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Everything posted by dark41

  1. Just to keep the facts straight, actually MS is selling what they call "upgrades" from XP to Win 7, and from Vista to Win 7. I have a couple sitting on the desk in front of me. They're slightly less expensive than buying a complete separate retail version, although both are still a clean install. They also void the old XP/Vista key. I'm pretty sure they can be used to go from 32-bit to 64-bit as well.
  2. Here's 1 example of an incomplete list of changes from Vista to Win 7: Hardly the same OS. ;-)
  3. I find that opinion and the qualifications for it to be total crap and misleading. I couldn't care less who has a monopoly or who doesnt, but I care tremendously about what works and what doesn't work, and what suits the needs of my customers. MS OS's (with the exception of ME) have always been superior to anything Linux/Unix and Macintosh at the same period in time for running all hardware with all software while remaining user friendly, and that's why a huge majority of people use MS rather than some free open source alternative. Most people don't want to be hardware limited after going through the learning curve of a Mac, and by far most people appreciate the user friendliness of Windows over Unix/Windows. Unlike you, my chosen profession requires that I know all Microsoft operating systems pretty well, and I do. I hate Vista too, but I'm quite happy with Win 7. I run a custom computer business. We built over 1000 systems last year. Out of those, 7 had Vista on them because that's what this particular small business's plan required (latest components and software). Fortunately they'll also qualify for a Windows 7 upgrade soon, at a greatly reduced price (some will be free). Hardly anyone asked for Vista last year, and those who wanted my opinion were steered towards XP, with one major reason being that I knew Win 7 was on the horizon and would be a better alternative than Vista. Every other system we built last year had Windows XP or a server OS on it. I have 8 test systems set up with Win 7 on them. Every one of these systems has used everything from the Beta to the current RTM versions, both 32 and 64 bit. One is a 3.0GHz Pentium 4 with 2x512MB DDR memory, an Nvidia 5200 vid card, a SoundBlaster Live sound card, and an 8 year old Gigabyte motherboard. It runs very smoothly and has never had any hiccups. There were a couple driver problems with the Beta, but since RC build 7100 all drivers were found and installed without a problem. Another system is an AMD socket 939 SLI, with a 1.8GHz AMD 3000+ CPU, 2x512MB DDR memory, SoundBlaster Audigy sound card, and ATI X600 video card. This system also performs very well with Win 7, had no problems finding or installing drivers, and benchmarks with almost identical scores to XP. Win 7 has been tested extensively with E-computers with great results. So contrary to what dc2000 says, Win 7 runs very well on older computer components and is in no way comparable to Vista in that regard. That being said, I don't recommend users switch to Win 7 on older systems just for the sake of upgrading. When you need software that won't work on XP or do your next hardware upgrade, I recommend doing the Win 7 upgrade at that time as well. Because we're custom, users will have a choice between XP, Vista, and Win 7 when Win 7 becomes available, and I'll gladly build whatever they want. However, if they ask my opinion I'll definitely push them towards Win 7 with a list of many good reasons why: *Win 7 is much more secure than XP *XP support will soon cease, and long before the computer hardware needs replacing *More and more, users will find that software and hardware is not compatible with XP (there's already many hardware components and software that are not backwards compatible with XP) *Win 7 has improved tremendously on the initial releases of Vista for stability and speed *Win 7 is everything that Vista should have been, with the exception of the new file system that neither have *Win 7 runs considerably better on lesser hardware than Vista (on mid-high end systems they perform pretty much identically) *You'll be hard pressed to find a review that says either XP or Vista are better choices than Win 7 right now (so its not just my professional opinion that it is, and I have a very extensive list of reviews for my customers to read before making up their mind with accurate comparisions) A person may look at Win 7 and think that its basically no different from Vista. It has many similarities. The differences are much too vast to list here. Google around and you can easily find many lists, most of which are incomplete. The truth is that Win 7 is extremely different to Vista, although it will require basically the same learning curve to use from XP. Its still much less of a learning curve than switching to a Mac or Linux too. In my opinion, its well worth the learning curve. :-)
