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Last post Author Topic: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?  (Read 14131 times)

Darwin

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2007, 07:39:38 PM »
Ha ha... that was one of my pet peeves about Cirond Winc, too. It insisted (despite my telling it to do otherwise a variety of ways, not least of which in its options dialog) on starting maximized. My mother in law consistently closed it on system start and then came to me to fix the Internet (if Winc isn't running it disables the wireless card - at least under Win2k). The D-Link utility is quite good, too.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

lanux128

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2007, 03:27:00 AM »
Have never heard of this program before but now giving it a shot on your good word.
I trust people here at DC.   :Thmbsup:
much appreciated.. :)

Update: after installing CPUidle the indicator showed 98 to 99% and it was CPUidle itself the culprit.
Even after reboot it remained same.
i think Carol answered this for me so root of the problem lies elsewhere.. will let you know if i came across anything..

dantheman

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2007, 04:27:41 AM »
Yep. CPUidle seems to be doing it's thing just fine.
Not yet 100% convinced that it will make my computer life much longer though.
Nothing about this software from Snapfiles nor CNet.

HP finally decided to change the hard drive after quite a few months of "labour".
One of those things i hope never happens to anyone.
When your computer goes away for 3 whole months... Naw, i won't get into that one.

Still back to square one.

-Have no way to remove Broadcom.
-Have installed all latest updates for XP Home except SP2.
-Dlink is working fine at keeping me logged on to local Network but line still sporadically falls from the internet (other pc's do not) without word of notice.

Darwin

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2007, 08:31:21 AM »
Good morning, Dan! By "Have no way to remove Broadcom" do you mean that you id'd it in the Control Panel/Program Files folder/running processes? If so, there's two thing to try:

-If the Control Panel applet is there (for Broadcom), try using either it or the Broadcom utility itself to disable the Broadcom utility from configuring you wireless connection.
-Alternative, try unchecking "Use Windows to Configue my wireless network settings" (top of the tab in your second screenshot, earlier post) and see if you are still connected afterward. You *might* have to reboot to see if this works. If it does not, go back to that tab and re-check the option (and unfortunately, probably have to reboot again... but give it a minute in both instances before rebooting - sometimes it just take time).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2007, 08:37:52 AM »
I don't know how Broadcom drivers work but with Netgear when you install the drivers you are given the option of using Netgear's applet or Windows Connection Manager - you also get this option if you update drivers.

Dan, have you checked Broadcom's website for new drivers for your WiFi interface? Most companies update these regularly and they may have fixed dropping connections issues.

Failing that borrow a USB interace from someone and try that for a while or try a cheap USB WiFi 'thumb' adapter or a PCMIA card adapter to find out if it is the Broadcom hardware causing the problems. You can configure a new adapter without upsetting the settings for the Broadcom adapter (you will just get two alternate WiFi connections in Windows Conncetion Manager page when you install a new adapter).

dantheman

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2007, 09:14:25 AM »
I don't know how Broadcom drivers work but with Netgear when you install the drivers you are given the option of using Netgear's applet or Windows Connection Manager - you also get this option if you update drivers.

Dan, have you checked Broadcom's website for new drivers for your WiFi interface? Most companies update these regularly and they may have fixed dropping connections issues.

Failing that borrow a USB interace from someone and try that for a while or try a cheap USB WiFi 'thumb' adapter or a PCMIA card adapter to find out if it is the Broadcom hardware causing the problems. You can configure a new adapter without upsetting the settings for the Broadcom adapter (you will just get two alternate WiFi connections in Windows Conncetion Manager page when you install a new adapter).

Boy! I should have followed up on my initial computer studies!
I have Broadcom 54g max perf. 802.11g (whatever that means) on a Compaq Presario R3210CA
It's just simple. I got lost on Broadcom's website!
Lost in space man!
 :(

If i could only find a quick contact somehow... who knows!   :-[

Darwin

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2007, 09:18:14 AM »
Don't know if you've been here, Dan, but it's a good start!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

dantheman

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2007, 09:32:11 AM »
Don't know if you've been here, Dan, but it's a good start!

Yes. That's exactly where i went.
Just did a request for support. Don't know how long that will take but hey! Life is full of good things like spaghetti, pizza and good ol' homemade bread right?!
 ;D

Thanks again to you all for keeping up on this thread.
I'm sure i'll make it to the end this time.

 :up:

Darwin

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2007, 11:37:53 AM »
Oh - forgot this little nugget: if you don't know what card you've got (which can be a problem when you are looking to update drivers), download SIW - it's a freeware system profiler and an excellent one at that!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2007, 12:01:57 PM »
If that doesn't work try SiSoft Sandra Lite (free)

[Update: OOPS the Lite version doesn't include network cards - sorry!]

