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  1. #1
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Location
    bergen county, new jersey
    Posts
    784

    Back to Windows, and I am lost.

    My fling with Linux is kinda at its last legs and I am reverting back to Windows.

    I did the system recovery on my machine and HP loads the system with alot of crap. The system is not as responsive (ie. slower) as it was once before when I had Windows installed. I have not touched a Windows system at home in a while soI am kinda lost on what guides to look at to make Windows more responsive. One notation of the slowness, is when I delete an item from the Quick Start bar, it takes 30 seconds to a minute to complete its deletion, and the system is unresponsive. I need the system to be able to handle heavy graphic and 3D work as I know it can do, but I cannot accept this slow down.

    The system in question is a HP a810n:
    AMD64 3300+ 2.4ghz 256 cache 754pin (true 64 bit chip, not a Sempron)
    Asus motherboard SIS based (stuffed in shoes - can't type the other wordI am thinking about)
    1 gig (2x512) PC 4200 (different brands)
    4 Hard drives (2 IDE; Seagate, Maxtor 160GBs / 2 Sata Maxtor 100/160GB) Windows is installed on the SATA 100Gb
    Nvidia Ti4400 (getting a new card soon!!)
    Belkin Wireless
    Soundblaster Audigy sound card
    Antec 380wt PSU

    My main questions are:

    What steps to make Windows more repsonsive, faster, as I know it can be on my system? The last time I had a Windows partition running, it was never connected to the internet, which probably lead to the repsonsiveness I had last. But how can i achieve that with Windows being connected to the internet?

    What are the better, free/low cost solutions for firewalls, anti-virus, ad-ware, spyware, etc (the joys of a Windows world)? I currently use Zone Alarm and AVG. Are those solutions still viable today?

    Driver issues. I know/believe my HP has been restored to it's factory settings as well as drivers. But how can I make sure the drivers are installed? Would the slow down be a driver issue?

    Could the slowdown be a PSU issue? I am thinking of doing a upgrade on the PSU for the new Video card I am considering, but if it is good enough, then should I even bother? I was thinking of running only 2 Hard drives to compensate for a power usage, but only one drive (Sata 100gb) is hooked up for this install, which is mind boggling.

    If the above is a driver/motherboard issue, I have another motherboard as a backup (Gigabyte K8NS-Pro), can I install Windows through the recovery and switch motherboards and the install the new drivers (if I remember correctly on how to do this, Linux just does it)?

    The Gigabyte board seems to be VERY picky with memory, anyone have good advise on what memory I can use for this board. I wanted it to utilize the third memory slot that is mainly absent in these boards (too costly ATM to go to 939/AM2). Has anyone ran this board with all three slots populated and with which memory? My memory gives the system alot of memory errors, and I do not believe it is compatible with said motherboard. I want to know if this is a viable board for my usage. No overclocking here. I need to know before I drop $300+ in 3 gigs of memory.

    Thanks alot up front for reading this and helping out!

    Jason/centered effect

  2. #2
    Joined
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    14,223

    Re: Back to Windows, and I am lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by centered effect View Post
    My fling with Linux is kinda at its last legs and I am reverting back to Windows.

    I did the system recovery on my machine and HP loads the system with alot of crap. The system is not as responsive (ie. slower) as it was once before when I had Windows installed. I have not touched a Windows system at home in a while soI am kinda lost on what guides to look at to make Windows more responsive. One notation of the slowness, is when I delete an item from the Quick Start bar, it takes 30 seconds to a minute to complete its deletion, and the system is unresponsive. I need the system to be able to handle heavy graphic and 3D work as I know it can do, but I cannot accept this slow down.

    The system in question is a HP a810n:
    AMD64 3300+ 2.4ghz 256 cache 754pin (true 64 bit chip, not a Sempron)
    Asus motherboard SIS based (stuffed in shoes - can't type the other wordI am thinking about)
    1 gig (2x512) PC 4200 (different brands)
    4 Hard drives (2 IDE; Seagate, Maxtor 160GBs / 2 Sata Maxtor 100/160GB) Windows is installed on the SATA 100Gb
    Nvidia Ti4400 (getting a new card soon!!)
    Belkin Wireless
    Soundblaster Audigy sound card
    Antec 380wt PSU
    That system should be more than capable of running the Windows XP desktop environment quickly and smoothly.

    Quote Originally Posted by centered effect View Post
    My main questions are:

    What steps to make Windows more repsonsive, faster, as I know it can be on my system? The last time I had a Windows partition running, it was never connected to the internet, which probably lead to the repsonsiveness I had last. But how can i achieve that with Windows being connected to the internet?
    There's a guide in my user signature (at the bottom of this post) which has a few tips on how to speed up your PC. Have a look through that for starters. Also download HijackThis, run it and post the log file contents here. With that, we can help you work out what else you can clean up. Also, you might like to look into defragmenting the hard drives. The Windows defragmenter is pretty weak, but there are a few good suggestions in this recent thread.

