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Who Installs the Most Crapware? 583

Posted by timothy
from the phrase-your-answer-in-klingon dept.
Barence writes "PC Pro has done a thorough test of the software bundled by nine of the leading laptop manufacturers to find out who installs the most crapware on their PCs. Manufacturers such as Acer add as much as two minutes to their boot times by stuffing their machines full of bundled software, with own-brand proprietary software being the worst offender. HP's bundled apps, meanwhile, have a memory footprint of more than 1GB. PC Pro has also reviewed three pieces of software which promise to remove rubbish from your PC — with mixed results."
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Who Installs the Most Crapware?

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  • Lenovo (Score:5, Informative)

    by El Lobo (994537) * on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:02PM (#29913493)
    As a responsable IT person at my university, I buy a lot of different hardware (laptops, stationary, servers)...

    I ALWAYS format the computer before giving it to the final user, but as a rule I can tell you that any "big" name out there installs a lot of crapware, but the winner is: LENOVO.

    The last Dells I've got have:

    1. Adobe reader
    2. Google toolbar
    3. Google Desktop (!!!! ahhhggg the pain)
    4. Adobe Flash player
    5. Lots of Dell crapware like Support center and so on..

    Lenovo: 1. Adobe reader
    2. MS Office 30 days trial (yes, trials ARE crapware in my book)
    3. McAffee antivirus + Firewall + anything (60 days trial)
    4. Google toolbar
    5. Google Desktop
    6. Google Chrome (AHHHHHHH MORE PAIN)
    7. Adobe flash player
    8. Skype (!!!)
    10. Lots and I mean LOOOOTS of Lenovo panels, gadgets and stuff
    HP 1. Adobe reader
    2. Norton antivirus + Firewall + anything (60 days trial)
    4. Google toolbar
    5. Google Desktop
    6. Lots of gadgets and added HP value"

    On the bright side, Dell always gives you a new brand Windows CD and a CD with drivers so the re-installation is easy.

    Lenovo? They give you a Restore CD that installs the system with all the crap from the beginning.

    Oh well... At lest nobody else (that I know) is installing Abble crapware by default. The day some big name intalls iTunes, QuickTime, Safary or other Abble Supercrap, as default, that's the last day I buy such a brand for us.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by megamerican (1073936)

      Why is this marked as troll? He is answering the stated question to the best of his knowledge. If anything should be marked as troll, it is the question itself. What do you expect when you use such a subject term such as "crapware?"

      • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Gerafix (1028986) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:19PM (#29913773)
        Probably because he spelled "responsible" wrong.

        Oh who am I kidding, it's because he flamed iApple iSoftware or whatever and the mods are furious.

    • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Informative)

      by BumbaCLot (472046) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:22PM (#29913827)

      I can speak from experience that some of the Thinkpad software is not crap, but actually improves the operating of the computer.

      Under IBM the battery and power scheme setups were a lot better at maintaining battery life. Some of these hardware manufacturers actually know what their hardware does and the best way to manage it!

    • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Funny)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:24PM (#29913855)

      Adobe Reader, and Adobe FlashPlayer isn't crap where. It makes sure you can actually do things that for some reason windows doesn't do nativly. Such as Read PDF files and open Flash WebSites. Relatively common things.

      • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Funny)

        by Afforess (1310263) <afforess@gmail.com> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:36PM (#29914043) Journal
        Please, turn in your geek card on the way out.

        Adobe software = Defective by Design. Just ask anyone who has to use CS3 or CS4 for any length of time.
        • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

          by spinkham (56603) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:45PM (#29914185)

          Or anyone in the security community. MS used to be the industries' vulnerable software whipping boy, but they've cleaned that up to a large degree and outsourced the job to Adobe...

      • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Informative)

        by Sperbels (1008585) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:58PM (#29914379)
        It's not crapware in the sense that it's extraneous crap you don't need. But it's crapware in the sense that you don't need to have all those EXEs in memory at startup. Windows is perfectly capable of loading the appropriate items into memory as they are needed.
      • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Interesting)

        by KillerBob (217953) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:01PM (#29914415)

        Compare the performance of something like FoxIt PDF Reader ( http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/ [foxitsoftware.com] ) against Adobe Reader, and then tell me with a straight face that Adobe's version is better. And if you leave Windows-land and get to Linux, then there's options like evince which are also significantly better than Adobe's offering.

