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Reasons I hate Windows.

Discussion in 'Computers / Software' started by hueseph, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I've just spent the past two weeks installing, formatting, partitioning and reinstalling Windows onto my computer. Why you ask? For some strange reason every time I tried to install onto the primary partition of my application drive it would return multiple errors for no apparent reason.

    The only reason I was able to install an (as of yet) error free installation is that I accidentally discovered that when I install XP onto a secondary partition on the hard drive (IE: partition D:\ or E:\), it boots without error. Any time I would install onto the primary partition it would hang every other boot. I ran several diagnostics at the highest settings with no issues. :shock:

    For the longest time, I just put up with it. Finally the system was rendered unbootable. :cool: I tried backing up from an image but of course that just put me in the same situation I was before the system became unrecoverable. Two weeks later, I can finally boot without issues.

    Why do I punish myself like this? I must be some sort of masochist. :lol:

    If it matters at all:

    2 Seagate 150 gig drives(1 for system. 1 for loops and samples.)
    1 Seagate 320 gig drive (audio only)
    Amd Athlon 3600 X2 64bit capable.
    Asus M2V-MX
    2 Gigs Kingston DDR2 667 RAM.

    Yeah it's an older CPU but it's not slow and it runs PT8 just fine when it works.
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    dum te-dum.... te dum te dum....


    Not a flame intended here... but bro...

    That's why I fled the black hole of the blue screen world.

    If a Mac dies... hold the C key... restore from image... 30 minutes.... done.

    So far, without fail <knock on wood>
    (All one time's it's happened from failure)

    I've rebuilt my beta box countless times on purpose.
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I'm with you Max. My next box will without a doubt be a Mac once again. Gotta Scrape up the bones for that Octo Mac Pro.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Hmmmm.....do you have install errors on both your 150gig drives or do you keep trying to use the same one? What you describe sounds like bad sectors on the drive itself. Another possibility is if two drives have been manually assigned the same letter at some point-ie both have been system drives in the past.

    Just for the record, I have no beef with Apple, I just don't use them anymore. I also don't ever have Windows issues.

    As far as restoring an image, Windows doesn't have that built in but there are programs that will provide that function as well. That is how large corporations deploy workstation pc's.
  5. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Jack -

    Any suggestions on setting up a Windows machine properly?
    I run a Dell Dimension E521 w/ Vista :(. 250 GB internal, 500 GB (audio) external. 3GB RAM, and a dual-core 1.8GB processor.

    I can't disable internet b/c I periodically need to update the drivers for my Firestudio.
    I have disabled Defender on start-up and a few others.

    Reason I ask, is that I hear Macs don't f-up. I also hear from people that run Windows w/o issues. I can't buy a $3000+ Mac, so I gotta figure out how to make my PC run nice.

    Two main issues - doesn't boot right periodically (turn it off, try again); too many of my initial resources are being chewed by the OS.

    Thanks for any help in advance - I think your responses will be universally helpful and could help reduce the instant elimination of Win machines by some.
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    No this also happened on an older 80 gig drive on the same motherboard/cpu/ram combo. All the drives are very new and as I stated before I ran extensive diagnostics on the drives with no errors. Incidentally, Windows 2000 Pro. ran perfectly well on this machine. No issues ever.

    I use Norton Ghost.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I wish I were closer to you to take a crack at it. You have me curious. Even though your mobo is fairly recent I have had some mixed results with Asus personally. Also, pc manufacturers can be justifiably castigated for poor quality control and often poor design of mobos. Sometimes I think the only "design" is to fit the board into a particular case with no care as to circuit layout etc.
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Soapfloats: With any major manufacturer your best bet is to start with a clean install of whatever OS-don't use the Dell restore partition at all. Do not then install any of the "extras" provided from Dell (or HP or whatever) like the Quickset et alia. You don't need them. Truly do NOT install the Dell software update program.

    I see a lot of folks try to just uninstall things from a factory image rather than start fresh and this causes beau coup problems.

    Turning off Defender is good. Remove any antivirus/firewall too if the only site you ever visit is for driver updates. If you have your internet cards disabled that should be good enough. If you don't need wireless at all then you could just remove it from the machine too. You can also turn user control completely off. When you do that you also need to tell the computer to ignore the appropriate messages. There were several good links to sites in a thread from a couple of weeks ago. These would be good places to start. I like the Black Viper tweaks for services.

    I have to confess that I hardly use my Vista Ult machine since I threw Win7 on a different laptop. Win7 is worth waiting for. And Vista is definitely a pig even when it's tweaked. Once you've turned off everything you can though you shouldn't have too much problem unless you want 64 sample buffers and lower. One thing about Vista is that it can try to do updates at the most annoying times so make sure you turn that off. Vista is also finicky if you just close the lid while it's installing updates.

