Feb
20
2011
0

How to Backup and Recover Windows 7 from Blueray BD-RE(rewritable)

Having a good backup and recovery plan is a must for every systems admin, but every day users can greatly benifit from a little preventive maintenence.  I for instance, only use Windows for games; every time a hard drive fails or ‘Windows recovery’ wipes out my MBR I have to start from scratch.  So this last week after getting a Direct X, ATI, Windows 7 ‘Blue Screen of Death’ for the third time in three monthes I made the wise decision to replace the disk and install Windows 7 from scratch.

The Windows 7 installation itself goes pretty smooth, but the patches, drivers, direct X and game setup triples the time to reinstall.  The easiest thing to do is make a image of fresh install with your favorite default apps and settings.  Overall I like Windows 7, but it’s still a ways off from Linux and OSX in terms of price, stability and tools, but the ISO backup is a great built-in feature.

For my setup I’m using a LG 12x burner and  22.5 GB BD-RE(rewritable) disk.  I like BlueRay BD-RE, they burn up to like 44 GB disks.  Even at $10.00(for the 22.5 GB)  a disk, that’s a cheap easy successor to Tape drives.  BD-RE’s supposedly last much long than DVD-RW, but obviously not as long as tape drives.

Goals of this Post:

– Use Windows 7 recovery console to create an image of a fresh install
– Recover to New Hard Disk
– Expand Logical Volume to fit new Hard Drive

(more…)

Written by mattb in: Windows | Tags: , , ,
Oct
03
2010
6

Windows 7 Network Time(NTP) fails to restart on boot

If your scratching your head as to why you have to manually start NTP(Network Time Protocol) every time you boot into Windows XP, Vista, and 7, you’re not alone.  At first I thought this was a bug in Windows 7, but I’m guessing the developers were just being lazy and reused old ‘W32Time’ libs from XP because my friend has the problem on his XP box as well.  To further confuse the situation, Microsoft also call’s their implementation of NTP, ‘Windows Time’ and ‘Internet Time’.  Whats wrong with NTP?

(more…)

Written by mattb in: Windows | Tags: , , , ,
Oct
01
2010
2

Microsoft competes against Android(the only way it can) – Patents

I was reading CNN.com today and came across a priceless article about Microsoft.  Ahead of their up coming Windows 7 mobile is a new slew of patent lawsuits against Googles Android platform.  Below is an excerpt, you can find the whole article here:

http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/01/technology/microsoft_motorola/index.htm

The nine patents that Motorola (MOTFortune 500) allegedly violated involve essential smartphone functions, including “synchronizing e-mail, calendars and contacts; scheduling meetings; and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power,” Microsoft said.

This is all happening right before the Windows 7 mobile release.  Strange…  This to me is a move to spread FUD(Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) about Android.  My guess is that Motorola will settle the claim through a cross licening deal and/or release of Windows 7 on their phones.

If you can’t compete, sue!  Good Job Steve Balmer!  Way to give up ground in almost every new arena Microsoft steps into!  Way to build investor confidence by patent trolling better products.  There are still many more customers and software developers Microsoft has yet to alienate…

Steve, if your reading my blog I just want to say… I’m being sarcastic.  Try making products that are good. Software that people want to use because it works well.  Do you realize how absurd it is to have a virtual Monopoly in the Windows desktop market and still be unable to release a decent mobile phone platform?  There are so many verticals from the desktop to the mobile…

The notion that you are going to sue a competitor for a patent on the “notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power” is ridiculous.  I mean common guys; seriously?  I think electronic devices have been alerting applications to battery strength for a very long time.  Like laptops for instance.  Like UPS power supplies.  Hell, didn’t Apollo 13 space vehicle(moon mission disaster) have some kind of battery alert system?

What your telling us is that your company can’t make money on it’s own merits.  Microsoft has so much money and talent…  I can understand the need to file baseless patents for the purpose of protecting themselves in the future, but to sue them now is sign of weakness.  Goldman Sachs just downgraded their stock for perceived failures in the mobile space.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t they wait to see what Windows Phone 7 looks like and how it sells before a downgrade?  Or is it that even Wall Street is tech savy enough to count on a mediocre product from Balmer and the gang.  If you’re an investor or customer of Microsoft consider this, can you trust a company whose business model amounts to protecting a monopoly and suing innovators?  Is that sustainable?

