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My Windows XP is taking ten minutes to boot

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I am a pretty die-hard Windows user. My last PC was a Dell, but after Windows XP was loaded for about a year it was running like a dog.

 

I switched to using a laptop. Although it is an Apple, I am running Windows XP via Bootcamp which is 99% effectively identical to running on a normal PC. Had this copy of Windows XP loaded for about 15 months. It is now a nightmare on bootup. Can take 10 minutes to boot up. Have messed about with clever programmes to reconfigure, tried messing about with stopping everything on startup, and generally tinkering, removed Symantec - but it is still a dog.

 

Now I understand that the "professionals" reload XP every 6 months. But that process scares the knickers off me 'cos it is a drama to get everything back like you want, with backups etc.

 

But I need to get something sorted because from September I "should" be busier and really dont need this messing about. I am also grumpy with Windows XP because Outlook reached a 2GB limit the other week and rather than warn me, it just corrupted the file and then deleted the whole thing on bootup. Was a messy pain in the arse trying to get back from last backup.

 

So my routes appear to be:

 

1. Do a Norton Ghost copy of the hard drive onto my old Dell. Then use the Dell whilst I reload XP etc from scratch on the Apple. Still will be a drama 'cos different hardware will make XP throw a complate wobble.

 

2. Do the above, but convert the Apple back to MAC OS. Load up Parallels for the Apple - and get all my essential Windows stuff working under parallels. That way I can maybe wean myself over to using Mac OS over time???

 

3. Take a backup then Upgrade Windows XP to Windows Vista. Will this perhaps reset all the shitty stuff that makes Windows run cack after a few months???

 

4. Drastic one. Purchase ANOTHER Apple Notebook with MAC OS. And use the new one only with MAC OS. Then gradually switch myself over?

 

It's a tricky game. Normally I can work out a logical route but mentally feeling kinda stuck. The problem is the last time I moved from DELL to APPLE I left my DELL running for about 6 weeks whilst I slowly decided what needed to be copied across. I cannot play that game again because the NEW stuff needs to go on the current machine.

 

Plan #5. In theory I have Apple OS still loaded, but the drive is partitioned as 100Gb XP and 10Gb Mac OS so I cannot really "use" MAC OS in current guise due to lack of disc space. But might just have enough space to get essentials started on MAC OS, before repartitioning?

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If it's taking soooo long to start then it sounds like some sort of network timeout- does your PC expect the presence of any servers on the network that aren't there any more? Any other network connections that are unused? What other peripherals do you sometimes connect?

 

Generally backing up any Windows system so you can get it back 'exactly' as it was is impossible - half the time the re-install is specifically for the purpose of getting it back differently (better!) but as Windows carefully spreads config files everywhere it's impossible to find them all and ghosting just gives you the same broken install back again...

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Your previous posts on the subject have gone into your aversion to OSX. I had a similar view but, having run into the identical problem you are having, I bit the bullet and went for option 4. There isn't a PC in the house now. OSX does get slow over time, but over a much longer time than XP. God knows what Vista will be like. It took me a month or two to really get used to OSX, but wouldn't go back now. So, my answer is option 4 with option 2 a second choice..

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Are you running Windows XP exclusively, or is it via Bootcamp?

 

If you still have Mac OS on there, I'd say get a copy of VMWare Fusion (on special offer at half price last time I looked). It runs in Mac OS and you can make it boot your Windows partition in a virtual machine.

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I think AVERSION to MacOs is putting a bit strong. It was just that MAC OS did not offer me enough reasons to change - with the downsides of having to get new software programmes.

 

But I can maybe live with that, if it is gonna boot up quick and not drive me nuts every day. But MAC OS also degrades over time???

 

Main Software I use:

 

Outlook

Explorer with multi-tabs via Maxthon

Adobe Studio 8 (all the toys - but mainly Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver)

Smart FTP

Windows Media Player

Excel, Word

 

Couple of other unimportant bist like Quickbooks and Navicat that I would just run the XP version under Parallels if needed.

 

Adobe Studio is pretty expensive. They will permit a change from XP to MAC I think, but the process sounds like a pain.

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@Malcom Spudbury - excellent suggestion!!

 

I was unaware of this baby, but the forum say it is better than Parallels. Looks like it has only been accessing Windows XP partitions since last month:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMware_Fusion (Beta 4 release)

 

Could be just what I need. Would allow me to gradually move across.

 

Sounds like "official" release is next month, but I can buy cheap now and I am guessing get upgrades as they are released.

