista you would like to install.

Launch Flip 3D Alt+Tab Replacement

This has been one of the most demonstrated features of Windows Vista and also one that I have been asked the most about how to use it.
Keep in mind that your computer must support the DWM for this feature to run. If you are running Aero Glass right now, it will work perfectly for you.
Launch Flip 3D:
Just press and hold the Windows Key + Tab. Then use the scroll wheel on your mouse or the up and down keyboard arrows to navigate through the windows. When the window you want is on top, release the Windows and Tab keys.

Check Windows Vista Activation Status

Are you a user of Windows Vista Enterprise or Business edition and would like to know the status of activation of a specific computer? Want to make sure that the computer connected properly to the Key Management Server (KMS) or used your Multiple Activation Key (MAK) properly? Or are you a home user and just want to make sure your computer is fully activated?
Included in Windows Vista is very useful utility that will help you check the status of activation of your computer:
1.Click on the Start Button and key in CMD and hit Enter to start up Command Prompt.
2.At the prompt, type in "slmgr.vbs -dli"
3.After a few seconds you will be presented with a pop-up message with your activation status.

Remove Windows Mail splash screen

Are you a frequent user of Windows Mail? Would you like to shave a second off of load time and remove that annoying splash screen? Using a quick reg hack, you can easily remove the splash screen.
1.Click on the start button and type in regedit and hit Enter.
2.Navigate through HKEY_CURRENT_USER, Software, Microsoft and Windows Mail.
3.Create a new DWORD called NoSplash.
4.Set the value of NoSplash to 1.
5.Exit Registry Editor.

Enable Vista Glass look on Unsupported Video Cards

Microsoft Windows Vista, formally Codename longhorn has a new user interface system codenamed Avalon. This new user interface engine greatly enhances the look by utilizing several cool looking 3D effects. Of course, to be able to fully utilize the new engine you need a good 3D video card on top of special drivers, WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model).
To turn on this effect just execute c:WindowsSystem32UXSS.exe or enable and start the User Experience Session Management Service.
1. Open up Regedit.
2. Navigate through HKEY_local_machine, Software, and Microsoft.
3. Create a new KEY called DWM.
4. In the new DWM key you created, create a DWORD called EnableMachineCheck.
5. Make sure this value is set to 0 and hardware checking is now disabled.

Quick Note: Although you can get it to run on older hardware, with the lack of WDDM drivers available, it is going to run very slowly if at all.

Enable Vista Glass on Compatible Hardware

If you have a video card that is using WDDM drivers and supports DirectX 9c but is not allowing you to use vista glass, there is a cool trick that you can use to force Aero to run. Follow the steps below:
1.Click on the start button and key in regedit and hit Enter.
2.Navigate through, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, Software, Microsoft, Windows and DWM.
3.Set Composition to 1 and CompositionPolicy to 2.
4.Restart the DWM by restarting the Desktop Windows Manager Session Manager service. This can be done in services.msc or by typing net stop uxsms and net start uxsms at command prompt.
Once the service restarts you will have glass!

Show Run Command on Start Menu

Windows Vista has a new search bar located on the Start Panel. You can use the new search box to find items in the various folders of your Start Menu as well as run any application from it. Just type in the name of the executable and it will search your hard drive for it and run it. This is a great feature but if you have a lot of files on your computer, then be prepared for a short delay since it may have to search for a while.
If you do not want to wait that long, there is a quick way to get the old Run command back on your Start Panel.
1. Right click on your taskbar and select Properties.
2. Click on the Start Menu Tab and then select Customize.
3. Scroll through the list and check the Run Command check box.
4. Hit OK a few times and it is back.

Disable pop-up balloon tips

Tired of pop-up tips showing up all over the interface? With group policy editor, you can easily stop them from showing up for good.
1.Start up the group policy editor by clicking on the start button and keying in gpedit.msc and pressing Enter.
2.Expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates and Start Menu and Taskbar.
3.Select Remove Balloon Tips on Start Menu items, right click on it and select Properties.
4.Select Enable and hit OK.
5.Close Group Policy Editor and you are finished.

Enabling addition Avalon effects

Once you have the new Aero engine enabled on your build of Windows codename Longhorn, you can enable additional transition effects that are currently turned off in builds. Follow the steps below to add some additional desktop and explorer effects:

1. Open up regedit.
2. Navigate thru HKEY_Local_Machine, Software, Microsoft, Windows, Current Version, and Explorer.
3. Create a new DWORD and call it MILDesktop.
4. Set the value of MILDesktop to 1.
5. Create a new DWORD and call it MILExplorer.
6. Set the value of MILExplorer to 1.
7. Exit explorer and restart.

I hope your system and drivers can handle the new effects!

How to disable user access protection ( UAP )-

While logged in with admin rights. Press the key combo Win+R (the "Run command" box comes up).
Run "msconfig".
Go to the "Tools" tab.
Scroll down to "disable UAP", & click the "launch" button below.
It will execute a command & leave behind a CMD window, exit that, reboot Vista, and you're done!

Show Administrator on Welcome Screen
start > run = " control userpasswords2 " select administrator account, click reset password (input new pass) / Ok

start > run = " regedit " create the key below

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonSpecialAccountsUserLis t

create "DWORD (32bit) Value"
Value Name: Administrator
Value Data: 1