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BootVis and startup

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  • Windows XP
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March 28, 2002 8:54:17 PM

I was wondering, I often have to use BootVis to return to a fast startup state, but why after 1 day does it begin to degrade until 3 days later it comes back to long startups (7 green notches become 12 after 3 days)?? Is it in a way related to the fact I use FAT32 instead of NTFS which was better used with it?



--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!

More about : bootvis startup

March 28, 2002 9:40:23 PM

Move to NTFS. The Windows NT Kernal has problems with FAT32.

I had a FAT32 drive that I couldn't access in 2000, it turned out the second FAT table was corupted, but the first one was fine. 98 fixed it up, but 2000 couldn't do a thing with it, and wanted to reformat it.

If you have a filesystem error, your system is toast with FAT32

Trollin' trollin' trollin', keep them doggies postin', my fingers are swollen, Rawhide!
March 29, 2002 2:49:39 AM

That's not exactly true. Win2K and WinXP fully support the FAT32 file-system format. <i>NT 4.0</i> can't interpret FAT32 drives without a third-party add-on's help, and under no circumstances can NT 4.0 boot from a FAT32-formatted drive. Because FAT32 handles space more efficiently than FAT16 does and can also handle larger disk sizes than FAT16 can, FAT32 is a better file system format for installations that don't require NTFS's reliability or security features. Many Win 9x installations use FAT32 for the advantages it confers over FAT16, so Win2K's support for FAT32 makes it possible to share data on FAT32 drives between the OS's in dual-boot environments. Instead of adding a new device driver to implement FAT32 in Win2K, Microsoft simply extended the FAT12/ FAT16 driver, \%systemroot%\ system32\drivers\fastfat.sys, to understand FAT32.

NTFS version 5 was developed for Win2K, and is the superior file system, but that does not mean that the modern NT kernel has issues with FAT32.

<A HREF="http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/ntfs/verNTFS50-c.ht..." target="_new">NTFS 5.0</A>

<A HREF="http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/osWin2000-c.html" target="_new">Windows 2000</A>

I think perhaps you could have used some of the tools on this page in the past:

<A HREF="http://www.systweak.com/fat32/fat11.htm" target="_new">Fat32 & File System Guide - Crash Recovery Tools & Procedure</A>

The only major file system error I've had while running FAT32 in both Win2K and WinXP was the result of an irrecoverable hard drive crash. And once the drive was replaced, all that was necessary was to partition the drive, and place a previously-created image on the partition to be up and running.

NTFS 5 is better for recovering from errors, but that doesn't mean FAT32 is impossible to manage in comparison.

Sounds like you just had some bad luck.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
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____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
Related resources
March 29, 2002 2:55:43 AM

How often do you defrag your hard drive?

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
March 29, 2002 12:44:40 PM

Quite often, man I noticing no change in using Defrag in WinXP!
The WinDefrag, Norton Speed Disk (which takes 3 hours to defrag my damn 15G, Symantec found it being a bug with no fix) and Vopt, none of these optimized my comp. Programs still take time to launch, in Win98 using Speed Disk made a huge difference. I was opening progs that took 10 secs in 6 seconds! OE6 was opening lightening fast compared to now, and I am using a 7200rpm drive compared to 5400RPM before!
Now since I found out about BootVis, I thought it would save me from waiting too long in startups, sadly the thing then degrades in time! So I was wondering if NTFS had different results!

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
March 29, 2002 3:59:04 PM

Converting to NTFS won't make much of a change in your boot time, IMO. I've got a consistent 23-24 second boot time in WinXP, and that's with FAT32.

Something else is slowing down your boot time, and your program launch speed.

Let's check a few areas.

Is DMA enabled for your IDE controller channels?
Have you installed the latest chipset drivers for your mainboard?
How much physical memory do you have? I'd suggest 256MB for good results, with the "sweet spot" being 512MB.
Have you disabled all unnecessary components from running at startup? Start\Run\MSCONFIG.
Have you disabled, or set to manual all unnecessary <A HREF="http://www.blkviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm" target="_new">Services</A>?
Have you disabled the System Restore feature?
When using the BootVis tool, have you checked to see if any of your drivers are causing the system to slow down? Are you running with the latest drivers for your hardware?
Have you run a thorough CHKDSK on the hard drive to check for possible errors on the hard drive?

In my opinion, Diskeeper 7.0 is the best tool for defragmenting a hard drive in WinXP. I run mine everyday, and while it is not the world's fastest utility, it certainly takes less than 3 hours! And it also allows for boot-time defragmentation, which can place the directories at the top of the partition, and it can also defrag the paging file and MFT.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
March 29, 2002 6:38:31 PM

-Is DMA enabled for your IDE controller channels?---Yes
-Have you installed the latest chipset drivers for your mainboard?---Yes, the VIA 4 in 1s from their site only updated the PCI IDE and added INFs.
-How much physical memory do you have? I'd suggest 256MB for good results, with the "sweet spot" being 512MB.---256MB, but I know 512MB could really help, I play alot and exiting games is sometimes slow, Matisaro recommended 512MB when he saw the diff from 256 to 512.
-Have you disabled all unnecessary components from running at startup? Start\Run\MSCONFIG.---Yes
-Have you disabled, or set to manual all unnecessary Services?--Yes
-Have you disabled the System Restore feature?---No, I find it being very needed sometimes, but I wish I knew how much it slowed.
-When using the BootVis tool, have you checked to see if any of your drivers are causing the system to slow down? Are you running with the latest drivers for your hardware?---Not yet, how does the Trace feature work anyway?
-Have you run a thorough CHKDSK on the hard drive to check for possible errors on the hard drive?---There is no thorough option! But I do CHKDSK sometimes, otherwise when system crashes and I get a Scandisk at startup, but I haven't seen that thing for weeks now since latest patches including no more BSODs from nv4_disp.dll!

Is that program in WinXP or should I DL it? Also when you said it rearranges the startup directories, it means to help faster startup? I was about to make Vopt arrange the Page File to top of the drive for faster access, but it takes time and I couldn't go on!
Obviously something is slowing startup, because my cousin upgraded his 733MHZ P3 with 128MB RAM, 30G drive to WinXP, and he gets 4 notches only, when his drive is partitioned and filled to the brim! Mine is also filled like hell, only 2Gigs left of 15G.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Eden on 03/29/02 03:40 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 29, 2002 10:15:58 PM

Thanks for answering the questions.

This time around, could you list some system specifications? Processor, mainboard, hard drives, etc ... such as I have in my sig?

I'd also like to know how your hard drive is partitioned, and if WinXP is the only operating system that you are running. How is it that your 15GB drive only has 2 GB left ... what is stored on the drive that takes up so much space? How large is the partition that contains the operating system?

Here are a couple of pages that might help you tweak the system startup even farther:

<A HREF="http://www.xp-erience.org/sections.php?op=viewarticle&a..." target="_new">Windows XP Startup Tweak Guide</A>

<A HREF="http://www.windows-help.net/WindowsXP/tune-19.html" target="_new">Improve Boot Performance</A>

I'm not sure that you mean by "notches" with the BootVis tool. ??? How many seconds does it actually take for your system to start from a cold boot?

The program I mentioned is a another Disk defragmenting tool. I can't compare it with VoptXP, because I've never used that particular program.

