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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 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

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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 configure Startup Applications in Linux Mint 12 running Cinnamon


Today I will show you how to configure startup applications in Linux Mint 12 running the Cinnamon desktop.

Go to MenuPreferencesStartup Applications

You will be shown a list of all the programs that are configured to start at boot time. Click on Add.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will configure Libreoffice to start at boot.   In the screen shot above I have configured the following:

Name – Libreoffice

Command – /usr/bin/libreoffice (all programs are stored in /usr/bin so use this command)

Comment – Office Suite

Once configured click Add.

Restart the system and your chosen program with start at boot.

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.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

How to increase the size of your hard drive without losing any data


Finally got round to it.  I have managed to increase the size of my hard drive without losing any data.  This was accomplished by using Clonezilla and a newer 160Gb hard drive to replace my old 40Gb hard drive (remember those).  The way my system is set up is that the operating system (Linux Mint 12) sits on a nice little 40 Gb hard drive while all my files are located on a second 500 Gb hard drive.

The Plan

1. Change hard drives over to the bigger 160 Gb drive.

2. Do not lose any settings or programs (All my files are on the second hard drive and are safe)

3. Repartition the new drive to take into account the bigger size.

What happened?

1. I connected up the new 160 Gb hard drive while leaving the old one in place (it will be removed later).

2. The best tool I have come across to take an image is Clonezilla so I decided to use it. The existing Linux Mint 12 image on the 40 Gb hard drive was caught and saved on the 500 Gb drive (10 mins to image a 40Gb hard drive).  You can use this tutorial on how to use Clonezilla to take a system image.

3. I booted the system with the Clonzilla Live CD and restored the Linux Mint 12 image onto the new 160 Gb hard drive.  I then restarted the system and voila everything is there.  All my programs and settings have been copied across to the new hard drive.

4.  All that is left to do is use a Linux Mint Live CD to boot the system and use GParted to  repartition the new drive taking into account the extra space.  Now I had to delete the swap partition (remember the size) resize the system file partition and then recreate the swap partition again.

5. I now have my Linux Mint 12 operating system , with all my programs and settings, running on the new 160 Gb hard drive.  Lovely!!

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 resize an image using GIMP


Imagine the scenario.  You are trying to upload a picture to a website but the picture resolution is too high and the size of the file is also too high.  So what do you do? Today I will show you how to resize an image using GIMP.

GIMP is an open source picture editing and manipulation tool that can be run on Linux, Windows and OS X.  You can take a picture and resize, crop and edit in a thousand different ways to your hearts content.  Think open source Photoshop and you would not be far wrong.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using the Linux version of GIMP on Linux Mint 12.  I will be taking a file that has a resolution of 1440 * 900 and size 1.8Mb and reducing it 800*600 and less than 200Kb.

Open up GIMP and go to File – Open to choose your image.  Click on your image and then click open.

So lets sort out the resolution first.  Go to Image – Scale Image to get the screenshot below.

Change the Width value to 800 and the Height value to 600 (hence 800*600 resolution) and click Scale.

Now onto the size of the file.  Go to File – Save As pick a name and location for your image and then click save.  You should then be presented with the box below.

Click the box next to Show preview in image window as this will show you the image size and move the Quality slider left and right until you get the required file size.  So mine would look like:

When you have the required file size click Save and voila your image will now have a resolution of 800*600 and be less than 200Kb in size.

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.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

How to use your Blackberry internet connection through your computer


Today I will show you a handy little tip on how to use your Blackberry internet connection through your computer.  This comes in very handy when you don’t have an internet connection on your desktop PC or laptop but you do have 3G on your phone. Any data you use will come out of your existing phone data plan so you shouldn’t incur any excess charges (unless you go over your data allowance).

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using a Blackberry Bold 9780Linberry Blackberry Desktop Manager for Linux and Linux Mint 12 but the steps work on all Linux Distributions.  For Windows users you will need to use Blackberry Desktop Software to accomplish the same task.

First thing to do is connect your phone to your computer via its usb cable.  Then we need to download Linberry and install it.

Now we need to click on the ‘Use your Blackberry as a modem to surf the internet” icon (bottom left).

On the next page read the information and then click proceed.

We will now be told that your Blackberry phone needs to be restarted (shown below) so click on Restart my Blackberry

On the follwoing page (shown below) follow the instructions on how to reconnect your Blackberry to the system when it has restarted.

On the next page click Connect.

Your phone will now authenticate with your data carrier and in a minute or so you will be able to access the internet on your computer.

WORD OF WARNING Your mobile data plan is designed for use on your phone.  If you start accessing the internet through your computer you will use up your data allowance a lot quicker than you usually would.

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.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

How to schedule a backup in Linux Mint 12


Today I will show you how to schedule a backup in Linux Mint 12 so that your precious data is safe.

Linux Mint 12 comes with the Backup Tool shown below which allows you to backup your data and software installed on the system but unfortunately it doesn’t allow you to schedule backups.  For that we need the cron daemon.

The cron daemon uses the crontab file  (think Task Scheduler in Windows) which allows you to set the backup schedule.  The beauty of using cron is that it works ON ALL LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS not just Linux Mint. You don’t need to install cron as it comes installed by default.

Ok time to get your hands dirty.  Open up a terminal and type “su” and when prompted enter your root password.  Next you want to open up the crontab file.

Next type “gedit /etc/crontab” in a terminal.  The crontab file should look similar to the table below.

 

M H Dom Mon Dow User Command
1 9 * * * Root Tar -cvf/media/dev/sdb/backup.tar /home

Where:

M = minutes

H = hours

Dom = every day in the month

Mon = every month

Dow = every day of week (e.g 1-5 would be Monday to Friday inclusive)

User = user who can perform this task

Command = what is getting backed up and where is it getting sent to

So in the above example I have backed up a folder called home (/home) to a folder called backup.tar which is on sdb (/dev/sdb/backup.tar) at 1 minute past 9 everyday in the month, every month.  The authorised user is root and the command to be used is tar -cvf.

When you have configured the crontab file save it and exit.  Your backup schedule is now set.

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.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

 

 

 

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