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Rules 2


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Updated: 06.07.2017


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GENERAL UNSORTED COMPUTING RULES


GENERAL - PERFORMANCE:

If you aren't using some program/s at the moment, but they are running, and probably they're currently making some "background" processing (like p2p software, mp3-encoding, anything), and if you want/need them to run, i.e. you don't want (yet) to exit program's process, or it is required to wait some time, if some task is still in processing, then always: MINIMIZE IT TO SHELL'S TASKBAR, or even better MINIMIZE IT TO SHELL'S SYSTEM-TRAY, if this option is also available in that particular application. Also before doing that (minimizing it), put it to some window/tab, which is not "hard-animated" (for example "blank window" in Firefox, instead of some "hard-coded" site/page, with tons of pictures, animations, embedded-scripts etc.), or similar in other software's cases, put it to window/sub-window, or tab/column, which is not displaying and/or monitoring a lot of things, that will save resources too. See, if you aren not actually using it, why would you need to see all that "hapenning"?? For example like "OS", or "Dialup", instead of "Drivers" sub-window in Task Info 2003 program, although this Driver's tab is consuming too much CPU anyway, I mean like 30-40% of long-average measured "kernel-mode-CPU" (per minute), compare to any other TaskInfo's tab, sub-window, or any other similar program; so it appears it must be a bug, and therefore it's not quite fair example. And restarting the "resource-hog" applications once in a while, can also help; optionally see the Is there a limit on/in (not sure which) a number of "page faults" for a process ??Ars Technica 12 x 12 pixels icon http://episteme.arstechnica.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/99609816/m/607003096731 thread that I've opened on "Ars Technica" forums.


GENERAL - VARIOUS OTHERS:

Similar to display drivers installation rule above, I also advise you to disable anti-virus protection's real-time/on-access file-operation scanning, during various hard-disk's intensive file-operation, like for instance on hard-disk defragmenting, i.e. it occured few times that before my defrag-program started defragmenting a copy of Eickar-Virustest file, the process of defragmentation was stopped and warning message poped-up (and obviously this is something you don't want), then similar when scanning for viruses with probably the same anti-virus program, or when scanning files and registry for spyware/adware/hijackers with Ad-aware or Spybot S&D etc.

If you will "obey" this rule, you will prevent unneeded "stress" on hard-disk, because this way the application with which you are scanning, doesn't need to wait for anti-virus program's real-time/on-access protection to first "examine" all these files, before the mentioned scanning-application can access them. And further as an addition to previous paragraph, I recommend to close all the programs, that could conflict with some huge, "resource-hog" programs you are planning to use. Here are few examples.

during various installations:

- disconnect from internet

- disable your AV-program's resident protection

- close any additional (user's) applications, that are not required for OS to run

during CD-burning and similar:

- disconnect from internet

- do not watch the movie or similar (with your video-player)

- do not run huge, resource-consuming applications (like e-mail clients, process-viewers)

during hard-disk scans and similar:

- disconnect from internet

- disable your AV-program's resident protection

- do not watch the movie or similar (with your video-player)

- do not run applications, that perform "file-intensive" operations (copy/move/delete activity)






A FEW INSTALLATION-RELATED RULES


INSTALLATION - GENERAL RULES:

One thing or way of how I use installers is that, if I run some installation program, and during that I change some settings (delete previous version's directory, make some installer's configuration changes etc.), I rather exit an installer, and start it again. And there are many many similar cases, there are just too many to describe all, but I hope that you got the point.


INSTALLATION - UPGRADE STUFF:

In general, when you are upgrading some software (especially if it's an upgrade to a major release/version), do it after deleting its directory and rebooting. It can happen that parts of the old programs are still in cache, which can cause errors if you launch the new version-executable. After a reboot, any related error should disappear. Just as an additional side-note, as always, it is useful to make backups of programs settings (like .ini files, registry keys/entires), to restore configuration later on. Though be careful when over-writting newly created configuration files, with those from previous version. I suppose that if some new features and therefore lines in the configuration files were added/implemented into the new programs version (or registry stuff, if you've saved configuration-settings to .reg file), this may mess program's installation.


INSTALLATION - THE DRIVERS:

The first rule that must be taken into the consideration (because it applies first) is that utilities that are known on market as "download accelerators" should be disabled, and firewalls and anti-virus programs (and similar programs) should be exited or at least , when downloading or installing updates and especially video-drivers.

Then it is also important that before installing any new drivers (like for example main graphic card's display drivers, audio card's related drivers etc.), make sure that you have un-installed previous version from the Windows Control Panel and rebooted the computer.

One of the rules that I repeat the most on various forums etc., is that it's better to not run any virus protection software related process in the background while installing the drivers, especially this means disabling the so-called real-time/on-access protection, but it's better also to disable/exit you firewall. Optionally exit all monitoring, file-scanning programs, or programs locking your system-files so any "low-level" programs that might be still running.

