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I am tierd or how my computer slows down... no matter what I do eventually it gets slower. I think I need a new system, a new way of doing things.

Recently, for an unrelated matter I have been experimenting with virutal machines with vmware. I came up with the idea of running a linux on my box with a couple of xp or win 7 virual machines meaning I can keep things contained and easily make a new copy of a clean version.

  • Does anyone have any experience with such a system?
  • Anyone have a better approach -
    please no fan boys suggesting I just use linux or mac
  • What distro would make a good host - not I have next to no experience with linux
  • What would be the disadvantages?
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The disadvantages is poor video performance. If you want use your computer for playing games then this won't work. If you are talking about office style apps then VMs work great. – Zoredache Dec 6 '10 at 21:51
I would look at something that lets you get as close to the metal as you can with your VMs, so look into Xen. – user3463 Dec 6 '10 at 21:54
I don't play a lot of games... but I do on occasion... so maybe I should have windows as a host system too.... or have a gaming partition with only windows on.. :S – Jimmyboi Dec 6 '10 at 21:55

Look into VMware ESXi for hosting/managing your VMs. This is more or less like creating your own cloud system. Another thing to look into would be VirtualBox on Ubuntu/Debian

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but even in a VM, your windows machine will eventually slow down. There is simply no way around that... its Windows...

A VERY easy to 'solve' this problem is to do the following: Back up you data. (always a must before you reformat/install) Format you HD and re-install windows. Apply all patches and your 'basic' programs. Restore your personal Data. Create an IMAGE (either using Ghost or even dd from a linux live cd) of your harddrive on another hard drive.

When you use your new system, ALWAYS store your personal data on either an external or in your user profile (makes it easy to do very quick backups).

When you system is starting to slow down, backup your personal data (having it on another external drive will allow you to 'bypass' this step). After you back up, use your disc image to do a 'clean install'. Meaning, within a few mins (or mayb 1 hr... go have lunch) your system will be back up to where you imaged it. Programs installed and patches applied...

This is the fastest way and easiest way to get your system to be 'fresh' really quickly. I do this every 3-4 months with my XP system (never needed to w/ my Fedora btw...) and it works miracles!

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3-4 months?! What do you do to make your systems so slow? As long as I keep a good watch on what I am installing, and make sure the HDD is not too full my system doesn't slow down. – AttackingHobo Dec 7 '10 at 3:22
thats just the thing, i don't give my system time to get slow. It is such a painless process that its more of a why not instead of a must. I have found that my systems usually take between 6-7 (I'm talking windows here) to slow down (even a little which is not ok w/ me). I keep all of my personal stuff on a separate external HD so when I feel like re-imaging my computer, there is no need to backup. I just load my favorite livecd at the moment, and dd the image back to my HD. Boom... I'm back to a full clean install. Since I've done this so many times, my install is EXACTLY how I want it... – g19fanatic Dec 7 '10 at 12:24

In the past I have written and tested viruses. This requires a fresh virtual machine. Here is how it worked:

1) I installed windows on a virtual machine.

2) I made a copy of that "original" fresh windows.

3) I installed the virus on the copy, tested it, and deleted the copy.

This would help you keep the programs you have installed low, but over time something called "software bloat" will result in a slower system. What happens with software bloat is that programs that used to use less computer resources will use more. For example; firefox five years ago used far less resources than the newest version, because computers in 2011 were had less resources to offer. The solution to this problem from a users perspective is to simply get a newer computer, or to uninstall unused programs.

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