Dedicated Windows 7 Media Center Computer?

October 21, 2010 at 19:32:51
Specs: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32-Bit, 21.66 GHz / 1024 MB
Hey,
I have a relatively simple media server in my home, basically all it does is runs and provides homegroup access to two folder's located under Videos (TV Shows & Movies). I have an old (Recently Broken) laptop that i have managed to get to run windows 7. It is.. or was.. a Toshiba Satellite M100. I replaced both ram cards with 512MiB cards (the same) and the hard disk with a smaller 160GiB seagate. It seems to be running perfectly, cept the screen which was broken so i removed it, and i plan on mounting it to the back of a 22" LCD monitor which currently works as a secondary monitor. Anyways, back to my question. It is running windows 7 32-Bit, and has network drives mapped to the two folders on the seperate server computer, and then uses a media center plugin called 'Media Browser' to present the media in a far more organized way. However, the computer having only a 1.66GHz processor and a small ammount of ram, seems to take absaloutly forever to boot windows 7. All it really needs to run on startup is Media center, Media Browser, it needs to connect to my WiFi network, and map the network drives to the other PC which is connected to the router by ethernet. I tried modifying the registry to run '%systemroot%\ehome\ehshell.exe /entrypoint:{ce32c570-4bec-4aeb-ad1d-cf47b91de0b2}\{fc9abccc-36cb-47ac-8bab-03e8ef5f6f22}' as the shell, instead of running explorer.exe. However many dependancies, such as mapping the network drives, failed to load.. And at that, it didnt exactly increase the rate of which it loaded.. Also, as i am more of a linux user myself, i have no idea which services i should disable at startup in order to make it the computer boot faster. Any help, ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

EDIT: It seems to run perfectly fine whence loaded as a shortcut to the file under the startup folder located in the start menu. However, it takes near to 4 minutes to load.. I don't particularly want to have to sit there for 4 minutes every time i turn on the tv :)

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#1
October 21, 2010 at 20:29:16
would run much better on xp than windows 7. 1gig of ram for xp is good, but not so good for win 7, it has bigger video demands and uses more resources than xp. Windows 7 is great on new dual/quad systems with 4gigs ram and 1 gig video etc, but on older machines it's a pig and runs poorly. I would go back to xp and load media centre. It just a juke box,

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#2
October 21, 2010 at 20:58:28
As a suggestion as for TEMPORARILY until you can find a more permanent working solution, you may try to use 'Sleep' instead of shutting down. I have successfully used Sleep for years on a desktop (XP and W7) with only occasionally shut downs or restarts. I know that everyone will tell you that ;sleep' is for laptops, but for our 'Family' general purpose computer, everyone will just sit down at any odd time to look something up, check emails, do homework research, play a quick game, etc. For us, this works. I have known the computer to run for months straight without ever being shut down or needing a restart (Windows 7 being even better at this than XP was). Other computers in the house are shut down normally, this one, just NEEDS to be always available, and 10 or 15 seconds brings it up if sleeping (it is set to automatically power down monitor and hard drive in 10 min, and go to sleep after 20 min idle [and before anyone asks, yes, it is mildly overclocked]).

Added: I think I agree also with the above answer, XP may be a better choice in this case.

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#3
October 21, 2010 at 21:36:09
Thanks to both of you :) - I know that windows xp would run much faster. However, sadly xp absaloutly refuses to run the programs i am using. I have no idea why. I loaded xp before i did 7, and it just kept crashing and i got so annoyed and pissed off, i did a fresh install of 7. Not only that, but for some reason xp does not like connecting to the server computer. It connects for a bit, but then randomly decides it wants to drop out.
And putting the computer to sleep is definatly a good idea. infact, that is what i have been doing :) - however, as it is only a laptop, putting it to sleep still produces an annoying whirring noise and still keeps it powered up, causing it to stay heated.. It is a very annoying noise.. And also, as it is mounted on the back of my screen, i am currently using an infared remote to control the computer. and upon waking the computer up from sleep, windows media center seems to have decided it wants to crash.. not every time, but a good 1/3. And it is annoying having to go unplug a mouse from another computer, plug it in, re-open it etc.
And also, i am going to be using it at unusual intervals, going minutes, hours, days, even weeks at a time without using it.. So i don't particularly like the energy consumption, even reduced as it is when it is on sleep.
Thanks tonnes for the ideas :)
Any others?

ArukkNet Homepage -- My.. Under Construction Current Project.

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