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cmunson

PC Pitstop: 50 Tips for a Super Fast PC

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Getting processes down to between 20 and 30??? Are you kidding?? What have you been smoking? It's just not possible.

(I know thin is in, but this is annorexic!)

 

One would have to shut off processes that are required for things such as printing, and antivirus, and internet browsing, and email, and keyboard, and mouse, and cd/dvd burning, as well as the myriad mystery processes that windows requires just to run.

 

Many programs require processes to be pre-loaded or they just will not run, or won't run correctly.

(Norton antivirus alone has 9 running processes, not counting an additional 3 that it pops open when its update service is running.--I don't use Norton anymore, for just this reason.) And most of the time, the process names are not kind of vague.

 

I don't see how anyone could get to fewer than 45, and still have a computer that can actually DO anything.

 

Getting that list to under 50 is a more realistic goal.

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Nope, not kidding. I could also close Outlook Express and Internet Explorer, but they were open when I took the screen shot.

 

This computer has never balked at anything I've asked of it. I have yet to encounter a program that needs to be running in the background in order for me to start it when I want to run it. My benchmarking rig runs just fine with only 12 processes running.

 

processes.JPG

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Getting processes down to between 20 and 30??? Are you kidding?? What have you been smoking? It's just not possible.

(I know thin is in, but this is annorexic!)

 

One would have to shut off processes that are required for things such as printing, and antivirus, and internet browsing, and email, and keyboard, and mouse, and cd/dvd burning, as well as the myriad mystery processes that windows requires just to run.

 

Many programs require processes to be pre-loaded or they just will not run, or won't run correctly.

(Norton antivirus alone has 9 running processes, not counting an additional 3 that it pops open when its update service is running.--I don't use Norton anymore, for just this reason.) And most of the time, the process names are not kind of vague.

 

I don't see how anyone could get to fewer than 45, and still have a computer that can actually DO anything.

 

Getting that list to under 50 is a more realistic goal.

 

I have 29 and I didnt tweak it. Its easy, dont get viruses, dont download junk, and its all good!

 

Good list though! :tup:

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B)

 

A west coast Canadian thanks you and all your real efforts.. Used to live in Corpus Christi Texas for a time and then Ventura California.

 

You guys and gals are great .. Thanks and best wishes for Christmas and the new year.. = TG

[ TonyGuitar] B)

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Well I just don't understand number 22 :blink:

 

Are you implying that a person can't work done with UAC enabled? If you are saying that please elaborate Steve.

 

Example: My wife works with her computer probably about 5 hours each evening when she gets home from school, and UAC hasn't prevented her from getting her work done in any way shape or form, in fact it hasn't bothered her in months.

 

Also number 4 seems a bit extreme.

 

Don't we buy these new huge hard drives to "store data"?

 

If that is not why we buy them, then what would be a good reason to buy a whopping 500 gig hard drive if not to store all our video, music, and other "irreplaceable" data.

 

Finally the one that makes me cringe every time I see someone recommend it. number 14

 

Recommending a registry cleaner to people can be a dangerous thing to do. I have seen people take whole systems down, with these time bombs called registry cleaners.

Edited by Bruce

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Hi everyone,

 

We came up with this idea about two weeks ago, and we tried to hone the list as much as possible. So thanks for the feedback. We will take it all, and publish the list again in 6 months or so. Keep it coming. All of it is valid.

 

To be honest, I felt that we rushed it a little bit, but the positive is that we are getting the feedback now rather than later.

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HeHe, well number 4 is only a suggestion as are they all. Of course you don't want to remove files that are worth keeping and important to you.

 

As for the processes I'm not exaggerating at all. I've been working for the last 4 hours and that's what's open right this minute as I check. It's at 22.

 

UAC is something that deserves more than a one sentence discussion but I'll come back later and get into it some more. It's just not something that a lot of people, including me, want to fool with. It's not that it doesn't offer protection.

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UAC came out only half-baked.

