• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

Linux user seeks Vista help - slow system

Recommended Posts

markjensen    98
Reading problems?

Ubuntu (in my case) and Windows act the same way. They notify when there are updates for the operating system: This includes SPs, driver updates, etc. Ubuntu tells when there is a new distro update out and Windows tells when there is a new service pack out.

I believe this is a Windows thread so to avoid further discussion, lets keep Linux out of this thread from now on :)

The reading problem may be on your end. My complaint was that Microsoft Update doesn't inform me about a new update (SP1 in this case). Automatic updates not only didn't update. It doesn't let me know. You brought up the comparison to Linux in this respect, but the analogy falls flat on its face because it is wrong. I am informed of the update availability in Linux.

If you want to not compare features to Linux, feel free not to. However, the situation here does lend itself to comparison, since he is currently using Linux to use the computer while Vista is being repaired.

CCleaner is good for cleaning out junk files, but unless your hard disk is dangerously low on space, it will have very little if any impact on performance. Have you done all the obligatory things, like doing a defrag?

Also, you should be able to disable superfetch on that machine, with 512mb of memory, you may see a performance gain, as there will be a lot more hard disk virtual memory swapping with superfetch enabled on configurations with less than 1GB of memory

Yeah, I wasn't impressed with CCleaner (oooh! it removes internet temp files).

I will try the superfetch thing on it later today. (Y)

My best guess it would be that something is leaching the CPU.

I didn't bother reading all of the thread sorry if I'm suggesting something that has already been analyzed, might I ask if you already tried to stop all the services (that can be safely stopped) and terminate all the processes that can be terminated (including explorer) to isolate the problem?

I will post a taskmanger for all users later today, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest xiphi   
The reading problem may be on your end. My complaint was that Microsoft Update doesn't inform me about a new update (SP1 in this case). Automatic updates not only didn't update. It doesn't let me know. You brought up the comparison to Linux in this respect, but the analogy falls flat on its face because it is wrong. I am informed of the update availability in Linux.

If you want to not compare features to Linux, feel free not to. However, the situation here does lend itself to comparison, since he is currently using Linux to use the computer while Vista is being repaired.

Yeah, I wasn't impressed with CCleaner (oooh! it removes internet temp files).

I will try the superfetch thing on it later today. (Y)

To be fair, most users are also informed of Service Packs on Windows. As stated before in the KB's, WU won't offer a SP if either there are still other pending updates or an incompatible program/driver. There's a reason why MS chose this route. Why it's not offered on your specific machine is beyond me.

As for CCleaner, it does a lot more than just remove internet temp files. Comes in handy when you have a lot of applications that it supports installed and just want to clean their files with one app. Registry cleaner comes in handy, as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RealFduch    11

Try downloading Taskinfo and look if some process uses excessive CPU or RAM.

XP can be nearly unusable while it's swaping heavily and lots of other IO operations (i.e. copying big file) happen on the same disk. Vista fares better in this situation as far as I remember.

P.S. "registry cleaners" are cancer...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nokiaxion    2
The reading problem may be on your end. My complaint was that Microsoft Update doesn't inform me about a new update (SP1 in this case).

Microsoft Update does not (and AFAIK) should not inform you about Windows updates. Microsoft Update informs you of updates to Microsoft products (Halo, Office, etc)

Windows Update informs you about updates for Windows. Do you see in the bottom right of the taskbar a little globe/world? That is informing you that there are updates (patches, service packs, etc).

If there isnt, I believe your machine is not configured correctly.

I am informed of the update availability in Linux.

Just like, by default, you are informed of updates in Windows.

I will post a taskmanger for all users later today, too.

Sounds like a good idea :)

BTW, as a member mentioned, you actually dont have 512mb for your OS, just for your machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unknown_97784568745    18
Windows Update informs you about updates for Windows. Do you see in the bottom right of the taskbar a little globe/world? That is informing you that there are updates (patches, service packs, etc).

What?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nokiaxion    2
What?

In the notification area in the task bar (bottom right, near the clock) a globe appears telling you there are new updates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cpressland2    0

To be honest mate, my experience with Windows is it slows down after about 6 months and basic maintenance like defragmentation, junk cleaning and registry optimisation all help, but never fix the base problem and bring it back to it's original speed. Mac OS X and Linux both have this problem too, but they start to suffer only after the root partition has been filled and emptied out again otherwise they seam to run seamlessly forever.

My experience with Neowin is that most of the users will just post 'Upgrade to Windows 7', because they pirated their copy of Windows and have no concept of the 'No, I don't want to spend money on something that technically should work' scenario. Or fail at reading the OP's original and following posts about not wanting to upgrade their Machine to double it's original memory just to get the systems original speed restored.

