ComTech: IT Support Stirling | Page 2
TwitterFacebookGoogle

Windows 8 – The journey from pure hatred to new best friend


I had a call from a home client last week who wanted me to take a look at his new Windows 8 laptop.  When I asked him what the issue was I got the reply “I cant do anything on it.  It is just so ****** different.  Can you please come out and show me how to use it”.

No problem.  I turned up on site and it was obvious from the start that he hated Windows 8. He knew his way around a Windows 7 system and thought he would take to Windows 8 with no problems.  He was wrong.  So I asked him to be a bit more specific about what he was trying to do on the system.

Problem Number 1 – I don’t know how to open up any programs.

“What is this new start screen rubbish everytime I start the laptop”. These were his words regarding the new Start (aka Metro) interface.  I explained that Microsoft was trying to have the same interface across all devices.  So if you had a tablet, laptop or smartphone with Windows 8 you would see the same interface no matter what the device.  “I guess there is some logic in that I suppose but how do I get to my programs”

I showed him how to pin his most used programs to the Start Screen and told him that the Windows Key was now his new best friend.  Press the Windows key and you go back to the Start Screen where all his programs now were.  This he did like – very much.

Problem Number 2 – Where has the Control Panel gone?

I showed him how to search for the Control Panel and that in fact once opened the Control Panel is almost identical to the one in Windows 7.  I then again showed him how to pin it to his Start Screen so he would not have to go looking for it again.  Again this he liked very much.

Problem 3 – Where is Microsoft Office?

This you can’t blame on Windows 8.  The client had been using Office through their work computer for years and this being the first home laptop they had purchased themselves thought it came with Windows 8.  Once I had explained the finer points of Microsoft subscription charges (this they seriously didn’t like) and showed them how much Office 2010 would cost them I showed them Libreoffice which it turns out would satisfy their word processing needs.  This was installed and automatically pinned to the Start Screen.

The main thing my client wanted was to be shown how to use the new interface.  Once I had shown them that underneath all the new shiny stuff it was still the Windows they had used for all these years they were very happy.  They love that you can pin all your programs to the Start Screen and using the Windows Key can find them in an instant.  Rather than go through the Start button and search for them (by the way they don’t miss it) all their programs are there in one place ready to be clicked on.  Boot time is much faster than they were used too and when I left I heard the immortal words “I am actually beginning to like this”.

One more happy client.

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!!

 

 

How to set up software RAID on Ubuntu 12.04


Today I will show you how to set up software RAID on Ubuntu 12.04.  It is always better to use hardware RAID over software RAID as this minimizes system resources but if you are installing Ubuntu 12.04 on a system where there is no hardware RAID available (ie older hardware) then this is the method you need.  This tutorial uses Ubuntu 12.04 but should work on all the major distributions.

For the purpose of this tutorial I will be using 2*500 Gb hard drives and setting up a RAID 1 array.

Boot the system from the Live CD.  Once booted up open up the terminal as we need to check what our two disks are called so type:

sudo fdisk -l

Write down the designations of the two disks (e.g /dev/sda) as we are going to need these later.

Now we need to install a couple of packages.  The first we need to install is gparted so type:

sudo apt-get install gparted

The next is mdadm so type:

sudo apt-get install mdadm

Ok now we need to create partition tables and filesystems on our disks and we do this by using gparted.  In the terminal type:

sudo gparted

which will open up gparted as root allowing you to modify the partitions on the disks.  On both disks create a whole disk partition with ext4 as the filesystem.  This tutorial will show you how.

Once that is done you can close down gparted and we can go about setting up the array.

In your terminal type the following:

sudo mdadm –create –verbose /dev/md0 –level=1 –raid-devices=2 /dev/sda /dev/sdb

NOTE: There are two dashes infront of create, verbose, level and raid

In the above command:

level=1 is the raid level (in this case Mirror)

raid-devices=2 is the number of hard disks in the array

/dev/sda and /dev/sdb are the disks to be used (obtained earlier using fdisk)

If successful then you should get mdadm: array /dev/md0 started

Now we just to check the array so in your terminal type:

mdadm –detail –scan (again using two dashes)

This command should return details of the array we have just set up.

Now on to the install.  You need to install Ubuntu 12.04 the usual way from the CD until you get to the disk partitioning section where instead of using the default “Use entire disk” choose Manual.

When you choose Manual you should see /dev/md0 as one of the available disks.  You will need to specify a mount point (/) and a swap file onto it and then choose it to install Ubuntu 12.04 onto.  Follow the wizard for the rest of the install.

Once Ubuntu 12.04 has been installed reboot the system and you should now have a RAID 1 array set up.

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 throughout 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!!

 

 

How to start programs at login in Debian LXDE

Today I will show you how to start programs at login in Debian LXDE.  Even though I am using Debian LXDE these steps will work on any distribution using LXDE.

