ComTech: IT Support Stirling
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What next for Microsoft?


Windows RT is dead, maybe not literally but not far off it.  It was Microsoft’s attempt to take on iOS and Android on consumer tablets and to say it didn’t catch on is an understatement (I did try it once and thought it was pretty good).   It was designed to run apps from the Windows Store in the same way that Android and IOS devices do and for some reason consmuers just didn’t get it (bad marketing perhaps?). They also called it Windows which was a bad idea as Windows is synonymous with PC’s and people expected to run their full Windows applications on it.  When they couldn’t Microsoft got a huge backlash but Windows RT was never designed with that in mind.  With Windows RT now going the way of the dodo what next for Microsoft?

At the moment Microsoft doesn’t have a viable option in the consumer tablet market (7 and 10 inch tablets) and this could hurt them in the long run.   The full version of Windows 8 is not a viable option as it is designed to run on hardware much more powerful than a 7 inch tablet. They could go down the route of adapting Windows Phone 8 to run on a tablet which would be a much better option.  Using Windows Phone 8 would also give them the advantage of no misunderstanding with the consumer on what software could be run on the tablet.

But the bigger problem for Microsoft could be the connection between the PC and Windows. PC sales are plummeting and with it Microsoft’s profits will also start to fall.  The PC will not disappear altogether as businesses will still be using them, however in the consumer market they are getting replaced by tablets and smartphones.  If they want to stay relevant in the consumer market they need to come up with a solution for the post PC era and quickly.  At the moment think tablets and you think of iPads and Android.  Windows is not even on the radar.

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know!!

About the Author

P1020114

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 Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more!!

 

No init found. Try passing init=bootarg


No init found. Try passing init=bootarg. This error has come up frequently over the last couple of days on my Debian LXDE system. After one too many times I decided to go looking for a solution.  After searching the net I found that the error message is due to errors on the hard disk.  The solution to fix the problem is as follows:

1. Get your hands on a Live CD (I choose Linux Mint 12)

2. Boot your system from the Live CD and fire up GParted (Gparted must be run as root)

3. Highlight your hard drive and click Check Drive.  This will check the filesystem on the hard drive and fix any errors.  Depending on the size of the hard drive this may take some time.

4. Boot up your system as normal.

Hope this helps!!

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 www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

 

How to make an ISO file from a CD / DVD using Linux


Something a little bit different today.  I am going to show you how to make an ISO file from a CD / DVD using Linux.  This is very useful when you lose the CD you are after and need to burn a new copy.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using Linux Mint 13 and a Linux Mint 11 Live CD but the commands are identical on most major distributions.

The first thing to do is insert the CD in the drive.  Now we have to find the mount point for the CD so type:

sudo mount -l

——————————————————————————————————————————

chris@chris-mint13 ~ $ sudo mount -l
/dev/sda1 on / type ext4 (rw,errors=remount-ro)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
none on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
udev on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=0620)
tmpfs on /run type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,size=10%,mode=0755)
none on /run/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev,size=5242880)
none on /run/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
binfmt_misc on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
/dev/sr0 on /media/Linux Mint 11 Katya 32-bit type iso9660 (ro,nosuid,nodev,uid=1000,gid=1000,iocharset=utf8,mode=0400,dmode=0500,uhelper=udisks) [Linux Mint 11 Katya 32-bit]

——————————————————————————————————————————–

From the output above my CD drive is mounted at /dev/sr0.  Now we need to unmount it so type:

sudo umount /dev/sr0

Now we need to use the dd command so type:

dd if=/dev/sr0 of=/home/chris/Mint11.iso

where:

/dev/sr0 is the CD mount point and /home/chris/Mint11.iso is the location to save the ISO file.

This will then make an ISO file of your CD.

About the Author

P1020114

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

 

How to install .run files


Today I will show you how to install .run files.  I had to do this yesterday when I downloaded the updated hp linux drivers for my Linux Mint 13 system.  This is how I installed it.

Open up a terminal and move to to directory in which you downloaded the .run file so type:

cd /home/comtech/Downloads

Now make the file executable by typing:

chmod 755 hplip-3.12.6.run

Now type:

./hplip-3.12.6.run

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 www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

How to check the status of your hard drive using SeaTools


Today I will show you how to check the status of your hard drive.  There are tools built into Windows which will accomplish such tasks (eg chkdsk) however they are useless if you can’t boot into the system to use them.  For situations like this you need SeaTools.

Seatools is a diagnostic program that can be run from a CD and allows you to perform preconfigured tests on your hard drive.  For the purpose of this tutorial I will use SeaTools on a Windows 7 system which is hosted as a virtual machine within Virtualbox.

Ok first thing to do is download a copy of Seatools and burn it to a disk.  Now we shall boot the system with the disk to get the screenshot below.

Accept the license agreement to start the program.  Once started you should get the screenshot below.

Now highlight your hard drive and click on Basic Tests – Short Test.  The short test is usually sufficient to tell if your hard drive is experiencing issues.

Once the test has been carried out Seatools will show the test results on the right hand side under Test Results.

If the Test Result is Passed then you have no issues.  If however the result is Failed then you have a problem.  You can go back and try the Long Test which can sort out any bad sectors etc but in my experience if a hard drive fails the Short Test it needs replacing.

