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Creating a dual boot system to improve FSX performance

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Andrew Graver (barkoman) Trainee

I talked to a PC store today attempting to improve my game experience. I was advised that I should create a dual boot system, one OS for my regular PC stuff and install XP or Vista on another HD with just the game. That way, there would be no other software programs using RAM, etc and would make a huge difference. I'm aware of hardware reqt's of FSX and I built a respectible PC. Anyone else tried this? As much as I turn settings down and close programs running in the background, I'm not satisfied w/ performance, particularly when in urban areas where system resources are stretched to generate the extra objetcs. Do I have to buy another copy of Vista because I can't imagine them allowing me to activate another copy for the same computer. Anyone else have any luck with this? Just curious....I don't want to waste my money.

Thanks

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Bob (Traches) First Officer

Not to be mean or anything, but the person who told you to do that had no idea what they were talking about. While that would technically work, it's a horribly inefficient way to do things... I hate dual boot systems because you have to install everything twice, you divide up your HD space, and finally booting the computer takes longer and is no longer something you can walk away from. The only time it's really worth doing a dual boot is if you want to do a thorough test of a new operating system without committing yourself to it...

Even switching to a dual boot configuration is a serious PITA because it either involves resizing the partition you've got now to free up space for the new OS (Which is a somewhat precarious, lengthy, and tricky process that requires special software, and I have yet to see a freeware program that will do it.) or completely wiping your hard drive and starting over, which has its obvious disadvantages.

Lucky for you there's a muuuuuuuuch better way... Smile

There are only really two things you can do to make your computer run faster without installing new hardware -- Defrag, and clean out your startup folder. When it comes to defragging, the windows stock defrag utility kinda sucks. It puts individual files together, but makes no effort to sort files or place them in a way that will help them read faster. Look into a program like Ultimate Defrag, or a freeware equivalent.

Cleaning out your startup folder is pretty easy -- hit start, run, and type "msconfig" (without the quotes). Go to the startup tab and hit "disable all". Then go back through that list and turn on your antivirus, anything by nVidia, AMD, Intel, or ATI, and anything else you specifically want to run on startup. You can't break your computer turning things off here; nothing that is system critical shows up in this list. You can always come back and turn things back on too... Google's your friend here Smile

Just FYI, 99% of programs that put stuff in your startup folder (iTunes for example) don't need that item activated to work properly. You probably won't even notice a difference when using those programs.

Oh, and if you're using norton antivirus get rid of it and pick up Avast. Norton is awful about using up system resources...

Hope this helps Very Happy

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Andrew Graver (barkoman) Trainee

Thanks for the help. The guy was suggesting another HD entirely as to avoid a partition. Anyway, I use ultimate defrag and have closed progs in the background using msconfig. I still find that a lot of folks are getting more from equivalent machines. I see that there's "TWEAK FS", a prog that auto adjusts your config file. Have you heard of anyone using it?

Pro Member First Officer
Bob (Traches) First Officer

You don't have any spyware do you? That'll tank your system faster than anything else... If you haven't already, run a Spybot scan to check.

You could also try going through your services (services.msc in the run window), but that's a lot more dangerous because you can easily break stuff disabling services. Definitely spend some time with google before you do that.

Haven't heard of tweak FS, but you can get FS to run better by tweaking its config file. I'd recommend doing it manually TBH, it's not that hard (Open it up in notepad and change stuff) and there are some good websites on it. Just google fsx.cfg tweaks, you'll get all the info you need Smile

Anyway, like I said in my last post the only things you can do to speed up your computer without installing new hardware are defrag and reduce the number of programs running in the background. Period. A 2nd operating system would accomplish those things, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the guy was just trying to sell you a new hard drive. The best way to do it would be to get the OS you've got now running as efficiently as you possibly can; that'll give you performance benefits all the time too, not just when using FS.

Pro Member Trainee
Andrew Graver (barkoman) Trainee

Based on your suggestions, I've done everything in the past. I've even milled around with the thought of using 64 vista to get the extra ram. Sounds like I have done what I can for now.

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haleymon Trainee

Oh, and if you're using norton antivirus get rid of it and pick up Avast. Norton is awful about using up system resources...

He is right Norton STINKS and Mcafee is not much better

Avast and AVG are better.

But...

If you end up with a 2nd hdd for FSX just dont put it on the internet and skip the AV software all together. as good as Avast is... It still eats resources.

Dave

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