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What do you do to keep your PC running great?

Faubio Alter
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Just be careful with that high pressure Hotsy!!  That 150 psi nozzle pressure play hell with computer innurds. 


Good advice.......and also something I do regularly, though probably not weekly.  Heat kills computers.  Dust traps heat and blocks escape routes for heat.  It also slams shut entrances for fresh and cool air.


I need to figure out how to quote a post with some consistancy...........this sometimes works and sometimes doesn't don't get it.  I was attempting to quote Kat's post.

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Buy a Mac.  Duh.

As for the defragging question, daily?  Probably not.  You can defrag when it needs it - your defragging tool will help you decide that - or just get a filesystem that doesn't fragment itself.  Like HFS+ (Mac OS X filesystem).

I run Software Update nightly, and reboot my Mac only when Software Update needs it.  Other than that, it's suspend/resume for weeks at a time.  I use it for SL, web browsing, email, research and school homework, and ebooks, plus at work for tracking the status of my little software development and database team.

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Oh god not a fanboy. Macs are not that great. I've had more trouble in the past with crashing/freezeups with my iMac than I ever had with my Win7/BSD. You might think your Mac is better because you seem to be a "light user" If you actually played video games and did importent things, you would understand young padawan. Which that is okay..I guess. Macs are built for graphic design, video editing, light use, and 16 year old girls. But don't fanboy in this thread. It makes you look dumbcaeks.

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Actually Windows machines are better at video and graphics than Macs are.  Mostly due to the software available for Windows platforms that are not available for Macs.  Years ago, Macs had that edge........but Uncle Bill caught up and passed Cousin Steve a few years ago.


Each platforms have their issues about gathering garbage that slows them down over time.  And, to he honest, Windows tend to need more attention to maintain that speed than Macs.  The basics for maintaining one can be applied to manintaining the other.  It's what the individual wants, likes, preferrs or is comfortable with......not really which is better.  Better is not an absolute.........it's determined by you and how you decide which is best.


Besides we were talking about maintaining Windows machines..........unless "PC" has come to include Macs too. 

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I somehow managed to never have the "Windows Experience" I never get a virus on my own computer...I can push it to the limits before it freezes...the only crashing I had was a hardware issue, nothing to do with the OS, never lost my work, it defragments itself, it updates itself...so all the pro-Mac propaganda about viruses and crashing and the whole Windows Experience just never resonates with me. It leads me to believe most of the Windows Experience is just a series of PEBKAC errors that can easily be solved with be less stupid.

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Ok Windows Vista and 7 users time to show your cards

Window performance scoring (In Window 7, 7.9 is the maximium score possible):

6.2          CPU             Athlonll X2 ® 215 2.7 GHz (45W)

5,9          RAM 3GBs       PC2-6400 MB/sec 240 pin, DDR2 SDRAM

6.7          Graphics areos          Nvidia 8800 GS card

6.7          Graphics Gaming      Nviada 8800 GS card

5.9          Hard Drives          I have two, a SCSI drive and a SATA both 7200 RPM



This is a stock over the counter Compaq PC from Best Buy I'm upgrading. So far second HD. system fan and the graphics card. Perhaps soon a power supply, quad processor, heatsink and a new Nvidia 9500 series card, if all goes well. Maybe low latency RAM down the road.

OS is Window 7 Home Primium

We bought it the end of Novemberish.

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Okay so it is a change.........Windows 7 I guess.  I didn't know that since I use Vista and that highest possible is 5.9.  My base score is pretty good too for a slightly modified off the shelf nearly 3 year old Lenovo Desktop business machine...........5.4.  The base score is determined by my not so fast DDR2 RAM (the 5.4 score).  All other results are 5.9 (max).


And all that plus $4.69 will get you a cup of house blend coffee at Starbucks........big deal, huh?  The topic of this thread is how do you keep your computer running great.  Not what is your Windows Experience Base Score.

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Best way to keep your PC running great?   ...disconnect your internet connection

I'm not saying my way is the best.  I am always learning what is the most effective way to NOT have to do anything.

If I repeat other people's ideas.....no harm ment.

1)Fresh install

2)Install a imaging program to make snapshots of your system (saves alot of time).  I use Shadow Protect.

