Resize Windows Partitions with Ubuntu

January 22, 2010

Today at work I received a new Dell laptop for one of our employees. We normally split the HDD into two partitions (C: and D:). D: is used to hold all of the user’s data such as; word documents, pdf’s, etc… I didn’t want to go through the hassle of formatting the C: drive and then splitting it through the XP boot disk, so I did some research on alternate ways of accomplishing this task.  Most articles I found stated that Ubuntu Live disks worked incredibly well.  They couldn’t have been more right.

Resizing NTFS partitions with Ubuntu

  1. Insert Ubuntu Disk (I used 9.04)
  2. Reboot PC and when prompted boot from disk
  3. Click “Try Ubuntu without installing”
  4. Once booted into Ubuntu go to System  > Administration > Users and Groups
  5. Click on Root and then on Configure
  6. Create a password for root and click ok
  7. Open up a terminal window and type in su without the quotes and press enter
  8. Enter the root password you just configured and press enter
  9. type in gparted and press enter
  10. Once the gparted GUI launches, you’ll notice a graph of the HDD and how its split up in partitions.  Right click the partition you want to resize and click resize

    gparted

  11. Once the new window opens, change the partition size to whatever you wish and click ok
  12. After step 11, you can either apply the changes and allocate the free space through windows or right click it and format it with NTFS.
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Troubleshooting Video Problems

January 15, 2010

Kait35 asked: “Bought a Pavilion s3137c from someone who didn’t need it anymore. They bought it new from Costco in early 2009. I have had it since October 09. Motherboard has already been replaced under warranty. It has Vista Home Premium on it. It has run fine but after being on for a while the video gets distorted with either vertical or horizontal lines and the system locks up. It was infrequent enough that I ignored it and just rebooted when it happened. I bought Windows 7 upgrade and the problem happens EVERY time I have tried to do the upgrade. Had Microsoft support on the phone. Did a complete backup,format HD,and custom install. Still locks up at the end of the upgrade from the video. Not sure if it’s the onboard video or power supply. Has to be one of those. Any suggestions???”



Kait,

When dealing with video problems, they can be classified into two categories: hardware and software.

Software Problems usually originate from corrupt driver files.  Drivers are kind of like the middle man between Windows and the actual hardware device.  Without a driver Windows does not know the correct language to speak to the hardware.  For example:  If I went to Korea and needed to buy something, I wouldn’t know how to communicate what I needed to the cashier.  If  I had a translator (driver) with me, I could easily purchase what I needed.

Now that I’ve defined what a driver is, we can start to diagnose the problem.  Since you mentioned that the problem existed when you were running Vista and continued and worstened when you upgraded to 7, it could be due to a bad driver.  To test this theory reboot your computer.  Are you able to see any of the graphics or text (HP Logo screen or RAM count) that appear when booting without the lines running on the screen?   If so, the problem exists within Windows and is most likely a bad driver.   Comment this page after you’ve done what I’ve asked and I’ll continue on once I hear your response.


Ubuntu: Awesome Support but noticeable compatibility issues

May 20, 2009

As you may have read in one of my earlier posts, I had fallen in love with Ubuntu.  Up until recently, I have been using Ubuntu for everything from web browsing to web design.

Regretably, I’ve been noticing that a lot of my hardware, in my Dell XPS 410 is not supported in Ubuntu (sound card, printer, etc…). The Ubuntu forums provides tons of “solutions” for hardware problems, but either I don’t have the expertise, the solutions don’t apply to me, or I have to add 20 lines of code to a certain system critical file.    I’m not saying that Ubuntu is a terrible OS, but I’m saying its a terrible OS for my PC and my patience.

I’m sure there are people who will be reading this who have the same PC as me and can’t figure out why I’m having so much trouble.  When it comes down to it, I work 10 hour days and don’t get home till 6pm at night.  Once I’m home I usually like to hop on my computer and shoot the shit with friends.  Sometimes I’m put in a situation where someone wants to talk on Skype.  I have an account from when I had XP and installed it on Ubuntu.   As it turns out, Ubuntu doesn’t support my sound card and it won’t recognize my mic.  So I googled solutions and found 100s of pages of restults.  I tried about 10 of them just to be left frustrated and let down.  Next thing I know its time to turn in for the night.  Now on the otherhand, I have Ubuntu 8.10 running on my Dell Inspiron B130 without any problems.   It does what I need it to and couldn’t ask for more from it.

Now I’m back using XP on my XPS and am loving how everything seems to be compatible.  No longer do I need to do custom editing on files.  Most problems can be fixed by downloading a program or driver.  Although, I’m experiencing a noticable performance defficiency in XP as compared to Ubuntu.  Overall, I’m happy with XP and will stick with it for my primary PC.

What are your experiences with Ubuntu as compared to XP?


Long time no Blog

May 19, 2009

So, its been a while since I posted on here and I figured it was time I atleast did something.   So here it is.     Recently, I have been going through an academic “rebirth.”  Its not the kind of rebirth in which I change my concentration of work in the field, but the kind in which I decide I need to do more.

I took and completed both the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) classes throughout my academic careers.  I have yet to get the certifications.  Which is where I am now.  I have recently read over all of my CCNA Modules and have purchased a CCNA cram book that I’m reading now.  I hope to be certified by the end of next month.

I’m hoping that this will make my peers and employers take me more seriously and maybe, just maybe get me a promotion or atleast recognition.

