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Everything posted by E-66

  1. Programs with installers typically install to the Program Files folder, but there's a lot of portable/self-contained software out there now. If you download such a program, it goes to wherever you have your browser set to download stuff..... which is presumably NOT to your Program Files folder. While it probably doesn't matter where you download it to for initially inspecting/testing the program to see if you want to keep it, from an organizational point of view it probably doesn't make sense to leave it there forever. So what do you do with portable programs you decide to keep? Do you move them to your Program Files folder (or perhaps create a 'Portable Apps' folder within the Program Files folder and keep them all together) and manually make shortcuts to them? If not, what do you do?
  2. I can't help it, I like to tinker with stuff, and sometimes I get myself in trouble... like now. I have a PC dual booting XP & 7, installed on a SATA HDD (using a small FAT primary partition, and the OSes on logicals). I've read about aligning partitions and thought it was only for SSDs, but apparently not? Anyway, while booted into Win 7 I used MiniTool Partition Wizard and aligned the partitions on the HDD. All but the Win 7 partition, as it couldn't be aligned while it was in use. It asked me if I wanted to restart and have it aligned then, so I said yes. Upon rebooting it said it couldn't find the boot manager. Did some Googling, and ended up using my Win 7 installation USB stick so I could access the "repair your computer" stuff. Tried Bootrec /rebuildBCD, /fixboot, and maybe anther one as well. There were no issues in executing the commands, but when booting I still kept getting the same message about not being able to find boot manager. The Win 7 install was fairly new and I didn't have any data I was worried about losing, so I decided to reinstall 7, and this was the first time I noticed that there might be an issue. Prior to reinstalling, the partitions looked "normal" in both MiniTool Partition Wizard, EaseUS Partition Master, and Windows' own Disk Management (I had moved the HDD to another PC so I could look at it), but once the reinstall began and I got to the screen where you choose which partition you want to install to I saw 8 instances of unallocated space (all with listed sizes of either 0 or 1 MB). One between each partition, and also one before the first and one after the last. I wasn't sure exactly what was going on, but I suspected it was tiny amounts of space that was created when the partitions were aligned. I just thought it was odd that the programs mentioned above didn't show it and that I was seeing it for the first time during the install. Anyway, the install seemed to go fine, but upon the first reboot I still got the message about no being able to find the boot manager. What's going on, and what do I need to do to fix things? What other info do you need from me? Edit: Oh, and since I didn't research things as thoroughly as I should have to begin with, is it true that XP doesn't like aligned partitions? So I need to "un-align" them? Or start over from scratch and repartition the HDD and forget aligning the partitions?
  3. I'd say that's a pretty good description of the situation. Jaclaz, if I had easy access to you and your knowledge (if you were my next door neighbor, for instance), I would have been more careful in my "experimenting".... but as you can see by the post times, you replied over 18 hours after my initial post. I had been reading about performance improvements with 4k alignment, read through a few "this is how you do it" articles, had some time on my hands, so I went for it. "Maybe I should ask Jaclaz about this first" wasn't an option. I'm a very curious and inquisitive person, and sometimes I lack the patience I should have in particular situations. I figured the worst it could do was screw up the OS. My data was safe, so I didn't care if things got ugly. Everything is fixed now, no worries. I'll definitely look through the links you posted though. And thanks for the DMDE link. I hadn't heard of that program.
  4. 4k alignment, or whatever it's called that SSD users are supposed to use. I read that it can also be used on regular HDDs. Why'd I do it? I wanted to see if I could notice a performance difference.
  5. Did some poking around on my PC at things I don't normally look at regularly and noticed that the single profile on my PC is 3.58 GB in size. Did some Googling and saw advice about not downloading things directly to your desktop, temp files, Outlook Express files, and stuff in Local Settings in the user profile folder. My desktop is 99% shortcuts and a few tiny text files. Never used Outlook, ever. My temp files were redirected to another partition when XP was installed and are empty. The entire Documents & Settings folder was redirected to another partition when XP was installed. I just checked, and the Application Data folder is just under 200 MB, and Local Settings is just under 100 MB. What else would account for my profile being so large?
