Page 2 of 2

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:53 am
by just brew it!
Kougar wrote:
I dragged an old, very abused install of Win 7 across multiple generations of motherboards and systems and had it for at least five years.

Win 7 was *released* 4 years 11 months ago. So maybe *almost* 5 years... but not more! :wink:

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:47 am
by cheesyking
I suppose something that looks like winrot is the way MS updates quite often seem to increase system requirements.

Remember when you could run XP quite happily on 128MB or RAM? Last time I remember booting up a new XP install with all the updates it was using about 300MB. Vista never really worked with MS's recommended minimum of 512MB but it was initially usable with 1GB, now I wouldn't use it with less than 2GB.

This isn't winrot but it does look like it and its compounding the problem of all the other software you're using also tending to want more resources as their updates get installed.

I'd expect this to be less of an issue now MS are a bit more focused on small devices so it'll be interesting to see how things go with 8+.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:53 pm
by rado992
Well, my own entirely empirical evidence points against the so-called "winrot". My own Windows 7 OS was installed as soon as it was released in October 2009 and so far, I have not seen the need to reinstall (and I like a snappy system). In that time it has been migrated at least three times between HDDs and later, SSDs and has lived through many hardware changes. As long as I take an occasional look at the running processes and startup apps, and resolve any driver issues as soon as they arise, I don't believe a reinstall + setting up the same apps as right now will benefit me much in terms of speed. Also, installing and configuring 50+ apps and tools is a time-consuming process on its own, negating the slight performance benefit I might potentially see by doing so. I could, of course, do it once and create an image for later wipes, but honestly, I can't be bothered right now considering how my 7 year-old PC (in the sig) is running. The same goes for my laptop, the only difference being the install date - somewhere around April 2010. The WIndows install was actually isntalled on a completely different laptop and has been moved twice without a reinstall (admittedly, the laptops were the same brand and were all Intel-based systems).

What I believe makes people say "my PC is running X times slower than Y years ago!" even if they take the time to maintain their OS is the increasing requirements of applications rather than "winrot". I distinctly remember running the then-latest Opera with around 50 open tabs in 700-800MB of ram pack in 2009 when today it takes me 3-3.5GB to do the same (with today's versions of more or less the same webpages as then). I believe the same is true for most applicaitons' resource footprints. That's just how things go, as more power becomes available, developers move the baseline performance requriements up as well, so even if the OS does not become notably heavier, having your daily apps and doing the same tasks becomes more taxing on the hardware over time. A comparison saying "3 years ago with this given set of apps, my PC was faster." is not entirely acceptable because very few people don't update their software at least occasionally, thus, they aren't really using the same set of apps.

Of course, i feel completely different towards Windows versions prior to Vista, where a genuine difference could be felt form reinstalling the OS every 6-12 months. Windows XP, especially towards the end of its life, was especially succeptible to all kinds of issues caused by unwanted software or [email protected] messing up the system. It wasn't about slowing it down as much as breaking certain functionality in a way in which it cannot be repaired with anything short of a system wipe. I distinctly remember how uninstalling Norton Antivirus 2003 broke my XP's TCP/IP stack in such a spectacular way that nothing I tried could restore my network conectivity and I ended up just reinstalling the OS.

Vista and later, having better-defined rules about what can an cannot mess with core OS funcitonality, never had that problem. In my experience of helping out a wide circle of friends and relatives with their PCs, usually, issues could be repaired within the OS, leaving no trace behind. Very rarely have I had to do a reinstall, and even then, it was simply to save time when the repair process would have been slower than a selective backup + reinstall.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:17 pm
by cphite
just brew it! wrote:
TBH most cases of "Windows Rot" these days boil down to accumulating crapware. If you are vigilant about opting out of (or at least nuking on sight) all the useless toolbars and tray icons that try to install themselves, chances are good that the system will remain responsive for a very long time.


Yeah... I mean, I get that "rot" happens but honestly if you're finding that you need re-install Windows on a scale of months... the root of your problem is somewhere between the chair and the keyboard.

My last desktop was running Vista (not exactly a champion in the OS arena) and it was six years old when it was finally replaced... I re-installed the OS twice over that time; once as a result of a malware infection, the other as a result of the power dying in the middle of an update (turns out that they are serious about that "Do not unplug your computer" message...)

I never noticed any serious slowdown in the years between installs... certainly nothing to force me to consider re-installing the OS. The machine was (and is) still perfectly usable; eventually it just became a matter of wanting to play games that were beyond it's capabilities. The key is not installing a bunch of crapware and keeping your malware screening up to date (which is redundant but whatever).

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:53 pm
by absurdity
cheesyking wrote:
Remember when you could run XP quite happily on 128MB or RAM?


Nope. XP was always best experienced with 512MB and up.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:22 pm
by bthylafh
I ran the RTM of WinXP on 128MB of RAM... a few times. Mostly just when my dormmates wanted to play Unreal Tournament or Rune. It would run, but "happily" was not an adjective I'd use.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:14 pm
by Techgoudy
Ryu Connor wrote:
There are some third party tools, but many of them just make matters worse. CCleaner comes to mind - after it infamously tore up some WIndows 7 installs bad enough they couldn't apply SP1. Sometimes I wonder if some of these third party tools people try are what perversely manage to create the very rot they were trying to avoid.