        And honestly, the only reason that Flash is installed on my computer at all is for YouTube. If I had a choice in the matter, I wouldn't have that load of crap at all... more often than not, it's used for intrusive ads on websites, not anything of actual value. (gawd, I hate surfing at work, where I am in serious hock if I'm caught using anything other than MSIE 6.0... *shudder*)

      • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RobDude (1123541) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:17PM (#29914663) Homepage

        The reason is mostly because the law says they can't.

        Trust me, Microsoft wants nothing more than to bundle it's own version of just about every application you can think of. But, the legal system says they can't. They were declared a monopoly and part of that has limited their ability to include things you want into the OS.

        I'm not 'Pro MS' or 'Pro Linux' or anything, I just don't care. But I do think that it's funny that, essentially, the same people who used to complain that Microsoft is an evil monopoly and is destroying small companies by bundling their own XYZ into the operating system are now the same people who still say MS is an evil monopoly but advocate Linux because it includes far more stuff you'll need than Windows.

        But yeah, it's really not that MS doesn't want it - it's that it's hands are tied. At least, that's been my understanding of it.

        • Re:Lenovo (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Runaway1956 (1322357) * on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:58PM (#29915267) Homepage Journal

          But, RobDude - several other people have pointed out that there are alternatives to Adobe reader, that are lighter to download, lighter to install, and lighter on system resources, not to mention being faster AND better. Let's suppose that Adobe really is the end-all, be-all, ultimate shitzls for reading a PDF. Why does it autostart at system startup? Joe Sixpack might look at two PDF files a MONTH, but Adobe is loaded on his box at each startup and/or logon. Why? All he wants to do is play a game of Doom, drink his sixpack, and pat the wife on the ass, but he's forced to sit there watching the startup screen for 2/3 of eternity. By definition, crapware. Adobe can get in line, and wait for the user to call it.

          The OEM's need to install fewer of these apps, they need to find the fastes, lightest weight app to do the job, and they need to configure those apps properly. And, DO NOT add things in that EVER "phone home" - even for updates - without the owner's explicit permission.

      • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Funny)

        by RedBear (207369) <redbear@redbea[ ]t.com ['rne' in gap]> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:40PM (#29914993) Homepage

        Why the hell is the parent modded as +5, Funny? I don't think it was meant as a joke and I was going to make the same comment myself.

        Like it or not, most end users in the business world need to be able to open PDF files and use websites that have Flash interfaces, neither of which Windows will do on its own. Installing Acrobat Reader and updating Flash Player to the latest version is one of the main things I do on any office machine I hand out. Sure, they are minor security risks, but I don't understand why anyone would call them crapware, as opposed to all the bizarre manufacturer-specific pop-up control panels and buggy trial security software that is constantly running in the system tray. That's the stuff we're talking about as crapware, not common add-ons like PDF and Flash that are just applications that run when you need them. And like the parent said, PDF and Flash are pretty common things, regardless of anyone's opinions on the need for Flash for any specific purpose.

        The modding of the parent as funny makes absolutely no sense to me.

      • Re:Lenovo (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Thaelon (250687) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:14PM (#29915543)

        Adobe Reader is crapware.

        There are two well known alternatives of decreasing footprint, FoxIt Reader (which is about as bloated as Acrobat Reader 6), and SumatraPDF, which is tiny, fast and, feature light.

    • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Informative)

      by piojo (995934) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:25PM (#29913883)

      When I bought a Lenovo R-series computer with Vista Professional, I didn't notice a lot of crapware that they'd installed. Was it because it was a "professional" computer?