  6. There seems to be some kind of a glitch here (that's what I call it when there's something that seems obviously wrong but I don't have the know-how to figure it out). As mentioned earlier, despite my My Documents being over 7.5 GB, my user profile size showed as slightly less than half of that at 3.7 GB. I took everything from My Documents and moved it to a temporary folder outside of my profile folder, but still on the same partition. As a result, my user profile size shrank to 194 MB. Just now I did this all again, and also moved the Application Data and Local Settings folders out side of my profile folder, and my profile size was down to 5 MB. I assumed that would be the case. Moved everything back and profile size was back to 3.7 GB. To address your question (here comes the glitch), I copied a 3 GB ISO file into the root of my profile folder, increasing its "right-click > properties" size to almost 11 GB.... but when checking the profile size, it was now DOWN to 2.86 GB. Huh? I moved the ISO file to different places within my profile folder, and depending on where I put it, my profile size would vary between the 'new' 2.86 GB and the original 3.7 GB, but I couldn't get it to grow any larger than that. So even though moving my profile folder's Application Data and Local Settings folders in & out of the main profile folder made its size grow and shrink, ADDING a 3 GB file to either of these folder wouldn't make it grow any larger. I wasn't motivated to copy any other large files into my profile folder so my 'experiment' stopped there.
  7. 35 minutes... ouch! With my obviously smaller XP system image Norton Ghost takes less than a minute. I hate the idea of having to walk away for over half an hour while a system image is being restored, but at least it's not something that has to be done often. I've used XXCopy for years for non-OS backup. I've considered looking into XXClone for OS backup, but have concerns about the future of the program because the developer died recently. http://www.xxcopy.com/index.htm http://www.xxclone.com/
  8. @alacran Everything you suggested above is how my system was set up from the beginning (using the same reasoning), except that the OS isn't on C:, but D:, a logical partition. My C: is a tiny FAT32 partition with nothing but the boot files. My OS image is small and can be recovered in no time. I did a lot of research before installing XP permanently, and am very happy with the results. With that in mind, and I know this is the XP forum, I sure would like to know how to achieve the same thing (small image size) in Windows 7. I'll probably have to start a new topic for it in the 7 forum. With 7's giant WinSxS folder (and 7 just being a bigger install than XP in general), it seems impossible to make a small OS image that can be restored quickly. Back to XP. All that being said, for the subject of this topic, I don't think it matters if your system is set up 'ideally' or if it's all just dumped on one partition. If your My Documents folder has a bunch of stuff in it your user profile size is going to be huge. Move that stuff out, the profile size is smaller, but now that stuff is elsewhere. No big deal either way, as space isn't an issue for me... I just didn't understand why the user profile size was so large until I kind of became more educated about it over the last week.
  9. I've continued to mess around with this. As stated, my user profile was 3.58 GB in size. I did a little HDD reorganizing, and it grew to 3.78 GB. NTUSER.dat was 3,072 KB. As mentioned above, My Documents was over 7.5 GB. I took everything in it and moved it to a temporary folder outside of my user name folder, but still on the same partition. As a result, my user profile size shrank to 194 MB. I also used a shellbag cleaner, and NT Registry Optimizer, and afterwards NTUSER.dat shrank by exactly half, to 1,536 KB. I then took everything from the temporary folder and put it back in My Documents, and my profile size was right back up at 3.78 GB. So.... unless someone can offer insight to the contrary, I'd say that the "user profile" size is pretty pointless. It just means you have a bunch of stuff in your profile folder Great, that's what I thought it was for! If I move that stuff outside of my profile folder, whether it's 100 MB or several GB, the profile size drastically shrinks.... but that just means that that stuff is now located somewhere else. I have my lossless music collection on a separate HDD. If I had it stored in my profile's My Music folder, I guess my profile size would be almost a TB in size.
  10. Well, if it *is* the norm, then mine is 4x the norm, and I'd like to know why. Looking thru Google Images I saw one profile that was 21 GB, and another that was over 60 GB..... and plenty of others that were under 1 MB. https://www.google.com/search?q="windows+xp"+"user+profile"+size&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwit-bL_-OzUAhWBLyYKHV--Bb0Q_AUIBigB&biw=1600&bih=773 Look at the description at the top of the User Settings box when you get to it as I described above: "User profiles store settings for your desktop and other information related to your user account." That's a pretty vague statement. How can any of that "stuff" add up to over 60 GB?
  11. Right-click on My Computer > Properties > Advanced tab > User Profiles > Settings My profile is the only one there and it says it's over 3.5 GB in size. What things contribute to a profile's overall size? If I go to to the Documents & Settings folder and then right-click the folder with my name on it, it's almost 7.5 GB in size. Within it, Downloads is 6 GB, and another folder I created is just over 1 GB, so those 2 folders account for almost the entire size of the <my name> folder inside of the Documents & Settings folder. Everything else in it - 13 folders and 276 files, is 378 MB, so how is Windows determining that my profile is 3.5 GB in size?
