Do NOT Defrag your Solid State Drives

•Monday, April 14, 2008 • 2 Comments

As with all new technology it takes time to let go of old ideas. toaster3

Screen savers used to serve a purpose. To keep a C:/ prompt from being tattooed onto your screen.

They were good for your gear.

Using a screensaver now is more for fun or privacy. It is not really needed but does no harm.

Defragmenting some drives is also becoming outdated. Unlike a screensaver, doing harm.

Defragmenting will shorten the life of your Solid State, SD or USB Drive.

Your solid state drive does not have any moving parts.

There is no platter spinning nor head reading. Seek time is a non issue. When you “look” at your SSHD with a defrag program it shows you a virtual disk. The virtual disk used to represent a physical drive and scattered data.defrag

In the case of a solid state drive every cluster is touching every other cluster. There is no head looking for data on a spinning hard drive. The data at the “end” is next to the data at the beginning. Every byte is accessible in the same amount of time no matter where it is mapped or placed.

…..So who cares?  You do! Your solid state drive in your EEE PC, MacBook Air, iphone and your USB drive all have one thing in common. LIMITED WRITE CYCLES.

Write cycles are when your 0’s are flipped to 1’s or your 1’s are flipped to zeros. Unlike reading data off of the drive (non destructive) writing to a Flash drive SSHD or an SD card is destructive and takes it one step closer to being worn out.

If you are old enough to remember paper and a pencil. :)   If you write your name on the paper you can read it over and over with no wear at all. If you erase it and rewrite it the paper begins to wear. After a few too many times erasing and writing, it wears out.

When you defrag your SSHD you are using up your write cycles and doing nothing to increase your speed or performance.

My best advice is to never open defrag on your Solid State HD XP or Vista machine. Leave your USB thumb drive alone too. If Microsoft bothers to keep XP and Vista up to date I would expect a patch or update to be released to recognize solid state drives and bypass the defrag option all together. (I am not holding my breath on the XP patch. It is not included in Service Pack 3.

In most EEE PC’s the 2 or 4GB flash memory is soldered to the motherboard. The life of the entire machine is effectively over when the hard drive is used up!4GB Soldered

Google the phrase “wear leveling solid state drives” for more info. Tiny flash drives don’t have too much room to spread the wear.

If you are running The Windows OS on a Solid State Drive or Card remove your swap file ASAP.

Paging files rewrite constantly. You will be wearing out your drive just by having your Windows machine turned on.

I covered this on an earlier post.

XP Killbit Vulnerability

•Tuesday, April 8, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Attention EEEPC Users- Are you running an Older unpatched version of XP??

Here are a few links- Run Your updates to Windows if you are not patching automatically

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms08-023.mspx

http://blogs.technet.com/swi/archive/2008/02/07/The-Kill_2D00_Bit-FAQ_3A00_-Post-2-of-3.aspx

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/240797

http://blogs.technet.com/msrc/

This is off topic but it is a jungle out there. FireFox is a really good idea. I know some EeePC users are running older versions of XP with updates Turned off. I/E 6.0 unpatched is too dangerous for anything but reseaching malware.

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

FireFox

http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html

I am running Beta 3 on my EeePC, My desktop, on the MacBook and the G4 PowerPC with Tiger. It works great.

Big Trouble on The Small Screen . Problems with XP ASUS EEE PC HACK

•Sunday, April 6, 2008 • 1 Comment

There are a couple of MODs rolling around for changing the resolutions on the EEE PC  701

The first ones involve using an Intel Embedded Graphics DriverNO  LINK PROVIDED BY ME

That really looked like a winner for about 30 seconds. What happens shortly after installing this driver from Intel (and renamed and labeled as a “hacked” driver elsewhere) is your desktop fonts just start disappearing. When you move the cursor over them they appear and disappear. You may even have two cursors at times. One normal and a nice big extra. The answer is not changing fonts, sizes or turning off clear type!

It is kind of like wiping fog off of a mirror in the shower or bailing water out of a bottomless boat.

The Grand Solution that in high style now is called “AsTray Plus ver 1.3 Beta 3No link provided by me either.

Can You Read This Dialog Box??

Rough on the eyes

This Is How It Will Turn Out!!!

Someone is doing some interesting work and I appreciate that. Thanks WangYue!

Unfortunately this Beta (or Alpha) is being promoted and redistributed on most of the “mainstream” blogs and boards. Many endorsements are given, pondered and quickly retracted by the cutting edge gaming community. “Why do I have two cursors?”

1000x600

My advice is “Don’t use this”. It is not ready. It may not really ever be ready. It is a 7″ screen with an integrated graphics card. It is not going to look nicer if you trick it into running in an unintended, non native resolution. If you are looking for an useful improvement Hold out for a solid solution or better yet wait for a higher resolution or larger screened model to arrive. I would expect to see both of these things by August at a similar price to what we paid for our current Eee Pcs in the past 90 days. There will certainly be a market for our used machines if we can’t adjust to them or another answer does not pop up.

I will continue to screw up my machine and reload it weekly. I encourage others using these as a third or 4th computers to do the same.                                                                                                                                If you are looking at brain scans or designing rocket fuel, please do it at 800×480 or 800×600 scrolling for a little longer.

800x600 Scrolling

This one is not ready for prime time yet.

