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Computer Crash


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#1
drumstik

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:tazz:

Here is my comuter info:

Intel Pentium 4. 3.0GHz Socket-478. 800 FSB CPU

PC 3200 512/slot

I have 1gig of memory.

Using DSL

Not sure what all of this means. is what I have good?

I am no comuter specialist so please be patient with me. My computer crashed at home, due to no virus or firewall protetion. I just purchased a new 160 gig hard drive.

A friend of mine suggested the following:
20 gig - Drive C Windows operating system only
5 gig swapfile
Remainder for files and applications


Here's my questions:

What is the best way to configure/partition the hard drive?

What is the best way to configure and optimize my computer to be safe, efficient and fast?

Does anybody know what services are safe to disable or set to manual? Also, what recommendations to use as far as turning off themes, using a screen saver, power setting options, i want to get the best optimization possible.

Please Help I'm desperate
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#2
Besttechie

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Hi and Welcome,

Ok, yes, that computer is good. Nice system. :tazz:

Also, might want to check this link out.

How to determine your Windows Swap File size
Also, note I don't have a swap file, on my hard drive, because I don't think it's needed. (At least as a partition.)

Now, to answer the questions.

What is the best way to configure/partition the hard drive?


Well, there is no best way to configure a hard drive. It all depends on what you will be using it for. What kind of information/data you have. Maybe if I showed you my setup you would have a better idea. Just remember the swap file should be the first partition, because that's at the edge of the drive which is the fastest. (If you decided to use one)

As of now with a 120GB hard drive:

20GB for OS and Apps (remember apps need to be on the OS partition, because they run off the OS)
20GB for music
10GB for documents and pictures
5GB for program installers (not needed but I like to have my program installers handy)
40GB for video files and things like that
The rest is unallocated which can be used later on when needed.

What is the best way to configure and optimize my computer to be safe, efficient and fast?


Get an Anti-Virus
Get Anti-Spyware Programs
Get a firewall
Apply Windows Updates

Read this to learn anti-spyware prevention techniques.

Spyware Prevention Help - Learn how to prevent your PC from getting spyware

Does anybody know what services are safe to disable or set to manual? Also, what recommendations to use as far as turning off themes, using a screen saver, power setting options, i want to get the best optimization possible.


Check out this site for that kind of info.

Windows XP services Configuration
What is needed in the task manager - list of what each process is and does
SysInfo Startups - List of all known startups

Hope that helps. If you have any more questions, post them and I will do my best to answer.

B

Edited by Besttechie, 05 February 2005 - 09:52 PM.

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#3
Tim Wellman

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firstly, you don't need a swap partition... it serves no purpose whatsoever, since the swap drive is the exact same speed as the rest of the drive (a swap scsi disk, maybe, but there's no reason at all to have a swap partition on the same hd unless you're talking about a linux installation).

160 gig is a big hd, but, if you're using windows xp with ntfs formatting, the partitions are merely for organizational clarity... they won't help you with speed or anything else... ntfs reads a 160 gig partition just as fast as a 10 gig partition.

There is some benefit to putting your windows install on it's own partition, just in case it completely crashes and burns, you can reinstall without losing the stuff on your other partitions... but, keep in mind, if things get that bad, it means a complete reinstall and format of the windows partition... which means all the software on the other partitions will have to be reinstalled anyway because their reg/config/inf files are in the windows directory. So, in other words, if you need partitions to better organize things, that's fine... but partitions otherwise using ntfs are not needed at all. If you must partition, there's nothing better than Partition Magic... you can make, remove, resize, reformat, and anything else you can dream of, any partition using that.

Actually, with XP pro, you can use the classic theme, turn off all the transitional animations, turn off shadows and font smoothing, etc... download Tweak UI for XP, and also XP-Antispy, those programs give you almost complete control over all the spying and window-dressing aspects of XP

The thing is, you need anti-virus and firewall protection for any computer connected to the net... and those things do slow down your computer... they're necessary evils... I prefer Norton's AV and Sygate firewall... I believe they're the very best of their kind... but whatever you choose, you need antivirus protection and a firewall.

