Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Manhattan
    Posts
    1,125

    Just upgraded, need some help

    I got so busy the past couple of weeks that I've been completely overloaded trying to do a tremendous volume of work with a computer that's 6 years old. I've wanted to upgrade for a long time, since the old box is all buggy & slow, but it was a luxury I just couldn't afford. Now that I'm all busy, it's a necessity, not a luxury anymore. I've been spending 10 hours a day working at the thing doing tasks that just a few months ago took less than half the time; on Saturday morning I awoke after 4 hours' sleep & proceeded to spend the next 20 hours sitting in front of the damn thing. An 8-hour job. It's enough to...

    So, anyway, now, being able to justify the purchase, I picked up one of the Dell Dimensions on sale. I'm having some difficulty figuring out a couple of things, most notably how to import my email archives from my other computer, but I'll get that together, I think. I hope. I tried to copy the album Kind Of Blue & it copied successfully, but then when I played it with Windows Media Player, I got no sound for whatever reason. The CD-ROM drive kinda sucks, won't really read CDRs, and plays CDs too fast. I'm sure there's a way to adjust that, but maybe I'll be sticking to my external drive. I've got to play around with settings, though. There's a lot that's new to me. I've been working with Windows 98 for nearly 6 years, and there seem to be a few wrinkles in XP I just have to get the hang of.

    Anyway, what I'm wondering is, what is yr experience with rippers? I never had the occasion to want to use one before--my old hard drive was like 5 gig. Now it's 40. So I can't go crazy, but it'd be nice to have a few tunes on the damn thing. I spent a few extra dollars for the speakers that come with a subwoofer. They're runty little things, and not all that great in terms of clarity, but they do the job, & the bass is certainly nice. So...I went to CNET & looked at their ripping downloads. Do I really have to spend $20 or $30 on one of these? I thought they were all freeware, what do I know. The ones that are free seem to be scams that infect yr box w/spyware, from the general tone of the user comments. If I have to pay, I have to pay. But should I have to, should I expect to? If so, how much? Any specific recommendations? And anything else I should maybe know about XP would be appreciated...thanks!

    I don't like others.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,671
    Good Lord I hate Dell computers..but I'll try to contain my hatred for now

    I work with these things everyday, the 'powers that be' that do the ordering where I work are married to Dell or something and of course it's up to me to set them all up. I've done about 300 in the last 2 years

    Now in a work environment, these first two things are not especially priority as they are really not needed:

    As you've already found out, Dell CD-ROM drives and sound cards are the worst quality you can probably get. The first thing to do to a Dell is disable the onboard sound and add in a good quality sound card like a Turtle Beach or Sound Blaster Audigy.

    Secondly, throw that $19 CD rom drive in the ****te can and replace it with a better drive.

    NOW, most importantly...wipe that hard drive clean and start over with a fresh install of XP. Dell installs so much bloatware on a computer it's a miracle it runs at all. Just make sure they gave you the actual XP CD before you start, and if you've never done this I wouldn't recommend trying it alone. Get help from someone who's done it before to help you out.

    After replacing all the hardware and reinstalling the software, Dell is not a bad computer! They will actually run forever, I just don't care for the parts they put inside.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    55
    From my experience and from what I've researched - EAC (Exact Audio Copy) is the best free ripper program out there. It is a bit more complicated to use but there is a step by step guide that you can download that simplifies - to the point I can use it! You might also check out a helpful site by a Chris Myden - chrismyden.com which really details EAC settings - also pretty helpful.

  4. #4
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,380
    First of all, congrats on the upgrade. Most likely you got XP Home and that does suck. You need a copy of XP Pro. Second, you can change the way the OS looks and feels back to Classic Windows Style. As far as the Dell goes, all of the mass market pcs suck a little. They integrate everything onto the motherboard. They also pack up your BIOS with all the dell crap you see at bootup. They also share your ram for everything including including your video. I suggest you get an AGP vidio card with at least 128Mb on it to free up system ram. They also probably configured your Hard Drive with just 1 partition and packed everything on to it. What you really want is a 3 gig partition just for the OS, then xx for data and xx for applications. Then you want a 1 gig partition to move your swap file off of the partition that stores the os. Partition Magic can help you do those things if you don't want to wipe and redo the hard drive from scratch.
    You can bet the CD rom drives are crap also so if you have better luck with your external, use it until you can afford a TDK Velo or similar.
    Use this free ripping software-http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/

    Email me if I can help you more........I have evaluation copies of every OS and 200 other pcs of software including Partition Magic if you want to get rid of that crappy XP Home.