  4. Recuva is a decent file recovery program, but its mainly for .jpg. It isn't very good at other file formats. I've had much better luck with TestDisk and PhotoRec (bundled). Does many more file formats and just plain works. Also free. :-) http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download
  5. The entire point of releasing Beta and RC builds is to troubleshoot. Anyone who boycotts Windows 7 because of bad experiences with the beta is only hurting themselves. I had some problems with Beta too, and less problems with RC builds (7100, 7264, 7600). Each new build was smoother than the previous. I'm now running Enterprise 64-bit version on several machines, and its sweet. Not a problem yet of any kind, and even have DOS-Box installed to run old Win 98 games. Haven't found an application/game yet that won't work with the 7600 build either straight away or under compatibility mode. BTW, that's a nice upgrade walk through. Thanx! :-)
  6. I can't recommend this utility. It looked like a good idea, so yesterday I installed it and ran once. After a few hours my computer BSOD'ed, and then BSOD'ed continuously after a few minutes. IE7 started erroring and closing. Games (civ IV Beyond The Sword) caused BSOD. After turning off auto-restart, I find the error codes: page_fault_in_nonpaged_area bad_pool_caller Both of these errors involve many different problems, including drivers and hardware, but usually are memory related. I've removed the page file, recreated it, moved it to another drive. The same problems persist. I'll try a system restore, and if that doesn't work restore my imaged partition. The only thing that changed on my system was installing PageDefrag. It has taken a very stable system and made it very unstable. USER BEWARE!
  7. Sorry about not answering this sooner. "Penalty" is probably the wrong word as I don't see how it has an impact on the score. But you don't see the red X on the summary page for "Update Sound, Video and game controllers driver"? And when I follow the link or go to the drivers page, this is listed: ATI Function Driver for High Definition Audio - ATI AA01 7/13/07 5.0.40001.9 8/26/08 None None Realtek High Definition Audio 9/19/07 10/2/08 None It would lead one to believe there are newer drivers available. But the fact is that I had the latest drivers supplied by ATI and Gigabyte at that time (I haven't checked Gigabyte to see if they've updated since then or not). I did call my Gigabyte supplier to be sure, and the next day they called to assure me that Gigabyte does not support anything other than what is on their web site. "This is not a true ATI driver. It is a driver update (more or less) so that windows will use it properly. You can get it from MS update." Where else you can get it from is not really the point. I believe I got it from ati.amd.com/support/ website. It's what they directed me to with the 48** series and I believe is included with the 8.1 Catalyst Software package. Otherwise it was an automatic update from Microsoft Update. Either way, it was the newest driver available at the time. So I'm not sure where PC Pitstop found a newer version (of course 8.11 Catalyst Software was released on 11/12/08). But my point is that these red Xs can be a bit misleading. They seem to imply that your system is not up to date, which is not necessarily the case?
  8. One thing the tests do is penalize for drivers even though the hardware manufacturer doesn't support it. This has been an ongoing issue which has never been resolved. EG: I have the latest Realtek driver that Gigabyte supports for this motherboard, but I'm penalized for not having the latest driver that Realtek has available, even though it's not supported on my system. EG-2: I just bought a new video card this week (HIS HD4850). Instead of installing drivers from the CD, I went directly to the ATI website and got the 8.1 Catalyst Software Suite. Now I get penalized for not having the latest ATI driver for the ATI Function Driver for High Definition Audio - ATI AA01, although there is nothing newer available from ATI. So what I'm saying is that users need to take these results with a grain of salt. If your system is working fine, and you know you have the latest drivers that your hardware manufacturer provides, pay no attention to these test results. In fact, installing a driver that is not compatible with your hardware can cause serious problems. http://www.pcpitstop.com/betapit/sec.asp?conid=21240022
  9. Sorry, but you've guessed wrong. I often delete all files from temporary internet files, yet copied 30+mb of data to my flash drive when following this procedure. One thing that should be mentioned, is that depending upon the amount of data to be transferred, it can take quite a while to log off. In my case, it was 15 minutes while my browser stated "not responding" but all the time data was being transferred to the flash drive. Eventually it did log off and everything else worked as explained above. Great tip!
