My recent computer woes (for you edification)

I’m only posting this in order to educate, and I’ll try to be brief.

The other day I decided to update my BIOS. My mobo has a utility which allows you to do this from within Windows. When I rebooted, I got an error saying, “Error loading OS.” I knew immediately that my boot sector must have been corrupted. I spent a couple hours poking around in the Command Prompt (DOS) as well as using the repair utilities on the install disk – to no avail.

So I called Microsoft and for $60 and about 2 hours the tech led me thru an endless series of Command Prompt remedies, none of which worked. So we concluded something was amiss in the BIOS itself. So I rolled back to the previous BIOS, no effect.

Fortunately my mobo has the capability to access the Internet before launching Windows, so I was able to do some research. I found some addition boot repair commands which I also tried to no effect.

I then spent some time poking around in my BIOS. From the beginning of this crisis, the Boot Priority had listed one of my SATA drives first (then the DVD drive). I ASSumed this meant that this was the drive that had been given priority before I did the BIOS flashes, or that it meant that it detected an OS on it. The problem was, I don’t even know my own system. Out of the 4 internal drives and one external, the OS drive was actually an older IDE drive! When I set it to have boot priority, I got a MUCH more detailed error message which gave me the info I needed to repair the boot sector… and then Windows launched without problem.

I only share this to suggest if you ever have such problems after flashing your BIOS (and from reading Internet forums it seems MILLIONS of people do), make sure it hasn’t reset or randomly chosen your boot priority list.

Maybe many of you know this already, but I didn’t, and I think I’m fairly computer savvy. At least I knew more than the Level 2 Microsoft guy who failed to help me

Did they refund your 60 beans, Doug?

I’ve had this little beaut as well. Took me about a day to nail it. On reset it goes to default and if that is not the one you set when you built it and you don’t know what creek you’re up or what a paddle is. :mrgreen:

Wow. Glad you were able to work this through satisfactorily. Maybe you could help me figure out why it takes over 4 minutes for my PC to boot up?

Dump Nero and iTunes. :smiley: :laughing:

Best advice I ever heard :slight_smile:

If you want a fast boot up use a Solid State system drive.

Takes approx 35 seconds to boot into Win7 here.

It needs a shot of penicillin. :wink:

55 secs for my office PC which is a quad core on a SATA drive (Win XP). This includes typing in my password.
45 secs for my music PC which is a 6 core on SATA as well (Win 7). Again, including typing in my password. It IS possible to have a PC that runs just spanky. :wink:

Got rid of Nero 10 years ago and have no use for iTunes or anything Apple. The slow boot started about a week ago after I replaced my printer. I suspect it has something to do with that. Before would boot in 30-40 seconds.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Realize we’re getting off topic… had a slow boot problem after new printer install too. If HP printer… install included a service to search the network for other HP devices called HP CUE device discover service. You turn it off by going to services.msc (from Run), and there you find it. But you could have something completely different. Seems printers come with lots of fancy programs automatically installed.

Yes, definitely. (I wasn’t being —totally— serious about Nero and iTunes BTW). Printer drivers do come with a host of options, and yes, set them to manual and turn off the services for them. (Both HP and Brother have extensive control panels with multiple stuff running in the background).

Some mobo’s allow you to set the BIOS to a “quick boot” scheme which by-passes some rather pointless functions

I don’t get what is wrong with iTunes? Is this just another one of those “hate the evil corporation” type things?

Someone else tell Doug what is wrong with iTunes, please…

I assume you’re referring to the advantages of a subscription service like Rhapsody, such as unlimited downloads. That’s a fair argument, but:

there are some months I don’t buy anything at all
Rhapsody doesn’t sync with Apple products – the only real reason to use iTunes
my understanding is that the coverage is better on iTunes – 10 million versus about 4 million

For those who want to know the heaviest performance cows, here ya go…

Google, Yahoo (or any) toolbar
Windows Live Messenger
Realplayer (maybe slightly better in the latest versions).
SKype
Napster
Limewire
IE6 (Satan for web developers) Upgrade to IE8, much improved.
iTunes (for Windows)-Huge performance hog, privacy issues
Quicktime (for Windows)- All around bad, worse privacy issues, installation embeds files deep in the system… get http://www.free-codecs.com/download/quicktime_alternative.htm instead
Norton Antivirus- One of the worst performance hogs
AVG Antivirus
Tea Timer (From SpyBot S&D)- Good program, but really heavy on performance
Nero- (find a substitute if you can)
AOL- Just… don’t.
Brother All In one (Media Center?)
HP Printer control panels and bundled computer clean up software.

These are the criminals of bad performing computers. If you have a computer dedicated to music recording and production, try to stay as much away from these as possible. Most of these programs have substitutes that function much better, don’t run in the background, and are waaaay more efficient.

Okay, but do iTunes, Quicktime, or Nero run in the background when i haven’t even launched them? I mean, I don’t see them listed in task manager…

I know that iTumes and Nero does. They have processes that go out over the net to search for and pull metadata into your playlists / libraries. They also have stuff similar to advertising that will count the frequency of plays for favourite songs, and search the net so that it can recommend similar artists to you.

Quicktime is a bit different, as it is more a player, so I can’t say for sure what it does. I do know that it runs in the background as well. Plus, it installs deep into your system, so even when you uninstall it, there are elements of it left behind that are still active on your system. It isn’t enough for them to leave junk behind, but actually have it running on your computer.

Quicktime Alternative installs the basic framework and player and browser plugins, without any of the bloat.

They may or may not be in services, task manager or the Startup folder. Researching them on the net will get you to the place where you can fully or partially disable them according to your needs.

Here are some keyword searches that may help.
Quicktime background
Disable quicktime

iTunes background processes
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3960

and some keywords that may help with Nero
nero background processes