    As far as spyware goes, download both Spybot and Adaware for free and use them both occasionally since they both get different things.

    If you keep Home or choose to switch to Pro, right click on My Computer and choose manage, services. This is all the crap that loads and runs at bootup and for the home user stand alone pc, alot of it is not needed and slows bootup and robs system resources.

    As far as email goes, don't know what your using but if you use Outlook, you need to export a PST file and then import to the other. Other emails have a similar function. Same goes for all your Favorites for your Internet explorer.

    Good luck and have fun. What exactly are you doing with the PC?

    Brian

  5. #5
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    122

    New computer

    Good job Jay.

    First let me say if you bought a new computer, everything on it should work,call Dell they should take care of the cd problem. Their tech. support is supposed to be the best.

    I use Roxio cd creator, not free, but it works for me.

    What is your seller name on ebay?

    Really, really, really need that Faces set(3 really's very serious). I'll trade anything I have.

    Tony

  6. #6
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    9,769
    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    Good Lord I hate Dell computers..but I'll try to contain my hatred for now
    So, what would you recommend? I've also been thinking about upgrading my 5-yr-old turtle of a computer. Not only is this clunker 5-yrs-old, but I bought it as a refurb from the service guy when my original computer bit the dust. It was out-dated when I bought it. Its worked great for the five years but lately, it's been real slow. Besides, I want an ipod, but the software won't work on Windows 98 and my computer doesn't even meet the minimum requirements for XP.

    I asked a techie friend of mine what I should look at and he recommended Dell. Mostly he recommended Dell for me because they are supposed to have affordable prices and 24/7 service. Since I am very technically challenged, service would be a big issue for me. But I doubt that I would need it at 3am.

    I really only need a new processor. I have a monitor, keyboard, external CD burner, etc. So I don't really want to pay extra for all of that stuff. Well, maybe a new, flat-screen monitor would be nice, but certainly not a necessity.

    Since you don't like Dell, I assume that you have some other preferences. Any advice you can give would be appreciated. I'm not likely to make this purchase for another six months or so. But, you never know...I have been known to be guilty of the odd impulse buy.

    Thanks!
    FA

  7. #7
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,380
    Build your own. Get a Bare-Bones system....and put in it what you want. Or Pay me to spec out what you need. Tiger Direct also lests you customize a system for all price ranges. Building one is as easy as putting a small puzzle together. The edges are a little sharper, but the concept is the same. As a polotition said on TV recently-"This is not rocket surgery"

    Rule of thumb....NO Mass Market PCs. The reason thier Customer service is good is because thier PCs suck! You tell me how much you want to spend, I'll help you pick out the right components.

    The fact that you fixed your registry a while back shows that you have the ability to follow simple instructions. Even though they try to make you think it is some hard feat, thats all you need to do.

    Careful on your trip Essy.

    Hyfi

  8. #8
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    9,769
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    The fact that you fixed your registry a while back shows that you have the ability to follow simple instructions.
    Yeah, the key word here being SIMPLE. I actually tend to think that I was just lucky that I didn't make things worse.

    Tiger Direct? Really? They just opened a big warehouse 5 minutes away from me. I should go check them out then, eh?

    I'll email you offline to discuss what I should be looking for and what questions I should be asking.

    BTW, I cancelled my trip. Not enough business up there this week to justify the cost of an 800km (round trip) drive and hotel. The good news is that I get to watch the hockey game tonight from the comfort of my own home.

  9. #9
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,380

    Go Flyers

    Sure, I'll help however I can. Just ask.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,671
    Yeah, building your own is the only way to go. You can get a computer thats 100 times better than a Dell for half the money.

    As far as Dell's service...they are not good. It's based in INDIA, and they can barely speak English. "reboot" is their answer for everything.

    If you can't build your own, look into Alienware or Falcon Northwest. Or find somebody local who will do it...or I'll do it for you

  11. #11
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    Yeah, building your own is the only way to go. You can get a computer thats 100 times better than a Dell for half the money.

    As far as Dell's service...they are not good. It's based in INDIA, and they can barely speak English. "reboot" is their answer for everything.

