Updated: 2011-12-08 12:40 EST

1 Note on the Fragility of Hard Drives in backpacksIndexup to index

Your hard disk is very sensitive to shock. Don’t store it unpadded in the bottom of your backpack where it will hit the floor every time you drop your backpack. Keep it in a thick bubble wrap envelope or wrap it in your clothes. Store it in your locker when you aren’t using it and don’t carry it around all the time.

Your hard disk is sensitive to temperature changes. Keep it at room temperature. Don’t bring it into a warm room and power it on right after it has been stored outside in your freezing car overnight or in a cold backpack in winter. If you have a very cold hard drive, give it a few hours to warm up before turning it on.

Put your name on your caddy so we can contact you if you leave it behind in a lab some day.

2 How to correctly shut down a VMware caddy systemIndexup to index

Treat every virtual machine as you would a real physical computer. You must power on and power off your real and virtual systems in the correct order to avoid file system damage and locked VMware images:

  1. Inside VMware, Shut Down or Suspend every running virtual machine and wait until every virtual machine fully shuts down or Suspends. Failure to do this will result in corrupted and locked virtual machines! You can use the VMware Suspend button at the top of each running virtual machine, or you can right-click on the running machine menu and Suspend it. If you want to Shut Down a running virtual machine, go into the virtual machine and find the correct Shut Down menu for that operating system. (In Linux Fedora 12, the Shut Down menu is under the System menu.) NEVER USE THE RED “POWER OFF” BUTTON IN VMWARE! NEVER CLOSE VMWARE OR WINDOWS BEFORE ALL VIRTUAL MACHINES ARE SHUT DOWN OR SUSPENDED!
  2. Close the VMware application (after you have Shut Down or Suspended all virtual machines).
  3. Shut down the Windows XP host O/S and wait until the power goes off.
  4. After the Windows XP host computer turns off (wait for it!), only then turn off the external caddy.
  5. After powering off the caddy, wait 15 seconds until the disk inside the caddy stops spinning.
  6. Unplug the caddy wires and pack the caddy in thick bubble wrap to take away in your backpack.

Reverse these steps, bottom-to-top, to power on your systems.

3 How to unlock virtual machinesIndexup to index

Lock files are left behind when you fail to Shut Down or Suspend your virtual machines before closing VMware or before shutting down your Windows XP host. Locked virtual machines may be corrupted, since they did not shut down cleanly. To unlock your locked virtual machines:

  1. close the VMware application
  2. in your Windows XP host file system, navigate to where you keep your virtual machines (likely on your D: drive)
  3. go into the VMware folder
  4. look inside every virtual machine folder and find every file and directory ending in .lck and remove it
  5. Re-open VMware.

All your machines should be unlocked; some may be corrupted or damaged and may not work properly. Do not remove the lock files of running virtual machines. Follow correct shutdown procedures.

4 Rules for submitting Online Labs and AssignmentsIndexup to index

Updated: 03:45 November 12, 2011

You must download, fill in the answers, and upload/submit your assignments online via Blackboard, following these rules.

  1. Start your Fedora 12 virtual machine. Make the window full-screen. (You may benefit from first adjusting your display settings under your host O/S to increase the screen resolution of your display.)

  2. Inside your Fedora virtual machine, download your assignment ODT file (in OpenOffice format) to a directory on your virtual hard drive. Make sure you download the ODT file, not the PDF file.

  3. Inside your Fedora virtual machine, open the assignment ODT file you downloaded using OpenOffice. Do not open the assignment inside Microsoft Word - the layout will be wrong. You must use Fedora’s OpenOffice (or LibreOffice). DO NOT USE MICROSOFT WORD.

  4. Also open a Fedora shell terminal window. (From the Fedora 12 menus, select Applications->System Tools->Terminal.)

  5. Adjust your lab document window and your terminal window so that you can have both the lab document and terminal open at the same time. (Refer to Item #1 above about increasing the resolution of your display to allow two windows to fit side-by-side.)

    Go read the section on Enabling Focus Follows Mouse if you want your typing to go into the window containing the mouse, eliminating the need to click to type in that window. (Highly Recommended!)

  6. There are two ways to enter answers into this ODT document:

    1. Recommended: You can replace an entire line of red underscores with your answer. To do this, in your OpenOffice document, turn on “INSRT” (Insert) mode (do not use “OVER” mode) and double- click on the line of red underscores to select the entire line and then type/paste on top of it to replace all the underscores with your answer. The answer will retain the red colour. (If the answer is not red, you can colour it red. Answers must be RED.)
    2. You can type your answers on top of a line of red underscores. To do this, in your OpenOffice document, turn on “OVER” (overtyping) mode and then type or paste your answers on top of the red underscores. The answer will replace some (but not usually all) of the underscores. This doesn’t look as good as (A) above.

