Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Installing Windows 7 on a Netbook

January 2, 2010

I had to install Windows 7 on an Acer AspireOne netbook this week.  It was actually pretty easy, but there are a few tricks given that these devices typically lack a DVD drive.  There’s lots of info on the subject online, but here’s what worked for me:

  1. Prepare the Windows 7 image
    1. Get an ISO of the Windows 7 edition you would like to install.  If you have the DVD but not the ISO, you can create an ISO file from the DVD using a tool such as ISO Recorder 
    2. Get a clean USB flash drive with a 4GB or greater capacity.  I used an 8GB stick.
    3. Download and install the Windows 7 USB tool from the Microsoft Store web site.  This tool will allow you to copy the Windows 7 ISO to the USB flash drive and make it bootable.  There are ways to do this manually, but the tool makes things much simpler. 
      NOTE: if you are using Windows XP, you’ll likely need to install the Microsoft Image Mastering API v2
  2. Backup the data files from the netbook
    1. I didn’t have much to backup, so I simply copied what I needed to a USB drive.
    2. Optionally, you could use the transfer wizard from the Windows 7 DVD to backup and restore your settings.
  3. Install Windows 7.  Now you’re ready to install Windows 7 on the netbook.
    1. Plug-in the USB flash drive and restart the netbook.
    2. Go into the BIOS for the netbook and change the boot order so that the USB flash device is first.
    3. Save the BIOS settings and restart.
    4. The Windows install process should begin.  Use whatever settings you need to install Windows 7.  In my case, I did a custom install and blew away all partitions during the install.
    5. After the first phase of the install completes and the netbook reboots, I had to update the BIOS once again so that it would boot from the built-in hard drive rather than the USB flash drive.  This may be specific to the Acer model as I’ve never had to do this previously.
  4. Restore the files and programs
    1. I did a full fresh install of Windows 7, so I had to reinstall any programs I normally used.
    2. Restore your data and you’re good to go!

Windows 7 Home Premium actually runs pretty well on this Acer AspireOne A150.  The little PC runs a puny Atom processor and has only 1GB of RAM.  But it has a decent size hard drive (160GB) and a graphics card that, to my surprise, supports Aero effects.

Hope this helps – enjoy Windows 7 on your netbook!


Sluggish Mouse in Virtual PC

April 18, 2008
If your mouse lags or is otherwise sluggish in your Virtual PC/Virtual Server guest, you can try one or more of the following fixes:
  • Ensure the latest VM additions are installed in your guest.
  • Ensure video acceleration is set to max (method varies based on guest OS).  Try:
    • From the display properties of the guest, go to Advanced
    • Click on Troubleshooting tab
    • Ensure the acceleration slider is all of the way to the right
  • Try to set the power plan of the host to "High Performance", and you should experience much better mouse and UI performance in guest systems.
  • Set the guest display settings to "Best Performance"
  • Some chipsets have known issues with mouse performance in guest OS.  More info:

WSS 3.0 Uninstall Left Things Hanging?

April 16, 2008
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 uses a SQL Server instance named “Microsoft#SSEE” when installed using the default settings.  In some cases, this instance isn’t removed when WSS 3.0 is uninstalled.  The SQL Server 2005 Emebedded Edition product also isn’t listed in the Add/Remove programs, making removal of these left overs a bit more involved.  Try te following to uninstall:
  1. Open registry editor
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
  3. Search for “SQL 2005 Embedded” (no quotes) under the Uninstall folder
  4. Copy the string in the Uninstall key
  5. Paste the string in a new command window
  6. Append “ CALLERID=OCSETUP.EXE” to the string
  7. Let it rip — this should uninstall SQL Server 2005 Emnbedded Edition along with the left over instance

Sniffing Web Service Requests

June 22, 2007

You can use fiddler as long as you are sending the request over http.  It’s a quick download and is easy to use

Also check out:

And Kirk Evans’ blog

Useful Web Services Tools

June 22, 2007