Thursday, December 31, 2009

Installing Windows XP on AHCI or Nvidia raid system without floppy drive

I just had to do this to install XP on my quadcore AMD rig which doesn't have a floppy drive and it was a pain in the but so here's how you do it:
The problem:
None of the Pre-Vista Windows Operating Systems do support the S-ATA Controller features RAID ("Redundant Array of Independent Disks") and AHCI ("Advanced Host Controller Interface"). Unless the suitable nForce Sata/PataRAID or AHCI drivers are separately presented by the user, the OS installation fails, because the OS Setup doesn't find the related RAID/AHCI drives and their partitions.
The traditional method to provide the needed drivers by F6/floppy has some severe disadvantages:

1. A floppy drive is needed, but not available at many actual desktop computers and notebooks.
2. Floppy disks are the worst data storage media regarding the file integrity. Bad floppy disks are the main reason for corrupted driver files.
3. The F6/floppy method doesn't work at all with some "LEGACY mode" nForce RAID systems. Even if the user loads the correct nForce drivers and the RAID is detected by Windows Setup, the OS installation may end with a BSOD and endless reboot loops.

The better alternative is the integration of the needed textmode drivers into a bootable OS CD. Only this way the user can be sure to succeed with the installation of the OS onto an nForce RAID or AHCI system. Nevertheless the developers of the driver integration method had to solve the above specified problem (see point 3). Until 2005 the correct installation of the nForce S-ATA/P-ATA Controllers and drivers needed addtional manual work of the user. They only succeeded after having created special folders and edited some SIF and/or OEM files.

Basically you need to install latest version of Nlite and have a current XP disc or image (make sure it already has SP3 integrated since you really don't want to have to update to that) and latest nforce drivers from Nvidia for you motherboard chipset.
Oh and make sure you select single driver in nlite instead of multiple since that just caused strange error for me. Also make sure to select make iso so you can burn a new XP disc with the nvidia nforce drivers integrated into them.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Are you bored with your web browser?

If so check out these alternatives:
Five jobs other browsers do better

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Irfanview and BSOD

I thought I had posted this before but it's really important to avoid a bluescreen so I'll post it again:
If you are using the Irfanview free image viewer under Win7 64 bits make sure you disable desktop composition on this program to prevent a BSOD!
I just got my first true BSOD in Win7 using this program!
Opening alot images always causes BSoD with cdd.dll in IrfanView's thumbnail view under 64 bit Windows it seems. Very strange considering that it says on their website that Win7 is supported!
Win7 bluescreen

Anyways, this seems to be a known problem as posted on their forums and no fix AFAIK other than disabling composition like I said above or using a different image viewing program.
Hopefully this will help others because we all know how annoying a BSOD can be if you are doing something important and end up losing something important!
Seems to happen to both ATI and Nvidia users on 64 bits. Not sure about 32 bit Win7 since I haven't tried it on there yet. Seems to be a 64bit thing for now though. Also happens on Vista x64.
Here is some more info I found on CDD that is causing the BSOD:
There is one GDI accessible grapchis
display, called CDD (or canonical display driver) that acts mostly as
a frame-buffer based driver with capabilities of supporting Dx mixing.
CDD is a special client of DxgKrnl.
UPDATE: tried it on Win7 32 bits and no crash there so seems to be x64 specific bug.
Also tried it on 2nd AMD rig with ATI card and Win7/Win2008 R2 x64 installed and wasn't able to reproduce crash there.
OOPS spoke too soon. Just had it crash on AMD rig too. Just took a bit longer. Same BSOD with cdd.dll in Win7 and Win2008!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"He is a second Dirac, only this time human."

"He is a second Dirac, only this time human."
Man this quote made my day and made me ROFL!
If you know anything about Dirac it will do the same to you I"m sure LOL!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yeah an octupus is pretty smart

I'm suprised people are still figuring out that the octupus shows some pretty intelligent behaviour since there has already been quite a number of examples showing this to be true.
Octopus snatches coconut and runs

Video surfaces of alleged Apple tablet

The French website has obtained what it suggests may be a video of the long-rumored Apple tablet:

You decide?
I think it's the real thing and that's what scares me since it doesn't look like it's running a full version of macosx like a notebook. It's more or less running a castrated watered down version of macosx like the iphone/ipod touch :(
Not worth it in that case since it's just an oversized ipod?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Make sure you save stuff as UTF-8 Unicode

Make sure you save stuff as UTF-8 Unicode if you going to convert a Word doc to display it on a webpage otherwise you'll get all kinds of strange characters displaying!
Did not know this. Tells you how long it's been since I've uploaded a doc up to the web LOL!
Character Sets and Encoding for Web Designers

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Augmented Reality

If you haven't heard of it yet this should give you a good idea of why it's going to be such a big thing in the near future:
Two of the hottest trends right now are Augmented Reality and iPhone apps.

One for the wasn't it obvious category?

His earlier work shows the weather has a similar impact on us - wet, dreary days sharpened memory, while bright sunny spells make people forgetful.
Having lived in places with both sunny and crappy weather I can say that sunny, nice weather doesn't really motivate you to do much work or thinking, whereas crap weather puts you in a bad mood and you really have no choice but to focus on work!

Microsoft 'neutered' UAC in Windows 7, says researcher

Blocks only 1 out of 8 Trojans from executing, claims Sophos

Monday, November 2, 2009

Want a Free Mac Mini? It Pays for Itself in 2 Years with Energy Savings

Want a Free Mac Mini? It Pays for Itself in 2 Years with Energy Savings
I already figured as much since buying my macmini 6 months ago since it's the most quiet and cool running PC I ever owned. You can't even tell it on most of the time other than the light on the front.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What is TCP Chimney Offload?

