Install an operating system from a usb key

April 29, 2010

Installing an operating system can take a long time, especially when installing them from a CD. Another option, and probably the best option is to set up your usb key so that you can install the operating system from it.

Recently I have found myself wiping hard drives and reinstalling operating systems a lot, and I wanted a quicker way to do it and found installing the operating system to a usb key to be the best.

Setting up the usb is really simple, only use this for windows vista and windows 7 as windows xp will not let you install it from a usb.

The first step is to format the memory stick  to fat32 and create a partition, this is done in the command prompt, go to start, then click run and type cmd or in the search box in windows vista and windows 7 just type cmd and press enter.

list disk

Type the following lines to format your memory key, (note disk 1 represents which disk is your usb, type “list disk” (example image above) to find out which one your usb is when is the diskpart section):

  • diskpart
  • select disk 1
  • clean
  • create partition primary
  • select partition 1
  • active
  • format fs=fat32
  • assign
  • exit

format and assign partition primary

Once your usb key is fully formatted using the commands above the next step is to copy the files to your usb key from the operating system disc, use the command below in the command prompt to do this:

  • xcopy d:\*.* /s/e/f e:\

In the code above, the d:\ represents the drive letter of your disc drive and the e:\ is the drive letter of your usb key.

You are now ready to install your operating system, just plug it into your computer and boot to the usb.

Eircom NGB or Imagine WiMax

April 28, 2010

Currently my broadband provider is Eircom, I have tried them all from BT to Perlico and although Eircom’s service is terribly slow, i found that the other Internet Service Providers (ISP) were just as bad, the main problem I have is to do with the download usage allowance, Perlico and BT both have set limits and enforce them, so as soon as I went over my limit I got an extremely high bill.

However, with Eircom even though they say they have a download limit, they do not enforce it, if I go over my limit nothing happens. This is why every time I switched to a different provider I ended up switching back to Eircom.

When I first heard about the new WiMax service that Imagine are rolling out across Ireland I decided that I would get it as soon as it becomes available in my area. My current broadband speed is 3mb (up to) and Imagine are offering 7mb (up to) at a cheaper price with unlimited usage allowance. It was the selling point here for me, I could get  a great boost in download speed for a cheaper price, why wouldn’t I switch? Apparently the unlimited usage allowance of Imagine WiMax is not actually “Unlimited”, I didn’t expect it to be.

Imagine WiMax deem anything over 35gb a month to be excessive usage! That is a terrible cap to put on as excessive usage, that is just 5gb over my current cap with Eircom of 30gb which I do go over and do not get charged.

imagine wimax download cap, twitter source

Since finding out about Imagine WiMax I found out that Eircom are also rolling out a new broadband service, they call it NGB (Next Generation Broadband). Eircom’s NGB has a standard download speed of 8mb (up to) with unlimited usage allowance. All current 1mb, 3mb and 7mb users will be upgraded to the Eircom NGB for free! I looked up what Eircom actually deem to be fair usage and I have to agree it is a great cap, I definitely do not see myself going over it.

Eircom are setting their fair usage cap to 250gb a month 😀 . This download cap is only available on the highest end of the NGB packages, the high end NGB package costs about €10 more than my current broadband package. Also the maximum that Eircom will be charging for broadband is €50, so if you go really far over this cap, your bill will only run up to €50, no matter which NGB broadband package you are on 😀 .

eircom ngb broadband cap

I think for now, I will hold out and wait for the new Eircom service, the map on the Eircom NGB website says it should be available in my area between September and December of this year.

Windows vista hangs on installation

April 23, 2010

Up until recently I had only ever installed Windows Vista once or twice, and I never had any problems with the installation process.

That was up until a few weeks ago, I was fixing a laptop and it had so many viruses on it that the best option would be to backup any files that I could safely and then just wipe it.

After wiping it I put in the Windows Vista installation disc and it seemed to be going fine, that was until it came to the very last section of the install. At the “Completing Installation” section the computer just stayed there, usually the computer would reboot a few time then you could use your operating system, this should only take about 3 or 4 minutes.

For me I left it over night to see if it would finish,it didn’t work, I also retried installing it again and again and it would not get past this section, it just kept on hanging on Completing Installation.

Windows Vista Hangs On Installation

I looked through a few forums online and tried all the suggestions that worked for other people, but none of them worked for me.

Next I decided to have a look through the different boot options available on the computer and after changing a few I finally came across a setting that if you change it and run the installation again, it will complete it successfully!

When you turn on your computer press f2 to boot into your computers setup, once in that screen look around until you find a section that says “SATA Mode Selection”, change the mode to IDE, then exit and save changes.

Changing boot to ide

Then just start your installation of Windows Vista again and it should complete with no problems.

The next iPhone

April 20, 2010

The next iPhone that apple should be releasing was misplaced by an apple employee! The apple employee accidentally left the new iPhone behind him when he left a bar in California.

iPhone 4

The main features of the new iPhone are as follows:

  1. The most notable difference in the new iPhone is the aluminium sides around the iPhone.
  2. 2 Cameras, one front facing camera and a larger camera on the back of the iPhone
  3. Flash is also now available for the camera on the back.
  4. New Micro-Sim card ( Currently it is just a regular sim card )
  5. Higher resolution screen, 960×640 but with a slightly smaller screen size.
  6. A second microphone, located at the top of the iPhone.
  7. Separate buttons for volume, also all buttons are now Metallic.

The internal components have now been made smaller to allow for a bigger battery, supposedly 16% larger than beforehand.

When I first saw the new look for this iPhone I didn’t really like it, but now after seeing a few different picture of the iPhone 4.0 compared to the iPhone 3gs, I have to say it looks really nice 😀 !

iPhone 4

I have always wanted to get myself an iPhone, and now that it is available on more networks here in Ireland ( Vodafone & o2 ) I will be getting one, I decided to wait until apple announce their next iPhone, I knew they would likely announce one this summer as they usually wait until then.

Hopefully this new iPhone that has been leaked online comes out soon!

Apple have not specifically said that it was an iPhone that they lost, they simply put it that “a device that belongs to apple” is in the possession of GIZMODO.

iPhone 4iPhone 4iPhone 4iPhone 4

There is much more on the new iPhone over on GIZMODO:

Gears of War 3

April 13, 2010

Gears of War 3

The final chapter of the Gears of War trilogy has recently been announced and it will not be released for another year! Epic Games are going for a Spring Launch for Gears of War 3 which will be April 2011. There are some exact dates announced, however launch dates are known to change. The release dates at the moment are: North America is on April 5th, then April 7th in Japan then Europe and the rest of the world on April 8th.

It seems strange that they are going for an April launch since the previous two chapters of Gears of War have been in November just in time for Christmas. Gears of War is available on the X-box 360 and has been an incredible game so far.

Gears of War 3 has lots of new features such as new weapons like the double barrel shotgun. There is also some new characters being introduced such as the new mutated Lambent which has tentacle-like appendages (pictured below) which will make ducking under cover become more risky since they can reach around it! Also in Gears of War 3 there is an introduction of new Female characters which according to Cliff Bleszinski was a big request.

Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3 now has new 4-player co-op in the story mode, so now you can play as Cole and Baird and not just Marcus and dom.

Here is a short description of Gears of War (from

Developed by acclaimed studio Epic Games and available only on Xbox 360, Gears of War 3 plunges players into a harrowing tale of hope, survival, and brotherhood that will conclude the current story arc for Gears of War. With the last human city destroyed and the remaining survivors stranded, time is running out for Marcus and his comrades as they fight to save the human race from the jaws of extinction.

Below is a few more still shots of Gears of war 3;

Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3