do i really need a 1 gig hard drive for vista business?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by emily86, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. emily86

    emily86 Guest

    I have a 512 MB hard drive now, and I got Vista Business for free at college
    because my school is part of an academic alliance thing that gets it for
    free. Do I really need 1 G hard drive for it to work properly? When
    installing, is there any kind of option where you do a custom install so you
    can just pick the components you need? I really really really want Vista
    (especially since I'm a CSC major) but I can't exactly afford to upgrade to a
    1 G or higher hard drive. I have a Dell, and it says to upgrade to a 1 G it
    would be $179.
    emily86, Mar 19, 2007
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  2. You are probably confusing RAM with drive space, and have 512 MB
    of random access memory, which is barely enough for Vista Basic.
    If you select Basic from among the options, it ought to install, but it
    Vista will not perform as well as it would with a GB or two. It might
    be sensible to hold off on the upgrade until after the end of this
    semester, when finals are over and you have time to cope with it.
    Michael Jennings, Mar 19, 2007
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  3. emily86

    DanR Guest

    Might you be talking about RAM? (memory) Surely your hard drive is larger
    than 512MB.
    If it indeed is memory you mean than it depends on how your 512MB of RAM is
    currently configured. Likely your computer has 4 slots for RAM. Hopefully
    you have two 256MB chips in there now. (or even better one 512MB chip) Then
    you have physical room to add another chip to get you to 1GB of RAM.
    Download Belarc advisor and note how many RAM slots you have and how many
    are filled. I'm guessing you can get to 1GB for less than $179.
    DanR, Mar 19, 2007
  4. You proably need RAM. 512 is minimum. 1 GB is recommended. But, I won't
    build a PC without at least 1.5-2GB of RAM.

    But, 512MB will run it, and it will be fine. You will complain about it
    being slow, though. But, when you do get an upgrade, you will notice a big
    increase in speed. Also, you might check for better prices on
    RAM. 1 GB for $179 seems outrageous!
    Dustin Harper, Mar 19, 2007
  5. emily86

    emily86 Guest

    You are right, I have 512 MB of RAM

    emily86, Mar 20, 2007
  6. emily86

    emily86 Guest

    do you think you could direct me in the right direction about what i'm
    looking for when upgrading my RAM? i looked on that website you suggested but
    i have no clue what i'm looking for! i don't know anything about this stuff!
    emily86, Mar 20, 2007
  7. My next guess is that you've got a laptop, not a desktop computer.
    Michael Jennings, Mar 20, 2007
  8. You had better have a drive a lot larger than 1 gig for any modern operating
    system since Windows 2000. Vista needs a minimum of 15 gig. I would suggest
    a minimum of 30 gig.



    Richard Urban MVP
    Microsoft Windows Shell/User
    Richard Urban, Mar 20, 2007
  9. emily86

    emily86 Guest

    correct once again!

    emily86, Mar 20, 2007
  10. emily86

    Chad Harris Guest

    Hi Emily--

    You're of course talking about RAM memory sticks, not real estate on your

    If I were you I'd do this. Run it with 512 MB and see how it suits you.
    One tip up front. Go to and download the free trial full
    functionality defragger. Defragging organizes files on your HD so that they
    are easily retried/written to--and doing it often (at least once a week or
    more) will do a lot to help your speed. Vista has a defragger simply
    accessed by typing defrag in the search box above the Start button. You can
    compare what it does to one of the better ones--Perfect Disk by Raxco with
    the 30 day free trial. It's here:

    But run it "smart"--the majority of users don't because they don't know how.
    I'm going to show you. It's a little like the general population and
    flossing their teeth--perhaps not the best metaphor. If after you do a few
    of these "speed steps" 512 MB is not fast enough, then upgrade RAM but
    remember you are not obligated to buy the RAM from Dell. You can walk into
    any place like Fry's or you can go to a website like Tiger Direct, New Egg,
    or Crucial and comparison shop for your RAM. The stores and the sites have
    charts and pulldowns to make sure the RAM is compatible with your model of
    Dell--my point being Dell may not be the best deal--and if it's a new model
    RAM is much cheaper so go for higher end RAM with a "lifetime guarantee."

    As everyone has indicated, the "sweet-spot" of RAM for Vista is 1-2 GB. If
    you decide you need more speed after defragging regularly and trimming down
    the processes and services you don't need running that Vista default starts
    up with, and you can afford it after shopping you can make that box move
    plenty fast with 1GB RAM. This is all dependent on how it performs at 512MB
    and Emily's budget. The campus book store probably has significant
    discounts as well, including possibly RAM.

    Doing some of these --the most important are the first seven or so--will
    help you get the maximum speed out of the 512 MB on that Dell--see how you
    like it--then if necessary add more:

    Speed PC and Control CPU Tips/Steps



    1) Trim processes you don't need in TM. Google them or "search engine of

    your choice them" if you have to.

    2) Go to

    services.msc in run box and turn off services not needed and there are some.


    *Vista Services*

    Part One

    Part Two

    Windows Vista Services Tweak Guide v1.0

    3) Run System File Checker.


