Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

Lightweight OS

Feb 10, 2011 7:32 AM

I'm looking for an alternative lightweight OS that can run photoshop, illustrator and indesign.

I'm running those now on windows 7, but other apps take all of the RAM and everything get stuck often.

 

I want a separate OS dedicated just for designing.

recommendations?

thanks!

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 7:51 AM   in reply to RoeyTwins

    You can run Windows 7 very lean.  But you have to research everything that's running and understand it, and you need to maintain it.  There are free tools, like Autoruns, to help you know what's starting on your system, and Internet searches can help you learn what each program does.  Go through the process list in Task Manager and research what each process is for.

     

    In short, you have to get kind of "intimate" with Windows to make it run lighter and faster.  It may seem tedious, but that's the nature of the world.

     

    For example, you can disable disk indexing, you can (and should) prevent Internet Explorer from downloading and installing every ActiveX it encounters, you should avoid installing "handy" apps and toolbars that you don't really need, you can deconfigure many of the "gee whiz" features of Windows 7...  You can also, if your computer is reliable and has a good working UPS, enable more sophisticated performance facilities such as advanced disk caching.

     

    What are these "other apps" that you are seeing take all your resources?

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 8:45 AM   in reply to RoeyTwins
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    RoeyTwins wrote:


    If i'll update windows with Windows Updates, will it slow down Windows?

     

    No.  I've been running Windows 7 since 2009 and have been keeping up with all Windows Updates.  My systems are as fast as they ever were.

     

    Here's an article I've written discussing the Windows 7 Search Indexer and how to disable it:

     

    Disable Indexing

    Indexing is supposed to make it quick and easy to find things on your computer using Windows Search (that little box at the upper-right of Explorer windows).

     

    But when you think about it, does it make sense to read all the files on your disk, extract everything you could possibly want to search for, and store it on that same disk another way?  To even consider indexing providing better performance than just searching the files, Microsoft must be picking and choosing the data they think you'll want to look for (excluding data you WON'T want to search for), where you'll want to search, and in what kinds of files, and in fact they are.  How could they know everything you'll ever want to search for? 

     

    They can't.  Not everything is indexed, and never will be!

     

    Try this:  Create a simple text file on your disk, in a temporary folder.  Call it "FindMe.log" and put in the text "This file contains important tax information".  Now navigate to that folder with Explorer and enter the word "tax" into the Search box at the upper-right.  Enter any of the words in that file!  Windows Search will not find the file, because it simply does not LOOK in .log files by default, and there's no fallback strategy - Windows Search simply does not index nor search for information for some kinds of files. Incredible!

     

    All it takes is ONE TIME searching for something you know is there and NOT finding it to destroy your confidence in Windows Search.

     

    And so they scan through your files endlessly, pick out the strings you might someday search for, and store them in yet another set of files (the "index").  As though your computer has nothing better to do.

     

    Not only is the basic premise of this wrong, but it's not even implemented very well.  The index often becomes corrupted, and so Microsoft has provided functions for you to clear and regenerate it.  Just what you wanted to be doing - NOT.

     

    Consider these shortcomings:

     

    • Some file types are simply not indexed or searched by default – e.g., .log files, and there's no fallback.  If you create a new file type no one's seen before, its contents will not be indexed.

     

    • Only strings Microsoft thinks you are likely to search for are indexed.

     

    • Because of poor implementation, indexing will miss things in some file types that are indexed – e.g., older Microsoft Word documents or files containing Unicode text (Microsoft's own invention).

     

    • Indexes often become corrupted and the Windows Search results fall out of date or it stops finding things entirely.

     

    • Indexing operations use computer time, increase disk wear, and interfere with your own access to your files.

     

    In summary, indexed Windows Search operations in Windows 7 simply can't be trusted to find your data in your files when it's critical, and so they're essentially useless.  Searching for filenames using Windows Search actually can be occasionally useful (though the syntax to ensure it searches only filenames is a bit tricky), but this doesn't require indexing.

     

    Moreover, indexing can actually interfere with file operations, causing your system to report disk corruption, because of an implementation error in indexing and NTFS (search the web for "Atomic Oplock", for example).