3)Install your anti-virus software.  Everybody has their favorite flavor.  I use Avast!. (It's free and has been flawless for me)

4)Install a 3rd party disk defrager. I have used Diskeeper for 7 years and it's set and forget. (Defrags when the PC is idle)

5)I use a batch file to do disk cleanups.   You can make a task to run when your sleeping, etc...  (I can paste the .bat file if anybody wants)

6)Registry cleaner.   I have just started using CCleaner on our workstations.  It's simple and can run stand alone (No install).


With this current lineup of steps and applications, I never to any maintenance on my PCs.  I've been doing PC repair as a side business and for friends for 9 years.  I've only got great comments on how their PCs run better than new.  There are many other ways that I am sure work great as well....just my input

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The #1 best thing is to start with a fresh install of your favorite O.S.


Install your drivers, updates, and "crucial" apps - but keep it lean.

Do the CCleaner/Comodo System Cleaner/Disk cleanup/Defrag ritual.

Type msconfig in Start/run, and disable things you don't need to autostart.( Click Start Button, "Search Programs and Files" line for you Vista/Win7 users)


Apply your favorite tweaks/adjustments. --> Black Viper has a good Windows services tweaking tutorial.


Then use a program like Macrium Reflect (freeware) and create a backup image of the C: partition.


The backup image should ideally be located on a physically separate hard drive.


Create a CD boot disk with Macrium, this will be used to boot the computer and restore your backup image (even if your main hard drive had failed and been replaced)

At this point your installation is nearly bullet-proof, if something gets funky beyond repair, boot the computer from the CD you made, and restore the computer.

Macrium also lets you add incremental updates to your backup image, but I think it's best to keep the original image in addition to any new one you might create instead.




Defragging daily is excessive wear and tear on the hard drive, and will lead to premature failure.


They say it causes blindness too


Instead, move the SL cache to a physically separate hard disk, and resume (for most users) a "realistic" bi-weekly/once a month schedule for defragging the C: partition.


Also while on about Hard Drive's.


Don't use the entire disk capacity for "C:", instead set a reasonable partition size, ~20-35gb for "C:" Vista/Win7


You can get away with a 10-15gb partition for XP.


Keep what applications/games that you can, off-of-the-system drive's partition(C:), install them to a different partition when/where possible.


Treat your C: partition as "holy ground", only let things install to it if you have no other choice.


This will help to keep Windows running smoother, and longer






Use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust from inside the computer about once a month (depending on your environment)


If you're compulsive and have time, you can use a small toothbrush/Q-Tips to swab the dust from any fan blades inside (be sure to clean the graphics card's fan GENTLY and heatsink too) so that the fan blades "cut" the air properly.


Use your vacuum cleaner to remove dust from the inlet/outlet grills of your power supply as well.(Do Not Open the power supply unit to clean the fan(s) there is a shock hazard even when unplugged)


Doing the above things should help lower general stress levels when you go to press the "ON" button of your computer.

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Rock, I'll agree with everything except  the size of your partition for your operating system.  25 to 35 gig for Vista is not enough by a very short shot.  Vista with all it's updates, SP's over time will fill nearly the entire partition with little room for swap/paging files.....your virtual memory space will be reduced to next to nothing which could slow your computer to slower than a crawl (maybe even bring it to a full stop).   Windows creates restore points every time you get an update from Windows Update..........and Windows wants to devote up to 50% of the available space to use for those images.  The use of a third party disk imaging program could make it safely possible to turn off restore point creations but then it becomes critical that you manually image yoru drive every time you make any significant changes to your system.  And, even if it's not really that significant you would want to err on the side a caution.  If you are going to partition your primary drive I would say allow a minimum of 100 gigs.  You know many programs we all use will not install on any partition other than the partition the operating system in is on.  Adobe Acrobat Reader is one such program............and you can't really get along without that free reader.  Though I don't have my c: drive partitioned I think your idea of doing so for your operating system is a good one.........smaller physical space for fragmentation to occur.  But then it's faster to reach that critical time to defrag........so, as always, it's a trade off.


I think there is a validity to your thought on defragging.  I used to defrag twice a week because I just wanted a nicely structured drive with a minium of allocated space sitting there all wasted for all intents and purposes.........shove all that stuff together and free up some usuable space at the end of the aisle.    But then I started getting bad sectors on my drive after a couple years of use (I tend to put old drives from my previous computers into my new computers............a hard drive may be 5 years or older in my second drive bay).  Asking around I was told that the bad sectors occur due to heavier write cycles occuring on the same sector.  Defragging will do such a deed on your drive.  I reduced the frequency of my defrags to only when I see the drive about 20% or so fragmented..........which is approximately once every other week (sometimes a little earlier and often a little later).  I haven't seen a bad sector on the drive that is my secondary........it's almost 6 years old).


Good advice, Rock.

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@ Peggy

"25 to 35 gig for Vista is not enough by a very short shot.  Vista with  all it's updates, SP's over time will fill nearly the entire partition  with little room for swap/paging files.....your virtual memory space  will be reduced to next to nothing which could slow your computer to  slower than a crawl (maybe even bring it to a full stop).

I'm not running Vista currently, Win7 has made it redundant for the most part (another story there), so I can't attest to it's install size.

Ah, here we are from MSDN w/SP1

"01. Windows Vista Starter  x86......................6.26GB
02. Windows Vista Home Basic x86...............6,37GB
03. Windows Vista Home Premium x86..........7,63GB
04.  Windows Vista Business  x86...................6,82GB
05. Windows Vista Ultimate x86....................7,71GB
06. Windows Vista Enterprise  x86.................6,81GB
07. Windows Vista Home Basic x64...............9,43GB
08. Windows Vista Home Premium x64..........11,14GB
09.  Windows Vista Business  x64....................10,27GB
10. Windows Vista Ultimate x64.....................11,24GB
11. Windows Vista Enterprise  x64..................10,25GB"

Of course those are vanilla install's, and you are correct that they will bloat beyond that.

Win7's footprint is somewhat smaller.

Currently I'm on Windows 7 "Ultimate" x64, and my C: partition is showing 14.9gb.

Of course I'm cheating a bit because I've disabled the swap file, but normally Windows would assign a swap file that is 1.5x of the installed Ram (I beleive I'm right on that?).

So that would be 6gb of installed memory = upto a 9gb swap file (I'm assuming), so with a default size swap file, the "footprint" of Win7 w/ 3 months of messing about + every available update, comes out to 23.9gb, still Ok imo. >

This saves space for storage of non system files like game patches etc on the secondary partition.

I know user application will vary, but in 3+ months on this install I've had zero issues personally with the swap file disabled.

This includes the common apps most of us use, Adobe, photoshop, and the new games Mass Effect 2, COD MW2, Bioshock 2, and of course Emerald, Snowglobe, and the Official SL viewers, everything runs fine.

But I digress, it is probably best for most users to have a swap file enabled.

Do keep in mind though, Ram is much faster than any hard drive as of yet, so avoiding paging to the hard drive will provide the best performance on any machine.

With sufficient system memory installed, the swap file will not be as critical an issue provided the application you're trying to run doesn't complain.

Optimal for most users, 2 to 3gb memory for XP-32bit, 2 to 3gb for Vista/Win7  32bit, and 4gb or more for the 64bit flavor's.

Also in my opinion, avoid using a 32bit operating system if you have a graphics card with alot of memory 512+, because of 32bit memory addressing the graphics card's memory will have it's own footprint on your system memory.

32bit OS + 3gb memory + 512mb graphics card = ~2.5gb available system memory

Ok I've rambled on a bit, so will get back on topic.

To "improve" PC performance in Second Life, press CTRL + P, click Graphics, click the Hardware Options tab, set the Texture Memory (MB) slider to half the memory your videocard has on-board.

i.e > 512 megabyte graphics card = set the slider to 256 and press apply.

You can experiment different settings of course, but I haven't seen any degradation in picture quality during normal SL'ing and it does seem to keep SL running smooth over the long run.

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Apply your favorite tweaks/adjustments. --> Black Viper has a good Windows services tweaking tutorial.

Bad idea, leave services alone but do delay some if your using Vista or 7. There is no default setting for services and many a newbie has had to do a system reinstallation messing with services. If you must, write them down and do your home work before you do.


Then use a program like Macrium Reflect (freeware) and create a backup image of the C: partition.

Mirroring software can and will back up defective images including corrupt files. If your using a second drive for the cashe, drag and drop files to the second drive. Do not forget favorites from the browser and emails that need to be transferred separately. You will need to reload your program and redo your settings using this method. It takes more time but you'll end up with intact files if the system goes down. Nope it's not easy but it is a safer method.

