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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My first computer mod

I posted about cooling my computer more with an extra cooling fan i had lying around. I've done it, the computer seems to be a bit more louder but now that I've closed up my case and bay covers it seems to be ignorable but a noisy computer is much better than a non-working one i guess.
I opened up the front cover of the tower first (didn't know i could do that) and not really surprising, there was groups of cotton ball like balls of dust from two years of operations. I also found that there is a place for my fan at the front of the computer on the bottom and that fan is ducted to the bottom of the tower. The problem i had with that idea was that there was a secondary hard disk in the way, i could work around it but didn't want to fiddle around with that in the future when it comes to cleaning time so i decided to use 2 5.5" bays to hold the fan. I could screw the fans to the metal plate that was there at the front but because the fan would be too close to the holes in the metal plates which it made it loud, i decided to place the fan a bit further back, there was no design for that so there was no holes but i managed to work-around this limitation by using ordinary string and string it trough the holes in the fan and the hold on the side of that bay which are used to screw CD drives in place, i did this on both sides to hold the fan in place in case if i need to move or shake my tower. I hope this design will bring me better cleaning procedures, more efficient cooling and better noise control. You'll hear me whine in future posts if my deign doesn't meet it's perfect intention.

On a different note, I have done something i though was very risky and dangerous. I re-sized my hard disk partitions so i can create a section of my disk to be dedicated to Spooling, Cache of browsers and virtual memory or swap file. These types of files are usually temporary and cause lots of fragmentation (wiki this word if you don't understand) if i can partition this type of data to a certain PHYSICAL area of the disk it can make defraging hard disk easier because the fragmentation is located in one place of the disk rather than all over the disk. Less fragmentation and especially less fragmentation all over the disk will cause faster and healthier hard disk operations which is important on the operating system (OS) disk (i.e. hard drive where Windows is installed) as programs and the OS performance will be affected by time lags of having to seach all over the disk for the other parts of a file stored on the disk.
I used Pmagic 1.8 as a bootable CD by downloading the ISO, the software was one of the best Linux based live CDs, previously when i tested out Linux operating systems it had bad loading times and response times but this software was fast and had excellent image and graphics, way beyond my expectations for a bootable program.
It was also fairly simple to use, which is really good for me as i am new to Linux and their graphical user interfaces. This program allows to you shrink the size of an existing hard drive and use that extra free space as a new partition. I have only used it once so i do recommend it but i also even strongly recommend that you back up ALL your data first ( i used an external hard drive ~ 1:1 size worth my computer but only backed up data, i.e. excluded OS and programs installed) as i can't say that nothing bad will or can happen to your case of using this software, what i also did before using the software was defraged my disks (with AusLogics Disk Defrag, which i am still trailing but so far provided faster results than Windows but lacked features like what files are defragmented and analysing if the disk needs to defrag but why do you need it? just use Windows defrag and then to actually defrag the disk use AusLogics)

After partiting my hard disks i decided to rename my partitoned disks, they use to be called 128, 74 and Gec Soft because the disls were 74GB, 128GB and Gec Soft data disk but now as i have partitioned as new disk the disk is no longer 128GB so i decided to rename all my disks to be more meaningful and now they are Win OS, Data Disk, Achieve and Vram (or virtual RAM as this new partition is intended for RAM or temporary data)

I am a clean freak inside and outside of my computer so now it is really eye sore, a dam Vram disk is showing in "My Computer" and cause i am impulsive and clumsy i know i will click on it so many times and waste time as i am use to Gec Soft disk being the last disk in the list of hard drives. A quick Google search and surely the use of Tweak UI from Microsoft's power tools can help me tweak the computer to hide the nasty icon that i won't need as the data in there should be written by software and deleted automatically when it is not needed or when the program closes.

By the way I use Google instead of Yahoo! because i dislike their business methods and social values, Google search "Yahoo communist" or along those lines to read about their law suits with revealing democratic activities on the net to the government of China which caused democratic fighters and freedom of speech practice-ees to be locked up in jail for 10+ years which i personally think is too much, not even a thief would be locked of for 10 years and they are actually doing damage to the community (not that they should be locked up in the first place). Anyway that's another chapter in this book.


Cool, Tweak UI can also get rid of MSN's stupid sharing folder in My Computer which is annoying cause i only send single files and don't need sharing folders, the program also allows me to remove Saved Files on this computer from My Computer "menu" (it is not actually deleted only the shortcut in my computer is removed) which is alos good because i didn't like Gecsoft's documents (shortcut to my documents) and all the other users documents showing in my computer. It kinds looks hollow now but i guess it is neater.

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