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Topic # 18216 2-Jan-2008 11:31
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Ok I'll give you some background. Shopped for a laptop on a budget. Ended up with a $900 machine but in my mind it's a reasonably fast machine (compared to others on the market).

Pent Dual Core T2080 1.73GHz with 1Gb ram, integrated graphics, and 120Gb hdd.

Should run Vista basic fine right?

Well I don't consider 4 minutes to fully load the desktop from power on, and 2-5 minute shutdowns ok. From google searches I'm apparently supposed to look for drivers that might be causing the problem, and eliminate them one by one.

What? I just bought a brand new computer and I need to troubleshoot drivers already, at a time cost of up to 10 minutes per driver?

Did I mention that this is a Lenovo? So they gave me a "great" package of software that occupies half my screen width on the taskbar area. Initially I was reluctant to delete this in case it was useful, but last night I gave up and tried to fully restore to factory hdd and then delete all the bundled software. Then I discovered that I could stop this from installing in the first place!

So help please:

I've decided to install NONE of the Lenovo software (why do they create their own versions of software you already have within Windows? A wireless/network connection wizard, a password manager, a resolution manager for internal and external displays....).

Should I install the v9.0 Home version of Diskeeper? Google gives me mixed messages on whether this will speed up or slow down my computer - the Home edition doesn't have the Boot-time defrag function

Should I install PC Doctor v. 5 supposedly to help if I run into a disaster?

I think I'm leaving everything else off.

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Reply # 102537 2-Jan-2008 12:09
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Diskeeper is a good thing to keep. Get rid of everything else but the required drivers. You should be good to go.

Run MSCONFIG to check what's in your startup. Open Control Panel and remove all the bloatware. Companies still sell their soul to anyone who pays a few cents for each installed copy of Acme Really Unneeded Software it seems...

I would blame this on Windows Vista straight away until you find that it is really an OS problem.




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  Reply # 102539 2-Jan-2008 12:17
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MF means would not blame it on windows.

My friends laptop with Vista ran like a 2 legged dog on 1 gig ram

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 102540 2-Jan-2008 12:31
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Unless you install the OS fresh with nothing else and it takes that long I wouldn't blame it.

The RAM on this laptop (1 GB) seems to be more than enough to run Vista Basic. But we don't know what other programs are loaded at startup.




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  Reply # 102541 2-Jan-2008 12:39
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As I said in reply to your "What laptop to get" post, running Vista with 1Gig of RAM isn't going to be a great experience, no matter what you do.

Almost all of the default software you get installed with a laptop these days is total crap and unnecessary. I would seriously look at upgrading (and yes, it will be an upgrade in your user experience) to XP, or installing one of the many flavours of Linux.
Installing XP can be quite hard though, especially as finding the drivers for the hardware can be a task, so only attempt this if you're confidant or can get help from someone else. The same's true with Linux.

If this isn't an option (or you wish to stick with Vista) then install only Vista and nothing else, then look at disabling the themes and any other services you're not using (probably quite a lot of them) - Vista won't look as pretty, but that prettiness takes up memory.

As for the 3rd party software, don't bother installing it unless you really need it. Diskeeper? Fragmentation isn't THAT much of a performance killer! For the average home user, defragging your hard disk one a month will suffice! Files only become defragmented if you're editing them. Do you often edit the files used to boot your PC or the driver files? No, of course not.
Once defragmented initally, they don't magically become fragmented unless they're upgraded.

What antivirus are you using? Hopefully not Norton, as it's memory requirements won't be adding to your joy.

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  Reply # 102543 2-Jan-2008 12:49
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Remove norton

and run avast free edition www.avast.com



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  Reply # 102550 2-Jan-2008 13:27
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Hi guys. I'm a wannabe-geek so I know some stuff but I'm not a Linux freak.

Ubuntu would be nice, but there are also little annoyances (I know windows is full of them but there are more with Linux), like speakers not quite working properly, or not muting if you plug in headphones, or hardware volume keys not working, or difficulties getting the native resolution on the screen.

I have an old laptop that I played around with Ubuntu on, but at the end of the day I paid $900 for a new computer and expected it to WORK (one of the main reasons I'd prefer a Mac if I had the money). I don't want to buy an XP license - I don't want to give M$ any more money.

I reinstalled the system from the hidden partition (recovery to factory hdd state) and pleasantly found that I was able to untick 10000 options that were going to be installed (I chose custom/administrator restore).

Diskeeper is the only thing I wasn't sure about but included it because I knew the license was such that I couldn't go and manually install it later. However it's only the Home version and the most useful feature of boot-time defrag is missing - therefore I'm not sure if this might actually hinder performance rather than improve - can't I just use the Windows defrag myself??

I did lose access to Corel WordPerfect X3 though :/ and the Office 2007 60 day trial. It didn't give me the option to install or not install this, and it didn't appear. However that does clean up the "Add/Remove Programs" list - Office 2007 took up about 50 different components scattered throughout the list. Why couldn't it just be "Office 2007"??

I opened my RAM slots up and was pleasantly surprised to find 1x1Gb sodimm (brilliant, given that all manufacturers are evil and put 2x512) so I'll look at upgrading. I wasn't really wanting to put more money in though - do you really think it will make a vast improvement? At the moment with this "clean" install my startup is under 2 minutes and shutdown under 1 minute. Firefox (which is all I'm really using it for) runs perfectly.

No AV yet - last time I used Avast because AVG didn't support XP "switch user". So I was going to use that - ok?