I hope to post some more before I take the test, but in the case that I don’t, I will post on the results.

-Jim


Analog Fax Machine over Ethernet (The Ghetto Way)

October 18, 2008

It was recently brought to my attention that we do not have a fax machine at my place of business.  Keep in mind that I work for a fortune 500 company which likes to keep up with emerging technology.  Apparently users have been complaining amongst themselves about our lack of fax machines but decided to not bring it to my attention.  It wasn’t until a programmer was unable to send a fax to a software company for it to come to my attention.  It turns out that our office Copier/Scanner also has a built in Fax Machine.  Regrettably, there are no phone jacks located near the copier.

What I had planned to do was purchase a Cisco modem (we’re mainly a Cisco ran company) which would convert the analog fax machine into an IP fax machine.  From there our network admin could assign a number to it through Cisco call manager.  My boss however decided that this would be a waste of money and suggested that I figure a way to hook it up for next to nothing.  Like stated previously, there are no phone jacks near the fax machine.  In fact, there’s probably only about 5 phones jacks in the building. Yes that’s right, we are strictly VoIP.   This means, of course, that I have a plethora of RJ45 wall jacks to choose from.

RJ45 half of my RJ11 to RJ45 cable.
The RJ45 half of my RJ11 to RJ45 cable.

After mapping out where the closest ethernet wall jack ran and where the analog phone lines are terminated I brainstormed a resolution.  Luckily, the ethernet patch panel and 66 block (phone patch panel) are loacted in the same room.  What I figured was my best plan of action would be to run a CAT5 cable, with a RJ11 connector on one side and a RJ45 connector on the other, from the fax machine to the wall plate.  From there I would run another CAT5 cable from the patch panel to the 66 block.

Blue CAT5 cable punched down on the 66 block

Blue CAT5 cable punched down on the 66 block

Once I had all of the cables crimped and installed, the final step was to map the fax machine to one of our phone numbers.  To do this, I simply punched the ethernet wires down parralell to a phone line that has a number leased from the phone company and then conected the two connections with briding clips (the silver clips shown on the picture to the left).
I searched for hours looking on a how-to for this topic with no luck, that is why I decided to document this.  Consider this a starting point for people who are in the same predicament.

My switch to Ubuntu

October 10, 2008

I’ve recently switched my laptop from Windows XP to Ubuntu (about 4 months ago) because of all of the great things I’ve been hearing about Linux and Ubuntu.  When I first switched, I was weary about how complex it might be and what kind of challenges I might encounter trying to do common tasks.  To be honest, if I didn’t have a friend that knew how to run Linux via command line or the GUI, I would have abandoned my quest for Linux knowledge.  Its not that Ubuntu was all that hard to use, it just that it was DIFFERENT.

Maybe this is just a sign of age (i’m only 22) or maybe I just grew too attached to XP.  I’m guessing its the latter of the two.  But once I got l the ittle things ironed out, like installing the correct flash package through synaptic package manager (I originally downloaded a flash package that blocked all flash objects on webpages, which pissed me off!), Ubuntu began to grow on me. For the record, I’m am still using XP on my XPS410 desktop mainly for compatibility and as a reference (I’m a computer tech).
It ran smoothly, quickly and rarely froze.  Some of the features that I liked:

Graying out of windows

When a program freezes or takes longer to respond than normal, the window will turn gray.  I find this to be a nice feature mainly because it lets you know that something is hung-up in the program.  Whereas in Windows when you click something you and it takes a while to load, you’re not sure whether it froze or is running slowly.  And I know from experience if you try to click a frozen window it just whites out and you have a hell of a time closing it.

Synaptic Package Manager

This handy little tool pretty much allows you to download and install almost every program, plugin, etc… that is meant for Ubuntu.  Its really simple, just open it up, search for what you want, download, and install.  Its a pretty sweet deal!

FREE $$$$$

Everything is free!  For you who do not know, Ubuntu can be downloaded free of charge here!  Simply download the ISO file and burn it to a CD and viola! You’re good to go.

If you’re still weary about whether or not you want to make the switch to Ubuntu, you can try it out without installing it on your computer.  Just put the Ubuntu CD into your computer and restart and boot from the CD.  Ubuntu will then ask you for a language and whether or not you want to try it out or install it.


Microwave Ovens… Science’s little sabotager

September 24, 2008

Lately at work we’ve been having trouble with our Symbol 1060 handhelds running slow and/or disconnecting during heavy production times. We have tried separating the access points from the rest of the network through vlans, but made no progress.

We then called in an expert from “Bar Coding.” He had a nifty device called a YellowJacket Wireless Analyzer. This thing could detect available access points as well as measure interference. We began to do a sweep of the warehouse and didn’t notice any interference. Although, the closer we got to the cafeteria, the worse the interference got. I would estimate that we were about 60 feet away from the cafeteria and were experiencing a 1/3 degradation from signal strength. The closer we got, the worse the strength got and the worse the interference got.

Bastard Microwave

Bastard Microwave

It turns out that someone in the cafeteria was warming up their food in an industrial microwave that was located near the wall that separates the cafeteria form the warehouse. I always knew that microwaves were supposed to screw with wireless signal, but I never imagined it to be that terrible.

This blew my mind so much that I felt it to be necessary that I share this with the Internets.

Feel free to share any crazy wireless stories you may have in the comments.