Upgraded to Windows 10, what do I need to do to optimize?
I finally got around to upgrading my mom’s computer (an Asus laptop from 2015) from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. I’ve already deleted a few apps she won’t use (e.g., Xbox) and disabled/stopped some unneeded services. What else can I do to keep her computer fast? Particularly interesting in more services I can disable and the best browser/ad blocker combo. Thanks y’all!
At the risk of being that asshole who answers a totally different question to the one you asked: if throwing a $50-70 SSD in there is an option and you haven’t done so already, it’s a major quality of life improvement for an older machine. Plus you can mirror the old drive in an hour and keep all of the setup and config you’ve just done intact!
Decent TLC NAND with a reasonable DRAM cache is cheap but still plenty to saturate SATA (Crucial MX500 or Samsung 870 Evo are both great, Samsung Qvo is not), and in my experience with friends and family it’s been enough to push back “I need a new laptop, this one is too slow” by a good couple of years.
I'll second this. An SSD over a spinning disk will make windows far snappier than manually debloating.
I’ll need to double check tomorrow, but I believe the computer is already running an SSD.
I'm now of the opinion that Windows 10 should prevent users from installing it on mechanical hard drives. It's not that it is unoptimized for that, it is virtually unusable.
They could, if they hadn't already pushed Windows 10 to every 7/8 machine that was Internet connected.
I highly recommend Windows 10 Debloater. There's a GUI that you can run to make things easier. It's easy to use and can get rid of a lot of the system services that someone using an 8 year old laptop probably doesn't need.
It's open source, so you can (presumably) see what it's doing. I've used it on dozens of systems and it works great.
I'd recommend against this especially if you ever play Microsoft games. A friend of mine had days of problems trying to successfully launch Sea of Thieves to play with me, and eventually figured out they needed to reinstall a bunch of "Xbox" Windows components they had years ago removed with this tool or a similar one.
Yeah, and I know from experience that if you manually turn the update service off (like i did before i found out about the metered internet trick) then you cant actually download anything from the windows store either. Turn the service back on and the download progresses only for it to stall if you turn it off midway through. Windows sure loves to make it hard for you to do anything your way.
sidenote: i hate how a lot of things are being funneled through windows store instead of standalone (or offline) installers because for whatever reason even on a clean install there are some programs that I cannot install and also cannot find any non sketchy outdated rehosted versions. Then again this could just be realtek being a real stinker and not entirely windows' fault
On the one hand, it's bad that you don't have the option to install from random websites sometimes. On the other, the lack of an official and unified software store or a package manager is something a lot of people used to criticize about Windows.
True but I'm more talking about the installer from realteks website just opening the windows store, and that would error out for whatever reason which persisted through a few fresh installs. Windows store has some really general error codes too so not even support could help narrow down what might be going on.
I did find an older version that was only partially sketchy that I could install which wound up fixing my issue, but it was kinda shocking to me how that experience went.
Well that sounds oddly familiar… To this day the only way one of my friends can join multiplayer on Sea of Thieves is for him to start a crew, invite one friend who has a stock Windows install, wait for them to join successfully, and then have them invite everyone else!
Well, @nukeman did say that they were doing it on a 2015 laptop for their mom, so I don't think gaming is too high on the priority list.
But it is good advice for others, just in case.
You sayin mom’s can’t game, pal?
Real mom's don't game on 8 year old laptops. They know they need the latest Alienware laptop to get the most FPS. Can't get sniped in CS:Go because your FPS was too low.
I’ll be honest, in this case, no. Not beyond the standard Solitaire/Minesweeper/Wordle type stuff. She gets very annoyed when I talk about GTA.
In this vein, I've used :
I'd recommend to use LTSC version of win 10 instead. It has most modern "enhancements" removed. Even Cortana is not there iirc. Getting a valid licence is tricky but not that hard if uou know right places. Bing is your friend.
Hijacking this thread because my desktop computer is now running Windows 10 after I spent many years on Linux.
Things are really weird. I have a wired connection. My internet is seemingly okay and super fast if I'm on the browser, but gaming is an issue for some reason. Battle.net will disconnect all the time, Guild Wars 2 is downloading itself at ridiculously slow speeds (like 500kbps. Now it simply stopped). The Xbox app is also downloading slowly. But browsing feels super fast, and Google speedtest tells me that I have a 78.4 Mbps download speed.
Logging in to Battle.net and Guild Wars 2 is also an issue, very slow and a lot of errors.
Even Runescape has trouble updating.
At the same time that Firefox is playing a YouTube video and downloading Ubuntu with no issues, games will disconnect me, and Steam won't even start downloading a game.
When I was on Linux, everything just worked.
I disabled the firewalls to see if it made a difference, but no. I have no idea what to do. Is Windows throttling my downloads and selectively blocking apps for no reason?
Maybe there's something wrong with my motherboard's networking?
I'm seriously considering gaming from Linux, but Windows 10 is otherwise running nicely and I like that I don't have to deal with things like Lutris or Bottles -- I mean they do work, but gaming on Linux is not always as effortless as some people think. It's nice not having to deal with another layer of abstraction. And some things don't work at all.
