The Reinstallation Diaries Episode V: The Security Solution
If you’ve followed any of this journey you will recall I deviated from my standard operating procedure on this rebuild and did not immediately install my usual security apps once I had the OS up and running.
Two reasons for this experiment.
First, I have long been frustrated by the overhead required by Norton and its fleet of security apps. Norton has been my choice for a number of years using a number of computers. I wanted to see if I could find a better, less resource hogging solution. Second, I have also long suspected that the order of installing these kinds of apps makes a difference in ultimate system performance. I sort of semi-confirmed that second hunch when I recently did a reinstall on one of the desktops here in our office at the theatre. By looking at a different solution entirely for the M200, I can’t really test that second hunch out on this reinstall.
I know delaying the install of any security apps is a risky move these days. But I was willing to take the gamble and find out if it caused any trouble in this case. Turns out it did not.
Let me establish a few things as a baseline here. I was running Norton’s full Internet Security Suite. After a normal clean reboot Task Manager would report that I had 72 running processes chewing up 402M of memory with the previous install. I chose to go with AVG’s Anti-virus, Kerio’s Firewall, and reinstall Ad-Aware and Spybot (both of which have recently come out with new engines.) We've been using these solutions here in the office in recent months with no discernable problems so I felt more than comfortable with these choices.
After reinstalling and doing any product updates and running checks for problems, I was delighted to come away clean. So, that part of the experiment worked. On the resource front, Task Manager was reporting 68 running processes and 305M of memory used. A significant decrease. Only time will tell if the different apps will provide the same level of security.
One of the sure signs that it is time to do this sort of system refresh is when you see(feel?) apps beginning to slow down and a reboot takes more time than it should. I was experiencing both on my Tablet. A clean reboot would take 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Shutting down completely would take 34 seconds. Suspending would take 19 seconds. Returning from suspend would take 26 seconds.
With this fresh install almost nearly complete the numbers now read like this:
Clean reboot: 1:15
Shut Down: :20
Return from Suspend: :10
Again, significant increases in performance and welcome ones at that. Everything feels much faster, snappier and cleaner; almost like new. For the performance improvements alone, reinstalling the OS was definitely worth it.
Next Up: Final Tweaks, Lessons Learned, and a Summary.