     

    So indexing should simply and utterly be disabled.  This won't actually stop you being able to try Windows Search - on the contrary with indexing off Windows 7 will actually search your actual files (within the limitations listed above) just when you tell it to, and (since indexing isn't implemented very well) it may actually INCREASE the probability that you might find what you're looking for.

     

    Here's how to disable indexing:

     

    1.        Click Start and enter services in the search box.

     

    2.        When Services (with little gears) comes up, click it.

     

    3.        Scroll down to the Windows Search service.

     

    4.        Right click it and choose Properties.

     

    5.        Change the Startup type to Disabled.

     

    6.        Click [ Stop ] to stop the service.

     

    7.        Click [ OK ].

     

    8.        Click Start and enter index in the search box.

     

    9.        When Indexing options comes up, click it.

     

    10.     Click the Advanced button.

     

    11.     Click the [ Rebuild ] button to delete the index.

     

    12.     It is a good idea to reboot after this.

     


    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 8:50 AM   in reply to RoeyTwins

    Here's another thing you can do if you're uninterested in having your computer participate in Microsoft's "media sharing" on your network...

     

    Disable Media Sharing

     

    Media Sharing is a facility by which your computer can participate with other devices in your house or on the internet to share your music, videos, etc.  If this is a computer on which you expect to do real work, you may not want this.

     

    There have been reports that having Media Sharing enabled can result in Explorer windows either not refreshing after operations, or taking a very long time (tens of seconds) to do things like show the results of a rename or delete operation. 

     

    Therefore, if you don't need your Windows 7 system to share pictures, music, and videos with other Windows Media capable systems on your network, then it is best to disable this setting.  It will also preserve some system resources for other uses.

     

    Note: With this setting disabled you will still be able to share all your files with other computers via the normal networking process of sharing folders.

     

    • Click Start and enter sharing into the search box.

     

    • When Network and sharing center comes up, click it.

     

    • Click the Change advanced sharing settings link in the upper-left.

     

    • In the Home or Work section, Media streaming subsection, turn off Media streaming.

     

    • Double check that it is off in the Public section as well.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 10:02 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel,

     

    I strongly agree with you, regarding Windows Indexing. Besides the resources that it uses, it can "lock" files, while it tries to do its thing - and tries, and tries. This is not THAT big a deal with PS (except for the Scratch Disks), but with video editing and either Premiere, or Encore, can crash a Project. Here is an ARTICLE that I did in the Premiere forum, on its issues. If you have no objections, I would like to add your comments to that article, as I like the detail that you went into. TIA

     

    Thanks for point that guy out here.

     

    Hunt

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 10:04 AM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    Sure!  Spread the info around to wherever it can be useful.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 10:06 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Appreciated. Heading off to add it now, with proper attribution.

     

    Hunt

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 10:51 AM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    Cool, and thanks for the attribution.  We're definitely of one mind re: turning off Indexing, Bill.

     

    By the way - and I'm sorry for straying off key a bit for a moment - there is a handy little free tool for actually doing good, reliable searches (though perhaps with a user interface that's a big geeky).  It's Stefan Kueng's grepwin tool:

     

    http://tools.tortoisesvn.net/grepWin.html

     

    If you put the right stuff in the right places in its dialog, It will find what you're searching for - quickly and every time, even if encoded in Unicode.  It even tells you the things it cannot search in (for example because the file is open), so there's no way you can unknowingly miss anything.  Stefan definitely knows what he's doing.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 11:30 AM   in reply to RoeyTwins

    Instead of buying a new OS, buy more ram. (you can use free os'es, but you'll have to use wine and other crap to get it up and running)

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 11:38 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel,

     

    I could be wrong here, but think that the OP will benefit from setting up the cleanest, leanest, meanest editing machine possible. Any utility that simplifies things to that end, should be explored. Though mainly for a video-editing workstation, this ARTICLE covers some aspects, many touched on here.

     

    I feel that with proper tuning, the OP will not need to use a dual-boot system.

     

    Hunt

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 2:47 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Wow. Thanks Noel

     

    There's a lot of switches in any operating system,and a plain old user like myself does not want to pull the wrong one to clear up resources.

    Thanks for the Disabling Indexes Howto.

     

    Of course when searching from an Explorer Window,you may get a "nag" message about turning Indexing on. Here's how to remove it:

     

    Go to your Folder Options (From any window directory menu) Tools=>  Folder Options. (You may have to press the Alt key to view this menu.)

