There are a lot of tips and tricks on how to optimize your system memory. One of the main ways to get the most out of your system is to configure the “Windows Services”, essentially tasks and programs that windows starts and stops in the background. These services are needed by other programs, changing this configuration can result in that some programs cannot start or behave in a strange manner. If you mess around with the services, you could disable your access to the internet and its a pain to figure out which service you accidentally stopped that should have been running.
There are only two situations in which you should configure the services
- You are desperate and want to optimize a very old pc without having to buy new ram
- You are a gamer and want the speediest most lightweight computer
Fortunately smart people have already played around with various configurations. BlackViper provides on his website a list of “tweaked”, “safe” and “default” settings. However the table on his website is interesting, but not very useful. If you would want to apply these settings you would have to open up “services.msc” and apply each setting manually.
Thankfully I found a way to convert the table into a powershell script.
- Head over to his site http://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/
- Go to your Version of Windows
- Use the websites Copy function and save the tap separated table into a textfile
- Execute following python code in the same folder
Alternatively you can download the resulting Powershell Scripts for Windows7SP1: Win7SP1 – BlackViperPowerShell
Note: During the execution of the script errors appear for services that are not installed on your system – just ignore them.
To consistently measure the memory usage I did a clean install of Win 7SP1 on a VirtualBox.
- Default 39 Processes using 600MB Ram
- “Safe Configuration”: 29 Processes using 500MB.
While the safe configuration ‘saves’ you 100MB of Memory. The amount of effort of testing if all your programs are still running correctly etc. Does not make a lot of sense – especially when typically you are anyway have 8GB+ RAM in Computers these days.
You start your day out by putting your laptop onto your docking-station and then go get your morning coffee – just to come back and find your laptop still hasn’t booted up because you forgot to press the on button – frustrated you scream out “Why god? Why do I have to wait another minute to boot my computer?”
This is a good example of a bad user experience design. The user expects the computer to start, because the only reason for putting your laptop into a docking station is to start working with the laptop. You expect the device to be smart enough to turn itself on by itself. There is really no reason that the computer should not start. (Eco-friendly Power conservation guys will say, oh no, what a waste of electricity – Well, you are reading this article on a device that is using power and you probably are using a computer for most of your workday)
However Lenovo laptops have a BIOS setting to automatically power up your laptop.
- Start your computer and press the ThinkVantage button (or F1) to open up BIOS
- Open Power Settings
- Set “Power On with AC Attach” to “Enabled”
- Press F10 to Save and Exit (restart)
Power on with AC Attach Setting set to Enabled
Swap the Ctrl and Fn Key
Lenovo has awkwardly placed the Fn key as first key of the last row instead of the “Ctrl”-key like most laptop and keyboard manufacturers. The “Fn Key” is unique to laptops and does not register in the normal character map. Thankfully you can swap the two keys in the Bios-settings.
Caution: If you do not know what Bios is – do not change any other settings.
- Restart the computer
- When you see the ThinkPad Logo Press “Enter” to interrupt the normal startup process.
- Then Press “F1” to enter the Bios Settings
- Navigate to the page “Config ” (using the arrow keys) and select “Keyboard/Mouse”
- Enable “Fn and Ctrl Key swap”
- Press “Esc” and Navigate to “Restart”
- Select save changes and restart
For some reason on some T430 laptops the fan is always on even if the CPU has a 0% load. If you are running Windows here are a few suggestions how you can fix this issue:
Make sure your laptop has the newest Bios installed – maybe Lenovo figured out how to resolve the Fan control on the hardware level.
- Run Lenovo – Update and Drivers
- Update Bios
Official Fan Speed Control Driver
- Download the driver from: http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS001691
- Install the driver
- Restart the computer
- Open the Task manager and check if “FanSpeedControl.exe” is running (if not, de-install the driver again
Apparently “troubadix” from the German Uni-Marburg created a small program to control the ThinkPad Fan. Caution: As you are actively manipulating the fan speed, your hardware could overheat and be damaged which could not be
- Go to: http://www.staff.uni-marburg.de/~schmitzr/donate.html (yes – the webpage is in ComicSans)
- Scroll down to “download area” and select the “latest common Version” (or check if the special version is better suited for your laptop)
- Install and restart
- As default the fan is being controlled in the “Smart”-mode, based on the temperature of the CPU. I did not have to change any settings, usually the CPU runs at around 42 degrees Celsius. If your CPU heats up faster you may want to use a more aggressive cooling strategy provided by the program.
- To minimize the window to the “Notification Area” Right-click on the TPFanControl icon in the Notification Area and disable “Show Window”