It’s the end of the week, and time to sit back and review everything that’s happened, reflect on what we accomplished, and most important of all, try and relax and get some rest. It’s the weekend!
Mini How-Tos are Tiny, Useful Tips
You might have noticed yesterday that we published an article that didn’t look quite like the normal, extremely long article format you’re used to reading here at How-To Geek.
While we’re writing articles, we often pass over some of the really simple but very useful tips just because we’re used to writing longer pieces, but starting now we’re going to start publishing some of those tips as “Mini How-Tos”.
How-To Geek Articles that Helped Me Repair a PC This Week
One of the funny side effects about writing articles is that I often completely forget how to do things after I’ve written it down and shared it with everybody else. Then a few months later, I’ll be trying to figure out something, Google for it, and notice that I’ve already written an article on how to do exactly what I was trying to remember. Duh!
So anyway, I was unfortunately stuck fixing a Windows XP PC today that simply wouldn’t boot, so I needed to use the the XP startup repair options—sadly XP doesn’t have the same useful startup repair that Windows 7 or Vista have. For XP, you have to boot off the installation media, and then head towards the Recovery Console—which prompts you for the administrator password.
Since the owner of the PC had no clue what that password was, it was time to reset it. I chose to use the Linux System Rescue CD, an excellent and geeky option to handle it.
Note that I could also have used the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, but I didn’t have one on me.
After resetting the password, rebooting with the XP disc, and doing lots of work in the recovery console, I came to the conclusion that the system was beyond repair and required a reinstall. It was time to get the files off the PC, but since it wouldn’t boot there was only one option:
At this point I had backed up the entire drive to an external USB drive, and it was time to reinstall. The only problem is that the machine had an SATA hard drive, and when you try and install Windows XP you’ll get the message “Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer”. The problem, in short, is that XP doesn’t have SATA drivers by default, and you’ll need to make a slipstreamed install disk.
It was at this point that I realized there was another spare PC laying around. So we just gave her that one. What a wasted day!
Email Newsletter Format Changing
Since we’ve dramatically stepped up article writing production in the last few months, we’ve started getting complaints about just how incredibly long the daily email newsletter is getting, especially when there are full images in every single post. It’s gotten to the point where I have to agree—there’s just too much in the email, and often some of the articles don’t appeal to everybody.
So what we’re going to do is change the format slightly. Instead of getting 3-6 full articles in the newsletter we’ll be publishing the best, most interesting 2 or 3 articles for the day in the full format, and then just give you an excerpt of the other articles that might not appeal to all readers.
It’s a good trade-off that makes the newsletter more digestible while continuing to provide all the same great content we always have. It’s an especially good decision considering that we plan to ramp up article production even more. =)
TinyHacker’s Tiny Links
The random links continue to pour in over at TinyHacker.
|Use Reliability Monitor in 7 to Assess Failed Events|
|Improve The Audio In Vista And 7 With A Few Clicks|
|45 Beautiful December Wallpapers|
|Cute Animal Icons|
|Quattuor Simplex Wallpaper By kol|
|How to Fix Master Boot Record Errors in XP and Vista|
Super User’s Most Popular Weekly Topics
The great questions continue to pour in…
- being as productive in windows as in Linux
- What is it that kills laptop batteries?
- Hook two computers to one speaker?
- IrfanView linux alternative?
- What’s the easiest way to transfer my Firefox settings from one computer to another
- What’s the easiest way to install Enlightenment on Ubuntu 9.10?
- GUI grep on OS X
- Uninstall Windows Defender in Windows 7
The Geek Note
Please don’t install Advanced Virus Remover. It’s a virus. More on this next week.
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 12/4/09