There <i>is</i> a thorough option to scan the hard drive, although it is not identified as such. Open My Computer, and right-click the hard drive icon. Go to Properties\Tools|Error Checking. Click the Check Now button, and select both options. "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" is the option I was referring to ... similiar to the thorough option for Scandisk in Win9x.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
March 30, 2002 1:03:11 AM

AthlonXP 1600+
Volcano 7 HSF with 2 case fans
256MB DDR PC2100, although it's PC2400 in real.
Epox 8KHA+
SB LIVE! 5.1 DE
Asus V8200 T2 Pure, DetXP 28.32
Maxtor 15GB drive Master 7200RPM, Fugitsu 6.4GB Slave 5400RPM
Antec P303X 300W
Dlink Net card+DSL internet
WinXP Home

No partitions whatsoever, WinXP is installed on the main drive which is also used for all my games, apps. The 6.4GB is rarely used(it was the Primary Master in my old comp), mainly backup and to transfer big files such as movies downloaded.
By notches, I mean when you see the splash screen of WinXP, there are little green bars(blue for Pro)swinging left to right. I count them to know how fast the comp is or how lagging it has become to start. I used to get the average of 6 notches, which now are 12-13.

I doubt I have any Disk Errors, I don't encounter any probs on my drive's sectors, no bugs or crashes irregularly unless the app was pushed too far, like in games Alt-Tabbing isn't always friendly to all.
I'll try your defrag program when I find out first if I need it by all your next answers.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Eden on 03/29/02 10:09 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 30, 2002 3:00:36 PM

You've done your best to post the necessary information, and I appreciate that.

However, the best suggestions I can make at this point would be to check for upgrades for all driver sets, and examine the Event Viewer for possible errors that might be occurring during startup. And to to use a watch to check the actual speed of the boot, instead of by counting the notches. I'm not sure that this is a reliable method of determining the true speed of the boot process. What should be of more concern than this, IMO, is the time that it takes to launch or shutdown a program while in the GUI.

I can send you some WinXP links, if you wish, that might help you determine the source of the problem.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
March 30, 2002 3:48:39 PM

I went to event Viewer under Application Errors, but how do I know which are from Startup? I got like 10 daily appearing.
I also had all drivers updated so far, except Dlink which came with WinXP's drivers, and I guess by WinUpdate if needed. But I do regularly use WinUpdate and have it update in background if necessary so all drivers should be compatible and up to date.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
March 30, 2002 4:44:40 PM

You should look under both Application and System in the Event Viewer for errors. Each individual error can be right-clicked, and under Properties, you can get more information. The Event ID numbers and the error messages are generally searchable at the <A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?ln=EN-US&pr=k..." target="_new">Microsoft Knowledge Base</A>, or from <A HREF="http://www.google.com/advanced_search" target="_new">Google</A>, which is my preference. This may help you pinpoint the source of the problem(s).

I would suggest that you DO NOT allow WinXP to automatically udate the system and drivers. There have been some errors recently attributed to this, such as installing Intel drivers for IDE controllers on VIA mainboards. You should examine each download carefully, make your decision as to whether it is actually needed, and/or is applicable for your hardware configuration.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
March 30, 2002 8:16:41 PM

Oh yeah definitly, it warns me before installing so I choose to do so or not. In many cases they are IE6 patches, but I never ran into an auto-update having drivers to install. That I visit the WinUpdate for it.

However I have yet to Trace my boot, so I will try to soon (my bro has his account on WinXP open, so I simply can't reboot without him logging his stuff off!) and report. I am sure this is the best way. I'd really like to solve the problem of BootVis' optimizations being useless after 2 days. My other prob was system not as fast, but I think I am going to get 512MB RAM instead, many have recommended this as the sweet spot. Look, I know WinXP is slower than Win98, and that progs tend to be slower to open, but I thought that my new system's power would compensate that, or that the defragmenting would help, which it isn't! No defrag program has yet to provide me what I got in Win98's SpeedDisk, 30% performance boosts in opening apps.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
March 30, 2002 8:18:04 PM

As for the green notches that indicate startup speed, I don't really time it and don't really think it's a good way to find out startup speed, but it does show that if there are twice the notches passing before login, there is something that slowed down the system startup!

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
March 31, 2002 7:14:42 PM

Ok I did the Trace+Driver Delay, I got a BIN file. Would you like me to e-mail you the file?
I don't quite get the graphs, it says Boot Done at 35.05 secs, but what boot part? The one before it switches to the login? It still doesn't help however, it shows no devices delaying boot, which I need to know so I can know why BootVis' opt doesn't help anymore 2 days later as startup speed degrades.

Also forgive if I get this wrong since I don't quite understand it all perfectly but, I read in the results box that I have 512 bytes per sector. Is that normal? I thought FAT 32 uses 4KB Clusters? I'm confused!

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Eden on 03/31/02 05:41 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 3, 2002 8:26:37 PM

Bump back up for Toejam, where are you?!

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 7, 2002 3:22:46 PM

bump again for ToeJam

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 7, 2002 4:59:17 PM

Man, I'd really like to continue to help you with this, but it would be a case of the blind leading the blind.

I only ran the BootVis tool for about an hour, disliked what I saw, and deleted it. I could never get the utility to actually make any changes to the boot files (it just sat there for thirty minutes and did nothing), and when I noticed that it had <i>slowed down</i> the boot ... I got rid of it.

Since Microsoft in their infinite wisdom decided that they would not bother to include any help files with the utility, you know just as much about the program as I do, if you checked out the links I posted. And so, in other words, emailing me the .BIN file wouldn't tell me much that would be of much use for either one of us.

The best I can tell you ... a fresh installation of WinXP, without installing unnecessary programs, (such as Norton SystemWorks, except for the Anti-Virus portion of the program) ... keeping redundant files out of the startup, installing the latest drivers and updates for your software and hardware, and running a good disk defragmenting program are the best ways to have a speedy boot in WinXP. And flashing the BIOS to the latest version can also make a difference. Older BIOS versions on the mainboard can definitely slow the boot process down.

I <i>can</i> give you some information on FAT32 clusters. I know that is not exactly what you are looking for, but it won't hurt to learn something new.

<A HREF="http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/part-i.htm" target="_new">Partitioning, Partition Sizes and Drive Lettering</A>

I hadn't been ignoring you. But I <i>was</i> hoping that someone else who had some real experience with the program might step in and add some information you could actually use. Apparently, that isn't going to happen.

Perhaps you should consider contacting Microsoft Technical Support, explaining the situation, and see what they have to say. If they give you an intelligent answer, you could post it here and educate the rest of us!

Perhaps you'll be able to find some information on this <A HREF="http://www.xp-erience.org/download.php?op=viewdownload&..." target="_new">website</A> that might help you speed up the boot process and tweak the system.

Sorry that I hadn't contacted you sooner than this.

Toejam31

P.S. If you'll post the information about any error messages found in the Event Viewer Logs, it's possible to check those out, and see if the problem is due to a unsigned or older driver or program. But if I can't see it, I can't fix it.

