Windows is dead to me, what now?

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Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-21 01:43pm

My old laptop was giving out on me and I got a replacement laptop yesterday. The problem? It had Windows 10 on it.

I'm not going to go over the reasons I hate it, I have a blog post for that already.

I'm currently writing this on a Linux installation, but I've been distrohopping for years prior and I've been missing software that's only available on Windows. So I don't think Linux can be a full replacement for the long haul.

I might be able to install Windows 7, though I've heard stories about Microsoft asking chipset manufacturers to halt compatibility with it. Ideally there'd be some site I can find listing what can still work with Windows 7 and seeing if my machine has it.

If I can't then there aren't any options I can think of. I don't have enough money for a Macintosh and BSDs would probably have the same problem for me that Linux does.

I'd just like to know what options are out there in case I've missed a beat.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by JLTucker » 2017-06-21 02:21pm

LOL at your rantings about a very stable OS that is better than all of its predecessors. Omg Dropbox is there. Uninstall it. It takes less than a minute. Widget there? Uninstall it. Firefox is ugly? You blame windows solely for that?

Ps: I've been using W10 since it's release and have NEVER had issues. Then again, I know how to maintain a computer and know exactly what I want.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by JLTucker » 2017-06-21 02:22pm

If you want to stick with Linux, VM Windows.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by JLTucker » 2017-06-21 02:29pm

JLTucker wrote:If you want to stick with Linux, VM Windows.
Edit: You can turn off Cortana.

And I really wonder what kind of laptop you bought. What brand?

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by JLTucker » 2017-06-21 02:29pm

Please delete this. :x
Last edited by JLTucker on 2017-06-21 02:30pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by JLTucker » 2017-06-21 02:30pm

Please delete this. :x

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-21 02:31pm

Option A: Install Windows 8.1. Install ClassicShell. Enjoy an OS that's a more than solid replacement for W7, even though Microsoft did everything they could to hide this fact under Metro Garbage.

Option B: Run W10, enjoy an OS that has a few technical issues that need ironing, but provides a solid performance benefit over W7/8, but that will try to sell all your personal info to whoever. You should try to limit this by deciding how far you're willing to go to disable telemetry.

Option C: What JLTucker said, run Linux, VM Windows.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-21 03:58pm

TheFeniX wrote:Option A: Install Windows 8.1. Install ClassicShell. Enjoy an OS that's a more than solid replacement for W7, even though Microsoft did everything they could to hide this fact under Metro Garbage.

Option B: Run W10, enjoy an OS that has a few technical issues that need ironing, but provides a solid performance benefit over W7/8, but that will try to sell all your personal info to whoever. You should try to limit this by deciding how far you're willing to go to disable telemetry.

Option C: What JLTucker said, run Linux, VM Windows.
Thank you. :)

Tucker, it's an HP laptop.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by JLTucker » 2017-06-21 04:00pm

Ah. In my experience, the lower-end HPs tend to suck. When you go up their food chain, they are actually pretty good, especially their workstations. I understand financial constraints, though. Been there and done that.

Personally, I just VMed Ubuntu on my W10 machine because I prefer C++ and Electron programming there. But since you already have Linux installed, I'd VM W10.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-21 04:08pm

JLTucker wrote:Ah. In my experience, the lower-end HPs tend to suck. When you go up their food chain, they are actually pretty good, especially their workstations. I understand financial constraints, though. Been there and done that.

Personally, I just VMed Ubuntu on my W10 machine because I prefer C++ and Electron programming there. But since you already have Linux installed, I'd VM W10.
Okay. Thank you, both for the advice and for putting up with my tech illiteracy and whatever annoyance that may have caused.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by JLTucker » 2017-06-21 04:13pm

No annoyances whatsoever, SPF.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-21 04:33pm

HPs aren't that bad. You get good ones and bad, though they have had some terrible form factors over the years. Apple is the most reliable, but you pay out the ass. I'm a big fan of ASUS, but their laptops aren't the most rugged out there. But if you take care of them, they last forever. You can also get some banging hardware for them that doesn't suffer from insane markup like Alienware or the Dell Alienware/XPS line. There's still markup, but I'm talking like $1,000 for an i7 with a solid mobile NVidia in it, RAM to match. When it gets slow, just throw a SSD drive in it and it will last till it explodes and, even though the GPU will be dated, it will at least RUN anything you throw at it though it may not look awesome.

I've got an old HP my mom bought me at Sam's Club for $300. Athlon64 Single-Core with a Radeon Mobility circa like 2004. Still runs, though it won't take anything past XP, battery still holds a charge, things weighs 8 fucking tons. Also had some really good Altec Lansing speakers built in. I gave it to my nephew. I'm sure he's already destroyed it.

Anecdotes aside, HP has had a very volatile "reliability" record over the years. As said, certain lines are rock solid. Other lines are "Dumpster Tier."

