Like many of you I loaded Windows 7 on my netbook and it performed just OK. It provided a huge performance improvement over Windows Vista but was not as snappy as I wanted. The key to speeding up Windows 7 on a netbook with limited resources is to turn off and disable features that you don’t need. After all, it’s a netbook and there are many Windows components that will never be used. Additionally, disabling un-needed components will extend your battery life since fewer processes will be using the CPU running in the background.
Fine Tune Visual Settings
The Windows 7 eye candy is the main cause of GUI slowness. While my netbook has a decent graphics card that can display Aero Glass it can be choppy at times. Follow these steps to improve the performance of the interface:
Click on the Start Button and type in adjust the appearance and hit Enter. This will load the Visual Effects performance options.
On this screen I suggest disabling the following settings by removing the check:
Animate controls and elements inside windows
Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
Enable transparent glass
Fade or slide menus into view
Fade or slide ToolTips into view
Fade out menu items after clicking
Show shadows under windows (this may be worth the performance hit for some)
show thumbnails instead of icons
show translucent selection rectangle
Show window contents while dragging
Slide open combo boxes
Click OK when you are finished.
Remove Startup Programs
Nothing wastes resources more is startup programs that you don’t need. Click on the Start Button and type in msconfig and hit Enter.
When the System Configuration utility is loaded click on the Startup tab.
Remove the check next to any applications you don’t need and click OK.
Now it’s time to trim the Windows services running in the background of your computer.
Click on the Start Button and type in services.msc and hit Enter.
When the Services management console is shown you can stop and disable services by selecting the service, right clicking and selecting Properties. Then change the Startup type to Disabled and hit the Stop button. Finally click OK to return to the Services management console.
I recommend disabling the following services on a netbook:
Block Level Backup Engine Service
Bonjour Service (from iTunes)
Group Policy Client (if not on domain)
Portable Device Enumerator Service
Software Protection (make sure you activate Windows first)
Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
Keep in mind that if you use any of these services or applications that depend on them they will no longer function. E.g. if you are a homegroup user don’t disable the Homegroup Provider.
Disclaimer:* Make sure you use other security software if you disable these services.