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Word 2007 files take forever to open in Vista (was: Will an SSD help?)

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#126
JorgeA

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BlouBul (and also @dencorso),

I have two items:

One, I ordered the 1TB Western Digital HDD. We should resume the discussion when the drive arrives from amazon.com in a few days -- due to my terminal cheapness, I had it sent to me via free Super Saver Shipping.

(dencorso, the company in the U.S. is called amazon.com. Is the company's Brazilian branch named mississippi.com? :whistle: )

And two, I tried loading the big file in Word again, this time with the Task Manager open and set to list processes by their CPU use, so that I could see what was taking up the PC's resources during file loading. By far the biggest chunk of CPU cycles during loading went to WINWORD.EXE: usage hovered between 40 and 50 percent most of the time, with a single spike up to 65%. Nothing else went above even 3% in the 3:02 that the file took to load.

Does this affect any of our hypotheses? As I said, I don't mind "repurposing" the 1TB drive, so we needn't use that purchase as a sole reason for proceeding with the surgery. I'm thinking that it all (or mostly) has to do with Word somehow, especially in light of the trial with Works where the file took only 1:12 to load.

I've got an external hdd full of movies that is connected to a multimedia player, which connects to my normal tv. Great for watching movies (and the kids can't damage the dvd's), as well as backup, so I agree that is a good choice if you can use it for something else.Posted Image

I'm glad to get the "proof of concept"! :D

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 05 October 2010 - 08:42 PM.



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#127
dencorso

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Word in particular or Office in general are my prime suspects, too, since you reported your result with Works, which is a very noteworthy finding. In any case, if at all possible, I'd like to ask you to pursue that suggestion BlouBul gave you of opening the big file in the same version of Word/Office, preferably under Vista, in some friend's machine. Since we now know processor and memory are irrelevant, the median time of opening in this other machine ought usefulf to comparable with that obtained in your machine. Whatever the result may be, it should be interesting and tell us about the existance of misconfigurations or other issues. As of now, my main idea is to re-register Word and tweak it and Office quite extensively, after making sure it has *all* apposite extant MS updates applied to it. But since it'll be some major tweaking, I guess having a known-good image of the system as-it-is is a necessary insurance against things going wrong.

I'll be less available than usual these next 2 or 3 days, so don't be surprised if I don't post at all, rest assured I've not lost interest.

In the meantime, let me point you to some of my previous musings about images, which I think both of you'll find interesting: I, II and III. I think in them I've said things I didn't say here and, even if some of the stuff is specific to Norton Ghost, most of it is general and applicable to all images and the programs used to acquire/deploy them.

#128
BlouBul

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In the meantime, let me point you to some of my previous musings about images, which I think both of you'll find interesting: I, II and III. I think in them I've said things I didn't say here and, even if some of the stuff is specific to Norton Ghost, most of it is general and applicable to all images and the programs used to acquire/deploy them.

Thanks dencorso,

You explained it very well in those links. Now I can't claim that I don't know too much about imaging anymore. :)

I'll be less available than usual these next 2 or 3 days, so don't be surprised if I don't post at all, rest assured I've not lost interest.

We have to wait anyway for the hdd to come. As long as you come back afterwards (we need you for the tweaks):hello:
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#129
JorgeA

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dencorso,

Thank you immensely for the links to the discussions of disk imaging and backups. The first link in particular is the clearest, most satisfying explanation of the issue that I have ever come across. It could be extracted and put into one of those "stickified" threads so that it doesn't get buried under newer topics.

It does lead me to a question, that I hope you'll answer when you come back. My wife has a Seagate BlackArmor WS 110 drive to create system images. We bought it because they claim it can do a "bare-metal restore" on a new HDD in case of catastrophic failure of the old HDD. But now that I read your description, it sounds like the BlackArmor is creating the "common disk image" (or, rather, partition image) that you indicate may not be good enough. Should I tell her that she's not as well protected as we had thought?

Thank you for pursuing the issue with my Word file. You and BlouBul and I will regroup in a few days when the new HDD comes in. In the meantime I'll see about loading that file in Word on another modern computer, and post the results.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 06 October 2010 - 09:32 AM.


