|Welkcome -> Home -> My Windows setup||
last update: 29-07-2006
|How I run my windows installation|
|or "17 years of experience working with MS Windows"|
|After working with Windows NT for some time, and
discovering DriveImage (now Norton Ghost) and I decided to use several
drives for my windows-, program- and data-installation.
|Today I use
one drive (I:) for windows (abt. 10Gb)
one drive (P:) for programs (abt. 12Gb)
one drive (Q:) for data I create my self (abt. 30Gb and growing 10% a year)
one drive (R:) for downloads, program backup etc. (never large enough! currently 160Gb)
backup drive (Z:) on server (966Gb on a Raid5 - currently plenty of free space)
|This setup makes it relatively simple to re-install windows (I:) or make a backup of data that's especially dear to me (Q:), or to expand the drive that seem to run out of space way too fast (R:).|
|Tools I use all the time|
|VersionBackup||This tool will do backup from a workstation to a local
disk or a server disk, and more importantly it will keep different
versions of the same files, on a daily basis.
Read more about my experiences with backup systems here.
|I would not attempt to run my windows system without
these two tools:
SpeedDisk and WinDoctor
|JSI Inc.||Here you can find A LOT of Tips & Tricks to every
aspect of windows (starting with Windows NT)
|Radmin||In-expensive and easy to use remote control tool.
Major advantage: With NAT routed LANs, you only need to point in-comming IP:port to one of the PC, and you can internally setup a link to other pc's on the LAN.
|logmein.com||Brillient - free - web based remote control tool.
The very best remote control tool I have used to date.
Major advantage: True plug and play! You setup a free account, install the client, and it works!
|AnalogX tools||Maker of many fine small utilities.
FastCache is a permanent DNS fixture of my windows workstation.
|K9||A free and extremely effective anti-spam tool. At the
core is a mathematical system looking at the words and letters of
every mail you receive.
When first installed, it does and knows nothing!
You then classify the first 10 emails or so, that you receive after
installing K9. and it starts working.
|miniClock||A small tool I have made in VB6, it shows a dual time,
as I have family on the other side of the globe. Also time and date is
always visible on the screen, as it sits at the top of the screen
on-top of everything else - at all times!
|Make a complete backup of your windows installation,
from time to time, and you will never again have to make a complete
re-install - or a reinstall to a previous known status is always
available within minutes, and your wordprocessing and email and...
still works correctly - instantly!
Read more about my experience with windows stability and re-installs here.
|SpeedFan||In the quest to get a completely silent PC, this tool
has shown its true colors.
|MS Office||Every body needs basic writing tools. I use MS Office 2K.|
|Through the years I have tried different tape-based
backup systems, and I simply do not find them reliable or easy to use.
Not even the rather expensive tape systems I used when being a systems and network manager at a small print house (100 employees).
So today I simply backup my data to another disk. The extra disk is attached to a server, placed in another building.
I have tried different backup tools, and VersionBackup
fits all my needs for backup. It automatically runs abt. 8 times
every 24 hours on my main workstation, and automatically stores the
newest version from day to day in a version system.
I only backup files that I create myself. As this keeps my backup needs at a manageable level, and even with a daily addition of often changed files to the backup space, it still fits nicely onto todays medium sized disks.
|System Backup or Partition Backup|
|Win3.1||In the Win3.1 days, it was normal that one had to
restart ones pc several times a day. The developers in the office even
reinstalled windows every week. So we quickly devised a method of
copying the entire windows installation to the server, and thus a
re-install of windows - including pre-installed programs and tools -
could be done in a matter of minutes.
|Win9x||With Win95 and Win98 the re-installs became much less
needed. However the procedure also became a bit more difficult,
as the network drivers were usually a part of the windows environment,
and not a part of the DOS drivers.
|WinNT||In the WinNT days one could work for months without the
need to re-install Windows, it was becoming more of a joy to work
with, develop for and maintain a Windows network.
However a complete re-install of windows and needed office programs
had become quite a chore whenever it was needed. The average install
time was 4-12 hours depending on the programs and tools that was
needed for the specific user.
For my personal workstation (which now took 16+ hours to
re-install) I developed a discipline of keeping a notepad document
with listing of all the programs and setting installments and
adjustments made. And then at regular intervals I would take a
complete backup of the drive/partition of windows.
|With Win2k and now WinXP re-installs are less and less
of a problem, as each version of windows has had major improvements in
the area of stability and longevity.
However - I still keep a notepad document listing of all the
programs I install, and I still make copies of the windows partition.
Years of tough learned habits with multiple times of weeks of delays
on project deadlines due to un-timely crashes of pc's (hardware and/or
software) will not go away easily.