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 7, 2002 9:35:15 PM

Could you hand me the link for DiskKeeper for WinXP?
You've said a lot about it, and it seems that it might be the helpful tool.
I had noticed my friend's startup once changed to NTFS, had changed from 16 Blue bar notches, to 4 constant! That is the kink of bootup I want, but the problem is, I'd gladly switch to NTFS if it weren't for the problem that might occur: computer suddenly is slower than before.
Many people have had it and that worries me sick!
Also can you provide any link or info, to how to maintain and properly use an NTFS drive on WinXP, so that my performance ALWAYS remains as good or better than back in FAT32?
And finally, are there any problems or any read problems that can happen if I converted my C: drive only and kept the E: Slave under FAT32?

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 7, 2002 10:20:08 PM

<A HREF="http://www.diskeeper.com/execsoft.asp" target="_new">Diskeeper 7.0</A>

<A HREF="http://www.labmice.net/Windows2000/diskmgmt/filesystems..." target="_new">NTFS Disk Maintenance</A>

Since the latest version of NTFS 5.0 was developed for Windows 2000, the links on the page above are also applicable for WinXP.

I can't think of any problems resulting from leaving your E: partition as FAT32 once the C: partition is converted to NTFS, as Win2K and WinXP have full native support for both file systems. Both drives will be visible from the GUI.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 7, 2002 11:55:34 PM

What can you comment about the problem many people are getting while converting?
And based on your personal experience, what kind of problems or downsides MIGHT occur from converting a FAT32 system to NTFS?
I am more than sure that converting would eliminate this boot up problem... If my friend can reduce his boot time by up to 4X fold just by converting, I am more than willing to try it, once I have all the assurance.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 8, 2002 12:51:19 AM

The only conversion problems in WinXP I have seen are these:

When converting a 60GB (or larger) partition that is FAT32, it's possible to receive an insufficient memory error.

This is because the largest partition that can be converted with only 64MB of RAM in the system is 40GB. The solution for this problem is to install at least 128MB of RAM.

Two, the conversion will fail if the partition was NOT formatted with Windows XP.

Therefore, if you have at least 128MB of RAM, sufficient space on the partition for the conversion, and formatted the partitions on the hard drive with the WinXP CD, there should be no difficulty with the file system conversion.

The only downside I can think of due to having a NTFS file system is that it can't be correctly identified from DOS without a third-party tool. Of course, the conversion is one-way, so if you don't like it, the only way back to FAT32 is with a utility like Partition Magic, or a disk utility from the manufacturer that can perform a low-level format (zeroing out the disk).

You should be aware that using Partition Magic to convert a NTFS volume to FAT32 is a distructive procedure, and you will undoubtedly lose all the data on that partition. And on the primary partition, it may fail, with a "Data is compressed or Sparse" error, and abort the conversion.

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q307881" target="_new">HOW TO: Convert a FAT16 or FAT32 Volume to NTFS in Windows XP (Q307881)</A>

<A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q156560" target="_new">Free Space Required to Convert FAT to NTFS (Q156560</A>

<A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/tech/storage/ntfs-preins..." target="_new">NTFS Preinstallation and Windows XP</A>

This is an excellent resource, but also a very large .PDF file, so consider yourself warned in advance!

<A HREF="http://www.thaifast.com/Cramsession/WinXPPro.pdf" target="_new">Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Version 3.1.0</A>

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 8, 2002 1:12:01 AM

What do you exactly mean by formatted from WinXP CD?
What I can tell you, is that my local PC shop, had formatted my old Win98 system, and now the 15GB Master has WinXP installed Freshly over a formatted drive. It's FAT32 of course. I have 256MB DDR. Am I protected from those slowdown problems?

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 8, 2002 1:13:23 AM

BTW I had seen that Free Space needed for converting a FAT to NTFS on WinXP article, but never bothered to read it entirely. It is much complex, and I could not understand what to do. Maybe you could sum it up in one line on how to calculate or what is to evaluate before converting?

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 8, 2002 1:35:46 AM

During the operating system installation, there is the option to delete or create partitions, format the partitions as FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS, or keep the existing file system.

How your local PC shop formatted the hard drive is impossible for me to ascertain. if they formatted the disk as FAT32 with an older Windows startup disk, and decided keep the file system intact before installing the operating system ... then yes, you could have a problem.

You shouldn't see any problems due to memory, considering the amount you have in the system, as long as the modules are viable.

If you had continued to read the document I sent you about the free space, you would have seen the method used to determine the amount of free space needed for the conversion.

<font color=green>"Convert.exe performs a computation based on the number of preexisting files on the FAT volume and size of the volume to figure out how much free space is required before starting the conversion process. For standard hardware (hard drives with 512 bytes per sector) the equation boils down to the following:

Start by taking the size of the volume, in bytes, and dividing by 100. If this value is less than 1,048,576, use 1,048,576. If it is larger than 4,194,304, use 4,194,304.

Add to the above the size of the volume in bytes divided by 803.

Add to the above the number of files and directories on the volume multiplied by 1280.

Add to the above 196,096.

The above computation closely mirrors the computation performed by Convert.exe. The exact result obtained on a given system may differ slightly.

NOTE : This is the free space required by Convert.exe before it will attempt a conversion. The computation includes an allowance for the possibility that bad sectors may be encountered in the FAT free space. However, in cases where a volume has just enough free space to begin the conversion, and a significant fraction of drive space is discovered to be unusable, the conversion process may fail. As discussed above, this should not result in any disk corruption. The volume should automatically fall back to being recognized as FAT."</font color=green>

I really can't explain this any better. It's simple addition.

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 8, 2002 12:08:02 PM

Sorry again for asking more, but when it says to take the size of volume, I took mine but it then says to take 4.194304 if it's larger than that. Which number should I take then? Also I am using a calculator to do this, so where do I put the commas, cuz there are 2 in the number so I dunno if I need any decimals or there is no need.
Oh and where do I find the number of File and Directories I have?

I'll ask my local shop on what is their method of formatting to be sure.
Thanks again for all that man, I'll also leave Diskeeper today to see how it does. I DLed the DK7 Workstation for WinXP, since there were 2 types, Server and Workstation. I didn't know which to get exactly but anyways the Workstation installed the Defrag program and it seems to look ok.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Eden on 04/08/02 08:10 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 8, 2002 8:28:55 PM

Ok I have defragged for first time using DiskKeeper.
Is it so normal to have at least 2/5th of the entire Analysis Display filled with Red parts fragmented files? And that is how it looked after the defrag. Maybe I should do it again, but I should also mention I have 10% of free space. I barely noticed any change AFTER the analysis display from the BEFORE. Would you like me to send you the report txt? It's odd though, it says cluster sizes are 8K, I thought FAT32 is 4KB?

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 9, 2002 12:05:43 AM

Alright, first thing ... cluster sizes.

Partition size Cluster size
-------------------------------------
512 MB to 8,191 MB 4 KB
8,192 MB to 16,383 MB 8 KB
16,384 MB to 32,767 MB 16 KB
Larger than 32,768 MB 32 KB

Now, Diskeeper.

No, it is not normal for the Analysis Display to show the hard drive filled with fragmented files after running the defragmenting part of the program, although it's not unusual to need to run a defragmenting program at least twice to have all the files (or the majority of them) to be contiguous.

Under the Action Menu, have you run the Boot-Time Defragmenter, (Under Set It and Forget It) which will consolidate the Directories, and move them to the top of the hard drive partition?