WOW  - SIW is really useful.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2007, 12:16:41 PM by Carol Haynes »

Darwin

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2007, 12:23:25 PM »
Yeah, SIW is great. Thank JoTo for finding it, though  :Thmbsup:...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

dantheman

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2007, 12:36:12 PM »
Yeah, SIW is great. Thank JoTo for finding it, though  :Thmbsup:...

Have to go!
Did get a quick glance after installing this program and it does seem to cover quite a bit of ground. I saw Broadcom in there but not much more info about it than that which i have already.

Will take a closer look at it when i come back.

Thanks!


Carol Haynes

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2007, 12:57:03 PM »
Out of curiosity - what form is the Broadcom adapter in? Is it on the motherboard or is it on a PCMIA card that you can eject? If you can eject it I would guess that there will be a model number printed on it. If not I don't know much about accessing the bowels of a laptop (though I gather it is not as trivial as a desktop machine).

dantheman

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2007, 07:05:20 AM »
"By Georges" i think we're onto something!

Broadcom answered my request for support sending me over to my computer maker.
Hence, i went over to HP's site and randomly installed a few driver upgrades (not too sure which was best but took most recent) and it's been just fine since last night. No downtime in either network or internet connection!
Yay!   ;D

@Carol,
I'm afraid the only moveable thing on this notebook is the extra RAM.

Well, so far so good and i haven't upgraded to SP2 yet!
Did notice a slower start up with other upgrades though.
Sometimes i know the newer upgrades take time to install on reboot (like .net update i presume) but flexibility to move between users and open programs is just fine!  :Thmbsup:

Will i continue this way thus sacrificing the newer Paint.net program which requires a more recent .net gizmo?

Now i have another problem!
 :'(
Will i find the money to purchase CPUidle which seems to be effectively doing whatever it's doing...   :P

Lastly,

Would like to thank the fine people here for being so patient and generous in their time.
If i could make you a pizza and offer you a beer or glass of wine to go with it...   ;)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2007, 08:26:15 AM »
If i could make you a pizza and offer you a beer or glass of wine to go with it...   ;)

LOL - only if you deliver!

Glad things are working out for you.

Re. SP2 - personally I would go for it - the benefits outweigh any drawbacks (not that I have experienced any).

Some things you may want to try to get you system running smoother:

1) Download "crap cleaner" and let it root out all the rubbish on your system. I wouldn't use the registry fixer in it though - just delete rubbish files. Just be careful you diable 'delete cookies' for your browsers otherwise you will have to log in to all websites again when you visit them.

2) Use a fixed pagefile size (do a search for previous discussions on pagefile size) rather than letting windows manage it - it saves the file becoming fragmented and removes the need for windows to constantly grow and shrik the file. Rule of thump is 1.5 x the size of your memory. You can change it by going the "System" in the control panel. Click Advanced > Performance settings and choose the Advanced Tab. Click on Change and select the drive you want the page file to be on (if you have one hard disc use the drive windows chose - if you have 2 hard disk drives - not partitions physical drives - put it in a partition on the second drive and then set max/min sizes to 1.5 x memory size). Here is mine - I have 2Gb of memory (ie. 2048 MMb):

sc.gif

If you click on each partition one at a time and select No Pagefile - except the partition where you want it - on that one click on custom size and enter the max and min values. Click OK and then reboot.

3) Get a decent defragmenter (I use Perfect Disc - it isn't free but it is very good. If you do buy it there are often discounts, and make sure you buy the full version - not the suite which is crap). There is another thread (do a search on 'defrag and you will come up with a few of them here). Defragmenting your disc and reorganising the contents into a logical order (which is what PD does) speed up you system enormously. You can also do a boot time defrag in PD to ensure system files, that can't be defragged when Windows is running, are defragmented and put in sensible places on your disc. Windows built in defragment doesn't do the job properly.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2007, 08:37:29 AM by Carol Haynes »

Darwin

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2007, 09:00:55 AM »
Dan - great to hear that things are running smoothly. I have a notebook running XP Pro and it's never been a speed demon on startup (though  my wife's HP/Compaq Presario vaults through startup). You might want to take a look at what is running at startup. It's hard, because looking at the items as a list they often ALL seem indispensible. However, you could install something like mouser's FARR and set it up to launch some of those items that, while very handy, don't really need to be running all the time.