You can change between INSRT and OVER mode by clicking the INSRT/OVER button in the status line at the bottom of the document, or by pushing the [Insert] key. Make sure all your answers are red.

If you make a mistake, use the Undo button or Edit|Undo menu to undo your mistake and start over. Save your document after you enter each answer.

  1. Enter your name and lab section at the top of the OpenOffice document.

  2. Follow the assignment instructions. Type your answers to replace the lines of straight red underscores in each answer in your OpenOffice document. You may be able to cut-and-paste some of the longer answers into your document instead of writing them by hand, but you will learn more by reading the terminal output and copying by hand. If you want to learn the material, do not cut-and-paste.

    When you are entering answers into the OpenOffice document, be sure to pay attention to the following points, otherwise you will badly mangle the formatting of the document and it will not be marked:

    • Answers must be entered in RED so that they stand out clearly from the original document’s text, and your lab instructor can easily read your answers. All answers must be coloured red.

    • Document pagination must remain the same. Do not add extra lines to the document, and do not delete lines, unless you need to delete the occasional blank line to make room for a multi-line answer. Students must compare the modified version with the original and make sure the answers still have the same numbers or letters and appear on the same page numbers. Don’t change pagination and don’t insert accidental questions that change the question numbering or lettering. If you make a mistake, you can use the Undo button or select Edit|Undo to undo the change.

    • The best way to type an answer into the OpenOffice document is by double-clicking on the red answer underscores to select the entire line and then typing your new answer to replace all the underscores.

    • I don’t recommend copying and pasting, because you don’t learn the output of commands by cut-and-paste. If you must paste lines into the OpenOffice document (not recommended), follow these rules:

      1. Don’t try to copy and paste more than a SINGLE line at a time. Pasting multiple lines may damage the document structure by inserting new paragraphs with question numbers. Damaged documents will not be marked. Use the Undo button to recover from document damage.
      2. First double-click on a SINGLE line of red answer underscores in the OpenOffice document to select and highlight the entire line of underscores that you want to replace. Select only ONE line.
      3. Second, go to your Terminal window and copy the single line of text you want to paste, by clicking and dragging the mouse over the text to highlight it, then right-clicking to open a menu that allows you to select “Copy”. Be careful to select only the one line of text you want to copy!
      4. Move the mouse to the OpenOffice window and right click over the underscores to open a menu that allows you to say “Paste”. (Pasting often doesn’t work. If you don’t see Paste, you’ll have to copy the line manually.)
      5. Paste the line of text from the clipboard.
      6. Save the document. (In case of subsequent errors, you can Reload the document from the File menu.)

    Pasting doesn’t always work between Terminal and OpenOffice. You may have to type those answers manually, which is what I recommend in the first place. You will learn more by re-typing the answers.

  3. When you have answered all the questions, and filled in your Name and Lab section at the top of the first page, save the document. Keep a copy of all your lab documents until the course is over. We may need to check your copy.

  4. If you are uploading more than one file for marking (e.g. you have a log file to upload as well as the ODT document), make sure the secondary files are complete before you start the upload process. Always upload both the ODT file and all the secondary files in every submission. I only mark the most recent submission and ignore all previous submissions, so the most recent submission must contain ALL the required files. You cannot upload part of an assignment in one upload and a second part in a later upload. I only look at the latest upload and ignore the earlier ones.

  5. Use Blackboard to submit and upload the completed ODT document (and any secondary files) to the correct assignment section of this course. Do not change the name of the files when you upload - use the exact same names you were given. Do this:

