Windows Vista Hardware and Software Requirements

According to Microsoft corp, computers capable of running Windows Vista are classified as Vista Capable and Vista Premium Ready.
A Vista Capable or equivalent PC needs to have at minimum an 800 MHz processor, 512 MB RAM and a DirectX 9 class graphics card. A computer that meets these requirementswill be capable of running all editions of Windows Vista although some of the special features and high end graphics options may require additional or more advanced hardware.
A Vista Premium Ready PC will take advantage of Vista’s “high-end” features but will need at least a 1.0 GHz processor, 1 GB main memory, and an Aero-compatible graphics card with at least 128 MB graphics memory and supporting the new Windows Display Driver Model. The company also offers Windows Vista Upgrade
Advisor from its website to determine the ability of a PC to run Vista in its various guises. The utility runs on Windows XP (with Service Pack 2) and Windows Vista.
Microsoft lists some Vista capable hardware on their website. The “Windows Vista Premium Ready” laptops
they specify have Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 or above CPUs and 1 GB memory.

Windows Vista’s “Basic” and “Classic” interfaces will work with virtually any graphics hardware that supports Windows XP or 2000; accordingly, most discussion around Vista’s graphics requirements centers on those for the Windows Aero interface. As of Windows Vista Beta 2, the NVIDIA GeForce FX family and later, the ATI Radeon 9500 and later, Intel’s GMA 950 integrated graphics, and a handful of VIA chipsets and S3 Graphics discrete chips are supported.Though some XGI Technology Volari chips were DirectX 9 (including the Volari V3XT which was available in PCI cards), with XGI’s exit from the graphics card business it appears none of its chips are supported as of Vista Beta 2. A PCI Express (PCIe) video card is not a requirement for Windows Aero, but Microsoft recommends PCIe video over an AGP device due to the interface’s greater bandwidth. There are some PCI cards available that are compatible with Windows Vista as well.

Windows Vista system requirements

Vista Capable
Processor 800MHz
Memory 512 MB
Graphics card DirectX 9 capable
HDD capacity 20 GB
HDD free space 15 GB
Other drives DVD-ROM

Vista Premium Ready
Processor 1.0 GMHz
Memory 1 GB
Graphics card DirectX 9 capable GPU with Hardware Pixel Shader v2.0 and WDDM driver support
Graphics memory 28 MB RAM supports up to 2,756,000 total pixels (e.g. 1920 × 1200) or 512 MB+ for greater resolutions such as 560×1600
HDD capacity 40 GB
HDD free space 15 GB
Other drives DVD-RW

One-Click Shutdown and Reboot Shortcuts

First, create a shortcut on your desktop by right-clicking on the desktop, choosing New, and then choosing Shortcut. The Create Shortcut Wizard appears. In the box asking for the location of the shortcut, type shutdown. After you create the shortcut, double-clicking on it will shut down your PC.

But you can do much more with a shutdown shortcut than merely shut down your PC. You can add any combination of several switches to do extra duty, like this:

shutdown -r -t 01 -c “Rebooting your PC”

Double-clicking on that shortcut will reboot your PC after a one-second delay and display the message “Rebooting your PC.” The shutdown command includes a variety of switches you can use to customize it. Table 1-3 lists all of them and describes their use.

I use this technique to create two shutdown shortcuts on my desktop—one for turning off my PC, and one for rebooting. Here are the ones I use:

shutdown -s -t 03 -c “Bye Bye m8!”

shutdown -r -t 03 -c “Ill be back m8 ;)!”

Switch

What it does

-s

Shuts down the PC.

-l

Logs off the current user.

-t nn

Indicates the duration of delay, in seconds, before performing the action.

-c “messagetext”

Displays a message in the System Shutdown window. A maximum of 127 characters can be used. The message must be enclosed in quotation marks.

-f

Forces any running applications to shut down.

-r

Reboots the PC.

Change STARTUP and SHUTDOWN sounds in XP

Have you ever felt bugged-up with the Start-up and Shutdown jingle of your Windows XP or Vista ? If yes, here is the solution, now you use any of your favorite voice or music or dialogue as your PC’s shutdown and start up.
It’s a simple 4 step process.
Step 1.
Choose the track which you want to play at start-up and shutdown jingles,
Limitations are
* It should be in .WAV format.
* The size of file should not be large, prefer keeping them within in 1 Mb, otherwise your startup will take a bit longer.
If the file you want to make your start-up or shutdown is not in .WAV format, you can easily convert them using Jet Audio 7, or any other converter.
Step 2.
Now rename these files as “Windows XP Startup.WAV” and “Windows XP Shutdown.WAV” respectively.
Step 3.
Now Go to “C:WINDOWSMEDIA”, here you will find files “Windows XP Startup.WAV” and “Windows XP Shutdown.WAV”, move them to some other locations, this step is required for, in case you need to revert back these sounds, else you can ignore this step.
Step 4.
Now the files you have chosen and renamed, just copy-paste or cut paste them in “C:WINDOWSMEDIA”, here you go, now you can enjoy the new Start-up and shutdown.

