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thurstongarden
2008-12-13, 12:54
My Dell Vostro 1500 is currently taking about 15 minutes to boot up. I plan during the Christmas break to do a full reinstall and thought that this might be a good time to create a partition for my FLAC files - currently 65Gb, but likely to grow slowly.

Is this a good idea, and if so, any tips for a Luddite to make it simple?

Ta.

Howard Passman
2008-12-13, 14:39
My Dell Vostro 1500 is currently taking about 15 minutes to boot up. I plan during the Christmas break to do a full reinstall and thought that this might be a good time to create a partition for my FLAC files - currently 65Gb, but likely to grow slowly.

Is this a good idea, and if so, any tips for a Luddite to make it simple?

Ta.

I believe any version of the Vostro has room for a second drive. I would install a seperate drive for your music rather than create a second partition. That way the OS and software can be backed up and defraged seperate from your music files.

BTW, 15 minutes is way too long. You need to check and see what is in you startup files. Are you familiar with MSCONFIG?

Howard

funkstar
2008-12-13, 15:27
I believe any version of the Vostro has room for a second drive. I would install a seperate drive for your music rather than create a second partition. That way the OS and software can be backed up and defraged seperate from your music files.
I don't agree, with only 65GB of Flacs there isn't really much need for a second drive, in my opinion of course.

Partitioning the drive will let you do all that without the cost of adding another drive.

Howard Passman
2008-12-13, 15:34
I don't agree, with only 65GB of Flacs there isn't really much need for a second drive, in my opinion of course.

Partitioning the drive will let you do all that without the cost of adding another drive.

You dare question me!! :-) Totally kidding. Anyway, if he's like most he won't stop at 65GB

Have a great weekend

Howard

JJZolx
2008-12-13, 19:52
Yeah, something is very wrong with your system and it likely has little to do with the storage of your Flac library.

One thing that a separate OS partition gives you is the ability to reinstall the OS and applications without affecting your data. Not something to be taken lightly, and since the first days of Windows XP, it's not something I've ever had to do. Still, if you wanted, you could then reformat the system partition, reinstall everything from scratch, while leaving your data intact. If you did this, then plan on keeping not just your Flac library in the data partition, but things like your Word files, spreadsheets, and any other important application files.

The most important thing, though, even if you don't muck about with partitions, is to have a good backup of your library and important data, most likely on an external hard drive that you can store someplace safe.

carrera
2008-12-14, 04:07
My Dell Vostro 1500 is currently taking about 15 minutes to boot up. I plan during the Christmas break to do a full reinstall and thought that this might be a good time to create a partition for my FLAC files - currently 65Gb, but likely to grow slowly.

Is this a good idea, and if so, any tips for a Luddite to make it simple?

Ta.

Hi,

15min for boot is too long.
Did you ever try a NetReset (thats how we call this in GY). The last PC I had did also use this 15min, and after the NetReset it works normal!

So to do the NetReset:
1. Shut down Your System
2. If availible, switch off the switch behind the PC where
the Power Supply is
3. Disconnect the Power Cable
4. With the Powercable beeing disconnected press the
Powerswitch on the front panel. and hold it down for 20
seconds.

After that, connect your Powercable again and with a little luck, your PC will start as usual.

Regards
carrera

thurstongarden
2008-12-14, 10:47
Thanks for the input chaps and chapesses. Unsure of how to do multiple quotes, I will add my replies:

1. I might well be able to put in a second drive, but it's a works laptop so I don't really want to.

2. No, I won't be stopping at 65Gb. That's me just re-ripped all my CD's having previously had them as mp3. The library will of course get bigger, but it won't be quick. I am tempted to look at getting a fit-pc next year and having it as a dedicated music server/storage. That way I can get all my FLAC off my works laptop. I can also go wired rather than wireless as at the moment.

3. I agree that there's something bad about my system. It's a very small firm with a retained IT bod but he's not much good. I prefer to keep my own machine clean, but I also fiddle... Time for a full reinstall!