    If you can't build your own, look into Alienware or Falcon Northwest. Or find somebody local who will do it...or I'll do it for you
    I believe that Dell customer service was based in India and it's now based in the US.

    I always found their customer service to be professional and knowledgable. Yes, they spoke with accents but their English was fine.

    Yes, they do start out calls with a can you reboot - you'd be surprised how many "technical" issues can be solved with - "is your computer plugged in" type of inquiries - you need to start with the simple stuff to rule things out. I'm nor computer whiz and always appreciate the time and patience they take with me when I have questions/problems.

    Dell products are first rate and they stand behind them if there is a problem.

  12. #12
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    In a dead sea of fluid mercury
    Posts
    1,900
    I hate it that you just spent all this money to get up to date and everyone is telling you to spend more like it's growing in a planter under the UV light.

    Let's see, EAC is the right choice.

    Bad CD Rom drive-Well they are probably correct in that it needs to be replaced eventually if you want to use CDR's and I guess you do. In the meantime your external should work fine and in the end a CDR burner doesn't have to cost much money. Specials abound and 50.00 down the road to replace the drive may not be a bad investment. Rather than invest a bunch of dough in a new sound card you could use the windows update function to see if any new drivers/software exist for you current chip. I'll bet there is an update.

    Email- This is just from memory but I think all the mail is stored in a .pbx file. Shouldn't be much more to it than copying the files to a CDRW and plopping them into your new PC. Don't think that applies to your email addresses since those will probably be a .wab file. Again a CDRW should do the trick. Once it's on the disc you should be able to import it from Outlook Express.

    Well, that's my two cents worth. Not really worth the 2 cents I guess y ou keep it this time around.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  13. #13
    In perfect harmony DarrenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Wolverine Country
    Posts
    552
    J,

    Congrats on your personal confusor...errr, computer upgrade. You must be very frustrated...errr, happy. Seriously, I'm happy for you.

    Windows XP seems to be a lot more stable than Win98. I upgraded over 2 years ago from that bug ridden, slow OS and couldn't be happier. However, XP does have quite a lot of unnecessary Services running in the background. Many of which are serious security holes. Familiarize yourself with Windows Services and turn off all that's not needed. Run Windows Update at least once a week as well.

    Here's a very good website that explains Window XP Services:

    http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

    I've been using Roxio all along and enjoy it's ease of use. Is it the best? I don't know but I have ripped and burned hundreds of CD's without fail. The platinum version will set you back $80 though and I'm sure there are cheaper programs out there. Sorry I can't be of more help.

    I highly recommend getting both Adaware and Spybot. I'm sure you know where to find these programs. If not, I can direct you.

    Are you on dialup or Cable/DSL? Either way, use a firewall. Hardware is the best and is what I use but at the very least use a software version. Windows XP has a built in firewall that you can enable. By default it's disabled.

    If you don't like the appearance of XP you can always go back to the classic look. It's built into the OS.

    Well, I was probably no help to ya J but good luck with your new computer. It should be an improvement over what you had anyhow.

    Darren
    Let the midnight special shine a light on me.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Manhattan
    Posts
    1,125
    Thanks to everyone who responded...for obvious reasons, I've been out of sorts. But overall I'm just happy to have a machine I can work with. I don't mind logging marathon sessions at the computer. But I like to be able to get more than 8 hours' worth of work done in a 20-hour span. I need more efficiency than that. I think most anyone would. I do want it to be known that I wasn't favoring Dell over any other computer, nor the idea of looking at Computer Shopper or Tiger Direct (which a friend told me about a couple of years ago). I needed something, fast. I did compare what Gateway was offering, and the Dell was simply more suited to my needs. At least this time I knew what my needs were. When I bought my Gateway 5 1/2 years ago I really didn't, so the computer was deficient in a couple of areas & had a couple of bells & whistles I didn't need to pay extra for but did anyway. Not this time...hopefully. I would also mention that I had gone down to J&R Music World a couple of weeks ago just to see what they had in the showroom...and I wasn't happy with what I saw there. The prices seemed really high, and to get anything that was in the ballpark of what I really needed to have I would've had to spend more than I spent on the Dell. There are always ads in the paper for local places, & I didn't really look hard, but I've looked the past couple of days & again it seems like I couldn't have done much better. (I was surprised, I was in an Office Depot a couple of weeks ago, and their computer selection was really for sh*t--unbelievably piss-poor. They made Staples look like Comp USA) The idea of building my own is intriguing, but not enough to actually do it that way. Maybe someday. In the meantime, so long as I can customize to suit my needs, the mass-marketed big guys are fine by me.