LXDE uses the ./config/autostart file to load programs at startup so this is the file we will be configuring but first we have to get the exact name of the program we want to run.  Open up a terminal and type:

cd /usr/share/applications 

followed by

ls

You should get a list similar to the one below.

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

alacarte.desktop
at-properties.desktop
baobab.desktop
bluetooth-properties.desktop
bme.desktop
brasero-copy-medium.desktop
brasero.desktop
brasero-nautilus.desktop
cheese.desktop
dasher.desktop
default-applications.desktop
defaults.list
display-properties.desktop
dropbox.desktop
ekiga.desktop
empathy-accounts.desktop
empathy.desktop
eog.desktop
epiphany.desktop
evince.desktop
evolution.desktop
evolution-mail.desktop
evolution-settings.desktop
file-roller.desktop
freecell.desktop
gcalctool.desktop
gconf-editor.desktop
gdebi.desktop
gedit.desktop
gimp.desktop
gksu.desktop
glchess.desktop
glines.desktop
gmenu-simple-editor.desktop
gnash.desktop
gnect.desktop
gnibbles.desktop
gnobots2.desktop
gnome-about.desktop
gnome-about-me.desktop
gnome-appearance-properties.desktop
gnomecc.desktop
gnome-dictionary.desktop
gnome-font-viewer.desktop
gnome-nettool.desktop
gnome-network-properties.desktop
gnome-panel.desktop
gnome-power-preferences.desktop
gnome-power-statistics.desktop
gnome-screensaver-preferences.desktop
gnome-screenshot.desktop
gnome-search-tool.desktop
gnome-settings-mouse.desktop
gnome-sound-recorder.desktop
gnome-sudoku.desktop
gnome-system-log.desktop
gnome-system-monitor.desktop
gnome-terminal.desktop
gnome-theme-installer.desktop
gnome-user-share-properties.desktop
gnome-volume-control.desktop
gnome-wm.desktop
gnomine.desktop
gnotravex.desktop
gnotski.desktop
gok.desktop
google-chrome.desktop
gparted.desktop
gpicview.desktop
grsync.desktop
gstreamer-properties.desktop
gtali.desktop
gucharmap.desktop
hamster-standalone.desktop
hplj1020.desktop
iagno.desktop
iceweasel.desktop
inkscape.desktop
keybinding.desktop
keyboard.desktop
leafpad.desktop
libfm-pref-apps.desktop
liferea.desktop
lxappearance.desktop
lxde-logout.desktop
lxde-screenlock.desktop
lxde-x-terminal-emulator.desktop
lxde-x-www-browser.desktop
lxinput.desktop
lxmusic.desktop
lxrandr.desktop
lxsession-edit.desktop
lxterminal.desktop
mahjongg.desktop
manage-print-jobs.desktop
metacity.desktop
mimeinfo.cache
nautilus-autorun-software.desktop
nautilus-browser.desktop
nautilus-computer.desktop
nautilus.desktop
nautilus-file-management-properties.desktop
nautilus-folder-handler.desktop
nautilus-home.desktop
network.desktop
network-scheme.desktop
nm-connection-editor.desktop
notification-properties.desktop
obconf.desktop
openbox.desktop
openjdk-6-java.desktop
openjdk-6-javaws.desktop
openjdk-6-policytool.desktop
openoffice.org-base.desktop
openoffice.org-calc.desktop
openoffice.org-draw.desktop
openoffice.org-impress.desktop
openoffice.org-math.desktop
openoffice.org-startcenter.desktop
openoffice.org-writer.desktop
orca.desktop
palimpsest.desktop
pcmanfm.desktop
python2.6.desktop
qt4config.desktop
quadrapassel.desktop
remmina.desktop
reportbug.desktop
rhythmbox.desktop
screensavers
seahorse.desktop
seahorse-pgp-encrypted.desktop
seahorse-pgp-keys.desktop
seahorse-pgp-preferences.desktop
seahorse-pgp-signature.desktop
services.desktop
session-properties.desktop
shares.desktop
shotwell.desktop
shotwell-viewer.desktop
simple-scan.desktop
software-properties.desktop
sol.desktop
sound-juicer.desktop
synaptic.desktop
synaptic-kde.desktop
system-config-printer.desktop
teamviewer-teamviewer7.desktop
time.desktop
tomboy.desktop
totem.desktop
transmission.desktop
unbranded-software-center.desktop
update-manager.desktop
users.desktop
vino-preferences.desktop
virtualbox.desktop
window-properties.desktop
xarchiver.desktop
xsane.desktop
xscreensaver-properties.desktop
yelp.desktop

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


For the purpose of this tutorial I will configure virtualbox at startup.  Now we have to copy the virtualbox.desktop file into the autostart directory so in your terminal type:

cp /usr/share/applications/virtualbox.desktop /home/chris/.config/autostart

and then restart the system.  Virtualbox should now start at login.

