Windows 7 Step by step guides

When installing Windows 7, the default installation settings generally offer a quick and easy way to get the operating system installed - but the default settings are usually not the best option for performance or ease of use.

While the default cache size for Internet Explorer has been addressed, the system still creates a single large partition for the operating system as drive "C:" - rather than partitioning the drive for better performance.

Windows will usually create a small (about 100MB) partition at the start of the disk, before the "C:" drive, however this only contains some critical boot files that need to be located at the start of larger disks.  Unfortunately, this uses one or the four possible "Primary" partitions that can be created on standard "MBR" disks.

Like earlier version of Windows, Windows 7 also has some unnecessary visual effects enabled such that various windows, controls and menus will be animated, fade or slide when they are used, making the system artificially slower, for the sake of some visual eye candy.  We show how to disable these options for better performance and productivity.

The Windows 7 "Start" menu has had the option to use the Windows "Classic" menu style removed, in an attempt by Microsoft to force users to use the newer two-column format.  While many users just prefer the choice of having the "Classic" layout, there is a real benefit in that the "Classic" layout shows all the installed programs in multiple columns (if many are installed), while the Windows 7 default can only show a few programs and then forces the user to scroll through a long list to find the required item.  We show how to get a faster and more responsive "Classic" menu in Windows 7, while retaining the default Windows 7 menu for the occasions it may be required.

Windows 7 also has power saving enabled by default which while saving very little power in real terms - does make most systems somewhat less responsive and a noticable improvement can be had by reconfiguring this setting.  We find the "Maximum Performance" setting preferable even on laptop systems, where the improvement in speed outweighs the small (if any) loss of battery life.