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 www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

BIOS sees memory upgrade but Linux Mint 12 does not


Good afternoon.  Today I upgraded my main Linux Mint 12 system to 8Gb of RAM (I do a lot of software testing with virtual machines).  Came across one little problem though. The RAM upgrade was recognised in BIOS but not by the operating system.  Time to do some research.  It turns out the default 32-bit installation of Linux Mint 12 does not have a PAE (Physical Address Extension)-aware kernel installed.  Well that is easily fixed.

Open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install linux-generic-pae linux-headers-generic-pae

And then restart.  Upon restarting, the system will have the full complement of RAM to play with!!!

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 www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

 

 

 


							

How to format a hard drive on Ubuntu 12.04 using Fdisk


Today I will show you how to format a hard disk using Fdisk.  Fdisk comes already installed on most modern Linux distributions by default.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using Fdisk on Ubuntu 12.04 to format a 16Gb USB penstick with the ntfs file system.

First we need to see what our 16Gb USB penstick is mounted as so open up a terminal and type:

sudo fdisk -l

and type your password when prompted.  You should get a screenshot similar to the one below.

In this case my 16Gb USB penstick is mounted at /dev/sdc1.

Next type:

sudo fdisk /dev/sdc1

and you should get the command prompt shown below.

Now we need to check the existing partitions on the penstick so type:

p

to get the screenshot below.

Now we know what is on the drive it is time to delete it so type:

d

You will then be asked for the partition number (1-4).  In my case I have 4 partitions on the disk and I need to delete them all.  So I will type 1 and this will erase the 1st partition only.  I would then be left with partitions 2 – 4 and to remove these I would repeat the procedure until all the partitions have been erased.

We now need to set up the new partition so in your terminal type:

n

Because this is the first partition on the drive type:

p

You will now be asked for a partition number.  Choose 1 and then press return.  When asked to specify the First Sector choose the default by pressing Return.  Again accept the default Last Sector by pressing Return.

Now that the partition parameters have been specified we need to write them to the hard drive and we do that by typing:

w

All that is left to do is to make the filesystem on the hard drive and to do that we type:

sudo mkfs -t ntfs /dev/sdc1

Next time I will show you how to accomplish the same task using GParted (for those who like a GUI).

About the Author

P1020114

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

 

Emails keep on getting stuck in Outlook 2007 outbox

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Came across this last week while working on a clients laptop with Microsoft Outlook 2007 installed.  The problem they had was now and again they would send an email but it would get as far as the outbox and then get stuck.  Sometimes they could delete it and other times they couldn’t and all other emails would stack up behind it.  After doing some research this seems to be a bug in the software but there are some ways to mitigate this.

Below are some suggestions on how to deal with this issue if it happens to you (I haven’t tried these on Outlook 2010 only Outlook 2007 but I am guessing they should work very similar)

1. Set server interval to 6 mins 50 secs.

By default the server timeout interval is set to 1 min but this can be insufficient if your antivirus program is scanning all outbound emails.  Setting this to 6 min 50 sec allows enough time to scan thus not timing out and sticking your email in the outbox.

2. Put outlook in Work Offline mode.

Click on File – Work Offline and then restart the program.  Once Outlook restarts you should be able to delete the stuck email.  Don’t forget to switch Outlook back to Online mode when you are finished.

3. Forward the stuck email.

Highlight the stuck email and forward it to the original sender.  Once it has gone use one of the other suggestions here to delete it.

4. Export all your contacts to excel and then import them back in again.

I noticed that an email would get stuck if I used the auto complete function for addresses in the contact list.  If I typed the full address then there would be no issue.  I exported all the contacts to Excel (CSV file) and then imported them back in (overwriting the existing ones) and this did seam to solve the issue for the most part.

If anyone knows of any I have missed please let me know!!

About the Author

P1020114

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

 

Microsoft Office 2010 Invalid product key


You have purchased a new shiny copy of Microsoft Office 2010 and are in the process of installing it.  Up comes the product key screen so you enter your product key and get the error message: Your key is not a valid Microsoft Office product key.  Hey?  The solution to solve this is as follows.

Chances are your laptop came with Microsoft Office 2010 trial software already installed.  The key you have purchased will not work on a trial version of Microsoft Office 2010.  In order to install the copy of Microsoft Office 2010 you have purchased you first have to remove the trial version as it is not possible to install one copy over another. If you have issues removing the trial version using Control Panel (I have had this happen in the past) then use a tool like Revo Uninstaller which allows you to delete registry entries for the software you are trying to uninstall.

Hope this helps.

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 www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

How to take screenshots on the Blackberry Playbook


For all its bad press I have found the Blackberry Playbook to be a serious piece of kit.  It is very intuitive to use and comes with some great features.  One of these is the ability to take screenshots which I shall discuss today.

Taking screenshots on the Blackberry Playbook is pretty straight forward.  You press both volume control buttons simultaneously on the top of the tablet.  The screenshot is then stored in pictures and can be transferred to another computer via wifi.  This tutorial will show you how to transfer files via wifi.

Below is a screenshot of my home page on the Blackberry Playbook taken using this method.

 

 

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, Laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

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