Might I suggest that you consider moving just a few of those files off of the hard drive? If you are looking for performance, want a fast startup, and have the majority of the drive filled, it is <i>going</i> to be slower than if it had more free space.

If you are using the hard drive for permanent storage, and don't have those personal files backed up ... you are making a mistake, IMO. Your hard drive WILL fail, eventually. They all do, if you use them long enough.

You can find the number of files and directories on the drive by running CHKDSK. Take note of the information displayed on the screen. Or you can run the Command Line, Start\Run\, and type dir, and go through each main directory with the cd command, writing down the information as you go.

You can do the same thing with a startup disk.

Don't bother with the decimels when calculating the free space needed for Convert.exe.

You can send me the Diskeeper Report.txt if you wish. But I would suggest running the Boot-Time Defragmenter and CHKDSK, and then the rest of the program in the GUI a couple of times, and see how everything looks afterwards.

Look on this <A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/windowsxp/troubleshoot.html" target="_new">page</A> and see if there is anything that can speed up the boot. And use a watch second hand to time it ... not the notches on the screen!

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
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____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 9, 2002 12:23:06 AM

You know I've been trying to find out, what does contiguous files mean? Along with "Consolidate directories"
I have not used the Boot-time defrag, is that the thing some refer to as the "pagefile defragmentation" which places it at the top, where the optimum performance for any swapping, can be greatly attained? The help menu says it can be risky if something fails during that defrag, so I am not 100% sure on using it. I have an E drive for backup, and most backup or non-program files are stores there, such as huge movie files, or anything that is too big. Mind you, I am short on cash, but was definitly needing a new storage solution, because the 15GB drive I have is definitly, and most certainly not good enough for Windows XP to place its territory, along with my programs and games. I backup occasionally on CDRWs.

DK7 also reports an average of 1.00 fragment per file, is that alot?

BTW I used to have the bootup delay that DSL people would get and I was prepared to expect such delay to happen in WinXP too, since my old Win98 machine had this problem but during the boot up in DOS, not inside Windows. And yes specifying a static IP fixed it.

Lemme ask you, why does chkdsk under the Run command close after it has finished testing? I'd like it to stay so I could take note of the file/directory number.

Dude thanks again for all this, I hope I wasn't so much bothering as helping you helping me!

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 9, 2002 1:50:53 AM

<A HREF="http://www.dis.unimelb.edu.au/mm/hwtute/peripheral_devi..." target="_new">How Data is Stored On a Disk.</A>

That should answer your question about contiguous files.

Comment: Your hard drive is a mess!

Did you do a clean installation of WinXP, or did you upgrade?

Here's a report from a defragmentation run on my C: partition just a few minutes ago:

Volume DRIVE 1 (C:) :
Volume size = 36,647 MB
Cluster size = 32 KB
Used space = 2,947 MB
Free space = 33,699 MB
Percent free space = 91 %

Volume fragmentation
Total fragmentation = 36 %
File fragmentation = 0 %
Free space fragmentation = 40 %

File fragmentation
Total files = 21,596
Average file size = 115 KB
Total fragmented files = 1
Total excess fragments = 1
Average fragments per file = 1.00

Paging File fragmentation
Paging/Swap file size = 2,048 KB
Total fragments = 1

Directory fragmentation
Total directories = 1,199
Fragmented directories = 0
Excess directory fragments = 0

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fragments File size Most fragmented files
2 1,674 KB \WINNT\ServicePackFiles\I386\NTOSKRNL.EXE

I defrag all my hard drives, everyday. This was just from having the system on since this morning.

In comparison, you can see that you've got fragmented directories and files all over the place. Part of this is probably because many of your programs were installed when the disk was still in a fragmented state, and although a few defragging runs of Diskeeper may improve the situation, there's a limit to how much any program can do.

You definitely need to run the Boot-Time Defragmenter, and get those directories in better shape. Don't worry about the section in Diskeeper that defrags the paging file ... that really only comes into play if you are running NTFS.

What you should do instead, for your paging file, is make it really small ... like 2MB, temporarily. Then defrag the hard drive. Afterwards, recreate the paging file to normal size, and defrag the hard drive again. <i>Without rebooting.</i> Don't reboot until you are completely finished.

It's very unusual to see a paging file in so many fragments in a FAT32 file system.

(In case you might wonder, after viewing my report, I have two paging files. The tiny one on the C: partition is just in case the D: drive fails, where the main paging file is located. If that happens, I can still boot the system without a paging file error.)

I would suggest that you start defragging your hard drives at least every other day if you want decent performance from the system.

When it comes time to buy a new, big hard drive ... that's where I'd install WinXP, and as a fresh installation. Then I'd format the 15 GB drive, and use it for storage.

Whenever you begin to install a new program, especially one that is fairly large, like a game, defragging the hard drive in advance is always a good idea, so the files can be placed in a relatively contiguous fashion on the disk, right from the beginning.

Running CHKDSK on the partitions from the Start\Run command line isn't the way to perform this operation. The volume can't be locked, and no actual repairs can be make on volumes that contain operating system files if you run the command from the desktop.

Now that you have Diskeeper, you can do it with the Boot-Time Defragmenter. Or ... by opening My Computer, right-clicking on a hard drive icon, and selecting Properties\Tools\Check Now.

If the computer doesn't prompt you to reboot in order to run CHKDSK on the C: partition, then something is wrong.

Hey, you aren't bothering me. I come here to answer questions, and learn new things myself. I'm just trying to keep up with you!

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 9, 2002 3:02:30 AM

Yep clean install, upgrading my old machine to the new one, made me learn, NEVER ignore advices on formatting! A 3 year old comp, upgraded to a new mobo, chipset, CPU, vid card, sound card and else, is disastrous for any machine that won't be formatted. So indeed I decided to buy WinXP Home, had them format my HDD (the E drive, the 5400RPM one was the Master back then, now the 7200rpm is the master, other is slave) to fresh install WinXP.

Ok let me get this straight, the first thing you want me to do, is use Boot Time defrag or set paging file to 2MB?
If it's the former, what exactly is that utility for and how safe is it since it requires to be done on bootup? If they recommended a backup, I fear it might have some side-effects in case of problems.
If it's the latter, you mean by going to My Computer Properties, into Advanced and into Virtual Memory, second tab to user effects? It is customized set at minimum 384MB to 768MB max. Which becomes what? Right after that I defrag? Once done I set back the pagefile size to 384min 768max? What is that going to do in the end?

I dunno about the new drive, full format idea. I've had it with formats unless with new upgrades, they require too much installations, and I just finally had gotten the hang of configuring WinXP optimally, by removing unwanted things, disabling some uneeded services, and much much more. Formatting is the absolute last resort I will go for. I'd imagine say, a fresh 60GB drive transfer from the 15GB, would be happy, since it has all that space to defrag and put its bags in roomy spaces!
The 15GB, once I buy a new big one, will then become slave, where I'll have my E drive's contents transfered to it, and trash the 5400Rpm one!

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 9, 2002 4:10:54 AM

I think we may need our own section of the forum. Everytime I post something, you ask me something else! LOL!

Okay ... back to business.

The first thing I'd run is the Boot-Time Defragmenter, in combination with CHKDSK.

I think it is very safe. I've never run into a problem with it. The only thing I can think of that might go wrong is if the program is in the middle of a "run", and the power shuts off to the system.

