Dell Mini 9 Discussion Discussion on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9.

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DEVO DEVO is offline
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Default Speeding up my Mini 9 - 05-29-2009, 12:40 PM

After playing about with most of the netbooks out there, i settled on the Mini 9. I work in video and audio post production, and so used to working with heavy machines. But for day to day web, email, video/music playback even some html and design, photoshop/dreamweaver etc. i find the Mini 9 to be one of the most perfect PC's i have ever used. Yes, laptops with optical drives massive hard drives big buttons etc. are great. But for what the Mini is designed for, i cant find any issues (other than 4 cell battery).

Although i am over the moon with the machine, the computer nerd inside me pushed me to see what extra i could get out of the machine. Out of the box my Mini had XP Home SP3 installed. Even though this installation was not quite bloated, i did feel that the Mini may have been running a little slower than expected, data transfere, usb transfere, opening closing folders, that sort of thing. So i went about installing XP Pro SP2. After a basic install with basic driver setup and some drivers not installed there was quite a difference to the speed of the Mini. Here is the basic improvements that i found.

1. Copying of internal files on the SSD to itself had increased speed by almost 3x

2. Copying to and from usb memory sticks and hard drives, about the same increase.

3. Boot time from button push to XP desktop about 25 seconds.

4. Shutdown about 15 seconds.

5. Opening folders and general navigation through start bar and screen redraws very fast.

6. Launching applications much improved.

7. All together quite a faster experience.

8. SDHC read and write speeds seem quite slow no matter what the install, i have a feeling that the quoted speeds for these things are somewhat inflated anyway, or may be it's the chipset in the Mini. Either way my experience of SDHC, even class 6 is not what i expected it be, my usb memory sticks are much faster.

The change in speed and processing under XP Pro SP2 made me feel that i had swapped my Mini for a mid priced laptop. I cant say for sure if it is Pro or SP2 that makes the difference, as i do not have a copy of XP Home SP2, but believe me it feels like a different machine. What was already good just got better. I do switch of the usual background windows suff, switch of the processor hungry graphics stuff and usual windows optimisation things. But i did this under both XP installs and again the difference is there. The only drivers i did not install was the Intell mother board chipset stuff. Although Systems settings has a moan about lacking 3 drivers, the systems USB internal PCI and other bus related issues seem to run better with the basic XP Pro SP2 installed device drivers. Wan, Lan, sound, graphics, sdhc, are all loaded from the Dell drivers, and i dont bother with bluetooth as i cant understand the huge file install for what to me seems to be a basic i/o operation. I also leave the windows basic camera driver and not bother with the dell one, as i do not use it much and do not need any extra app software to bloat my drive space or take up any extra processing.

On top of all this i have tried stripping windows down using Nlite XPlight etc. This helps me a little bit extra as i do not use Messanger, Outlook, and some other windows components.

After all this i then get the latest versions of Qucktime, Mediaplayer, Divx, Itunes etc. and have a brilliant compact allround media player come small office web machine that is hard to beat.

I use an 8Gig SSD and 1Gig memory, but can only assume the speed increases would be the same no matter what the Mini config is.

Would love to hear about other expierences like this with the Mini 9.

Cheers.
Dave.
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DELLsFan DELLsFan is offline
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Default 05-29-2009, 01:09 PM

Thanks for this, Dave! I'll keep this handy for my next XP install!

Cheers!
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mfruit mfruit is offline
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Default 05-29-2009, 04:21 PM

There shouldn't be any major speed differences between XP Home and XP Pro on the Mini 9. They use the same kernel and the same drivers. XP Pro just adds a bunch of options for business users and such.

Here's Thurrott's list of differences:

http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase...p_home_pro.asp
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DEVO DEVO is offline
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Default 05-30-2009, 08:54 AM

That sounds about right, i think the differences are due to the service pack. Maybe SP3 is adding something that causes a hit on performance.
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gaster gaster is offline
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Default 05-30-2009, 09:34 PM

I thought I read that the stock XP install had files compressed and that XP then had to uncompress files on the fly to use them causing a slowdown.
You could have just uncompressed the files on the installation you had and gained speed.
I don't think the service pack had anything to do with it.
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dualboy24 dualboy24 is offline
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Default 05-31-2009, 04:43 AM

I have been reading the same thing, the performance problem on the default windows xp is not to do with the software or service packs but because the drive is compressed by default, like gaster said.

Easiest thing to do would be to uninstall any bloatware, clear the temp files boot the system off a usb stick with a windows xp recovery console, and run the compact command with the uncompress flag.

compact /u /s /a /i *

You can always just uncheck the box in windows, but it will not be able to decompress every file, as some are in use or locked.

I dont have my mini yet,just ordered the 9 yesterday when I heard its getting discontinued. I cant wait I got the 2GB memory upgrade, 1.3mpx, blutooth, 4GB and I am going to order a 32G Runcore shortly. But I cant wait to install OSX and such, and play with Windows 7, but I may keep XP as a boot option as I am most productive in it. Should be fun figuring how to really optimize it.
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anjilslaire anjilslaire is offline
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Default 05-31-2009, 10:50 PM

I find it interesting that everyone is needing to order an aftermarket SSD to get 32gig. My ubuntu Mini shipped from Dell back in December with a 32gig, upgraded through the options at the Dell page. Guess they discontinued the larger drive option.

Oh well. Enjoy when it arrives


Mini 9 Red|2 gigs ram|32gig SSD|Intel 3945 a/b/g|Ubuntu 10.10 UNE
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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default 05-31-2009, 10:55 PM

No, not everyone "needs" to upgrade. Dell has offered SSDs as high as 64GB - if configured with Linux. Due to Microsoft rules, Dell could not sell an XP system with more than 16GB. Many bought the smallest they could and then bought a better, faster and larger SSD. Also, Dell charges more for the larger SSDs than one would pay separately.


Steve
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anjilslaire anjilslaire is offline
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Default 05-31-2009, 11:01 PM

Ah, that makes sense.
At the time, I took Dell's upgrade to 32gig as I had a Dell gift card to offset the expense, and had it shipped with the bare 512mb ram that I upgraded myself to 2gig.


Mini 9 Red|2 gigs ram|32gig SSD|Intel 3945 a/b/g|Ubuntu 10.10 UNE
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waapwoop waapwoop is offline
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Default 05-31-2009, 11:42 PM

Just reinstalling XP home over the top of the dell base install speeds up your system quite a lot. Uninstalling the bloatware doesnt cut it.

Sounds like the original poster got better speeds by wiping the base dell install... which is what everyone should do anyway.
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