Increase your Windows Vista Performance with the Performance & Reliability Improvements Pack

As you’ve probably read here on my site in the past, I and many of my readers have been very disappointed with the performance of Windows Vista, as it is when installed out of the box. Although I’ve written many tips and tricks on the necessary steps needed to be done in order to make Vista run a bit faster, still these changes that one should perform are mostly manual changes, and even after doing so, Vista’s performance is still lacking when compared to a similar computer running Windows XP SP2.

In fact, here are some of my more recent Windows Vista Tips:

Although not quite breaking news, Microsoft has officially released the Window Vista “Performance and Reliability Pack” and “Compatibility and Reliability Pack” that, after installing on RTM versions of Vista, have had quite a good improvement in speed and reliability of these computers.
These updates are part of the recently released Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Vista (see Why you should Upgrade to Windows Vista SP1).
The first patch available as a Windows Update fix can be found in KB 938979.
This update resolves the following issues:

  • You experience a long delay when you try to exit the Photos screen saver.
  • A memory leak occurs when you use the Windows Energy screen saver.
  • If User Account Control is disabled on the computer, you cannot install a network printer successfully. This problem occurs if the network printer is hosted by a Windows XP-based or a Windows Server 2003-based computer.
  • When you write data to an AVI file by using the AVIStreamWrite function, the file header of the AVI file is corrupted.
  • When you copy or move a large file, the “estimated time remaining” takes a long time to be calculated and displayed.
  • After you resume the computer from hibernation, it takes a long time to display the logon screen.
  • When you synchronize an offline file to a server, the offline file is corrupted.
  • If you edit an image file that uses the RAW image format, data loss occurs in the image file.
  • After you resume the computer from hibernation, the computer loses its default gateway address.
  • Poor memory management performance occurs.

Users installing this patch reported a noticeable improvement in file and network copying operations. Personally, after installing the above patch, I found that file copying across the network and on local disks is faster than in the RTM version of Vista, and as a matter of fact, they appear to be matching the speed of the same file copy operation performed on XP SP2. I also noticed a much faster resuming from hibernation on my laptop.

The second patch available as a Windows Update fix can be found in KB 938194.
This update resolves the following issues:

  • The screen may go blank when you try to upgrade the video driver.
  • The computer stops responding, and you receive a “Display driver stopped responding and has recovered” error message. You can restart the computer only by pressing the computer’s power button.
  • The computer stops responding or restarts unexpectedly when you play video games or perform desktop operations.
  • The Diagnostic Policy Service (DPS) stops responding when the computer is under heavy load or when very little memory is available. This problem prevents diagnostics from working.
  • The screen goes blank after an external display device that is connected to the computer is turned off. For example, this problem may occur when a projector is turned off during a presentation.
  • There are stability issues with some graphics processing units (GPUs). These issues could cause GPUs to stop responding (hang).
  • Visual appearance issues occur when you play graphics-intensive games.
  • You experience poor playback quality when you play HD DVD disks or Blu-ray disks on a large monitor.
  • Applications that load the Netcfgx.dll component exit unexpectedly.
  • Windows Calendar exits unexpectedly after you create a new appointment, create a new task, and then restart the computer.
  • Internet Connection Sharing stops responding after you upgrade a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP to Windows Vista and then restart the computer.
  • The Printer Spooler service stops unexpectedly.
  • You receive a “Stop 0x0000009F” error when you put the computer to sleep while a Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) connection is active.

Could it be that vista does work as it *should* work after all? 🙂
I suggest trying out Windows Vista Service Pack one as soon as it is available to you to see if your performance improves!

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