Finally my personal opinion is that it's better to exit any other "user programs" (not NT-services) when installing some new software (from packages, usually with some sort of "wizard"), or even in case of un-installing/re-installing, but as mentioned especially when installing "low-level" software like drivers, antivirus and firewall programs (which usually both use their own drivers) etc. Running these type of programs during "low-level" software's installation-procedure, might prevent the driver in question from configuring itself properly (could prevent, but better do not take your chances)


INSTALLATION - EMPTY DIRECTORY:

And as the last installation-related rule I am suggesting that - whenever you are installing "something to somewhere from somewhere", that directory should be always empty before starting the installation procedure. So this includes situations when you are installing some software from some self-executable package (requires 4 steps) as in the first example, or you are making some more space for your new "non-setup" programs (3 steps), as in the second example ...

the main general rule would be:

1 step ... first CREATE new directory (folder, if you prefer)

2 step ... Copy installation file into this new empty directory

3 step ... Install it (double-click, or right-click -- Open)

4 step ... Execute it (the program, you've just installed)

or when making space for your new "non-setup" program:

1 step ... first CREATE new directory

2 step ... Decompress it into this new empty directory

3 step ... Execute it (the program, you've just installed)






HARD-DISK RULES AND RELATED STUFF


FEW PRECAUTION MEASURES 1:

Then as a next rule, I strongly suggest you to not store important data on drives with small capacity, mainly because the probability of the recover is lower, the smaller the disk capacity is. Important data should be saved on a free drive. The smaller the capacity is, the higher the risk of fragmentation is.

And finally as a last precaution rule, it is recommended to not use a drive, which you require to the data-rescue, and also do not install recovery software you are planning to use on a drive that contains data for your data-rescue, because otherwise data could be overwritten and success on a data rescue becomes smaller. In general you should avoid working with the drive and do not save any data on it. Do not use a usal program, including the Windows(R) Explorer, in order not to overwrite important deleted data. Also note that in case if you would need to recover some lost data, you should use a second hard disk.


FEW PRECAUTION MEASURES 2:

As a first precaution rule, I suggest you to not store important files in the root directory, because files which are stored in the root directory, are sensitive to a loss by quick formatting, because file entries are set-aside in the root. So simply avoid to store to store files directly in the root since the file disappears, if the directory entry is damaged. In an emergency, one can recover data very quickly if it is in a sub-directory.

Then as a second rule, it is totally crucial to disable the disk's write caching, since this can lead to hard-disk corruption, i.e. that means data being lost in case of a "hard" reboot. You can do this by opening the drive properties, go to Hardware tab, then click the Properties button (when the hard-disk device is high-lighted), and in a new window go to Policies tab and un-check the "Enable write cache on the disk" check-box, or alternatively do this through the Device Manager: the related setting is located under the Device Manager, particularly under the "Disk Drives" branch (choose your HD and open Properties), the "Policies" tab. The description under that window says the following: "This setting enables write caching to improve disk performance, but a power outage or equipment failure might result in data loss or corruption., so you see, it's certainly best to disable that feature by un-checking the respective check-box".


OPTIMIZING THE DISK'S MFT ZONE:

Never "convert" a drive full of files from FAT to NTFS. When you do this, the MFT will almost certainly be placed at some random location on the disk, and possibly in a fragmented state. It's better to reformat the drive using NTFS, because the reformatting process assure the MFT will be placed by default on the faster part of the drive. Once it's formatted, you can copy the files to drive, and you'll end up with minimal initial fragmentation.


HARD-DISK AND DMA/PIO ISSUES:

If your PC is behaving strangely and hard-disk seems slow, and especially if you notice the unusal high CPU loads, then it's quite possible that the OS has "switched" from DMA to PIO mode. Although there is also a related setting in the registry; you can even try removing the primary IDE controller from Device Manager (and let it reboot, preferably twice). It's probably best if you do it through the Device Manager. So open the Device Manager, scroll to "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers", then open the "Primary IDE Channel Properties" sub-window (by double-clicking on it), go to "Advanced Settings" tab and see if says "DMA if available" under "Device 0" and/or "Device 1" secitons.


REGULAR DEFRAGMENTATION:

The idea of defragmentation is to minimize seeking by allowing a sequential read of a file. Of course, hard-disk have several megabytes of buffer, which is filled using proprietary algorithms; when reading a file the disk may be reading and caching nearby clusters as well which may get retrieved on a later request.

So since the disks are fragmented with very high probability, it is highly advisable, to distribute the files with important data into several directories and then defragment the floppy disk. A non-fragmented disk will increase you rate of recovery because the complete data is stored at the beginning of the first cluster of a file. Also, usually logical characteristics are different from physical characteristics of the volume.

Another thing to be noted is that usually a fragmented disk will degree the efficiency of a data-rescue, i.e. if the FAT is overwritten by a quick format or a virus. Then it is necessary to analyse exactly, how a file scattered over the disk lies. If however connected data is present, a data-rescue is very quickly possible on the basis of the information about its position and size. Another rule is that you should efragment your floppy disk, after data is stored on it.

Data is stored in contiguous manner, if enough storage location is available. If data is deleted from the disk, new data can take the free place - however the repeated deletion and write operations fragment the drive, especially if the new data is larger than the old one, the data is net set aside in coherent range, but in fragments, therefore the reading and write speed is reduced. When reading fragmented data the head of the hard disk has to 'jump' (i.e. the head moves to the looked track). In order to make the read and write procedure again more efficient, it is necesscary to reorganize the fragmented disk. After defragmentation, the data is in sequential order.



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