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About paulsiu

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  1. paulsiu

    Partition for performance

    OK, The issue is that the BIOS on the machine is limited to 137 GB. So if you put a 250 GB drive into the machine, it will see the drive as 137 GB. There appears to be several alternatives if I want to use the whole drive: 1. Update the BIOS. This appears to be impossible. 2. Add a Overlay software. However, I generally don't trust overlaps. 3. If I am using Windows 2000 SP4 or Windows XP SP1+, the OS will be able to see the rest of the drive, but you have to partition the drive so that you have a 137 GB partition or smaller at the beginning, since the computer will not see this before you install the OS. Paul
  2. paulsiu

    Partition for performance

    Thanks for the responses. Don't worry about the backup, the backup gets dumped to an external drive every time I visit her. There are two sets of backups, one live at her house and the other lives at my apartment. The "backup" partition is so I can restore deleted items, etc. I have to investigate whether I can paritition the drive at all since the BIOS may only see part of the drive.
  3. I am about to buy a new drive. I was thinking of giving my old 250 Gb drive to my mom since she is running out of space on her 20 GB drive. I have heard of short stroking where you use a smaller percentage of drive to increase performance. My mom's computer is an old machine that uses an old ata-66 controller, which mean it won't be able to use the full 250 Gb any way and do not need to since she barely break the 20 Gb barrier after 5 years of usage. She does complain that her drive is slow. If I partition her drive to 125 Gb for OS / Data and then set up the other 125 Gb for backup images, would this simulate short stroking. Obviously when she is backing up, the head would move back and forth between partiton, resulting in reduce performance. If she is not backing up, wouldn't the head be moving from 0-125 gb? Paul
  4. Keep in mind what Virtual Memory is for, when you run out of physical memory. On linux system, having a larger swap file does not affect performance. If you look at it monitor, swap file is rarely use if you have a lot of memory. You really want a swapfile on a laptop because if you don't have the same size as your memory or larger, you cannot hibernate (it saves to your swap file). On windows, for some reason the pagefile gets used no matter how much memory you have. I don't know if the OS just attempt to grab a large amount of memory at the start. I don't think hgwever that it is constantly writing to it. I think some programs will demand that you have some pagefile (as some game forums have already mentioned). However, the above discussion is really irrelevant to my original questions. Keep in mind that the machine is limited to 512 Mb so discussion of adding memory will not help me.
  5. Yes, I don't know why we still use mechnical drives when we have these nice SSD :-p. Seriously, the reason to have a pagefile is to prevent your machine from crashing. Until recently, most laptop maxed out in 2Gb. People can blow through that by running photoshop. When you run out of physical memory, you die. On a linux system, paging occurs rarely if you have a large app. Windows save more to page for some reason. Getting back to the issues, I was wondering if paging would improve moving to a different disk but on the same channel. One person say yes, the other say no. Paul
  6. Well, if you're a person with old equipment with limited means, your machine may be limited to 512mb. It's between that or a new machine. Paul
  7. A quick question, would there be a benefit to move the pagefile on Windows XP to a different drive but on the same channel? The motherboard only has 2 IDE channels, and the other one has a CD on it. If I put the pagefile and drive on the other channel, it will be slowed when the CD-rom is accessed. If I have two drive on a single channel, but have the page file on a different drive and both have roughly the same speed, would there be an improvement? Thanks. Paul
  8. Hi, I decided to setup a small encrypted USB key so I can use it to store all of my passwords and may be a small amount of data. I like to know what encryption software I should use. I have a software that comes with the key call Migo Portable Vault, but is thinking about using TrueCrypt instead. The reason is that Migo doesn't run on Linux and I have a mix Windows and Linux environment. Has anyone have experience using TrueCrypt on a mixed platform? Paul
  9. It appears not be be a usb 1.1 issue. I took a look at the device manager and the usb comes up with "enhanced" in the name, a sign that the drivers are usb 2.0. It did not actually took 8 hours to copy. After waiting a bit, the time goes down to something more reasonable. I do notice that the copying speed was roughly a bit below 3 Mb/s, I thought that was somewhat slow. Copying appears to be faster under XP. Paul
  10. Problem appears to be Vista related. I have two laptops, both running Vista. A 33 Gb copy from one USB 2.0 HD to another takes 80 mins on a XP machine and 10 hours on a Vista machine. The XP machine is definitely slower (it use an Athlon XP while the laptops are Turions and Memrom class Celeron. There appears to be a USB issue with Vista. Paul
  11. Hi, Recently, I purchased a SATA 500 Gb drive and hook them up to a USB 2.0 to Sata interface. In Vista's disk manager, I did a format on the drive, but after 12 hours, it was still 15% complete. Is there a problem with the drive or does formatting always take so long. Note that I am not taking about quick format but the standard format. Is this because I am doing this through usb. Paul
  12. With the recent interest in SSD, I was somewhat surprised by the lack of interest in doing a DIY flash drive. After some research, I realized the issues are rather complicated. In order for a drive to boot from a Compact Flash, the flash drive must emulate a hard drive using True IDE mode. Typically most Compact Flash has a True IDE Mode and a removable drive mode and auto switch between the mode depending on the socket. A lot of drive these days advertise 45 Mb/s (300x cards), but I notice a lot of people notice a lot slower speed when doing hard disk emulation. This mean UDMA may not be available during True IDE mode. This is when the CF adapter supports UDMA. I was wondering if anyone have ideas on which cards may support UDMA during True IDE mode (or Fixed Disk mode). From what I read, SanDisk Extreme IV does not support UDMA in True IDE, but Lexar Professional 300x may. Paul
  13. Most of the modern laptop can boot from USB, but I was wondering if they can usually boot from a Compact Flash or Secure Digital card from the built-in media reader. Paul
  14. This makes sense, I connected a different CD-ROM and it couldn't boot from multisession either.
  15. Recently, I played around with Puppy Linux, which allow you to boot from a CD or DVD and then write the changes back as a different session. However, I have notice that whenever there is more than one session on my CD or DVD, the computer fails to boot from it, though you can read and write to it (after you boot form some other device). In addition, the same disc works on other computers. What do you think the cause of the problem is. Is it: 1. The Optical drive? I try flashing it to the lastest bios, but the problem persist. 2. Cable. Is it possible to have everything work but booting? Seems weird. 3. The bios isn't smart eniough to do multisession boot? Paul