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 set up a DNS Server on Debian 6.0 “Squeeze”

Today we are going to set up and configure a DNS Server on Debian 6.0 “Squeeze”.  We will be using the bind9 package which does not come by default so we will need to install it. Open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install bind9

There are four files which we we need to configure.  Lets take the first.  In a terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.local

I have used nano to open up the file but use whichever text editor you are happy with. Insert the following code into the file:

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

# This is the zone definition. replace example.com with your domain name
zone “comtech.com” {
type master;
file “/etc/bind/zones/comtech.com.db”;
};

# This is the zone definition for reverse DNS. replace 0.168.192 with your network address in reverse notation – e.g my network address is 192.168.0
zone “1.168.192.in-addr.arpa” {
type master;
file “/etc/bind/zones/rev.0.168.192.in-addr.arpa”;
};

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


Replace comtech.com with the name of your DNS domain (this is not the same as an active directory domain but rather a name for your DNS zone).

Next up we shall configure the options file. In the terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.options

Within this file we need to modify the forwarder with the address of your ISP’s DNS servers. So modify the file adding the following:

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

forwarders {

194.72.0.114;
194.74.65.69;
};

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

Replace the addresses above with the addresses of your ISP’s DNS servers.

Now we need to add the zones file:

sudo mkdir /etc/bind/zones

Now we need to configure it by typing:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/comtech.com.db (replace comtech.com with your DNS domain).

To configure the file you will need to add the following:

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

// replace example.com with your domain name. do not forget the . after the domain name!
// Also, replace ns1 with the name of your DNS server
comtech.com. IN SOA chris-server.comtech.com.
// Do not modify the following lines!
2006081401
28800
3600
604800
38400

)

// Replace the following line as necessary:
// ns1 = DNS Server name
// mta = mail server name
// example.com = domain name
comtech.com. IN NS chris-server.comtech.com.
comtech.com. IN MX 10 mta.example.com.

// Replace the IP address with the right IP addresses.
www IN A 192.168.1.4
mta IN A 192.168.0.3
chris-server IN A 192.168.1.4

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

In the above code replace the following:

comtech.com with your DNS domain name,

192.168.1.4 with your static DNS server address,

chris-server.comtech.com with your computers hostname.dns-domain,

mta is your mail server (if you have one). If you do modify the IP address to show this.

Next we have to create the reverse DNS zone file:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/rev.1.168.192.in-addr.arpa

Add the following code:

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

//replace example.com with your domain name, ns1 with your DNS server name.
// The number before IN PTR example.com is the machine address of the DNS server
@ IN SOA chris-server.comtech.com admin.comtech.com. (
2006081401;
28800;
604800;
604800;
86400
)

IN NS chris-server.comtech.com.
1 IN PTR comtech.com

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

All that is left to do is restart bind:

sudo service bind9 restart

Don’t forget to test the new configuration:

dig comtech.com

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.

OS British Grid Reference Blackberry App


I do a lot of walking and climbing in the mountains and regularly use my map and compass to navigate when the weather gets bad and apart from some slight mishaps over the years have never got lost.  I will be the first to admit however that it is always nice for a second opinion and it was with this thought I came across the OS British Grid Reference App for Blackberry.

Now personally I hate GPS.  In my opinion it makes people lazy and reliant on technology and when that technology doesn’t work they then get in trouble.  If you know how to navigate by using a map and compass then you can’t go far wrong.  I did think however I would give this app a try to see if it was any good.  It is a simple app that gives you a grid reference of where you are and nothing more.  You then check it against a map and go from there.

It got its first trial run last weekend when I went hiking in the mountains around Comrie with a friend.  The forecast was pretty bad and the Scottish weather did not disappoint!! One minute we had good visibility the next 50m max.  The app got used twice and both times it was nice to have that second opinion of where we thought we were.  We were very impressed with how simple it was to use and how accurate it was (we checked it at the top of the first summit to check how accurate it was) and will definitely be taking it again when we go out next time.

So am I a convert to GPS? Not really.  Yes it has its place but I will still be navigating using my map and compass.

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 replace Lilo with Grub


I have been having some ‘issues’ with Lilo recently on a Debian LXDE system and thought it was about time I replaced it with Grub instead.  This is how you do it.

Open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install grub

Now type:

sudo grub-install /dev/sdb

Replace /dev/sdb with the hard disk you want to install the bootloader on.

We then need to create the file menu.1st which holds all the Grub boot information so type:

sudo update-grub

All that is left to do is uninstall Lilo and we do that by typing:

sudo apt-get remove lilo

Hopefully that will install grub in the MBR.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

CyberChimps
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera
WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates