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Beyond the obvious: best ways to keep PC running as fast as new?

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  • Beyond the obvious: best ways to keep PC running as fast as new?

    I'm doing the obvious things: defragmenting the HD, scrubbing the registry, compacting the registry, disabling unneeded programs that load during startup, turning off preloads on seldom used resources, running a firewall with anti-virus/anti-Trojan/anti-anything, periodic scanning for viruses/Trojans/anything, deleting browsing histories and associated files, deleting junk files, deleting temp files, and I do deep scans on my hard drives to check for errors and relocate sectors. I even periodically remove dust/lint from the heat sinks that might otherwise lead to the hardware self-throttling due to heat buildup.

    Yes, all that helps, and yet, inevitably, over time, even doing all that, a PC seems to run gradually slower and slower until finally I cave in, reformat the drive, and re-install everything. Or, I re-install an image from when it was factory fresh. Then, it runs faster again, and slowly the cycle repeats. This seems to be generally true, regardless of which PC it is.

    The two utilities I've been using have been "Tune-up Utilities" and "Ace Utilities." It's telling that each finds something that the other misses. i.e. neither one seems to be thorough. Maybe there's something better?

    It's really quite annoying. My theory is that none of the tools are 100% effective, and so whatever types of things they miss tend to accumulate and grow and become burdensome over time, but that's just a guess. Or, maybe it's planned obsolescence: flaws in the OS that (deliberate or not) benefit Microsoft by subtly nudging you toward buying a newer, faster system (and a new copy of Windows for the fancy new hardware) by gradually increasing your dissatisfaction with what you have?

    Either way, what else can be done to either prevent or delay the inevitable?
    Last edited by NeverDie; January 8th, 2014, 10:42 AM.

  • #2
    Wow, you do a ton more than I do but the best way I've found to keep my automation pc running fast is to simply leave it alone. I never browse the web on my automation PC so much of what you listed isn't necessary and most newer OS's keep the fragmentation to a minimum. One thing I also notice is the constant barrage of Microsoft updates. I turned these off on a couple of my servers and they seem to perform better than the ones that are bloated with a ton of updates.
    -Rupp
    sigpic

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    • #3
      +1 what Rupp said, and dedicate it to that use if possible.

      My #1 is to not use Windows (a real option now), and if you must, use one of the Windows Server pkg's not a desktop.

      Here's one of our Linux servers uptime
      adminPr:~>uptime
      10:52:24 up 933 days

      Z

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      • #4
        Originally posted by vasrc View Post
        +1 what Rupp said, and dedicate it to that use if possible.

        My #1 is to not use Windows (a real option now), and if you must, use one of the Windows Server pkg's not a desktop.

        Here's one of our Linux servers uptime
        adminPr:~>uptime
        10:52:24 up 933 days

        Z
        I agree, basically leave it alone. My HomeSeer workstation is 8+ years old and runs just fine, but I hardly ever remote to it.

        As for Linux, I have a few production Oracle database servers at work in the uptime range of 600+ days.
        Billy Draper

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rupp View Post
          Wow, you do a ton more than I do but the best way I've found to keep my automation pc running fast is to simply leave it alone. I never browse the web on my automation PC so much of what you listed isn't necessary and most newer OS's keep the fragmentation to a minimum. One thing I also notice is the constant barrage of Microsoft updates. I turned these off on a couple of my servers and they seem to perform better than the ones that are bloated with a ton of updates.
          Thanks! I forgot about the updates, but now that you mention it, after I install all the updates after re-imaging, things do run noticeably slower (though still not as slow as before the re-image). So, updates are clearly a meaningful part of the problem. So, for a regular PC (not just one that's dedicated to running HomeSeer), there's no escaping it. Arrrgghh!

          Next time I do a re-image, I'd like to run a benchmark before the re-image, immediately after the re-image, and then immediately after all the updates. It wouldn't take much effort, but it would quantify the problem. Also, it would quantify how much slower things actually are over time as they bog down. Is there a good free benchmark tool for that purpose? I've tried the ones that are free for 30 days, but I would need it longer than that to do the longitudinal tracking.

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          • #6
            I truely beleave updates are the problem. I had a Windows 2000 srv as my last system and aside from installing the base set of updates when I built it, I never updated it and it ran as fast as the day it was initially installed some 10 years later. Of course, I never browsed with it or anything either and it was dedicated to just my HS and e-mail server. I truely think that it is M$S way of having people move/upgrade to new hardware/OS version. I mean, if people didn't do this, the profits would dry up.
            ... UNIX is always the exception however....

            Rob
            HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

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            • #7
              So, I take it you all would recommend Windows Home Server 2011 over regular Windows 8 or 8.1 as a dedicated platform for running HS2PRO? Or, is Windows Home Server 2011 not something worthy of consideration for that purpose, and you all meant something more industrial grade like Windows Server 2012?

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              • #8
                I personally don't or won't run HS on my Windows Homeserver. In fact I don't run or install any programs - other than plug-ins designed for WHS on that server. That being said, I could't see why it couldn't be a viable option given the right circumstances.



                Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk 4

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                • #9
                  Windows Updates and an ever growing anti-virus database is what I blame.

                  Possible option: Fresh load of XP SP2, don't update, don't AV, disable NetBEUI, disable File and Print Sharing, firewall running, and do not surf the net from it. Do a weekly full scan using ClamWin portable with an updated database. ( http://portableapps.com/apps/security/clamwin_portable )

                  Another option is exclude your HS2 directory from real-time AV monitoring however I do not know if the improvement will be noticeable.


