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Archive for the ‘Windows Software’ Category

How to use QuickSFV to verify file integrity

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

We usually exchange large files with our customers, such as highly compressed virtual machines.  Compression works perfectly for us, as it allows us to send a VM as one file, which is usually a self-extracting archive.  However, downloading files opens up the possibility of download corruption, which can render the compressed archive useless.

In order to avoid corrupted downloads, you should use a download manager that allows you to resume the download in case it breaks.  We’ve had good luck recently with Internet Download Manager.

In order to verify that no corruption has happened during the transfer process, we usually send our clients a sfv file.  This file is intented to be used with QuickSFV in order to verify that the download is not corrupt .  The following guide will instruct you on how to use QuickSFV to verify that your download is not corrupt.

Assumptions

We are assuming that you:

  1. Already have the files downloaded somewhere on your computer
  2. Already have installed QuicSFV on the computer where the files were download (make sure you install the correct one if you are using a 64-bit OS)
  3. Have placed the sfv in the same folder where the files you want to check are located

Procedure

  1. Navigate to the folder where your downloaded files are
  2. Double click the sfv file
  3. QuickSFV will start checking your files.  Depending on the size of the files, this might take some time

    Verification in Progress

  4. If you see a dialog similar to the one below that displays All files OK, you are good, the files have been verified:

    Pass

  5. If you see the dialog below, pay attention to which file is corrupt and re-download the file:

    Fail

Parting Words

ALWAYS use a download manager for large files, you’ll be sorry if you stick to FireFox/Internet Explorer for these types of downloads.

Consider donating to QuickSFV, it’s a great utility that can save you hours of pain.

How to Install Drivers on a Machine with no Ethernet / Wireless Drivers Available

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

A friend’s Toshiba Satellite was plagued with virus. I tried downloading the AVG Anti-virus but it did not detect half of the virus and spyware and that good stuff – so I got fed up and installed Windows XP from scratch. Once it booted, I thought I would just go to Toshiba and download the drivers for the Toshiba A105 SP4501 – easy right?

Dead wrong. Apparently the Toshiba A105 SP4501 is a figment of my imagination, because Toshiba does not lists it anywhere, so here I was, with my friend’s laptop that had no wireless drivers, no ethernet drivers and I was quickly running out of patience.

I then remember that in Lifehacker I read about Drivermax Agent, something that apparently did miracles for drivers. It was about to do its magic and it needed to connect o the Internet – which I did not have because I had no drivers!

Whilst in frustration, I noticed the IEEE1394 port, which is always listed as a network adpater. So I did it without even thinking it – I plugged in the port to my Macbook’s firewire port, launched Internet sharing and did this:

internet sharing through firewire

I did an ipconfig /renew in Windows and the damn thing got an IP!!!! I then launched DriverMax and it did all of its magic. It quickly found my missing drivers, suggested the best one, downloaded and installed it for me (you want chips with that?).

A Couple of Awesome Utilities for Windows

Friday, August 1st, 2008

My work during the last month or so has varied greatly in terms of the tasks I had to do. I have temporarily drifted away from HPC, Virtualization, Windows Server 2008 and have been working for some time with another Microsoft department. So far it has been great and I have learned a great deal on many areas that I was a bit rusty on.

During this time I have been using some amazing tools for Windows that I thought I’d share.

Screen Capture | SnagIt | TechSmith_s Screen Capture Software.jpg

For documenting processes and diagrams, screenshots are must. Techsmith is by far, the king of media presentation. One of my favorite apps is Snag It, which lets you capture any sort of screenshot on Windows. If it wasn’t for Skitch, I’d be jealous that this app does not exists in OS X.

oXygen XML Editor.jpg

If you need ANYTHING XML related, then this product is a must have. My jaw dropped when I was able to debug an XML document with an XSLT file I was writing (by the way the Zvon XSLT tutorial is amazing). This program also works great for XHTML and many other formats – I have used for a couple of days and I cannot imagine editing an XML in the future without oxygen. Oh, and it works on OS X too – what else could you ask for? What was that? Oh you have an idea? Let them know!