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I've set my AVG to also block spyware. I never install extra toolbars, mouse pointers, themes and such. I use a very nice all in one maintenance utility from GlarySoft. I keep my hardrive partitioned will all my data (game saves, pictures, documents, chat logs, cache) on the second partition, keep Windows updated, I've doubled the virtual memory, disabled remote assistance, check every month for driver updates. Can't think of what else

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Virtual memory???  Virtual memory is just a way of tricking the PC into thinking it has more RAM then it does. The quicker fix is RAM.

A new drive with 320 GBs of space about $50.00 US or less.

Hardware for older PCs is very cheap.

Shrinking the drives(s) will reduce the amount of time needed for running scans, check disks and defrags Leave 15% of the drive available for defragmentations.

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If you have the system RAM available (RAM left after all your operating system is runing. plus you background tasks) you can usually reduce your virtual memory and gain performance.  When Windows uses virtual memory it just slams the data over to the swap or paging file.........it can land anywhere in that area of the HD reserved as the page file.  The larger that file is the more time it takes Windows to find and retrieve the data when it needs it..........reducing that file increases the speed it takes to get the data back (smaller area to look for the data......seek time of your drive comes into play).  I have 3 gigs RAM on my computer.  Vista with all background services and programs running uses right at 700 megs.  I have about 2.5 to 2.6 gigs addresable memory available (as explained by Rock).  Average worse case I have 2.5 available.  Discount the .7 my OS is using I have 1.8 gigs available for program memory requirements.  A 2 gig (2000 meg) page file is more than enough to handle all my percieved needs for this computer (SL uses just at ,5 gig).  I reduced my page file from Window's default of about 3500 (3.5 gigs) to 1500 (1.5 gigs).  I had a huge speed increase.  You have to play with it to get what's best for you system.


Yeah, Vista Home Premium 32 bit.  Ain't going Windows 7 till my next computer which I will home brew.........it will be the 5th one.  This box is the first computer I bought off the shelf in years........and will be the last. 

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hi all, yeah it comes down to alot of thing to keep ur pc running fine,

age of components , eg capacitors on motherboard only last a few yesrs b4 they go,

then just out of date hardware making it obsolete for newer programs


and the most common cause on win xp machines, is hte nature of xp diteariating

the OS just wears out and need reinstall, also HDD probs cause it too, so defraging helps and junk files removing etc,


but there was another guy said the same thing he has to reinstall every 6 months or so, same here

but now i got win 7 (cough the free version:P) and its been fine, had HDD probs so had to reinstall but other than that works fine


cya love Rimz

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Hoi Again,


Ok open card over pc.

I am running on a Alianware M17X  laptop (love my dad )

  • I7 intel quadcore 2.66
  • 8 gig memory
  • 2 terra sata drives
  • 3  1G Nvidia GF GTX260 graphic cards
  • OS Win7 ultimate 64

Result windows index.

  1. CPU                     7.8
  2. Memory                7.2
  3. Graphic                 7.4
  4. Graphic games      7.6
  5. Prim HD                6.8

End Index is then 6.8

Microsoft note.

  • Office use index 2 or higer is good
  • Extreem gaming index 3 and higher
  • Multimedia index 3 and higher.


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 I reduced my page file from Window's default of about 3500 (3.5 gigs) to 1500 (1.5 gigs).  I had a huge speed increase. 

I'll give that a try. TY.

Yeah, Vista Home Premium 32 bit

Sorry, mines 64bit.

Ain't going Windows 7 till my next computer which I will home brew.........it will be the 5th one. 

Mayeb not.


Seems only "mom and pop" shops that can buy the large packets of bundled OSs will be doing that soon. You could use Linux or maybe the Google OS, possibly, maybe

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Seems you need to be educated again:


RAM is a limited resource, whereas virtual memory is, for most practical  purposes, unlimited.  There can be a large number of processes each  with its own 2 GB of private virtual address space.  When the memory in  use by all the existing processes exceeds the amount of RAM available,  the operating system will move pages (4 KB pieces) of one or more  virtual address spaces to the computer’s hard disk, thus freeing that  RAM frame for other uses.  In Windows systems, these “paged out” pages  are stored in one or more files called pagefile.sys in the root of a  partition.  There can be one such file in each disk partition.


With current PC system hardware configurations RAM is plentiful where as a few years ago RAM was expensive so less was used, thus virtual memory was much more of a concern.

So the point is, virtual memory on modern PCs is largely no longer needed except in rare cases and then only sparingly so reduce it's size. Get it?

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