As for other tweaks... no screensavers (those are a holdover from the 286 days), no power settings... set it so it's always on... it takes more power to turn the monitor back on than it does to just leave it on... but, download xp-antispy, and keep setting things until you have disabled almost everything except things you absolutely need.( http://xp-antispy.org/ )

I've even gone so far as to turn off all the sound events. And if you're looking for optimum speed, and you don't play games or do graphics, you can set your screen colors to 256... it all depends on how many luxuries you're willing to give up for speed :-)

then again, you have a very nice setup... you're faster than 95% of all computer owners... assuming your computer is clean of spyware, you shouldn't even be worried about speeding things up :-)
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#4
drumstik

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Basically all I am doing on the computer is email word processing and occasionally will download music.

I did run across an old 20g hard drive I had.

Can I just go with the one partition and use the old 20 gig strictly for backup and move the my documents there.

What about using the following

AVG virus protection
spy bot
ad aware
zone alarm

I am running a dsl with a router, instead of zone alarm can I use xp's built in firewall. I am running xp pro with sp2?
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#5
Besttechie

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Hi,

Can I just go with the one partition and use the old 20 gig strictly for backup and move the my documents there.


Yes, technically you could do that. But do I really recommend it? No, not really. Reason is, because with such a big drive, it's probably better to partition it. It causes less fragmentaion, probably will have a speed difference, makes it easier to orginize things. But the most important one of all is, if you ever have to reinstall your OS (Operating System) you don't have to worry about all your data, as it will be on seperate partitions. Which means they won't be overwritten when you reinstall the OS. This makes everything much easier. So if something were to happen with the OS and it happened to get corrupted you wouldn't have to worry about losing your data.

What about using the following

AVG virus protection
spy bot
ad aware
zone alarm

I am running a dsl with a router, instead of zone alarm can I use xp's built in firewall. I am running xp pro with sp2?


Yes, the software you picked looks fine. Though I do not recommend using the Windows firewall in place of Zone Alarm. Now, you mention you have a router. well, routers also can act as firewalls, and pretty good ones at that. If you have a router then you actually don't really need Zone Alarm. The router itself will protect you, and you won't even know its there, because it won't bug you like Zone Alarm will. It will just sit there and do it's job. The other software such as, AVG Anti-Virus - Good. Spybot Search and Destroy - Good. Ad-aware - Good. Might want to also, check out, SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard and IE-SPYAD. All information on those programs can be found in that link I posted about spyware prevention.

Hope that helps. :tazz:

B
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#6
drumstik

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Ok But if I put ms office on a different partition than windows, and then I have to reload windows. Won't I still have to reload office so that for example when I click start>programs I will be able to see office programs?
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#7
Besttechie

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Hi,

Sorry, I thought I mentioned something about that. All Apps MUST be installed on the OS partition. So yes, if you have to reinstall the OS you will have to reinstall all the apps as well. But all your data will be saved (If you have it on a seperate partition). You will just have to reinstall each program. Which isn't as bad as losing all your important files/data. Some of that stuff is unreplaceable while programs/apps can be easily reinstalled.

Hope that clears some things up. :tazz:

B

Edited by Besttechie, 05 February 2005 - 10:18 PM.

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#8
drumstik

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Ok think I've got it. Just have to decide best way to partition hard drive.
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#9
Besttechie

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Great! Glad I could be of some help. If you have any more questions, post them and I will do my best to answer.

Good luck and happy computing!

B
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#10
drumstik

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just thought of something else, which do you like better or suggest using internet explorer or firefox.
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#11
Besttechie

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Well, for safety, and security and a lot of people will say to use Firefox. Also, Firefox has some really nice features, plus it doesn't have as many known holes/flaws Now, myself I use both. I do not just use one. Though I have secured IE with certain protection. Just remember for Windows Update you MUST use IE. It will not work with any other browser. To be perfectly honest. I have no preference which I use. I use both daily and have no favorite, they both work for me. This is very important: I have done a lot to secure IE, and make it the way I feel it is Ok to use. Whatever you feel like using.

Note: It is a good idea to have both browsers installed. Just in case you ever encouter a problem with one of them you have the other until you can fix the problem. I highly recommened having two browsers and I highly recommened Firefox.

Hope that helps.

B
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