I did this with my computer and noticed a difference. Some examples of things that I disabled at startup: I'm behind a hardware firewall (like you) and disabled ZoneAlarm from running from startup - I only use it now when I am on someone else's network. Snag-It (my screencapturing app) used to run at startup. I disabled that and just launch it via my keyboard launcher when I need it. Ditto for Mophy Accents - great utility for typing accented letters like รต without having to mess around with charmap. I could go on, but the point is that if you boot, wait for everything to load and then hit ctrl-shift-esc to bring up your task manager and there are already more than 50 processes running, there is room to slim down your startup list. I'm still experimenting with my computer - there are a number of apps that I *should* disable but haven't yet - my system boots in under 2 minutes and I rarely reboot (I use Standby when I'm on AC and Hibernate if I know I'm going to be off AC for a while and need to conserve my battery), so I'm not really very concerned anymore.

PS One other thing to look at is installed software that you don't need/use/even remember installing. Slimming down your Program Files folder can boost your computers speed at both startup and in general operation. Again, quite hard to do - I keep getting down to about 240 programs installed and it then creeps up to 300+ over time. This is not including MS service packs and updates  :-[ My wife's computer, the startup speed demon, has about 140 apps installed...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

lanux128

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2007, 09:27:10 PM »
Now i have another problem!
 :'(
Will i find the money to purchase CPUidle which seems to be effectively doing whatever it's doing...   :P
cthorpe - the official DC discount co-ordinator has sent an email to the author.. let's see how things turn out :)

btw, glad to see things working out for you.. :Thmbsup: Carol and Darwin have already listed out some useful tools and for my part, i'd like to suggest that you use the forum search to find more about the freeware alternative used by DC members.

as an example, i use Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel to control start-up programs more effectively. :)

dantheman

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2007, 06:19:19 AM »
Now i have another problem!
 :'(
Will i find the money to purchase CPUidle which seems to be effectively doing whatever it's doing...   :P
cthorpe - the official DC discount co-ordinator has sent an email to the author.. let's see how things turn out :)

btw, glad to see things working out for you.. :Thmbsup: Carol and Darwin have already listed out some useful tools and for my part, i'd like to suggest that you use the forum search to find more about the freeware alternative used by DC members.

as an example, i use Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel to control start-up programs more effectively. :)

Lanux,

Will be on the lookout for that eventual discount for sure!

The posts here have been quite informative and much appreciated, thank you!
I already had Diskeeper to defrag and TuneUp Utilities to keep me in touch with various things but it's always good to learn about valid alternatives and to discover useful tips.

BTW, did i read elsewhere that a newborn has become a special member of your family?
Best wishes to the proud parents!
 :)

-Daniel

Carol Haynes

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2007, 06:54:13 AM »
I dropped Diskeeper some time ago and went back to Perfect Disk. I found DK just didn't do the job properly - and recent reviews of it haven't been that complimentary.

lanux128

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2007, 06:55:15 AM »
Lanux,

Will be on the lookout for that eventual discount for sure!

The posts here have been quite informative and much appreciated, thank you!
I already had Diskeeper to defrag and TuneUp Utilities to keep me in touch with various things but it's always good to learn about valid alternatives and to discover useful tips.

BTW, did i read elsewhere that a newborn has become a special member of your family?
Best wishes to the proud parents!
 :)

-Daniel

yes, you did.. thanks for the wishes, Daniel.. :)

dantheman

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2007, 09:08:46 AM »
I imagine Diskeeper is still a bit better than Windows own...

Darwin

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #46 on: August 26, 2007, 09:59:46 AM »
Windows own defragger is a feature reduced version of Diskeeper (an older version, though, I *think*). I'm running the latest version on my wife's notebook (Diskeeper 2007 Professional Premier) and PerfectDisk 7 on my own notebook. No problems with either of them. If you've already got DK, you're OK. If not, I'd look at PD because it is better value for the money (ie cheaper and has features at its price point that you have to pay a big premium for with Diskeeper).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

bugis

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #47 on: August 26, 2007, 10:29:55 AM »
I dropped Diskeeper some time ago and went back to Perfect Disk. I found DK just didn't do the job properly - and recent reviews of it haven't been that complimentary.

I've been using Diskeeper pro 2007 and never had a problem with it. Seems to do a fine job on my system, and the automatic defrag feature is really cool. Overall, system resource usage is very low, and results are great, so no cause for complaint from my side. 8)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #48 on: August 26, 2007, 12:47:57 PM »
The main problem with DK is that it doesn't fully defrag everything (to save time apparently) and it doesn't intelligently place files on the disc so fragmentation occurs more quickly after the defrag process. I found that DK always left gaps in the files on my disk (it didn't move everything up to remove small gaps). The net effect is that the file allocation system places files in these gaps and they are automatically fragmented all over the disc surface. I wrote and complained about this to DK (and the lack of control over file placement) and their response was "we know best". Not impressed.