My advice is this Mark, When you installed Xubuntu you'll have likely created either '/' 'swap' OR '/' '/home' 'swap' partitions. If you done the latter I'm going to take a guess that you put '/home' and 'swap' into a logical partition instead of a primary. This should mean that you still have the original OEM Recovery Partition on your primary hard drive. So, what I'd do in this situation if the SP1 and SP2 updates for Windows Vista aren't working is boot into that recovery partition and restore the Windows File System back to it's original factory setup then download the updates straight off the bat. Beyond that chances are you're going to waste many precious hours achieving virtually nothing.

Personally, in the past when I've been in your situation I've simply installed Ubuntu and applied a Windows XP theme on the clients Computer. Seeing as your Son has already said he's happy with Linux I'd probably dump Windows all together. Vista isn't worth anyone's time. Windows 7 is fantastic to the same degree that 9.10 is better than 9.04 and Snow Leopard over Leopard. You'll have problems with whatever OS you decide to go with, but I think most people will agree that if you chose to stick with Vista you're going to run into more problems than it's worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unknown_97784568745    18
In the notification area in the task bar (bottom right, near the clock) a globe appears telling you there are new updates.

Do I need to get my eyes checked? :blink: Cause I could have sworn it was the Windows Update icon that appears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Subject Delta    108
To be fair, most users are also informed of Service Packs on Windows. As stated before in the KB's, WU won't offer a SP if either there are still other pending updates or an incompatible program/driver. There's a reason why MS chose this route. Why it's not offered on your specific machine is beyond me.

As for CCleaner, it does a lot more than just remove internet temp files. Comes in handy when you have a lot of applications that it supports installed and just want to clean their files with one app. Registry cleaner comes in handy, as well.

Not trying to say that it isn't a good app, I have it installed myself, and find it pretty useful, but the fact is that deleting some files isn't likely to have radical impacts on performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen    98
Microsoft Update does not (and AFAIK) should not inform you about Windows updates. Microsoft Update informs you of updates to Microsoft products (Halo, Office, etc)

Windows Update informs you about updates for Windows. Do you see in the bottom right of the taskbar a little globe/world? That is informing you that there are updates (patches, service packs, etc).

If there isnt, I believe your machine is not configured correctly.

Just like, by default, you are informed of updates in Windows.

Sounds like a good idea :)

BTW, as a member mentioned, you actually dont have 512mb for your OS, just for your machine.

Windows Update, Microsoft Update. Whatever it is called. It is Microsoft's updater for Windows. It has been working, but SP1 is NOT appearing. That was my point. I really didn't intend on discussing the naming schemes Microsoft uses (much like I don't much care to discuss whether the name "GIMP" is awful or not (and, yes, it has been discussed many times on Neowin).

The computer IS scheduled to automatically update. There may be some sort of error causing it not to show SP1, but it does update, so I think that the problem is the Microsoft hiding the update due to blacklisted drivers/hardware or such that was mentioned earlier.

To be honest mate, my experience with Windows is it slows down after about 6 months and basic maintenance like defragmentation, junk cleaning and registry optimisation all help, but never fix the base problem and bring it back to it's original speed. Mac OS X and Linux both have this problem too, but they start to suffer only after the root partition has been filled and emptied out again otherwise they seam to run seamlessly forever.

My experience with Neowin is that most of the users will just post 'Upgrade to Windows 7', because they pirated their copy of Windows and have no concept of the 'No, I don't want to spend money on something that technically should work' scenario. Or fail at reading the OP's original and following posts about not wanting to upgrade their Machine to double it's original memory just to get the systems original speed restored.

My advice is this Mark, When you installed Xubuntu you'll have likely created either '/' 'swap' OR '/' '/home' 'swap' partitions. If you done the latter I'm going to take a guess that you put '/home' and 'swap' into a logical partition instead of a primary. This should mean that you still have the original OEM Recovery Partition on your primary hard drive. So, what I'd do in this situation if the SP1 and SP2 updates for Windows Vista aren't working is boot into that recovery partition and restore the Windows File System back to it's original factory setup then download the updates straight off the bat. Beyond that chances are you're going to waste many precious hours achieving virtually nothing.

Personally, in the past when I've been in your situation I've simply installed Ubuntu and applied a Windows XP theme on the clients Computer. Seeing as your Son has already said he's happy with Linux I'd probably dump Windows all together. Vista isn't worth anyone's time. Windows 7 is fantastic to the same degree that 9.10 is better than 9.04 and Snow Leopard over Leopard. You'll have problems with whatever OS you decide to go with, but I think most people will agree that if you chose to stick with Vista you're going to run into more problems than it's worth.

