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A/C Repair

21 May

Heat Pump Repair

Thu, May 22, 2015

After calling two HVAC companies and finding out that they were busy we called a third company. The person from third company came and told us that fan was at fault. He also told us that there may be leak in the evaporator coil. But couldn’t find the leak.

So we asked him to change the fan and we paid for the fan change only.

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A/C trouble

19 May

Heat Pump Trouble

Tue, May 19, 2015

When we came home in the evening the house was hot. The outside temperature was not that bad indicating that something is wrong with our Janitrol Heat pump. Cranking down the thermostat didn’t help. Since it was already late we simply opened the windows for a short while and cooled the house and closed up the windows. We were reminded of the problem that only last year we needed to change something in the A/C

Fix macbook with fasteners

12 Mar

White MacBook Fasteners

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014

Yesterday I received the MacBook fasteners in mail. So I used regular small ‘star’ screwdriver and added the fasteners to the bottom portion of my white MacBook.  This will now hold the bottom cover better. There were eight fasteners and I needed only three.MacBookFasteners

How to clean C Drive and reclaim more disk space in C:\Windows directory or C:\ partition

15 Nov

How to clean C Drive and reclaim more disk space in C:\Windows directory or C:\ partition

One of the ways to find out what files are taking up how much space is to run a free and Open Source program called WinDirStat which is available from Open Source Download site SourceForge.net. More information about this program is available at http://windirstat.info/

When I ran WinDirStat program on my Windows 7 64 bit and Windows XP SP3 computers, I found a file called $PatchCache$ under the following directory to occupy large amount of space 2 to 3 GB (depending on the computer).

C:\Windows\Installer\$PatchCache$

In one my machines, the C:\ drive (actually a partition on a larger drive) where Windows directory was located had only 10 GB total allocation (since it was a Windows XP SP3 machine and 8 years old), I needed to recover some space in the c:\ partition. This was made more important since I had less than 10% free space, making even defragmenting using “Defraggler” not optimal.

So I Googled the search-term “can i remove $PatchCache$”. The two following links came up as promising ones.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprogeneral/thread/358b11de-927d-4bbf-b7ec-3a7f389d1c4c

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/heaths/archive/2009/08/09/atl-security-update-kb971092-still-offered-on-microsoft-update.aspx

So I followed the instructions in the posts and I am repeating them here.

Start >Accessories>Command Prompt [Don’t run it but right click it and Select Run as Administrator and say “yes” to the prompt and run it; if you simply run it and issue the next command, see below, you will get an error “Access is denied”. You need to be an Administrator to run it.]

 

In the command window type exactly the following command

rmdir /q /s %WINDIR%\Installer\$PatchCache$

and hit return. After few seconds you will get the empty prompt again. This means the $PatchCache$ directory has been cleaned. Subsequently, the space occupied by that directory should be free and you have now reclaimed some wanted space.

How to install a Windows program in d: drive when c: drive has less space

12 Jul
How to install a Windows program in d: drive when c: drive has less space

Windows Junctions

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tallahassee, FL

Installation of windows program in non-c drive

Typically when one tries to install Microsoft Windows compatible programs and follow the ‘Default’ or ‘Recommended’ settings, the programs are installed in the “c:\” drive. For native Microsoft Windows programs like Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, etc. this may be the ‘best’ option to avoid problems later on.

However, if you have older machines that came with smaller “c:\’ drive or if you are like me who partitioned the original hard disk to “c:\” for o/s-related programs, “d:\” for non-Microsoft programs, and “e:\” for user files, time may come to install files in locations other than “c:\” as “c:\” gets filled with Windows Updates and other Microsoft o/s data.

This may not be a problem if you have a larger disk or your program-installer allows you to select where the program will get installed. For example, many installers will give you an option to follow ‘Default’ or ‘Advanced’ modes. The ‘Default’ mode will install the program in “c:\” drive while the ‘Advanced’ option will install it in “d:\” or other drives.

However, I have encountered a problem with Google Chrome that wouldn’t give me an option (at least I couldn’t figure out) of selecting destination drive and got installed by default in “c:\” drive. The problem was severe in my older machines where I wanted the faster Chrome but it ended up taking up larger portion of “c:\” drive. The latter prevented me from properly defragging or cleaning the drive.

If you encounter a problem like this you can use what is called Windows Junction. Junction performs the job of a symbolic link for directories (those who are familiar with UNIX or Linux will recognize this to be equivalent of the link command

 ‘ln –s existing location different location’

Junction will add a pointer in a location to a location where your program actually resides. So in our example we will simply add a pointer in “c:\” to location in “d:\” where the program will be located. Since pointers don’t occupy lots of space you can still live with a small “c:\” drive for little longer.

Download and install Windows Junction

Go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896768 and download Junction (currently v1.06). Then unzip the download to temporary location (alternatively one unzip directly to “c:\windows\System32”). If you have unzipped in a temporary location copy the file ‘junction.exe’ to “c:\windows\System32”.

Run Junctions and specify target and destination

Now, go to Start button> All Programs >Accessories>Run Command Prompt (alternatively you can select Windows Key + “R” to get the Run dialog and in the Run dialog issue ‘cmd’ and get the Black Command Line terminal) (c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe).

