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DeadmanDines

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17th September, 2009 at 06:34:35 -

Okay, here's the thing.

My lovely new wife of the last 1 month and 2 days (huzzah) bought a very cheap laptop a few years ago - i mean real cheap, like 512mb ram, a run-of-the-mill processor (I forget the speed at the mo). The coup de grace however was that some retard over at Comet or Acer or whichever twit was responsible decided to load Vista Home Basic on it.

Now I'm not getting into that debate about whether Vista is good or not, because this one point is universal: On a 512mb laptop it is not good. Period.

So I'm desperately trying to minimise the damage by switching off unnecessary features, removing various effects. Problem is, there seem to be lots of options to reduce CPU usage (which I personally don't think is a problem with this laptop) and almost none to reduce memory consumption. This doesn't help when, at the same time, MS decided to put the once neatly organised properties in random places.

So I'm asking/pleading anyone who seems to like or use this bloated example of Western over-consumption® - how can I reduce Vista's memory useage? I appreciate it'll always be slow on a system like this, but can I minimise the damage?

(Note: Yeah, I know I rant about Vista a little, which i said I wouldn't do, but in reality I'm just annoyed at the Laptop manufacturers. Bloatware seems to be the way of the future, but it'd be nice if PC Manufacturers actually understood the meaning of 'MINIMUM specs' before arbitrarily installing it on whatever limping hind they produce)

But yeah, so far I've done the following:

- Switched off the background image (was a photo of our river over in Portugal, aww)
- Reverted to Windows Classic Theme (I suspect it's blitted rather than vectored so probably makes no difference anyway)
- Switched off clearType (now THAT sped things up!)
- Cleaned up old files
- Defragged
- Used Registry Mechanic (great tool!)
- Disabled a bunch of apps in Startup and the registry (thanks MSConfig)

It's a lot quicker once data is cached, but it still seems to be struggling starting new apps and it seems to gutter out a bit when it has to handle new media (so new images make it pause and then display, new apps do the same).

I notice the manufacturers have split it in 2 partitions, which my wife hasn't been taking advantage of (so she's been storing files in my documents and my music (and *shudder* the desktop, which all go on C:\('Vista') not D:\('Data'))). Would that have such a collossal effect as this on Vista? She has just over 50% of the Vista drive free (currently 15gb used, 15gb free - I told you it was cheap!!)

But yeah, that's my work for this morning I suppose.

 
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17th September, 2009 at 11:25:36 -

just buy her higher capacity ram. how many slots does the laptop have for ram? is it one 512 stick or two 256 sticks. upgrade the ram. 50 to 100$ for good ones.

or just downgrade to xp. 100$ - 150$ will get you a xp professional oem.

 
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Flava



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17th September, 2009 at 11:58:02 -

As far as I'm aware there isn't much you can do apart from getting rid of processes you don't need. The only way you can streamline vista (as far as I'm aware) is by downloading one of those pirated copies were somebody has removed a load of stuff from it.

I'd recommend buying Windows 7 when it comes out - but I'm not even sure if that will run well on 512mb of ram. There will be a starter version of Windows 7 that is supposed to run well on netbooks, so that version should have no problem on your laptop (the downside is that the starter version has less features and some stupid restrictions). Other than that I'd recommend upgrading your ram to 1gb or 2gb. It shouldn't cost you too much and will save you a lot of hassle - it just depends whether you know how to change the ram in your laptop.

Edited by Flava

 
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Eight Bit Battle Cat



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17th September, 2009 at 22:30:16 -

You can get Windows 7 for free legally at the moment. It's not the complete edition, but I hear it's extremely stable (a friend of mine's been running it for several months without problems). W7 supposedly runs a lot smoother than Vista, I've even seen articles about people getting W7 to run on a Pentium II 266MHz computer (not smoothly ofc, but it ran).

Apparently you can't download it from Microsoft's site, but you can still get a working key until October 22nd and i'm sure the download itself is somewhat easy to get somewhere.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/download.aspx

You might wanna try that out.

 
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18th September, 2009 at 00:07:21 -

I got 3GB total of RAM for 20 smackaroos at Newegg. Vista's new speed fried the old speed's pants off. If RAM isn't an option, I think there's nothing to do other than what you've done. So it's RAM, XP/7, or dillwithit.

 

  		
  		

Tom GameStop



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18th September, 2009 at 01:03:15 -

Have you tried disabling User Account Control? My laptop takes MINUTES to shut down and start up whenever I have it active. I think it affects your security if you disable it, though, so you probably shouldn't try this if you rely on Windows to take care of firewall/virus scanning/etc.

 
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