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Poll

Windows 7 due in 2010 — will you hold out and skip Vista?

YES, I'm happy with XP
235 (77.3%)
NO, I'll use Vista
61 (20.1%)
Still using Win98!
1 (0.3%)
I don't use Windows
3 (1%)
Don't know or don't care
4 (1.3%)

Total Members Voted: 287

Last post Author Topic: XP or Vista user — take the poll!  (Read 50143 times)

f0dder

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #100 on: September 17, 2007, 07:13:17 AM »
And defrag, how does it work without meters? Like Scandisk in XP?
There's no "scandisk" in XP, only chkdsk... and chkdsk, while being a console app, does have progress meters... (oh yeah, there's the graphical tool on drive property sheet as well, and even that has a progress bar).

Defrag in Vista simply says "defragmenting your drive, this may take between a couple of minutes and a couple of hours" and lets you cancel... but has no progress indication whatsoever (appearantly there's still a console-mode version with a bit of progress indication though, but I haven't checked that).
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Lashiec

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #101 on: September 17, 2007, 09:21:01 AM »
Ahem, well, the thing that we used to call Scandisk :)

A friend told me a few days ago that Vista has this background defragging feature, so that's maybe why they removed all MMC-related code, and left a barebones version. Oh, well, we have JKDefrag anyway :D

f0dder

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #102 on: September 17, 2007, 10:18:44 AM »
Afaik you can schedule the standard XP defrag as well, so it's no excuse for removing the interface in Crapsta... I wonder if it's the general "users are dumb" attitude, or to let other people at the defrag market more easily...
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bugis

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #103 on: September 17, 2007, 01:47:32 PM »
IMHO,  Vista's defrag is a mixed bag...it uses fewer resources than XP's defragger even though it runs in the background most of the time, so that's a plus; but on the other hand it never seems to finish what it set out to do, unlike third party defraggers. I personally like automatic defragmentation in general because once you set it up it autodefragments intelligently, and  you usually don't have to bother with manual defrag jobs, setting schedules, worry about a schedule running during a busy time etc.,  So, the philosophy behind the Vista defrag is not wrong per se, it's just that it doesn't deliver the results expected. Who knows, maybe MS will fix it down the line via an update or in SP1.

Armando

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #104 on: September 17, 2007, 03:26:37 PM »
I personally like automatic defragmentation in general because once you set it up it autodefragments intelligently, and  you usually don't have to bother with manual defrag jobs, setting schedules, worry about a schedule running during a busy time etc.,   

One potential problem with constant automatic defrag is if you use an imaging technology as part of your backup system. Acronis true Image, for instance, won't be able to use the advantages of differential/incremental backups after defragmentation (i.e. Incremental image will be as big as the first one). If you manually defragment, you can decide to only do it once every 2 months or so and still use incremental imaging...

Carol Haynes

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #105 on: September 17, 2007, 03:40:59 PM »
I personally like automatic defragmentation in general because once you set it up it autodefragments intelligently, and  you usually don't have to bother with manual defrag jobs, setting schedules, worry about a schedule running during a busy time etc.,   

One potential problem with constant automatic defrag is if you use an imaging technology as part of your backup system. Acronis true Image, for instance, won't be able to use the advantages of differential/incremental backups after defragmentation (i.e. Incremental image will be as big as the first one). If you manually defragment, you can decide to only do it once every 2 months or so and still use incremental imaging...


It's not quite true - if you defrag at the files level then lots of files don't change from one defrag to the next (and neither does their position on the partition) consequently TrueImage will still produce reasonable incremental or differential backups. It is only when you use defragmenters that reorganise your whole hard disc that you cause imaging software problems because the new backups will be the same size as the base backup.

Once your system has had time to 'bed in' with use you can use something like Perfect Disc to organise you file layout and then there do a baseline backup. Future defrags won't need to touch many files that are remain unfragmented so you can still use incremental/differential backup techniques. The backup sizes will be a little bigger than if you didn't defrag but unless you are short of backup space it doesn't really cause a problem.

The main problem with imaging is when defrag sofware is running continuously in the background. If you try and do any sort of backup while a defrag is in process you are likely to end up with a corrupt image because most backup software can't cope with the bitmap changing enormously. Many use Volume Shadow Copy service to lock files while they are being backed up - but I'm not sure if VSC takes into account an active defrag going on at the same time. Best advice is before a backup disable any automatic defragmenters (including the one built into Windows Vista).

Armando

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #106 on: September 17, 2007, 03:52:51 PM »
Interesting. Thanks Carol. I must admit though that I was never able to have defragmentation work well with incremental images. I always en up with huge backups. So I've given up on frequent or automated defragmentation. (I now use JkDefrag, and used to have Diskeeper 1-2 years ago -- maybe Perfect Disk has options that would allow a harmonious coexistence with True Image....???)