Using the mouse wheel to change the icon views

If you’re using Windows Explorer to work with your files and folders, you’ve probably already discovered the new Views menu. You just click the arrow next to the Views icon on the toolbar to bring up the Views menu, as shown in Figure , and then drag the slider up or down to change the size and appearance of the file and folder icons. 
                                                            Figure

The slider on the Views menu has seven settings that range from Extra Large Icons to Tiles.
While clicking the icon and dragging the slider is simple enough there is an easier way. Simply hold down the [Ctrl] key and scroll your mouse wheel up and down to resize the icons from Tiles to Extra Large Icons.

Using the [Ctrl] key and the mouse wheel combination also works on the Desktop. While the Desktop is selected, just hold down the [Ctrl] key and scroll your mouse wheel up and down to resize the icons from a microscopic 16 x 16 all the way up to huge 256 x 256 renditions.

Launching your favorite applications with the [Windows] key

In the article, Customizing Vista’s Taskbar and Start Menu, I showed you how to put the main area of the Start Menu to much better use by configuring it as a launching area for all the programs you use most often. However, Windows Vista provides you with an even better way to quickly access your favorite applications–you can assign them to special [Windows] key combinations.

To take advantage of this hidden trick, all you have to do is add the shortcuts to your favorite applications to the Quick Launch toolbar, which you can do with a simple drag and drop operation. You can have up to 10 shortcuts on the Quick Launch toolbar to use with the [Windows] key. By default, the Show Desktop and the Switch Between Windows/Flip 3D shortcuts are already on the Quick Launch toolbar, so with the idea that you’d leave them there, you can add up to 8 additional shortcuts.

Moving left to right, the first shortcut on the Quick Launch toolbar is automatically assigned to [Windows]+1, the second shortcut to [Windows]+2 and so on. The tenth shortcut on the Quick Launch toolbar is automatically assigned to [Windows]+0. By unlocking the Taskbar (via a simple right-click on the Taskbar and clicking Lock the Taskbar) and expanding the Quick Launch toolbar, as shown in Figure A, you can use drag and drop to arrange the shortcuts in any order that you want.
                                                             Figure A


You can resize the Quick Launch toolbar so that it doesn’t take space away from the Taskbar, yet still access the shortcuts via the [Windows] key combination



Once you memorize which numeric [Windows] keys are assigned to which application shortcuts; you can resize the Quick Launch toolbar to its default size and relock the Taskbar, as shown in Figure B. This lets you use the all the space on the Taskbar as you normally would and still be able to launch any of your applications with a simple [Windows] keystroke.
                                                            Figure B



Other Win Key combinations
Here are a couple of other handy [Windows] key shortcuts:

  • [Windows]+T: Cycles through programs using the Live Taskbar feature.
  • [Windows]+[Spacebar]: Brings the Windows Sidebar to the foreground.


Stopping Unneeded Startup Services

Heres the way to stop unneeded programs from startup.

Along with the core operating system and programs that Windows XP runs when it
starts, there is also a host of services involved. Many of these services are necessary
for Windows XP to operate correctly. However, many of them are for features in
Windows XP that you may not use at all. You can peruse the services and disable any
service that you do not want to run. The fewer services that run, the more quickly
Windows XP will boot.
To reduce the number of services that start on bootup, you can access two different
areas of Windows XP.

The first is the System Configuration Utility. You can do that by entering the
command “msconfig” in the run menu.
Start Run “msconfig” (without quotes) || Hit Enter
The Services tab shows you the services that start when the computer
boots. You can stop a service from starting by simply clearing the check box
next to the service and clicking OK.

However, before you do so, there is another way to disable services that you
may prefer because the interface gives you more information about the service
in question.
Open Control Panel Administrative Tools Services or
Start Run “services.msc” || Hit Enter
Take a quick look at common services you may want to live without.

How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

Its very simple to make a backup or restore the registry files.

Just open run and type regedit and select “my computer” in registry editor and in file menu select option “export” now it will take about 2 to 5 minutes to create a backup for your windows registry.

Now make any change in windows and after that simple double click on the backup file where you have been stored it will restore all the option back to the original values.

Disable Microsoft Error Reporting

Disable Error Reporting for Windows Vista

Open Control Panel
Open the Problem Reports & Solutions applet Under advanced options, disable error reporting

Disable Error Reporting for Windows XP

Right click on My Computer and select Properties

Click the advanced tab

Click the error reporting button down the bottom

Select Disable error reporting