Tech term of the day:
TCP Chimney Offload is a networking technology that allows the work associated with moving data across a network to be offloaded from the host computer's CPU to the network adapter. This helps improve the processing of network data on your computer or server without the need for additional programs or any loss to manageability or security. Programs that are currently bound by network processing overhead will generally scale better when used with TCP Chimney Offload.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why Apple is still making a ton of money

This article gives an excellent explanation.
Apple declares war on the entire PC industry

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Macmini server version

Apple just came out with new macs and they now sell a server version of their macmini!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Very useful video's I just stumbled across

How to do things in Windows vs Linux.

New update for mac owners

About Performance Update 1.0
This update addresses intermittent hard drive related pauses reported by a small number of customers.

Learn how to apply the Performance Update 1.0 to an Intel-based Macintosh computer.

I really hate how Apple is always as cryptic as ever when it comes to updates or fixes to their operating system. Okay by a small number of customers? What's that mean 5, 10, several thousand? Well I haven't noticed it, then again I'm using the default slow 5400rpm drive that came with my macmini so it'd probably be hard to tell.
This is one area where Microsoft actually does a better job than Apple.

FurMark Slowdown by Catalyst Graphics Drivers is INtentional!

AMD has replied that FurMark’s slowdown is really intentional because softwares such as FurMark damage graphics cards and do not represent real world applications.
Long time since I heard of software that could damage your pc!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mac mini's can now use 8GB ram

With the recent EFI update it now seems possible:
Mac Mini EFI Update 1.2 Enables 8GB

Monday, October 5, 2009


If you are running windows and a game asks you to install a driver and reboot you better read this before you do or you might be greeted by a BSOD next time you try to boot your pc like I did recently!
Starforce renders Windows 7 inoperable!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Essential info for enabling raid after windows install

It took me a while to google this gem of info since I really didn't feel like reinstalling Windows 7 just to enable raid!
I have two pieces of information to share with those of you looking to enable RAID on your Windows PC after having installed Windows without RAID enabled. Now that you have rebooted past a handful of blue screens and Googled to find some help, I am here to tell you that you have come to the right place.
Use at your own risk since officially the Intel website says this is not possible and you need to reinstall windows LOL!
Working fine so far with Windows 7 RTM with latest Intel raid drivers on DP35DP motherboard.

It's scary seeing all the problems with operating systems prior to Windows 7 though.

Troubleshooting Serial ATA / RAID issues

From Intel website
This info especially useful:
Ctrl-I Option to Open RAID Configuration Utility Does Not Appear

screen capture program

Useful tool for tech support or tutorials:
Utility Spotlight Screenrecorder

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bad luck with WD drives

Looks like I might have to RMA my 2TB drive after I just rma'ed my raptor :(
Why is ScanDisk reporting "bad sectors" or "bad clusters" on my drive?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Microsoft Windows Live Offline Installation

Very useful tip especially if you are running Windows 7 since it doesn't come with mail or movie maker,etc like prior versions of windows!
1. Go to Windows Live website
3. Cancel the download
4. Click TRY AGAIN

and you will be given the full installation instead of the web install.

Hard drives greater than 2 TB do not work on existing operating systems

Good info to have now that we got 2TB drive from Western Digital and Seagate now.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

macosx force ejecting a disk

I just needed to use this info today since my mini didn't read my mathematica dvd for some reason and since it didn't show up in finder I had no way to eject it and I didn't want to reboot!
Mac OS X - Force Ejecting a CD
Open a Terminal window and type in drutil tray eject. did the trick for me!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Troubleshooting tips for harddrives

From Seagate support.
My desktop or laptop hard drive may be defective, how can I test it?
An interesing statistic that 30% of drives they get from customers are not bad at all!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Which High School Students Are Most Likely to Graduate From College?

So basically SAT scores don't mean much but sticking it through and toughing it out does seem to?

Snow Leopard update available

A new update to Apple's latest and greatest OS is now out:
The 10.6.1 Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including fixes for:
compatibility with some Sierra Wireless 3G modems
an issue that might cause DVD playback to stop unexpectedly
some printer compatibility drivers not appearing properly in the add printer browser
an issue that might make it difficult to remove an item from the Dock
instances where automatic account setup in Mail might not work
an issue where pressing cmd-opt-t in Mail brings up the special characters menu instead of moving a message
Motion 4 becoming unresponsive
So if you are one of the early upgraders and are having problems you probably want this. Even if you aren't having any problems like myself you'll probably still want this.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Intel Speed Test

A link to the Intel speed test.
Can come in handy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ITIC 2009 Global Server Hardware & Server OS Reliability Survey Results

Which servers and hardware have the least amount of downtime i.e. crashes, etc per year?
Some interesting results for Macosx in there.
Let's just say I'm not suprised Microsoft came in last.

Monday, September 7, 2009

How to get Apple's Darwin working in VirtualBox

Pretty cool ubernerd stuff here I did the other day:
Darwin is Macosx without the GUI for anyone that doesn't know.
Now I have a quick way of compiling C++ programs and other stuff I need to do in macosx without having to turn my macmini on.

Windows boot times

Back in May 2007 I complained about how long it still takes Windows to boot compared to Macs and that Microsoft wasn't doing anything about it.
Well it looks like with Windows 7 you can get boot times almost as good as a Mac if you have a quadcore Core i7 microprocessor with a solid-state-disc drive!
About time!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Snow Leopard

New version of macosx out now Cheesy
Get it while it's hot.

p.s. If you bought a mac after June of this year you can get it for $10 instead of $30 from Apple. Also alot of places like BestBuy where I got my copy are selling it for $5 off the retail price making it a must buy.
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