Carol Haynes

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #107 on: September 17, 2007, 06:10:08 PM »
I find Perfect Disk progressively places files that don't change much in fixed places - which means increments don't get too big (OK they are bigger than they should be but not huge).

f0dder

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #108 on: September 18, 2007, 03:59:37 AM »
If you use incremental backups, you'll usually be backing up at file level rather than doing imaging, and thus defragmenting won't affect things in any way - imho disk images should be for a baseline 100% clean system after you've just set it up with all your stuff, while backups should be done at the file level...

I'm still not keen on background defraggers though. I want control of when there's disk activity.
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Carol Haynes

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #109 on: September 18, 2007, 04:22:59 AM »
TrueImage does incremental and differential backups for images as well as at file level. If you want to be able to restore your system complete with installed apps the imaging is the only way to do it. I agree that you should get a "just installed image" of your system but for daily/weekly/monthly backups (however often you choose to do it ... and that reminds me ...) increments for the image are ideal. You can use it like a System Restore (albeit a bit slower but works properly) and has certainly been a life saver for me at times.

Ideally you need a cycle of something like:

Baseline Backup 1 ... Inc 1 ... Inc 2 ... Inc 3 ... .... ... Inc n (however long you want to keep this up)
Baseline Backup 2 ... Inc 1 ...etc.
Baseline Backup 3 (at which point all the increments for backup 1 become a bit irrelevant).

Generally I try to keep the current and last two baseline backups - but only one set of previous backup increments. That way I can wind back to recent daily backups but also jumpt straight back a few weeks to if a problem arises that seems to have started a while ago but was hidden.

File level backup is really only useful for data files - but I agree incremental backups should be unaffected in that case by defragmentation.

Armando

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #110 on: September 18, 2007, 11:00:50 AM »
TrueImage does incremental and differential backups for images as well as at file level. If you want to be able to restore your system complete with installed apps the imaging is the only way to do it. I agree that you should get a "just installed image" of your system but for daily/weekly/monthly backups (however often you choose to do it ... and that reminds me ...) increments for the image are ideal. You can use it like a System Restore (albeit a bit slower but works properly) and has certainly been a life saver for me at times.

Ideally you need a cycle of something like:

Baseline Backup 1 ... Inc 1 ... Inc 2 ... Inc 3 ... .... ... Inc n (however long you want to keep this up)
Baseline Backup 2 ... Inc 1 ...etc.
Baseline Backup 3 (at which point all the increments for backup 1 become a bit irrelevant).

Generally I try to keep the current and last two baseline backups - but only one set of previous backup increments. That way I can wind back to recent daily backups but also jumpt straight back a few weeks to if a problem arises that seems to have started a while ago but was hidden.

File level backup is really only useful for data files - but I agree incremental backups should be unaffected in that case by defragmentation.

[off topic]This pretty much how I do it.

In my backup strategy, Images are not only for "baseline 100% clean system after you've just set it up with all your stuff". I image my C drive once every 2 weeks/month (depending on how much I've change my system), and use increments whenever its more convenient. Like Carol, these Images constitute my “SystemRestore” (a bit more flexible — can store images where ever I want — but slower than something like Firstdefense). I always have at least 6 months worth of images + archives of the first "baseline 100% clean system....". I use SyncbackSE for everyday Data backup. (See http://www.donationc...99.msg58886#msg58886 for the details of my backup strategy — it changed a bit since then, but not by much.). I also Image my document partition once every 4 months for archiving purposes (on DVDs). [/off-topic]

[deXter]

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #111 on: October 02, 2007, 12:36:53 AM »
It depends on SP1. If SP1 turns out to be the medicine Vista needs, I'll puchase a new PC and switch over. It also depends if I can continue to survive on this 10 year old PC. As long as my fav. software don't become bloatware  ;D
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f0dder

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #112 on: October 02, 2007, 03:36:36 AM »
10 year old PC + crapsta? Good luck, it's a slow pig (compared to XP) even on recent machines :)
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mwang

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #113 on: October 04, 2007, 04:08:16 PM »
It's not quite true - if you defrag at the files level then lots of files don't change from one defrag to the next (and neither does their position on the partition) consequently TrueImage will still produce reasonable incremental or differential backups. It is only when you use defragmenters that reorganise your whole hard disc that you cause imaging software problems because the new backups will be the same size as the base backup.

Sorry, I wasn't following this thread and saw this just now. I'm not sure I understand here. What's defrag'ing at the files level?

Carol Haynes

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #114 on: October 04, 2007, 04:48:43 PM »
Defragmenting individual files or just groups of files rather than whole discs. That is moving a single file or group of files on your hard disc so that the data is stored in a single contiguous block.

