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Squeezer53 Squeezer53 is offline
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Posts: 10
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default New Mini Owner Needs "Dummies" Guide to cleanup - 02-01-2009, 07:06 PM

Hi All,

New here. Just got my mini 9 (refurbished) from last week's Outlet sale (20% Off & Free shipping)
I have been searching topics here for solutions and answers, but I have to admit that much of it is over my head....

My Current System
1GB RAM
8GB SSD Drive
OS - XP Home
BIOS - A04 (Updated from the as recieved A03)
Color - Cherry Red

My 8GB SSD w/ XP on it arrived w/ <1.07 GB available.

A search here recommends doing a re-install of the OS but how to do w/o an optical drive?

Is there a way to hook the mini to my desktop & load via my desktop's drive? (share the optical drive?)

Do you wipe the SSD completely (format) then re-install the OS?

I need a real beginner's step by step and know in advance what hardware is needed to accomplish this.
I could upgrade the SSD and image it like the example on RunCore, but I would not have recovered any usable space, just added more.

Other Clean Up & upgrade questions..
If I go to Vista or Windows 7, does the Mini support the Glass visual effect?

Upgrades I would like to do eventually:
2GB RAM
32GB SSD
Bluetooth (to link wirelessly to my hearing Aids)
Windows Vista (for the eye candy)

Any help is appeciated
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Crzyfrlss1 Crzyfrlss1 is offline
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Posts: 13
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Newington, CT
Default Re: New Mini Owner Needs "Dummies" Guide to cleanup - 02-04-2009, 02:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeezer53
Hi All,
Bluetooth (to link wirelessly to my hearing Aids)
Please explain to me how this works and what it does, I don't have BT hearing aids yet but would like to know the advantages of this.

As for your other ?'s
Try looking around on the Windows XP section of this forum there is alot to be found over there.


Inspiron Mini 9
Optiplex GX270
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ade099 ade099 is offline
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Posts: 208
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default Re: New Mini Owner Needs "Dummies" Guide to cleanup - 02-04-2009, 05:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeezer53
If I go to Vista or Windows 7, does the Mini support the Glass visual effect?
yes, the mini (surprisingly) DOES support it
as for more step-by-step instructions on setting up your mini (formatting/reinstalling your OS), come here:

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=2502

hope the info there's helpful!
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dianed dianed is offline
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Posts: 57
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Louisiana
Default Re: New Mini Owner Needs "Dummies" Guide to cleanup - 02-10-2009, 04:46 AM

Just to give you a different point of view: I also have 1G of RAM, an 8GB SSD, the A04 BIOS, and XP. I have not reinstalled, nor do I plan to upgrade. When I got my Mini, it was freezing like mad, and I got it to stop with a simple battery installation--instructions are on the Dell site. That was the first--and obviously the most needed--of several suggestions to stop the freezing problem, and it was the one that worked. I also got rid of all the junk I could find, and I immediately updated my drivers and got the A03--and later, the A04--BIOS.

I am able to surf the Web very quickly and watch videos. I do not need to store anything on my Mini, except perhaps a small document now and then, so the 8GB SSD is fine for me. I can't imagine that I would ever want to store much on it, but if I did, I would simply use an SD card. So far, I have felt no need to upgrade to 2 GB of memory, and I have had my Mini for about four months.

Granted, I am not multi-tasking on this machine, except for writing an email while I have a scoreboard up. I suppose if you are going to use the Mini for multi-tasking (to the extent that one can do such a thing), you would want to upgrade. But consider your needs first. I have other machines for photo editing, photo and video organizing, etc. The Mini, for me, is just what it is advertised to be--something I can carry around for quick Web-surfing and light document-writing (though I still haven't adjusted to that apostrophe key).
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TD99 TD99 is offline
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Posts: 71
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Default Re: New Mini Owner Needs "Dummies" Guide to cleanup - 02-12-2009, 08:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeezer53
A search here recommends doing a re-install of the OS but how to do w/o an optical drive?

Is there a way to hook the mini to my desktop & load via my desktop's drive? (share the optical drive?)

Do you wipe the SSD completely (format) then re-install the OS?

I need a real beginner's step by step and know in advance what hardware is needed to accomplish this.
I could upgrade the SSD and image it like the example on RunCore, but I would not have recovered any usable space, just added more.
Glad you asked. As an IT professional, I spent the past few days trying to slim down the space used on my 2 Mini's with 8GB SSD. And I too noticed that right out of the box, there was less than 1GB free. After I ran Windows Updates, it was down to only 500MB free! Once I did my tinkering, I was able to get the total disk space used down to 3.2GB, leaving about 3.8GB free -- in other words, just under half. Here's a high overview "step-by-step" on what I did:

1 - After many, MANY hours of experimenting with a 2GB Corsair Flash Voyager drive and 8GB SanDisk Cruzer, I gave up on the idea of installing XP from a USB Flash Drive. It's just a royal PITA! So I grabbed a spare regular internal IDE CD-ROM drive I had lying around and my Vantec USB-to-IDE adapter. Voila, instant external optional drive. I also tinkered with nLite which allows me to scale down the XP install by removing components that I don't want/need. Although that is my final intention, I ended up using the XP Restore CD in full for now.

2 - Booted from Dell XP Home Restore CD.

3 - During the XP install wizard, deleted exiting C: partition that XP was already installed on and re-created it (formatted NTFS - quick). Do not delete nor mess with the 71MB non-DOS partition as the Dell Diags are stored there.

4 - Installed XP to new C: partition (takes about 30-45 mins).

5 - To eliminate the further need of the install CD, copied "i386" folder from CD onto C: drive. (Skip this step to leave an additional 506MB free on your SSD).

6 - Then, in XP, using regedit, went to "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Set up" edited the following keys to have the value of "C:\" (without the quotes):

Installation Sources
ServicePackSourcePath
SourcePath

7 - Downloaded and installed latest BIOS (A04) if need be.

8 - Downloaded and installed latest drivers (links can be found here) for:

Audio
Battery Meter
Chipset
JMicron SDHC slot
Network - LAN
Network - WLAN
Touchpad
Video
Webcam
Webcam (Webcam Software)
Webcam (Dell Video Chat)
Wireless switch (for "Fn+2" functionality)

9 - Ran Windows Update and allowed it to install IE7.

10 - (optional) Installed AVG AntiVirus (Free Version) and then install latest updates.

11 - (optional) Delete 200MB paging swap file.

12 - (optional) Compress "C:\Dell" and "C:\i386" folder to free up a few MB of space.

It took me several hours to accomplish all this by hand and several days of experimenting to get the routine down. In the end, as mentioned above, I had used up just under half of the 8GB SSD.

I figure that once I optimize my XP install using nLite, I'll be able to trim the fat even more so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeezer53
Is there a way to hook the mini to my desktop & load via my desktop's drive? (share the optical drive?)
Not off the top of my head. If you were to share the desktop's optical drive on your LAN, then yeah, there's a way to boot from DOS and load some network drivers, but it's more trouble than it's worth, in my opinion.


Dell Inspiron 1750, T6600, 4GB RAM, Wireless N
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