  12. I'm confused about this based on something I read in the Windows and GPT FAQ on MSDN. I'm building a new PC and already have everything except the SSD that I'll be installing the OS on (Win 7 x64). Since I'll be getting a smaller SSD (probably 256 GB or smaller), I assumed I'd set it up with a MBR scheme. My data-only HDD will be 3 TB, and I thought I had to set it up with a GPT scheme because of its size. My confusion lies in what I read here, regarding using both MBR & GPT disks on the same system: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/dn640535(v=vs.85).aspx#gpt_faq_mixed_gpt_mbr "Systems that support UEFI (mine does) require that boot partition must reside on a GPT disk. Other hard disks can be either MBR or GPT." Is this accurate, or am I interpreting it incorrectly? My 3 TB drive is going to be data-only. I have ZERO experience with GPT. My plan was to install Win 7 from USB to the SSD, and after it's set up to my liking I'd add in the 3 TB drive. What will happen if I do this? Based on the info from the link above, I'm interpreting it to mean that the system will look to the 3 TB drive for a boot partition, not find one, and then potentially not boot. Some clarification about this would be appreciated. Thanks.
  13. Thanks for the lesson. Followup Q: With what you said above in mind, when you access a GPT HDD in Disk Management in order to create 1 or more partitions, are the Extended/Logical options either grayed out or not made available at all? Is the only option to create "a partition" because in GPT a partition is a partition is a partition?
  14. Another Q: If I set up the 3TB HDD in a GPT scheme, is the creating & formatting of partitions through Disk Management still the same? If it is, then since this is going to be a data-only HDD, say I don't create any primary partitions on it, thus there are no partitions to be marked as active, and I make the whole thing 1 or more Logicals inside an Extended.....and I don't connect this HDD to the system until after I've installed Win 7 on the SSD. Would this minimize the chance of any booting issues?
  15. @Tripredacus Yes, I *did* use the new PC's boot menu option to select my USB flash drive in order to install Win 7 off of it (on the older HDD I mentioned above).... and it was the only HDD connected at the time. I'll do the same in the future with the SSD before adding the 3TB drive. I mentioned that in my initial post. That being said, after I had 7 installed and working (this was a few weeks ago), I went back to the boot menu at start up because I thought I saw something I wasn't sure of, but ignored it at that time because I wasn't selecting it at that point. It was the UEFI Shell option. I've since gone back and selected it, and it brings up a command line interface. I had no clue what to do even to poke just around in it, so I typed 'help' and saw a flurry of stuff go by and was only able to see the last third or half of it after the screen stopped scrolling. The "/p" switch didn't work like in DOS, and I didn't know what to type to get it to stop after a page of info, so I just exited out of it. @cdob I worded my last post poorly. I'm aware that there are Win 7 drivers on AsRock's site. I used several of them during my install. Regarding adding a UEFI boot environment to my USB disk, I did that as a test using the Rufus USB installer. When I booted from the USB flash drive, I got to the screen where I could pick which partition to install to, and for each one I got a message that the partition or disk were not of the right type. I expected that. The HDD was MBR, and it was looking for GPT. I plan on using Win 7 for as long as possible. It may be the last version of Windows I use. I also downloaded a 10 ISO and installed it and played around with it for a week. Just didn't like it. No experience with 8. I plan on eventually dual booting this new PC with some variety of Linux.
  16. Thanks for the replies so far. As a reminder, I don't work in the PC industry in any way; I'm just a detail-oriented and techno-minded home user. To me, UEFI means "fancy BIOS screens with a fancy background.... and you can use your mouse." At this point my knowledge doesn't go beyond that. I hit F2/delete during POST and I'm in it and looking around. For this build I decided to go AMD Ryzen. My mobo is an AsRock AB350M Pro4: http://asrock.com/mb/AMD/AB350M Pro4/index.asp I'm looking at a PDF of the manual as I type this. Under BIOS Features, it says it has an "AMI UEFI Legal BIOS with GUI support." It has a lot of options, some of which I have no idea what they are. There is a CSM entry, and it's enabled. It says not to disable it unless a WHCK test is being run. Underneath the CSM entry are the following: Launch PXE OpROM Policy, Launch Storage OpROM Policy, & Launch Video OpROM Policy. Al are set to "legacy." Is this enough info to tell you 'how' I'm booting? As I mentioned in my initial post, I don't have my SSD yet, so in order to play around with my new hardware I hooked up an older SATA HDD that has a small FAT primary partition and several OS-sized logical partitions on it (jaclaz, I've read about and used your partitioning/boot strategies), and installed Win 7 from USB on one of them. The info in the link above to the mobo says is designed for Win 10 only, but I had no trouble getting 7 installed. This HDD was obviously originally set up in a MBR scheme. I had assumed that I was booting with UEFI just because of how the background screen looked and because I had my mouse available. Then I came across this on How-To-Geek about using UEFI instead of the BIOS, and confused myself a bit more: https://www.howtogeek.com/175649/what-you-need-to-know-about-using-uefi-instead-of-the-bios/ It talks about accessing the UEFI options from within Windows 8 & 10. I know I'm running 7, and it mentions a legacy BIOS mode for older OSes, but I'm not seeing any options for that when I was poking around. Probably because the mobo was designed for 10 only?