#130
JorgeA

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BlouBul,

I have some more data bits on Word file loading.

First, I tried loading that same big file on my Windows 98 tower (Office 2000). The time was -- 0:40. Can you believe it?? :o

Next I got my wife to let me put the file on her new Windows 7 PC and try loading it into Word 2007 a couple of times (no more). The first time was 1:43; the second, 1:45.

And last, I finally persuaded a friend to let me use up one of his precious Word launchings (he's hoarding the 25 free launchings he got from his Office 2007 trial) on his Vista laptop. He finally relented when I explained that even though I wanted to open the file 7 times, I would only be using one launch since I could open Word and one other (small) file, then open and close my test file as needed from inside the program and the one Word session would remain intact.

The times on the Vista x64 laptop were:
3:31
3:31
3:32
3:32
3:33
3:36
3:43

Pretty consistent, eh? But, interestingly, these values are not that far off from those of my Vista tower. And he doesn't have the laptop stuffed with applications and running processes, it's a lightly used computer.

This hints at the possibility that the root of the problem may lie with Vista as such, rather than with any accumulated registry crud. I suppose it could still be due to Office settings, but if somebody else has a standard installation and it acts the same, then we're looking at making it into a non-standard (that is, probably less functional) installation.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 06 October 2010 - 11:32 PM.


#131
BlouBul

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That certainly points to Vista x64 so far (but although the Win 7 takes half the time, win 98 again takes 40% of that time with a much slower processor) Does your friend also have Norton? Is the file a doc or docx? Does it help if you convert it to the other format?
Is your laptop also vista x64? Is it win 7 x64 or x86?

It would help to have more tests on different systems to see if we can see a trend. Since the results are fairly consistent, I think you can just do one or two test on each system to get a feel for what is fast/slow (eg 3-5 min(Vista x64+Office 2007), 1-2 min(Win7+Office 2007 & Vista X64+Works), 30sec-1 min(Win 98 +Office 2000 on old computer), less than 10 sec(hopefully final answer). Do you have more pc's (maybe @ your work) where you can test it? (Maybe on Xp?)

Edited by BlouBul, 07 October 2010 - 05:23 AM.

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#132
dencorso

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My wife has a Seagate BlackArmor WS 110 drive to create system images. We bought it because they claim it can do a "bare-metal restore" on a new HDD in case of catastrophic failure of the old HDD. But now that I read your description, it sounds like the BlackArmor is creating the "common disk image" (or, rather, partition image) that you indicate may not be good enough. Should I tell her that she's not as well protected as we had thought?

Not yet. Read its documentation/user manual crefully first. While only "dumb", byte-by-byte images are the most foolproof solution, they're also the longest and most tedious solution to use. I always do *one* such whole disk image of any important disk, be it mine or one I'm about to service. Once having it, I proceed to do backups by partition imaging, since they're faster and usually things change only in the system partition of a multipartitioned system (there's little gain however, when, as in your case, the system partition *is* also the data partition). If things get really ugly, I can always restore the full disk image first, an then update it with the newer partiton image to get back to the point i was when things went wrong. Now, "intelligent" images are not useless, but you must be sure the application doing them supports th OS you're intending to backup. If you look in that documentation for DiskWizard I pointed you to some posts above, you'll find out it supports XP and Vista, but not Win7. So, in principle, its "intelligent" partition backups should be enough to use, most of the time, for your Vista. However, it's not clear whether they mean "both x86 and x64" or just x86, so, some testing might be in order before trusting the "intelligent" images. But, in any case, only the "dumb" images would be adequate for Win7, since that version of DiskWizard has not enough knowledge to be "intelligent" about it. All this said, it's irrelevant whether you have good usable images if you don't have the means to put them back. So some bootable device (HDD or CD/DVD) is needed too, for a backing up system to be really useful. I'm certain the BlackArmor system must cater for all this, or, at least, should. I don't know. But you shall, after you read the documentation, with those above points in mind. I trust you'll then let me know. :)

The times on the Vista x64 laptop were:
3:31
3:31
3:32
3:32
3:33
3:36
3:43

Pretty consistent, eh? But, interestingly, these values are not that far off from those of my Vista tower. And he doesn't have the laptop stuffed with applications and running processes, it's a lightly used computer.