      I installed Linux in a few days, so I might not have noticed everything that was there, but I actually liked some of the stuff they installed--like a driver for my hard drive's accelerometer (that would park the heads if needed) and a driver that let me configure Windows not to overcharge my battery.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bigmaddog (184845)
        I bought a Lenovo laptop with WinXP this summer and would also like to say how pleasantly surprised I was by the near-total absence of crapware on it. I got the 30 day MS Office trial and some Lenovo firmware update thing but nothing else, not even Adobe flash and PDF reader (which aren't really crapware in my book, more like necessary evils). I was pretty happy with that...
        • Re:Lenovo (Score:4, Informative)

          by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:10PM (#29914545) Homepage
          Generally "business class" PCs tend to have less crapware that 'consumer' PCs which in a way is ironic since a large number of business PCs get their HDs wiped and a company specific image installed anyway.

          IMHO, if it has a real uninstall script - that really uninstalls the damned program without magic incantations and four downloads from the manufacturers web site - then it's mostly harmless and I don't care. I can't for the life of me figure out why these companies don't do that....
          • Re:Lenovo (Score:4, Interesting)

            by kimvette (919543) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:08PM (#29915415) Homepage Journal

            MHO, if it has a real uninstall script - that really uninstalls the damned program without magic incantations and four downloads from the manufacturers web site - then it's mostly harmless and I don't care. I can't for the life of me figure out why these companies don't do that....

            It's one of three reasons:

            1. The release engineer who coded the installer is clueless about the registry, about windows standards, and is a void.

            2. They want to make it so difficult to uninstall that you decide to keep their scumware installed rather than go through the bother of removing it (or paying someone else to remove it)

            3. Product management refuses to let the release engineer do things the right way (see below)

            I've designed many installers, and I've inherited spaghetti-coded installer projects that had to be nearly completely rewritten (Installshield pro). I was always blocked by management from completely redesigning it but every time I had to add new functionality to a module I would completely rewrite and comment the code. The first release after I took on the project included fixes which made it clean up after itself on an uninstall (mostly hacks to work around code I wasn't allowed to rewrite). At one point I was so fed up with maintaining the shitty code that I wrote a whole new installer in Installshield Developer on my own home computer on my home time and brought it in and demoed it. I FINALLY won everyone over - except marketing, who put a stop to it. Why? Because "it's different" - the thing is, I made it compliant to Windows Logo program standards, had it self-repairing and everything. They (marketing) were so put off by the fact that it was different that they didn't care that it was modern and MORE marketable because the installer didn't look like it was for a 16 bit OS any more (keep in mind this was in 2001, and last I heard they were STILL using the same crappy old installer). So, I deleted the code. (justice was served though: months later they offshored development, I was let go, thank GOD - I was the only one they retained through the end of the year, and a few months later they gave me a generous offer to come back, and also asked if I happened to have the installer. I said hell no to coming back because it was DISGUSTING how they laid off all my friends the day before thanksgiving, and I also told them there is no way I am giving them work I did on my own equipment on my own time.)

            Speaking of which I really miss release engineering. I really ought to go back to it.

    • Re:Lenovo (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sukotto (122876) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:28PM (#29913915)
      Why the hate for Chrome?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:03PM (#29913511)

    Apple.

    • Even better (Score:5, Funny)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:16PM (#29913725) Homepage

      You can remove *all* your crapware just by installing Snow Leopard and logging in as guest!

      • Re:Even better (Score:5, Informative)

        by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:38PM (#29914083)

        Well played sir, well played.

        I'm not a Mac, I'm not a PC... I own both, and I use Linux and Solaris for servers. I see my computers are tools, but I am not.

        As for the crapware, I tend to agree with TFA: My Macbook Pro had little (though, I'm an amateur photographer so I kind of think of iPhoto as a crapware version of LightRoom and PhotoShop). Dells that I've ordered through Small Business division (both for work and personal) have been free of it. Sony Vaios, HP Pavillions have been kind of loaded with it, and my Samsung netbook really wasn't too bad.

        Wow, I've got way too many computers.

        What.. have... I ... said? That's just the crazy talk right there!

    • Define "Crapware." (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Crash Culligan (227354) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:35PM (#29914023) Journal

      It can be said that Apples are among the smoothest running out of the box, but does that really mean there's no crap? This line of reasoning begs the definition of "crapware," and the #1 response would be "stuff you don't need on your computer." It doesn't have to slow it down, it doesn't have to have an enormous memory footprint when it's running or a huge disk footprint when it isn't, it just has to be stuff you don't need. And depending who you are, that can be quite a lot.