  17. I haven't been on the forum much in the last year, and it seems like the traffic has really slowed down on several subforums. I thought for sure I'd see some Ryzen talk now that it's mid-April, but there's nothing. No one wants to be an early adopter? Waiting for more motherboards to be released? BIOSes to be improved? What's the deal?
  18. I thought that was debunked? I believe it's possible to install Windows 7 and 8.1, but that there are issues using Windows Update, or Microsoft Update, or whatever it's called.
  19. My parents live an hour away, and when they have issues with their PC they call me and I try to fix things over the phone. The problem is that they know NOTHING about computers and can't describe anything with terms I can understand, and it takes forever to diagnose and fix things. I'd like to be able to maintain/fix their computer without so much fuss, so I was hoping to do it with Remote Assistance/Desktop. If I could just see their PC I could take care of their issues in 1/100th the time it takes over the phone. I have their PC right now because I couldn't fix their last problem over the phone, so since it's here I'd like to get it set up so I can access it from my place when they have issues in the future, i.e. next week! I've never used Remote Assistance/Desktop before so I don't know where to begin. Which one do I use, Assistance or Desktop? I would assume Assistance, but without knowing more it looks like it could be done with either. I've never used either so I don't know where to begin and could use some guidance. We both have XP SP3. I know how to access them, but how do I set them up? What is the "name" of their PC? Is it the "registered to" name from My Computer > Properties? I don't know where to start. Please help.
  20. Thanks. Your "live recording & watching" analogy explains it. Their PC is a Pentium 4. And I did have their Task Manager open and the CPU was at 70% the entire time. And thanks for the tips on how to set T.V. up for unattended access. I can see how that would be useful.
  21. OK, I tried using Team Viewer for the first time today. My mom called about some issue, so I figured we may as well fire it up see if it worked. It did. She gave me her ID & password, and :::POOF:::, I was looking at her desktop. I ended up updating their Flash player, Firefox and a couple extensions, and got into their display properties and changed the text size for their icons and menus. The only 'issue' I found was that it was a little slow/laggy. Is that normal? Windows Explorer seemed like it took 3+ seconds to open, and Firefox was 10+ seconds. It wasn't horrible, just a little annoying. It was still 1,000,000x better than trying to explain to her what to do herself.
  22. I'm always a late adopter with OS's. I didn't switch to XP until 2008. I pre-ordered Win7 a year later for no reason other than it was offered at 50% off. Now, 6+ years later, I finally have an unactivated copy installed on an extra HDD in the same system that I have XP installed on: SATA 2.0 Gigabyte mobo (P35, ICH9), E8400 Core2 Duo, basic video card, and 2GB DDR2 RAM (just doubled to 4 GB since I installed Win7). The Windows Upgrade Adviser says it should run Win7 without issue, and my Windows Experience Index numbers are 7 for the CPU & RAM, 3.3 for video, and 6 for the HDD. I'm underwhelmed so far. Basic things I do in XP take longer in Win7. Opening up Computer Management > Disk Management in XP happens almost instantly, but takes 3 seconds in Win7. Opening Firefox with 10 extensions in XP takes about a second, but again takes 3 seconds in Win7. My XP install has been customized with nLite. I didn't even remotely try to get it as bare bones as possible, but I removed a bunch of stuff, and there are less than 5000 files in the total install. To contrast, there are literally 10x as many files in a fresh Win7 install right from the DVD. I know there are programs for slimming down Win7, and I'm curious how much differently a slimmed down Win7 install would run, but at this point I'm hesitant to permanently install and activate Win7 on my current setup and was wondering how any of you feel who have also installed Win7 on an older system. Thanks.
  23. I'll definitely report back. I have Team Viewer installed on both PCs, but I haven't tested it yet because I only have a wired connection to the internet, no router. My parent's PC is going back to them tomorrow, so hopefully I can test things out soon.
  24. Thanks for the replies. We both have XP Pro SP3. I will look into Team Viewer immediately. In hindsight, I should have asked if there were better options besides Remote Assistance/Desktop in the first place. Thanks for the tips.