Raw speed/bandwidth is probably the least important factor when it comes to internet quality, especially for gaming. Have you tested for packet loss yet? Because that's what it sounds like you're experiencing to me, and that is typically caused by hardware issues (faulty network card, cable, or modem/router), or issues at the ISP level. It can sometimes be caused by software or OS/driver issues, but hardware is usually the culprit, IME. E.g. Last year I was suddenly having horrible packet loss issues, which caused behavior much like you describe, and it turned out to be caused by my router finally failing. After replacing it with a new router, everything went back to normal.
This online test is pretty rudimentary, but see if it shows any packet loss when you run it using a few of the different presets and servers: https://packetlosstest.com/
Also try Wireshark @lou, it's peculiar that in the browser it's fine but elsewhere isn't.
Not really. IME packet loss doesn't typically effect browsers all that much since they compensate quite well, but online gaming relies on rock solid connections, and most game storefront/launcher apps are also usually pretty terrible at dealing with heavy packet loss. When my router was failing and I was getting ±5% packet loss, I could browse the net, download files through the browser, and watch streaming videos just fine. However, gaming was almost impossible since I would constantly get disconnected from sessions, and downloading from Steam/Xbox/Epic/etc was slow as shit and would constantly disconnect mid-download too. But as soon as I replaced my router all those issues went away.
p.s. Wireshark is a bit much for most people's needs, but if the packetlosstest doesn't show anything then it's what I was going to recommend next. ;)
If packet loss is indeed the culprit, you're right. Though I was thinking maybe something like IPv6 being weird, TCP and UDP problems (iirc a lot of games like UDP for networking, right?), just guessing stuff.
And oh yeah, Wireshark is like the orbital cannon of networking diagnostics.
Yeah, it could be any number of things, including a bunch they have no control over (e.g. ISP or Tier 1/2 hardware/routing issues, congestion, or even intentional throttling) but the fact that his browser is acting fine is what led me to think it was packet loss. And IMO it's always better to start with the obvious, easy to check, low hanging fruit first, since 90% of the time that's the cause. ;)
I don't think there's an issue with the packets. 0.9% of lost packages in Call of Duty is good?
Any amount of packet loss is not great, especially if you're on a wired network, but 1-2% is generally considered tolerable. For comparison, ever since I got my new router I haven't noticed my packet loss ever go above 0.2%, but I also have fiber internet which helps with that. Is yours fiber as well, or DSL, or Cable?
Did you make sure to test a variety of the different presets and servers using the dropdowns on packetlosstest? I would also suggest running it during peak times, when you typically experience all those issue. And it may even be worth waiting until you actually get disconnected from a game or service and then quickly running the tests again then, since it might be an intermittent issue that occasionally spikes. But if you do all that and still don't see any significant packet loss then I don't think that's what's is causing your problems. In which case we will have to try a few more things to identify the culprit. Just let me know, and I can try to help you further.
I'm directly connected as well, but it's possible that my Ethernet cable is damaged because it's basically crushed by the door -- I didn't do any adaptation to the house, I just bought a big cable and connected my machine to it :P
I will do more tests, thanks!
You can actually buy flat network cables to avoid that issue. Just google (or search Amazon) for "flat cat6 ethernet". And there are also clips designed for the flat cables too, so you can mount it along the ceiling-line to make everything look a bit neater, and prevent any damage to the cable by contact with it.
Good to know!
Any luck getting the issue figured out, @lou? If not, let me know if/when you want to try to dig a bit deeper to try to solve it.
Thanks for asking. It turns out that, whenever I turn the computer on, I have to reset the fiber optics "receptor" thingie (IDK what to call it, it's the tiny square plugged into the wall) and the router. And then it all works fine. Maybe it's a Windows thing, I don't know. I don't reboot very often.
And I'm using ExitLag, a game-specific VPN that reduces my lag by 50ms or more. I don't know how adding another step can reduce my ping, but somehow it does.
So it's mostly fine now. Thanks ;)
Ah, good to hear.
Looking into ExitLag, it looks like a specialized VPN/DNS that does routing (and supposedly real-time rerouting) of packets specifically for gaming in order to minimize packet loss and ping, with some other QoL stuff too. So I'm actually not surprised it helps, especially with ISPs that use awful routing tables, and have poor quality internet connections. It seems a bit expensive for all that, when you could probably get similar-ish results using Google or Cloudflare's free DNS services, but I'm glad to hear it's working for you. :)
I actually got it with a discount, about 26 US dollars for one year.
But I'd love to hear how I could use free services to achieve the same result. The year will eventually end.
Ah, that's not so bad then. As for the free DNS options, it's quite simple to change your DNS, and was actually one of the first things I was going to advise you to try! :)
Instructions for both:
Try them and see if they get similar results for you. If so, it could save you that ongoing cost for ExitLag.
I would recommend using winget to uninstall stuff you consider to be bloatware, as it's officially provided by microsoft.
wf.mscfrom run menu.