In other words, don't unplug the computer, and you should be fine. This part of the program is also something else I do regularly, at least a couple of times a week.

Now, the paging file.

Your paging file is in 11 sections. My recommendation was a method that will allow you to make it into one section.

The absolute best way to do this would be to temporarily and completely move the paging file to the slaved hard drive, with the same settings (minimum and maximum size.) Which would require a reboot. Then you could run the Boot-Defragmenter on C:, then the regular defragmentation part of the program, and finally ... move the paging file back to C: and defrag again.

That would place the paging file on a free section on the drive, all in one piece.

This speeds up access to the paging file, if it is needed.

Whenever I install a new hard drive, I format it twice. Once with the a startup disk after creating the partitions, and once with the operating system installation CD. This seems to minimize errors ... and if the drive has a physical problem, this will usually bring it to my attention.

You could do something similar, with an image of the C: drive. Or with whatever method you choose to transfer your files to the new hard drive. But with all that data, that would be a very large image!

Now, listen up. Here's the thing. It isn't necessary to install all of your programs (including games) in the same partition that contains the operating system. In fact, it would better to put all those files somewhere else!

Why?

(I'll answer you before you ask me! LOL!)

Imagine taking a new drive, say ... 60 GB, and breaking it up into more than one partition.

For example:

Operating system on Partition 1.

Games and programs, program installation files, drivers, and your personal files on Partition 2.

Second hard drive:

Paging File on Partition 1.

Personal Files on Partition 2.

Hard Drive Images on Partition 3.

With this method, you could install the operating system, update it, patch it, etc. Then image it.

After doing this, you would never need to install the OS again, not on that system. And the image would contain <b>all</b> the updates, user preferences, patches, etc. The image would be bootable, so if anything ever went wrong, such as getting a particularly nasty virus ... you could pop in the image, and replace everything, exactly as it was.

The same goes for the other partitions. These could be imaged, too.

There are a couple of more good reasons for having more than one partition, and isolating the OS files.

If the OS files or the file system becomes corrupted on the first partition ... the files on the other partitions, more often than not, will remain intact.

Next, if the hard drive fails, if your personal files are not in the primary partition ... you have a much better chance of retrieving them. However, if they are all grouped in one place, and the hard drive fails ... you can pretty much kiss them goodbye.

Questions?


Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
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____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 9, 2002 9:04:27 PM

Ok I will first do Boot-time defrag. Heheh it seems of all the "predicted" attempts you tried, you failed to remember my question which will be repeated here again, what does Boot time defrag do! hheheh try harder guessing next time! :)  This as well as chkdsk, you want me to set Windows to perform a CHKDSK upon next reboot? Then also have DK7 schedule IN the same reboot a Boot Time Defrag?
How do I move the pagefile? You mean like taking pagefile.sys and CUT to drive E? At same time I also set the size to 2MB min and max.

Well your suggestion for the partitions is partly making sense. My uncle does that too for the OS. I would consider that but again, too many settings to redo. If my operation that you gave me to do on Windows' pagefile as well as the defragging, helps the comp speed up, then I wouldn't really need all that. I'll see to it though, when I get the cash for a new HDD. Besides, the thing I first want in a new HDD is more speed. Granted it's the same RPM, but I know many who notice some better performing than others, loading faster. I heard it's about the average ms read time. I guess 8 and below is what I want! If I had money I'd go get the Western Digital 8MB buffer one!

Anyways sorry if you found it weird I ask more than get answers heh! Don't worry though, once I grasp the true art of handling Windows XP's memory usage, and hard drive maintenance, I think you could relax off my questions!


PS: I just got the answer from my local shop's policy on file system formatting. They told me, if they formatted a drive, and found the filesystem to be the same as the one to be used later on, such as in my case my old Win98 was FAT32, and once formatted, they saw it was FAT32 so they didn't bother to reformat its filesystem, and therefore installed WinXP right after clean format. What can you comment on that kind of filesystem, and if it would then affect the conversion to NTFS? They even recommended Partition Magic 7, claiming it wouldn't give those problems by convert.exe from MS.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 9, 2002 9:34:33 PM

Actually, the answer was implied in one of the posts above this one. The Boot-Time Defragmenter moves the directories on the hard drive to the top of the partition. It defrags them, too.

Yes, you should run the Boot-Time Defragmenter at the same time as CHKDSK, in the same reboot.

<b>Paging File</b>.

My Computer\Properties\Advanced\Performance Options\Change Button. (All on the right-click menu.)

Take note of the Paging File Initial and Maximum sizes already listed.

Highlight C: Clear the Initial and Maximum boxes for the Paging File. Highlight the drive letter for the slave drive (E:) . Type in the <i>same</i> numbers for that drive. Click the Set button, and then reboot. You'll be prompted to reboot, anyway ... if the change was accepted. If you are not prompted to reboot, go back and do it again. That means you missed something the first time.

Go back, after the reboot, and make sure that the Paging File is <i>only</i> located on the E: drive.

Defrag the C: partition.

Go back, and put everything back the way it was. Clear the Paging File off on the slaved drive, and put it back on C: Be sure to click the Set button, or nothing will happen.

Reboot.

Check that the Paging File is back on C:, and cleared off the slaved drive.

Defrag the C: partition again.

*****************************************************************

You need a new local shop; that's what I think of their answer.

Microsoft specifically states that the WinXP CD must be used to format the FAT32 file system on a partition, or the NTFS conversion will fail.

Whether or not using Partition Magic to convert the partition would be successful ... I can't say. Hopefully. I've never tried to convert from FAT32 to NTFS with WinXP installed on the primary partition. It just hasn't come up.

But the tech at the local shop should know better than to format the partitions with a startup disk, and then leave the file system intact when installing Win2K or WinXP. That's sheer laziness.

In this case, you've got three options, if you wish to try out the conversion. Use Partition Magic and pray. Or format the partition with the WinXP CD, reinstall the operating system, and then run the conversion.. Or format the partition as NTFS with WinXP CD, right from the start, and reinstall the OS.

If the partition was formatted as FAT32 with a startup disk, and that does seem to be what they admitted doing (probably to save time) ... don't run the conversion unless you wish to start over from the beginnning, or use Partition Magic.

Toey

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 10, 2002 12:11:36 AM

Well that about clears it!
In your past experience, about how long would you estimate a 15GB drive, first time, using Boot Time defrag?
This is important as I have school, so I need to try to make it all fast and well timed, then have the normal defrag sequence done then, and finally move back the paging file as a whole and defrag again, which would need patience for my family. With that done, I should be able to get a better system performance, hopefully.

Are you sure the shop used the startup disks? They said they just formatted it entirely from scratch, and installed WinXP, but they didn't mention using the CD but rather keep the filesystem as it was from the beginning after that full format. I am not familiar with formatting, maybe when you format it asks for filesystem, I dunno.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 10, 2002 12:33:22 AM

About the shop:

Since you said that they installed WinXP right after a clean format, I'd have to assume they used a startup disk. If they had done it with the WinXP disk, I think they would have mentioned formatting with the CD.

Since there was already a file system on the hard drive before the OS was installed ... and they claimed to leave it intact during the OS installation (instead of reformatting, or formatting for the first time) ... the only practical way to get a file system on the partition before installing the OS would have been with FDISK, on a startup disk.

