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New Windows 10 Computer Build

In addition to the Linux computer I’m building, I also ordered another whole set of parts to replace my current main workstation. My current main rig runs Windows 8.1 (which I truly hate (but Classic Shell makes it tolerable)), and I’m ready to make the jump to Windows 10. My Windows 8 install has some odd issues that show up once in awhile, so I will not upgrade it. It must be a fresh install. And since I don’t want to wipe my current machine without a fully functional Windows 10 machine, a new build is in order.

Below is the parts list that has been ordered. Should be a very decent machine for the total cost.

ComponentPart NameCost
CaseRosewill Micro-ATX Mini Tower LINE-M Black$47.22
Power SupplyThermaltake TR2 430$35.99
MotherboardGigabyte GA-B150M-DS3H$69.99
CPUIntel Core i3-6100 BX80662I36100$115.79
RAMKingston HyperX FURY Black 8GB Kit$37.99 x 2
Storage - SSDSamsung 850 PRO 512GB SSD$207.92
Storage - HDDWD Black 2TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive$122.99
Optical DriveAsus 24x DVD-RW DRW-24B1ST$22.94
Video CardEVGA GeForce GT 740 2GB 02G-P4-3747-KR$91.99
OSWindows 10 Professional$0.00 *
Total Cost$790.81

I really, really wanted to go with the Core i7, but that makes for a huge jump in cost, even the Core i5 was more than I add right now. Also I thought about going with a Blu-Ray drive, but settled on a standard, inexpensice DVD-RW drive. I may make these upgrade down the line at some point.

* Note: I have no cost associated with the Windows 10 Professional as I have licenses available to me as a Microsoft Partner with an active Action Pack subscription.

Amazon releases the Fire TV set top box

This morning Amazon announced the Fire TV set-top box and I’ve already ordered one. At $99 it’s not a huge investment, and I’m very curious if something is capable of taking over the Apple TV in my household, which I use daily and like a great deal. My biggest complaint against the Apple TV is that it doesn’t support Amazon Prime content. Well, the Fire TV supports Amazon Prime content obviously, as well as pretty much everything else I use the Apple TV for. The big question will be what it does for local content. Right now the Apple TV connects to iTunes that I have running on a computer and where I keep all my ripped DVD’s and digitally purchased content. As well as a few video podcasts I watch. It does look like the Fire TV¬†will work with Plex, so I may have to investigate that option. That’s all I got on it for now. Should be here in a couple of days and I will report again as I mess around with it.

The unthinkable has happened

I’ve done it, I’ve gone and ordered an Android based phone. A Nexus 5 to be specific.

I have 2 driving reason for this major decision. A) I feel Apple missed the boat by not releasing a larger screen iphone last year. (I want a slightly bigger screen). And B), I really want to move from my $100+/month verizon plan to something way more affordable. So, with this one purchase, I’m satisfying both needs.

I’m no Apple lover, but the iphone is where I started in the real smartphone world and am completely comfortable in it. Frankly, and this may come as a shock to you, but the Apple ecosystem works very well for me and my household. I use itunes as my media library, and own an iphone, 2 ipads, and 2 Apple TV’s. Plus my kids all have 4th gen ipods. Also the 2 AV recievers in my house support Airplay, and I use that feature A LOT! The way everything works together is quite impressive. I know there is a ton of itunes hate out there, but it works really well for me and has for years.

Odds are pretty good that Apple will release a larger iphone this year, but here’s the thing, It won’t be available on the alternate carriers right away (if at all). So if want a large screen now and want to pay less for service, Android is my only real option.

I have tons to say on this subject but don’t want this to be a ridiculously long post, so be sure to check back for more as this new chapter begins.

ShadowProtect saves the day…again

The other day I got a call from someone with a non booting computer. User was concerned because of course, they didn’t have a recent backup of the main application they use to run their business. Since I knew there was critical data, my first process before troubleshooting the issue is to pull the drive and hook it up to the bench computer in my shop and attempt data access. I was able to access the drive without issue and quickly backed up the application data. Once I had that, I used Storagecraft ShadowProtect to create a full image backup of the drive.

