Acer 5100 - Performance and Driver questions

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   I have an Acer 5100 notebook computer that I purchased about nine
months ago.  In the last few weeks I feel that it has taken a hit on
performance.  I am Running Windows XP Pro, the System has an AMD MK-36
CPU, 2 GB of RAM, 80 GB of Hard drive space and the other usual stuff.

  I started messing around looking at various settings and noticed
that all of the Motherboard type devices in the Device Manager are the
CONTROLLER" and the like.

   Digging around on Acer's site reveals little in the way of Chipset
drivers.  The ATI driver (The onboard Video is an ATI Radeon Xpress
1100 embedded graphics card) claims to install a SouthBridge Chipset
Driver but I can't really see for a fact that it installed.

  I used to play around with a lot more hardware, but I'm a software
guy more these days.  Are AMD Chipsets unlike Intel which usually
installs very specific drivers for the chipset, or am I needing to get
some drivers for something?

   Mind you, the performance hit could just very well be the fact that
I am constantly installing/uninstalling various pieces of software to
evaluate them (I'm guessing in nine months I've installed 200-250
different programs and uninstalled a lot of them).  I keep my Adaware
type/Antivirus scans up to date, I check Hijack this, I minimize
services and applications that start up and I do defragment my drive
often enough but the sheer volume of abuse I put the OS through might
be causing my problems.  I'll probably reload it soon but if I need to
find some updated drivers, I want to be informed.


Re: Acer 5100 - Performance and Driver questions

Andy wrote:
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You can pick through the drivers here, but it doesn't look like there is
too much in the way of specific chipset drivers.

MSI K9AGM           ATI Express 1150 for AM2 (RS485 North, SB600 South)

ECS RS485M-M(V1.0)  ATI Express 1150? for AM2 (RS485 North, SB460 South)

In the fast and loose ATI chipset name game, the chipset names can be
deceiving. ECS doesn't name the chipset on their motherboard, instead
choosing to identify the product with the Northbridge part number.

I got a chuckle from one of the MSI driver packages:

    "AMD AMDAway Driver

     This INF file removes the unresolved hardware detection (YELLOW BANG!
     associated with devices that do not have the proper driver installed)

Sort of like taking a laxative when you haven't had a very good day :-)
Good for what ails you. Who needs drivers, when all that is really needed
is to make all the "YELLOW BANG" go away :-)


Re: Acer 5100 - Performance and Driver questions

Andy wrote:
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Uninstalling on Windows is a crapshoot at best. There are IME always
leftover registry keys and almost always leftover files. Get rid of the
leftover files, and clean the registry.

To clean the registry, I use Registry Mechanic, jv16 Power Tools, and
sometimes plain old regedit (search for keys named for or including the
uninstalled software names, and delete them). There are other reg
cleaners, some of them free, a google search will find them. Caution:
these are powerful tools! I also use CCleaner to remove temporary files
that Disk Cleanup ignores.

The jv16 Power Tools suite includes a tool to remove programs from the
startup list. Windows loads and starts a number of programs at boot.
Some programs insert themselves into the startup list (eg,
Quicktime/iTunes does this). These programs run in the background, and
can slow down the system.

Also check how much free space you have left on the HDD. If there isn't
enough, then swapping files (ie, using "virtual memory") can take
additional time. One symptom of this is increased time for loading and
starting a program.

Good luck.


Re: Acer 5100 - Performance and Driver questions

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Thanks for the advice guys.  I actually replied before but it didn't
show up for some reason.  In the meantime I tried those drivers and
they did not load. ;(  Some other basic comments

My page file is on it's own 4 GB partition to ensure I don't use that
space. ;)

I don't have stray Processes running.  Including such things as
"System Idle Processes" and "System" a clean boot of Windows for me
has 20 things in the Processes Window.

I think I'm going to try a registry cleaner program because my
registry is really really bloated...far more than I would really like
cleaning up manually.

Thanks Agian.

Re: Acer 5100 - Performance and Driver questions

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FYI, for anyone who cares what happened, My hard drive turned up with
Bad Sectors.  I've scanned it numerous times in the past thinking
there could be a problem and found nothing.  Finally they show their
ugly head.


Re: Acer 5100 - Performance and Driver questions

On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 22:28:23 -0700, Andy

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Since  you are still  running the same drivers (or lack
thereof) and notice a slowdown, the odds are you have
encountered a virus, have made OS or software changes, or
have some more severe problem like a flaky network or hard
drive interface.  I  could randomly speculate that a virus
or windows /software problem is more likely, but there is
insufficient evidence to make such a conclusion.

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When the system has had a sluggish period,  check task
manager for what is running, including CPU utilization, and
Event Viewer for any possible errors.

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Ok, there may or may not be a potential performance hit for
having non-optimal drivers, but this would not account for a
slowdown now, versus what you previously saw using same(?)

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Check Device Manager, if you see no such entry, try
installing it (again).

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All drivers should be available from the system
manufacturer.  Install all that seem applicable (except for
features your system might not have if not the premium
version within the product line).

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That's a lot of junk.  I recommend you make a OS partition
backup, and restore that periodically, storing nothing on
that partition of consequence (all user data/files/etc on a
different partition). There might easily be remnants of
programs left behind, hindering performanece.  Personally,
when I want to evaluate an app, I don't install it to a
main, primary use  system OS installation, I instead install
to a secondary system or to a testbed OS installation...
until I know the effect and if it's worth the bother, it's
not worth the risk in some cases.  Otherwise, you're left
either doing a rollback or a full partition backup and
restore too often.

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Check add/remove programs, there may be more there than you
realize.  Consider doing a clean testbed XP installation and
comparing the performance... if the difference is enough to
matter to you, enough to make you now install only the
things you're SURE you want/need, that's the remaining
option.  An accumulation of junk from past apps that don't
install properly, is unfortunately too time consuming to
tackle when at the magnitude you report, as 200-250 apps is
a heck of a lot of them.

IN summary, the problem does not coincide with uninstalling
the drivers, so there is no reason to  think they are the
problem.  Once you have found the reason for your sluggish
OS, only after that point should it matter if you can get a
few % improvement through certain drivers (assuming all the
features you needed, already worked without changing drivers

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