They also didn't mention using the six startup boot floppy disks that could have been used in combination with the OS CD, so that leaves that option out, too.

Normally, a Boot-Time defragmentation run + CHKDSK on my system is very fast. It just takes a few minutes ... it's not a lengthy process. But then again, I've never had a hard drive as fragmented as yours.

The regular defragmentation run will take a great deal more time than just consolidating, moving, and fragmenting the directory files. How much time? It's impossible for me to say. But it won't start being quick until the majority of the files on the partitions are contiguous ... and stay that way.

Toey

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
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____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 10, 2002 1:56:55 AM

Heheh I tell ya, I also could not beleive the level of fragmentation. I mean the HDD was clean when the comp came from the shop with brand new WinXP, suddenly 2 months after it's a mess that I was trying to find what the hell did this!

I will take a guess and say a half hour to do this boot defrag.

BTW in the report, what does each of the fragmentation types mean? This refers to Free Space Frag, Volume Frag, File Frag and directory frag.
BTW thanks a lot for all this. I've learned a great deal on the storage language! I'll keep you up to date when I do all this to see if any further help is needed. I'll also ask the shop guys again in what you were saying. After all it could be very possible they used the WinXP CD to format, but if only I could find out that somewhere in WinXP or the BIOS! The CD is OEM so I don't know where they got a startup disk from my system!

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 10, 2002 5:59:58 AM

<font color=green>"After all it could be very possible they used the WinXP CD to format."</font color=green>

Wishful thinking.

<font color=green>"The CD is OEM so I don't know where they got a startup disk from my system."</font color=green>

It's a computer shop. They've probably got startup disks laying around, all over the place. If the file system is FAT32, FAT16, or FAT12, then all you need is a version of DOS on a disk that includes the FDISK and FORMAT commands. It doesn't have anything to do with the operating system CD.

Startup disks are not OEM, nor are they specific for an individual computer.

I could format your hard drives with a DOS 6.22 disk from 1995-96.

<font color=green>"BTW in the report, what does each of the fragmentation types mean? This refers to Free Space Frag, Volume Frag, File Frag and directory frag."</font color=green>

<i>File fragmentation</i> concerns computer disk files that are not whole but rather are broken into scattered parts, while <i>free space fragmentation</i> means that the empty space on a disk is broken into scattered parts rather than being collected all in one big empty space. File fragmentation causes problems with accessing data stored in computer disk files, while free space fragmentation causes problems creating new data files or extending (adding to) old ones.

The volume is the hard drive, or the partition.

A folder is a directory. The files are inside the folders.

<A HREF="http://www.videocarddrivers.com/diskeeper6_page1.phtml" target="_new">Defragmentation?? What the heck is that?!</A>

<A HREF="http://www.executivesoftware.com/fragbook/chapter2.htm" target="_new">WHAT IS FRAGMENTATION?</A>

<A HREF="http://www.itworld.com/App/4117/NWW01041100636262/" target="_new">How to defrag</A>

<A HREF="http://www.powerload.fsnet.co.uk/fat32/fat7.htm" target="_new">Creating FAT32 Drives</A>

Better get to reading if you want this computer stuff to start making sense! There are no shortcuts.

Toey

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>

P.S. While I'm at it, I want you to re-read something from my fourth post in this thread.

<font color=green>"Converting to NTFS won't make much of a change in your boot time, IMO. I've got a consistent 23-24 second boot time in WinXP, and that's with FAT32."</font color=green>

That's still the truth. And that's a cold boot, with seven programs loading from the Registry when Windows starts.

I could cut the boot speed to 19 or 20 seconds if I killed those extra programs, especially the firewall.

We've done a lot of talking about NTFS conversions, but that was because you assumed that running NTFS would allow your computer to boot faster, in comparison to the startup time you observed on a friend's machine.

That was just a guess.

If I converted my file system to NTFS, that wouldn't change the amount of time needed for the system to boot. NTFS is actually slower than FAT32 in certain areas.

I hope you are taking notes on a few of the things we have discussed, such as how the hard drives should be partitioned and maintained, and how the programs should be installed. I also brought up some areas such as Services, which can certainly affect the boot time. You told me you had turned off all unnecessary Services, but I'm curious to see how many of these you consider necessary.

When you boot your system, if you click the Taskbar, and select the Task Manager, under the Processes tab, how many processes are running?
April 10, 2002 6:54:36 AM

I want to make one more comment, because this has been bothering me.

<font color=green>" dunno about the new drive, full format idea. I've had it with formats unless with new upgrades, they require too much installations, and I just finally had gotten the hang of configuring WinXP optimally, by removing unwanted things, disabling some uneeded services, and much much more. Formatting is the absolute last resort I will go for. I'd imagine say, a fresh 60GB drive transfer from the 15GB, would be happy, since it has all that space to defrag and put its bags in roomy spaces!
The 15GB, once I buy a new big one, will then become slave, where I'll have my E drive's contents transfered to it, and trash the 5400Rpm one!"</font color=green>

I know exactly how this feels, and so do many other people. But this attitude is just being lazy, my friend, and you know it. You can't justify it.

I build systems for a living, and I know precisely how much time and effort it takes to install an operating system, update it, tweak it, download and install drivers ... the whole nine yards. I spend an average of six hours per system. And I work <i>fast</i>. I give my customers what they pay for ... a high performance system.

The fact is, if you want a system to perform optimally, then you have to put in the work, and then maintain the system afterwards.

Your theory of just transferring the current installation on the 15GB drive to the new drive is not the greatest idea I've ever heard. Not if you are looking for the best performance from your computer. If the system has a messy configuration on the old hard drive, it'll be a mess on the new one, too. Just moving it won't optimize anything, Again, wishful thinking.

My best advice, Eden ... either get motivated, or settle for less. Your choice, dude.

I'll continue to answer your questions, if you wish, but I can't help you make a real difference if you disregard good advice because it's too much of an effort to make a change. I truly understand the reasoning behind the excuses, but that doesn't mean I think the excuses are completely valid, either.

We may just have to agree to disagree.

See ya!

Toey

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 10, 2002 7:57:36 PM

Well thanks again.
I know that formatting's best advantage is a full clean system. But, and BUT, if I can get to make all this work, have a very defragged system, clean, with a defragged Pagefile, and my performance indeed goes back up (which I am beginning to think it will definitly), then I'd say that making a drive transfer wouldn't really affect anything, now would it? I mean it will settle down, then I'll defrag again to make everything in the new space.

Man if I sent you a pic right now, of the Analyze report, which shows my HDD in DK7, you would either be traumatized or get seizures from the flying colors everywhere! Lol... it's true, it's THAT much fragged!
Now I will hope the Boot Time defrag helps, but I am sure it will, since it will put all directories in order, which is what I need first, then finally defrag in order. Maybe part of the non-efficiency of defragmenting on my comp, is due to lack of sufficient space to put temporary files while defragmenting...

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 11, 2002 1:48:28 AM

Hey Toe, upon reading the instructions again, I couldn't help but notice you omitted telling me to set the Pagefile to 2MB anymore.
So now I shouldn't set it to 2MB, and rather just clear it entirely, and recreate another on my E drive with the normal sizes? In short: Forget the 2MB recommendation and go for clear?

