Alienware 17 R4 2017 review
Sidebar can, at its worst, take up to one minute after everything has initialised (firewall/antivirus) - the sidebar may show nothing at all apart from the "-" and "+" at the top of the screen. At other times even if it has initialised, items in the sidebar may not show correctly in position, eg with the image gallery as shown if you click here
Is the issue (primarily with the sidebar taking a long time to start) likely to be caused by my choice of firewall/protective software (comodo) or a seperate windows issue? Does anyone have a better idea of what could be the main cause? The issue with item positioning does not fix itself, I have to drag everything not showing correctly onto its correct place. None of the above are what you would call a major problem, but I would like to try and find out the reason for why its happening all the same - thanks for any help if anyone can add anything :)
I can confirm misplaced sidebar items happens occasionally, and that it happens on a 100% clean install too with no 3rd party sofware like firewalls/av etc. Seems to be a known glitch. The opening time of the sidebar seems to vary... strange to say that the less you try and "maintain" Vista the faster and better it can appear to run within reason.
Have you tried deleting the sidebar gadgets and then close the sidebar, reboot and set it up again. I don't know if that might help or not. Have you tried defragmenting the boot files from a command prompt ? Vista is supposed to defrag these every three days, again worth a try.
Open an elevated command prompt and type exactly, defrag c: -b and press enter. Takes around 4 or 5 minutes at worst I would guess, much quicker if they are already in good order.
Other Vista glitches... desktop icons constantly resize themselves, sometimes just by opening and closing an application. Right clicking desktop and refreshing brings them back to the correct size.
Custom folder views sometimes get lost... another "well whinged about issue". Again no cure.
since 7 is essentially based on/an updated vista (I suppose the latest windows always is based on the last-same op system after all).. I wonder how many of these issues are still apparent in 7? Most, if not just about all of the most common issues with vista, may not be major problems-as u say they can be fixed by simply refreshing the screen/starting again, but can be annoying if they start happening more than you'd like them to. With the sidebar gadgets, the 'stuck' gadget is easily fixed by simply dragging it down into place by holding the left mouse button. Thats not really a problem, it just looks a little odd after startup, lol-i thought it may have just been my machine. The gadget bars items not appearing at all though, for just over a minute, seems to suggest that its frozen, and is preventing the machine from being able to load some of the systems initial startup programs (firewall etc), as they do not always show. During this time I usually cant start up any major normal programs (they take an age to start) until the gadget bar has finished initialising and the gadgets finally show up-which can be annoying :(
Im not sure if this is directly related to vista, I think I posted it before, but one of the things I find on this laptop is with wmp also being slow - crashing with an "apphang" or simply taking an age to play a single track (usually the first selected track after starting up wmp)-but that could be an entirely different issue. I think this usually happened not long after vistas startup-perhaps the issue was similar or related to the gadget problem, or perhaps wmp simply needs to list everything in its directory before playing for the first time, every time vista boots up, but it doesnt always happen and so Ive never found a solution to that either
sorry for the double (dont think I can edit in the new forum)-but I forgot to mention that sometimes icons on the desktop dont show their default image, thats another vista issue :( they simply show the default "uknown" picture ..this could be related to when they auto resize to default for no reason, somehow losing their image content?
I have never had desktop icons howing an incorrect image, just the size alter from "medium" which look quite large as I have a 144dpi setting. When they incorrectly resize they reduce by around 20 to 30 % I guess.
WMP slow to start... have you googled that on Microsoft Answers or similar. I seem to remember its because its set for media sharing or something related to that which is easily turned off.
By and large Vista is very good imo, never seems to crash out.
It can all be so variable. On a good day from a cold start it can take around 75 seconds to fully load up, sidebar, and running aero. The next day it might be nearer two minutes. When I did a clean Vista install on my laptop I found selecting the best video driver made a big difference and the one offered by MS on windows update gave the fastest and most consistent boot times.
The icon issue doesnt happen too often, but I have had it more than a few times, always with the desktop icons. I do change the desktop shortcuts alot though, which might not help.
I can turn media sharing off, but its only lets me do it when windows own firewall is on. I disable media sharing by clicking on the arrow just under library in wmp and selecting it. When I turn windows firewall off again (as I use my own firewall, avira) windows then shows that media sharing is back on when I re-check, as Im not using windows own firewall. There is surely an easy way to enforce a switch off-i will find it :)
Bit more on the slow sidebar...
I used this command to create a defrag boot files shortcut, Defrag Boot Files
I was sursprised it took around 5 minutes to run and have to say that on two cold starts (statistically that is not many I admit) but find the sidebar opens very much quicker than it has been doing. Now opens within two or three seconds of the system tray appearing.
The sidebar wasn't my reason for trying this... It was that I have scheduled defrag turned off and defrag as and when from a command prompt. Boot files are supposed to get defragged automatically...
thanks, might b worth a go on this machine-ps I meant to say I was using comodo as my firewall, not avira antivirus! half asleep as usual :) I disabled the network sharing service using "services.msc" in the startbar (windows media player network sharing service), although Im still getting a little lag
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