                  ~Bill

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                  • #10
                    I agree with many posts here. A fresh bare OS runs best. Computers treated like "servers" don't have piles of junk installed on them and don't suffer from the slow downs.

                    Don't install ANYTHING unnecessary on the computer.

                    What is unnecessary is rather subjective but if you want to stay like new you have to leave it like new. Windows updates and antivirus updates will cause bloat, and many believe these are a necessary evil if you are accessing the internet.

                    Basic maintenance like temp file cleanups and defrags can't hurt. Personally I think Registry Cleaners and Compactors are Snake Oil.

                    Add 8GB of RAM every year and keep your Windows computer feeling fresh and new!

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                    • #11
                      OK, so to stave off update induced decrepitude, I infer from the comments here that I should put homeseer onto its own standalone machine and isolate it from the rest of my home network. The reason is to prevent it from being easily hack attacked because its OS won't be updating anymore, and it may not even have a software firewall/anti-virus either for the same reason.

                      What about interacting with HS using hstouch or similar? For that purpose, should I connect with HomeSeer via a hardare VPN?

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                      • #12
                        I use Win7 as OS. A fresh install and added the updates. After that i nearly completly isolate the machine from my network. No browsing, no email, no updates, just dedicated for HA. I connect to it via VNC with works well. I do use the machine as print server and backup server for family pictures. I had it up and running for more then a year before i had to reboot it because i needed to install some new VR software i wrote for this machine.

                        So bottom line is keep the tasks of the machine to the minimum and leave it.

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                        • #13
                          Historically have kept the Homeseer servers running on their own boxes on the server rack. These boxes all have been single purpose for Homeseer use only. I did settle on using Windows Standard server 2003 to running HS2 (whether its running on an Atom D525 or most current breed of Intel processors (I series)). I have kept them up to date with Microsoft's updates. I don't really pay attention to them and typically remote manage them.

                          BTW running HS on wintel vista, w7 or w8 (or similiar wintel servers) 32 bit/ 64 bit worked but didn't do anything better running HS2.

                          That is my opinion after testing and installing and running HS2 on the newer OS's.

                          The only benefit that I got out of it was to become more familiar with newer wintel OS's and to know that it ran on the newer Wintel OS's.

                          That same benefit though didn't make HS2 run better and basically if you never touch HS2 or look at it managing it remotely; it is/was unneeded overhead. I always looked at the HS2 software on a box as a sort of an automation appliance of sorts years ago; single purpose device that only managed the house; not utilized for anything else; that said though it was always a workhorse with some 20+ analog serial or USB devices plugged into it; running multiple scripts and plugins doing many things other than just scheduling lights to go on and off.

                          I am doing something different with HS3 for Linux.

                          My current HS3 Linux version is running on a newer Zoneminder Ubuntu 64bit server box which I am dedicating to just IP HD camera use.

                          It is doing well. That said I am also now testing Homeseer 3 plugins running on separate boxes. Zoneminder is streaming and recording HDIP stuff which is way different than the SD streaming on the older Zoneminder box. Zoneminder so far is not dinging HS3 and HS3 is not dinging Zoneminder (but that will change once I made the HS3 box do everything that the HS2 box is doing).

                          IE: first test was running the new HS3 UPB plugin on the Zee (shutting off HS3 on same said box) and having it talk to HS3 on the Zoneminder box or HS3 on the Wintel box.

                          The above noted I have been using the W2C box (s) for many years. There are only Wintel drivers for the box; most likely will be utilizing some wintel box / OS just for HSPhone.

                          There are not a bunch of Linux TTS fonts out there such that I will keep the TTS base in the wintel world for a bit.
                          Last edited by Pete; January 9th, 2014, 08:54 AM.
                          - Pete

                          Auto mator
                          Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.8X
                          Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.8X
                          HS4 Pro - V4.0.5.0 - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono 6.8X
                          HS4 Lite -

                          X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bill Brower View Post
                            Windows Updates and an ever growing anti-virus database is what I blame.

                            Possible option: Fresh load of XP SP2, don't update, don't AV, disable NetBEUI, disable File and Print Sharing, firewall running, and do not surf the net from it. Do a weekly full scan using ClamWin portable with an updated database. ( http://portableapps.com/apps/security/clamwin_portable )

                            Another option is exclude your HS2 directory from real-time AV monitoring however I do not know if the improvement will be noticeable.
                            I just checked the prices on Microsoft server software, and other than Home Server 2011, they all cost more than a new PC (even the 2003 version!)--which greatly self-defeats the plan. So, if XP SP2 is stable enough, then I'm game for trying that. I have a leftover dell X300 (roughly equivalent to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Latitud...item20dd3ed74f) with a docking station from years long gone. Unless it overheats, it is virtually silent. Last year, immediately after layering on all of Microsoft's updates and installing the latest ESET internet security just prior to a family trip, it instantly became extremely bogged down and just painfully slow for anything useful--i.e. in retrospect, it was my first casualty of update-itus. With some digging, I can probably re-image it to XP SP2, and then leave it disconnected from the network as an HS2PRO platform. Still need to sort the VPN access. Thanks for the VNC lead.
                            Last edited by NeverDie; January 9th, 2014, 02:01 PM.

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