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Setting up Windows today - can anyone help with...
Old 9th February 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
soundinista's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Setting up Windows today - can anyone help with...

I'm just setting up a Boot Camp partition on a Mac Book Pro, which will be running Nuendo 3.2 and Pro Tools 8. I've been reading a lot about how to set up Windows for best performance from various sources including here. I've always been more of a Mac guy, and feel nervous fiddling around under the hood with Windows.

I think I've found most of the answers I need, but I still have 3 unresolved issues -

1) Windows Updates. I'm doing this install for the second time in a row, because Bill Gates screwed me up. Whenever I've set up Windows before (not that often), I've updated Windows online, then installed the KB885222 hotfix, to make Firewire interfaces work properly. This time Windows Update told me to install Service Pack 3, which I obediently did, but then I got a message that the Firewire fix could not be installed, and was unnecessary because I had more recent updates already in, so I presumed the firewire fix was included. But then I found that my Firewire soundcard (Saffire) would not install or work properly, so I uninstalled SP3, then put in the usual hotfix, and the Saffire worked fine, but I think Windows didn't like having a huge update installed, then removed, because it began to open slowly, and sometimes restart itself.

So, I'm a bit uneasy about updating online again. I'm now at the point where Windows is in, hotfix is in, Soundcard drivers in and working properly, and I'm wondering whether to just hit Windows Update and let it do its thing, or whether there's some better, more selective strategy. I really don't want to have to do this 3 times - twice has been tedious enough! And any advantage to doing it now, before all my apps and plugins are in? Actually - do I really NEED sp3, if my system runs stably as is? Does it add any useful functionality for a stripped-down, music only Windows system?

2) I've been reading about the "3 Gig switch", does anyone know about this? Is it a good idea? Is it true that Windows XP only allows 1 app to access 1.4 Gb of RAM? This particular Mac is an older model which can only take a maximum of 3 Gb, so I'm guessing it needs something in reserve for running Windows, so I wondered if I can follow the same process and type maybe 2.5 instead of 3 in the Boot.ini file. Any knowledge/experience?

3) Defragging - Everyone seems to agree on its importance. Is it worth using any of the 3rd party defrag programs? Or is the onboard Windows one all I need?

Any answers/other suggestions gratefully received/anticipated. Thanks
Old 9th February 2009
  #2
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
KB885222 is part of SP3 ..keep in mind that SP3 was not available when Nuendo 3.2 came out . I would just install windows with SP2 and forget the updates . Most updates are for security reasons ..forget about internet on your daw computer ...
I tried the 3G switch ..it dissabled one of my UAD1 ..don't know why so...
If your system works fine don't break it ..like we say in France " le mieux est l'ennemi du bien " (better can be the ennemy of good)
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If your machine is now running stably with SP2 -- I say go with that. Some devices that apparently needed updated drivers for SP3 were slow getting them. And, as always, there were a few stragglers that probably were left completely behind by their manufacturers. Drivers are expensive to update. If in doubt, check with your HW vendor to see if there are SP3 issues.

But if you're having any problems or are simply uncertain, I'd say reinstall Win clean and update it up to SP2.

A service pack upgrade in Windows can be a big deal -- analogous -- though usually not as much of an upheaval -- to a full decimal upgrade in OS X. (What would be an ordinal jump in any other numbering system.) The prevailing philosophy at MS -- for better and sometimes worse -- is to try to not leave any apps or hardware behind on an SP upgrade. (The Mac, OTOH, somewhat ruthlessly cuts the 'dead weight' support from their OS at regular intervals. It can be a hassle for legacy HW owners, but it does keep Apple's dev job much simpler.)

Reversing a SP update can be anything from impossible to asking for trouble.

It might mean an extra hour or two of work now to start over with a new clean install -- but that couple of hours could mean a lot more stability in coming months.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
soundinista's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks guys - I'll just try running on SP2 for now. I fear updates, and this isn't the first time I've wanted to kill Bill.

Re. 3Gb switch; I heard it caused problems with outboard DSP, but I won't be running any off this machine, so was curious. Still - Curiousity has got me into a lot of trouble with Windows in the past, maybe I should just stick with cautious and sensible, though I'd like to hear from anyone else who has tried it.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I wouldn't sweat the switch. Although it's kind of interesting... (if you're a geek, anyhow. heh )

But basically XP is going to default to reserving a GB for the OS and 2 GB for the app, which is pretty much what you want.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
soundinista's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thankyou - you've been very helpful.

I'm now halfway through authorising the plugins, hope to be finished 'round midnight. Maybe I can actually make some music soon...(tempting fate)
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