There are free tools out there to do that (see SysInternals) but with a defragmenter such as PerfectDisc which organises your files on the basis of how often they change even defragmenting a whole disc effectively becomes only defragmenting a few files over a period of time as the files that don't change are blocked together. This effectively means that incremental backups will be larger than if you didn't defrag but the increase in size won't be huge or counter productive.

tomos

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #115 on: October 05, 2007, 03:39:53 AM »
... with a defragmenter such as PerfectDisc which organises your files on the basis of how often they change even defragmenting a whole disc effectively becomes only defragmenting a few files over a period of time as the files that don't change are blocked together. This effectively means that incremental backups will be larger than if you didn't defrag but the increase in size won't be huge or counter productive.

now that sound like a reason to have a defragmenter that costs money
Tom

Carol Haynes

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #116 on: October 05, 2007, 04:45:00 AM »
Then all you have to do is to remember to defrag regularly (I don't like using schedules because it always does things when you least want it) and to do backups regularly (for the same reason)! The last thing I want is something trying to kick in when I am burning a CD ROM or I am doing something that involves processing huge files that takes a couple of hours anyway.

I suppose I should use a scheduled notice to remind me!

mwang

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #117 on: October 07, 2007, 07:26:30 AM »
Defragmenting individual files or just groups of files rather than whole discs. That is moving a single file or group of files on your hard disc so that the data is stored in a single contiguous block.

Got it. Thanks. I knew that, but I misunderstood your statement about "TrueImage will still produce reasonable incremental or differential backups" after file defrag. operation. I thought you suggested there's a kind of file defrag. that wouldn't move sectors (of a file) around, and I wondered how that's possible. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

mitzevo

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #118 on: October 07, 2007, 07:53:50 AM »
I think I will stay on XP (and lower, if wanted/need) for a another year or 2. I've read so much bad stuff about vista...

  • requires some pretty high end hardware - some thing i don't have - to get any decent performance
  • sp1 is not out yet, and from what i hear, it's not that good and doesnt address most problems people have experienced
  • windows xp is actually pretty solid, well tweaked ofcourse

some reads:

Since we are advancing into the future (as usual), computers are getting more advanced (surprise) which probably does mean less choice/privacy/control.. i dont expect "windows 7" to be any less restrictive as vista - i think hope will be left with free os's.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.

Josh

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #119 on: October 07, 2007, 08:48:43 AM »
Restrictive? People keep talking about this. I have not once had a problem playing any content on my computer. No problems with copy protection, no problems with DRM, nothing. So if someone who HAS HAD THESE PROBLEMS, not read about them, could post, I would love to hear what exactly is going on.

Ralf Maximus

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #120 on: October 07, 2007, 11:17:30 AM »
Josh: Me, me, me.

I set up a test machine (Dell Dimension 3000, 512M RAM) with Vista so I could evaluate its wonderfulness. 

The first thing I had trouble with was networking.  After I got the durn thing to recognize my network (the ONLY machine so far to have this problem) it would stay connected for a few hours then drop off mysteriously.  Never did resolve that issue.

Next, I set the machine to hibernate after six hours of inactivity.  The next day, the machine would not restore from hibernation; I had to do a cold boot to get it back.

Then I tried installing a bunch of apps to get the machine ready for testing.  The most notable crash came with VS6; it started to install and then *whiff*.  Nothing.

I spoke with a friend who'd played with Vista and he suggested turning DRM off.  I did this, and VS6 (SP5) installed.  But compiling an app caused the same *whiff* then nothing effect; VS was gone from the task manager like it never existed.

The next thing I tried was FDISK.  That seemed to erase Vista completely from the harddrive and my troubles were over.

Granted, I could probably have figured out all the secret magical incantations necessary to make it behave, but why on earth should that be necessary?  If I wanted to relearn an operating system I'd be powering through Linux right now.

Josh

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #121 on: October 07, 2007, 11:22:23 AM »
Now, you say turn drm off. How exactly do you turn it off? I dont see a "DRM" service or anything similar. DRM is for MEDIA (Music, Video), not applications.

VS6 is also outdated, no longer supported, and this is probably a good reason that it doesnt work in Vista.

jgpaiva

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #122 on: October 07, 2007, 11:25:50 AM »
For a specific example of DRM problems, see this post on our forum, by a known user which couldn't get his genuine movie to play on WMP. (i think it was on XP, tough)

Carol Haynes

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #123 on: October 07, 2007, 11:27:09 AM »
VS6 is still used by many coders - can they not use Vista at all without spending a fortune?

I agree about some of the issues though - FDISK should not be used with XP or Vista - neither OS (and no OS based on NTFS) is designed to use FDISK. There are other tools that support large hard discs and are properly compatible with current filesystems.

mitzevo

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Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« Reply #124 on: October 07, 2007, 11:35:02 AM »
Carol i think the fdisk part was Ralf Maximus's solution to all the problems ;D
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.