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Guest Shayt

Random thoughts on PC performance for Fs2002.....

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While waiting for my new DELL P4 2.5 Ghz to arrive I thought about how much damage I've prolly done to my existing DELL P3 in the past 3 1/2 years. IE and Outlook Express have become bears with crashes, freezes, hangs, etc., and then I've loaded a dozen utilities on the P3 for internet and other security, privacy, protection, etc. Even though I close this stuff down before activating FS ahd have 90-94% resources available, I feel sure that somehow over time, the performance of the machine has been degraded progressively.So I decided that when the new P4 arrives, I am not going to load anything onto it other than FS2002. I will transfer some FS2002 data from the P3 via parallel cable and I will do my best to keep from "polluting" the machine by activating IE, logging onto the net with it, and loading countless utilities. I will also have the benefit of a brand new hard drive that won't be highly utilized with application software and I think that that in itself will help keep performance good.This is gonna be interesting. I am hoping I will not only see a huge improvement from upgrading, but that I will be able to keep the PC performing consistently well.JS

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Please don't be offended if you're aware of this, but a lot of folks do not run scandisk (thorough) followed by defrag on a regular basis. If you don't do that at least once every month or two you'll definitely see a downward trend in PC performance. Another common problem is folks keeping their too-small harddrives near 100% full, leaving the operating system with little room for swap space and no contiguous blocks to place new large files. Finally (since that's all I can think of for now) the c:windows directory can become cluttered with old, orphaned DLL's. They can be left lying around from programs that either weren't properly uninstalled (from Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs) or from programs that don't uninstall completely even when you try to do it properly. There are freeware tools that try to clean these "dangling DLLs" up but I personally don't use them. Better to do a format, reinstall the O/S, and reinstall your apps just to be sure your starting over from a pristine state. I tend to do this after a couple of years of using a PC even if I'm simply re-installing Win98SE :)So don't discard that PentiumIII workhorse. Burn a CD or two with content you want to keep, then reformat & reinstall the OS. You'll be glad you did!

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Once you do clean up your old machine, I'd consider getting a network kit. This will allow you to do much with both machines. You could do mx player, or better yet you could use wideview and link FS so that you have a front and side view! And since I know you are running two monitors from your PIII, well you know what I mean....possibilities are endless.Best of luck with your new machine!

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Here's a thought too JS. Since HDDs are so cheap, you could add a second drive and do a clean and lean OS install, with FS and your FS-related utilities, on one drive, then do a full install minus FS and all utilities, and you can put all your other apps and games on this second drive. Then when you want to boot lean you could either change this in the BIOS, or just set up a dual boot situation so you are prompted which drive to boot off of. Make both drives bootable. Nice 40GB 7200 ATA100 drive, about $70 or so. You are right about decreased performance from loading so many pieces of softare, from whole programs to individual data files. Makes the windows registry bloated, and all must be process on load up. Scan disk and defrag help when those conditions exist, but they don't get rid of bloat per se.NoelI am having serious pangs of want over my new drive system: Seagate Cheetah X15.3 36GB 15,000 rpm SCSI U320 drive. Huge transfer rate, less CPU use during disk reads, 3.6ms access, and now QUIET and COOL. FS will be going on this baby yeah!BTW, the drive has been reviewed on storagereview.com, and should be in retailers hands within the month I hope.

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Noel,I'm thinking of following your suggestion about a second HD dedicate to FS. Is it enough for me just to copy all FS folders to the new drive or should I make a new installation. I hope to evoide the latter becuase all the add-ons I've got.Thanks and Regards,Shayt

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No you would want to install both a fresh OS and fresh FS install on one drive, plus only those FS add ons you will use. This way the Windows registry remains very small and efficient on this drive, and you will load only the basic necessities to get FS to run properly. Then you can clog up your main drive to your heart's content and it will have no effect on your "lean" boot drive.Noel

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In fact when you install Windows make sure you intall the least # of features possible. Here's what I think I'd try:1. Starting with two formatted but empty drives, begin with your "Lean and Mean Install" on what will become your D: drive. DirectX, current video/audio drivers, any network-related stuff so you can connect utilities like FSMeteo. FS2002 and all utilities go here too. I think if possible I would also leave OFF Internet Explorer. When you are prompted to install all kinds of features, keep them down to an absolute minimum. You could probably do a super lean install, leaving off media player, all the themes and sounds, essentiall ALL the Windows utilities like Paint, etc. You want the CORE only! Then if you find you missed something the first time through the Windows install you can activate it later, after you've possibly run into trouble with FS2002.2. Next, disable your first bootable Lean and Mean drive.3. Next, do a new FULL install on what will become your Drive C: Put everything you want on this drive except for FS installation.4. Now, you will need to set up a dual boot routine which will give you two choices when you start your machine: A. Boots off C: AND D: is on as well. This way you can download add ons and patches for FS etc onto a folder in Drive D: for eventual installation when you choose Choice B. in the dual boot dialogue.B. Boots off drive D: and Drive C: is disable and NOT SEEN by the OS on Drive D: (which now becomes Drive C:). This way the Windows registry on Drive D: does not become bloated and corrupt.I could be missing something in this that will cause trouble, so if anyone spots a problem please respond.Noel

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