Yes, the recovery partition is there. I thought of re-imaging it, but I would like to understand what is going on. I think it is 90% likely my son will end up using and preferring Linux (at least on this old box). But I would like to fix the problem.

I am a little confused by those who claim that Windows naturally slows down (and by a noticable amount) over time, contrasted to those that vigorously oppose that position and say it does not. I would have to say that it does. Even under this limited user account that cannot install anything, there is a noticeable difference in its past performance versus today.

Here are the results of a quick CaffeineMark 3.0 test (run locally) under each OS. This isn't a true 1:1 comparison of Java performance under each OS, as I don't know the versions installed (the Xubuntu will be current, as it is in the package manager. The Windows, less certain as I don't know if the updaters for Windows or Java are working).

post-36818-1260149501.png post-36818-1260149492.png

So, Vista isn't running slower on everything. In the Sieve and Dialog tests, Vista out-performed the Linux install. It was a lot slower in many other categories, and these may be what is being most noticed in his Java game. (The problem is system-wide, so isn't a Java issue per-se)

But, alas, it is almost time for Alice to start on SciFi (SyFy?? what's up with that?), so no more computer work for me tonight. :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Subject Delta    108

Windows installs generally slow down depending on how much maintenance you do to them, but I guess it would be more noticeable on older systems, but that only tends to happen if you keep reconfiguring them and installing a load of stuff, in your case because you hardly ever install stuff there should be no real reason for it to slow down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nokiaxion    2
Do I need to get my eyes checked? :blink: Cause I could have sworn it was the Windows Update icon that appears.

In 7. On XP, it is a globe with the Windows logo I believe...

Windows Update, Microsoft Update. Whatever it is called. It is Microsoft's updater for Windows. It has been working, but SP1 is NOT appearing. That was my point. I really didn't intend on discussing the naming schemes Microsoft uses (much like I don't much care to discuss whether the name "GIMP" is awful or not (and, yes, it has been discussed many times on Neowin).

Windows Update and Microsoft Update are different things. Related but different.

The computer IS scheduled to automatically update. There may be some sort of error causing it not to show SP1, but it does update, so I think that the problem is the Microsoft hiding the update due to blacklisted drivers/hardware or such that was mentioned earlier.

Well, whatever the issue may be, the standalone installer posted by myself and other members will install the latest service pack.

Yes, the recovery partition is there. I thought of re-imaging it, but I would like to understand what is going on. I think it is 90% likely my son will end up using and preferring Linux (at least on this old box). But I would like to fix the problem.

I seem to fail where Linux has anything to do with this. I understand that you are a Linux user but I believe that is it....You just want help with your Windows system

I am a little confused by those who claim that Windows naturally slows down (and by a noticable amount) over time, contrasted to those that vigorously oppose that position and say it does not. I would have to say that it does. Even under this limited user account that cannot install anything, there is a noticeable difference in its past performance versus today.

It actually has nothing to do with the OS. The problem lies in NTFS vs ext3.

Here are the results of a quick CaffeineMark 3.0 test (run locally) under each OS. This isn't a true 1:1 comparison of Java performance under each OS, as I don't know the versions installed (the Xubuntu will be current, as it is in the package manager. The Windows, less certain as I don't know if the updaters for Windows or Java are working).

post-36818-1260149501.png post-36818-1260149492.png

So, Vista isn't running slower on everything. In the Sieve and Dialog tests, Vista out-performed the Linux install. It was a lot slower in many other categories, and these may be what is being most noticed in his Java game. (The problem is system-wide, so isn't a Java issue per-se)

You said it yourself, even though benchmark tests are worthless....

My advice: Format the machine and ask for help on Neowin how to set it up correctly. If you want limited accounts, Neowin will help you set it all up. Obviously, there is something wrong (done by you, the user) that does not permit WU to show SPs....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen    98
...

My advice: Format the machine and ask for help on Neowin how to set it up correctly. If you want limited accounts, Neowin will help you set it all up. Obviously, there is something wrong (done by you, the user) that does not permit WU to show SPs....

Sounds like an interesting proposition.

I will just re-image it. You tell me how exactly to set up the account as limited (seems I did it right, as it is pretty much bullet-proof, limited or admin).

Then, we will see what went wrong, because you have the answers on how I clicked "automatic updates" wrong, and "limited user" all wrong.

Tomorrow, then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MagicAndre1981    5

best is, get a Vista DVD/ISO with integrated Sp2 (from a "friend") and reinstall it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen    98
best is, get a Vista DVD/ISO with integrated Sp2 (from a "friend") and reinstall it.

Sounds like "warez" you are suggesting.

