Change Disc mode from AHCI to IDE for SLOW system

Discussion in 'Acer Aspire One' started by Geezergeek, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Geezergeek

    Geezergeek

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    Running Aspire One 532h-2268 with standard 1GB Memory, 160 GB disc, Windows 7 Starter.

    It runs soooo slooowww!!!

    Have tried all the usual tricks of eliminating selected items from startup, cleaned up system, defraged, ran CCleaner---all the usual stuff.

    Saw one post that mentioned making sure hard disc mode was DMA rather than PIO. However, my system has the Intel NM-10 chipset, and the mode set in BIOS is AHCI. Don't have the option in either BIOS or Device Manager to mess with disc mode, other than the AHCI bit.

    I'm wondering if there might possibly be any advantage to changing to IDE mode. Also, what steps would I have to take to do that, other than changing the BIOS setting?

    Plus, if there are any other things those of you who have been down this path have tried, and have found success, I would appreciate hearing what you did.

    Many thanks!
     
    Geezergeek, Aug 24, 2014
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  2. Geezergeek

    Nestone50

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    I have this same netbook. I replaced the 1 gig ram with 2 gig ram stick. Very easy to do on this model. The ram module is behind a small plastic cover on the back of the netbook secured with a phillips screw. There is only one ram slot so you will have to discard the module you have and replace it with a 2 gig stick. I also got a 2 gig SD card and dedicated it to Ready Boost. Like you, I only have a half dozen programs in Start Up. Have you installed and run the free version of MalwareBytes in addition to Ccleaner? If you have downloaded a lot of "free" programs from the internet, you might have all kinds of malware running in the background that will certainly slow things down. Also, if your hard drive is near being full, that will slow things down as well. If you have 60 gigs or more free, you should be OK.
    This netbook is has a single core Atom processor so it will never set the world on fire. However, I use this netbook as my travel device as it is light and doesn't take up much room. I find it perfectly acceptable for checking email, surfing the internet and word processing.
     
    Nestone50, Aug 25, 2014
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  3. Geezergeek

    Geezergeek

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    Hi, Nestone,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I haven't looked into any hardware upgrades yet, other than ordering an external CD/DVD drive. Will check into the memory upgrade soon--headed out on a trip.

    What is Ready Boost, and how does it work? Obviously, I haven't read all the disk-resident documentation yet!

    Re: MBam and CCleaner----yes, I have those, but I am paranoid about those tricky little add-ons that ride along with the check boxes. The name "Geek" MORE than says it for me; been in this business more years than I care to relate, but most of that time was spent on main-frames and old IBM punched-card equipment. Just been messing with PC's since the early 90's, and STILL don't know a lot about them. But, I DO appreciate your cautionary tips. One thing I learned in this business is that you NEVER know it all. Any new piece of equipment comes with its own little quirks; and, it is MUCH better to seek council from those who have already "fought the battles", so to speak. So, I always welcome ideas and suggestions from others.

    I bought this machine used, and I don't think the previous owner did much with it, or else he did one heck of a cleaning job before selling it. The HDD (standard 160 GB) has about 130 GB available.

    As for programs to allow to run, I've done a lot of research, but still haven't found a very definitive guide as to what to allow vs. what to block. I found early on that one DOES need the Dritek Launch Manager for some of the more vital hot-keys (the wireless switch, for instance). I did kill Acer Assist, as it can start up IF you ever need it. Not sure about the Power Management and Raid software (only one HDD!). Video Conference Manager looks next to useless unless one is using Skype, and then I'm not sure it is necessary. I have (as you may do) the Intel NM-10 Chipset, but I'm just not sure if any of those Intel process (hkcmd, igfxtray), and igfxpers) are needed. And, Lightscribe?!?!? No optical drive; would Lightscribe even be a part of Crapware?

    Interestingly, I've found running in Safe Mode to be MUCH faster than in full-bore mode; but, of course, one loses necessary drivers and other goodies that way.

    Been playing with a couple of different anti-virus programs to see which is the least obtrusive. Tried Avast Free, the Microsoft Security Essentials (next to nothing). Now trying Bit Defender Free. It doesn't nag you, but I just don't know how much of a system resources hog it is.

    Anyway, comments/suggestions WELCOMED!!!!

    As they say in OZ, "Good on 'ya!"

    Geezergeek
     
    Geezergeek, Aug 25, 2014
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  4. Geezergeek

    Nestone50

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    Well, good to hear from someone "Down Under." I miss the Vegemite.
    Here is a little bit from Microsoft about Ready Boost: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/readyboost
    I forgot to mention in my last post that I wiped Windows 7 Starter and put on Windows 7 Home Premium. Back in the day, Microsoft was selling what they called a Windows 7 upgrade "Family Pack." You got 3 Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade licenses from either Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 Starter for $99. I made the upgrade on the Acer netbook a "clean install" that got rid of all the Acer bloatware.
    I use the AVG free addition for anti virus. Basically, I think the ram upgrade will give you the biggest bang for the buck. Remember that the video shares the ram. I think the video draws 128 megs, so there is precious little left if you only have 1 gig to begin with.
    If you right click on the desktop and choose "gadgets" from the pull down menu, have a look the "CPU Meter." This handy little widget on the desktop shows the CPU and memory draw. It will give you an idea of what your speed bottleneck might be without having to go to the Task Manager. I'll bet you'll find the memory to be pegged between 80 & 100% when you are doing just about anything with just 1 gig of memory installed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
    Nestone50, Aug 25, 2014
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  5. Geezergeek

    Geezergeek

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    Thanks for the tip about the gadgets; and, you were dead-on. With no user apps running, memory is 70-90%! CPU is a paltry 5-20%--unless I do something.