    N. Abstentia:

    >Good Lord I hate Dell computers

    Yeah, I understand that, but so long as it works for me I can't share it. I hate Gallien-Kruger bass amps, but as long as the computer works I don't care if it says Edsel on it.

    >As you've already found out, Dell CD-ROM drives and sound cards are the worst quality you can probably get. The first thing to do to a Dell is disable the onboard sound and add in a good quality sound card like a Turtle Beach or Sound Blaster Audigy.

    >Secondly, throw that $19 CD rom drive in the ****te can and replace it with a better drive.

    Nuts as this sounds, the sound itself isn't a priority for me right now. Eventually I'll probably replace the speakers, but the sound card is going to have to stay as it is for awhile. As for the drive, I do have my external, which is a Zip I've had for nearly 4 years & works like a charm. I was surprised at the lousy drive that came with my Gateway years ago, but this is beyond pathetic. If I didn't expect a piece of crap I would've been kinda pissed. Actually I'm sorta surprised they didn't offer at least a CD-RW drive, but then this was the cheapo $500 sale. I don't need a DVD drive on the computer so it didn't make sense to get anything better. So far it's been fine, transferred all my data files with no problems whatsoever. But when I rip it's probably going to be from my Zip.

    >NOW, most importantly...wipe that hard drive clean and start over with a fresh install of XP. Dell installs so much bloatware on a computer it's a miracle it runs at all. Just make sure they gave you the actual XP CD before you start

    Nah, I've had too many of those in the past. It's something I'm only going to do if I absolutely have to. I know there's a way to x out all those useless programs that slow down the box at startup, I did it on my last computer. I agree that it's ridiculous, but I don't want to format unless it's a necessity, at least at this point. After getting the thing started with the pressure of dealing with my Ebay auctions--100 a week--I just don't need to embark on any more projects like that unless I don't have a choice. I appreciate the suggestion, though. If I wasn't focused on my work as much as I am I would probably do this.


    Gresh:

    >EAC (Exact Audio Copy) is the best free ripper program out there.

    Yeah, that's the name I'd seen before, just couldn't remember. Thanks!

    HYFI:

    >First of all, congrats on the upgrade. Most likely you got XP Home and that does suck. You need a copy of XP Pro.

    Thanks! That is what I got. If I'm going to upgrade I really need to know why--after spending the money I did, I have to be able to justify anything else that involves spending more than one red cent. So far XP has its annoyances, but I'm rolling with it as best I can.

    >Second, you can change the way the OS looks and feels back to Classic Windows Style.

    Yeah, I found that out. They modified the way you go about changing Display properties when it comes to anything past real bare-bones basics, but I found it & now I'm a lot closer to what my display looked like than the playpen-like interface they dreamed up. I've used the 'Brick' color scheme for a long time & all this bright, happy blue makes me want to puke a lot more than the old Windows blue bars. Glad to go back to a dark red.

    >As far as the Dell goes, all of the mass market pcs suck a little.

    Sure. I could've spent some time putting together a nice box, but time was something I just don't have right now. Doing things that take twice as long as they should...it created an immediate need.

    >They integrate everything onto the motherboard. They also pack up your BIOS with all the dell crap you see at bootup. They also share your ram for everything including including your video. I suggest you get an AGP vidio card with at least 128Mb on it to free up system ram.

    I'm not sure that's necessary, only because I don't do much of anything that's graphics heavy. I'm on the web & use a couple of programs & that's about it--no games, nothing like that. I don't watch movies on the computer & for the once in awhile when I click on a news link video or something like that I think I'm ok. Removing the useless programs from the startup will free up some resources, but to be honest I don't even see the need for that as the machine is pretty speedy. But that's something I am going to do.

    >They also probably configured your Hard Drive with just 1 partition and packed everything on to it. What you really want is a 3 gig partition just for the OS, then xx for data and xx for applications. Then you want a 1 gig partition to move your swap file off of the partition that stores the os. Partition Magic can help you do those things if you don't want to wipe and redo the hard drive from scratch.

