So I decided to amp up the performance of my Toshiba Protege M200 tablet by installing a Transcend 64GB SSD into the already awesome device. And I must say: Wow! So quiet! And it got a huge boost to hard drive performance all the way from 4.4 to 5.8 in the Windows Experience Index. On top of that it’s a lot cooler now but did I mention quiet???

I have my power options in Windows to allow the processor to lower it’s speed even on full power so the fan barely comes on. Even while I type this post, the fan it totally silent so this computer is emanating NO SOUND what so ever and holding steady at 55c for the processor temp. Now of course compared to my new 45nm quad core AMD which is 45c at full load, doesn’t come close. But for a 90nm processor in a 5 year old tablet laptop, I’m doing pretty damn good.

Q: Does it really boot faster with SSD?

A: I’d say it shaves about 2-3 seconds off the boot time of mine*.

Q: Does your profile and applications load faster?

A: Definitely seems more responsive, yes. For both loading my profile and applications.

Q: Is Aero any more stable with the SSD?

A: Not really.

Q: Do games play better with the SSD?

A: I may see a bit better on loading screens but overall frame rates will probably remain the same.**

Q: Has your battery life improved a lot?

A: Solid State Drives require far less power than traditional hard drives, but how much they actually draw on the battery I can’t really say (verses the cpu or gfx). Presumably I should, but I haven’t had the chance to test it yet well yet. So far Vista estimates about 2:30 hours on the battery with my current setup. I’ll know more when classes return.

*Specs: 1.8 GHz, 2GB PC2700, Clean Vista Ultimate Install

**No games installed yet

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T.

Toshiba M200 and Dual Displays

Like me, most of you who have the infamous Toshiba M200 tablet have probably upgraded that outdated XP installation to either Windows Vista or Windows 7. And you probably upgraded the video drivers from the old 64 Forceware to the 97 or 98 Forceware off of LaptopVideo2Go. But you’ve probably also noticed a few things in regards to the display no longer work, such as Dual Displays. Fortunately there’s a solution for enabling Dual Displays in the BIOS.

Reboot your computer and hold down the ESC key before the TOSHIBA logo appears. The laptop will prompt you with an error message “Check system. Then press [F1] key.”  Press the F1 key. Once in the BIOS setup, navigate using the directional keys to get all the way over to the right side where it says Power On Display in the DISPLAY box. Press the Space key until it changes to LCD+Analog RGB. Press the End key followed by the Y key to save your changes.

And that’s it! You can now plug in your monitor to the VGA output of the tablet and enable dual displays in Windows using the mobility center. I was actually quite surprised when I could run my main monitor at 1920×1080 and the laptop LCD at 1400×1050 with out any issues.

V.

Vista User Backup Script

For those of us who have to re-image computers on a regular basis for people, we know backing up files can sometimes be a slow and painful process. So I decided to make this simple backup script out of VB Script that makes the process a ton easier.

Basically what it does is scans through the folders in the current user directory (ie: you copy the script to C:\Users\Bob) and any directory that is not a junction it starts a Robocopy instance that recursively copies all the files in that folder to a backup folder specified at the beginning of the script. When you first run the script you’ll see probably 10 Robocopy windows to start and they’ll all eventually close once they’re done.

Download

Can it work with XP? Probably, since XP doesn’t have junction points then it would just copy all the folders anyway.