    As to not being able to wreck a Mac, I have a dear friend down in San Diego that has gone through three Mac desktops and two laptops in the past six years. I don't have any idea what he does to them but he breaks 'em pretty good. In fact he was just up here on tour with his BQ last week and he told me his laptop was in the shop again.

    Now, I don't condemn Mac's because of his experiences because he has a "special" touch with computers and is perhaps a huge exception to the Mac je ne sais quoi.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Just as an FYI: My current Dell machines are an Insprion 9400, a D820, and a D620. The 620 is not a good mobo for recording or even heavy editing. It has too much inherent latency in it's layout. That said, it has great battery life and is relatively tiny. This is my Vista machine. The 9400 (XP Pro) is definitely the best and the D820 (Win7 and SS os drive) is a close second. None of them have a factory image on the drive and they all will record 16 tracks at 96k without glitch-provided I remember to check the sample buffer for the interface is tweaked for the particular machine.

    Jeremy's description of his new rackmount pc might have given me the bug to do another desktop but I really like the convenience of a laptop.
  10. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to have a solution for you but maybe an answer as to why you LOVE windows.

    But first...

    Ok...so you had a computer that would only boot up every other time. Was your image taken of the system while you had that problem or from before that problem occurred? I'm trying to figure out how restoring the image brought you back to the original problem.

    Anyway, why you love windows...

    You sir are a tinkerer, a troubleshooter, a problem solver. You like knowing how something works and being able to fix it yourself. You like to know what all the parts, and doodads are for and how they work. Because of this, once you found out about computers you wanted to know how they worked. You wanted to know what pieces go where and how they operate. You eventually found all of that out and took that knowledge and put it to good use. You built your own computer. You knew what parts you needed. You knew how to hook them up and you knew you could do it all yourself for a HELL of a lot cheaper then going out and buying a ready made system.

    So, now that you had all the components put together you needed an operating system. Your tinkering, troubleshooting and problem solving only go so far though. If you were the ultimate tinkerer you would have purchased Linux. However you felt that keeping your head grounded in devices and slots and ports and IRQs was plenty. Now it was time for something else to do the heavy lifting. So you went with Microsoft Windows. Plus, that's the only OS that would run the application you want on the platform you've built.

    And that my friend is why you use, and love Microsoft Windows. It satisfies the problem solver in all of us and keeps us busy...very busy. Or is that why I use it? I forget. :-?
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Another question. What happens if you use Ghost to clone your working d: partition onto the c: partition? Same thing?

    Also, do you have the latest BIOS (1005)?

    pr0gr4m: Troubleshooter had a completely different connotation in the Corps......
  12. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I suspected that it might be the chipset and still do. The thing that throws me is that it ran fine...no...awesome with Win2000 sp4. All was fine until I installed a legal copy of WinXP. (incidentally all my software is paid for licensed and registered).

    Bios is the latest most stable version.


    The computer never worked well from the get go with XP. I've always started with a fresh install. I backed up what I though was a good installation though that installation had several crashes during install. I used that image to restore.

    The recent installations are both fresh installs(fourth time over).
  13. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    The one thing that's always bugged me about the pure x86 architecture is that there are only a few minor hard and fast rules... too few.

    This allows manufacturers to build stable systems... but only with a select few components that provide adequate stability.

    Which when you get right down to it, becomes a closed architecture... e.g. Dell, HP, etc... are doing what a lot of people complain that Apple does... go figger, huh?

    I've been getting a LOT of mixed results with ASUS boards over the last coupla' years... nothing quite as drastic as what hueseph is experiencing, but I've seen this exact same problem vocalized all around the support forums. Primarily with ASUS, but a few other's are listed as well.

    I'll double check some of my tech resources and see if there's indeed a solution.....
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I agree.

    I upgraded a lot of friends computers to XP years ago (legally). Many of them were using Win2K without problem but they wanted the newer "look." Some of them had problems. I remember two in particular. One was an eMachine that ran fine but was slower than molasses in January for no explicable reason I could ever figure. The other was an HP Pavilion that I really had to force to take XP. It lasted three weeks then gave us the finger and died.

    My sister in law has a Dell that runs "fast" like that HP. It also packet jams the router in her house. I don't live in Seattle so I only get about 36 hours to clean it up and try to do something with it once a year. I try not to "customize" my relatives' computers too much but this one is about ready for a reaming.
  15. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Hueseph: One thing you could try also is to leave about a 10 meg empty partition at the "front" of the disc. This is where a lot of manufacturers place diagnostic tools. You don't have to assign it a letter but it might fool your mobo into letting the next partition operate effectively. The typical Dell drive w/Restore partition is set up for instance: [10 mb diagnostics (no letter is assigned here)] + [OS partition c:] + [custom Ghost restore image]

    Newer HP laptops have a similar arrangement.
  16. intchr

    intchr Guest

    You really need a 2nd computer of some sort and a thumb drive or other easily portable source to d/l your interface drivers and transfer them to your DAW rig. That's what I've done for the past 3 years, with no major hiccups. You'll burn a few extra minutes running back and forth between machines but it's a fair trade-off.

