Defrag: Tweaking for HTPC, SSD as a ReadyBoost, WiFi Antenna tuning

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Description

Microsoft tech troubleshooter extraordinaire Gov Maharaj and I help walk you through troubleshooting solutions to your tech support problems. If you have a problem you want to send us, you can use the Problem Step Recorder in Windows 7 (see this for details on how) and send us the zip file to DefragShow@microsoft.com. We will also be checking comments for problems, but the email address will let us contact you if needed.

00:25 What is the difference between Program Files and Program Files (x86)?
03:18 What things to do to tune a Home Theater PC.
07:20 Using 40GB SSD in a RAID0 or as ReadyBoost drive.  
11:40 Is there a way to have Windows+E (Windows Explorer) open to a specific tree?
13:43 How to turn off Windows Shake.
17:12 How should I position all the antennas on my WiFi router?
21:20 Gov walks us through using the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit.
32:04 Viewer help in progress, sluggish mouse and stuttering audio playback.

 

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    windev

    Yeah, you're back!  It's been too long!

     

  • User profile image
    LarryLarsen

    @windev: Sorry about that. Smiley We try to shoot every week but Gov and I get pulled away for emergencies now and then. We'll be shooting every week again starting in mid-July.

  • User profile image
    Richard.Hein

    @LarryLarsen:  LOL @ "it looks like a Russian fishing trawler with all of the antennas coming out of the top of it'! Big Smile  I can just imagine routers being designed to look like one.  Smiley

     

  • User profile image
    tiyalolit1

    Just discovered you guys. I really enjoy your shows. Thanks for all the great information.

  • User profile image
    KeyboardG

    Love this show! Keep it up Smiley

  • User profile image
    AndersLund

    Using two SSD in a RAID0 might block Windows from using TRIM. I have only tried this setup with hardware RAID and here Windows see the disk as a normal hard disk - not an SSD and that causes Windows not to send TRIM commands.

    Maybe this has been fixed on some RAID controllers, but it's a thing to look out for.

  • User profile image
    Magic​Andre1981

    ReadyBoost is limited to 4GB in Vista, not in 7. Next if you use a SSD, WinSAT will get a score over 5.9 and in this case Superfetch (which loads the ReadyBoost driver in Win7) will be stopped so you can't use ReadyBoost. If you enable Superfetch again your SSD will have much more access and might die earlier. So the advice to use SSD as ReadyBoost is not the best.

    Run TreeSizeFree to see which folders take most space, delete or move useless data to get more free space so you might don't need to buy a new SSD.

  • User profile image
    Rob Patterson

    Great show as usual.  One other thing to recommend for best WiFi signal strength is using the open-source inSSIDer application to monitor signal strength.  This tool give you a very clear indicate of signal strength in a chart.  It also shows information about channels being used, so you can avoid conflicts.  This is a great free tool.

  • User profile image
    LarryLarsen

    @MagicAndre1981: Interesting, we'll look into that and get a solid response. FWIW I use WinDirStat for file size visualization.

  • User profile image
    LarryLarsen

    @Rob Patterson: Great tip on avoiding conflicts. Before we started Gov was talking about switching bands so you don't step on neighbors traffic and then when we were shooting we forgot to talk about that.

  • User profile image
    RhymesWith​Orange

    , Magic​Andre1981 wrote

    ReadyBoost is limited to 4GB in Vista, not in 7. Next if you use a SSD, WinSAT will get a score over 5.9 and in this case Superfetch (which loads the ReadyBoost driver in Win7) will be stopped so you can't use ReadyBoost. If you enable Superfetch again your SSD will have much more access and might die earlier. So the advice to use SSD as ReadyBoost is not the best.

    Run TreeSizeFree to see which folders take most space, delete or move useless data to get more free space so you might don't need to buy a new SSD.

    Just don't nuke anything from the WinSxS folder... Smiley

  • User profile image
    Magic​Andre1981

    Just don't nuke anything from the WinSxS folder... Smiley

    I know this. I wrote a Guide about what WinSxS is. Any news on my issues (last show)?

    wrote

    FWIW I use WinDirStat for file size visualization.

    I know the tool and the guy who coded it, but I still prefer TreeSizeFree.

  • User profile image
    hellokeith

    Instead of ReadyBoost: 

    Using the Advanced System Settings window, move your pagefile onto the small SSD.  Even an old SSD is still much faster at reading than a traditional spinning hard drive, and Microsoft recommends puting the pagefile on an SSD.

    https://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx

  • User profile image
    Magic​Andre1981

    @MagicAndre1981: Interesting, we'll look into that and get a solid response. 

    have you got it?

    @RhymesWith​Orange

    can you also ask about the MSE symbols? MSE is so extremely slow for me and I want to see the cause.

  • User profile image
    Magic​Andre1981

    @RhymesWith​Orange

    Ok, I fixed the hibernation issue. I ran ProcMon and xbootmgr hibernation at the same time to see more. In the ProcMon log I found that &MFT and hyberfile calls have a duration over 200s. So, I disabled the pagefile and the hiberfil.sys and ran the boot prepSystem command which defrags Windows and trains Readyboot. After doing this I enabled both again made a reboot and after doing this I sent the PC to hibernation yesterday evening. Today I came home and turn the PC on and hibernation was fast again.

    About the pool usage I think it is an interaction with Superfetch which causes the huge paged pool (File, Mmst, Ntfs) memory usage. If I call an undocumented API call to clear the Standby page, the paged pool usage drops. This also happens if you return from hibernation because at this stage the standby page is not used so much (only the special pages 6/7 and a bit from page 5). I'm currently unsure if this is by design or not.

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