ComTech: IT Support Stirling

File and Print Server – Windows or Linux?

Question for you.  If you are a small business (upto say 25 users) and you need a server to share files and printers would you go down the Windows or Linux route?

If you had asked me this question two days ago I would have said if you weren’t on a domain then Linux is the way to go.  But after trying to set up a Ubuntu 12.04 file and print server for a client for the last two days (yes two days!!) I am beginning to think otherwise.  The file sharing went fine.  I installed samba and then set up the permissions as required and then mapped the shared drive to the Windows machines.  Not a problem.

The problem came when I tried to set up the printer.  The samba configuration files were checked (and rechecked) and had no errors but no matter what I tried I could not share the printer successfully across the network.  After a lot of head scratching and cursing I think I have finally found the problem – drivers.  The one big downfall with Linux is hardware drivers (it is getting better though) and especially print drivers.

So not only did it make me look bad it also cost my client money as it took me longer to sort out the issues.  In hindsight more research was needed to double check that the printer was supported but in this case the manufacturer stated that it did support Linux for this particular printer.  If this was Windows (and it hurts me to say this) it would have just worked!!

I will be honest and say in future if I can’t guarantee that a printer will work with Linux then I will be installing Windows based file and print servers, whether it be on a domain with Windows Server 2012 (when released), Windows Server 2008 R2 or Small Business Server 2011 or on a workgroup with Windows 7 Professional.

If the client only needs file sharing then Linux is definitely the way the go.

What do you think?

About the Author

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

How to permanently delete data off a hard drive

Today I will show you how to permanently delete a file or hard drive so that data can not be recovered using data recovery tools. This comes in handy when you have sensitive data you need to get rid of.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using Linux Mint 17 (steps work on all Linux distributions) however if you have a Windows system boot the system with a Linux Live CD and mount the hard disk. This tutorial will show you how. Once this is done you can then use the steps outlined below.

To delete data securely we are going to use a tool called Shred.  Shred comes preinstalled on Linux so you don’t need to install it.  The following example will show you how it works.

Open up a terminal and create a file called test1 on your desktop by typing:

sudo touch /home/chris/Desktop/test1

Now we need to enter some data into the file so type:

sudo nano /home/chris/Desktop/test1

This will open up the file as shown below.  Enter whatever data you like into the file and then save and exit.

Now it is time to delete some data.  In your teminal type:

sudo shred /home/chris/Desktop/test1 

followed by:

nano /home/chris/Desktop/test1

As can be seen from the screenshot above Shred has completely scrambled all the data inside the file test1 making it unreadable.

All that is left is to delete the file so type:

sudo shred -u /home/chris/Desktop/test1

Shred will then overwrite the data 25 times with garbage while also renaming the file 11 times.  Your data is no gone.

To perform this operation on a hard drive you would open up a terminal and type the following:

sudo shred /dev/hda

where hda is your hard drive and /dev/hda is the mount point.  This would take some time to delete all the stuff on the drive so be patient.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter



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