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  Reply # 102551 2-Jan-2008 13:31
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Hey freitasm did you ever work out how to install Adobe Reader without all the extra startup and other crap?

I used msconfig and when I stopped stuff, every time I started up I would get a "balloon" on the taskbar notification area telling me that some services didn't load (duh!) so I got really annoyed by that.

Now with the clean(er) install, there is hardly anything in msconfig.

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  Reply # 102595 2-Jan-2008 19:33
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Most PC's are "not capable of running vista", or so it seems but you can tweak it up to perform well.

I'm slowly working on the bloated OS to actually perform like XP and seem to have had a reasonable degree of success.

Un-install ANY of the included "Firewalls" "Mcafee, Norton" and other junk AFTER you have installed Avast (Free), Kapersky or Nod32
Turn off ALL of the "system tray" stuff and any services you probably not likely to use, switch off the "search" indexing if it's not needed. This will gain you the largest speed improvement.
If it still runs dog-slow, you might be best to turn the visual appearance (in control panel-display) to look all grey and drab like Win2000.


Best advice to you, Get some more RAM the moment you can get it in there. XP often struggles on 1GB, Vista likes at least 2GB.



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  Reply # 102602 2-Jan-2008 20:54
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paradoxsm: Most PC's are "not capable of running vista", or so it seems but you can tweak it up to perform well.

I'm slowly working on the bloated OS to actually perform like XP and seem to have had a reasonable degree of success.

Un-install ANY of the included "Firewalls" "Mcafee, Norton" and other junk AFTER you have installed Avast (Free), Kapersky or Nod32
Turn off ALL of the "system tray" stuff and any services you probably not likely to use, switch off the "search" indexing if it's not needed. This will gain you the largest speed improvement.
If it still runs dog-slow, you might be best to turn the visual appearance (in control panel-display) to look all grey and drab like Win2000.


Best advice to you, Get some more RAM the moment you can get it in there. XP often struggles on 1GB, Vista likes at least 2GB.

To be honest the system seems ok after I resintalled Vista and told Lenovo not to install ANY of the crap - look at the poor quality video I made of the available install options that are all turned ON by default: http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=tJTZQbp3AfY

I actually don't want to spend more money if possible as this laptop will be sold on in the near future - do you think I would get by with 1Gb? I'm really just using it for WP and Firefox? I would be less reluctant to get the RAM if it could later be used in an older laptop that uses DDR ram, but I'm lead to believe that ram is not backwards compatible?

Search indexing helps the "search as you type" from Start menu right? I love the Spotlight search on Mac so I'd be keen to keep this feature.

Lastly - are all those AVs free? Does it matter which I choose (including AVG that you didn't mention)?

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  Reply # 102606 2-Jan-2008 21:23
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Yes, running stock just for Word and Firefox with no extras, 1GB will be just adequate and you can keep the "Spotlight" without too much of a perfomance hit.

Running ram-hoggy other stuff in the backgroud though might make it choke a bit, Any crap virus scanners will be the largest hit.

I'd reccommend Avast, it's Free for personal use and it also contains a good firewall. AVG is also good but can hog system a bit (nowhere as bad as Norton though) NOD32 is payware but has low CPU usage, Kapersky is also often hailed but I have not tried it. Other free virus apps are ClamWIN and AVIRA




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  Reply # 102612 2-Jan-2008 22:05
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Hey thanks for all your help. Very useful. I switched from AVG to Avast because AVG (at the time) didn't support multiuser in XP. I immediately found it was far liter than AVG. But some others swear by AVG and say it's better than Avast, which is why I ask.

Final questions: Do you have an opinion about Diskeeper Home edition? A lot of people say it works well but then I don't know if they are all talking about the proper edition which includes boot-time defrag. I'm keen just to use Windows Defrag if Diskeeper will possibly hit my system speed.

Also what about PC-Doctor 5?

The licenses for these are such that I have to decide from the start if I want them installed - can't get them later.

Man PC vendors get a LOT of commission for installing this stuff, and I'm sure kickbacks if I pay and upgrade to their proper versions.

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  Reply # 102633 3-Jan-2008 07:12
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If Diskeeper is running all the time, then it's wasting memory. As I posted above, disk fragmentation on a consumer PC is NOT a big problem at all. Once your core files are defragmented, they don't need to be defragmented again unless they're upgraded/changed.

There is so much marketing hype out there that people seem to think the slightest bit of disk fragmentation is bad, this is simply not true. You don't need diskeeper at all. Uninstall it and use the built in Windows defrag, or if you want a good defragger with more options, download and use jkdefrag, it's a GPL windows defragger that works well.

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  Reply # 102691 3-Jan-2008 13:21
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I run Diskeeper every couple of weeks. I never run boot defrag and I don't let the Diskeeper automatic real-time defrag run because in my case it does not improve much (large HDD with some space available).




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  Reply # 102812 3-Jan-2008 23:28
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I'm curious what Diskeeper does that standard MS Windows defrag doesn't?



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  Reply # 102823 4-Jan-2008 01:40
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So am I. The home edition doesn't include boot-time defrag which apparently DOES make the system faster. The product homepage claims that it defrags faster than Windows defrag but who would know.

I completely reinstalled Windows without it - in fact with nothing additional at all.

System running ok now (very fast shutdown at <30 seconds!).

However strangely startup is about 10 seconds slower :/ up to 1:10 to the login screen, up from 0:52. Desktop loading is about the same as before, so time from power-on to loaded desktop is at least 10 seconds slower.

I wonder if installing Avast would have increased the boot time (to the point of the logon screen)? But I don't know what Avast would have anything to do with that.

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