      Have you ever used iWeb? iDVD? Some would consider the whole iLife to be crapware because they plan to get higher-end, more professional applications through which to vent their creativity. And if they're thinking about office use, they're likely to go the route of Microsoft Office / OpenOffice, so bang goes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Do you ever plan to serve web pages up from your laptop? (Well, I do, but then again, look where I'm posting.) You probably don't need that install of Apache or PHP. Not planning on doing any software development? Yes, XCode is an optional install and not part of the standard kit, but you've still got perl, ruby, python, pico, vi, emacs, and more shells, libraries, and frameworks than you'll ever need nestled down in /usr/local. Have a digital music library already? Then you might also have a preferred player, and probably won't want iTunes to re-rip it into that silly AAC format. A lot of people despise Quicktime on general principle. And a lot of people still eschew Safari for Firefox despite its HTML5 support.

      It all depends on your definition of "crapware." It's all assembled and designed by the mother company, so it's integrated so perfectly that you're never bothered by it if you never use it, but if you dig, you'll find something that'll fit the description.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shadow349 (1034412)

        This line of reasoning begs the definition of "crapware," and the #1 response would be "stuff you don't need on your computer." It doesn't have to slow it down, it doesn't have to have an enormous memory footprint when it's running or a huge disk footprint when it isn't, it just has to be stuff you don't need. And depending who you are, that can be quite a lot.

        By that definition, the "crapware" winner would have to be most Linux distros. With the exception of machines that are set up for development / produ

  • by postmortem (906676) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:05PM (#29913547) Journal

    Personally, I build my own and install vanilla Windows, but sh** has hit the fan long time ago.

    This plus anti virus software resource hogs makes windows experience horrible on a brand new computer.

    Not a single manufacturer offers option "windows and drivers only".

    In other words, you need 4 core CPU and 2GB of RAM to open internet explorer.

    • by Machtyn (759119) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:08PM (#29913585) Homepage Journal
      Dell's business computers can be ordered plain vanilla or without the OS loaded, if you wish. I always recommend their business line, whether the person asking is a business or home user.
      • by Meshach (578918)

        Dell's business computers can be ordered plain vanilla or without the OS loaded, if you wish. I always recommend their business line, whether the person asking is a business or home user.

        Business lines can be expensive though and hard to justify to a home user who surfs the web three times a week.

    • by Meshach (578918)
      It is unfortunate but this is how PC manufacturers make most of there money.

      Here we say "just build your own" but to most of the world that is not an option. They have no choice but ot buy a pre-build system and manufacturers have realized that. People will be pissed off if you laden their machine with malware but they will not stop buying it.
  • by Explodicle (818405) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:12PM (#29913649) Homepage
    This [ubuntu.com] will get 100% of the crap off your system or your money back!
  • Tough discussion.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by skgrey (1412883)
    Boy, this is going to be a tough discussion. I wonder how many mod-points are going to be spent labeling items "flamebait" for talking about Windows vs. Linux vs. Mac..

    Anyway, I think Acer I got for my wife is the worst. I also recently purchased an HP, and it actually got a lot better in terms of less crapware. I was very surprised, although Vista disappeared ten minutes after I got it out of the box and Windows 7 magically appeared later..

    Any geek worth his salt gets rid of the current OS installati
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:13PM (#29913669)
    I bought an Asus EEE netbook a few months back and was surprised to see that Skype was basically the only app that was installed by default. It was otherwise a pretty clean install of XP. Considering the experience I've had with other notebooks in recent years, I was pleasantly surprised. Kudos to them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Itninja (937614)
      My Asus came with that goofy customized Xandros OS (complete with enormous cartoon-like icons). I considered the entire OS to be crapware.
  • Anonymous Coward (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:13PM (#29913675)

    The crapware installed on thses computers are advertisements. These computers would cost a lot more money if they didn't have all this preinstalled rubbish on the HDD, but I'd much rather take a couple minutes to remove Spore Creature Creator from my new HP than pay the extra money for buying an "ad-free" computer.