    Before you do that, I suggest that you download the Seagate and Maxtor drive diagnostics tools and run them. A damaged/dying hard drive can cause slowdowns. Get the CD ISO's, burn them to CD and boot the PC to the CD's. That takes Windows out of the testing process.
    Maxtor PowerMax
    Seagate SeaTools

    Ideally you should test the PSU and RAM first, as faults in either of these can affect the results of a drive diagnostics test.

    Quote Originally Posted by centered effect View Post
    What are the better, free/low cost solutions for firewalls, anti-virus, ad-ware, spyware, etc (the joys of a Windows world)? I currently use Zone Alarm and AVG. Are those solutions still viable today?
    I use AVG, ZoneAlarm, AdAware and Spybot. I find AVG is still great for me, though it doesn't rank highly on various AV reviews. I don't place much weight on AV reviews because there are a few factors that they fail to take into account, which may contradict real life performance. If I suspect I have any malware on my PC, I'll run a bunch of other online and/or locally installed on-demand AV programs. You can read up on a current discussion about what people think might be the best of these programs in this thread. You should also checkout this Spyware, Trojans and Viruses sticky post in our Networking forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by centered effect View Post
    Driver issues. I know/believe my HP has been restored to it's factory settings as well as drivers. But how can I make sure the drivers are installed? Would the slow down be a driver issue?
    Check out Device Manager (Windows key + Break key - or Start Menu > Run and type devmgmt.msc). If there are any devices with symbols beside them (X, ! or ?) , that indicates a problem, as does having any Unknown devices. It's unlikely that this will be the problem, but having proper drivers is a good step towards your system running properly. Newer drivers aren't always better either.

    Quote Originally Posted by centered effect View Post
    Could the slowdown be a PSU issue? I am thinking of doing a upgrade on the PSU for the new Video card I am considering, but if it is good enough, then should I even bother? I was thinking of running only 2 Hard drives to compensate for a power usage, but only one drive (Sata 100gb) is hooked up for this install, which is mind boggling.
    It could be but I highly doubt it since you haven't reported errors of any kind. What is the new video card you are ordering? You might need to pick the new PSU based on that card. Check out this site for a fairly accurate power calulator to see what sort of PSU you might need. In the meantime if you want to eliminate the PSU as a potential cause of problems, you can test it (see this pictorial guide) or swap it with another PSU that you know is OK. If you're going to test that, you probably should also test the RAM and hard drives.

    Quote Originally Posted by centered effect View Post
    ]If the above is a driver/motherboard issue, I have another motherboard as a backup (Gigabyte K8NS-Pro), can I install Windows through the recovery and switch motherboards and the install the new drivers (if I remember correctly on how to do this, Linux just does it)?
    You're best off jumping that hurdle when you come to it. At this stage you don't know what the cause of the slowdown is. You can do a few checks on the HP motherboard, like making sure it doesn't have leaking or bulging capacitors for example, but if you're not experiencing errors, I don't think this is your problem

    Quote Originally Posted by centered effect View Post
    The Gigabyte board seems to be VERY picky with memory, anyone have good advise on what memory I can use for this board. I wanted it to utilize the third memory slot that is mainly absent in these boards (too costly ATM to go to 939/AM2). Has anyone ran this board with all three slots populated and with which memory? My memory gives the system alot of memory errors, and I do not believe it is compatible with said motherboard. I want to know if this is a viable board for my usage. No overclocking here. I need to know before I drop $300+ in 3 gigs of memory.
    The motherboard manual and the Gigabyte web page for that board should contain a list of RAM that they have tested and approved for use with that board. In addition to that you can do a forum search here on PCP within the Gigabyte forum.

  3. #3
    Joined
    Mar 2002
    Location
    bergen county, new jersey
    Posts
    784

    Re: Back to Windows, and I am lost.

    Wow thanks!

    Alot of good information I will follow up on.

  4. #4
    Joined
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    14,223

    Re: Back to Windows, and I am lost.

    No worries. Let us know how you go and of course, if you have any more queries

  5. #5
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    13,940

    Re: Back to Windows, and I am lost.

    Moved to the MS Windows Forum.

  6. #6
    Joined
    Nov 2001
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    635

    Re: Back to Windows, and I am lost.

    My Brother had a similar system with a similar problem ...i basically used HP's auto detection on their website to determine the drivers. Then installed my own copy of Windows and WOW what a difference.

    Hp probably installed alot of crap with the machine.

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