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Optimization and Maintenance of Windows Vista

Summary: Learn how to keep your Windows Vista installation performing well and maintained.

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SLN99631_en_US__1icon As of April 11, 2017, Windows Vista customers are no longer receiving new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft. This article will no longer be updated and remains for information only. Please visit the Microsoft site for the full end of support statement.

Table of Contents:

  1. Optimizing Windows Vista
  2. Basic Maintenance of the Windows Vista Operating System
  3. Using Multiple Antivirus Programs in Windows Vista
  4. Internet Explorer Maintenance
  5. Keeping Your Windows Vista Computer Secure

This article is for Microsoft Windows Vista.
Click below to change the operating system.

This article describes how to optimize Windows Vista performance, as well as perform routine maintenance and avoid program conflicts.


Optimizing Windows Vista

The Dell Recommended link above automatically checks your system to improve overall performance.
For detailed information on improving performance in Windows Vista, view the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article:
"Ways to improve your computer's performance"

Basic Maintenance of Windows Vista

There are a few key housekeeping tasks that should be routinely performed on a computer to keep it running smoothly.

Run Windows Update

Make sure that all key operating system updates are installed. Visit Microsoft KB article "Install Windows updates" to learn more.

Defragment Your Hard Drive

Files on your hard drive can sometimes become spread out, or fragmented, across different sectors of the drive. Defragmenting the hard drive aligns the pieces of those files in one sector, which increases the efficiency of the operating system to open the files. To learn more, see Microsoft KB article:

"Improve performance by defragmenting your hard disk"

Run CHKDSK to look for bad sectors on the hard disk

  1. Click Start and then click Computer.
  2. Right-click the hard drive you want to scan, and then click Properties.
  3. In the Local Drive Properties window, click the Tools tab, then click Check Now.
  4. In the User Account Control window, click Continue.
  5. In the Check Disk window, click to select the boxes next to:
    • Automatically fix file system errors
    • Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors
  6. Click the Start button. This process can take up to several hours, depending on the size of the drive.

    You may be prompted to perform the scan next time you reboot the computer. If so, click Schedule Disk Check, and restart the computer.

Update the Drivers on the Computer

Old drivers may cause certain applications to not run correctly, or may have bugs that have been fixed in later releases. Drivers should be checked for updates at least twice a year. Click the button below to visit the Dell Drviers and Downloads website to update your drivers!

Get the Latest Drivers for Your Dell Computer!

Using Multiple Antivirus Programs in Windows Vista

The use of multiple anti-virus programs may cause your system to lock up. Anti-virus programs come pre-installed on most Dell Computers, so customers sometimes install other anti-virus programs without realizing that there is already a system installed. If you decide to install an alternate anti-virus software, it is important that you first uninstall any other anti-virus programs that may be running on your computer.

Choose only one anti-virus program and reinstall it. It is not recommended to have more than one anti-virus software package installed on your computer.

Internet Explorer Maintenance

Internet Explorer stores your history, website cookies, and passwords, as well as your Favorites. If you are experiencing problems with Internet Explorer, use the Microsoft Internet Explorer Solution Center to clean up your web browser and get the most out of your browsing experience.

Keeping Your Windows Vista Computer Secure

Along with regular maintenance, make sure that Internet Security Software is installed on your computer and is kept up to date.

If you do not have or do not wish to purchase any Internet security software, Microsoft has created free security software built specifically for your operating system. Visit Microsoft Security Essentials to preview, download and get support.


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Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



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