    Here you're talking a language that's partially beyond my understanding. I kinda know what you're talking about, but not exactly. Again, something I don't necessarily see as an issue right now.

    >You can bet the CD rom drives are crap also so if you have better luck with your external, use it until you can afford a TDK Velo or similar.

    I'll replace my Zip if I have to, but it's humming along just fine.

    >Email me if I can help you more........I have evaluation copies of every OS and 200 other pcs of software including Partition Magic if you want to get rid of that crappy XP Home.

    Thanks, I appreciate that. I'm trying to figure out what XP does that 98 didn't (except that it hasn't crashed yet). I remember when ME came out & I saw all this stuff that seemed new. This doesn't seem all that different...but I haven't taken the tutorial guide yet. I'm surprised to find that I can't drag launch buttons onto the toolbar. I'm sure there's a way, it wouldn't make sense to eliminate that functionality. I'll figure it out.

    >As far as spyware goes, download both Spybot and Adaware for free and use them both occasionally since they both get different things.

    Yeah, I am aware of those, thanks. They're on my list of things to do.

    >If you keep Home or choose to switch to Pro, right click on My Computer and choose manage, services. This is all the crap that loads and runs at bootup and for the home user stand alone pc, alot of it is not needed and slows bootup and robs system resources.

    I took a quick look at that today but it didn't seem to afford me much in the way of options. I must not have been doing it right.

    >As far as email goes, don't know what your using but if you use Outlook, you need to export a PST file and then import to the other. Other emails have a similar function. Same goes for all your Favorites for your Internet explorer.

    It's a little tricky. I've never used Outlook, only OE. I have backups of my mail messages, but I'm not sure where to load them & not sure whether they'll be where they're supposed to be...the folder they were in in Windows 98 doesn't seem to correspond to anything I see here. There's a place for 'em, just don't know where. I exported all my emails from Outlook Express to Outlook on the old computer, just unsure of how to burn them to disc. If it's no different from the burns I already have, then that's one step less I have to worry about. There's a way to do this...I saw a site that talked about transferring registry keys. I have to check that out in further detail. Just haven't had the time.

    >Good luck and have fun. What exactly are you doing with the PC?

    Thanks, man. Outside of gabbing w/you guys, mostly what I do involves selling CDs on Ebay. In order to list them in a way I consider proper, I have to have several Explorer windows open simultaneously, along with Word. Over time this just became too much for my old machine. I open AMG to check info & credits, a site that I can copy & paste hyperlinked text into so it doesn't get fluky when I dump it into Word, an Ebay window showing me current auctions for whatever CD I'm looking at, another showing me completed auctions so I can get an idea of what it's going to sell for, and one with Amazon open so I can look there & see if it makes sense to list it there instead. Thanks to Jack70s great advice awhile back, I open new windows to check out individual auctions by right-clicking instead of going into each one & then backing out again. This is actually probably less of an issue for me now with a speedier machine, but I'm in the habit now, so what the hell. Bottom line being that I might have as many as 7 or 8 or 9 Explorers open at any given time. My old machine was 333mhz, a Celeron, & I had 192 mg of RAM in it. This here's a P-4, 2.66 g, with 256 mg RAM. The difference is about what you would expect. Much the same as when we dumped dialup for cable access awhile back. Zoom! Oh, yeah, I'm still using Word & Excel 97. I see no need to upgrade that anytime soon.

    Skewiff:

    >What is your seller name on ebay?

    Tony, I'll hit you w/an email on that one. If anyone wants to know, hit me w/a PM & I'll steer you to my auctions. It's just...I get enough spam, & fraud Ebay emails, I think it wiser to not post that. I'll try to email you later on. And I'm taking care of that Faces thing...already put together, I've just got to get it out. Don't worry, it's definitely going to be on the way soon.

    Jim:

    >I hate it that you just spent all this money to get up to date and everyone is telling you to spend more like it's growing in a planter under the UV light.

    I know! How frustrating. Believe me, I would've liked to have had 3 times the amount to spend to put a real nice hot rod together, or, alternately, add on some groovy peripherals or some other such nonsense. No dice. It is what it is. And it's plenty, so far, for me, especially considering the snail's pace I'd been working at previously.

    >Shouldn't be much more to it than copying the files to a CDRW and plopping them into your new PC.

    Yeah, shouldn't be, but the thing is, I have no idea where to plop them.