Mozy: Lifesaver Backup

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Two days ago, due to the extraneous magnetic field that has lately surrounded me, my Macbook’s internal hard drive died on me. No warning or anything, just plain dead. After reading a bit, seems I am not alone on this issue. Just be warned that if your Macbook’s internal hard drive is Seagate and its firmware is 7.0.1, you better start making sure your backups are up-to-date.

After the crash, I knew I had lost important documents since the last backup I had made was in October of 2007 :S….or so I thought. Luckily I had installed and configured Mozy a while back to automatically backup all my documents. After referring some people, my backup space was of about 3.5 GB, which was enough to store my data.

After selecting a restore, all my documents were placed back under my possession in virtually no time. If you want to give Mozy a try, use the link below to sign-up, it will give you (and me) additional space. And always always always remember to backup, because it, indeed happens when you least expect it.

The magic link: https://mozy.com/?code=T5HY7L

Windows 2003/Windows XP Wireless Drivers for the Slimline s3020n

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

I really don’t know why they make it so hard and hide the drivers that work on their systems on the HP’s site. They made it so that if you want to download non-vista drivers for their relatively new machines, you will have to dig and dig and dig until you find a driver that “may” work.

Anywhow, here is the verified download link for the wireless card for the Slimline s3020n:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/genericSoftwareDownloadIndex?cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&softwareitem=pv-49313-1&jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN

Mounting ISOs on Windows

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

One of the things I really like about OS X is the fact that you can double click an ISO or DMG file and it will mount as an additional volume on the desktop. In order for Windows to do this, you need to install 3rd party software.

I found a nice *free* tool called Virtual Clone Drive, made by the people from Slisoft. This one will allow you to mount a variety of disk images and installation does not require a restart, which is great.

If you would like to mount images on Windows XP/2003 for x64, you will need a different tool. I like Daemon Tools, that has a 32-bit and 64-bit version. Be warned that the free version installs ads, which last time I checked was optional during installation.

New Office 2K3 SP3 breaks old file compatibility

Monday, January 7th, 2008

I just read on ComputerWorld that the new Office SP3 patch will break compatibility with old Office formats. The move was made to avoid security risks that the old formats had. Among the old formats are powerpoint documents and word documents created with Microsoft Office for Mac. This means that as of now, if you use the only Microsoft product on the Mac for creating word and powerpoint files, there might be a chance that your document will be unreadable by someone who is using Office 2K3 SP3.

Fortunately, there is a way of enabling all the “insecure” file formats back; but this requires some registry hacking. While I have not read any of the fixes or new features included in SP3, the sole fact that it renders Microsoft old file formats incompatible is the only reason I need not to upgrade.

Google Reader: The Best RSS Reader Out There

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

I was checking my GMail account one day and decided to browse some of the other services Google offers. Besides doc, calendar, and e-mail, I found once that called my attention: Google Reader.

Reader is an online RSS reader, and it solves all of my RSS problems:

  • It is free
  • It is fast
  • It offers a perfect solution to sync all my RSS feeds (that is, I will get home and all the RSS that I have gone through at work won’t be marked as unread)
  • It imports/exports your RSS feeds
  • It allows you to easily share an RSS article with via e-mail
  • It allows you to group things into categories

I have been using it for two weeks and I am VERY impressed. This is as good as AJAX gets, give it a shot, you wont be disappointed!

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Moving from OS X’s Mail to Thunderbird

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

OS X’s mail is pretty damn good, and the latest revision makes it even better. However, it is lacking one aspect I think is indispensable in the enterprise: read receipts.

Read receipts can be a pest, but when you are dealing with critical information and you would like to make sure a colleague of yours received the info, this is the best way to go.

I had a gazillion Artinsoft e-mails in my Mail account. How would I be able to export them over to Thunderbird? Very easily. You select the messages from a folder, save them as raw, and move them over to Thunderbird’s mail folders (read more on that info on Thunderbird’s FAQ section).

Following this procedure I was able to export all my mail under 5 minutes. Now I have the blessing/curse of using read receipts and have the chance of using the thousands of extensions that are available for thunderbird.

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