It needs to keep what you permit and I've heard rumors that when SP1 comes out in the fq '08 they are going to make improvements to it, so it's possible that we'll be telling everyone to start using it in the next couple months

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OK, let me come back to UAC suggestions now. This is really a hard recommendation to make because of wanting to do everything possible to keep people safe from all the latest threats but at the same time enable them to have a "useable" PC.

 

I know that UAC is not a problem for many of you here, but that is not the case for everyone. A quick survey this morning of One local wholesaler and 2 independent retail/repair shops backs up what I said. None recommend Vista. All do what they can to get the customer to install XP rather than Vista(even to the point of removing it from preconfigured machines), The wholesale company does not disable UAC unless requested, but suggests that the custiomer disable it,(doesn't want to get into configuring). The two retailers disable it on new builds before giving the computer to the customer.

 

The reason for the attitude on Vista and UAC is usability. UAC takes too much of their time and causes too many "Help Me" calls.

 

I'm sure at some point UAC will operate effectively and easily for the average Joe, but for now that's not the impression I get. I know that for me, I choose to disable it. I know you're not using it Bruce even if your wife is. I don't know what BB is using but I don't think that's really the point. Good for security or not, the public is not taking to it.

 

I personally hope that JoeC is correct. A preconfigured less restrictive UAC is what's needed and would get wide acceptance.

 

As far a irresponsible, I don't view it as any less responsible than using or recommending XP. I'm not advocating no protection. I'm just not endorsing UAC on Vista, yet.

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I am still waiting for you to back it up.

 

You have not done that, and so far all you can say is it "annoys" you, or that "you" don't understand it.

 

It is one thing not to endorse something, and another totally different thing to say disable it. It is unfortunately as badbinary said irresponsible to make such a recommendation, especially in the way that it was made. Not only is it irresponsible, but the way it was said was not only misleading, but is 100% wrong.

 

You keep mentioning "configuring" it. What is it you are trying to configure?

 

I install vista for people, I build computers for people with Vista pre-installed, of all of them only one requested changes before they ever received the computer, and I refused.

 

I can back up what I am saying, and I can do it with rational reasons, and examples, rather then FUD.

 

Once the machine is set up, drivers and software installed, UAC does not get in the way, in fact it sits there harmlessly unless someone tries to change a "system" setting. Now getting work done, has absolutely nothing to do with UAC, and UAC in no way shape or form prevents a person from getting work done.

 

Contrary to what many people in "tech" forums think, or people who spend time setting machines up, the average person does not spend their day changing system settings, the average person uses their computer the way they get it, and for those that actually do "work" with these computers rarely if ever are prompted by UAC, they are not concerned with changing system settings, especially so often that UAC would become an issue.

 

I used my wife as an example for this reason, she actually uses her computer to get work done. She is designing multiple story buildings in autocad, writing documents and papers, creating and editing and spreadsheets in office suites, doing algebra, calculus and trigonometry, editing and working with photos and images, researching economic information on the web, emailing....and on and on. UAC does not impede any of those thi8ngs, in fact UAC never even shows up, never bothers her at all, and you simply would not believe the amount of work she is getting done.

 

If she isn't getting work done then I wouldn't know what to call it. Contrary to what you may think she gets it all done with out ever seeing UAC.

 

For the people who find UAC's numerous prompts annoying, here is what I have to say, once you have your machine set up to your satisfaction, you won't be bothered by it much, and the added security that a proper user account, and UAC are worth its weight in gold.

 

All you need to do is go to any spyware/malware forum and look at the number of issues with machines that are using the administrator account on a daily basis. aka the way XP ships.

 

Then look for ones that are using proper user accounts or Vista machines with UAC enabled. You won't find many machines if any at all with malware/spyware problems that are using "proper" user accounts and UAC.

 

I have yet to see one, just one rational and responsible reason anywhere to make such a fool hearted recommendation as disable UAC.

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Remember the mouse hovering thing? You gotta be using it to know if it's a problem or not. That wasn't fud, it was fact. I use Vista a least a little each day.

 

 

 

"For the people who find UAC's numerous prompts annoying, here is what I have to say, once you have your machine set up to your satisfaction, you won't be bothered by it much, and the added security that a proper user account, and UAC are worth its weight in gold."

