Tweaking the Dell Mini 9

I got my wife a Dell Mini 9 on Valentine's Day and being a computer geek I was really interested in seeing how well this worked since it was a netbook.

I went to the Dell outlet site for $220 and got a model with Windows XP Home and a 8GB Solid State Drive (SSD).

After I got it I found out what a mistake that was. It left me with only 1GB free and after installing all the security updates, IE7, and Media Player 11, there was no disk space left! There was not even enough room to install Adobe Acrobat Reader!

My solution for this problem was to buy a 16GB SDHC card from for $24 and I put that in the SD slot and used it as my Drive D. I then proceeded to uninstall everything that I could and re-install the apps using the custom option to choose the D: drive for the installation location. This didn't work for everything. Office still installs some things on the c: drive and the Windows Live tools (Mail, Messenger, etc) do not let me choose where to install. I'm running Office 2007 and Adobe Acrobat Reader from the SD card and they run great.

I freed up the most room by moving my page file from the c: drive to the d: drive. I have 1GB of memory so the page file was taking up 1.5GB of my very small c: drive. I couldn't seem to delete the page file from the c: drive after I created one on the D: drive, so I just made it small, 128MB. I have to look into this more. If you do this make sure you do it from the System settings, you can't just move the file.

If I was going to do this again I would have got the 16GB SSD, Dell doesn't offer a 160GB hard drive like some others like Acer. I'll take a Dell over an Acer any day at any price.

The bottom line on the Dell Mini 9 is that it works great. It was a great choice. I love how small and light it is. Even the charger is small; it's almost like a cell phone charger. My kids can play their internet games on it (Club Penguin and Webkins) and my son likes to watch episodes of Star Wars Clone Wars on it streamed from the cartoon network website.

If your thinking about a Dell Mini netbook, do it, but make sure you get a 16GB SSD and order a 16GB SD card to go with it.


f said…
Dont put page file on the sd card. SD is very very slow to write data compared to the SSD.
Ed Hammond said…
That explains the slower performance.

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