But all around "not likely to fuck you" tier: Dell.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by Ace Pace » 2017-06-21 04:42pm

Allow me to be contrary. Use Windows 10 or Linux. Do not use Windows < 10.

The reasons are very simple.

1) Stability. I really don't know what your precise problems are but overall system stability is sharply up.

2) Security. I can't hammer on this point enough. None of the horrid malware strains from the last decade could even begin to work on Windows 10. This doesn't mean it doesn't have problems but it's two orders of magnitude better than any other OS on the market.

3) Install Windows, run a Linux shell (or VM). Install Windows 10 and just disable Metro. You really can customise it to a large degree.


The downsides are that you'll be less happy but you'll have a working computer.
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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-21 05:02pm

I do have to agree on the W10 part. It has some annoyances, but they are just that: annoyances. Ignoring telemetry, take W8, make it faster and more stable, make Metro not "suck shit," and you have W10. And it's even better for gaming in a few areas.

That said, Windows 8 is also a solid Operating System in of itself that people (rightfully) hated because they hid it under Metro and fought their install base just to add a gimped desktop to it.

Microsoft (sans W7) just seems to make some small stupid choices with major impacts. I have no idea why. Like, why in God's name would you NOT make Metro default for a tablet and a desktop default for anything without a touch screen? Pure fucking insanity that really helped put us in this "W7 EOL" situation.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by JLTucker » 2017-06-21 05:35pm

TheFenix, I had an ASUS laptop that had a hard drive failure within the first fourth months, and then a few months down the line the hinge holding the screen to the body cracked severely. It wasn't under the warranty for repair. I said "fuck it," took out the SSD that was replaced, took the memory, and took it outside and threw it down a dumpster on the fourth floor of a building.

I then purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad P50, customized it to death, and never looked back.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-21 06:09pm

JLTucker wrote:TheFenix, I had an ASUS laptop that had a hard drive failure within the first fourth months, and then a few months down the line the hinge holding the screen to the body cracked severely. It wasn't under the warranty for repair. I said "fuck it," took out the SSD that was replaced, took the memory, and took it outside and threw it down a dumpster on the fourth floor of a building.
I hear you. Even I've had my run-ins with ASUS, though it's going to happen since I've been buying their parts since the early 2000s. When I got back into PC gaming around 2009, I bought a miss-marked and on-sale i7 desktop from them that had the HDD crater (was WD though) within 6 months and the PSU crater within 4.

However, they consistently make the list of reliable Desktops/Laptops. Just like Apple nearly always makes the top of the list. Dell jumps around if only because they just ship so many damn computers and they're done like a billion form factors.

Though, ASUS is not afraid to try new crazy shit and this has cost them some years. They've released some odd designs that bit them in the ass.
I then purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad P50, customized it to death, and never looked back.
Yea well, that's a fucking Lenovo. They're the heir to the IBM laptop estate and those things have always been badass workhorses. If my wife hadn't been so set on a touch-screen, I might have dug further into Lenovo, but man those touch-screens back then cost. Especially with the other hardware I wanted.

I got my boss an open-box Lenovo tablet (with keyboard docking station). i5, 8 gigs of RAM, with an NVIDIA. Still $800. I think it was returned because the keyboard didn't work. 5 seconds in Google: delete keyboard from Device Manager, plug tablet into PC, profit. He bitches about it all the time for no good goddamn reason and I keep telling him: "I'll take it off your hands."

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-22 02:59pm

Well, it would appear that it's not Windows 10 that was the problem, it was the laptop.

Not surprising as it was ~$250 USD with the same amount of RAM I got in a laptop back in 2009. :banghead:

At any rate, I'm going to see if I can spruce up my previous laptop. The problem with that one was probable the fact that it had obsolete software.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-22 04:51pm

I should have read your blog before-hand. I haven't run into a single instance where a computer running W7 and capable of running W8/10 didn't run the later OSs faster with less resources being used.

What are your specs?

Also, pay attention to your disk utilization under Task Manager > Performance and under Resource Monitor (bottom of the Performance Tab). Laptops run a lot of 5400rpm drives and can be overloaded down quickly with just routine updates and programs opening when the laptop is first booted up, not to mention excessive paging due to lack of RAM.

A SSD solves this problem near completely, but you might be able to find some errant program or service the is eating up HDD spin time.

Edit: like right now, my HDD is updating Ark and that is using 100% of it's throughput. If that game was installed on my SSD, it wouldn't even bother it.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-23 06:19pm

Sorry for replying so late.

Specs:

Processor: 2 GHz AMD A Series, quad core.

RAM: 4 GB SDRAM DDR3.

Hard drive: 500 GB HDD 5400 rpm.

Graphics coprocessor: radeon r4.

Model: Compaq-HP 15-ba009dx.

If more is needed let me know.


