Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Moving from Windows 8 to 8.1. Possible problems and solutions.

   If you decided to move from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 you have to read written below because you probably meet one of those problems.  This article based on experience of clean installation of Windows 8.1 on partition where before was Windows 8.
    Why clean install instead of roll out update ?  First of all because Microsoft limits possibilities to upgrade 8 to 8.1. All talked that it will be a free of charge update appears to be rumors for many users who have Volume licenses and use  KMS for activation. Those who got Windows 8 with their hardware - notebooks or desktops also limited to single language update. So MS make everything to make users buy new version.
      Bear in mind that not all Windows 8 drivers works under Windows 8.1.
So check you hardware drivers first. For example  Asus Xonar STX card (I have one)  will not get official drivers from Asus for Windows 8.1 because it based on chip that MS not include in Windows 8.1 official support - so you forced to buy an update Xonar card with same specification but only slightly different chip. Its not worth 300 USD ! So thanks to Uni Xonar developers who did a fantastic job updating drivers for all Xonar and some other C-media based sound cards and make it possible to work my Xonar STX under Windows 8.1 !

     I will not describe in detail how to install Windows - nothing special.  Only have to admit that it useless to save your settings using Migration Wizard from Windows 8  if you will get Windows 8.1 with different locale. It will not be able to transfer setting , but it will transfer files if you need though.
     Personally, I prefer to backup Users folder and then transfer files and setting into new OS by hand in file manager to control everything that will be moved.

1. Local or Live account ?    

    After setup finish installation process you will be asked for Live account. If you remember in Win8 you will be able to choose - Local or online account. Here  you can do the trick - if you need local account instead - just unplug network cable. Without network it will be able to create local accounts.
   If you continue to online account - will enter login and password, it will try to transfer some setting that are stored on SkyDrive  from your previous Windows 8.  You got favorites from  IE, location of task bar  (if you change  from bottom to top or side), wallpaper (if you made your custom Theme it will be transferred, but in my case only part of all Wallpapers has been transferred through cloud). And your account picture. Thats all ! Everthing else you will need to configure yourself but it will be possible only after activation.

2. Moving your Users folder.

If you not plan to to this you can skip this part.  It is only for users who boot from SSD and would like to move users folder to another drive or partition. This time thanks goes to Kari from He made detailed step-by-step  tutorial how to make this move using only internal OS procedures without patching and hacking or something like that!

Here it is

After this you got your User folders moved completely including AppData to another location and without any possible problems in future. 

3. Metro UI Apps problems 

 After you finish installing hardware and will take time to arrange your apps in Metro UI you noticed that your apps from Windows 8 did not transferred.So to do this you will have to open Store and with right click of mouse you will on top of the screen button "Your apps". 

There you will see Apps installed on other computers (including your previous).
You can start installing them from this page.

If you got error during installing apps -
this means you have permission problem in apps folder.
Solution: Go to User`s folder and enter hidden folder AppData\Local (e.g.  D:\Users\\AppData\Local). You find there a folder "Packages" , right click on it and select Properties. Then click on tab Security. Click "Edit" button in the middle. You will be able to change permissions.

Click on Users line and check that "Modify" and "Full Control" are checked.
Press "Apply" and ok. Now your apps should installing fine ! 
      Next possible problem with apps is when your start the app, splash screen appears  and then returns to main tiles.
      Problem is that your app have different locale of the app then your system.  You can change your system local or you can uninstall the app and re-install it searching the Store. 

I hope this post was usefull ! Enjoy Windows 8.1 and have a nice day ! :)

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Transferring partitions from one Amiga HDD to another

     Well, you will probably ask - whats the potential problem ? Yes, no problem if there are only Amiga partitions on source drive, but what if there are also Linux and Mac partitions?
     In this case you will probably experience problems how to transfer this partitions. I found the solution.
     First of all,  create partitions on new drive using Amiga HD toolbox to make the RDB  partition table structure and decide what partitions will be used for Linux and/or Mac.
Remember - you have to reserve two partitions for Linux - one main (root) partition and other swap partition.
 After that you will have to save changes and exit HDtoolbox , power off and take  hard drives off the Amiga and connect both - source and destination drives to Linux system. I used a PC with Ubuntu live CD boot disk.Boot into Linux, open Gparted 

and and check that both hard drives - source and target are available. You will see Amiga partitions as Unknown, but Linux partition and Mac will be shown with their filesystem names.  For Linux- root partition Ext2 and Swap partition as swp. So we have to format destination partitions also as Ext2 filesystem for root partition and swap for swap partition. You can do this simply in the same program Gparted or other built in disk utility in Linux.