I have a legal OEM recovery partition. I just need to perform the re-imaging with it, and click on the "auto updates" correctly and set up the kid account and click "limited user" correctly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cpressland2    0

Remember, using the recovery partition will overwrite GRUB and in some of my experiences have actually left the machine completely unbootable until I used a Ubuntu LiveCD to reinstall GRUB. Microsofts bootloader is a little.... crap.

Anyway, after reimaging make sure you go through the update procedure a few times as it never finds them all first hit when Service Packs are involved.

Being a Linux guy I don't need to tell you, but if you decide your son would be better on *buntu full time, move up to EXT4 so at least the hard drive is really giving out 110%

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MagicAndre1981    5

OEM recovery is the cause of your slow Vista. The OEM PC makers install several trial software and toolbars. They do this, because they get money from the software makers to sell the PC as cheap as possible. Get a clean DVD/ISO with Sp2 and reinstall the Windows and feel the difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nokiaxion    2
I have a legal OEM recovery partition.
OEM recovery is the cause of your slow Vista. The OEM PC makers install several trial software and toolbars. They do this, because they get money from the software makers to sell the PC as cheap as possible. Get a clean DVD/ISO with Sp2 and reinstall the Windows and feel the difference.

Correct.

I am not sure if downloading a Vista OEM Home Basic image is "warez" (of course using your key) but you may be able to contact your OEM to send you a DVD of Vista Home Basic. If not, try contacting Microsoft about sending you a DVD with Vista Home Basic.

And it is not as easy as just setting a account to limited and thats it. Do you have expirence in using mmc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen    98
Correct.

I am not sure if downloading a Vista OEM Home Basic image is "warez" (of course using your key) but you may be able to contact your OEM to send you a DVD of Vista Home Basic. If not, try contacting Microsoft about sending you a DVD with Vista Home Basic.

And it is not as easy as just setting a account to limited and that's it. Do you have experience in using mmc?

Yes, downloading a copy is, by definition, infringing on copyright, since that is not an authorized copy. Sort of like Neowin's Autopatcher project that Microsoft shut down.

I will call HP to check into media options, but pretty sure they are going to charge. OEMs load crap into there, but I have to be able to remove it, right?

I have no mmc experience. Not available in Linux. :p How complex is it to leave my "Dad" account as admin, set it to auto-updates, then create a single "limited user" account? Fer-cryin-out-loud, I handled command line recovery of my old Red Hat installs when I had to do manual nVidia driver installs back in the day. I can handle a few clicks to create an account. It should not matter how many limited accounts I make. I have an ADMIN account, and it is set to auto-update.

And, when I go to Microsoft Update (or Windows Update, or whatever you call it), it does not show me SP1 is available. Even doing it manually. How did *I* screw that up? I don't think I did. I am pretty sure it is a blacklisting from Microsoft, as others have mentioned before, because of some hardware or driver issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MagicAndre1981    5

it is very simple to create a new account and put him to the users group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen    98
it is very simple to create a new account and put him to the users group.

But I was told very directly that

  1. It won't update, and
  2. I did it wrong

I can re-image it this weekend, then detail the steps I took.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MagicAndre1981    5

what do you mean, with "won't update"? Users from the users groups can't install updates. That's your task as user of the admin group (like /root in Linux, no normal user can install updates).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
markjensen    98
what do you mean, with "won't update"? Users from the users groups can't install updates. That's your task as user of the admin group (like /root in Linux, no normal user can install updates).

As posted several times above, I mean that my "Dad" admin account does not get shown SP1.

The update log shows it has been updating periodically since initial set up 2 1/2 years ago. Just no SP1. Even when I check the updater manually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest xiphi   
But I was told very directly that
  1. It won't update, and
  2. I did it wrong

I can re-image it this weekend, then detail the steps I took.

By default, a limited user cannot update Windows (requires Admin credentials), but I believe there's an option in Windows Update to allow all users to update Windows. I doubt you did it wrong, just the fact that it's blocking due to some weird incompatibility which could already have a fix. What's causing it to be blocked is what I would love to know. It shouldn't stop you from manually installing it, though.

I ran a vanilla Vista install and fully updated it through the limited user account using Admin credentials to allow it to update. SP1 and SP2 showed and successfully installed, but I do have a weird issue: IE8 refuses to show up. I even looked in the hidden updates and nothing is there. Which makes wonder if you have checked that list, also. Not sure if you have or not.

For the record, Windows Update is for components and applications that come with a vanilla install. Microsoft Update is for any Microsoft products you install afterward, and allows you to opt-in to other updates like Silverlight and Windows Live Essentials.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_updates

Edit: I'm not sure what "Allow all users to install updates" means now since it seems to require admin access anyway. Rather misleading. Turns out it was enabled. o_O

Edited by xiphi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.