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Efficiency

Shaving a few seconds off the boot time the Hard Drive Way

If you use Windows, then you're probably a frequent rebooter. At minimum, you're probably someone who turns off their machine while not using it. Here's a quick tip to speed up your reboots.

This tip is more for the advanced user. You could cause a few problems if you aren't sure about what you're doing.

Most new machines come with the IDE auto-detect enabled in the BIOS. What this does is to determine the type of hard drive(s) you have installed at the time of boot. Of course, this all takes extra time.

You can go in and manually set the hard drive to the correct type, and shave a few seconds off your reboot time.

 

Your PC knowledgebase

Here's something you can do to make your life a lot easier. Make a directory somewhere called "My Computer". Now, under this directory put all/some of the following directories (If you don't have any SCSI devices, then don't put a SCSI directory. Same goes for any hardware listed below that you don't have.)

Motherboard
Graphics Card
CD-ROM Drive
Hard Drive
Monitor
Printer
Joystick
Sound Card
Modem
Tape Drive
Floppy Drive
SCSI Controller
IDE Controller
Scanner
Mouse
Drawing Tablet

So what are we doing here? Well, I started doing this around 2 years ago to keep all pertinent information as well as updates/drivers in a nice, easy, and organized fashion.

After shutting down your machine and turning off the power. Be ESD safe. Static Electricity can destroy your hardware, so if you don't know how to properly ground yourself, please find someone who can either do it for you or teach you. I will NOT be responsible for any damage that your machine sustains in the implementation of this tip, so unless you know what you are doing, please don't do this.

Open your case and write down all the model/part numbers for everything you can find. While you're at it, you might as well write down all of the serial numbers you come across.

Armed with all of this information, get on the Internet and go to the manufacturer of whatever it is that you are looking for and find their pages dealing with the model of whatever it is you're looking for. If they have .PDF documents, (Portable Document Format, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to read these).

So, go ahead and download the PDFs on your hardware, and any other information they have available for it. Also, download their latest drivers. Make sure you save all of this information in their respective directories that you created above.

Some other information you should look for:
If the hardware has jumper settings that they have displayed on a webpage, save that web page and the pictures in it.

notebutt.gif (1747 bytes) If you are using IE5, you can easily do this by clicking on "File" -> "Save Page". If you are using a different browser, you can still save the page as described, but you will most likely have to right click on each image in the page and selects "Save image".

If they have pictures of your hardware, save those too. It might come in handy later.

notebutt.gif (1747 bytes) Just remember HTML pages and the pictures it contains are Copyrighted, so do not redistribute, post or give away these pictures to anyone else. They are for your own personal use and nobody else. I'm not even sure that this is entirely legal, but just keep the stuff to yourself and you won't have any problems.

While you are at the webpage dealing with your hardware, go ahead and start a new favorites/bookmark folder called My Computer. Under here, put the same sub-folders as you created for your hard drive. Bookmark the page into it's respective folder, and now you have a quick way to get back to the webpage dealing with your hardware to check for updates/patches/drivers. One thing you might want to do in addition, is to back up to the top level of the web site. i.e. the page dealing with your hardware is:

<http://www.my_motherboard.com/model_number/drivers>

now back it up to :

<http://www.my_motherboard.com>

Now bookmark this page too. This is so if they webmaster moves your driver page to another location etc. You can at least get back to the manufacturer's web site.

Once you have gotten all of the files you think are worth getting for each piece of hardware you own. Install the new drivers you've downloaded (unless you already have the latest version installed.)

safebutt.gif (1957 bytes) Please make sure that you've downloaded the correct drivers. Nothing will make your day go downhill faster than not being able to boot back up due to incorrect driver installations.

Now that you've got this system started, go out about once a month and check for new and updated information/drivers.

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Workarounds

Something that really annoys me is having to reboot because I forgot to turn on a SCSI device before turning on the computer. Here's a tip to save you the time and irritation.

  1. Turn on the SCSI periphrial
  2. Go to My Computer->Control Panel->System->Device Manager Tab
  3. Scroll down to "SCSI controllers"
  4. Click the plus next to it.
  5. Single click the SCSI device that you just turned on.
  6. Go down and click on the "Refresh" button.

That's it, the device should function now. This tip is also useful if say your scanner locks up. You can turn it off and back on, and then do the above steps.

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