Disk Drives

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
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craiggsmith
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Disk Drives

#1

Post by craiggsmith »

We got our first new computer in 4 years this year, and it doesn't seem any faster than the old ones. They are horribly slow, particularly to start up and do updates and virus scans; these computers are sometimes not usable for up to an hour. The biggest factor is the drive -- SSDs are the answer to that problem. It would be great if we had an option for a 128GB SSD, which I think would be sufficient. On Lenovo's site it costs $60 more to upgrade the 500GB drive to a 128GB SSD, which seems really high; street prices are roughly the same for both, and often even less for the SSD. It would be really nice if the church could negotiate a better deal, or if stakes could upgrade it on their own.
Craig
South Jordan, UT
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Biggles
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Re: Disk Drives

#2

Post by Biggles »

We must be lucky here in the UK. We use Dell Optiplex computers. Earlier this year I replaced some of our 5 year old models, with new Optiplex’s using SSD’s. Booting up takes less than a minute. I have a theory that with traditional HDD’s, Sophos is the main resource hogger. It would take 10-15 minutes to get any program, like MLS or Libra Office to become usable after booting. I regularly did disk cleanup/defragmentation operations, so it wasn’t a cluttered hard drive. The new computers are ready to go almost immediately after booting has finished.
craiggsmith
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Re: Disk Drives

#3

Post by craiggsmith »

Nice!
Craig
South Jordan, UT
russellhltn
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Re: Disk Drives

#4

Post by russellhltn »

Biggles wrote:I have a theory that with traditional HDD’s, Sophos is the main resource hogger.
Agreed. The machines would be quite usable if it wasn't for everything trying to run updates on bootup.
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Mikerowaved
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Re: Disk Drives

#5

Post by Mikerowaved »

The four year old PC's in our stake have two problems that slow them down considerably. First (as mentioned) is the spinning HD, and second is only 4GB of RAM. Four years ago, 4GB was sufficient for running Windows 10, but after many updates, the PC's have insufficient RAM for the Windows 10/Sophos footprint causing them to make heavy usage of the pagefile, which is extremely slow due to the mechanical HD. The two problems combine to make it run much slower than if only one problem existed by itself.

The answer is to not only change the spinner for an SSD, but also bump the RAM. My stake's PC's have a single 4GB stick with one empty slot. One way to upgrade them would be to buy 8GB sticks for half the number of PC's, then take the 4GB sticks out of those PC's and double them up in the remaining PC's. All in all, it could be done for around $35-$40 per PC and allow them to last far longer than the 5 year cycle.

I'm writing this on a notebook PC with a 1st generation i5 and it has no problem keeping up with the demanding tasks I throw at it due to upgrading to an SSD and 8GB of RAM.

And there's a simple answer to keep if from running updates following a boot up - don't turn it off! Seriously, these PC's go into a deep power-saving sleep, but will wake every so often to check for updates. There's really no reason to shut them completely off.
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russellhltn
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Re: Disk Drives

#6

Post by russellhltn »

Mikerowaved wrote:There's really no reason to shut them completely off.
I can think of a few:
  • A room that gets excessively hot when the A/C isn't running.
  • Lightning
  • If the machine is only sleeping and not hibernating - power disruptions.
For some reason, the clocks on the recorders in the satellite rack at the stake center reset about once a month.

While the machines are no speed demons, I find they seem adequate as long as they're well past the bootup phase. But then I'm not a MLS user. Then again, aside from processing donations, I'm not sure as MLS sees much use.
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Mikerowaved
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Re: Disk Drives

#7

Post by Mikerowaved »

russellhltn wrote:
Mikerowaved wrote:There's really no reason to shut them completely off.
I can think of a few:
  • A room that gets excessively hot when the A/C isn't running.
  • Lightning
  • If the machine is only sleeping and not hibernating - power disruptions.
If a stake has any of the above concerns, then they can choose to switch them off and live with the consequences of having updates disrupt their ability to use the PC for a period of time following boot up. I'm just outlining to the vast majority of units with PC's in air conditioned clerk's offices a way to avoid some of the slowdowns associated with the boot process.
russellhltn wrote:While the machines are no speed demons, I find they seem adequate as long as they're well past the bootup phase. But then I'm not a MLS user. Then again, aside from processing donations, I'm not sure as MLS sees much use.
Donation batches, check printing, syncing data with HQ, occasionally using LibreOffice, and accessing LCR are a few things I can think of. I just spent most of yesterday fixing a clerk PC that had an update "stuck", in that it was continually trying to update, but never succeeding. It made the PC so slow they couldn't get a donation batch processed. In my post above, I listed some reasons why the PC's in my stake ran slowly and adding an update to the mix made this particular one unusable. I propose that if the HD and RAM situation was addressed, then slowdowns at boot up would also be greatly improved.
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