I've been using CCleaner since 2009 and I have NEVER seen it do that in which you say it did above. That said I am not doubting your experience with the tool, but I definitely willing to say that if I were you I'd give it another try. I've used CCleaner on probably somewhere upwards of a 1000+ machines with my background in field tech and I can say it's been way more help than almost any other program I've used.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:17 pm
by cheesyking
bthylafh wrote:
I ran the RTM of WinXP on 128MB of RAM... a few times. Mostly just when my dormmates wanted to play Unreal Tournament or Rune. It would run, but "happily" was not an adjective I'd use.


Perhaps "happily" is stretching the point but the fact remains that XP did get a lot heavier as it aged especially right at the end.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:25 pm
by bthylafh
cheesyking wrote:
bthylafh wrote:
I ran the RTM of WinXP on 128MB of RAM... a few times. Mostly just when my dormmates wanted to play Unreal Tournament or Rune. It would run, but "happily" was not an adjective I'd use.


Perhaps "happily" is stretching the point but the fact remains that XP did get a lot heavier as it aged especially right at the end.


It certainly did. I'm not sure which bloated more, though: WinXP or antivirus. Around 2005 we had some WinXP SP1 workstations running Symantec Antivirus 8 on 256MB of RAM. Not fast, but productive. A couple years ago our minimum-acceptable WinXP config had 1GB of RAM, which jumped from 512MB with the transition from SAV 10 to Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:38 pm
by just brew it!
Yeah, for XP a big part of it was that AV got much more resource-intensive. By the time XP went EOL even a "lightweight" AV solution like MSE could really bog an old system down.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:55 pm
by mnecaise
bthylafh wrote:
If you had to reinstall Win9x monthly you had a PEBKAC problem, not a Windows problem. I used my copies of Win95 and Win98 heavily for years and never once had to reinstall them.

Anecdotal, but, I had a Win98/ME machine that I had to re-install every two or three months. Couldn't keep the machine running for more than three or four days at a time without reboot. Eventually narrowed it down to a bad north bridge chip that was introducing bit errors, some of which ended up getting written back to the hard drive. I think a lot of people get bitten by poorly designed hardware and blame the OS.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:49 am
by Usacomp2k3
I think the lack of "OS Rot" in modern times can be attributed to multiple factors:
1/ As mnecaise said, hardware has gotten much more reliable of late. With more and more features integrated into the CPU or chipset, you don't have to worry about 3rd party hardware much anymore.
2/ Starting with Vista, drivers can be updated via Windows Update. That has greatly improved the stability as they are better vetted and you pretty much don't ever have to worry about them being out-of-date. For the most part the only drivers that need checking manually are video card, and that is for performance reasons, not stability.
3/ More "applications" are available online instead of needing installed. You don't need to download a program that has a timer, you can just google "timer 5 minutes" and Bam!
4/ More "applications" are installed on your phone instead of your PC

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:48 am
by cheesyking
Yeah, I occasionally do work for a guy who has a few machines running win98 and NT4 that haven't been reinstalled for around a decade and they haven't rotted at all. They aren't on the internet and all the do is run officeXP and an ancient bit of accounting software. The only time they give trouble is when there's a hardware problem. One day I'm going to run out of hardware that will support 98 and he'll be in trouble.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:33 am
by just brew it!
cheesyking wrote:
Yeah, I occasionally do work for a guy who has a few machines running win98 and NT4 that haven't been reinstalled for around a decade and they haven't rotted at all. They aren't on the internet and all the do is run officeXP and an ancient bit of accounting software. The only time they give trouble is when there's a hardware problem. One day I'm going to run out of hardware that will support 98 and he'll be in trouble.

Too bad you don't live close enough to come to the Michigan BBQ. I've still got a small pile of hardware from that era. :wink:

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:54 am
by Usacomp2k3
cheesyking wrote:
Yeah, I occasionally do work for a guy who has a few machines running win98 and NT4 that haven't been reinstalled for around a decade and they haven't rotted at all. They aren't on the internet and all the do is run officeXP and an ancient bit of accounting software. The only time they give trouble is when there's a hardware problem. One day I'm going to run out of hardware that will support 98 and he'll be in trouble.

Virtual Machine?

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:06 am
by trackerben
cheesyking wrote:
Yeah, I occasionally do work for a guy who has a few machines running win98 and NT4 that haven't been reinstalled for around a decade and they haven't rotted at all. They aren't on the internet and all the do is run officeXP and an ancient bit of accounting software. The only time they give trouble is when there's a hardware problem. One day I'm going to run out of hardware that will support 98 and he'll be in trouble.