4. MSCONFIG - yes I am familiar and have hoovered it out as best as I dare. I attach a screenshot of those that I have not had the courage to uncheck and would be grateful for any more I can get rid of.

5. I do have a 500Gb external drive for back ups and will be backing up all my music, photos and docs before the reinstall.

6. I have ZoneAlarm running (this actually seems to take quite a while to lad though), use AVG CCleaner and Spyware Doctor regularly and its apparently all clean. Any ideas on a light firewall? Or should I revert to Micro$not's own?

7. Power Button - tried that although firstime, it being a laptop, of course it fired up lol. Battery out on the second attempt but to no avail. It did remind me of my Apple days (10 years ago) when you could 'zap the P-ram' this power thing sounds quite similar. Didny work though sadly.

I never considered that the FLAC files were dragging the startup time down - but tried a defrag last week and I gave up after 14 hours and 23%! This is what brought me to the idea of creating a partition. Looks like it's a winner when I do the back up and reinstall.

Cheers again for the help - looking forward to more!

TG

Howard Passman
2008-12-14, 12:43
Thanks for the input chaps and chapesses. Unsure of how to do multiple quotes, I will add my replies:

1. I might well be able to put in a second drive, but it's a works laptop so I don't really want to.

2. No, I won't be stopping at 65Gb. That's me just re-ripped all my CD's having previously had them as mp3. The library will of course get bigger, but it won't be quick. I am tempted to look at getting a fit-pc next year and having it as a dedicated music server/storage. That way I can get all my FLAC off my works laptop. I can also go wired rather than wireless as at the moment.

3. I agree that there's something bad about my system. It's a very small firm with a retained IT bod but he's not much good. I prefer to keep my own machine clean, but I also fiddle... Time for a full reinstall!

4. MSCONFIG - yes I am familiar and have hoovered it out as best as I dare. I attach a screenshot of those that I have not had the courage to uncheck and would be grateful for any more I can get rid of.

5. I do have a 500Gb external drive for back ups and will be backing up all my music, photos and docs before the reinstall.

6. I have ZoneAlarm running (this actually seems to take quite a while to lad though), use AVG CCleaner and Spyware Doctor regularly and its apparently all clean. Any ideas on a light firewall? Or should I revert to Micro$not's own?

7. Power Button - tried that although firstime, it being a laptop, of course it fired up lol. Battery out on the second attempt but to no avail. It did remind me of my Apple days (10 years ago) when you could 'zap the P-ram' this power thing sounds quite similar. Didny work though sadly.

I never considered that the FLAC files were dragging the startup time down - but tried a defrag last week and I gave up after 14 hours and 23%! This is what brought me to the idea of creating a partition. Looks like it's a winner when I do the back up and reinstall.

Cheers again for the help - looking forward to more!

TG


Looks as if you have a lot of non-essential stuuf in your start up. Also it appears as if you have two instances of SC starting up.. Can't really tell because I can't see the paths.

In task manager, how many processes do you have running. On a laptop if it's much over 40-45 you may want to eliminate some of the. Only you know what needs to be running and better yet what needs to be in startup. My music server has 32 processes running including SC and Squeeze tray. In my start up folder I have SqueezeTray only. MSCONFIG shows 8 startup programs. You can't get much cleaner than that with Windows, but you can get much closer.

Clear your caches and temp files (Internet and others). Run a defrag and clean up your statup files. Make certain you have 1 firewall only. Mulitple firewalls are an invitation for disaster. Get rid of all but one virus, maleware, etc. program that is running. Most of the time after taking these steps things improve drastically especially start up times. You may also want to run a good maleware scan. My favorite is Malewarebytes. It's free and does a great job. Better than TrendMicro and others.

Good luck

Howard

thurstongarden
2008-12-14, 12:54
Cheers Howard.

56 processes running. I know our IT bod would complain about me having Rainlendar, Rainmeter and ObjectDock running to tweak my desktop (the fad might well pass soon though).

