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?
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