Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Windows 8.1 Refresh

Started having some problems with my Windows 8.1 laptop. Troubleshooting lead to problems with some system files. System File Checker couldn't fix the problems, so I did the Windows 8.1 equivalent of the older Windows Repair, which is now called Refresh.

Things started out well enough, the Refresh program warned me that programs installed from the web would be un-installed, my Windows Store apps would all be reinstalled, and all of my settings would be kept.

Now, I KNOW, I should have backed everything up first, but I didn't. And well, that's not exactly what happened. Numerous programs were uninstalled, including Microsoft Office 2010. That one came as a bit of a surprise. Of all the programs installed on my laptop, I thought for sure that that one would remain, but it didn't.

In addition, quite a few of my settings were reset. Things like my Outlook profile, were now gone. I was back to those annoying check boxes for selecting icons (who came up with that?). Preferences for using my fingerprint scanner to login, my HotMail/ account being tied to my system account, all gone. Now I can understand the fingerprint reader login option being reset, but I had to re-enroll my fingerprints as well.

(I'm still going back and trying to get everything set back up again, so I don't know about the Windows Store apps, yet.)

So if you should have the need to do a "Refresh" on Windows 8.1, make sure your preferences are all backed up.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Some Fixes for a Slow Mac

This morning I came across a post over at MacDailyNews: "When your Mac slows down, give it a tune-up". The timing on this post couldn't be better, as recently I've noticed my own Mac displaying the beachball-of-death far too frequently, especially when saving files.

I'll give you a very brief outline of the steps suggested to give your Mac a tune-up, more for my future reference than anything, but I highly suggest you go read the full article.

Free Up Disk Space

  1. Clear out any old/unused files (.dmg, .pkg, etc.) you should have at least 3 times the free space on your hard-drive as you have memory installed. If you have 4GB of memory, you should have at least 12GB of free space on your drive. (In the Windows world we generally recommend at least 10% of your drive space free, this would work quite well on a Mac as well)
  2. Clear out your caches and rebuild the disk directory. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to reboot your Mac while holding down the shift key, until you get to the desktop/login screen, then do a normal reboot.
  3. Remove unnecessary StartUp items and browser plug-ins. I won't go in to the details about this here, head on over to the original article to learn more about how to do this, if you don't already know how.
  4. Install more RAM. This has long been a mantra in the IT world.
 So if you're experiencing a slow Mac, give these suggestions a try, it certainly won't hurt (as long as you follow the directions closely).

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Springpad Shutting Down

For those of you who haven't heard, on June 25th Springpad will be shutting down. (Yeah I know, old news to some).

Personally, I'm sad to see it go. I much prefer it over Evernote and OneNote. Guess I'll be looking at other options.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Shorter Way to Get to System Properties in Windows

Here's a handy little way to get to the System properties window in Windows OSes. Open a Windows Explorer Window, on the left side, in the tree view, right-click "Computer", select "Properties". That's it.

I'm sure that there is probably a keyboard short-cut that makes it even easier, but I haven't looked for it yet. ;-)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Evernote: Creating "Note Links" Using the Web Version

I'm still on the fence about the different note taking apps available, Evernote, Springpad, OneNote, so I've been experimenting with all three. One of the thinkgs that I noticed in the web version of Evernote is the in ability to link to other notes. I find this to be somewhat frustrating, as you can do it in the desktop version. I did however find a way to do it. It's a bit cumbersome, but it does work. Here's how:
  1. Right-click on the note you want to link to
  2. Select "Open note in separate window"
  3. Select the address of the note from the address bar of the newly opened window
  4. Copy the address
  5. Close the window
  6. In the note you want to link FROM select the text you want for the link, or create the text
  7. From the tools menu select "More" which looks like "..."
  8. Select "Create link", looks like part of a chain
  9. Paste the address you copied in step 4 and click "OK"
A bit cumbersome, but it works.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ummmmmm yeah, that explains it.

The other day one of my customers started having problems with their phone system, which is handled partly by me (the phone network) and partly by another company (the PBX and Voicemail systems). The PBX guys determined that there was nothing wrong with their equipment so it must be a problem with the network.

General Permission Error When Importing a VM to a Hyper-V FailoverCluster

I've recently been working on exporting VMs from a single Hyper-V server and importing them into a Hyper-V Failover Cluster. While running the import I kept running into a general permission denied error.