 

I totally agree with the above statement, but as I said originally, whose going to do that? Who set up your wifes machine you or your wife?

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I did, I installed the operating system, office suite, and all the drivers.

 

She installed, whatever applications she needed.

 

She just got home, so I asked her if when doing work UAC ever in anyway impeded her ability to "get work done".

 

Her reply was this and I mean exactly this. What is UAC? ;)

 

So I simply replied to her Cancel or Allow :lol:

 

She said no, she never sees it. She said the last time she saw a UAC prompt was months ago when she installed AutoCad.

 

Not sure what a mouse problem has to do with UAC.

Edited by Bruce

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Great list but on #5 how do I know what the processes are. The list that come up is not descriptive. As a tech idiot I have no idea what is shown in the list and I could end up deleting something important. Currently I have 59 processes running.

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I'll be interested in seeing if we change the suggesion. Like I said it's a hard call. I'm not emotionally attached to it or anything. It's just a suggestion. It would probably be just as useful to say something like "Be sure to call Bruce to configure your UAC 555-5555. "

 

:P Sorry, just had to.

 

Didn't we just do a poll on this? Whether people leave it on or turn it off?

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I have to agree with Bruce on this one. I went to the trouble of activating the actual "real" Administrator account, password protected it, and set up a limited account for my every day use. My everyday use involves heavy GIS analysis and cartography. The number of UAC prompts that "slow me down" are negligible, and many days non-existent. It really wasn't difficult to "configure" UAC because there really isn't anything to configure. On the occasion that I need to change some system setting or other Administrative task, (keyword being Administrative), then I simply log in to my Administrator account, perform the necessary functions without seeing a UAC prompt, log back out and into my user account and keep going. If I'm really impatient, I am still required to enter my Administrator password to do whatever it is I need to do. My big complaint with MS concerning UAC is that they should make it a bit more intuitive in the Home Premium and Home Basic editions to enable the Administrator account, as the Group Policy Editor is only available in the Business and Ultimate editions (AFAIK). A "remember" check box would be useful, but not a necessity in my book. Just my .02.

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I'll be interested in seeing if we change the suggesion. Like I said it's a hard call. I'm not emotionally attached to it or anything. It's just a suggestion. It would probably be just as useful to say something like "Be sure to call Bruce to configure your UAC 555-5555. "

 

:P Sorry, just had to.

 

Didn't we just do a poll on this? Whether people leave it on or turn it off?

 

You keep saying configure UAC.

 

What is there to configure?

 

There is nothing to configure.

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I take it that getting under 30 processes in Vista doesn't inlcude PCs running on a domain network? I don't see how that can be done. Rather than have everyone post their systems for everyone to argue about settings on (since there's obviously a few different opinions on what is and is not necessary), wouldn't it be simpler to have 2 lists of necessary services to run (1 for non domain networks, and 1 for domain networks)? Maybe a thread for just that, and then everyone can state their opinions and services accordingly.

 

There's a very good reason not to have UAC enabled. It doesn't protect anything. Bruce should ask his wife how many times she said not to allow something on UAC (now that she knows what it is). I'm betting the answer is 0. So, as I've said all along, for the novice who doesn't know whether a program is legit or malware, it does no good to ask them if they want to allow or deny something from installing. They'll say yes every time anyway.

 

Add to that the fact that the entire screen is blacked out so a person can't even google the program in question to find out if it's legit, and UAC is worse than useless.

 

Personally, I install programs on my computer every day. My machine is in a constant state of being updated and upgraded. My wife's system is the same way. Our kids are much less into trying new things. UAC is one annoyance that my wife and I are happy to live without.

 

As a system builder, we have yet to sell a system with Vista on it. No one asks for it, and I'm sure not recommending it when asked.