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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-23 07:33pm

4 GBs of RAM is more than enough to keep W10 from bashing your HDD to bits on pages when just messing around with near anything aside from gaming. If I had to come up with something off the cuff, your HDD is likely taking a beating from a combination of updates (WIndows and otherwise) and possibly some bloatware.

Let me just say, after upgrading to W10 (after noticing the slow-down on W8) on my Asus with over double your hardware was running terribly slow on many boot-ups due to numerous Windows updates downloading and being moved around. Steam game updates didn't help. By swapping to an SSD (though that may very well not be in your budget) my SSD can hit upwards of 90% utilization and it just does not care. It can still pull enough other data to run near whatever I want, if I can just get it into main memory.

5400rpm drives are just fucking dated and my desktop runs an SSD so you become accustomed to that speed. Even a 7200 spin. Man... when I pull data/load games off my 1TB HDD (because my 512GB SSD is only so big), the load times are excruciatingly apparent.

I don't know what you want to use your laptop for, but for general productivity and Internet usage, you should not be having issues with a 2Ghz Quad core and 4GBs of RAM. Joke option: it IS running W10 64-bit, right?

Anyway, you can go to Microsoft's website and download an ISO of W10 64-bit, burn it (or flash disk it), and do a clean install with none of that OEM shit. You shouldn't even need a Windows key anymore. You might have hardware issues, but issues with RAM should lead to errors and crashes, not slowdown. However, a HDD can have enough bad clusters that it just runs poorly all the time. CHKDSK /f is never a bad idea.

All I can say for sure is that Windows 10 is highly unlikely to be the reason your laptop is running slow. I mean, it's POSSIBLE your radeon APU has some kind of compatibility issue, but I just don't see it. Windows is really good about using the integrated graphics for desktop bullshit. But I would make sure the video card driver is up to date and ensure the BIOS is as well. There was an update release around Feb 2017. Seems to just be UEFI and Windows 7 stuff though.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2017-06-24 03:46pm

General productivity only (I'm not into gaming). And yes, 64-bit (if you were joking I apologize, I suck at interpersonal communication).

Would a 7200 RPM HDD be a good enough update? I'll buy an SSD if a 7200 RPM HDD isn't good enough, but I'd like to be certain before purchasing hardware.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-24 08:11pm

Debatable. You will see performance benefits in straight-reads like situations such as installing updates or working with large files. But the problem is doing anything else while those reads/writes are going on. SSDs don't actually perform much better than HDDs on these types of operations. But an SSD blows a platter drive out of the water on random-access because there's no platter head that has to be in position to perform multiple operations, unlike an SSD which is (as said) random-access.

7200 vs 5400 in a laptop has it's own problems. 7200s are louder, use more power, generate more heat, and vibrate more which can reduce performance in a laptop box.

SSDs also have their own disadvantages in a laptop as the cheaper ones and even the high-performance ones may not have power-saving options, so they use 100% of their power at all times. Even though 100% power consumption on most SSDs is considerably less than on a HDD, it's still considerably more than an HDD in power-saving mode.

However, the performance benefit of an SSD far outweighs the cost in a working environment.

To sum this stupid rant up: if all you're worried about is general productivity, something like a 240GB SSD might do you. That should be more than enough space for Windows, document processing, and any other general purpose applications as those aren't getting much bigger. I install every program on my C: (240GB SSD) sans games. I have 113GBs left. I've got Office, Acrobat, AutoCAD, and a whole bunch of other work bullshit.

So, worst case you need storage for music, videos, etc: go buy a cheap external HDD. Or, if you're got a drive just laying around, USB 2/3.0 enclosures cost next to nothing. There's even external SATA ones if your laptop supports it.

You're still looking at about $100 here for the cheaper model SSD in the 240GB range, while HDDs are much cheaper. But it's worth it if you plan to use the thing a considerable amount of time.

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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by General Zod » 2017-06-25 09:31am

Go the ssd plus external route. I've found that the load time difference is amazing and makes up for any particular shortcomings.
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Re: Windows is dead to me, what now?

Post by TheFeniX » 2017-06-30 03:02pm

It's just ridiculous. So, I've got these two i5s with 8GBs of RAM at the office. They should just fly doing what we do. One doesn't get booted up very often because it's our contractor PC. Everytime I boot it up to make sure it's still working it's sooooooo slooooooow. Windows Update, anti-virus, every..t..hh.i.n.g. Even Device Manager is killing me trying to load.

So, I threw a 240GB SSD in it and went to load the Acronis Cloner that came with. So slow to load. Took the application 5 minutes to come up. Finally got the drive cloned. Remove the 7200RPM drive and hit the power button. Near instantly I'm at a W7 login screen, CTRLALTDEL, password, I'm at a desktop. Everything is like "UPDATE NOW" and it updates, and I just get on with my life.

I've got another drive to clone and replace, but I forgot to buy converter brackets. Oof.

So, I mean, the computer is fast, but it's also still in pieces.

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