  10. CounterSpy is ranked number 1 in the world by Cnet. It's not exactly light on resources, but it does work well and includes active protection. Norton is fussy and tends to clash with everything. Couldn't pay me to use Norton anymore after seeing how it slows down the entire system and internet for some customers that I've had to do repairs on their systems. I haven't tested Spyware Doctor recently, and don't think I've ever tried Spyware Blaster. I figure you usually get what you pay for with free AV/Anti-Spyware. AVG was the lone exception in my humble opinion.
  11. I run AVG Internet Security Suite for SBS, includes AVG's anti-spyware (paid) SuperAntiSpyware (free) CounterSpy 2.5 (paid) All active at the same time and all set to scan at 6AM (when I'm not around).
  12. I'm not calling you a liar Law, I'd just never heard that before. I run 3 anti-spyware programs at the same time and usually sample new ones every couple months or so. Never had a problem for what its worth. I did a repair a couple weeks ago on a system that had 15 different malware programs on his system. Almost all of them were the fake anti-spyware programs, complete with browser hijackers popup windows, and task bar icons. Talk about a mess getting all that stuff off. (That's why I really like SuperAntiSpyware as it did most of the work). Obviously some people do fall for that stuff, even though their intentions are good.
  13. Should only have 1 actively running? Surely you're getting confused with AV, as they tend to have problems with more than 1 program installed. Every reliable site/recommendation I've ever seen has recommended running more than 1 anti-spyware program for best results.
  14. Never used Avast, so no idea how good that is. Adaware (free or paid) are crap as far as I'm concerned. Many infections aren't identified and many more not removed. My opinion of Spybot isn't much better. I've had numerous infections that Spybot either couldn't identify or couldn't remove. We see lots of infections doing repairs on customer systems. For my money, if AVG's internet security suite, CounterSpy, and/or SuperAntispyware can't find and remove the pests, they can't be removed. AVG will be noticeable on slower systems during scans, but only a couple of games weren't playable for me due to frame jumping. CounterSpy is a bit more sluggish on a system, but it works. I usually keep it off except for scanning and or surfing where I need the active protection. SuperantiSpyware isn't even noticeable when running or scanning. So if my customers want free, we give them AVG free AV and AVG free anti-spyware, and SuperantiSpyware free. If they want to spend a bit, we recommend the AVG Security Suite and CounterSpy, along with SuperantiSpyware (free). Cnet doesn't test all antispyware apps, but here's a list of where they ranked the ones that they did test: http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3688_7-6812013-1.html
  15. Vipre (Sunbelt Software) might be worth a look too. It's not a typical suite as it's not 2 programs molded together. Its 1 program that does both spyware and viruses. I've been beta testing it for a while now and it's pretty sweet, and great support. :-)
  16. http://www.superantispyware.com/ Free and it works.
  17. +1 for AVG Internet Security Suite. Uses the least amount of resources of any suite I've seen and works as well or better than anything else. I recommend disabling the anti-spam, as it's a pain. I fix computers for a living, and nothing is faster at updates and does a better job than AVG for the $. I think you'll find AVG is also cheaper for a 2 year subscription than anything else. One tool I might add to the arsenal is CounterSpy 2.5. I find it'll fix a couple things that AVG, Norton, Panda, CA, Trend Micro, etc., won't. Another tool that's a must have is SuperAntiSpyware 4.0. It's free, and what most sites will refer you to after running a Hijack This log when nothing else works. http://www.superantispyware.com/
  18. If I might add my opinion... I'm a bit older than you at 40. About 10 years ago I was your age and looked into a computer programming degree, which would have been completely government funded. I got straights A's in algebra in high school, but when I saw what was necessary for the computer programming degree I realized that I was never going to be towards the top of my class in computer programming. I chickened out, but thank God Napster was around at the time. I learned more in 4 years on Napster about computers than anyone in school did in the same time frame. I've owned my own computer shop now for 7 years and never looked back. My advice: If you really want to learn computers, nothing beats help desk work. They pay crap and will take very little experience, while you can work beside IT techs who know their stuff well. After 2 or 3 years, you should be able to test out on most MS certificates. And then you can get the jobs that pay the big $, and be well ahead of people who started school when you started work. Nothing beats real life experience. My wife never got a degree either, but was hired by a friend to set up a local intranet and internet for an aged care facility with 18 centers. All she had was a couple MS certificates at the time. She was asked to fill in on the help desk for a bit and it made a tremendous difference. After a year, she was making 3x the $ that computer programming graduates were being offered at the same office. I agree that if you insist on going to school, a general business degree is much easier and will pay dividends much more quickly. I also agree that at least a bachelors degree is necessary. Best of luck on whatever you decide to do.
