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Win2k tips for a stable HTPC

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by cosmic023, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. cosmic023

    cosmic023
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    Hi All,

    I'm using Win2k Pro, as the os for my HTPC, is there any tips i can change / do to make it more suitable for HTPC use ??

    As it's only used for DVD playback using PowerDVD v4, and other media played back via Media Player v9, nothing else is needed as i've got an internet connection on another machine.

    PC Spec:

    Gigabyte GA6 IEML Board
    Intel PIII 1.0 ghz CPU
    512mb 133mhz SDRAM
    WD 10.2 Gig 7200 HD
    WD 20.0 Gig 7200 HD
    Pioneer 105SZ Slot Loading DVD drive
    x54 Speed CD-Rom
    Win2k Pro OS
    PowerDVD XP v4
    Media Player V9

    Cheers

    Cosmic023
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Are you having problems with stability at present?.....if you are,I've found that mine works fine with Windows XP and all the apropriate software revisions.
     
  3. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Go into services and disable the features you don't need. Clipboard, remote registry, messenger, server, auto update, indexing, fax/print, smartcard, UPS.

    Install Service Pack 3, press No when asked to backup files. When it's finished and rebooted delete the C:\Windows\Service Pack files dir (this is another copy of the SP3 files)

    I've installed SP3 & SP4 Beta and delete that dir afterwards. If they were being used my PC would go SPLAT on the next bootup (or straight away) no problems on several PC's after 1 year. Couple of hundred meg in there.

    Run defrag after that.
     
  4. cosmic023

    cosmic023
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    Nice one Nathan,

    I'll give that one a whirl asap...........

    Cheers

    Cosmic023
     
  5. TEK

    TEK
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    http://www.blkviper.com/index.html

    If you can get past this guys ego it's a very good site for explaining all services that you can disable to get the best performance out of your OS
     
  6. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Try this:

    http://www.videoguys.com/Win2K_Tweaks.html


    I've used W2K on my HTPC for about a year now and it hasn't crashed once! Mostly using Theatertek , Dscaler and Winamp all through the myHTPC interface app.

    Must admit I stopped on service pack 2 as the machine is so stable now I can't see me messing with it for quite some time.
     
  7. cosmic023

    cosmic023
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    Cheers all for the tips & help,

    I'll check them out soon........

    Cheers

    Cosmci023
     
  8. John_N

    John_N
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    I use Win2K on my machine and I found theatertek to be more stable than powerDVD. I didn't like powerDVD at all - the pans were not as smooth as theatertek and it crashed a few times. I would recommend theatertek over it anytime.

    Services is a good idea. When I build my new '2nd gen' HTPC using the DIGN HV5 case I will re-install win2K I guess. THat is unless people think that windows XP is better? I've heard good reports about XP...

    John
     
  9. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    I've found XP to be a bit quircky. It doesn't hang-but occasionally apps hang, and XP seems to hog sometimes (on three PC's)

    Also XP has problems with .AVI files over 750MB.

    No problems with Windows 2000, seems more stable and apps don't hang.
     
  10. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Don't want to argue with nathan_silly, but I have different experience of WinXP.

    Windows 2000 was really NT 5.0, even said so in big graphics in the branding of the early builds and still does in the System about. Windows XP is really NT 5.1 and says so in the System about box. Marketing aside, WinXP is a minor revision over Win2K hence 5.1; it is not NT 6.0 which would be a major revision.

    WinXP is not really any different to Win2Ksp6a, except the GUI and bug fixes and "new features" (most of which you can get for Win2K). The WinXP GUI and any extra features can easily be turned off in Services control panel. With the XP GUI off, it looks just like Win2K! This very PC is dual boot WinXP, with one build having almost every service (inc GUI) disabled. Very useful link for WinXP services.

    I've run XP since early betas and haven't had any problems, it's the most stable Windows OS I've ever experienced. I've used many OSes, and I am impressed. One of my PCs has an uptime of thousands of hours, and hasn't had a single problem with it; even with all services on and it being older kit. Not saying that nathan_silly has not had any quirky problems, just that I haven't.

    Also haven't had a problem with AVI files greater than 750MB either -- although that's with WMP9, can't say I tested with WMP8.

    Win2K has no real problems, but I do think WinXP is even more stable and I haven't had any problem with hanging applications.

    When Microsoft were promoting .NET technology a couple of years, they would whip out this pie chart of what causes crashes/problems in Windows 2000, mostly it was third party drivers but there was a suprising large chunk that was bugs (they were being open and honest to the likes of me). That chunk caused by bugs is what they claimed to have fixed between Win2K and WinXP.

    StooMonster
     
  11. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Have to agree with Stoomonster....XP's been running fine on my PC with NO crashes/hangups at all...for once,a version of Windows that worked straight out of the box,and continues to do so.
     
  12. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Xp does/did have the .AVI problem. On my three PC's when I try to delete a large .AVI file it says in use and doesn't allow it. Rebooting sometimes solves it, sometimes not. One method is renaming the file in command prompt, then delete the file.

    Never had a problem with Win2000.

    http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp/t1028497309
     
  13. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Oh deleting .AVI files, I thought you meant playing them!

    The problems/solutions I've heard of in regard to this are:

    1. Kazza, eDonkey, or whatever file-sharing system you used to obtain said large sized video is still holding them; they are therefore "in use". Solution is to quit all such programs (may even have to use Task Manager) and then delete file.

    2. Corrupted DivX .AVI files can cause trouble in WinXP because Windows Explorer attempts to read the entire contents of broken large AVI before allowing any access to it. Specifically, this is caused by Media File Property Extractor Shell Extension (shmedia.dll) attempting to calculate the bit-rate of the file and create a thumbnail preview for the Properties.

    To fix this remove the following registry key. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREClassesCLSID{87D62D94-71B3-4b9a-9489-5FE6850DC73E}InProcServer32. Then restart Windows XP. This will prevent Explorer from loading shmedia.dll in response to file property queries on these files. BTW if you do a "search" for this key it will not be found, you will have to look for it manually instead.

    3. Fix the corrupted AVI file with "AVI Fix Join" or some such tool.

    4. Use something like this program http://www.gibinsoft.net/gipoutils/ which does Copying/Moving/Deleting on Next Boot for just such problems.

    For the record, similar kind of thing can happen in Win2K too...
    http://www.tek-tips.com/gviewthread.cfm/lev2/67/lev3/70/pid/616/qid/522132

    HTH.

    BTW, I've heard that Windows 2003 Server is the most stable ever version of Windows; although a tad expensive for HTPC use!

    StooMonster
     
  14. cosmic023

    cosmic023
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    Hi All,

    Cheers 4 all the tips, i still agree with Nathan that win2k is better over XP.

    I found XP is pretty hardwired, and doesn't like been tinkered around with, maybe that's changed in later versions ??

    I'll check out the links & tips over the next couple of days.

    Cheers for all your help.

    Thanks

    Cosmic023
     
  15. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I use myHTPC as a frontend over W2K so its kinda moot what the OS is in practical use. I doubt the config of my HTPC will change in the near future as its very stable and I refuse to mess with it or upgrade any of the software as a result.
     
  16. 50/50

    50/50
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    Might be worth makeing a RAID 0 array. This will increase your harddrive performance alot, I have used two 80gb Seagate 7200rpm to do this and its transfers rates are faster than a 15,000rpm SCSI drive according to sandra :)

    Totally worth it. But do not buy a motherboard with the built in raid. They are pretty crap most of the time. Just buy a proper raid controller.
     

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