I have some idea’s for Microsoft Phone 8 that might turn all this around. Spend some R&D money!  First I’d like 3D screens like the new Nintendo handheld. Also I want to be able to tether freely.  Port Xbox games to Windows phone 7.  If developers don’t want to port a popular game, then pay them to do so.  Let me use my Window phone 7 as HUD for Xbox Live.  My phone should talk to me; read me websites while I travel, remind of stuff, and give me GPS directions free.  I should be able to record word documents with speech to text from my Windows Phone 8 device.  I should also be ale to send email in the same manner.  Battery life must be great!  Nice fantasy for Microsoft, huh?

Mar
09
2010
55

How to Install Windows 7 over a Network using Linux – PXE, DNSMasq, and Samba

As the age of the netbook arises; the ability to provision Operating Systems over the network becomes highly useful.  More and more these days, it’s less common to see CD/DVD ROM drives in laptops.  In my particular situation my laptop DVD-ROM drive failed.  This prompted me to embark on journey of sleepless nights, sifting through bad information and countless hours of ‘trial & error’ troubleshooting to make Windows 7 install from PXE boot server.

When I first started this project I had no idea what I was getting into or how difficult and poorly documented the PXE remote installation process is.  I imagined that I would use some kind RAM disk to load an ISO image of a Windows CD.  However, the process to boot an ISO image varies greatly between Operating Systems and Windows versions. So if you plan to install Windows XP or Linux using this tutorial…  you will fail.  This Tutorial is step by step for installing Windows 7(only) from a Fedora 10 provisioning server.  This tutorial assumes you have basic Linux, Windows, and Networking knowledge.

Goals of this post:

– Configure Linux Provisioning Server
– Prepare installation media and installation files
– Boot from PXE to Windows PE 2.0
– Install Windows 7 over Network

(more…)

Jan
28
2010
0

Windows 7 – no speakers or headphones are plugged in

I’ve been using Windows 7(Home Premium) for about a week now… and I gotta say I’m impressed.  It’s interface is almost as nice as Windows XP.  Running multiple programs doesn’t slow game frame rates nearly as bad and the desktop effects are pretty good.  Congratulations Microsoft!  You made a decent OS…  Only took 7 years, thus the name, ‘Windows 7’.  Although this is a huge leap forward there are still many, many problems.

For instance, my Soundblaster Live! Value sound card doesn’t have a driver from Microsoft or Creative Labs!  For God sake, it’s one of the most popular sound cards ever fabricated!  Are you *^&!@ing kidding me!?!?  So I ditched my card and re-enabled my Intel on-board audio.  Windows detected the driver just fine.

(more…)

May
24
2009
2

Tweaking Linux and WINE for World of Warcraft

It’s great that the World of Warcraft runs well on recent editions of WINE(Unbuntu/Fedora), but even when using OpenGL the typical Linux user can expect a frame rate reduction from 15%-30% over Windows XP.  However, I must point out that there are many reports of frame rate drops in Windows Vista and Presumably Windows 7(because of virtualization of XP apps).

All this is okay for typical grinding, leveling, and five man instances.  That said,  my GeForce 7950 GTX is only cranking out 30 FPS in low populated zones…  So for the bigger raids, PVP, and highly populated zones like Dalaran it can be frustrating trying to pwn at 12-16 FPS.  In fact my mission is to get at least 40 fps with the graphics card I have.

I was able to improve my frame rate by disabling mods like ‘Questhelper’ in battle grounds.  I added additional RAM to my system.  Although the frame rate boost was negligible; loading times were cut in half. (more…)

Jan
21
2009
2

Windows 7 Beta running on Fedora 10 KVM

I was interested to know if the Windows 7 Beta was bootable in Fedora 10 w/ KVM/libvirt setup.  I was surprised that it was a fairly quick and flawless install.  In fact I was happy to finally see a Microsoft product worth getting excited for.

Installing Windows 7

The install was painless with no driver errors, crashes and just one reboot.  Woot.  Installs faster on Linux hypervisor than an ordinary machine!  Or at least it seemed like it.

Ugly default desktop with KDE 4.0 like widgets

So far my overall assesment is that the interface seems to be getting steadily worse since Windows XP, but performence wise it seems waaaaaay faster than Vista.  Also let me point out you can change the Desktop Theme to something that looks XP’ish.

It installed quickly and easily, detected all my drivers and seems to be faster on a limited resources VM then on my Intel 2.6 GHZ Vista system.  We’ll see as I use it further…

My fear is that I’m getting some stripped down Beta that is really fast but gets slower as we get closer to release.  If any of you have experiences you wish to share about Windows 7 and VM’s send me a post!

-Matt

Written by mattb in: Linux,Xen | Tags: , , , , , , , ,