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Old 26. Apr 2010, 05:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
J_L
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Default New Acer Netbook 8 gb SSD

It has Windows XP SP3 on it and lots of Acer crap (including a visible spyware). Currently I've removed most of the bloat, and is disinfecting the computer.

Any tips for me Anupam? I know you had an 8 gb hard drive before with Windows XP. Everyone else may include their recommendations.

edit:
Made a mistake about trojan, but there is possible spyware.

Last edited by J_L; 26. Apr 2010 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 26. Apr 2010, 05:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Okay, malwarebytes did not detect anything for some reason..

Finally disabled Acer GAIA with Autoruns. All other unnecessary driver startups are also disabled.

Removed extra language files and software restore is disabled by default.

Can I remove some of the driver software without removing the drivers themselves?
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Old 26. Apr 2010, 06:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Despite the unfortunate name, I have had pretty good luck with PCDecrapifier to remove a good amount of the pre-installed "crap" that comes on these brand name computers. I normally jump into Add/Remove programs, click on Windows Components and then cherry pick the components that I feel I need for that install. For instance, I normally rip out paint as well as media player and messenger.

My experience with removing driver software has been positive with Video, network and printer drivers. Audio has been a weird one. I normally only install the drivers by performing a manual install of needed drivers instead of running the install disks.

Good luck!
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Old 26. Apr 2010, 06:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So that was the software! Damn I totally forgot what the name was! Searched but couldn't find it with what I remember.
Well all of the visible to user bloat is removed already, but I guess I can still try it out.

Uninstalled IE 7, disabled Messenger, Outlook, IE 6, Windows Media Player, etc.
Installed Firefox (I know there are lighter browsers, but this is the only one with guaranteed NoScript compatibility)

Currently left with Aver Crystal Eye webcam, Atheros for Acer Driver Foxconn Installation Program, REALTEK GbE & FE Ethernet PCI-E NIC Driver, Realtek High Definition Audio Driver, and Synaptics Pointing Device Driver.
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Old 26. Apr 2010, 07:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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@freedog96150: Thanks!

Tried out PcDecrapifier, nothing detected (which means I did quite a though job).
Installed CCleaner and chose every item excluding DNS cache, Start Menu Shortcuts, Desktop Shortcuts, Custom Files and Folders, Wipe Free Space. Saved me 15 mb.

I'm going to manually install Windows Updates with my flash drive. Saves space and time (the ssd is on the slower side, it was refurbished).

Also going to install a ramdisk with imaging (512 mb, 1.5 gb RAM total). Next are SandBoxie, Macrium Reflect, 7-zip, VLC or KM Player, and Irfanview.
Gonna install most of it in RamDisk (excluding SandBoxie and maybe Macrium Reflect). Gonna move Firefox, Ccleaner, and Malwarebytes' to the Ramdisk as well.

Well there are some file not found on my autoruns, should I disable them?

That's it for the night, awaiting good replies by tomorrow.
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Old 26. Apr 2010, 01:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yep J.L., I have a 8 GB hard disk with XP SP2 on it. 8 GB is a really small hard drive to have, specially in present times. But, this hard disk has been with me since my first computer in 2000. And I turn to it in case of emergency. Till date, 3 of my other hard disks have gone bad... but this one still goes on.

That's what I really do not like with the branded computers like Acer, HP, Compaq etc. They come pre-installed with so many junk which we really do not need, specially us freeware users. I would first go uninstalling the extra components and software, which are not needed.

Also, you have already taken the steps to remove unnecessary Windows components. For that, you can use Revo Uninstaller. In the Options, under Uninstaller... you can tick the check box for "Show system components", and it will show Windows components not normally seen from Add/Remove.

I keep Windows updates off when I use 8 GB hard disk. The updates take up a lot of space, and also keep their hot fixes setups stored on the disk, which take up space too. I also turn off the System Restore, since restore points are also space consumers. If you do not want to keep that off, then you can make use off CCleaner to remove individual restore points on daily basis.

Next, I install only the necessary programs on my PC. I install an AV, and if required, a firewall. I do not install both MBAM, and SAS. I just install MBAM, and keep it updated.

Instead of heavy media player like VLC, or KM Player, I use Media Player Classic Home Cinema. For my needs, it works well, and can play music too. For smaller music players, I go for 1by1, Xion, or XMPlay. These are very light, if you only want to play MP3.

For pdf reader, I use Sumatra Pdf Reader. Its very small, but works really well if you do not have to open really complex pdfs.

On smaller hard disks, you might want to keep track of where the space is being used. So, for that you can make use of software like TreeSize, or WinDirStat, which show you where space is being used.

I would not bother much with the drivers, since I would not be sure, if any of them might be required for proper functioning of the system. I don't mess around in that area. Still, you can check and remove only the unnecessary ones. To be on the safe side, you can make use of a drive backup utility(I think DoubleDriver does that).

I hope all this is useful. If I remember more, I will share here.
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Old 26. Apr 2010, 01:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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OK, some more points to add. I do not install any codec pack, they are really unnecessary, I have found.

To play DIVX or avi movies, you can install the XVID codec. Its very small and works really well. If some movies still do not work, then you can install the DIVX codec. Mind you, only the codec, because if you get the DIVX bundle, it is a large install. For sound, you can install the AC3 codec. It takes care of sound for most movies, and is really small. For playing real media, and quick time media formats, you can install Real Alternative, and Quick Time Alternative.
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Old 26. Apr 2010, 03:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
....If you do not want to keep that off, then you can make use off CCleaner to remove individual restore points on daily basis.

...
Hi, this is what CCleaner says in their documentation:
Note: CCleaner removes references to the System Restore points, but may not actually remove all files related to each point.
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Old 26. Apr 2010, 03:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
Note: CCleaner removes references to the System Restore points, but may not actually remove all files related to each point.
Aha! That's quite interesting. But what's the use then, if the files related do not get removed. The space won't be freed then. That's confusing. I have used this feature on my brother's laptop many times, and after removing the restore points, space does get freed up.

Might be a good point to ask on their forum.
BTW, a new version of CCleaner is just out.
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Old 26. Apr 2010, 03:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
Aha! That's quite interesting. But what's the use then, if the files related do not get removed. The space won't be freed then. That's confusing. I have used this feature on my brother's laptop many times, and after removing the restore points, space does get freed up.

Might be a good point to ask on their forum.
BTW, a new version of CCleaner is just out.
I have been using the facility provided by Windows' Disk Cleanup to remove all old Restore points. But one has to do it for each drive. And the amount of space to be freed up is not shown beforehand.
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