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Oct 102007
 

The last thing that I wanted to do was toot a Microsoft horn, but I wanted to test out Windows Media Center with an Extender (XBOX 360) and stream TV. This test really is only for me to determine the minimum amount of service that need to be enabled/automatic for this function to work. This sounds like an easy task, but it took me several hours to finish it. (and several more months previously to jump into the task).

First off, my Xbox 360 does not have a wireless card in it, and sometime during our move, one of the cats or my wife ate the 100′ Ethernet cable that I had, but I have known for a long time that the WRT54G v5 Linksys router is capable of doing so with dd-wrt.com updated firmware. This router was just sitting around doing nothing as I upgraded my main routers to Dlink 655′s.

The warnings throughout the site say "you could make your router unusable," but in all honesty, I don’t think I would have ever used the old wireless access point again, anyway, so a bricked router meant nothing to me… but a router that can act as a bridge for my Xbox 360 magically would become useful.

The guide I used (to the letter) to get updated firmware with additional features is here:

http://bitsum.com/openwiking/owbase/WRT54G5_CFE/

After getting the system set up and working, it was just a matter of connecting up and *bam* the Xbox 360 has a connection to my PC as a Media Center Extender.

Several other obstacles I encountered were that my previous service settings in Vista were too strict and I had to set them all back to default. Thus the posting yesterday about needing a registry file to set them back to default. I did it the old fashion way and all worked after 30 to 45 minutes. Now I need to go back and narrow down what "really" is needed and not just what "works." There the trick stands.

Anyway, after much fiddling, I got the systems to hook up and now I can watch internet TV in my living room from my XBOX 360 directly connected to a Linksys wrt54g v5 using www.dd-wrt.com firmware (which, by the way, is the best router firmware I have ever used). Kudos to the team.

Windows Media Center has come a long way and it is pretty good, even in "internet TV Beta" state.

Just if my readers were wondering "what" I actually do daily…. this is it. First was getting the PS3 to connect to my media server, now the XBOX 360 was an obvious extension (no pun intended) of this effort.

I will try and draft a more through "How To" outlining the exact steps that I took, but for now, I am going to go lay on the couch and… basically… chill and watch streaming TV.

Aug 122004
 

Why can’t I access/check my Hotmail or Yahoo account using my DSL connection?

This particular issue came about due to a family member that was unable to check their HTTP E-Mail accounts after a new installation of SBC DSL either by accessing it via a browser or Outlook Express. After over two hours of banging my head against the monitor, I figured out the solution.

SBC DSL Issues

 Hardware, News  Comments Off
May 262004
 

My SBC DSL is having issues. High latency and dropped packets in the Southern California area. However, the problem is not "local" to me, but routing issues in the LA area. How did I discover this? Check this thread and see that I am not the only one:

As a result, the web site may be a little slow, depending on where you are connecting from. I am sure the issue will be resolved soon because of the amount of SBC DSL World of Warcraft players experiencing latency of 2000ms to 3000ms.

:)

Ok, maybe not, but I do hope the problem is fixed soon.

Mar 012004
 

In the last several days, I have done much to try and figure out how to increase the performance of, not only the domain, but the network in general. After plenty of testing, I have been leaning in the direction that the domain is not being slowed down by the available bandwidth, but the firewall’s filtering performance. In the next few days, I will do even more testing to ensure that is the case. If it is, I will modify the networks configuration for a much higher capacity of packet filtering. This will ultimately provide faster content download.

Another point to make is I am now running monitoring software to ensure that the domain is online 24/7. In recent past, not including the planned outages, I have strived to have 100% access to legitimate traffic. It looks as though, several times, the outages were due to the firewall’s refusal to transfer any additional traffic. That is totally unacceptable. Even though several outages in the past year have been caused by my ISP, once by a kitty unplugging a server, and a long 18 hour stretch caused by a local power outage, I feel I have been rather successful in keeping the domain as accessible as one person can. However, until 100% and maximum performance is reached, I will not rest easy. An impossible task? Yep, but I enjoy striving for the impossible goal.

Apr 142003
 

BINGO! Finally, Intel releases today "my dream chipset." The new Intel 875P chipset includes support for all of the latest gadgets; to name a few:

  • AGP8X
  • Dual-channel DDR400 memory
  • Quad pumped 200 MHz bus speed (equating to 800 MHz vice 133 x 4 = 533)
  • RAID 0 (stripping) with a Serial ATA interface
  • USB 2.0

Even though the first P4 CPU’s that support the new 800 MHz bus have been postponed due to "problems," the 875P chipset is the step in the right direction for Intel to finally implement all the latest technologies in one package.

Check the Intel Press Release, the 875P chipset specs, and TomsHardware.com for their take on the subject.

Oct 062002
 

Introduction

Using “fdisk” does not have to be a difficult chore. If you know what to expect, it is a rather easy task.

Note: If you are “clean” installing Windows 2000, XP Home or XP Pro, and do not wish to multi-boot your system, you do not have to run fdisk before hand as, during the install process, options for creating partitions are built in.

WARNING: Using fdisk to “resize” or recreate a partition will effectively destroy what ever information you have on your hard drive. Do not use fdisk if you wish to save any information that it may contain.

1. Boot using a Floppy: (Image 1.1)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.1

Image 1.1

I use a Windows Me created boot floppy to run fdisk because:

  • It contains the “latest” fdisk utility
  • The boot floppy has built in CD ROM support

I always start with CD ROM support, so I picked option 2.

 

2. Virus Warning: (Image 1.2)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.2

Image 1.2

If no partitions are detected, such as a new hard drive, the Windows Me boot disk is rather helpful in telling you this fact. At this point, do not be alarmed at the “virus warning” statement, as it is generic.