  19. dark41

    New Box Blues

    Can't say I'm surprised at the results. As a system builder, the components we get have outdated drivers upon delivery to us (vid cards mostly). I'm sure every system builder has the same problem. Even if they update immediately (like we do), it's likely that by the time a consumer buys the PC from a major manufactuer the drivers are again outdated. We're custom and build to order, so once updated the systems are usually good for a couple of weeks and well after our customers get the systems. What surprises me more is the amount of customers who, even after instructed on how to do updates for drivers, anti-virus/anti-spyware definitions/windows etc., still don't do them at all. Then they expect to have us remove their viruses under warranty a year or 2 later. Er.. right. Windows updates is another story. We try to stay on top of most updates and copy them to a batch file on CD for easy installation. But with the amount and frequency of updates, it's hard to stay up on top of it all. I've found it best to update via our CD (updated about every 3 months or so) and then do the rest via the internet. Anyway, a good read.
  20. I run UT3 maxed out on my system, with XP 32-bit and a 7900GTX TDH Extreme. DX10 is not required for UT3, and frankly I don't see much difference with or without it (I have a 8800GTX testing system). Can't stand shoot-em-up games myself, so UT3 is used mostly for testing purposes. But anyone who installed Vista when it was first available had problems with drivers. I've run Vista since the 2nd beta, then RC1 and switched to the final version in January '07. It was full of driver problems and software conflicts, most of which has now been resolved but not all by a long shot. Realtek didn't have a decent 5.1 sound driver available for Vista until April or May 2007. That was a big one for me, but just one example of many. Microsoft didn't even have compatibilty with Windows 2003 server available for Vista upon its public release. I guess it pays to be a late starter, but it's also not a very good indicator of driver availability with a new OS. Had we waited a year to install XP, I doubt we'd have had any driver problems either.
  21. We have a domain and several computers. Because of the domain we can't use Avast's free Home Edition. If it's a choice between the domain and features vs Avast, there's really no choice for us. We need file sharing, exchange, backup, etc.. Even so, I'm an AVG fan because it just works, is fairly light on resources, and the network edition is cheaper than any alternatives and does it all (AV, Spyware, firewall). You can't beat $99AUD for 2 years for all that IMO. But I agree that Norton is terrible. Can't count the number of customers who've brought their systems in running at a snails' pace. Removing Norton alone speeds up the PC and internet 50% or more. Norton should be the definition of bloat. Can't stop all that many processes on our systems for the same reason (domain). Everytime I install a program (almost daily) I make sure nothing unnecessary is running at startup. I can't get less than 36 processes running (XP Pro, I'm sure Vista is more without actually checking) before I run into trouble. But then our systems are pretty hefty hardware-wise and purr along very well on XP. I guess they purr along as well as anything purrs along with Vista. Actually just priced Avast. It would cost twice as much to run on our server and computers as AVG (we'd need a server edition and family pack), and Avast doesn't include the Anti-Spyware or firewall? And that's with a 25% discount? Ouch even! I'll stick with AVG 7.5 network edition.