This hints at the possibility that the root of the problem may lie with Vista as such, rather than with any accumulated registry crud. I suppose it could still be due to Office settings, but if somebody else has a standard installation and it acts the same, then we're looking at making it into a non-standard (that is, probably less functional) installation.

Or lie with the Office 2007 x86 under Vista x64 specific combination/interaction? :ph34r:

#133
JorgeA

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All this said, it's irrelevant whether you have good usable images if you don't have the means to put them back. So some bootable device (HDD or CD/DVD) is needed too, for a backing up system to be really useful. I'm certain the BlackArmor system must cater for all this, or, at least, should. I don't know. But you shall, after you read the documentation, with those above points in mind. I trust you'll then let me know. :)

dencorso,

Yes, I did make an emergency boot disk under the BlackArmor wizard when I set up that external HDD for my wife. Would that be enough? The manual claims that it is.

Or lie with the Office 2007 x86 under Vista x64 specific combination/interaction? :ph34r:

Hmm... What sorts of things could be going on with that?

--JorgeA

#134
JorgeA

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That certainly points to Vista x64 so far (but although the Win 7 takes half the time, win 98 again takes 40% of that time with a much slower processor) Does your friend also have Norton? Is the file a doc or docx? Does it help if you convert it to the other format?
Is your laptop also vista x64? Is it win 7 x64 or x86?

It would help to have more tests on different systems to see if we can see a trend. Since the results are fairly consistent, I think you can just do one or two test on each system to get a feel for what is fast/slow (eg 3-5 min(Vista x64+Office 2007), 1-2 min(Win7+Office 2007 & Vista X64+Works), 30sec-1 min(Win 98 +Office 2000 on old computer), less than 10 sec(hopefully final answer). Do you have more pc's (maybe @ your work) where you can test it? (Maybe on Xp?)

BlouBul,

Oh yeah, I forgot to report that my friend also has Nortom 360 on his Vista x64 laptop.

The file is a .doc file, as my customer only has Office 2003 and can't create or read .docx files.

Unfortunately I don't have access to more PCs. My office is at home, so I've tried it on all the computers we have here. (Well, O.K., I tried it on my Windows for Workgroups 3.11 system running MS Word 6.0, but it couldn't read the file at all. ;) )

I'm wondering if the issue might be related to Grammar Check. I won't get a chance to try it tonight, but next chance I get I'll see if I can turn off that feature, at least temporarily and for this file, and then see how long it takes to be ready.

--JorgeA

#135
dencorso

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Yes, I did make an emergency boot disk under the BlackArmor wizard when I set up that external HDD for my wife. Would that be enough? The manual claims that it is.

Yes. It should be. But do make sure BlackArmor claims to support Win 7, just to be on the safe side.


Or lie with the Office 2007 x86 under Vista x64 specific combination/interaction? :ph34r:

Hmm... What sorts of things could be going on with that?

Well, many. Nothing documented, that I know of. Then again, cluberti, CoffeeFiend or PuntoMX would be better than myself to dream up scenarios where things may go wrong, since they know the x64 NT-OSses much better than I do.

#136
BlouBul

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Hi Jorge,

You didn't answer all my questions.

1. Is your laptop also x64?
2. Is your wife's laptop x64 or x86?
3. What happens if you take the .doc file and save as .docx, does it make a difference?

I was thinking the same as dencorso regarding the x64 - x86 combination (but if your laptop is x86, that confuses the theory)
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#137
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Unfortunately I don't have access to more PCs. My office is at home, so I've tried it on all the computers we have here. )

Hi JorgeA,

I do not know if the documents are confidential, otherwise you can maybe edit the confidential parts out and upload it somewhere, then we can test it on different systems.

(Well, O.K., I tried it on my Windows for Workgroups 3.11 system running MS Word 6.0, but it couldn't read the file at all. ;) )

Well, try saving it as Word 6 file and see what happens ;) http://www.java2s.co...FileFormats.htm The second last one on the list.