There's actually only 1 SC running - it was my pasting my screen grabs that was wonky!

Of to look at Malewarebytes now but if anyone has any suggestions of stuff I can bin from the msconfig, please shout!

Ta.

Howard Passman
2008-12-14, 13:01
Cheers Howard.

56 processes running. I know our IT bod would complain about me having Rainlendar, Rainmeter and ObjectDock running to tweak my desktop (the fad might well pass soon though).

There's actually only 1 SC running - it was my pasting my screen grabs that was wonky!

Of to look at Malewarebytes now but if anyone has any suggestions of stuff I can bin from the msconfig, please shout!

Ta.

Look in your start up folder and the All Users start up folder and get rid of anything in there that you don't need at start up. A good example of stuff that doesn't need to start is Adobe products, Photoshop products, printers tools from folks like HP, even Quicktime in most cases doesn't need to be in start up. Double check your virus/maleware stuff and especially the firewalls. I don;t know what the Rain things are, but I bet they really aren't necessary amd may be eating up CPU cyles.

I think you'll like malewarebytes (google can find it) You don't have to do the paid one, just the free downlaod scan. As a amtter of fact, the paid one sticks another process on your PC which has been known to interfer with some software, notably Nikon photo software.

Howard

thurstongarden
2008-12-14, 13:12
Malwarebytes is chugging away!

I got all excited about ALL USERS startup items... but it only has a 1kb SC shortcut in it.

Is it the actual startup folder that needs cleaned, or the programs one? Startup is clean but programs (below) aint!

Ta.

Howard Passman
2008-12-14, 14:14
Malwarebytes is chugging away!

I got all excited about ALL USERS startup items... but it only has a 1kb SC shortcut in it.

Is it the actual startup folder that needs cleaned, or the programs one? Startup is clean but programs (below) aint!

Ta.

Just the non-necessary stuff in the start up folder. Don't remove anything from programs.

Check here for trash.. C:\WINDOWS\Temp You can pretty much delete anything in here.

Then look here.. C:\Documents and Settings\Dad\Local Settings\Temp replace "dad" with your user name. Delete everything in there. Check your cookies also. I've seen 20-30,000 cookies in some PC's. It's juct wasted space and junk that needs to be defraged.

See what malewarebytes comes up with. That will be important.

Howard

MeSue
2008-12-14, 14:24
I'd get rid of the objectdock stuff and zone alarm. Personally, I find the firewall and malware detection provided with Windows to be just fine. It's already there and most software is already designed to work seamlessly with it. I just supplement it with the free anti-virus from Avira. This is the leanest-running AV software I have found, and if you Google you can find out to disable the upgrade ads.

Howard Passman
2008-12-14, 14:58
I'd get rid of the objectdock stuff and zone alarm. Personally, I find the firewall and malware detection provided with Windows to be just fine. It's already there and most software is already designed to work seamlessly with it. I just supplement it with the free anti-virus from Avira. This is the leanest-running AV software I have found, and if you Google you can find out to disable the upgrade ads.

Windows Live is going away. The firewall will still be there. I agree, I like Windows Firewall combined with a good virus protection (with no firewall enabled) I like Kaspersky best, which comes from using their scan engines on my virus appliances at work. TrendMicro works well also, but not as much in the background as Kaspersky. There are some decent free scanners, but almost always they fall by the wayside and in the time between when they worked well and the time they become lame, you are left unprotected.

I get tired of looking over my shoulder to save a few $$ a month. We spend a ton more on cable, VOIP, Netflix, Pandora, Rhapsody, XM, Sirius, Startbucks, corn chips, cell phones, iTunes, etc, et al.... :-)

I don't like surprises so I keep it clean, back it up and keep it current.

Howard

thurstongarden
2008-12-14, 15:10
OK - Malwarebytes cam up completely clean. Cookies and temps very few - I run CCleaner regularly.

I think ZoneAlarm will be binned tomorrow and look at rain stuff and object dock, both trying to emulate Vista desktop. Time to bin them!