At the “command prompt,” in this example, A:, type “fdisk” without the quotes.

 

3. Large Disk Support: (Image 1.3)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.3

Image 1.3

Unless you have a need, ensure that you enable “Large Disk Support.”

Why would you “not” want this? If you have any requirements for DOS, Win3.1, Win95, or WinNT to access the partitions, you may not be able to if the partitions are greater than 2.1 GB.

I selected “Y” for yes.

 

4. Main Menu: (Image 1.4)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.1

Image 1.4

The main menu offers few, but powerful options.

If you have a new drive or one that has previous partitions already deleted, you may jump to that section, below, but it would be a good idea to look over this process, just in case you will need to perform it.

Here, I selected “3″ to “Delete partition or Logical DOS Drive.”

You may also select “4″ to display current partition information.

 

5. Extended Space: (Image 1.5)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.5

Image 1.5

If you have more than one partition already defined, you will need to delete the ones located in the “Extended” space.

Select “3″ to do just that.

 

6. Choose Partition to Delete: (Image 1.6)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.6

Image 1.6

Here, you may choose which, if any, partitions you need to delete. If you want to resize your “Primary” partition, you will need to delete all existing partitions, redefine the Primary partition, then recreate (described below) the Extended partition section.

I chose to delete the partition (drive) marked as “E:” here. Choose what is best for your setup.

 

7. Are you sure? (Image 1.7)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.7

Image 1.7

A prompt will appear to ensure that you know what you are doing. You must type the “Volume” name of the partition, hit enter, then choose “Y” to continue with the delete.

Delete as many as you desire. After clearing out the Extended partition, you may delete the primary partition from the main menu and resize it as necessary.

 

8. Create Primary Partition: (Image 1.8)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.8

Image 1.8

Here, we need to create the Primary partition by selecting “1″ from the main fdisk menu.

 

9. Create Primary DOS Partition: (Image 1.9)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.9

Image 1.9

If no partitions have been defined, select “1″ to create Primary DOS Partition.

If you have already created a Primary Partition, skip the next few steps.

 

10. Scan Hard Drive: (Image 1.10)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.10

Image 1.10

The hard disk will now be scanned searching for problems.

Take note: This process may take a some time, a very long time on “large” drives.

 

11. All available space? (Image 1.11)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.11

Image 1.11

If you wish to create the Primary partition using all available space, select “Y” at the prompt.

Otherwise, choose “N” to define something smaller.

 

12. Scan Hard Drive: (Image 1.12)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.12

Image 1.12

Again, the drives integrity is scanned.

No one ever accused fdisk of being a “speedy” solution.

 

13. Enter Size in MB: (Image 1.13)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.13

Image 1.13

Enter in the amount of space, in MegaBytes, that you wish to use for your Primary partition.

 

14. Updated partition information: (Image 1.14)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.14

Image 1.14

After choosing an amount, the partition information is displayed. Here, I choose “1000 MB” for my Primary partition.

Hit “ESC” to continue with fdisk.

 

15. Make active partition: (Image 1.15)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.15

Image 1.15

A warning will appear under the main menu explaining the importance of an “active” partition. Really, this is no longer required, but for compatibility’s sake, I choose to make a partition active, anyway.

Select “2″ to set the active partition.

 

16. Choose active partition: (Image 1.16)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.16

Image 1.16

Setting the active partition is as easy as choosing the number next to “C:.”

In this example, it is “1.”

 

17. Create Extended DOS Partition: (Image 1.17)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.17

Image 1.17

You now can create the “extended partition” portion of the hard drive. It is subject to debate whether this step is required, but, once again, for compatibility purposes, I choose to do so.

Select “2″ to Create the Extended DOS Partition.

 

18. Choose space allocated: (Image 1.18)

 fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.18

Image 1.18

Choose how much space the Extended partition is allowed to use.

Under usual circumstances, choose all. Your requirements may vary, but I have yet to find a reason “not” to choose all of the remaining space.

 

19. Updated partition information: (Image 1.19)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.19

Image 1.19

The partition information will be displayed, including your previous “Primary” and now your “Extended” partition information.

Hit “ESC” to continue.

 

20. Scan Hard Drive: (Image 1.20)

 fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.20

Image 1.20

Once again, the drive will be verified.

This may take some time.

 

21. Enter Size in MB: (Image 1.21)

 fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.21

Image 1.21

Choose the amount of each additional partition, up to the maximum size.

Here, I chose 2000 MB.

 

22. Updated partition information: (Image 1.22)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.22

Image 1.22

The Partition information is displayed, as well as drive integrity confirmed.

At this point, you may continue defining partitions, or exit out and define them using the setup program of a “newer” OS, like Linux, Win2k, or XP. Again, Win9x/Me does not have the option of partition creation during setup.

 

23. Additional Partitions: (Image 1.23)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.23

Image 1.23

Here, I defined 3 additional partitions, not including the Primary one, taking up all of the available space.

Hit “ESC” to continue.

 

24. Reboot System: (Image 1.24)

fdisk Usage Guide Image 1.24

Image 1.24

You are prompted with a “restart” message.

This is a vital step. Ensure that you do restart the computer before continuing with the installation of any OS. I even power down the computer, but that is not necessary.

 

You can now continue on with additional OS Install Guides I have available.I hope this has given you some insight as to what to expect while using fdisk.

Sep 032002
 

After a small, but well deserved break, I am back in action with a long over due update to my Hardware configurations:

Computer Status [link removed]~ Updated to include new printer.

I have thought about what additional content that I am going to add over the last few days. I hope that you, my kind readers, will enjoy it.