    >Don't think that applies to your email addresses since those will probably be a .wab file.

    Interestingly, I tried to import it both from CDR & a floppy & both times the import feature in OE doesn't see the file. ???

    Darren:

    >Windows XP seems to be a lot more stable than Win98. I upgraded over 2 years ago from that bug ridden, slow OS and couldn't be happier. However, XP does have quite a lot of unnecessary Services running in the background. Many of which are serious security holes. Familiarize yourself with Windows Services and turn off all that's not needed.

    Thanks, agree 100%. When I first got Win98 I didn't know what to think, and as time passed & I realized what a dog it was I was appalled that they put a product like that out on the market. It was a disgrace. Eventually someone told me about Windows Update & I downloaded a fix that improved it quite a bit, but there's no reason I should've had to deal with the problems the first edition of 98 had--for more than a year. It was ridiculous. So far no similar problems with XP.

    >Are you on dialup or Cable/DSL? Either way, use a firewall.

    Cable. I've used the free ZoneAlarm firewall since I first switched to cable nearly 3 years ago & it works for me so I'm using it instead of the XP firewall or the one that McAfee provides as part of whatever it is they're giving me for free for six months or whatever. Key word being 'whatever,' I'm kinda indifferent to McAfee. I know Norton probably isn't much better, but they definitely inspire more confidence in me. I've used their AntiVirus protection for years & am somehow more comfortable with it than McAfee. That may make no sense, but then some people like Coke instead of Pepsi. I've had much better experience with Norton, so I'm going to stick with them if I can. That's on my list of things to do also.

    >If you don't like the appearance of XP you can always go back to the classic look. It's built into the OS.

    Big improvement. Makes the experience a lot easier aesthetically because of the relative familiarity.

    >Well, I was probably no help to ya J but good luck with your new computer. It should be an improvement over what you had anyhow.

    Yeah, it is. Thanks a lot, and also to everyone else, I appreciate it. I'm on my way to check out EAC & then I have a few other items to attend to! Until I get my address book situation squared away--you'd think this wouldn't be so friggin' difficult--I may be a trifle incommunicado, but I can send & receive. See ya!

    I don't like others.

  15. #15
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    4,380
    Hey J, I didn't mean to slam on what you bought. For most people, it really doesn't matter to get cought up in all the details. One thing you need to do often in order to keep your OS and Apps running smooth is to Defrag your hard drive on a regular basis. Thats where having 1 huge 40, 60, 80gig or whatever becomes a small problem. First of all, you would not believe how fragmented a fresh install is. I was floored back at the beginning of my course when we loaded 2000 Pro. We set up our hard drives like I explained in my first post so it only took a few minutes to defrag the OS partition. It was about 60% fragmented after a clean install on a brand new drive. Now with what you explained, you are probably saving and deleting files quite often. Thats what fragments your drive. (Since October, I have loaded and configured every OS from 95 thru Server 2003 multiple times. When a machine is set up as I described it is much more streamlined.) Without doing a Defrag, if you load a new program or save a large file, it goes in all the little open spaces from files deleted instead of in contiguous sectors on the drive making it harder for the drive to find and display the file. Now you can see why setting up your drive the way I explained is helpful. You load the OS and do a defrag imediately. This way the OS stays pretty intact and you can just defrag the Data drive. It also helps for backup purposes. Moving your Swap/Page file off of the same partition as the OS gives you a few perks. Again, stops fragmenting your main partion and is a big performance boost.
    I highly recomend if your going to keep it all 1 big partition, Defrag before and after you install each pc of software and on some regular basis. When you say your old system was slow and buggy, wiping the drive clean and starting over most times fixes it. 95-98 are known for this. The registry contributes to this also. ME fixed some of the memory management problems but still plenty of crashing to be found. You will find it hard to crash XP. That was the main fix. If one program stops responding, it does not crash or effect the rest. If you decide to redo your old machine which I highly recomend, lets put W2k pro on it and network it together with your new one. If you do go this way, the ICF(XPs firewall) must be disabled. Then you load Norton Internet Security.

    Sorry if I overwhelmed you with all this but if you or anyone else reading wants more info or help setting up a Hard drive properly, just let me know.