Now  write down root partition names - source and destination e.g. /dev/sda5  - source and /dev/sdb8 - destination. Swap partitions are not need to be copied( but you can try to avoid swap service problems). Destination partition should have size >= then source.
So we have necessary information to start copy:
  1. if (input file): /dev/sda5
  2. of (output file): /dev/sdb8
(you have to change source and destination to yours partition names!)
So you need to open Terminal windows and type:

 sudo dd if=/dev/sda5 of=/dev/sdb8   

Next, if you source and destination partitions are NOT exactly the same size you will need to make corrections on filesystem on the destination drive to suit new size of the partition. So do the command in Terminal:

sudo resize2fs /dev/sdb8

Again, use yours destination name instead ! Now, we have our partition copied, but we have to make changes in /etc/fstab  file on new drive to be able to boot from this partition. Since it have a new name, without changes in fstab it will not boot correctly.
    Mount your  new Linux partition (you may do this directly from Gparted or Ubuntu disk utility or command line) and open it in file explorer. We need to edit fstab file.

su gedit /etc/fstab

 (Superuser permission is needed to be able to save changes)
Find and replace /dev/sda5 to /dev/sda8 (in my example of course) - usually it is the first line.
Please, notice,  I use sda8 NOT sdb8 because when you boot this partition on Amiga it will be the first  hard drive - sda! sdb is for CD-ROM drive. Save changes, turn off PC and put your drives back to Amiga.
If you partition numbers are the same e.g. sda8 and sdb8 (since on Amiga you used to have only one hard disk there are will be only /dev/sda partitions)  in this case no changes needed in fstab.

    Boot Amiga OS from source drive and start HDtoolbox again.  Check that now your new drive have Linux partitions ! But they are not bootable yet.

At this point you can format other partitions - Amiga OS and copy files from source to destination partitions just using DOpus !
    Macintosh partitions - if you have those - are easy to clone under Mac emulation. When you starting Fusion or ShapeShifter from original drive , add partition from new drive as well. Mac will let you format it and then copy files from old partition to new using Mac files copy.

After all - when you will have only new drive connected and successful boot, start 
 HDtoolbox to check the linux partition name - it should be the same as you set in fstab !

I did that to transfer files from my old ATA HD to CF card  and everything work fine!

 There are many cloning software that able to clone Linux drives, but most of the do not understand RDB partition table that is used by Amiga OS, that's why I made this tutorial.

If you would like to make an image file of your partition (to be able to restore from it lately instead of transferring once again ) I suggest you to use PartImage software. It has a nice bootable CD, its free and you will easily made all steps described above using only partimage CD !

P.S.  I`m not sure but sometimes you may notice warning about SWAPON while booting Linux.
I saw this in several cases but don't know how to fix swapping on new drive so any help will be appreciated ! )

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nero issue with Blu Ray connected to external SATA

Since Blu Ray recording drives for desktop PC become cheaper, more and more people set them as god backup solution for their home PCs. Having 25, 50 or even 100 Gigs on disk make this solution valuable enough to compete to network drives. Since version 10 Nero start supporting Blu Ray recording. Recently when I transfer my computer to another case I found a very interesting issue that been reported on Nero forums but till present time was no strong solution - only advices , but they help me to find out how to solve this issue.

Symptoms: When you trying to rerecord blu ray compilation to disk Nero says its impossible write to CD-R. When you have Blu Ray drive selected with BD-R disk inserted - pressing Disk Info will give you that it is CD-ROM drive with CD-R disk inserted. So Nero treat this drive as CD-ROM drive.

At the same time, Windows 8 using its built in recording engine successfully burn BD-R on the same drive. Nero Info tool shows drive has Blu Ray support. Ashampoo burning software also burn Blu Ray compilation without any problem.

Issue persists in Windows 7 and Windows 8 with Nero 10, 11 and 12 !
I have Pioneer BDR-205 (fw 1.11 & 1.08) , motherboard Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5.

Solution: If you experience this problem I suppose you have connected you Blu Ray drive to Gigabyte SATA connectors. Motherboard have 6 SATA connectors connected to SouthBridge and 2 additional in row connected to G-SATA (Marvell chip).
 You need to have you Blu Ray drive connected to main SATA connectors to make Nero work correctly  with it. As soon as you do this when you start Nero to burn Blu Ray compilation it will detect your disk as BD-R and will burn without any problems.

I not suggest you to use native Windows 8 burning engine  nor for  BluRay nor DVD/CD disks because it does not have recording speed setting - it use maximum possible speed and it cause read errors in most cases and backup useless.

Ashampoo doing its job well, but does not have such a good UI and I found desktop.ini files in every folder on recorded disk after.