    Maybe this is why Macs are so expensive for the same hardware.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:16PM (#29913729)

    When you order a computer with OS installation media, do those CD's / DVD's install the crapware as well, or just the basic OS?

  • PC Decrapifier (Score:5, Informative)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:18PM (#29913763)
    The best one is not mentioned in the crappy article: http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ [pcdecrapifier.com]
  • In Store Techs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ceiynt (993620) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:20PM (#29913783)
    Offer a service to REMOVE all that junk for you when you buy it, for almost $100. That's the crazy part.
    We bought my dad a laptop at Circuit City a few years back for Christmas, and the Firedog(sic?) tech was very persistent that we purchase the removal plan from them, as it's hard to do ourselves. I asked him what they do, and he said they take a vanilla Vista install disc and reformat the HDD with it. For $100, no thank you.
    As someone stated in an above thread, it's ads on the computer to lower the cost of it. If you buy off the shelf computers, it may be worth it. And with a laptop/netbook, you have no choice but to buy it off the shelf.
  • Just use decrapifier (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zarhan (415465) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:21PM (#29913809)

    I always use this first thing on new crap-loaded laptops that aren't going to get wiped with Linux.

    http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ [pcdecrapifier.com]

    Free as in beer for personal use.

  • by Neil Watson (60859) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:24PM (#29913863) Homepage

    It's not the installation that bothers me but the assumption by software vendors that their software is so important that it should auto-start.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by British (51765)

      It's not the installation that bothers me but the assumption by software vendors that their software is so important that it should auto-start.

      This cannot be stressed enough. Not everything needs a systray icon. Not everything needs to be so complicated to remove from startup without asking me in advance. Apple is a guilty party of this, even moreso with Itunes. Going to system.msc to try to remove a startup item(which is hard to read) is going to give you a guaranteed "access denied".

      To this day I sometime

    • Try to remember (Score:3, Insightful)

      by symbolset (646467)

      A bare Windows install isn't like Ubuntu or a Mac. It comes with only one browser, no way to play DVD's, no audio editor, no productivity applications. It doesn't even have an antivirus that we need Windows users to have from the start so as to delay their inevitable pwndom. It doesn't have shared repositories with thousands of free applications for every need. The poor users need some help bootstrapping from that to a useful platform, and the OEMs are driven to serve that need.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dan_sdot (721837)

      the assumption by software vendors that their software is so important that it should auto-start

      It is not exactly that they think their software is that important... it is a way of cheating.

      When they "auto-start" the app when the operating system loads, they are pre-loading some memory and executing some initialization. So then, when you go to start their program.... BAM! It pops up so quickly! What a great piece of software, it is so fast!!!

      And yes, this trick works on about 99% of users.

  • iWork vs. MS Works (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:25PM (#29913869) Journal
    FTFA:

    But in other areas the MacBook merely mimics Windows' offerings: media software offers little functionality that isn't available elsewhere, and Apple's office applications can't compete with even Microsoft Works.

    I wonder if they've ever used the iWork suite? It can both read & save as MS Word/Excel/Powerpoint for the respective equivalent applications, which is something MS Works apparently can't do. I know this by the number of students I have to instruct to save their MS Works documents as RTFs so their instructors can view their papers.

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:34PM (#29913999) Journal

    I just bought an HP laptop, and these are the observations I have to make.

    Bundled software isn't entirely bad. Bundled software that runs automatically is. I will disable this, although even so I might not uninstall it. The first thing I did was make the HP toolbar not run every time the computer boots up.

    If it doesn't run automatically, and it performs some useful feature (DVD burning, for instance) which I'll probably use in the future, I'll leave it installed unless or until such a time comes where I try to use it and discover it doesn't work very well or there are better free alternatives. It's just taking disk space. I'm more concerned with RAM and processor use.

    If it's something I'll never use, yeah, just uninstall it now.

    However, all in all, it's a new computer, and I'm not at all worried about disk space yet. So as long as it's not running, I'm not too worried about it. Sure, in a few years I may begin to run low on disk space, but at that point I'll be better able to determine whether or not I actually need the software anyway – did I use it between now and then?

