Make Vista work like 2K: How can I have my cake and eat it too?
March 14, 2008 7:00 AM   Subscribe

So, I finally finished building my computer, and, in the interest of a "DirectX 10 Experience," I installed Vista. What can I do to make it less annoying and more efficient? In other words, how can I make Vista behave like XP (or 2K, if that's possible!)?

Long story short, I really liked Windows 2000, especially the server versions. I'd like to make Vista behave as close to Win2K as possible - to really trust me and stop holding my hand. I also am not sold on how it looks - I like the timeless elegance of Classic Windows.

I've read about Vista4Experts, and it's a start, but I'm really looking to go another level beyond this.

For the curious, here's an overview of my system specs:
EVGA 780i motherboard, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 Stepping, 4GB Corsair RAM, EVGA NVIDIA 8800 GTX Superclocked, Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty Platinum, ThermalTake Armor Case, Tagan BZ 900w Power Supply...
posted by fvox13 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You can turn off the User Access Control, but it really doesn't get in the way very often, depending on if you run a lot of badly written programs that like to store user files in their installation directory. You can also change the theme to "Windows Classic" if you enjoy that more. What specific problems are you having with Vista?
posted by demiurge at 7:22 AM on March 14, 2008

Response by poster: I don't have any specific problems yet, it's just a general first-impression of "I'm not gonna like this..."
posted by fvox13 at 7:41 AM on March 14, 2008

Then use the power of positive thinking. I use Vista and as a whole, I like it at least as much as XP. They finally put ethernet printers under 'networked' instead of 'local' printers in the printer setup wizard. Try using the new user interface; with your machine specs you shouldn't have any problems with it.
posted by demiurge at 7:49 AM on March 14, 2008
posted by blue_beetle at 8:09 AM on March 14, 2008

Turn off the side bar.
Turn off the indexing service.
Turn off AERO (switch to the Windows Classic theme).
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:21 AM on March 14, 2008

Here is a theme I use on all my XP and Vista installs. It is closer to Windows 95 or NT 4.0, very classic and calm.
posted by qvtqht at 8:21 AM on March 14, 2008

If you don't like the look, try shrinking the Aero window borders and changing the border color (right click on desktop > personalize > window color and appearance). I use graphite borders and my border padding is 2; it looks much better than the default theme. If you really don't like the new look, go to the Personalize dialog, click "Theme," and choose "Windows Classic."

In Explorer windows, I believe the default is to have the entire left column taken up by Favorite Links. This is worthless. Click and drag, or click the "Up" arrow (depending on how things are configured) on the "Folders" bar so it takes up the entire left column.

If UAC is bothering you, you can either tweak/disable it or just deal with it for a while. Eventually it will stop showing up so damn much.

Turn off the sidebar. It is terrible.

Enjoy the new features; Vista is full of nice little touches. The search box on the start menu is great; just hit your Windows key, type calc, and hit enter. Calculator! Sure, you could do the same by bringing up the Run dialog with Windows+R, but the real fun is when you type in the name of any application on your start menu and just have to hit 'Enter' to launch it. One click on the taskbar clock and you can scroll through the calendar without changing the date. The breadcrumb navigation in Explorer is very useful. Use the volume mixer, which now lets you control volume down to the level of individual applications. Extremely useful if you're sick of flash ads and games interrupting your music. Solitaire has new graphics...
posted by punishinglemur at 9:42 AM on March 14, 2008

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