 

XP SP3 will speed up the system by 10%. That's what people care about. That's what I'll stick with (other than occasionally testing Vista drivers for compatibility and just to keep fresh on using it). Vista SP1 won't speed up the system at all. MS has promised support for XP through 2012. By then the next OS (with the file system Vista was supposed to have) will be out. I can't think of a good reason for anyone to use Vista in light of this. :)

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Hiya

 

A few things I gotta say here, the main one being....Don't use Registry Cleaners!!

Unless you know what the purpose of each hive is and what the relation of these to the keys are, and unless you know "exactly" what everything in the registry means......don't use them. There isn't a single one of those useless programs that don't put up "False Positives" and until they're 100% accurate, needed keys are going to be tagged for cleaning.

I have seen more systems hosed by these "cleaners" than by almost anything else, besides of course Virus and Malware. Most folks who use these programs have no business mucking around in the registry! I would venture a guess that probably 75% of those who use these, don't even know how to properly edit things in there so they sure shouldn't be deleting things from it.

 

And besides that, all this stuff about things in the registry slowing down your machine is bull! Orphaned keys are not accessed by anything, so they're ignored...all they take up is about 42 bytes of disk space...that's it. Your machine does not read everything in your registry everytime you boot up, or any other time for that matter, so any orphaned keys left behind by poorly written uninstallers are simply ignored and only use up a few Kb's of disk space. Not worth hosing your OS for a few KB's is it...

 

Running processes...hmmm...I know systems engineers that don't know what every process does, so you're telling regular users to go in there and trim them down by 33%??? While I agree that some of these processes are not needed and more knowledgable users can usually recognize which ones these FEW may be, I would think long & hard before I ever recommended to a normal user to go into the Services/Processes and start stopping or disabling any. They will need a comprehensive list explaining exactly what process/service does what, and what could safely be disabled if they aren't using a certain configuration/program/device. I've been doing this for many years and am quite knowledgable, and I stop 7 to 9 services in Vista and even less in XP. Again, I've seen more systems hosed by folks stumbling thru these and disabling things without knowing "Exactly" what the consequences could be...probably equals the # hosed by those useless Reg Cleaners...;)

There are tons of sites that try to explain what these services/processes do and just which ones you may be able to stop, but there are more experts out there that say you're just insane to be doing this. Many tests have shown that the resources you save are almost negligable but the risks you are taking are astronomical.

 

Probably the best advice I could give is this...UNDERSTAND EXACTLY what it is you're doing and what the consequences are going to be, before doing anything when it comes to making system changes like these.

 

Dave

Edited by Chappy

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WinFS is not a filesystem, and never will be. http://osnews.com/story.php/19055/Vistas-M...al-Cut-Features

 

I also tried out Longhorn, and WinFS, and like it said in the article, it was slow. And, NTFS was the underlying filesystem.

 

I'm not going to debate the speed of a beta OS file system that wasn't ready for prime time even when prime time finally came around. But everything MS has done in the past few years is SLOW. Vista is slow. Office 2007 is slow. Server 2007 is slow. Slow seems to be the way of the future; Add on a bunch of features that very few people will ever use and expect the hardware technology to offset it.

 

My point was more to compatibility issues with the next OS. Vista is a prime example of compatibility issues, even without the new file structure, mostly due to the elimination of HAL. Whether WinFS eventually is used or a completely different file structure is developed, there's a very good chance that current file structures will have compatibility problems with the next MS OS. Compatibility issues also seem to be the way of the future. :cr@sh:

 

 

As for the registry cleaners, I've been using System Mechanic and Registry Mechanic without problems for the past year on several test machines. I agree that both had serious problems a few years ago, but the latest versions seem fine. I don't really think anyone needs these things, nor any of the software sold on PC Pitstop for that matter, but I do like to play with these things to keep some kind of trouble-shooting skills for my customers who think they need them. Personally, I was drawn here for the benchmarks, not the software. :)

 

As for the system processes, that's kind of what I'd like to see too. If an author can't take the time to post the specific processes, what they do, and when they are and aren't needed, I don't think it's wise to tell people to disable them. Since many people do more than connect a modem to a single system anymore, it's very hard to make a single list of "necessary" processes. In fact, I don't think I know anyone personally who has just 1 computer anymore. :unsure:

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