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 11, 2002 2:39:58 AM

Yeah, it's better just to move the entire paging file to the slaved drive, then do all the defragging runs on the primary drive. Then move it back the primary drive, and defrag again.

You could it do either way, but my second suggestion (this one) is the better method.

Ordinarily, I'd recommend a small 2MB paging file on the primary drive, and the normal, regular-sized paging file on the slaved drive ... permanently, as this is better for performance. But ... your slaved drive has a lower rotational speed, and it's better for the virtual memory to be on the faster drive ... which in your case, is the Maxtor.

So .. yes ... just forget the 2MB recommendation, and go for clear.

Toey

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 11, 2002 8:13:49 PM

Damn I still have more to ask, sorry!
Is it so normal, that after today's defrag, (had 88% less fragmentation according to DK7, now down to 17 frags and much less of others, which DK7 considers very nice for this 3rd time of defragging) the analyze image of the HDD, continues to show A LOT and A LOT of red? I mean are the red blocks supposed to then become blue once they are defragged, or are they part of the drive? If not, then why the heck are they still there! I suspect theses fragmented files would be finally defragged by the Boot Time Defrag, which I have yet to find a nice time to do it along with the rest.( About the BT Defrag and the options for it in DK7, should I click on all options available before clicking SET for the scheduling to be done? This means options like Consolidate directories, defrag pagefile and one other option available for FAT32 drives not NTFS)

BTW, do you know of any way to time the defrag time? I wish I knew, but I leave it before going to school! Currently the drive is less fragmented, it's 15GB, how much time should I expect of it to take, or is there a way to know when it finished? Norton Speed Disk did that.

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For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Eden on 04/11/02 04:16 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 11, 2002 8:51:28 PM

Some of the files on your hard drive may never become contiguous (blue), because the drive was in a highly fragmented state when the programs were installed.

Some of what appears to be files are actually directories that <i>cannot</i> be defragged from within Windows. You not are going to find out how many of your files cannot be made contiguous until you run the Boot-Time Defragmenter.

The only checkboxs you should choose with the Boot-Time Defragmenter are Directory Consolidation and Run CHKDKS before Defragmentation. The way to consolidate the sections of the Paging File is something that we have already discussed. The function for this in Diskeeper really won't do anything unless the file system is NTFS.

There is no way to tell in advance how long the defragmentation run will take. It will vary each time you use the program. However, it will take less time, if the hard drive is not badly fragmented in the first place. And, of course, it makes a big difference depending on how many files are on the drive.

If you want to know for sure how long it takes, you'll have to do while you are home, and time it. Or look in the Event Viewer and see when the program started, and when it finished. There ought to be an information file put in the Application Log when the program starts and shuts down. You could schedule the program to run at a certain time, and that would give you even more information.

Diskeeper can tell you when it is finished, too. Select View\Show summary after defragmentation.

You might perhaps be coming to see why having the operating system files on one partition, and having your programs and games on a different partition might be a good idea. Throwing everything in one partition can make a mess, especially if you weren't defragging the partition in between program installations.

Toey

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
____________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Procrastination on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."</font color=purple>
April 12, 2002 1:12:58 AM

Ah yes I just saw the Event Viewer thing.
I can see indeed, DK7 is very effective:
First defrag ever with it, took around 3 hours according to the inaccurate Event Viewer (I am saying this because there are chances a DK7 report would've been much more accurate on start and stop times), second time was 1:45, and finally today, it took around 1 hour! That's roughly 3 times less to defrag, and I've started noticing some improvements in loading, especially in games!
Now to do the BT Defrag and the Pagefile, I should be able to get what I wanted.

I will keep the partition idea in mind, rest assured, but do know, it isn't in my biggest intent so far, and isn't my first idea on the list.

Thanks again.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 15, 2002 12:09:29 PM

Ok Toe, I've done the Boot Time defrag (took 30 minutes!), moved pagefile to slave and defragged C:( took a whopping 5 hours, I dunno but something is definitly wrong with my HDD's defragging time), then moved it back to C (although I could not find the file pagefile.sys, Windows said it was there from the Change options of the Performance tab.
Man doing the BT Defrag has helped my startup! Although I didn't time it, I noticed the startup at WinXP Splash took down from 14 to 10 notches, and that is reasonably nice!

I will do the final defrag today or tommorow.
But man, we were right indeed, defragging after doing BT defrag, has made a huge difference! What was once a traumatizing scene of fragmentation crisis, has been dramatically reduced to around one huge long frag bar and a few bits, but nothing like before. The free space fragmentation was reduced from 98% to 56%. Will continue defragging on a daily basis, but it's so nice to see less fragmentation! Although why the huge red bar? (it wasn't there before)

Now on to my real problem: Ever since I got this comp in January, I've been hearing occasional clank sounds inside my case. Although it is not known when it happens, the sound is like "Clickety" (say it in a low voice as whisper). I have always thought it was coming from either hard drives, but part of this theory's lack is that I never had this in my old system with the two HDDs working in harmony with no sounds! I could open my case, but not knowing when it happens is the problem!
I did notice however when defragging my C drive, the sound came more often, sometimes a few seconds after then for another long time. It really is weird, and sometimes worrying, but nothing has happened so far! What do you suggest? Is it maybe a little wire connection problem, or the HDD having something wrong but not noticeable?

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 15, 2002 6:47:10 PM

Hey, Eden ...

30 minutes? Woohoo, the world's longest BT Defrag! It usually takes about three minutes on my system. And five hours for the entire defrag? Even considering the free space consolidation that had to be done after moving the directories (which was a considerable amount), that's still an awfully long defragmentation run.

The clicking sound? That could be nothing but the normal sound of this particular drive ... or it could mean something more ominous. I recall that you mentioned, early in a previous post, that the computer was taking longer to launch programs on this system with WinXP installed than with Win98. How about when moving large blocks of data? Does this take an unusually long amount of time, or cause the system to hang?

You are already aware that WinXP has higher system requirements than Win98. But the reason I mention this is because, according to your listed system specifications, the computer should actually be faster launching programs than with Win98. Your computer should be having no difficulty with system resources, not with this OS.

I'm beginning to wonder if the drive has some bad sectors, or if it was formatted with the Maxtor disk overlay software.

I know that I asked you about this before, but again ... DMA. You checked and said that DMA was enabled, but could you take a look in the Device Manager and see what mode? The drive should show up as running at UDMA-5, if it is ATA/100.

Did you ever have the chance to run a full CHKDSK scan? (Double-click My Computer, right-click the drive icon, and choose Properties\Tools\Check Now\Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. Reboot.) If not, I'd give it a shot. If the drive has developed bad sectors, then the scan should move the data off of those sectors. Bad sectors could possibly explain the clicking noise.

I'd also consider running the <A HREF="http://www.maxtor.com/products/DiamondMax/techsupport/T..." target="_new">Maxtor Power Diagnostic</A>, and test the integrity of the drive.

Both of these actions might take a while, but if the drive is beginning to develop a problem, you really need to find out <i>now</i>, before you start to experience data loss.

Toey

P.S. Make sure that a minimum amount of programs are running when defragging. For example, if you've got an anti-virus program running in the background, temporarily disable it. If your screen saver is set to come up after the computer has been idle for a few minutes, turn it off. Applications like this can add a considerable amount of time to a defragmentation run.