    Sorry if I caused you to think I'm from Australia; just spent a lot of time there over a few years. LOVED the place, AND the people. And, I, too, like Vegemite. Got a jar in the fridge right now. Kinda hard to find, though World Market is usually the best bet. I don't buy Marmite!

    Good move on the W7 Family Pack. I have a single license Ultimate edition which is installed on my desktop. Too bad M$ doesn't make the same deal available on W7 as they did on XP Pro: you could install a copy on your desktop AND a copy on a laptop. Made good sense--not likely you would be using both at the same time.

    I'm assuming after you loaded your machine with Home Premium, you went to Acer's site to get drivers. I have a copy of XP Home Premium that is no longer in use on the laptop on which it came, and I thought a bit about wiping the Acer and putting that on it. But, there is always the problem of drivers, and other software. I have an HP laptop that came with Vista, the buttons for Media Center, and a Webcam. Hated Vista, and set about to load up XP Pro for a dual-boot scenario. Had a devil of a time finding drivers for all the bells and whistles; but, thanks to an active users' forum for that model, I finally got everything supported, and it is a jewel.

    My webcam works with the Crystal Eye driver, but I have no other software for it---something for making "Happy Birthday" videos, for instance. That is one of the things I'm going to hunt down WHEN I get the little beast to run a bit faster.

    Thanks for the link to Ready Boost info. Reading up on it now. I had a couple of micro-SD cards in adapters that I had used in phones and put one of those in the card slot. The Autoplay menu came up, but it said the device was not usable for Ready Boost. Took at look at it in Explorer, and it still had the phone stuff on it. So, formatting it to Fat 32, and will try it again. I'll report on my success, or lack of same, tomorrow.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
    Geezergeek, Aug 26, 2014
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  6. Geezergeek

    Nestone50

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    If memory serves, the Windows 7 install disk had most, if not all the drivers I needed. I recall that the netbook booted just fine. First thing I did then was to go to Windows Update in program files and downloaded all the security updates that had come out since the install disk had been pressed. I used an external $20 USB DVD drive for the install. It might be that some hardware driver updates were also downloaded. It was about 2 years ago when I did this so the memory is a bit foggy. I do know it was a simple procedure without any cursing or pulling of hair. Even the webcam drivers were included in the Windows 7 install disk.
    Now, as you have a desktop, here is how to upgrade the netbook OS on the cheap. Perfectly legal and legit. I had an old Compaq R3000 from about 2004. It had Windows XP. Hadn't used it in a good while as it was a heavy beast. I have a grandson that just turned 8 and was showing an interest in computers. In checking websites, there was nearly 100% agreement that this laptop could not be updated to Windows 7. It did have a 160 gig HD along with 2 gigs of ram but an integrated video card of only 32 megs. I did find a post from someone who had put on Windows 7 and said it worked just fine and Windows 7 found all but one of the necessary drivers. I was provided with a link to that driver. There is a website that is selling legit Windows 7 Pro licenses for under $30. You find it here: http://www.sheridanmudtrack.com/Windows-7-Key/Microsoft-Windows-7-Professional-Product-Key.html
    I then went to this site and downloaded and burned to a DVD disk the Windows 7 Pro ISO file as found here here: http://www.techverse.net/download-windows-7-iso-x86-x64-microsofts-official-servers/ I made sure to download the 32 bit Windows 7 Pro version. The install went just fine. Old Compaq booted straight away. Grandson was thrilled. So was I as he was looking over my shoulder and I didn't want him to lose the impression that his grandpa was a computer wizard :). Downloaded all the security updates which told me the license was legit as otherwise, Microsoft would have recognized the key as pirated. The only thing this old laptop could not do in run the Windows 7 Aero. I could care less. In fact, you should check to see if Aero is running on your netbook. It is a resource hog and uses memory. Google "turn off Aero in Windows 7" and do so. All it does is make the borders of open window programs transparent instead of a solid color. I have it switched off on all my computers.
    So, what I'm telling you is you can upgrade your netbook to Windows 7 Pro for less than $30.
    Regarding the Ready Boost question. Format the card in ntfs as your OS is in that format. That is most likely why you are getting the error message.
     
    Nestone50, Aug 26, 2014
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  7. Geezergeek

    Geezergeek

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    Re:NTFS on the SD card------DUH!!!! Why didn't I think of that! (Told you I'm still learning PC's!) Well, I did that, but darn thing STILL won't work. Autorun brings up the link to the ReadyBoost window, but three lines on the Window say "This device cannot be used for ReadyBoost. The device is plugged into an unsupported USB port. ReadyBoost requires USB 2.0 or above."

