Saturday, February 24, 2018

Some CDs/DVDs do not autorun

Tech News and Views

I received a call yesterday from a user who inserted a CD in the computer drive in order to install a new printer. He said that something must be wrong since he inserted the CD and nothing happened. I had to explain to him that not all CDs are set up with autorun. That is, they don't boot automatically. To open disks without autorun, the user muse left click on file explorer and then left click on This PC (My computer in earlier Windows versions). Then, look for an image and description of the CD/DVD drive. Left click on it to see the files. If installing a printer, click on Setup, Install or a similar command.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Easy way to mount solid state drives

Tech News and Views

Solid state drives are becoming much more popular and you may want to put one in your aging desktop computer. It will really speed up the operation. SSDs typically come in a 2.5" size while drive bays are typically 3.5". Special adapter mounts are available for seven or eight dollars but a much less expensive method of mounting is to use one or two cable ties to hold the drive to the drive cage.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Loss of activation when cloning

Tech News and Views

I recently used the excellent Aoemi software to clone my main computer's hard drive. The clone operation worked perfectly. I installed the clone into an all-in-one that previously contained Windows 10. The install went off without a hitch, but then I noticed the watermark at the lower right of the all-in-one screen stating that Windows was not activated.

The lack of activation stemmed from the fact that I had cloned a computer containing Windows 10 Pro and had put the clone in a computer that contained Windows 10 home. Of course Microsoft won't allow that, so I can either live with the watermark or will have to install the home version in the all-in-one.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Review of really good clone software

Tech News and Views

Here's a great review of Aoemi Backupper software from PC World magazine. I have used the software and I agree with the editors.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Differences between Clone and Image

Tech News and Views

I know that many users are confused by the terms clone and image. A clone is an exact copy of the hard drive. An image is a compressed copy of the hard drive.

A clone might be made when the hard drive is in the processing of failing. Then, the original drive can quickly be replaced by the cloned drive. Often, users make clones on new SSDs (solid state drives) so the original mechanical drive can be replaced by the much faster SSD.

Good imaging software will permit incremental changes so that when you want a copy of your hard drive you don't have to create the whole image again when just small changes have been made to the drive. Since images are compressed, many images can be stored on one backup drive. Each time a cloned drive is accessed, the new clone overwrites the old one.

Imaging software usually requires the user to create a special boot disk to access the computer.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Neat way to access the bios

Tech News and Views

I guess an old dog can learn new tricks. I recently learned a neat way to get into the computer bios when nothing else worked. The trick involved switching from a USB keyboard to an old PS/2 keyboard. Of course the computer had to have a PS/2 port (the old round connector as opposed to USB). After I connected the keyboard all I had to do was press the proper key to access the bios. It was the F10 key on my old computer.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Easy way to clone disks

Tech News and Views

I recently tried to repair a Windows 10 computer that was slow enough to put you to sleep. I wanted to do a Windows 10 reset, which normally works wonders, but Windows was corrupted and just wouldn't reset. I had to remove the hard drive, format, copy Windows 10 to the drive and re-install it in the laptop. What made the job easier was an HDD dock with duplicating function. Here's such a duplicator, available at a good price from Newegg.

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