So I’ve been using VMWare Fusion a lot recently. I love how you can load up your BootCamp partition in a virtual machine, it’s darn right genius. I usually load up my Windows 7 BootCamp along-side Backtrack and have fun attacking my Windows vm (as anyone should). But I’m running an old laptop (coming five years now) and the performance has been atrocious to say the least. A bootcamp vm should not be running with only 1GB of RAM. I know, but don’t have the option.
Enter TuneUp Utilities 2012! I think I’ve used their product since the early XP days (was it out for 98SE?), and it used to be my favourite tweaking and performance booster until they came up with their new bloated and slow interface… Then things kinda got sour for me. I would still use it to clean my registry and what not, but never gave attention to the new features (that looked “dumbed down” to me). I should have!
With 2012, TuneUp seems to have gotten back to it’s roots again (somewhat) with greater customization of the app itself, greater control over automatic stuff, an anti-newb “all-features” section and finally, “shut your mouth” options! Hurray, what’s not to like? Well many reviews I’ve read and watched find it bloated… it is. But you really have to go through every single optimization wizard to really get a gist of what TuneUp is capable.
A quick walk-through of the awesomest optimizations
The basics are self-explanatory. After installation, you should run the 2 main optimizations left (Increase Performance & Fix Problems). Note: Do not set “Increase Performance” to the first setting (“best performance” IIRC), we will use the awesome Turbo Mode to make Windows really ugly. Some notes to take though, you will want to disable automatic defragmentation since your running in a VM. I don’t know how that would end up and I don’t want to find out. This brings me to the first important thing in TUU 2012, the settings. Let’s go right ahead and tame that vocal program!
– Notification area icon: Always (you’ll see why in a bit).
– Notifications: Disable everything! (Thank you TuneUp Corporation).
– 1 click maintenance: Disable Defragment hard disk.
– Automatic maintenance: I’ve disabled it completely, I like to have control over these things. You could also just disable the Defragment hard disk option.
Now TuneUp will shut it’s mouth, and wont screw up your BootCamp, sigh of relief.
Why is TUU running it’s own service you ask? You don’t like that don’t you? Me neither, unless you set it up correctly right here. Basically, the “Disable Programs” feature is what justifies the extra service. TUU will automagically shutdown processes which either stay on, or don’t stop when you close an app (ex. Google Chrome). This is all customizable, and a significant boost in performance will be felt if you set it up correctly. Disabling startup programs should be a no-brainer, go ahead and disable pretty much everything except anti-virus, bootcamp services and essential stuff (that should be around 4-5 programs).
“Live Optimization” should be enabled with it’s 2 options. Configure Economy mode is self explanatory, configuring Turbo Mode is simply the best damn thing about TuneUp! If your running BootCamp, it’s probably because you play games, or work with a highly demanding application (3d, architecture, CAD etc.) and you really just boot-up in Windows for that. Well, do you see the “beautiful” windows interface while your gaming? Me neither. In conjunction with your earlier Visual Optimizations (probably set close to medium), Turbo Mode will make your Win7 machine look like shit… Hurray! Enable everything in Turbo Mode, and make sure it runs by default. Badaboom, you’ve got yourself a responsive VM.
Now if you want the beautiful bells and whistles, just select “Standard mode” from the TUU icon in your system tray (that’s why we’re leaving it there). Pretty cool stuff. I would end this section by checking out “Optimize system startup and shutdown” and applying the recommendations if they suit you, it will help startup that VM faster.
“Gain disk space” is self-explanatory and the usual temporary files, restore points etc. clean-up. “Fix problems” is mainly useless.
Finally, there is one really cool feature here, that I would encourage every-single-body to use. In “Personalize options and behaviours” go to “Start and maintenance” and the “Desktop and Taskbar” tab. Enable “Execute desktop and taskbar in a separate process”. You’ve guessed what this does, and trust me, when Windows crashes on you this is awesome. A nifty tweak.
So, we’ve been through the main features of TuneUp Utilities 2012 which will really help you run Windows (BootCamp or not) in a VM. Even though the software is bloated, runs an extra service and the interface is really slow, I hope you have seen past these issues and consider TUU for what it is: a great performance booster. As I said before, the reviews I’ve seen seemed to mention the basics, but never really go in depth (I’m sure some of them do). If you compare TuneUp with other optimizing software, it’s in a league of it’s own, and according to me, that justifies it’s price. Plus, your mom and her computer will thank you (and maybe give you cookies, hopefully homemade and hot, mmmmmm). Until next time!