    The SD card reader is identified as a "Combo Drive". I tried updating the drivers--no joy ("the current drivers are up to date"). Tried releasing the device and rebooting---Windows found it and loaded drivers, but ReadyBoost still would not work. Tried to identify the drive manufacturer via hardware ID's so I could go to their web site for a driver--no luck. SIW says it can't identify the manufacturer of the card reader.

    I believe my USB ports are all USB 2.0. All my flash drives work; and, I've connected a Sabrent USB-to-IDE/SATA adapter, with an IDE drive attached, and that worked like a champ. Received my external CD/DVD drive today, hooked it up to a USB port, and IT worked. So, I'm fairly confident that my USB headers are indeed 2.0.

    Also, do you realize how hard it is to find a TRUE 2 GB SD card these days? Everybody has BIG cards, with speed class 4, 6, and even 10. A site I read said that a Class 2 is the best choice for ReadyBoost. I probably could locate one on line, but I wanted it TODAY!!! So, I'm still trying with that 4 GB Micro SD in the adapter. Hmmm. I'm wondering if since that card is actually an SDHC breed, it might be overpowering the card reader and making it THINK it's a 1.0 version?

    Oh, well---memory upgrade on order, and I hope it's here by Saturday. Leaving Tuesday for 2 weeks in Florida.

    Thanks very much for the info re: the on-the-cheap W7 Pro. When I return from FL, I will most likely give that a try. I don't like being "dumbed down" to Starter. Oh, re" Aero: it's not included in Starter.
     
    Geezergeek, Aug 27, 2014
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  8. Geezergeek

    Nestone50

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    I just said use a 2 GIG card as that is all you need for Ready Boost. However, a 4 GIG card should work fine. Don't know why the card isn't working. I vaguely recall a similar problem. I simply removed and reseated the card in the netbook SD slot and it picked it up. Try this. Insert the SD card again. "X" out of the window that opens automatically. Then, go to "My Computer. Highlight the "drive" where the SD card is located on your netbook. Once highlighted, right click on the drive and choose "Properties" Then click on the Ready Boost tab and fill in the "use this device" button. Windows will recommend how much of your SD card to use for Ready Boost. Complete that task, click on "Apply" and then "OK>" and see if you can get. Again, I have the same netbook as you. If that doesn't work, you might need to try another SD card.
     
    Nestone50, Aug 27, 2014
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  9. Geezergeek

    Geezergeek

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    It's working!!! But first, I'll tell you what all I did beforehand.

    Tried the things you said; never saw the "Use this device" button. Tried an 8 GB SD card out of my camera--still no joy. Found a web site that discussed one of the messages I was getting, and it suggested several things including some Registry changes. One of the things it mentioned was a "Do not retest this device" button on the ReadyBoost window---never saw that on mine. Anyway, after making the Registry changes, rebooted, but still no joy.

    In the process of doing more research, I chanced across the us.acer.com web site, and found the driver page. Turns out the driver for my card reader was out of date, in spite of what Windows driver search said. Downloaded the most current driver, installed, then rebooted. Inserted the little micro SD card, and the ReadyBosst window came right up! Set the value to the max and said "Dedicate this device...". Man, that DOES make a difference! Can't wait to see what double the memory will do!

    I didn't check all my other drivers, but will get around to it. I did download the "application file" for my web cam, but turns out it isn't anything more than a driver. I did check my BIOS version just for grins, and mine (at 1.12) is just one tick above the first release of 1.10. However, I couldn't find any instructions on flashing the BIOS except those using WinFlash. Don't believe that is part of my particular BIOS. I think I'll follow my dad's advice: if it works, don't fix it!

    I'm still not all that enamored with Windows 7 Starter. so I think I will upgrade per your description after I return. Though I will be able to get on line down in FL, I won't have my desktop handy to work with. Just my HP laptop and the Acer.

    Again, MANY, MANY thanks for all your help.

    The OLD Geek
     
    Geezergeek, Aug 27, 2014
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  10. Geezergeek

    Nestone50

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    Glad you got it all sorted. When I upgraded to Windows 7 Home via a clean install, the updated driver for the SD card reader must have been included.
    I think you will see an even better speed improvement once you add the additional ram.
     
    Nestone50, Aug 28, 2014
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  11. Geezergeek

    Geezergeek

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    On the road now, but thought that I should post that memory arrived sooner than expected. I installed it, and all is well. Memory load is now down at 50% or lower, and the little 4 GB Micro SDHC is working fine (in the adapter) for ReadyBoost. Many thanks for all your help.

    When I return home, I'm going to use the links you gave me to buy a W7 Pro Key and download Pro for an ISO install disc. Again, thanks for those links.
     
    Geezergeek, Sep 4, 2014
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  12. Geezergeek

    Nestone50

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    Glad to hear of your success.
     
    Nestone50, Sep 4, 2014
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