    This desktop I'm on atm takes about 10 minutes to stop booting -- my isolated DAW machine takes 60 seconds, tops. Then again though, this desktop has hooked up with more scummy sources than Wilt Chamberlin. Oooh the secrets it holds and the stories it could tell!

    I'm also pretty certain that regardless of the sites you go to, an unprotected Windows machine sitting on the net will eventually get found by a worm that just spends all day pinging IPs.

    Past that, I second the idea of doing a clean, unadulterated OS install without any of the garbage that Dell packs into their restore utility. You can get fairly close to clean by carefully combing through and deleting every garbage app you won't ever have a need for, but you need to take great care when doing this -- and close would mean wanting to travel to San Diego and arriving in Kansas City instead.

    Last, if you're absolutely going to keep your machine on the net, I advise unplugging it from the net every time you don't need access, and searching out AV software with the smallest processor load that you can find. It's been a while since I've compared AV software, but the last time I did I found that Norton's took up 16 megs of RAM on a constant basis whereas Kaspersky took up 4 megs. Of course this may all have changed but you see where I'm going -- on your DAW rig find the software that will do what you need without bleeding it to death.

    Odds are more than likely though that Vista's not crashing, something else that's installed is causing Vista to crash. A clean install will take you about 2 days to do but the returns are huge and last a long time.
  17. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    I've now completely sworn off Symantec products...

    Just as Windoze is the target of attacks, so have the Symantec products become targeted as easy prey.

    Additionally, Symantec products totally destroy any overhead of system resources you might have from a lean, clean OS installation.

    I've switched over to Trend Micro... very effective, very small footprint and very few system resources when it's actively running.

    Most of my users don't even know it's running in our heavy imaging workflow.

    intchr's right about boxes getting discovered, though the actual data is scarier than "eventually"... When ET phone's home to register... it's being attacked. So, the real number is something like 13 seconds after being tied to the interweb, a Windoze box is at risk.

    After registration, even with a good firewall, as soon as you turn it on, you might as well think of your box and data as being vulnerable if you are tied to a network that has web capabilities.

    Sadly, the black hats are looking primarily for a Redmond communication and traffic to the security companies. When they see that traffic, they follow it back to you.

    I've goten my feet wet on Vista, and while it may be touting better security, the experiences I've had with it are quite a bit less than impressive. So, for now, I'm sticking with XP wherever I can... especially with all my Asus mobo's.

    I double checked with some of my Asus compatriates, and a couple have had success with creating a 10-20Mb front partition, as our esteemed mod has suggested. Seems that there is something about that series of mobo's and SATA drives from various manufactures.

    There's a thought that it may be the remnants of the QC test, or the install utility helper supplied by the disk mfr's not correctly clearing sector 1, that's causing something to hiccup with the drive recognition on the mobo.

    After that, most of the propellor heads I know are kinda' stumped as to wtf is going on with Asus... but it's not looking good for the home team to be supplying mobo's in my shop any more.
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Hey Max, what is your experiences/opinion of AVG? I looked at both AVG and Trend when I was trying to find something better than the two big ones. I happened to go with AVG but not necessarily because I thought Trend was bad.
  19. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    We looked at AVG, but since we run a Cisco AHA, Trend is what Cisco incorporates... so we knew that it would be a no brainer for routing and update issues.

    AVG is supposed to be in the same league as Trend... e.g. lean and mean.

    There's a few folks that use it at home and love it. But as far as personal experience, I don't have any. So, anything I would say is purely speculation.

    What's your experience with the AVG TSR? I know the Trend is virtually dead silent. I wanna say it's something less than 150-200k. I have no friggin' clue how they do it, but it really is a stealthy little footprint.

    I know the AVG renewals were a bit cheaper than the Trend at our volume, but IIRC, Trend was a tad more for smaller seat counts... like $1 or so more for less than 50 seats.
  20. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I have been thinking about Trend over the winter because I run four Cisco/Linksys RV routers so I can manage my locations easier-RV016 & 3x RV082. The latest firmwares now include Trend integration and I have a lot of bone headed employees that try to get over on me. None successfully in quite a few years but eventually one of those little whippersnappers will know more than I do. It's inevitable.

    The AVG TSR on my wife's HP 9000 series (Vista home prem) is about 2330k so Trend significantly dwarfs that. I think I shut down my networks when I closed for the winter last fall but I'll try to log on and check the machines with XP Pro later. I have to go play and record a woodwind quintet concert in Red Lodge in a few minutes.

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