     

    In the folder options dialogue go to "Search"

     

     

    In "How to search" check "Dont use the index when searching..."

     

    Click "Apply" or OK

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 3:19 PM   in reply to gener7
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    gener7 wrote:


    Go to your Folder Options (From any window directory menu) Tools=>  Folder Options. (You may have to press the Alt key to view this menu.)

    In the folder options dialogue go to "Search"

    In "How to search" check "Dont use the index when searching..."

    Click "Apply" or OK

     

    Great catch!  I have disabled that myself but neglected to put it into the description.  Thank you in return!

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 4:26 PM   in reply to RoeyTwins

    Would it be worth discussing specifically what processor, scratch disk, RAM, and version of Photoshop are being used? Are we experiencing problems on an i7 or a single Pentium4 processor?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 4:26 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    On Win7, "Folder Options" is available from the Control Panel.

     

    I could not find a way to turn off media streaming but once I got into it, I found that is already off, which is why I couldn't turn it off!

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 4:28 PM   in reply to Marian Driscoll

    "We" ain't got either!

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 6:57 PM   in reply to Hudechrome
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    Hudechrome wrote:


    On Win7, "Folder Options" is available from the Control Panel.

     

    It's in Explorer too if you enable the Menus.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2011 11:39 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Gotta know which menu:

     

    Explorer>Organize>Folder and Search Options

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 6:38 AM   in reply to Hudechrome

    In Windows Explorer, if you use the Organize menu first, you can show the menu bar:

     

    MenuBar.jpg

     

    Then, with menus much as they were in older versions of the OS, the menus can take you to the Folder Options previously mentioned:

     

    Menus.jpg

     

    Lots of functionality in those menus is normally hidden by Microsoft, presumably to reduce the "cognitive load" of non-technical users.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 9:37 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I've had the menu bar enabled in Windows 7 Explorer for so long,I had forgotten there are users who have not. It's a good thing to do if only to get to Folder Options as I find myself doing often. Any change to Folder Options from one Explorer window goes for all of Windows 7.

     

    Anyway Noel,if you have "Disabling Indexing" stickied anywhere,please add the "Don't Use the Index" instructions.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 9:55 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    When I click Windows Explorer, I get nothing of the kind you show. It is usually opening to Libraries, and if I pick C drive instead, then I get a view somewhat similar but things like cut are not showing. Other than that, I can get to Folder Options as I stated, whcih doesn't seem that different in thr path I use.

     

    Show hidden files is checked.

     

    EXP-1.jpg

    EXP2.jpg

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 9:59 AM   in reply to Hudechrome

    Maybe because I am using Classic look?

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 1:45 PM   in reply to Hudechrome
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    Hudechrome wrote:

     

    When I click Windows Explorer, I get nothing of the kind you show.

     

    Sure you are.  It may not look the same because you're using the old view, but you certainly have a Tools menu showing.  I can see it in your screen grabs.

     

    Click the Tools menu.  At the bottom do you see Folder Options?

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 2:32 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    Something is wierd here. I see nothing beyondpost 17, yet I see a post in my e-mail responding to a post I made which includes images. I don't see either post.

     

    Jive sucks! I wonder if this will be posted.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 2:33 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    Ok. Now I see it all.

     

    Jive sucks!

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 2:41 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Yes, I know that and pointed it out. Now what started it all is the suggestion that Explorer Menu needs to be enabled. I could not find out how to enable it and rightly so, as it already IS enabled!

     

    And yes, I also noted that the difference was likely because I am using Classic.

     

    Anyway, I stopped Indexing and such.

     

     

    Would be nice if Classic showed the clipping tool. I wondered what happened to that. Now I know.

     

    If I switch back to the Win7 screen, will that enable Aero? I don't want to do that and I expect that Noel doesn't either, and he uses the Win7 version, apparently.

     

    Too much multitasking these last few days........

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 3:08 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    Bogus Jive extra post...

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 3:08 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    Extra post from this Jive turkey of a forum software package

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 3:11 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    There's now something wrong with seeing new posts.  And NOTHING AT ALL otherwise seems to be improved, not one bit!!!

     

    For what it's worth, I seem to be able to post things using Internet Explorer, but not Safari.