  • Geek Squad Ripoff (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:39PM (#29914101)

    I was standing in Best Buy line one day at the computer desk. They were buying a brand new laptop (forgot the brand), but they got the complete upsale from the Geek Squad guy. Basically he told them that yes they could buy the laptop for the listed price, but that it would be unusable because of all the junk on it. They would need to pay geek squad another $149 to take the computer and clean up all the junk that comes with it to make it usable. And the poor people had to do it... They had no idea what to do or uninstall, and were being told that if they didnt do it then the computer would be near unusable.

    Sadly the geek squad guy was close to the truth. A new computer that isn't cleaned is booting slower, using more memory, and running slower than it should be. It just was wrong that it was necessary for the unskilled user to have to pay $149 on top of the cost of the device... I thought about jumping in and telling them it was a rip off, but then I'd have had to deal with it....

  • I'll tell you who (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snarfies (115214) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @02:48PM (#29914233) Homepage

    Who installs the most crapware?

    My mother does.

    • by that IT girl (864406) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:35PM (#29914917) Journal
      But she needs three different Emoticon Buddy programs, software for a dozen spyware-riddled, kitschy games websites, and four different antivirus trials! And dammit, if you delete them off, she's going to put them right back on as soon as you leave, because what good is this computer thingy without dancing smiley faces in emails??

      *cough* Er, sorry. I'm putting the chainsaw down now.
  • Samsung has it right (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:04PM (#29914463) Homepage

    My Samsung netbook is the only computer I've ever purchased which did not compel me to reinstall Windows due to pre-loaded crapware.

    The only stuff that runs by default is useful power-management software and a trial of VirusScan. I really hope Samsung continues to make netbooks and other mobile devices. They are a breath of fresh air.

  • by m.dillon (147925) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:18PM (#29914679) Homepage

    HP installs so much crap our machines often stop booting entirely, take well over 5 minutes to reach a desktop, and perform poorly once they are up. And they install so much junk it's almost impossible to properly remove and clean it out. I've stopped buying *anything* HP because of that. It just isn't worth the frustration.

    -Matt

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @03:25PM (#29914767) Homepage

    Autorun [microsoft.com], by Mark Russinovich at Microsoft, gives you a complete checklist of everything that's started at bootup or login. With checkboxes that turn it off. This is worth running just to see what's in there. You may turn too much off and break something, but you can run Autorun again and turn it back on.

    There's plenty of stuff worth turning off, like those useless programs that keep polling to see if Adobe Acrobat or Sun Java came out with a new version. Some of those programs are too aggressive, too. Adobe's poller seems to try to re-associate PDF files with Acrobat, after I'd changed the ".pdf" association to launch Sumatra PDF.

    It's annoying that even legitimate updaters seldom schedule themselves as periodic tasks, which Windows does well and which have no overhead when they're not running. No, they have to have their own little executable in memory.

  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @04:19PM (#29915637)

    The Acer Aspire One I got recently was loaded with crap, but the biggest source of problems came from Google and especially McAfee. Every time I started that thing up from hibernate mode I had to wait for the Google apps and sidebar to load. Then McAfee anti-virus starts grinding away trying to scan the entire system. Even when I thought I had disabled automatic scanning I still found it cranking away.

    So every time I started it I'd spend a minute or so in the OS just waiting for it to be responsive. Eventually I'd get something like a browser open and would spend several more minutes for the computer to perform at a speed that was even remotely functional. The best part was how McAfee was only available for a 60 day trial.

    So I went through and uninstalled every last unnecessary bit of garbage and performance improved dramatically. In place of McAfee I installed AVG which doesn't seem to be nearly as taxing.

    It would be nice if the OS prioritized apps on start up, giving priority to the user, instead of this apparent mad dash to see who can get started first. And even better, it would be nice if these computer companies stopped cramming all this crap on these machines and at least paid some amount of attention to the performance capabilities of the machine. I realize this stuff helps subsidize some of the cost of these computers, but at least offer the option to get a machine with a clean OS.

  • roundtop-vjas (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RoundTop-VJAS (580788) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @05:13PM (#29916527)
    This is why I love my LG laptop & netbook. 0 crapware. Heck, if you want the LG utilities beyond the basic drivers you have to load them yourself.

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