MeSue
2008-12-14, 15:47
I like Kaspersky best, which comes from using their scan engines on my virus appliances at work. TrendMicro works well also, but not as much in the background as Kaspersky. There are some decent free scanners, but almost always they fall by the wayside and in the time between when they worked well and the time they become lame, you are left unprotected.

I get tired of looking over my shoulder to save a few $$ a month. We spend a ton more on cable, VOIP, Netflix, Pandora, Rhapsody, XM, Sirius, Startbucks, corn chips, cell phones, iTunes, etc, et al.... :-)

I get what you're saying, but anti-virus is something I don't believe in paying for. I personally just don't feel that anyone should profit from viruses. What incentive do they have to really fight them, then?

I know a lot of people rave about Kaspersky, but when I tried it, I got several false positives, it slowed my web browsing to a crawl, and blocked me from playing YouTube and other embedded videos. So away it went. False positives was the whole reason I was looking for a replacement to Avast in the first place. So far, Avira has been very good while using minimal system resources.

Sorry for the OT, Thurston.

Dogberry2
2008-12-15, 08:28
I personally just don't feel that anyone should profit from viruses. What incentive do they have to really fight them, then?
Do you go to a doctor or pharmacist when you're sick? Do you pay them? Do they therefore have no incentive to fight diseases and cure people?

Do you pay state or municipal taxes for a local police force? Do they not thereby profit from crime? Do they still have an incentive to fight crime?

Does your local fire department have an incentive to fight fires, despite the fact that they get paid to fight fires?

If we refused to pay doctors and police and firemen for their efforts, would they then have greater incentive to do their jobs?

Just curious, I am. That's all.

Mark Lanctot
2008-12-15, 08:43
I never considered that the FLAC files were dragging the startup time down - but tried a defrag last week and I gave up after 14 hours and 23%! This is what brought me to the idea of creating a partition. Looks like it's a winner when I do the back up and reinstall

But FLACs wouldn't generally tend to fragment. They get written once and then are generally not touched.

It's not a bad idea to put them on a separate partition (even better to put them on a separate drive) but you will probably find that they don't fragment too much because they're so static.

In regards to startup processes, a free program which I've used for a very long time is Codestuff Starter: http://codestuff.tripod.com/products_starter.html It allows you to see a few more things than MSCONFIG and has a handy Google search function that allows you to search each startup item.

Goodsounds
2008-12-15, 09:23
Do you go to a doctor or pharmacist when you're sick? Do you pay them? Do they therefore have no incentive to fight diseases and cure people?

Do you pay state or municipal taxes for a local police force? Do they not thereby profit from crime? Do they still have an incentive to fight crime?

Does your local fire department have an incentive to fight fires, despite the fact that they get paid to fight fires?

If we refused to pay doctors and police and firemen for their efforts, would they then have greater incentive to do their jobs?

Just curious, I am. That's all.

Well said Dogberry. Seemed an odd comment.

Goodsounds
2008-12-15, 09:34
But FLACs wouldn't generally tend to fragment. They get written once and then are generally not touched.

It's not a bad idea to put them on a separate partition (even better to put them on a separate drive) but you will probably find that they don't fragment too much because they're so static.



I have no idea what "rules" the software follows when writing files to a drive, but a large file written to a fragmented drive is going to be fragmented from the outset. Whether it's static or not isn't going to matter.

I've experienced this myself on a not too fragmented drive. I'd be interested in knowing what the drive firmware tries to do.

thurstongarden
2008-12-16, 04:16
OK, although I seem to have hijacked my own thread about start-up times rather than creating a partition, it's all massively helpful.

So - no malware, clean antivirus scan, no cache/temp etc, down to 14 startup items and 42 processes running. Startup time is reduced to, wait for it.... 10 mins (including waiting 2 mins for SC).

I think a full re-install (which will sort out my cr4p startup time) and create a partition (so the FLAC files will go on a clean partition and not be fragmented, ever) is in order.

