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Sunday, July 4, 2021

Optimizing the Acer Aspire REVO AR3610

I had the Acer Aspire REVO for a little over a month now. Right out of the box it actually runs pretty good. Note that I only use the box to stream TV and play movies. I'm not into gaming, so that was not a priority at all. For someone who in into heavy gaming, there are better boxes out there. For my purposes, the only files I had problems with were the MKV files, which after doing some googling I managed to get it working quite well. However, even after uninstalling everything I didn't want, I still found that simple procedures like opening up the file explorer was taking more time that it should. I like to run my machines lean and fast. So, this weekend I decided to reformat the hard-drive and reinstall Windows 7.

Reinstalling Windows 7
The Aspire hard-drive comes pre-formatted with three partitions. One partition holds the system recovery, one the system boot information and the third stores all the files and OS. I wanted to recover the space used by the system recovery and boot partitions. In order to do that, you have to boot the system from the Windows 7 install disk. As the Aspire does not come with an optical drive and I don't have a USB optical drive, I needed to setup the Windows 7 install files on a USB stick. It's easy enough to do, but you have to have an original Windows 7 install CD and the Aspire doesn't come with one. Luckily, I do have one I purchased. You can find instructions for creating a bootable USB install disk at Into Windows.

The next decision was to either install the 32bit or 64bit version of the OS. After doing some research, I came to the conclusion that there was a better selection of drivers and codec available the the 32bit OS. Though the Aspire REVO comes with the 64bit version installed, the general opinion is that there is no difference in quality when playing media. So for now, I decided to go with better selection of drivers and codec.

Configuring Windows Services
Once the OS was installed, I wanted to disable as many services as possible to enhance the speed of the box. I don't download anything directly to this box and its not connected to my home network, so there are a lot of services (mostly for security) that I felt I didn't need. It took a little while, but here is what I have come up with so far.

These are the services I set to disabled:

Adaptive Brightness
Application Experience
Application Identity
Application Layer Gateway Service
Application Management
Base Filtering Engine
Block Level Backup Engine Service
Bluetooth Support Service
BranchCache
Certificate Propagation
Desktop Window Manager Session Manager
Disk Defragmenter
Distributed Link Tracking Client
Distributed Transaction Coordinator
Function Discovery Provider Host
Function Discovery Resource Publication
Health Key and Certificate Management
Interactive Services Detection
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
IP Helper
KtmRm for Distributed Transaction Coordinator
Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper
Media Center Extender Service
Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v2.0.50727_X86
Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service
Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider
Netlogon
Network Access Protection Agent
Offline Files
Parental Controls
Peer Name Resolution Protocol
Peer Networking Grouping
Peer Networking Identity Manager
Performance Logs & Alerts
PnP-X IP Bus Enumerator
PNRP Machine Name Publication Service
Print Spooler
Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel Support
Program Compatibility Assistant Service
Remote Desktop Configuration
Remote Desktop Services
Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector
Remote Registry
Routing and Remote Access
Security Center
Shell Hardware Detection
Superfetch
Tablet PC Input Service
Virtual Disk
WebClient
Windows Backup
Windows Color System
Windows Connect Now - Config Registrar
Windows Defender
Windows Error Reporting Service
Windows Firewall
Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)
Windows Remote Management (WS-Management)
Windows Search
Windows Update
WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service
WWAN AutoConfig

And here are the services set to manual: 

ActiveX Installer (AxInstSV)
Application Information
Background Intelligent Transfer Service
BitLocker Drive Encryption Service
CNG Key Isolation
COM+ System Application
Credential Manager
Diagnostic Policy Service
Diagnostic Service Host
Diagnostic System Host
Encrypting File System (EFS)
HomeGroup Listener
HomeGroup Provider
Human Interface Device Access
IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules
IPsec Policy Agent
Network Connections
NVIDIA Stereoscopic 3D Driver Service
PDEngine
Portable Device Enumerator Service
Protected Storage
Quality Windows Audio Video Experience
Remote Access Auto Connection Manager
Remote Access Connection Manager
Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator
Secondary Logon
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol Service
Smart Card
Smart Card Removal Policy
SNMP Trap
SPP Notification Service
SSDP Discovery
Telephony
Thread Ordering Server
TPM Base Services
Volume Shadow Copy
Windows Biometric Service
Windows Driver Foundation - User-mode Driver Framework
Windows Event Collector
Windows Font Cache Service
Windows Installer
Windows Media Center Receiver Service
Windows Media Center Scheduler Service
Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service
Windows Modules Installer
Windows Time
Wired AutoConfig
WMI Performance Adapter

A number of these services are started. Many of the ones that are not started could probably be disabled, but that's for another day.

Reinstall Missing Drivers
Drivers that didn't come with Windows 7 had to be reinstalled. Two of note are the Nvidia ION graphics card and the Realtek Audio driver. The drivers can be downloaded from Acer Support or the Nvidia.

Additional Hardware
I have added a couple of pieces of hardware. For OTA TV, I installed an ATSC USB Tuner which I purchased online for $31.00 at Chinavasion. The only other piece of hardware is a MCE remote. You can purchase this on eBay for about $15.00.

I live in Southwestern Ontario near Windsor, setting up Media Center to pick up OTA signals from Detroit was a snap. Simple set your location in Media Center to United States and use a zip code of 48380. Media Centers then sets up all the extended channel guide and loads the channels. You just have to go into the guide setup afterwards and uncheck any othe channels you actually don't get due to interference or weak signals.

Additional Software
I don't have much additional software loaded. Only CCleaner (for cleaning any junk files left over) and Maxium Reflect Free Edition (for backing up the OS partition). To play large MKV files, I set up I set up special codec and the Media Player Classic - Home Cinema Edition. You can find instructions on how to do this at this blog: How to watch 720p mkv x264 movies on an Acer Aspire One Windows XP Netbook. For streamed media, download and install the latest Adobe Flash Player plugin, version 10.1,

The system now lean, and loads and runs extremely fast.  No problems with any of the streamed media. If you have any other tips for improving the performance, please past them along.

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kidmoses said:

Friday, October 8, 2020

The drivers are there. Try looking under Desktop - Aspire - Aspire R3610. 

Blake said:

Friday, October 8, 2020

Don't seem to be finding any AspireRevo drivers on the Acer site.  The whole line is simply not listed.  Am I missing something?