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Reformatted Computer Efficiency





Tony The Tiger
Last week I reformatted my January 2003 Inspiron 8200's hard drive for the first time since February 2005. I am noticing about 10% improvement in efficiency using my basic measure of how long it takes Norton Ghost 9.0 to backup my system to an external hard drive. It currently takes 111 minutes to back up my 40 GB internal hard drive and half full 80GB external hard drive to a 55.6GB folder on my external 300 GB hard drive using standard compression. I am not sure why it is more efficient.

Even though it was reformatted, the drive remained fragmented and I have just gotten around to defragging my hard drive late yesterday after this backup. I presume everything that was in my documents got copied over in a fragmented way, but I am not sure whether it was this or my process of deleting all kinds of videos and photos and moving many of them over to my small external hard drive that had my reformatted machine very fragmented. Nonetheless, I am fairly certain the efficiency is not from a less fragmented machine.

This morning while attempting to sync my RAZR to my laptop I realized that I had forgotten to install the Widcomm Bluetooth software that came with my Motorola USB PC adaptor. However, excluding this software was not likely the cause of the improved efficiency.

After reformatting I noticed that several of the softwares that I had been using had been updated. Thus, I have newer versions of ghostview, ghostscript, macromedia flash, java runtime environements, acrobat reader, etc. I did not even search for XP and Office updates because I assume the auto update features will take care of this. It is possible that some of the newer software helped my computer run faster.

Alternatively, my last reformat was Feb 2005. However, in Feb 2006 I got a new motherboard and microprocessor. It is possible that reformatting customized certain software features to my new hardware so that it was wearing shoes tailored to its own optimal specifications and was able to run faster with shoes tailored to itself.

Alternatively, hidden and corrupted files that were causing me problems such as blocking my NetZero dial up software, Firefox search plug ins, and XP System Restore, were probably eliminated during reformatting. Some of these could have impeded my efficiency.

I have found that although I have fewer pieces of software because I realized I didn't need to load several things I never used, the new versions of often used software took up more space. Basically, now I can back up slightly more stuff (in terms of size of the backup folder) in slightly less time. I probably backup to about 55.6 GB in about 111 minutes versus to about 56GB in about 120 minutes previously.

I expect even faster times on my next backup (probably tomorrow) with defragmented internal and external hard drives.

Can any of you tell whether my new setup has any obvious reasons why it should be faster. My current system profile is here www.tonythetiger.frih.net/Temp.html . Some old profiles are there as well. The latest profile was the profile immediately before my last system backup.
Bones
You seem surprised that your pc performs better after a clean install. In my experience, a slight performance boost after a clean install is normal.
Tony The Tiger
Bones wrote:
You seem surprised that your pc performs better after a clean install. In my experience, a slight performance boost after a clean install is normal.


Why? Is it mostly corrupted and hidden files that were slowing down the computer or is it mostly upgraded software?
Bikerman
Tony The Tiger wrote:
Bones wrote:
You seem surprised that your pc performs better after a clean install. In my experience, a slight performance boost after a clean install is normal.


Why? Is it mostly corrupted and hidden files that were slowing down the computer or is it mostly upgraded software?


Several factors.
1) The registry tends to grow to get big and fragmented as well. Since the machine frequently access the registry this can have a detrimental effect on the performance.
2) System file/pagefile fragmentation happens as the machine get's used and this also impacts performance.
3) A suprising number of machines are infected with malware/spyware without the owners even being aware of it....this, of couse, can have a major impact on performance.
4) Some software loads when the machine starts and sits around in the taskbar or even in the background. Although not visible the software is munching into your 'clock cycles' - ie it grabs the processor every so often and therefore slows the machine down. It is a good idea to run MSCONFIG every so often and check what is loading when the machine starts up...get rid of that which you don't need.
5) Some software interracts badly with other software - sometimes not enough to crash the machine but enough to slow it down big time.

There are other factors but I think those are the main ones.....

Cheers
Chris
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