Any tips for doing this?

Howard Passman
2008-12-16, 04:47
OK, although I seem to have hijacked my own thread about start-up times rather than creating a partition, it's all massively helpful.

So - no malware, clean antivirus scan, no cache/temp etc, down to 14 startup items and 42 processes running. Startup time is reduced to, wait for it.... 10 mins (including waiting 2 mins for SC).

I think a full re-install (which will sort out my cr4p startup time) and create a partition (so the FLAC files will go on a clean partition and not be fragmented, ever) is in order.

Any tips for doing this?

Maybe one last thing to check would be your memory. There are lots of utilities available for download to do the job. Check here for some of them. www.majorgeeks.com. Check to see if it's recognizing all of your RAM and how well it tests.

Also, have you started it in Safe Mode? Does it take just as long? If it does can you see where during the load it stops or lags?

If you do to a re-install first you'd need to back up everything. It may not be wise to reinstall anything from a backup except your data. If you have any type of software issue then you would just be re-loading it right along with everything else. Probably too long for a post, but make sure you have your OS disc, drivers disc and and programs you will be reloading. Don't neglect the drivers. Finding them after the fact can be daunting and in some cases impossible. You can get them off of your back up as long as you can find them. I'm sure there's a way to create a list of what your computer is using and maybe someone will chime in on that.

Next, you'll use your OS disc to re-format the drive and load your OS back. If you aren't sure how to do that you can get some help outside of posting on the thread. I'm sure many here would be glad to help.

Howard

thurstongarden
2008-12-17, 03:02
OK - the nice people at Dell are sending me an OS disk. They also emailed me a link on reinstalling and creating a partition, so it's all guns blazing come the holidays!

Best startup time I can get down to is 7 mins, a vast improvement on 15, but 2 or 3 mins is probably the norm. I think having my music on a clean partition will save a lot of time in the future - I am going to start the back up to my external HD when I leave for my parents on Xmas Eve. Hopefully it will all be moved over by my return on Boxing Day. Then the partitioning can begin!

Thanks all for the pointers. I will update you on progress shortly!

TG.

Howard Passman
2008-12-17, 03:26
OK - the nice people at Dell are sending me an OS disk. They also emailed me a link on reinstalling and creating a partition, so it's all guns blazing come the holidays!

Best startup time I can get down to is 7 mins, a vast improvement on 15, but 2 or 3 mins is probably the norm. I think having my music on a clean partition will save a lot of time in the future - I am going to start the back up to my external HD when I leave for my parents on Xmas Eve. Hopefully it will all be moved over by my return on Boxing Day. Then the partitioning can begin!

Thanks all for the pointers. I will update you on progress shortly!

TG.

Hi Thurston, Not to beat this in to the ground, but did they send you a drivers disk? If not, the lbest you can do is go to Dell support and find where you can look up your system. I think under support.dell you look for drivers and downloads. Put in your system number and download all the drivers for your system. It may not be everything, but it will be a good start. Just to drive my point home, go to start/run and type cmd and press enter. In the command window type driverquery and see what list of drivers it brings up. Those are all on your PC. A lot of them are included with Windows, but as many aren't.

When you partition, make sure you make the primary partition large enough for expansion in case you add software. You really don't want to put anything but data on the second partition. Personally, I wish you would reconsider partitioning and put a second drive in. It makes a lot more sense in the long run for expansion, maintenance, etc.. Another plus is if you ever find yourself in this situation again you will only have to load back the OS and not all of the music, etc. Much fater and easier.

Either way, good luck and have fun over Christmas.

Howard

thurstongarden
2008-12-17, 03:38
Howard

It appears the Vostro 1500 has a single HD bay. http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/139444/dell-vostro-dual-hard-drives-vista-/

I think you are right about having the music on a separate disk altogether - now I am thinking, should I spend a little of my Xmas bonus on a fit-pc, upgrade the 60Gb HD, install Ubuntu and have no music on my laptop at all. It is not mine, but a works one, so I was wary of buying another drive for it.