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If you're used to Windows XP, using Windows from parallels may be an option. You, however, will need some time to figure out whether parallels does everything you need (i.e. there have been problems with Graphics and burning DVDs). The benefit of paralells is that you can create a backup of your whole windows installation quite easily (as Parallels keeps everything in one single under OS X). With recent versions of parallels you can also access OS X's own hard disk. So you could keep all your word, excel, and outlook data on the OS X disk. This way you can easily install old backups of Windows in case it's become too slow again and don't need to worry about transferring your Word, Excel, etc. documents (as you kept these on the OS X disk and not in Parallels's disk image).

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Sorry to be thick but if I boot into MAC OS, then use VMWARE Fusion to run...say Microsoft Excel, I assume it kinda runs Excel direct, and in effect never actually

"boots" into Windows XP?

 

Or does Vmware boot into XP first, and then I run what I want?

 

Edit: Just seen that VMWare fusion does still need to bootup XP, but sounds like I can probably boot into MAC OS first - get my emails, browser, music going and then leave XP to dick around

booting up in the background as necessary?

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Why don't you use Office for Mac for starters and just use Windows for applications which have to run in Windows?

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Sure - that is the plan. From Day 1 I would now plan to use the MAC Os immediately for my email, web browser, music of course, and then VMware to access old programmes on the XP partition.

 

Ideally over 2-3 months I can then just delete my old XP partition (or keep a small one if necessary for weird stuff)

 

But if VmWare means I can instantly access all my Windows programmes - then it would act like a quick life support in emergency.

 

At the moment switching from MAC OS to Windows XP via Bootcamp is a 20 minute process, so to be avoided at all costs. This has effectively stopped from being able

to try switching.

 

But XP is really ****ing me off these days!

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Sorry to be thick but if I boot into MAC OS, then use VMWARE Fusion to run...say Microsoft Excel, I assume it kinda runs Excel direct, and in effect never actually

"boots" into Windows XP?

 

Or does Vmware boot into XP first, and then I run what I want?

It boots XP first. You can either run it as a window, or full-screen it and it's just like running Windows proper.

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Cool. So in theory my "new day" could go like this:

 

1. Boot straight into Mac OS and collect my emails, browse web etc in MAC OS.

 

2. Start VMWare and let Windows XP spend 5-10 minutes getting its act together in the background.

 

Then over time I try and use more and more MAC OS applications, hopefully finally getting my Adobe Studio 8 licence switched over to MAC OS - which sounds a bit fiddly but

Adobe are willing to do this (cost it costs about £1500 a pop so not an issue to be ignored!!!).

 

At the time 15 months ago Photoshop ran slower on the MAC, but that is sorted now.

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For what you're doing, I'd also swap to OSX and just use windows when you need it. You might just have to give it a little more time until you're used to it, then I think you'll like it more.

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Re-installing windows every 6 months? I'm too lazy, but the concept is good.

Do this instead.

Install XP fresh, put on the programs you need, then take an image of the drive. Keep your data (docs, mail etc) on a separate drive or partition. When XP starts being shite, don't re-install as such, just use the image you created from the "fresh" install. Data don'T get touched, and XP runs like new.

 

Or, talk to a geek, let him tell you to go to Linux, spend ages looking through the 2000000 different linux distros, choose one, realise it does not really do what you want, choose another distro, realise that doesn't cut it either, then realise none of your programs run, and have to find some siilar linux programs, learn how to use them, then in the end get pissed off with it all, and re-install XP.

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Or, talk to a geek, let him tell you to go to Linux, spend ages looking through the 2000000 different linux distros, choose one, realise it does not really do what you want, choose another distro, realise that doesn't cut it either, then realise none of your programs run, and have to find some siilar linux programs, learn how to use them, then in the end get pissed off with it all, and re-install XP.

Dojn, that is 100 per cent true.

 

When I first saw Linux in 1993 I was so impressed. I used to think the Linux and all the Unix fans were so cool with all this free stuff and a bit like Buddhists in their beliefs. Now I just think they are like Muslims.

 

I hate computers nowadays. The bloody things never work.

 

They are really now TT surfing machines for moist of us.

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Right. So I am now running VWARE Fusion current beta. Looks like I am taking a speed hit, but it certainly works and gives me a genuine opportunity to dig around in the Apple OS.

 

Ideally I will now switch to an apple email programme, etc, but just could not afford to cut myself off from Windows XP instantly. This seems like a good compromise.

 

Gonna be a quick steep learning curve I think, but will find one of those websites that helps on people switching to the MAC OS. At the moment I seem to have downloads littering my desktop and

no idea where they are supposed to live! Feels like driving a left hand drive car for the first time.

 

Need to also go back to the old Apple threads for "must have" programmes. I don't even know if there are choices for email?? God knows how I move my Outlook files across.

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