Then I placed the drive back in the computer and powered it up to see what I got. I was quickly presented with a ‘Missing operating system’ message and that’s it. I then booted to an XP CD in repair mode and ran FIXMBR (which didn’t work), then also ran a CHKDSK (also which didn’t help).

On a whim, from my bench computer I attempted a virtual boot of the backup image I had created earlier. Much to my surprise, Windows booted to the login screen. Interesting. I couldn’t log in though because of activation issues (Thanks Microsoft). But based on that successful boot up I wanted to try something. I grabbed an old hard drive that I had laying around and performed a restoration of the image to that drive. I did choose to install a new MBR though. Once completed, I hooked that drive up the computer, and to an even bigger surprise, Windows completed booted up AND allowed me to log in. With the machine looking to me as if it is running again, I had the customer come in and verify everything worked. He was ecstatic when he saw all his data in the app.

ShadowProtect from Storagecraft is an awesome program for backups. I use it in my office and at many clients to backup critical systems and servers. It’s saved the day more than once.

Would you like to learn more about backing up your computer systems with ShadowProtect? Please contact me at Badger IT Solutions, LLC and we can discuss backup strategies for your personal and business computer systems.

Opening an HP ProBook 4530s

Recently I had to deploy a brand new HP ProBook 4530s to a customer. But first I had to add more memory. When I flipped it over, I was concerned to not see any screws or access panels that I could remove. After a quick google search, I learned that pretty much the whole bottom comes off to open up a lot of the components. I thought this was pretty nice, so I created this quick video to demonstrate the procedure to remove this panel. Once removed, you have easy access to memory, hard drive and the wireless card.

Outlook 2011 on Mac create a new profile

I have a client the bought a new laptop and went with an Apple Mac Book Pro instead of sticking with Windows. He also had Office 2011 installed on it. Office 2011 on Mac no longer includes Entourage, but instead has introduced Outlook. The client initially configured email, but was having an issue with it pulling mail. That’s where I was called in to help. Now in Windows, I will normally create a new profile and configure it myself to make sure all the settings are correct. However, I could not find anywhere to create a new profile on the Mac. After some research, here’s what I found out.

The functionality I was looking for does indeed exist on the Mac, it’s just not called the same thing or located anywhere similar to that of a Windows PC. Outlook on Mac uses Identities. You simply need to create a new Identity. After a bit of googling, I found this article, which gave me the information I was looking for. I found that the location for the Microsoft Database Utility was just a bit different that listed in that post.

Simply put, to create a new Identity, you use an app called Microsoft Database Utility. That app was located here for me: Finder > Applications > Microsoft Office 2011 > Office > Microsoft Database Utility.

Location of the Microsoft Database Utility

Just click the plus in the lower left, name the new identity, and then you can set it as the default by pressing the gear in the lower left of the box. Now when you open Outlook 2011 it will open using the new profile.

[SOLD] For Sale: Nokia N810 Internet Tablet

[Now sold]

It’s time for me to part with this device. I bought it in Oct 08 and have hardly used it. I just recently updated it to the latest Maemo release. It’s in great condition and I still have the box and everything that came with it.

I will also throw in the the additional 2gb micro sd card I bought for it and its adapter.

I’m asking $180 $170. I will ship it for free anywhere in the US.

If your interested, contact me via this form or DM on twitter. I will sell on a first come, first served basis. If I get no takers, I will post to craigslist.

Here’s some photo’s I took this morning.

Nokia N810 Box

Nokia N810 in box

Nokia N810 booted up

Remove the U3 partition from that USB drive

Updated

If you’re like me and hate the U3 ‘feature’ of some modern USB drives, simply uninstall it. I’ve been wanting to remove it for quite awhile, but have never researched how to do it, that is until today. And it was surprisingly easy. Just visit http://u3.com/uninstall/ and follow the prompts to download the uninstaller. You will lose all data on the drive in this process so make sure to back up anything important. Also, I’m guessing this is a Windows only option. I don’t know what Mac or Linux users are suppose to do. If you do, please share in the comments.

Instructions can be found on the following page: http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2550