I guess I can have the headless fit-pc on my network and rip CD's on my laptop and copy them over to the fit-pc quite simply?

Cheers.

Howard Passman
2008-12-17, 03:43
Howard

It appears the Vostro 1500 has a single HD bay. http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/139444/dell-vostro-dual-hard-drives-vista-/

I think you are right about having the music on a separate disk altogether - now I am thinking, should I spend a little of my Xmas bonus on a fit-pc, upgrade the 60Gb HD, install Ubuntu and have no music on my laptop at all. It is not mine, but a works one, so I was wary of buying another drive for it.

I guess I can have the headless fit-pc on my network and rip CD's on my laptop and copy them over to the fit-pc quite simply?

Cheers.

I'm sorry, I keep forgetting you are using a laptop. DOH!

Howard

thurstongarden
2008-12-17, 03:55
Fit-pc plus 160Gb HD would probably run at 300 delivered. Do I/don't I?

Can I have Ubuntu on the fit-pc and have it talk to my XP laptop on the network?

Howard Passman
2008-12-17, 06:03
Fit-pc plus 160Gb HD would probably run at 300 delivered. Do I/don't I?

Can I have Ubuntu on the fit-pc and have it talk to my XP laptop on the network?

I would think you could, but I'm not the guy to ask on that. You could use XP on the Fit-PC if it won't work.

I get the feeling you are trying to stay very small relative tot he footprint..

Howard

Mark Lanctot
2008-12-17, 07:18
I think having my music on a clean partition will save a lot of time in the future

This is a good idea, but it's probably not contributing to your long start times because music isn't accessed on startup.

What does affect startup is all the useless crap that Dell (and just about everybody else!) puts on your system that has to check for various things. Adobe Reader checks to see if there are any updates, Office has a resident application for "faster" startup later (at the expense of slower startup on boot), etc.

Critically examine every item in your task manager and every item in services.msc, google it and ask if you really need it.


Can I have Ubuntu on the fit-pc and have it talk to my XP laptop on the network?

Yes. Ubuntu's file sharing system, samba, is designed to emulate a Windows share.

Ubuntu also doesn't come with too much stuff to start up, so boot times should be a lot faster. Even my old 400 MHz AMD K6-2 (with xubuntu) takes about a minute to boot.

thurstongarden
2008-12-17, 07:19
I get the feeling you are trying to stay very small relative tot he footprint..

It has nothing to do with being a tight Scotsman, more the fact that the fit-pc only draws 7W and can therefore be always on, and have a totty wee Carbon Footprint :-)

Howard Passman
2008-12-17, 07:51
It has nothing to do with being a tight Scotsman, more the fact that the fit-pc only draws 7W and can therefore be always on, and have a totty wee Carbon Footprint :-)

No, that wasn't a comment on being a Scotsman :-) I actually thought you were trying to keep your equipemtn with in a certain size or portable. 7 watts is pretty darn good. My Shuttle has no fan, no optical drives, no keyboard or monitor, but I bet it pulls more than that. Is it even alive :-)

Howard

MeSue
2008-12-17, 09:12
My best advice for clean installing Windows is to have another computer available with internet access. Then if you run in to trouble you can Google for help, drivers, or whatever you need. Second tip would be to image the drive after the deed is done and things are running how you like them, so you never have to do it again.

Have you considered getting an external drive (or NAS) just for the music? Then if you later decide to move SC off the work laptop, the music can be moved easily to the new system.

thurstongarden
2008-12-28, 13:42
Well, after much sweating and huffing and puffing, I now have a clean install with a 100Gb partition dedicated to music.

It was not easy I will say that! Perhaps a driver CD would have helped! Oh well, OH's laptop came into play and all is well.

Gradually getting necessary programs reinstalled and plan to copy my music files over from my back up disk to the laptop during the night.

I won't be in a hurry to do that again!

Thanks for all the ponters though. Start up is down to under 2 mins!