Edited by BlouBul, 08 October 2010 - 12:42 PM.

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#138
JorgeA

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Hi Jorge,

You didn't answer all my questions.

1. Is your laptop also x64?
2. Is your wife's laptop x64 or x86?
3. What happens if you take the .doc file and save as .docx, does it make a difference?

I was thinking the same as dencorso regarding the x64 - x86 combination (but if your laptop is x86, that confuses the theory)

Hi BlouBul,

Well, you cornered me into researching just what "x86" means. When you first brought it up, my reaction was, "I'm not using an 80486 CPU, let alone an 80386, 80286, or 8086, so this doesn't have anything to do with me." But then you and dencorso kept bringing it up, as if such systems still mattered today -- which led me to wonder why up-to-date folks such as yourselves would even think about "x86." So I had to look into the topic to see what you meant.

If I understand it correctly, "x86" is a reference to 32-bit OS's (so why aren't they simply called "x32" now for consistency?) If I got that right, then I can say that my Vista tower and my wife's Win7 are not x86, they are x64. So is my friend's Vista laptop.

I converted the file to .docx format and opened it in Word on my Vista x64 tower. While the size of the .doc file is 7.0MB, the .docx version is 6.04MB. I ran a trial series of five file loadings. The times were:

2:17
3:56
3:58
4:19
4:19

Doesn't seem to make a great difference whether it's .doc or .docx.

Also, I looked at the box in which my Microsoft Office CD came, and the label says "Win32" in tiny letters. I don't know if a 64-bit version was available when I bought it, at the same time as the computer (December '08), not that I would have understood the difference back then. (I like to think that today I'm a bit more knowledgeable about computers.) My wife's Office 2007 is also Win32, according to her CD box.

What do you think? What effect could there be from the 32/64 bit issue?

--JorgeA

#139
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Unfortunately I don't have access to more PCs. My office is at home, so I've tried it on all the computers we have here. )

Hi JorgeA,

I do not know if the documents are confidential, otherwise you can maybe edit the confidential parts out and upload it somewhere, then we can test it on different systems.

(Well, O.K., I tried it on my Windows for Workgroups 3.11 system running MS Word 6.0, but it couldn't read the file at all. ;) )

Well, try saving it as Word 6 file and see what happens ;) http://www.java2s.co...FileFormats.htm The second last one on the list.

BlouBul,

Thanks for another really useful link! I will try converting the file, and report on the results.

But on the other suggestion, I'm not authorized to upload the big file (or any part of it) for viewing by the general public.

--JorgeA

#140
BlouBul

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Yes, x86 actually refers to 32 bit and x64 to 64 bit (long story, you can get more info here). I dont think Office 2007 came out in 64 bit. Apparantly the Office 2010 x64 version has some issues (I heard that through the grapevine, maybe dencorso can confirm that). I do not know if there is an issue with the combination, just a guess, as all the computers where it was slow to open were Vista x64 with Office 2007 x86 with Norton. I still won't totally discount Norton though.

http://www.techtalkz...-2007-slow.html

http://forums.pcworl...-windows-vista/


Can you upload any other non-classified doc which is also slow to open for a comparison?

Edited by BlouBul, 08 October 2010 - 02:37 PM.

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#141
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BlouBul,

Thanks again for these further links!

I read through both of them. Norton does seem to stay in the picture as a possible suspect.

We should note that the trouble I'm having with Word is with very large files, not with opening the program as such -- that's completed in a few seconds. (In the first link, people were reporting that Word was taking 10 minutes just to launch the program.) The patterns is that the bigger the file, the longer it takes to load.

Which reminds me that I still have to try loading the file with grammar check disabled (assuming there is a way to do that).

Rats -- I just checked, and all of my large files are proprietary or confidential documents from my customers! My own Word documents are small. So I can't help there.

I'll get back to you when I convert the file to Word 6.0, and also test loading the file without grammar check. And I *am* curious as to why the x64/x86 nomenclature -- I will definitely read that, thank you!