PD has all the scheduling functions of DK (including screensaver mode which I like best) but it also allows you to run an extra intensive defrag whicjh removes all gaps on the disk. You can also set number of days for each drive to determine files that don't change, files that change occasionally and files that change regularly. This allows the files to be moved during defrag so that the files that don't change much can be in an area where they are blocked together and left undisturbed (similarly for the other file groups). This minimises the need for future defragamentation and makes them faster too.

Windows defrag is based on an old version of DK in pure brute force mode. Basically it just shoves everything up to the start of the disc in any old order. It also doesn't support boot time defrag which means that system files and the MFT get badly fragmented and lots of disk space is lost in excess fragments which it can't reclaim.

I find the biggest speed difference occurs after you do a boot time defrag followed by a full defrag. Without the boot time defrag all the system files are left in a fragmented mess which especially forces Windows to startup slowly.

bugis

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Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« Reply #49 on: August 26, 2007, 02:03:23 PM »
The main problem with DK is that it doesn't fully defrag everything (to save time apparently) and it doesn't intelligently place files on the disc so fragmentation occurs more quickly after the defrag process. I found that DK always left gaps in the files on my disk (it didn't move everything up to remove small gaps). The net effect is that the file allocation system places files in these gaps and they are automatically fragmented all over the disc surface. I wrote and complained about this to DK (and the lack of control over file placement) and their response was "we know best". Not impressed.

Yes, DK does not consolidate all the free space all the time, since they claim it does not really provide enough benefit to justify the work the drive has to do to move everything into one chunk everytime. I saw a more detailed discussion of this at some other site when I was trying out the different defraggers. It's bookmarked on another PC and I'll post it later when I have access to the PC.

Personally, I am on the fence when it comes to full free space consolidation. It seems to my n00bish reasoning that pushing up all the files into one contiguous block will not help delay fragmentation. Because, as soon as some of those files are modified

(1) they have no space to expand, resulting in file fragments placed after the block of consolidated files

(2) reduced file sizes result in space between the consolidated files leading to further fragmentation during writes.

Maybe if some 'locked' free space is left at the end of frequently modified files to allow only those files to exclusively expand without fragmenting, then that would be a better solution? How it could be done, I have no idea since it would be dificult to predict how much a file is going to expand  ;D

On a similar note, DK has a feature that allows you to enlarge the MFT to prevent fragmentation, but AFAIK none of the other defraggers have this.

That said, DK does consolidate free space reasonably well, atleast from what I can see in the graphical reports. Pity it does not give a detailed log like some other defraggers do. :mad:

Quote
PD has all the scheduling functions of DK (including screensaver mode which I like best) but it also allows you to run an extra intensive defrag whicjh removes all gaps on the disk. You can also set number of days for each drive to determine files that don't change, files that change occasionally and files that change regularly. This allows the files to be moved during defrag so that the files that don't change much can be in an area where they are blocked together and left undisturbed (similarly for the other file groups). This minimises the need for future defragamentation and makes them faster too.


Actually, DK's automatic mode is quite different from the scheduling function built into the other defraggers. It is an 'always-on' thing that defrags if (1) fragmentation has increased beyond some threshold (what is the value? No idea!) (2) enough idle resources are available to defrag without interfering with concurrently running apps. So, it's truly set-it-and-forget-it. That's what drew me to DK ultimately, it was a complete no-hassles solution with great results.  8) There is a conventional scheduler too, but I never use it.

I never understood how the placement method of PD worked in conjunction with the free space consolidation idea. Does it move the frequently modified files to the beginning of the drive and the rarely modified files to the end of the drive, leaving a large block of free space in the middle? Or does it bunch up all the files towards the beginning of the drive, but the order in which they are arranged is such that the most frequently modified are at the very beginning to provide the performance boost from faster access times?

But, that would also mean that a block of most frequently modified files stuffed together will fragment the quickest too, right? Or am I looking at it the wrong way? :stars:


Quote
Windows defrag is based on an old version of DK in pure brute force mode. Basically it just shoves everything up to the start of the disc in any old order. It also doesn't support boot time defrag which means that system files and the MFT get badly fragmented and lots of disk space is lost in excess fragments which it can't reclaim.

I find the biggest speed difference occurs after you do a boot time defrag followed by a full defrag. Without the boot time defrag all the system files are left in a fragmented mess which especially forces Windows to startup slowly.

That's very true. A good boot-time defrag is necessary to complete the process. Incidentally, I have my paging file on a separate, dedicated partition on a different drive to minimize fragmentation. My OS has it's own dedicated partition too. Infact, my drives are all partitioned to hell :D