Tag Archives: Windows

Rufus Rocks!

[rufus icon]Darn, I haven’t written about rufus yet! When I wanted to get Windows installed on to my PC, UNetbootin and others really didn’t cut it for me. Rufus saved my day. When I wanted to do full reinstall of Windows onto my old laptop, again Rufus saved the day.

Rufus is a nifty little utility, about 800kb in size, that takes your install cd image (ISO) and moves it over to USB, so you can install using that instead. While I haven’t used it to burn Linux ISOs, I can heartily recommend it.

[rufus screenshot]

Debian Jessie, annoyingly, does not come with UNetbootin in the main repository. So, here I am using Rufus to move stuff over to the USBs. A reasonably compromise and benefit of the dual boot system I have!

Debian Jessie on Dell Latitude 6220

I guess I should’ve read my own posts comparing Linux and Windows, before raving on about Windows last time. The updates on Win7 were a nightmare, with me having to boot and reboot every other hour for a day or two until the download floodgate was shut, almost. I don’t think I’m done. I see that sign next to “Shut Down” where I’m being warned of another upcoming update.

Debian 8That aside, I did want to get my Latitude E6220 on Linux. This time, I’ve chosen to go with Debian, and since I couldn’t choose, I went for both Cinnamon and Mate desktops. Mate gives me the creeps just from the look of the Menu. Cinnamon feels more comfy that way. Next step was to get the drivers all sorted. Frankly, that was a bit easier than getting it done on Windows! You could download the drivers from http://support.dell.com but it wasn’t a clean one-time thing.  I noticed two issues on Linux from the get go:

  • WLAN not working
  • Reboots left the computer hanging

Mercifully, the Ethernet worked right away on Linux – which it did not on Windows on first install. I had to download the Ethernet drivers from Dell’s support site via another PC. So Linux scores better here! A short bit of searching brought me to this resource on the reboot issue. I went into the nearest Latitude on that list and it did mention the reboot issue. The solution was simple:

To solve the reboot issue you’ve to pass the kernel reboot=pci. You can achieve this by adding reboot=pci to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="" in /etc/default/grub.

And after updating that file, I ran update-grub and suffered my final hang.

The WLAN issue was a bit less straightforward. Reading through the WiFi wiki, I identified the adaptor as BCM43228. And I’d have saved myself some time if I’d just scrolled to the end of the PCI section. The wl section covered what I needed. Chased that with a now working reboot and ta da, laptop configured. Since Linux is friendly with Windows, grub handles my dual-boot and I seem to have no issues on that front. I guess I might have issues with the clock as I did previously, but thankfully I do have my old post to help me out.

In search for lost time (UTC or local?)

Ah, this post is from my much beloved WLW!! And it remembers me Smile – I’d set up WLW as  keyword and it picked it up and linked to it – that’s something. And by gawd, WLW is an all around kick-ass blog client. I miss it deeply when I’m in my tux avatar. And now after diving deep into Linux, I see some awesome aspects of MS Windows. Sometimes, as in the case of time, an interesting dilemma turns up.

If you look at your watch, what time do you keep? UTC or your local? I think most of you and perhaps I too would laugh at this absurd question – not a doubt, I’d keep local time! And when you look at that clock on your screen what you expect is local time, and maybe you track a few other zones, like I do, so you want some other times too, but clearly – you do want local time.

Now, with default settings, in Linux you see your local time showing correctly when you look at the graphical clock. However, behind the scenes, Linux at the hardware level works on UTC (Universal Coordinated Time – I know it’s odd that the T and C are jumbled but look it up yourself!) and the developers thought it a great idea.

Microsoft shows local time on the clock, but with the difference that the machine’s time is set to the same. Which makes sense too, unless you fiddle a lot with time zones. However, put Windows and Linux on one machine (like I did) and you run into a nightmare with some fun discoveries for relief.

To resolve this you have to do one of two things:

  • Get Linux to work with local time, or
  • Get windows to work on universal

For Linux you’ll find quite a few sites showing you how to fix things, but for Windows, I was lucky to hit upon Arch Linux’s wiki entry which tells Windows that RealTimeIsUniversal – indeed! However, use it with care if your location uses DST.

Decide when to shutdown your Win Machine

The other days I had some podcasts being downloaded on my Win machine and did not want it to stay on all night, so I decided to hunt around for ways to shut it down after a time. And some hunting came up with the realization that this tool exists in Windows already. Not advertised, but it’s there.

So type the following on the command line:

shutdown /s /t <interval in seconds>

the ‘/s’ option is to confirm a shutdown. Using ‘/r’ instead would be requesting a restart. The interval I wanted was about 20 mins. So a simple calculation would be 20 mins x 60 secs /min = 1200 s. And so my final command was:

shutdown /s /t 1200

And lo and behold I got a notification on my system tray telling me that my device would shutdown in 20 mins! Window’s ain’t all that bad 🙂

Use shutdown /? to get more options.

Cleaning up my HD

Update: 2-Jun-2013

And WinDirStat worked so amazingly well that I was able to clean up nearly 240GB of data – mostly by deciding what was waste 🙂 – And after that, I downloaded a gparted image onto a usb stick using unetbootin and repartitioned my windows HD. Booting into Windows it wanted a complete CHKDSK – ran that and all was well! Next, I went to goodbye-microsoft.com and ended up with a cool install of Debian with KDE on my laptop. Will write a short post about what needed fixing.

——————-

My windows machine has a HD of about 500GB and I’ve got about 37 GBs available?! Where did all the space go?

What started me on this was my complacency with my Windows machine. I’ve really not de-cluttered it since the day I bought it in 2011. Of late, I’ve been experimenting so much with Linux that I wanted to try it out on my laptop too. Since I’m still a Zune user and there’s no recourse to using Zune on Linux, I’m stuck with Windows – the things we’re held back by!

Anyways, to bring this to a conclusion, I’m trying out this tool called WinDirStat – basically it’ll dump all the directories and give me an idea of where all this space is being used. I guess I could do some interesting pivots too, but if there’s a tool handy…

So here’s the link if you want to try it out too: http://sourceforge.net/projects/windirstat/?source=dlp

Windows bootable USB

After wasting hours of my time getting this done through various oddball tools, I hit on one called Rufus. From that point on, it’s been smooth sailing! Highly recommend this tool to anyone wanting to make a windows installation USB.

A friend’s laptop had crashed and so as the computer geek I got the job of restoring her OS. She gave me the recovery cd, but since it was an ultrabook there wasn’t really a cd drive. So since I couldn’t find myself a portable cd drive, I settled on trying to make a bootable USB stick. I found a ton of online tools like the Windows 7 USB download tool, but invariably I ran into one issue or the other. I tried unetbootin, but that’s really a tool for creating Linux installation CDs or USBs. And with amazing luck I found Rufus and I’ve tried it with the original windows cd and the restore disk and both boot fine from USB.

Black Viper’s list of Windows Services

http://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/black-vipers-windows-7-service-pack-1-service-configurations/

Find it here! It’s worth a look if you want to tune up your Windows OS.