You might want to take a look at a couple of 3rd party utilities.
For file management, FreeCommander
for file copy/move TeraCopy - the latest beta is best at least for 32
bit Vista. TeraCopy has a beta for 64 bit Vista but I don't know how
reliable it is.
For quieting the HD I've been working on this since I bought my PC in
They don't make it easy. But you need to check Scheduled Tasks and
Services and find out which you need and which you don't and disable and
log them(keep track of what you are doing so you can undo changes that
don't work) as you go.
Another thing is Windows Media Player will want to index all your media
files. google mobsync.exe if you don't use a laptop etc..
Check out this page for a start:
'Windows Vista Services Explained'
Also you might find if you have a "Media Center" type PC it does this
as it tries to catalog all the media files you have stored, even if you
You just have to keep with it. Once you have things the way you want I
recommend you get LookInMyPC freeware to make a printout of the state of
your services. That way if you have to reset to defaults you can go
through the list
of services and set them all at once instead of trial and error all
Also I would get some sort of image restore program like Paragon Drive
Backup or one of the others so you can restore an unbootable system if
you do something that hoses your machine when you change settings.
"How come we don't know the I.Q. of the guy who invented the test?"