  22. Funny. I was thinking that any system would be faster running XP than it would running Vista, period. Wouldn't that make the Vista system more like a Cadillac (slow, but looks good and is heavy with luxurious accessories) and the XP system more like a Corvette (built for speed, and not weighted down with luxurious accessories)? I'm sure there's better analogies, but I still think this is more accurate than Doom's. Everything I've read to date says MS is refusing to make DX10 work with XP. Sure would like to see a link to a useable DX10 for XP. Not that my 7900GTX TDH Extreme could use DX10, but someday it may die and I'll be forced to upgrade. Right now, the 7900 does everything I need it to do. I don't use 64 bit OS's yet either, although I've read many good things about Vista's 64 bit compatibility. In fact, since Vista 32 bit isn't compatible with many programs and games that I use, I can't really see the point in spending money on 64 bit to have the same problems at this point. To each their own I guess. :-)
  23. I'm still running 510-3.bin BIOS with no problems as far as the RAM. What is your DRAM voltage and what does your RAM call for (looks like warrantied up to 2.6v for V1.x and 2.8v for V2.x if I'm looking at the right stuff online)? I might increase DRAM to 2.1v or 2.2v and see it if helps. Otherwise, sorry to say, looks like another failed DFI board. RMA'ed my LP NF4 SLI-DR 3 times. Last DFI product I'll buy for a long time.
  24. I'm not going to debate the speed of a beta OS file system that wasn't ready for prime time even when prime time finally came around. But everything MS has done in the past few years is SLOW. Vista is slow. Office 2007 is slow. Server 2007 is slow. Slow seems to be the way of the future; Add on a bunch of features that very few people will ever use and expect the hardware technology to offset it. My point was more to compatibility issues with the next OS. Vista is a prime example of compatibility issues, even without the new file structure, mostly due to the elimination of HAL. Whether WinFS eventually is used or a completely different file structure is developed, there's a very good chance that current file structures will have compatibility problems with the next MS OS. Compatibility issues also seem to be the way of the future. As for the registry cleaners, I've been using System Mechanic and Registry Mechanic without problems for the past year on several test machines. I agree that both had serious problems a few years ago, but the latest versions seem fine. I don't really think anyone needs these things, nor any of the software sold on PC Pitstop for that matter, but I do like to play with these things to keep some kind of trouble-shooting skills for my customers who think they need them. Personally, I was drawn here for the benchmarks, not the software. As for the system processes, that's kind of what I'd like to see too. If an author can't take the time to post the specific processes, what they do, and when they are and aren't needed, I don't think it's wise to tell people to disable them. Since many people do more than connect a modem to a single system anymore, it's very hard to make a single list of "necessary" processes. In fact, I don't think I know anyone personally who has just 1 computer anymore.
  25. I take it that getting under 30 processes in Vista doesn't inlcude PCs running on a domain network? I don't see how that can be done. Rather than have everyone post their systems for everyone to argue about settings on (since there's obviously a few different opinions on what is and is not necessary), wouldn't it be simpler to have 2 lists of necessary services to run (1 for non domain networks, and 1 for domain networks)? Maybe a thread for just that, and then everyone can state their opinions and services accordingly. There's a very good reason not to have UAC enabled. It doesn't protect anything. Bruce should ask his wife how many times she said not to allow something on UAC (now that she knows what it is). I'm betting the answer is 0. So, as I've said all along, for the novice who doesn't know whether a program is legit or malware, it does no good to ask them if they want to allow or deny something from installing. They'll say yes every time anyway. Add to that the fact that the entire screen is blacked out so a person can't even google the program in question to find out if it's legit, and UAC is worse than useless. Personally, I install programs on my computer every day. My machine is in a constant state of being updated and upgraded. My wife's system is the same way. Our kids are much less into trying new things. UAC is one annoyance that my wife and I are happy to live without. As a system builder, we have yet to sell a system with Vista on it. No one asks for it, and I'm sure not recommending it when asked. XP SP3 will speed up the system by 10%. That's what people care about. That's what I'll stick with (other than occasionally testing Vista drivers for compatibility and just to keep fresh on using it). Vista SP1 won't speed up the system at all. MS has promised support for XP through 2012. By then the next OS (with the file system Vista was supposed to have) will be out. I can't think of a good reason for anyone to use Vista in light of this.
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