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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Help with a, not so Perfect Computer

Author Topic: Help with a, not so Perfect Computer
Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 12-10-2000 12:23 AM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My father sent me his 1996 Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDS laptop to clean up. He had filled the hard drive and the computer was acting up. It has a Pentium 120 MHz, w/ 16MB RAM, 1.26GB hard drive, 800x600 passive matrix display and a CD-ROM drive.

All he says he wants to do is Word, Email and Internet.

I was able to free up 600 MB of space on the hard drive. There was only 65 MB left free when it got here. I deleted all the games. I deleted all the duplicate programs that everybody collects like two browsers and three email programs. I got rid of most of the advertising like AOL, AT&T and the like.

It had a 14.4K modem. I purchased a 56K modem. Although actual results vary with phone lines, this modem should be at least twice as fast.

It had 16 MB of RAM. I installed a 32 MB chip, which gives it a total of 48 MB RAM.

I kept the Windows 95 operating system because that is what it is licensed for and each new version of Windows is larger. It is known as “BloatWear”. I run ’98 but I have heard that some laptops don’t work well with ’98. I got everything out of the system tray and the start menu. I even prevented the Windows 95 logo at start-up. That saves 15 seconds at least.

I upgraded Office to Word 2000 and Excel 2000. It has IE5.5 now and Outlook Express 5. I thought it would be easier for him to use with a straight Microsoft package.

I bought WinCleaner 2000 and used it to clean up the registry, DLLs and all the other junk on the computer.

So I have stripped back the computer to a lean, mean, emailing machine.

Is there anything else I should address before sending it back to him?

What plug-ins should I install or avoid? Like Flash, Real, QuickTime?

How can I get rid of the User/Password dialogue box at Windows start-up?

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Steven Gorsky
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 146
From: Frederick, MD, USA
Registered: Sep 2000

 - posted 12-10-2000 02:16 AM      Profile for Steven Gorsky   Author's Homepage   Email Steven Gorsky   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To get rid of the user name/password box, just change the password to blank (i.e. nothing), or use TweakUI auto-logon.

Steven Gorsky

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7991
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 12-10-2000 01:46 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Don't forget scandisk and defrag! Defrag is especially important on FAT partitions which are largeish and have had little free space.

Personally, I would have just blown away everything and started with a fresh fdisk/format/OS install, rather than go through all the work that Ian did. MS-Windows machines tend to slowly degrade over time, as the registry gets corrupted and temp files get scattered all over the place; I've never seen a registry-cleaning tool that actually worked as advertised, so I always favored a full re-install. This is also a chance to catch bad disk blocks before they cause major problems. (Speaking as one who has just had two drives die on him in the last month on a Sun machine and is very thankful that he does nightly backups to tape).

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Dennis Atkinson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 129
From: Birch Run Michigan
Registered: Feb 2000

 - posted 12-10-2000 09:31 PM      Profile for Dennis Atkinson   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Atkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Trim down the amount of fonts installed.
I also like Norton Utilities for finding problems and the anti virus software.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16221
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 12-16-2000 09:38 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have the exact same laptop. Same RAM and all. I did change mine over to Win 98 though after 95 proved too temperamental. That was three years ago and I ahve not had to touch the drive except for defrag, etc. I only use it to run my sound analyzers and for e-mail when I travel so there are not any huge programs on it. But things have been just fine.

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Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 12-16-2000 12:16 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I have turned it back over to my Father and he seems pleased.

"Wow! This is like having a brand new computer. Faster than the speed of light. Thank you very much for all your work and technological savvy--this is a wonderful Christmas present. How nice it is to have useful children who live in pleasant places."

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7035
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 12-19-2000 06:15 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Try downloading the program TweakAll from - it's freeware and offers an easy, hassle-free way to alter the system settings in order to maximise speed and identify (and thus delete) unnecessary crap.

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