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
__________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Some push the envelope. Some just lick it. And some can't find the flap."</font color=purple>
April 15, 2002 8:42:06 PM

Lol that's the longest? Man I am so unlucky!

The clicking sound, like I said, is a fairly loud CLICKETY, not the hard drive spining "grat grat" as if you're scratching hard wood or something, I mean my old E 5400rpm does that but the Maxtor drives have been known to have utterly silent drives. I could stick my head near the case, or inside, and when the drive is reading or writing, there is no sound at all. This one is just odd, but if I knew where it came from! It's loud, it comes occasionally at never consistant times, and I am pretty sure it's the Maxtor 7200rpm drive that is the culprit, but again, we cannot blame until proof.
The system does not hang when moving large files, I often extract large 600+MB zips, move huge movie files of above 700MBs to my old drive too, so both are on strain!
I am fully aware of Windows XP being more memory intensive, and I am aware 256MB is NOT WinXP's sweet spot, but I still find it weird that my HDD is so goddamn slow!
As for the disk overlay, I have no idea what that is.

Wow that is odd, it is UDMA- Mode 5, which I find odd since I never recall it being an ATA 100 drive, especially a 15GB one.

No I never did a huge surface scan, but I was hoping it isn't like Windows 98's one, which takes over 2 hours...

As for that maxtor utility, what does it do and how do I know I need to try it? It says it needs systems who have some powerblast.exe thing... Is it similar to SiSoft's Disk drive integrity scan?

I will see if disabling AV before defragging helps.

--
For the first time, Hookers are hooked on Phonics!!
April 15, 2002 10:01:00 PM

I've installed quite a few new Maxtor drives, and while they are quiet, they aren't silent. All drives make some kind of sound while reading or writing to the disk.

But if you are starting to hear a strange noise ... one that never happened when using the drive on previous occasions, (such as when it was new) ... that's when I'd start getting nervous.

The disk overlay software is a utility provided by the hard drive manufacturer for partitioning and formatting their hard drives ... in this case, <A HREF="http://www.maxtor.com/products/DiamondMax/techsupport/T..." target="_new">Max Blast Plus II</A>. It shouldn't be used with drives that will be running Win2K or WinXP.

Quote:
"I am fully aware of Windows XP being more memory intensive, and I am aware 256MB is NOT WinXP's sweet spot, but I still find it weird that my HDD is so goddamn slow!"

I was afraid that you might not understand what I was talking about. What I meant was ... the amount of memory you have in the system isn't low enough to affect the launch speed of the programs, so they should load up <i>faster</i> with WinXP than Win98. So you can rule out the amount of memory as a potential reason for the extra seconds that it takes to start a program.

You definitely need to run a surface scan ... but I'm sorry, it <i>is</i> going to take a while. It's like that for everyone, especially if the hard drive actually has bad sectors and some repairs are necessary.

Quote:
"As for that maxtor utility, what does it do and how do I know I need to try it? It says it needs systems who have some powerblast.exe thing... Is it similar to SiSoft's Disk drive integrity scan?"

That's not what it says! LOL! It says:

<font color=green>"Step by step procedure to perform diagnostics on Maxtor/Quantum hard drives utilizing POWERMAX.EXE."</font color=green>

This doesn't mean that the utility should be used on drives using already using POWERMAX.EXE. You missed the word "Summary". The document on the page contains the instruction on how to use the utility on Maxtor/Quantum hard drives. That's the summary of Technical Note : 20014.

The link I sent you with the Power Diagnostic Utility tells you everything you could possibly want to know about what it does, and how it is used. Stop <i>skimming</i> the information I send you, dude. Read the material several times, if necessary, until it makes sense. Half the conversations you and I have had in this thread have been with me repeating myself because you didn't bother to work through what I sent you in the first place.

In fact, if you don't read the technical notes on the Maxtor site about the utility, you shouldn't run it, because you could accidentally wipe the hard drive. I feel sure that you would be fairly ticked off if that happened, and you had to reload the hard drive from scratch.

What is the utility for?

<font color=green>"Overview: The POWERMAX.EXE utility is designed to perform diagnostic read/write verifications on Maxtor/Quantum hard drives. These tests will determine hard drive integrity. The POWERMAX.EXE utility is effective on all ATA (IDE) hard drives with a capacity greater than or equal to 500 MB. Maxtor recommends the use of this utility for troubleshooting potential hard drive problems. These problems include, but are not limited to the following:

Potential hard drive surface problems (e.g., bad clusters, bad sectors, partitioning/formatting problems, etc.).

Drive recognition problems (e.g. hard drive that is not recognized by the operating system).

Software removal."</font color=green>

How do you know if you need to try it?

Good question.

Is your hard drive making a strange noise?

Yes.

Are your programs launching within an adequate length of time?

No.

Are your files contiguous after repeated runs of the disk defragmenter?

No.

Has a surface scan ever been run on the disk?

No.

Final reason that you should load it up and run it:

Because a CompTIA A+ computer technician suggested that you do so.

That you can ignore, if you wish. It's perfectly okay for you to second, triple, or even quadruple-guess anything I say ... it's your system. But if you choose to disregard my advice, then I can't help you.

In that case, perhaps you should talk to someone else that you believe to have more troubleshooting experience, (perhaps one of the local shop technicians) so that you'll feel more comfortable working out the problems with the system.

Best of luck ...

Toejam31

<font color=red>My Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=6847" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Tantalizing Tantric Toy</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
__________________________________________________________

<font color=purple>"Some push the envelope. Some just lick it. And some can't find the flap."</font color=purple>
April 16, 2002 4:38:02 AM

Couple questions:

1. Bootvis didn't improve my speed (45 second startup), I'm assuming this is because my hard drive only has a gig of free space and I'm getting a number of errors, see below.

2. I get an error at each shutdown, it's a popup window that I don't get a chance to read. [Application popup: dwwin.exe - DLL Initialization Failed : The application failed to initialize because the window station is shutting down.
] What to do? I'm thinking it has to do with a service I disabled. I tried disabling a bunch of services per a website either you or bt posted. I read all the descriptions and thought I was cautious though.

3. My event viewer is packed! Here are some of the things I'm seeing. I have a two computer network setup with a hub.
-The driver disabled the write cache on device \Device\Harddisk1\DR1.
-The browser has received a server announcement indicating that the computer DHLUCKE is a master browser, but this computer is not a master browser.
-The master browser has received a server announcement from the computer PII400 that believes that it is the master browser for the domain on transport NwlnkNb. The master browser is stopping or an election is being forced.
-The Network Address Translator (NAT) was unable to request an operation of the kernel-mode translation module. This may indicate misconfiguration, insufficient resources, or an internal error. The data is the error code.
-The server {80EE4901-33A8-11D1-A213-0080C88593A5} did not register with DCOM within the required timeout.
-The browser service has failed to retrieve the backup list too many times on transport \Device\NwlnkNb. The backup browser is stopping.
-The name "MSHOME :1d" could not be registered on the Interface with IP address 192.168.0.1. The machine with the IP address 192.168.0.203 did not allow the name to be claimed by this machine.

I obviously don't expect you to be able to tell me step by step how to fix every one of these, but some of them are probably causing problems. I'm getting several of each of these daily. My event viewer has 2,811 events in the last 30 days and way too many are these errors and warnings. What would be the right way to go about solving all these problems?

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
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