    Brian

  16. #16
    Forum Regular jack70's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    202

    Re

    I'm pretty much where you are Jay. I still have 98-SE on my original Dell PC. I know I should get a new machine soon... there are a few good reasons (actually many) -- the first being I want to edit video next year, and my machine is too slow and small for that.... the other reason is I'm afraid of my hard-drive failing one day... a back up PC would be great simply for saving mental anguish. I have lots of data backed up... but it would be a real pain to have to start from scratch.

    As for Dell... they'll put in whatever you want. They use pretty standard chipsets, but they have a better handle on what chipsets (inter)work best with others on the motherboards... something that many outsiders can be fooled about unless you keep up weekly with such minutia. (I don't). It's true Dell adds junk in there... just delete it IMO... if you're worried about "bloated junk" on your drive, then I guess that makes XP out, cause it's footprint is pretty big with all it's restore/ safety (dupilication) (stuff that my 98SE doesn't have). My Dell's run well since I got it... great prices, and excellent service. I put in a new CD-Writer to upgrade it's CD/ROM reader (writing was too new a technology when I got my PC for me to trust... 1&2x... LOL). I like the Zip storage too. And the Trinitron monitor is built like a battleship... the only thing better is Troy's flat-pannel Apple Monitor (a little steep for me right now... sigh).

    From everything I've heard, Pro-XP is the only version to get, as others have said. In fact the "home" version is going away (I think). It's just much more stable and less buggy. I sorta keep my ear on this junk(XP-OS), even though it doesn't apply to me. I think they (MS) recently overhauled their code, although I don't know if that's been incorporated in newer releases, or if they're (MS) waiting for a new major online update for it (like SE was to 98). I think it patches some holes and re-configures the built in firewall so that it also protects outgoing packets (I advise nixing it and using Zonealarm anyway... something I've used for years... it's free and works great... be sure to look at the txt logs it makes periodically).

    I also run my machine with NOTHING in the start-up folder (at boot) ...except my firewall. It's insane the junk many people have running in the background... not only a resource drain, but potentially dangerous security-wise. (I don't believe in virus programs... been there, done that).

    Thanks Brian for the tips. A have a personal aversion to Hardrives over 20 gigs, so I agree re-setting partitions makes sense. I totally agree with your notes on large drives... it's the general evolution of "bigger is better", which is a bit like putting a 300 gallon gas tank on your car. I plan on using some external drives when I finally upgrade... the reason I don't do that now is my USB (chipsets etc) is still 1.0, so speed would be a killer. Question: can you set up partitions on a drive after it's been loaded with the OS (XP)... or should it be done before?

    Brian, another question: have you ever heard of someone using thermocouples for cooling? I've been planning on doing this for a while, but never got around to it. I think one of the biggest ways to slow down and screw up a PC is letting the temp get up to room temp.

    Another question... I thought I'd read somewhere that MS no longer gives CDs of their OS anymore, so you can't reinstall it the old way if you have a catastrophic failure? It's (XP) preinstalled, with "your name" on it.

    Jay, you can also back up your Outlook data by drilling down to Windows/application data/identities/xxxxx/Microsoft/Outlook/ and dragging copies of those files (DBX files on 98) somewhere to back em up, or right click and send em to a zip etc. You can also access import/export on the menus (somewhere) within Outlook... I always use the brute force technique myself, especially since one of the Windows updates last year left some crap in regard to Outlook all over the drive... I don't think MS has fixed it yet... still works OK though).

    Another tip on having multiple open-windows (good to know someone was listening Jay... LOL). Try the new Mozilla browsers Firefox or Firebird... you can get them free, as stand-alone browsers. I use Firebird... it's older, but less buggy. By clicking on links with your scroll wheel, you can have as many tabbed open windows as you want... it's a real nice option on certain sites that RELOAD the WHOLE stinkin pages every time you go "back" or "forward" (Hello Rave Recordings!). It has a built up pop-up killer, and is better security wise than IE (although I prefer IE for most things).

    I agree with EAC for ripping. It's simple, and I've never had problems. I have a few other stand-alone programs, but EAC is easy. Reading the 100 page FAQs (there are a couple online) and menu set-ups can be a chore (the programmer is German, so the English... and there are many options, many not explained simply enough...), but most people probably never get into that anyway (or need to, to be honest).


    You don't know... jack

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. What audio equipment do you own?
    By Chris in forum General Audio
    Replies: 200
    Last Post: 09-12-2009, 06:49 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •