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Out of the Blue

Today is the ever-controversial Columbus Day here in the U.S., alternatively celebrated as Indigenous Peoples Day and Native American Day (South Dakota) and Día de la Resistencia Indígena in Venezuela, while this second Monday in October is also Thanksgiving in Canada. This is a legal (bank) holiday here in the U.S., though it does not typically afford most folks a day off, so it remains to be seen if the gaming news turns out to flow like normal today, or if its more of the weekend-style trickle that many holidays inspire.

Indigenous Links! Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant.
Play: Znax. Thanks Mix.
Link: Kicked in the Nuts. Thanks Dan K.
Stories: New Orleans Cops Charged in Taped Beating.
Some Rabbis Criticize New Madonna Song.
Day Laborer Battle Runs Outside Home Depot.
Science: Want to win a Nobel Prize? Live long and prosper.
Everest 'lower than previously thought'. So stop putting off that climb.
Japan launches outback supersonic test flight.
Media: Angry Gamer. Contains adult language.
Follow-ups: The Tortured Language of the Law.
As Polar Ice Turns to Water, Dreams of Treasure Abound (registration required).
Teh Funny: FoxTrot. Thanks Flying Penguin.
UserFriendly. Thanks Flying Penguin.

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49 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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49. Re: Win admin questions Oct 11, 2005, 09:07 Creston
 
I agree with your approach in general, but there are still some issues to consider. In particular, what is causing your C: partition to "die" while the remaining partitions are fine?

Driver update goes wrong, Creative's driver "forgets" that I have one of their soundcards installed, a nasty bit of malware or a virus manages to get through my stuff, but also the general BSOD which happens after whatever etc.

It's rare that it really DIES, but anything that happens that I suspect leaves shit in my registry, or messes something up somehow, I reimage.

I suspect we're not talking about hardware failure (since you said you only use one hard drive) and the "damage" is more along the lines of bad driver updates, software patches, security hotfixes, and the general growth of Windows registry garbage. [A co-worker calls this last item "Windows Geriatric Syndrome".]

Mostly, yeah.

If so, the tricky part is managing the backup images properly. If you update an image too frequently, you run the risk of capturing an unstable configuration.

Yes, but I generally don't do that all too often anyways. I run a configuration until it starts acting suspect, or even slow, then I reimage. The only time when I'll make an incremental backup is if I've made a recent update and am still playing a particular game.

If an image gets too far out of date, then you still end up with installation and update chores after a restore.

Hmmm, not really. The only thing that may happen is that I've installed a game that I'm not done playing yet, and I'd have to reinstall it, but even that's pretty rare (since usually I'll then make an incremental backup after installing the game). Most games will also detect that all the files are already there, and will just recreate the registry keys and be done with it, so that means reinstalling the game takes like 20 seconds.

Pretty much everything else is stored outside of my C partition, but all set so that when I restore my image, no data is lost, and I just keep on going right where I left off. I have all my current email, documents, favorites etc.

The only real pain with that is graphics drivers. There's no way to keep those up to date in an image besides reloading the base image, installing the new driver, then resaving the base image.
Fortunately, ATI never writes a driver worth updating for more than once or (rarely) twice a year, so that's not too much hassle.

My own habits actually include keeping both a "clean" and a "last known good" image. If an update botches my system, I can go back to the last updated image. If that image turns out to be bogus, at least I can go back to the base OS image and skip the lengthy Windows install process.

I do that too, but 90% of the time if I figure I need a reimage, I just go back to the base / clean image anyways.

It's been working fine for me for several years now
(took me awhile to get it to this state too, used to be that when I reimaged, I'd always forget to back something up, then had to go back, reload older image, save data, reload base image, restore data etc, blurgh. It goes much much smoother now, especially since on my SATA disk Ghost restores at about 1.2Gb per minute.
So the whole restore process of the base image takes approximately 1.5 minutes, then with the disk check and two reboots, I'm back up and running in around 7 minutes. Can't get much faster than that.

Creston


 
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48. Re: Win admin questions Oct 11, 2005, 08:57 Creston
 
I thought there was no benefit to having a swap partition 1.5x your RAM. Unless you set it in XP, that's the default size. But I suppose a couple of GB is hardly a biggie.

True, but he'll also put his temp files there, and temporary internet folders etc, and those can grow quite large if you don't clean them out.

Creston


 
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47. Re: Angry Gamer Oct 11, 2005, 00:25 WarPig
 
Arsenic And Old Lace, right?

Edit: I still want to bitchslap the punk.

-------------------------------------------------------
I guess of all my uncles, I liked Uncle Caveman the best. We called him Uncle Caveman because he lived in a cave, and because sometimes he'd eat one of us. Later on, we found out he was a bear.
This comment was edited on Oct 11, 00:26.
 
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46. Re: Angry Gamer Oct 11, 2005, 00:13 Warhawk
 
I think he needs the left side of his face adjusted with a big roundhouse slap.

Come on, WarPig, you missed the bonus point movie reference!


*** Warhawk ***

I made the armor myself. It's not magic, it's just shiny.
 

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

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45. Re: Angry Gamer Oct 11, 2005, 00:05 Tigger
 
Wow.

I think he might need some anger management classes.

Or downers.

Or both.


--
Tigger
"It's not the years, it's the mileage" ~Indiana Jones
This comment was edited on Oct 11, 00:05.
 
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Vic Fontaine for President
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44. Re: Angry Gamer Oct 10, 2005, 23:40 Fantaz
 
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

 
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43. Re: Angry Gamer Oct 10, 2005, 22:29 WarPig
 
Maybe he just needs his meds adjusted?

I think he needs the left side of his face adjusted with a big roundhouse slap.

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42. Re: Angry Gamer Oct 10, 2005, 21:32 Warhawk
 
Maybe he just needs his meds adjusted? You know, like a little more arsenic in his elderberry wine?


*** Warhawk ***

I made the armor myself. It's not magic, it's just shiny.
 

Have I lied to you? I mean, in this room? Trust me, leave that thing alone. - GLaDOS

Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away? - Ripley
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41. Re: Angry Gamer Oct 10, 2005, 20:50 MeatForce
 
Let's just hope this guy never gets a drivers license....

LOL! That's exactly what I thought at the end of the video when he gets up and staggers out of the room -- "oh great, he's probably going to get into a car now.."

What a freakshow.


i'm guessing it wasnt him who was recording but a sibling/mother to show what a retard he is when playing games.

Hope so. I'd love to see the video of that encounter..

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40. I'm an internet addict Oct 10, 2005, 19:38 Grasman
 
And in China I could get help...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4327258.stm

 
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39. Re: As Polar Ice Turns to Water Oct 10, 2005, 18:48 DG
 
Wow, it'll be great when that pesky ice is out the way and us americans can reap the black gold. fortunately the more oil we get out of there the easier it will be to get through what's left of the ice.

Maybe we dont need to worry about our economy in the future so much now that the ice caps can be easily exploited.

 
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38. Re: Angry Gamer Oct 10, 2005, 18:13 theAntiELVIS
 
This stuff is disturbing. It's why I won't use Ventrilo or Team Speak, because who wants to listen to people like this?

It reminds me of guys I've known who get that worked-up over football - when their team loses they beat their wives and kids.

Let's just hope this guy never gets a drivers license....

-tAE-


 
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37. Re: Win admin questions Oct 10, 2005, 17:58 Dexter
 
I agree with your approach in general, but there are still some issues to consider. In particular, what is causing your C: partition to "die" while the remaining partitions are fine? I suspect we're not talking about hardware failure (since you said you only use one hard drive) and the "damage" is more along the lines of bad driver updates, software patches, security hotfixes, and the general growth of Windows registry garbage. [A co-worker calls this last item "Windows Geriatric Syndrome".]

If so, the tricky part is managing the backup images properly. If you update an image too frequently, you run the risk of capturing an unstable configuration. If an image gets too far out of date, then you still end up with installation and update chores after a restore.

My own habits actually include keeping both a "clean" and a "last known good" image. If an update botches my system, I can go back to the last updated image. If that image turns out to be bogus, at least I can go back to the base OS image and skip the lengthy Windows install process.

To each, his own, of course...

 
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36. Re: Win admin questions Oct 10, 2005, 16:54 Enahs
 
Real nerds format and reinstall every 6-8 months and then bitch and complain about Microsoft and why everybody should use Linux, and say how they have a Linux partition and hate ever booting into Windows, ect.
...btw


That's not a toy! “ –Frylock, “You say that about everything you own. You should own toys. They're fun.” –MasterShake.
 
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35. Re: Angry Gamer Oct 10, 2005, 16:43 Ray Marden
 
They are talking about the video "Ihya" linked in his post (#15):

http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&threadid=60969&id=274069&boardid=1&view=threads

Actually knowing gamers that "play" that way,
Ray RARGH! HULK SMASH!

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Everything is awesome!!!
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34. Re: Win admin questions Oct 10, 2005, 16:20 Tango
 
- Swap partition (5 GB, NTFS)
I thought there was no benefit to having a swap partition 1.5x your RAM. Unless you set it in XP, that's the default size. But I suppose a couple of GB is hardly a biggie.

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33. Re: A really lame holiday Oct 10, 2005, 15:40 Zathrus
 
look - - you get the day after Thanksgiving off, and the bank and Postal employees have to work

Yeah, but the Postal service and retail stores are just about the only ones that have to work that day!

I think I've only worked at one company that didn't have "Black Friday" as an automatic holiday... and then virtually everyone took it off anyway (and grumbled about it). Of course, if you went in then virtually nobody was around, so it's not like much got done anyway. Kinda like working on the week between Christmas and New Years... unless you're with an accounting firm, it's pretty dead.

 
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32. A really lame holiday Oct 10, 2005, 15:32 banddirector
 
My students often complain about not getting a school day off for Columbus Day. Around here, the only things that are closed are Federal Offices (and hence, no Postal service) and the banks.

When the kids get griping too much, I remind them that "look - - you get the day after Thanksgiving off, and the bank and Postal employees have to work". That usually shuts them up ....



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31. Re: Win admin questions Oct 10, 2005, 15:28 Creston
 
My major concern isn't OS failure -- it's hardware failure. Having the backup partition on the same drive as the primary OS does little good... except that it makes it easier to back that up elsewhere. I know very little about Ghost -- once I ghost the OS image, can I then back that up easily to a DVD or a networked drive?

True, but in your case you can use the 200Gig as the backup partition for the 80 gigger. You'd have to be very unlucky to lose both harddisk.
And yeah, once you've burned a ghost image, you can put the .GHO file on a DVD if you want.
Btw, few people know this, but Ghost has more settings than just the "Fast" and "High" settings in the GUI. Through the command line you can force compression as high as setting 9 (fast and high are 1 and 2), which is equal to about .rar compression. So if you need to get that entire partition down to a certain size, you CAN do so, at the cost of speed, ofcourse.

Well, there are NTFS drivers for DOS available... dunno if Ghost would use them or not. I've been looking, and Ghost 9 is really, really cheap right now since Ghost 10 is about to come out. Ghost 2003 is even cheaper. Anyone have any opinions on either?

GHOST itself can easily see your NTFS partition. But the older versions of Ghost need you to boot into a DOS environment, and that can cause some issues with actually getting Ghost to start up.
I think the newer versions of Ghost actually run in Windows now (in a virtual PC session, I'd imagine), so that wouldn't be an issue.
Then again, it's a partition you don't really use for anything anyways, it never hurts to have a partition available to a non-ntfs requirement, imo.

Yeah, but is it faster to have it on a different physical drive from your Windows install, or from your programs/data? I'd think different from the latter, since that's what you should be mucking with the most. I'm open to being shown otherwise though.

Ideally from both, but (old) tests have shown that the most benefit is gained by having windows and the swap file / temp files separate. Then again, I guess that depends on what kind of programs and how many you have open.
Btw, we're talking almost negligible performance gains nowadays, with the faster search times and access times of drives. This is standard partition "wisdom" from the mid 90s or so.


Right now all my data is "backed up" to the 200G drive, so repartitioning things will involve some juggling.

Partition Magic can help you out there, if you want.


So, after reading your post (and thank you), here's what I'm thinking:

No prob. And yeah, that looks good.

- Data, NTFS (I really, really don't want to split this up between "programs" and "data").

Well, there's no real reason to, anyways. I just like having my games installed on a different drive than my data / internet stuff and such, to prevent fragmentation. I use my data drive extensively for downloads, storing and discarding demos, executables etc.
My game partition basically gets installed and then not used again, so I don't have to defrag it as often. Since it's my biggest partition, this helps in keeping the defrag time down. I have to defrag my data partition more often.
But yeah, there no reason why you CAN'T have both of them on the same 200Gig partition.
Btw, I believe WinXP still has issues with partition > 137Gig because of the LBA? Not sure about that, you might want to google that before you do a 200 Gig partition and lose 63 Gig...

If it's really better for the swap to be separate from the system drive

It is. At the LEAST it will cause your boot partition to not fragment as often.

Hopefully all of that made sense... running on low sleep here

Nae worries

Creston

 
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30. Re: Win admin questions Oct 10, 2005, 15:12 complicity
 
If it's really better for the swap to be separate from the system drive...
That is the case, because Windows is always accessing so many files in the \windows dir structure. Another option is to make 2 swap partitions, one on drive 0 and one on drive 1, which should give you a little speed boost as well, since it's kind of like having a RAID swap.

If you don't want to dedicate partitions to swap, though, you can always set Windows to use a set size for pagefile.sys and then you don't get any fragmentation either (once you initially defrag it, since you can't control how it gets created in the first place). You could still have a swap on each drive this way as well (but can't control where on each disk that it's going to be located).

If you decide to go with a dedicated temp partition (I don't know if I would bother, personally), make sure that you set your temp variables in Windows to use it because otherwise it will default to using \docs & settings\...\temp as its location. And that's for programs that actually obey that setting.

My 2 cents.

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