Tame the Taskbar XP

•Friday, April 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The EEE PC and a quickly growing number of new tiny XP capable subnotebooks share a common problem. Tiny screens. You have to take advantage of every cm (inch) of space.  Here are some steps. A how to will follow.

  1. Set the resolution to the highest resolution it supports. Now back it down until you can read it. I have tried some unofficial drivers and had some success followed quickly by problems.
  2. In FireFox or Explorer (firefox works best on the eee pc for me) make sure to avoid the toolbars. Google, yahoo stumbleupon are great for people with giant 12″ screens. You have no room for them.
  3. In Firefox select view from the selection bar. While you are in there shutting off toolbars take this step. View>Toolbars>Customize   At the bottom”check” the box “use small icons.

Here is something I have tryed and liked.  Most faq’s out there suggest “right clicking the taskbar and selecting “auto hide the taskbar.  The problem I have had with that is everytime my mouse gets close to the edge, The taskbar pops up and remains for a second or so. Usually when I am trying to scroll down or read something at the bottom of the page.  I have been messing with my registry and looking for hidden settings to no avail. Most programs that will help with timing this are bloated customize programs that waste hard drive space or cost $20.00-  I found my answer in a program that was written by Reclusive French genius back in the last century. It simply adds a delay to the taskbar popping back out and into you way. TASKBAR ACTIVATE 2.4   The Program is free. I have attempted to contact the author but have yet to hear back. It was written for Windows 98 but seems to run flawlessly with everything newer. I have not tested this with Vista or Windows ME and probably never will.

Please click this link to visit the authors site.

Download Taskbar Activate   Taskbar Activate  
Version  :  2.4
OS  :  Windows 9x/NT4/2000/XP
Files  : 
USE LINK ABOVE
Download Taskbar Activate (english version  
Download Active Tâche (french version)  
Please Visit authors site
Download Taskbar Activate (english version   )
Download Active Tâche (french version)  
Awards  : 
zdnet
4 stars
five ducks / six
Freeware32
3 points / 4 possibles
FileDudes
4/5 Dudes

 

    http://home.nordnet.fr/~pmdevigne/TaskbarActivate.html#Historique
Keeps that XP taskbar out of the way!!

The authors site does not make you fill out forms, register, beg or anything. There is a request that you send an email if you like the program. His addy is: pmdevigne@nordic.fr

EEEPC XP – Get rid of Virtual Memory now!!

•Thursday, April 3, 2008 • 3 Comments

Boot up

That was the fastest XP install I have ever done. The trimmed down install was very small  It booted right up into 640×480 32bit color. The left and right mouse buttons were reversed. Figuring that out took longer than changing it did.  TIME TO MAKE ROOM- Kill that virtual memory

Page balloon

PAGEFILE.SYS  may remain even after you have set your virtual memory to ZERO or off.

You really do not need to defrag a solid state hard drive but if you run defrag you will get a pretty good idea if your drive still has PAGEFILE.SYS parked on it.

The Green showing in the defrag bar graph represents system files. The Green on the right side (half of the 4GB drive) is page.sys or virtual memory or the page file.

Defrag

When you are turning off virtual memory make sure to hit the button that says “SET”. It is on the same screen as the  virtual memory settings.   Start> Right Click on “My Computer”>Properties>Advanced>Performance Settings>Advanced> “no paging file” and then “SET”.

Close all dialog boxes and reboot the EEE PC

At this point your -C: Drive-  will look very spacious (mine does) I am moving my temp files and starting my other installs next.

Room

XP on EEE PC // New Installation #3

•Thursday, April 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have nLited another XP SP2 disk

This time I have cut into everything internet explorer related deeply. I am going to leave Windows Update out. I have incorporated most all Critical updates and many non critical. I am going to use some online update services and manually do installs of critical updates on the second Tuesday of every month.

I am including my drivers on the ISO I have burned along with basic programs.  I am NOT integrating the drivers.

Most of the ASUS drivers do not do well unless installed after windows. Wireless and wired networking can be spotty or just not work at all.

I will be installing Firefox 3 beta4 after the install.

The reason I added drivers and programs to my install image was purely for convenience.  I hope to install from this CD (not DVD) and do all of my basic FREE programs from the same disk. I want to be able to do all of this without changing a disk, using a USB key or having access to any network. My extras that are sitting in a directory for post install are: Adobe reader, Windows Defender, CCleaner, K-LiteCodecs, Avaste AV, TweakUI, ASUS drivers, a stack of wallpapers, A Royal Noir theme pack, Opps, I forgot WinRar.

EARLIER TODAY

I tryed out a nice simple program called “taskbar activate 2.4”. It was perfect for the EEE PC. It does a good job of auto hiding the taskbar and keeping it from popping up everytime I move the pointer to the edge of the screen. It resets the timing to about ? 1/5 of a second.

I also tried some of the drivers to allow a 800 width desktop to run native. It worked great and looked great…Until the laptop went to sleep. it wakes up with worthless blurry fonts. Changing 50 different settings did not help. Rebooting was the only cure. Turning off all power saving options was not an option.

VMwARE released for iPhone

•Tuesday, April 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

By running the Zune software on your iPhone you gain WMA support and the Squirt Option. The Zune Image software will be available from MS at a discounted price of $187.88 for basic and $387.88 for Zune Ultimate. The image will be just under 3GB’s.

Available Everywhere April 1st, 2008

Yep, on April 1