    In Vista run it from an elevated command prompt. Right click command on

    start and run as administrator.

    4) Run 3 or so spyware scans Windows Defender, , Adaware, and Spybot

    5) Probably the most important for speed consistently and efficient resource

    use DEFRAG with or with 15% free space on

    drive if DK and or >5% if Raxco's Perfect Disk.

    Download Adaware and

    Spybot from here.

    GOOD Overall Review for Defending Your PC:

    MSFT Defense Site MSFT Security:

    Protect Your PC from MSFT Security:

    MSFT Windows Defender

    MSFT MSRT: (Malicious Software Removal Tool)

    MSFT "Windows One Care" in Wings (AV and Spyware Scans)

    6) Unck items from msconfig start tab you don't need starting and some

    won't start--peoiple who think just uncking for many are naive because there

    are 12 places things can be started including several reg keys like Run Once

    keys and there are serveral.

    7) Turn off Messaging service--it's a security vulnerability and it slows


    8) Defrag very often every other day actually.

    9) Turn off indexing.

    10) Clear TIF and %temp% files (delete) and go to safe mode to get as many

    as u can.

    10) Do troubleshooting with msconfig.

    11) Do Clean boot with msconfig utility and search for the directions here:

    Vista RTM Tweak Guide (Tweaks to Improve Performances),GGLJ:2006-47,GGLJ:en&q=vista+rtm+tweak+guide

    1) Task Manager lists the services on the services tab in Vista.

    2) Type services.msc in run box and using the list of services, click the

    service and you'll get a description of services.

    3) There is a list here of the default services and a description>>click

    "default settings for services" in the left pane.

    4) To view service dependencies


    Open Services.


    In the details pane, right-click the service that you want to view

    dependencies for, and then click Properties.


    Click the Dependencies tab.


    To view services that are associated dependencies of the selected service,

    in the list on the Dependencies tab, click the plus sign next to the


    Many of the services but not all in Vista are the same as in XP, so in that


    Also see the extremely helpful site:

    Black Viper's Service List Services.htm

    Black Viper's Site (Many of the same services in Vista) Services.htm

    This will be helpful


    How to troubleshoot by using the System Configuration utility in Windows XP

    Resources for troubleshooting startup problems in Windows XP

    How to perform advanced clean-boot troubleshooting in Windows XP;en-us;316434

    How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP

    How to Disable a Service or Device that Prevents Windows from Starting

    Also ck out these references:,1558,5155,00.asp


    Defragging with a decent defrag every day will make a huge dent inefficient
    resource/CPU use.

    Perfect Disk has a 5 month full functionality trial on now for Windows
    Vista. It can be found at

    Good luck,

    Chad Harris, Mar 20, 2007
  11. emily86

    Chad Harris Guest


    She was obviously confusing MB and RAM.

    Chad Harris, Mar 20, 2007
  12. What kind of Dell do you have? Dimension, Inspiron? Model #? Dell uses
    standard RAM, so you should be able to save some money on an upgrade.

    Dustin Harper

    Dustin Harper, Mar 20, 2007
  13. emily86

    emily86 Guest

    I have a Dell Inspiron 5150. I got it in July 2004.
    emily86, Mar 20, 2007
  14. Michael Jennings, Mar 20, 2007
  15. emily86

    Chad Harris Guest


    Again if I were you I'd try 512MB defragging and using my speed tips
    regularly to trim services and processes, and then if you want to buy
    RAM---use Crucial to find out what RAM you have or download
    and it will tell you. You can also go to and they
    will give you a profile of your hardware if you put in your service tag or
    your model --there will be a category to profile your pc. Belarc does a
    great job.

    Some decent places to price RAM besides perhaps your campus book store with
    the student discount are:

    Chad Harris, Mar 20, 2007
  16. emily86

    emily86 Guest

    Wow, thanks so much! When I install Vista I am wanting to reformat the hard
    drive (or it seems like they're calling it "partitioning" now...) so I am
    hoping that will free up some space. It's hard telling how much junk I've
    got on here since I'm hooked to the school network.
    emily86, Mar 20, 2007
  17. Dustin Harper, Mar 20, 2007
  18. Mike Hall - MS MVP, Mar 20, 2007
  19. emily86

    Don Guest

    Uh-oh. You need a lesson in geek-speak ;o) A geek would say that you
    format a partition, not a drive. One physical drive may be artificially
    divided up into several partitions so you can use each partition for a
    different purpose -- just like you had several drives instead of just
    one. The usual reason for 'partitioning' a disk is so you can install
    more that one version of Windows and still keep them separate.

    After partitioning a disk, you can choose to install Windows on one
    partition of the disk, but you need to 'format' that partition first.
    Don, Mar 20, 2007
  20. emily86

    emily86 Guest

    Well I've got Vista up and running now. Thanks everyone for your input. I
    can't tell yet whether or not the 512 MB of RAM is going to cut it or not.
    Seems to be running just fine so far, but I haven't installed any programs on
    here yet. I have a feeling this is going to take a lot of getting used to
    emily86, Mar 20, 2007
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