In that black command terminal run junction.exe with first argument where you want the pointer (here it will be in c:\ drive) and second argument where want the actual program to be (here it will be e:\ drive). See below:

junction.exe [location_of_folder_in_c] [location_of_folder_in_e]

In my case for Windows XP SP3 machine

junction.exe “C:\Documents and Settings\soma\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application”   “e:\Program Files\Google\Chrome”

(Note: the command above is one single line except the gap between target and destination. Don’t break-it up)

Basically we have told to put the pointer at:  C:\Documents and Settings\soma\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application and put the program at: e:\Program Files\Google\Chrome

Install the program

With the junction installed now download your program (in my case Google Chrome) and run the installer. You will now notice that the program got installed in “e:\” rather than “c:\”. I actually uninstalled Google Chrome from “c:\” to free-up space. Then ran the Junction program. Then I reinstalled Google Chrome (now in different location automatically).

Hope this helps!

Remington Razor

4 Jul

Remington Electric Razor

Dual boot MacBook and Windows 7 64 bit

3 Jul

Dual boot MacBook and Windows 7 64 bit

13 inch MacBook  MC516LL/A | Model A1342

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

I recently got an older version of Mac Book (13″ White Mac Book; MC516LL/A; Model 1342; running Lion o/s). It came with a 250 GB Hitachi Hard disk. I wanted to run some Windows specific programs that were not available for Mac platform so I sought the help of  computer resources person and so that I can install Windows 7 64 bit on the white Mac Book. He helped me a lot. I will put together some details of how we did this below:

1. Backup

Before we start we need to download two programs that will be useful to us in later stages so let us download them and have them available on all disk (you can also have them available on an external USB Mac formatted thumb drive). The programs are:

  1. Carbon Copy Cloner from www.bombich.com
  2. GPT fdisk from http://sourceforge.net/projects/gptfdisk/

Then we took a 500 GB external (USB) hard disk and formatted it in Mac format (HFS). Attached the USB disk to the Mac Book and ran the Time Machine program on the Mac Book and saved the disk carefully.

Then we took another 500 GB external (USB) hard disk and formatted it in Mac format (HFS). Then attached the second USB disk to the Mac Book and ran the carbon copy cloner  (CCC). While running CCC we selected the Mac Book as the ‘Source’ and the external hard disk as the ‘Destination’. We needed to make a ‘Recovery Partition’ on the MacClone before copying all the contents. When completed we ejected the disk and kept it aside. So we now have Time Machine hard disk and Carbon Copy Cloned hard disk. With somewhat identical but different type of back-ups of the original disk.

2. Remove and replace hard disk

Then we shut down the Mac Book. Then we opened the back cover of Mac Book by removing the 8 Phillips screws. Then we proceeded with removing the original 250 GB Hitachi hard disk and replacing it with 320 GB  Seagate hard disk (both have SATA interface). The Mac Book manual shows how to do this. The original hard disk with all contents of Mac Book was labeled and stored safely. The back cover of the Mac Book with larger hard disk was closed. Now we a third copy of the original content in the form of the original hard disk.

3. Booting off external disk and formatting the new drive

With the new hard disk inside, connect the Carbon Copy Cloned hard disk via USB port and start the Mac Book while holding the ‘alt’ or ‘Option’ key. With this special booting mode, the window you show you two options: ‘MacClone’ or ‘Recovery HD’. Here, select the MacClone and boot the Mac Book using it. Then using the Disk Utilities in the MacClone disk, partition the Mac Book’s new hard disk into one large Mac formatted disk (HSF).

Now use the CCC in MacClone disk and copy back your MacClone to the new (labeled MacBookNew). The source this time will be ‘MacClone’ and destination will be ‘MacBookNew’. Once again it will ask for ‘Recovery Partition’ and ‘Regular area’ accept both and copy it.

Still using the ‘MacClone’s Disk Utilities now shrink the one big partition to 210GB (leaving 110 GB) as an empty area. Now using the MacClone’s gptdisk utility make  hybrid MBR.

Now shutdown the Mac Book.

4. Installing Windows

Before you restart the Mac Book, slide Windows 7 64-bit installation DVD into the Super Drive. Then boot the Mac Book with ‘Alt’ aka ‘Option’ button held down. You will now see four options to choose from ‘Mac HD’, ‘Recovery Partition’, ‘Windows’, and ‘EFI’. Using the arrow keys or mouse pad select ‘Windows’ and hit ‘Enter’.

You will now go through the regular Windows 7 64-bit installation. It may ask you to reformat the 110 GB partition to be in NTFS mode, go ahead and do it. Continue the Windows installation. Take the DVD out and shut down.

Restart while holding the ‘alt’ button and select Windows and get all updates and install all necessary software (you may have to go over several reboots to get all updates).

5. Bootcamp DVD

It is very likely you will not have the necessary Windows drivers for Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Video for the (nVidia MPC86 chipset). So while running under Windows mode, slip in the Mac installation disk and run boot camp. This will install all the Windows drivers.

You are done.