     

    What ARE you doing, Adobe?

     

    You don't get a real positive feeling when a content creation tools company can't even make their own web site work right.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 3:10 PM   in reply to Hudechrome
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    Hudechrome wrote:


    If I switch back to the Win7 screen, will that enable Aero? I don't want to do that and I expect that Noel doesn't either, and he uses the Win7 version, apparently.

     

    I use Aero all the time.  I like the extra eye candy, frankly, and it seems to work just fine.  Some of it (like Aero Peek and app tiling by dragging to the desktop edge) I've turned off.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 3:47 PM   in reply to RoeyTwins
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    RoeyTwins wrote:

     

    After insalling CS5, there's 3 new startup programs:

    • UpdaterStartupUtility.exe
    • CS5ServiceManger.exe
    • Swtichboard.exe

     

    Can I disable those so they won't run on startup?

     

    Do you use Bridge?  I don't, and I have disabled both CS5ServiceManager and Switchboard.

     

    I allow the UpdaterStartupUtility to run because I like to know about updates for Adobe apps when they're available.  I don't see a process for it continuing to run, so UpdaterStartupUtility may be just so that when you log in you'll know about updates.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2011 8:43 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I don't know if you have run into this before, but sometimes disabling indexing for

    adobe programs (program files) will result in photoshop not finding some things

    as the lighting filter presets and such.

     

    Don't know if it's an issue on vista or 7, but it was on xp.

     

     

    MTSTUNER

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2011 11:12 AM   in reply to MTSTUNER

    Worse! If you disable search and indexing, "Search" on Win7 fails almost completely, except for the initial search on C drive. "See More Results" become inoperable.

     

    I thought enabling Search was all I needed. No dice. I have to enable Indexing as well.

     

    I did a troubleshoot and Win 7 found no problems. Of course not! I was the dummy that disabled it all!  $%&)$!

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2011 12:24 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    You're doing something wrong, Lawrence.  Windows 7 will search just fine without indexing in every place I know of.  Not that it will always find the things you're searching for (under any condition).

     

    Did you clear the existing index as I noted?

     

    Did you reboot as I noted?

     

    "See More Results" is just a search of another type, so if it's not searching for you in the general case, "See More Results" won't deliver either.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2011 1:08 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I took every step outlined, including reboot, and I reversed every step, including reboot. It works again.

     

    I suppose I can go online with MS and investigate further.

     

    Later today, I may try it again Perhaps I have Win 7 configured in a particular way. Look how Classic tripped me up with  Windows Explorer! I could return everything to Default and try again, but frankly, I saw no increase in performance doing those disables. (Qualitatively anyway).

     

    Edit: It did deliver in the case of searching in General, but would not engage See more Results. The window never appeared, and it was obvious from the HD operations no search was under way.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2011 1:24 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    For what it's worth, I just entered some text in the Start menu search box, then clicked See More Results, after which an Explorer window popped-up and a search of the hard drive commenced.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2011 2:23 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Then there is a difference between your setup and mine, especially since Win7 Troubleshoot found nothing obvious to it's search parameters.It would be interesting to know.

     

    One thing pops to mind: I installed Win7 from a MSDN iso image of the production version. When I bought it, I simply entered the s/n.

     

    Unless other problems show up strongly suggesting a re-install of the OS, I won't do it here for this one. I am loathe to cavalierly reinstall because I don't want risk all those installation problems possibly showing up. I would entertain perspectives about what could possibly be happening here. Curiosity for sure, and I don't like a system that has hobbles built in for which a fix is doable (besides re-install!)

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2011 3:10 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    What I have noticed since turning indexing off,is the "display more results" after using the Start Menu search box does not work. The search window that used to show up  flashes for a microsecond and that is all. Windows Explorer search works fine.

     

    Like Hudechrome,I'm not up to a rip and replace on the OS unless very necessary,but I don't use the "display more results" enough to worry about it.

     

    Gene

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Noel Carboni
    23,488 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2011 9:16 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    I can't explain that difference at this point, unless maybe I tweaked something else somewhere else having to do with searching that I'm not remembering.

     

    I am running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 at this point.  It will be available to everyone in a week or a bit longer.  That may make it work.

     

    -Noel

     
    |
    Mark as:
1 2 Previous Next
Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points