There's good and then there's known-good - Intel Pentiums, 440BX and 8xx chipsets, 3Com 3C905 LAN, S3trio VGA - NT4SP6 and up servers could run indefinitely on these until drive or PSU failure. And even then a quick reimaging was usually all that was needed before data recovery. I monitored a SyBase SQL server which worked 12x7x360 for almost a decade without reinstall or database maintenance and only occasional log purges. It perfomed as well on its last day as on its first. It was drive and casing stress failures which eventually killed off the client PCs running an industrial WinX frontend on Win98SE. the systems were so purposed and locked down that only OS utilities and Office could be additionally run from shell, but they evolved to be highly available within environmental limits as a result.

Of course when someone installed badly behaved apps then problems would arise. But there weren't many native ones interesting to consumers anyway. As our team leaders used to say, systems run best without logged-on users.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:10 am
by cheesyking
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
cheesyking wrote:
Yeah, I occasionally do work for a guy who has a few machines running win98 and NT4 that haven't been reinstalled for around a decade and they haven't rotted at all. They aren't on the internet and all the do is run officeXP and an ancient bit of accounting software. The only time they give trouble is when there's a hardware problem. One day I'm going to run out of hardware that will support 98 and he'll be in trouble.

Virtual Machine?


the accounting software is protected with a hardware dongle that I can't get to work under a VM, but we're getting off topic.

EDIT: and the NT4 machine is a compaq workstation circa 1997 with dual pentium pro 200 MHz and a 2GB scsi drive. I don't believe it has ever missed a beat. You always could buy good hardware you just had to pay through the nose for it, I hate to think what this machine would have cost when it was new.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:13 am
by trackerben
cheesyking wrote:
the accounting software is protected with a hardware dongle that I can't get to work under a VM, but we're getting off topic.


If you don't mind, is it a parallel port dongle which you couldn't get resourced in MS Hyper-V?

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:16 am
by cheesyking
trackerben wrote:
cheesyking wrote:
the accounting software is protected with a hardware dongle that I can't get to work under a VM, but we're getting off topic.


If you don't mind, is it a parallel port dongle which you couldn't get resourced in MS Hyper-V?


Yeah, parallel dongle though I must admit I never tried hyper v. Can't actually remember what I tried but really the whole thing is moot as the software needs replacing anyway.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:22 am
by trackerben
cheesyking wrote:
Yeah, parallel dongle though I must admit I never tried hyper v. Can't actually remember what I tried but really the whole thing is moot as the software needs replacing anyway.


As far as I can figure, LPT unlike serial ports are not supported on Hyper-V gen1 VMs. I'd hoped you were into this particular issue.

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:42 pm
by BIF
I never once had to rebuild Windows 7 in 4 years of running it.

And now I'm coming up on my 2-year mark with Windows 8.

Performance is critical to me for music and graphic arts; I'd notice if something were wrong.

Just stop installing stupid stuff and don't say "yes" to every damned request to install stupid stuff!

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:23 am
by Chrispy_
but you're our millionth visitor and you've won an iPad!

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:29 am
by BlondIndian
ronch wrote:
I reformatted my PC just two days ago. I play an old game called Thief - The Dark Project and this game uses rundll32.exe. Problem is, I noticed that when I launch the game it doesn't open anymore. I have Thief 2 - The Metal Age installed as well (a Thief series fan, obviously) and the same thing happens when I launch it. Now, I know these two games invoke rundll32.exe when they start so I checked Task Manager and saw that while rundll32.exe and the respective Thief.exe or Thief2.exe program are running, the game itself has loaded only a small fraction of itself to memory (around 1.5K), and not the usual 10K or so. I also noticed that running another instance of said games will immediately launch the game (so there would be two instances now, one fully loaded to memory and one that's still on the fence), and I later concluded that rundll32 was the culprit. When a failed launch happens, closing the Thief*.exe process but leaving rundll32 in memory will result in the game/s launching when I launch them again. I couldn't fix rundll32 and a virus scan turns up nothing and searching the interwebz didn't help. I had no other resort but to reformat. It was the first time this sort of issue happened and I am, as you can tell, an avid Thief fan so I always have these games installed. Using Windows 7 64-bit.

Anyway, I reformat my PC every 1 to 3 months on average. Usually something breaks and I just do a clean reinstall.



Hey , I had the same problem as you did . Except Civ 4 was having this problem. I looked it up with process explorer and the rundll32 was used to invoke gameux.dll and a quick search revealed that this dll runs the 'Games' application . This is the stupid thing MS introduced in Vista to help gamers manage their games and show compatibility information . Running the game from the 'Games' window (start -> games) will not cause this problem . Alternatively I used to open the game twice and close the first instance with process explorer . I tried renaming gameux.dll but it didn't help . I haven't discovered a permanent fix yet . I've not played Civ4 in a while and so I've not encountered this problem since .

Did you find a fix ? Did reformat make it go away permanently ?

Re: OS Decay

Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2022 6:02 am
by meetakhilesh
I think you are missing an uninstaller which solves the problem rather easily.
What is Mirekusoft Install Monitor?
Install Monitor works by monitoring what resources such as file and registry are created when a program is installed. Install Monitor’s intelligent program remover can help solve problems that are caused when a program does not uninstall properly. The result is better application management and a system that operates more efficiently. It also allows you to prevent programs from automatically starting to reduce the amount of programs running and improve performance.