--JorgeA

UPDATE: I turned off Word's automatic grammar and spell check, then loaded the file three more times. Surprisingly, didn't seem to make a difference: 3:08, 4:04, 5:13. (I verified that the checks were in fact disabled.) So we can eliminate that as a factor.

UPDATE 2: I don't have an option to save files in Word 6.0 format -- its place in the "other formats" list appears to have been taken by Open Office format. I saved it as an RTF, which looks like it's the only other format (other than text) that my Word 6.0 will read, but the resulting file is 114MB in size :w00t: so I doubt that any loading time measurements will be comparable. I suppose I could load the RTF file on both computers, but I'm not sure if you or dencorso would consider the results meaningful.

Edited by JorgeA, 08 October 2010 - 05:33 PM.


#142
BlouBul

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I read through both of them. Norton does seem to stay in the picture as a possible suspect.

We should note that the trouble I'm having with Word is with very large files, not with opening the program as such -- that's completed in a few seconds. (In the first link, people were reporting that Word was taking 10 minutes just to launch the program.) The patterns is that the bigger the file, the longer it takes to load.

UPDATE 2: I don't have an option to save files in Word 6.0 format -- its place in the "other formats" list appears to have been taken by Open Office format. I saved it as an RTF, which looks like it's the only other format (other than text) that my Word 6.0 will read, but the resulting file is 114MB in size :w00t: so I doubt that any loading time measurements will be comparable. I suppose I could load the RTF file on both computers, but I'm not sure if you or dencorso would consider the results meaningful.

Read again in the first link it is actually to open the files :whistle:


Thanks for the info. I had found another thread that indicated Norton could be the problem. I had thought I had disabled it already, but it turns out there were some services running.

I tried to uninstall, and it took about 15 minutes for the progress bar to get to the end, and then nothing more happened. Had to do a hard stop to get out of it. After rebooting, although it seemed the files were all there, Norton was not running, and Word was working ok (still slow compared with Word 2003, but only taking 10 secs to load a file instead of 10 minutes.


I am not sure that the word 6 will actually give useful info, apart from the "that's interesting" factor.






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#143
JorgeA

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Read again in the first link it is actually to open the files :whistle:

BlouBul,

All right, it was in the second link that people were complaining that Word was taking 10 minutes just to launch. Fortunately I haven't reached the 10-minute stage launching Word OR opening a file. By now I'd probably have taken a hammer to the PC...

I am not sure that the word 6 will actually give useful info, apart from the "that's interesting" factor.

At least I discovered that my second HDD on the WfW3.11 system was having a problem being written to from the network -- asking for a nonexistent password -- and I delved into the OS's workings to fix the problem. If you hadn't asked about loading that big file on Word 6.0, I wouldn't have either discovered the problem or fixed it. So, thank you! ;)

BTW, have you noticed the "Views" count on this thread??

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 08 October 2010 - 10:33 PM.


#144
BlouBul

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[All right, it was in the second link that people were complaining that Word was taking 10 minutes just to launch.

Yes the 2nd link was more to confirm that Norton still causes trouble, even if disabled

Yup ! Norton was the culprit. The minute that I uninstall Norton, Word 2007 just fly...I even think it opens faster than the Word 2003 :^0
Thanks folks for all the suggestions and helps.
Considering this ticket closed ! :D
...
You nailed it right on the head w/ your suggestion to uninstall Norton...Good call...Thanks again...


BTW, have you noticed the "Views" count on this thread??

Yes about a 1:10 ratio with replies:views. Over 1400 people viewed this (ok, *maybe* some viewed it more than once ;) ) with only about six people replying over the lifetime of this thread. Either people really don't know or they don't want to help us, or they don't read this. For the record: We do welcome outside input!!!:yes: We got more people to reply in the hardware section. No new people replied since we moved.

Edited by BlouBul, 09 October 2010 - 12:22 AM.

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#145
dencorso

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Let's say the Office Forum is not quite a very fast turnover forum, like the Hardware Hangout or the Win 9x/ME forum, so you've maybe become used to faster input than is the norm most elswere around MSFN. However, this *is* the right forum for this problem, so here it has to remain...

