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Windows 7: Need an opinion

27 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
Need an opinion

I'm going to be reinstalling my operating system since the Nvidia BETA drivers pretty much screwed it up beyond repair (color gradients got screwed, not even Driver Fusion was of help), and it's been 3 years, so why not?
Anyways, asking if I should install the OS on the 500GB Western Digital PATA drive or the 1TB Hitachi SATA drive (there the OS currently resides). My logic is that using the slower drive for the operating system will leave the faster SATA drive to work only for games and such, thus making the frames a bit more faster and smoother since the disk isn't working on system processes and the game at the same time.
Is this a good idea, or should I keep the operating system on the SATA drive?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I would keep the OS on the faster drive, and install the games to the same drive. You could partition it if you want. Which nvidia drivers if you don't mind me asking? Was it the 320 by any chance?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

The reason of putting the games on a separate drive is so the hard drive isn't reading/writing system and game processes at the same time, thus improving the FPS since the extra work isn't there. And I don't believe a partion would eliminate that factor.
And about the Nvidia drivers, yes, it was the 320 BETA drivers, 2 system restores didn't even help, so I'm going to have a VM to test drivers on from here on in. I was residing on the 306.97 drivers because any version after that had vertical lines/grid patterns in dark areas, the 320's were the same story, but the rollback to 306.97 didn't work as I wanted this time around.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Apr 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

With that setup I would install the OS and most of your programs into your SATA drive and after installation move the Windows swap file over to the IDE drive so that any page swapping does not inhibit the SATA drive from accessing other data.

Having both OS and programs on the same drive does not incur any noticable performance penalties as far as I know, but offloading the swap file to a different drive will let you see a very noticable performance boost because access times as a whole will be faster.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2013   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

I vote for OS and Games on SATA. Your games use Windows resources and you don't know what delays you might get if the game has to wait for Windows. If data access is the concern adding more system RAM would be a better strategy.

Have you tried a clean install of the Video Drivers? If the driver really did make a system change that might clear it up.
This method is very different than doing a Clean Installation from the driver package.

First, go to the nVidia website and download the most current known good driver.

Next, delete or archive the driver folder containing the expanded driver files (i.e. C:\nVidia). If Windows finds the old driver files it may reinstall them.

Then go to Start > Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall all the video programs (i.e.: nVidia 3D, Vision, PhysX) first, then uninstall the driver. You will be asked to restart > restart.

When the computer reboots to the desktop Windows will install it's own generic WDDM1.1 driver and you will be asked to restart again. You must do so in order to install the new Drivers > Restart.

[At the above point in the process you could also press F8 during re-boot to get to the Windows boot menu. If you select "Start with VGA graphics" you can get to the (800x600) desktop without any installed drivers. This is usually not necessary.]

Once back on the desktop you can now test to see how the system runs with just the Windows driver, or you can install the new drivers from your download.

If you continue to have problems then it may be necessary to use DriverSweeper to remove all traces of any driver software from Safe Mode before trying to install new drivers. Look up FROSTMOURNE's tutorial on installing drivers to get instructions on using DriverSweeper: Installing and updating drivers in 7

See if that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

King Authur, would you know how to put the SWAP on the other drive? I'm very interested as I thoght that the SWAP was only limited to the drive the OS was installed on.
Anything to improve performance I always say!
Also, since I never studied up on it, what exactly is SWAP and it's purpose? I know it's kind of like Disk-based RAM, correct?

TVeblen, I have done Clean install, rollback, system restore all the way back to the beginning of this year, safe-mode uninstall/install, and absolutely nothing helped or fixed the issue, so my head is on the verge of exploding from the sheer amounts on confusion (all said and done, I spent 3 hours trying to fix it).
And also, I leave out the Nvidia 3D-vision cause I have no use for those features.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2013   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

You might try and install all of the nVidia components (in a clean install) to see if it makes any difference. I have no need for them either but I install them anyway. It doesn't hurt anything.

If you have done everything you say then that brings up the possibility that there may be a defect in the video card.
Your plan to clean install the OS may test for this, and/or may correct the issue. So if you are good with that then that should be your next step anyway.

But if the problem returns then a defect may be what you are dealing with. I have experienced a card that worked fine until I activated an advanced feature and then it started failing afterward regardless of any attempt to go back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

I'm okay with the OS reinstall, the issues only arose after the attempting to roll back from the BETA Drivers, if my card is failing, I have no resources to replace it in any way unless ZOTAC will cover me after 3 years. I'm praying it's not a failing card.
I am looking forward to hearing from King Authur about putting SWAP onto the second hard drive since Google thinks I am looking to swap out a hard drive.

EDIT: Finally found something while Googling, and it seems there has to be some SWAP on the OS drive to accommodate for mini-dumps and BSOD. Now the question is if the size of the SWAP/Pagefile does anything performance-wise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2013   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

To manipulate the Page File (Swap Drive):

Start > Computer > System Properties > Advanced System Settings > Performance : Settings > Advanced Tab > Virtual Memory

Yes, I have been told that you should leave some Page file in the same drive as the OS (C: ), but you can add a second Page file on another drive/disk.

I have played with this in the past but never saw any noticeable difference. Once you start to get get over 6 or 8GB of system RAM the page file starts to become a relic of the past.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2013   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Doing as TVeblen explained above will allow you to manipulate the swap file to what you want and/or need.

I have also heard that a small swap file on C: should remain, but I've always just put all my swap on a second HDD and never had any problems so I would say having a swap file on C: is optional at best.

Assuming your computer is the one in your system specs, which has 4GB of RAM, manipulating the swap file this way may or may not give you a performance boost. I do know from experience that on computers where the swap file sees regular use that the boost in performance is night and day, but swap file use decreases with the more RAM you have and subsequently with 4GB of RAM whether you will see a boost in performance depends on how heavily you're using the computer. If in doubt, getting more RAM is always the simplest and best solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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