Dual Boot or just create a secondary account in XP?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Okay, here's my situation....

    I have a zillion programs on my computer
    startup. I can afford to as I have 2GB of
    ram. So far no noticeable slowups.

    I just started using Pinnacle Studio
    to edit camcorder movies on DVD. It is a
    HUGE memory hog. Whenever I use the program
    I first have to open task manager and close about
    a dozen programs. It's a time consuming task
    every time I want to run this program.

    So I figured....

    Why not create a dual-boot system where I
    would have two Windows XP installs running.
    I could boot into the totally "clean" XP
    whenever I need to use the Pinnacle Studio
    program. It will boot with nothing running
    in the background.

    It's a lot of work to set up a dual-boot
    system and I'm not even sure how to do it.

    Then it occured to me....

    Why not just create a secondary account/login
    on my current Windows XP?

    Am I correct in assuming if I create a new
    account and log into it FIRST when I boot up
    that I will be starting off with a clean slate
    of available memory with nothing running in
    the background?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
     
  2. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    As long as the "barebones" account is the only one logged in, this should work.
     
  3. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    All the resources in the first account can be accessed by the second account, therefore if you switched to your second account, you will have all the same processes running as with the first one.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Rommel,

    So, it's pointless creating a secondary account
    for the purpose I need.

    Looks like I am back to the dual-boot idea.
     
  5. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    Ron,

    Instead of dual booting 2 WinXPs, why not streamline your computer? Like you have stated you have too many programs startup during boot (these are the real resource hogs, not Pinnacle). Do you really need them running when you turn on the computer? Or if you don't want this route, bump up your RAM to 2GB and set the min/max value of your virtual memory 1.5x the value of your RAM. I believe this would be a more headache-free solution than dual boot.

    Good luck...

    Rommel
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Rommel,

    Actually, I am running 2GB ram. This allows
    me to run the necessary startup programs.

    Do I need them all running? I rather would.

    To save headaches, I think I'll just take the
    time to close all the programs when I run the
    movie editing program.

    Thanks so much for your help.
     
  7. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I'm pretty sure that you can adjust what processes start for different accounts. The key is that you have to make sure you're only logged in to one account at a time. If you create a bare-bones account and make sure you're only logged in to that I think it should work -- and this would be much less complicated than dual-boot.
     
  8. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    the fact that you created this thread suggests that 2 GB of ram is not enough. if your processor is fast, then you have WAY too many programs running at once. startup clutter can bring any computer to its knees.


    to save even more time (and system resources), you should START the programs as you use them, not have them running all the time.

    CJ
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    You might search for the thread several weeks ago where Ron was asking about ram. He chooses the convenience of having lots of programs start versus the performance of starting them individually.

    Perhaps it is time to reconsider the additional ram since you're going to be doing video editing now. However, I still think you could probably do this by setting up a new user account on the computer.
     
  10. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    that theory is obviously not working, as the computer is obviously being taxed when he uses the pinnacle program. 2 GB seems like a lot of memory to some people, but it gets eaten up quickly when you have a ton of programs running at once. in ron's case, the 2 GB isnt enough. he'll either have to stop the unused programs from starting on boot, or close them all every time he wants to use the editing program. or buy more ram.

    CJ
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Guys,

    I'd rather keep the programs running.

    I really appreciate the help thus far.....

    ...but there seems to be conflicting opinions and I
    don't seem to be getting a definitive answer....

    If I create a secondary account in XP and boot to
    it FIRST, will I be starting a clean slate as far
    as available ram since all my programs will not be
    launching in this secondary account?
     
  12. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    i am not sure why folks think it is complicated to have a dual boot system.

    all three of my desktops and my laptop have dual boot systems. i set up my computers this way for issues like ron's and as a way to troubleshoot if i have problems. i perfom all of my video editing on a barebones xp install. it eliminates other issues for me.

    i think that dual boot is the way that ron should go.
     