@JorgeA: Please notice that there is 64-bit hardware and 64-bit software, and the latter requires the former, but not the other way around, as most (though not all) 64-bit hardware is downward compatible and can run 32-bit software. So one can run XP, Vista and Win 7 32-bit versions quite well on 64-bit processors, but not the other way around...

#146
BlouBul

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Let's say the Office Forum is not quite a very fast turnover forum, like the Hardware Hangout or the Win 9x/ME forum, so you've maybe become used to faster input than is the norm most elswere around MSFN. However, this *is* the right forum for this problem, so here it has to remain...

Yes, I know, it is just that patience is not always my strongest virtue (Mumble, Grumble) but I'm working on it ;)
Anyway, now with that of my chest, I still think we are on the right track.:yes: Who needs help anyway? :whistle:

@JorgeA
Still a few more questions to confirm or deny our suspicions:
Is your laptop Vista 32 bit or 64 bit? Does your wife also have Norton on her laptop?

See how fast your computer opens this file (2.3 mb) http://download.micr...ecification.doc (first download, then open)

My computer (Core2Duo 1.8 GHz with 3GB ram under Win 7 x86 and Office 2010 x86 +NOD32) takes under 5 sec from outside Word.

Another computer (2.4 GHZ Celeron with only 256 MB Ram under WinXP SP3 and Office 2007 + Kaspersky 2010) takes just under 10 sec to open same file from inside Word.




Edited by BlouBul, 09 October 2010 - 04:29 AM.

Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one.

#147
dencorso

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Good choice for a test file, BlouBul! :thumbup
Athlon XP-M 2800+ (@2333 MHz) / 3 GiB / XP SP3 / AVG 2011/ Word 97: 2.11 s best, 2.45 s worst, 2.26 s median.

Later Edit: It's seconds, of course. Now that's corrected. Thanks, BlouBul! :yes:

#148
BlouBul

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Good choice for a test file, BlouBul! :thumbup
Athlon XP-M 2800+ (@2333 MHz) / 3 GiB / XP SP3 / AVG 2011/ Word 97: 2:11 best, 2:45 worst, 2:26 median.

Thanks, not sure if we needed a file with graphics, but thought that would be a good start.

I hope your times is in seconds and not minutes (we do not want JorgA's computer to open files faster than yours!) ;) I just used the second hand on my watch and also get *about* 2 secs with Word already open.

Edited by BlouBul, 09 October 2010 - 07:57 AM.

Jack of all trades, master of none, though ofttimes better than master of one.

#149
JorgeA

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BTW, have you noticed the "Views" count on this thread??

Yes about a 1:10 ratio with replies:views. Over 1400 people viewed this (ok, *maybe* some viewed it more than once ;) ) with only about six people replying over the lifetime of this thread. Either people really don't know or they don't want to help us, or they don't read this. For the record: We do welcome outside input!!!:yes: We got more people to reply in the hardware section. No new people replied since we moved.

Hi BlouBul,

I'm thinking that maybe there are a lot of people out there with a similar problem, who don't know what to do about it and are looking for solutions in this thread. So our efforts are (hopefully) helping to guide other people.

But you're right -- while the thread does now belong here (since the thrust of it has shifted), no one new to it has jumped in since it was moved.

--JorgeA

#150
JorgeA

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Let's say the Office Forum is not quite a very fast turnover forum, like the Hardware Hangout or the Win 9x/ME forum, so you've maybe become used to faster input than is the norm most elswere around MSFN. However, this *is* the right forum for this problem, so here it has to remain...

@JorgeA: Please notice that there is 64-bit hardware and 64-bit software, and the latter requires the former, but not the other way around, as most (though not all) 64-bit hardware is downward compatible and can run 32-bit software. So one can run XP, Vista and Win 7 32-bit versions quite well on 64-bit processors, but not the other way around...

dencorso,

Thanks for the explanation. I thought it was something like that, but it's good to have it confirmed.

About the differences in traffic, it's actually pleasing that the section dedicated to a "museum" OS like Win98 would actually get more traffic. Still a lot of fans out there...

--JorgeA




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