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Going Beyond Windows.....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Understand (and Get Rid of) the Mysterious Small Partition

If you install Windows 7 on a clean disk with no existing partitions, it creates a System Reserved partition at the beginning of the disk and uses the remainder of the unallocated space to create your system drive.That small partition isn’t assigned a drive letter, so you won’t even know it exists unless you look in the Disk Management console or use a low-level utility, such as Diskpart, to inspect the disk structure.

This “stub” of a partition, which is new in Windows 7, serves two functions. First, it holds the Boot Manager code and the Boot Configuration Database. Sec¬ond, it reserves space for the startup files required by the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature. If you ever decide to encrypt your system drive using BitLocker, you won’t have to repartition your system drive to make it possible.

If you’re confident you’ll never use BitLocker and prefer to do without the additional complexity of this System Reserved partition, your best bet is to make sure it’s never created. For a truly clean installation starting from an unformatted hard drive, you must use a different disk-management utility, such as the setup disk available from many hard-disk manufacturers or a startup disk from Windows Vista. Create a single primary partition using all unallocated space, and then point the installer to the newly created partition as the setup location. (Note that you cannot use the graphical disk-management tools available from the Windows 7 DVD to perform this task.) After you use the alternative tool to create a partition on the drive, you can point the Win¬dows 7 installer to that location and it will proceed.

If you’re comfortable with command-line disk management tools, you can use the Diskpart utility from the setup program to create the necessary partition. At the begin¬ning of setup, before you select the location where you want to install Windows:
  1. Press Shift+F10 to open a Command Prompt window
  2. Type diskpart to enter the Diskpart environment
  3. Assuming you have a single clean hard disk, use select disk 0 and create partition primary to manually create a new partition
  4. Proceed with the Windows 7 setup, using this new partition as the setup location


If you are logged in as an administrator, you can repartition your hard disk by using the Shrink feature in Disk Management. You can shrink an existing partition or volume to create unallocated disk space, from which you can create a new partition or volume. (Note that the terms partition and volume are often used interchangeably.)
  1. Open Computer Management by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Security, clicking Administrative Tools, and then double-clicking Computer Management. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. In the left pane, under Storage, click Disk Management.
  3. Right-click the volume you want to shrink, and then click Shrink Volume.
  4. Follow the instructions.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Connect Two Computers Using A Crossover Cble

If you need to connect two computers but you don't have access to a network and can't set up an ad hoc network, you can use an Ethernet crossover cable to create a direct cable connection.
Generally speaking, a crossover cable is constructed by reversing ("crossing over") the order of the wires inside so that it can connect two computers directly. A crossover cable looks almost exactly like a regular Ethernet cable (a "straight-through" cable), so make sure you have a crossover cable before following these steps.
Before buying a crossover cable, check your network adapter. Some newer network adapters automatically "cross over" when they detect that they are connected directly to another network adapter using a regular Ethernet cable.

To connect two computers with a crossover cable

This works best if both computers are running this version of Windows.
  1. Plug each end of the crossover cable into a network port on the back of each computer.
  2. On one of the computers that is running this version of Windows, do the following:
    Open Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, and then clicking Network and Sharing Center.
  3. In the network map at the top of Network and Sharing Center, double-click the Unidentified network‍ icon. (If you have more than one network, this icon will be labeled Multiple networks.)
  4. If network discovery and file sharing are turned off, in Network, click the Information bar containing the following message: "Network discovery and file sharing are turned off. Network computers and devices are not visible. Click to change...," and then click Turn on network discovery and file sharing. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  5. In the Network discovery and file sharing dialog box, select one of the following options:
    • No, make the network that I am connected to a private network
    • Yes, turn on network discovery and file sharing for all public networks
    The first option is usually the best choice because it only affects the network that you are connected to.


  • Networks created with crossover cables are automatically set up as "Public place" networks, which means that network discovery, file sharing, and printer sharing are off by default.
  • For Gigabit Ethernet or token ring networks, you will need a slightly different kind of crossover cable. For more information, contact a cable manufacturer.
Icons for both computers should now be visible in the Network window. Double-click each computer icon to share printers and other resources.


If one of the computers is running Windows XP, it can take some time for that computer to appear in the Network window. You might need to move both computers to the same workgroup. You can do that by changing the workgroup on either computer. To change a workgroup, see Join or create a workgroup. You might also need to turn on file and printer sharing on the computer running Windows XP.

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