  13. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    The answer is, "yes, if you set it up that way." When you create a new account you can modify which programs are in the startup folder for that account. If you choose to have no extra programs start then in that account then your RAM will be freed up for video editing. You shouldn't even have to boot directly into that account. If you log off of your "normal" account it should close all the programs running in that account (just make sure you use "log off" and not "switch user").
     
  14. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Programs that start as services do start with the operating system, so they run regardless of who is logged in.
     
  15. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I'm still not getting a totally straight
    answer on this, but perhaps that's because
    there's probably no precise "Yes" or "No" answer.

    My take on creating a secondary account
    is this (as I have just done it)....

    YES, there are services that will start with
    a secondary Windows XP account. For instance,
    my antivirus and spyware tracking programs.

    NO, not everything loads with a secondary
    account. In fact, hardly anything compared
    with what I had running with my main login.

    I am guessing that YES, I can go into
    windows and tell it not to load certain
    programs into the secondary account.

    So, again I am guessing that creating
    a secondary account to run a memory-hogging
    movie-editing program will be just as practical
    (if not far easier) than creating a dual-boot.
     
  16. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    Correct.

    In my opinion, creating a secondary account is vastly preferable to a dual-boot system in your situation.
     
  17. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    For something as severely resource intensive as video editing, dual booting is preferable IMO. More specifically, I would recommend an entirely separate hard disk drive for the purpose. Unless you have unallocated space on the existing drive on which to create a new partition for the additional Windows install, you would need another drive anyway. Even with a mimimal clean Windows install you'll want to go through the services and disable several to achieve optimal performance.

    From what I've seen in previous threads, you have a tremendous amount of programs and processes running on that machine. It's going to be problematic to tweak a second account in the way you're describing, not to mention time consuming as well as requiring a fair amount of trial and error. I'd hate for you to be editing a Sundance winning scene only to have the machine freeze because XYZ Updater Service unknowingly broke the camel's back. [​IMG]

    For ease and for complete separation, I would recommend a removable hard drive carriage which would slide in and out of a 5 1/4" bay (assuming one is available). When configured properly, the system would boot off of the removable drive while it's inserted, and off of the internal drive when the removable drive is...well...removed. This kind of setup is used in computer labs all the time for teaching.

    The best reason I can give you for skipping the second logon concept is that there is always the possibility of corruption. If something happens to Windows itself then both of your logons can be affected...virus...spyware...hard drive failure, etc. While the new video editing account might be expendible initially, it would be much more devastating if something done while logged on to that account corrupted the primary logon where all of your other work is done.

    I.e. I wouldn't risk hobbling your workhorse.
     
  18. John Wilson

    John Wilson Supporting Actor

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    I am resurrecting this thread as I have a question about dual booting.

    My son has a Dell dimension 4600 with 768 MB ram and a 2.4 GHZ P4 running XP PRO SP2. He wants to run a Digidesign ProTools LE audio recording program connected to an external rack via Firewire. Under his current boot disk, it will not run correctly and Digidesign's tech support suggested reinstalling the OS and little else. So the idea my son has would be to boot into a slimmed down OS with the ProTools s/w to record and reboot into his existing OS for everything else. He has an extra HD so that is not an issue.

    My question is: Can he install the SAME OS (in this case Dell's OEM XP Pro) onto 2 different hard drives and have a prompt come up at startup which asks which OS should boot up?

    I hope I haven't confused everyone as to what I want to do as I'm the one who has to do the installing. I've done it plenty of times before but never a dual boot scenario. Is there a step-by-step procedure for installing a dual boot setup?

    Thanks for your help![​IMG]
     
  19. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I believe you can do it natively in Windows. But I used to use a very solid product called System Commander to do this kind of thing. (I had a couple of Windows, Linux, and and old DOS going at the same time.)

    What you will have to do is partition your system to have a completely separate area for each operating system you want to install. If you're only using one HD now, this step should be easy.
     

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