    1. Go to your Blackboard home page for this course. Select Content|Labs in the left side-bar. Open the correct Lab number. (Verify you are uploading to the correct assignment number!) Click on the underlined lab number to open the “Upload Assignment” page.
    2. On the “Upload Assignment” page, locate the “Attach File” line under section 2 “Assignment Materials” and select “Browse My Computer” to locate the completed ODT file you wish to attach for upload.
    3. Repeat the “Attach File” process for every file you need to upload. Only attach each file once. Multiple attachments cause Blackboard to reject your submission when I go to mark it. One per file.
    4. Do not enter any Submission or Comments; they will not be read. Use email to comment on your submission, if needed.
    5. Under section 3 “Submit” use the “Submit” button to upload all the attached files. Verify again that you uploaded the correct file. Verify again that you only attached each file once.
    6. Make sure the file is uploaded! If the upload works, Blackboard will show you a section named 2. Review Submission History that will show your file names beside the Attached Files heading. (Note: Many students think they uploaded the file when in fact they did not. You must see the file on Blackboard.)
    7. If you are worried that your upload might not have worked, you can download back from Blackboard its copy of your uploaded file (listed beside Attached Files), to verify its contents.
    8. If you are worried that Blackboard might lose your submission, keep a screen capture of the whole Blackboard Review Submission History page showing your Attached Files as evidence that you submitted your assignment on time. (Note: Blackboard has never lost a submission yet.)
  6. Always upload both the ODT file AND all the secondary files in every submission. I only mark the most recent submission and ignore all previous submissions, so the most recent submission must contain ALL the required files. You cannot upload part of an assignment in one upload and a second part in a later upload. I only look at the latest upload and ignore the earlier ones.

    If you wish to claim that you uploaded the file correctly but Blackboard “lost it”, you must show me your screen capture of the full Review Submission History page to prove that you uploaded it correctly to the correct course and assignment number.

    Only modified original lab ODT (OpenOffice) documents with original pagination and question numbering preserved will be marked. You cannot submit DOC or PDF answer files. Submit only edited ODT documents that follow these rules.

    No marks are awarded for submitting to the wrong course or to the wrong assignment number, or submitting the wrong ODT file.

5 Enabling Focus-Follows-MouseIndexup to index

Normally you have to click in a Fedora window to make it accept focus (keyboard input), and that click also raises the window. You can change this behaviour so that simply moving the mouse into a window enables keyboard input without requiring any mouse click and without raising the window. This is called “focus-follows-mouse”. To enable this wonderful feature, install both the “control-center-extra” and updated “nautilus” packages, either through the System|Administration|Add/Remove Software menu or by becoming “root” and using the command line:

    yum install control-center-extra
    yum install nautilus

Answer Yes to all questions. You will have to enter your root password and confirm the installation of some other related packages.

When installed, this package creates the menu System|Preferences|Windows. Select this Windows menu item to open the Window Preferences dialog box. Check “Select windows when the mouse moves over them”. You can leave “Raise selected windows after an interval” unchecked.

Now, just moving the mouse pointer into a window will enable keyboard focus. You don’t have to click in the window to type there any more.

6 Installing (hundreds of) Fedora 12 UpdatesIndexup to index

Your Fedora 12 installation will at some point announce that dozens of security updates are available for your Linux system, as well as hundreds and hundreds of other non-security updates - over 900MB of updates in total. Don’t attempt to do this during the day on campus. Wait until a time when the network is less used, or perhaps do it from home late at night. If you only use Fedora in your virtual machine, don’t bother with doing any updates.

7 Must restart networking when resuming machinesIndexup to index

If you resume a virtual machine in a different room than where you Suspended it, the resumed networking will likely be wrong - it will be the networking used in the room where you Suspended the machine. Under the Network menu on the top menu bar, you have to “Disconnect” and then reconnect the wired network to get networking functioning again.

8 Customizing the Linux Top Menu BarIndexup to index

You can open any Linux Fedora menu and click-and-drag anything you see there up to the top menu bar for easier access. The Terminal application is one such frequently-used item to consider dragging up.

9 Answering the VMware moved it vs. copied it questionIndexup to index

When you first power on a VMware virtual machine on hardware different from that on which it was created, you may be asked if you moved or copied the virtual machine. The answer is simple: If this virtual machine is not a copy of an existing machine, reply moved it (this is the usual case). If you actually did make a file copy of the virtual machine file and power on the new copy, reply copied it.

10 Increasing VMware BIOS screen pauseIndexup to index

To get a longer pause at the VMware BIOS boot menu, edit (using Notepad) each of your VMware *.vmx configuration files and add this line at the bottom: bios.bootDelay = "60000"

The mouse does not work on any BIOS/POST screens or GRUB (boot menu) screens. First click in the virtual machine window (to set keyboard focus there), then use the keyboard arrow keys to change selections and ENTER to proceed.

11 Using VMware linked clones/snapshots on other machinesIndexup to index

A linked clone/snapshot links to the base version using a host-specific absolute pathname that doesn’t work directly on alternate architectures. You can still use the clone/snapshot, but you have to manually browse to the new absolute pathname when booting the system.

12 Don’t change processors with Suspended VMware machinesIndexup to index

Using VMware to Suspend a machine is faster and more convenient than using the menus to shut it down. One time you should not use Suspend is if you are going to restart the machine on a different processor.

VMware gives a warning about problems if the processor vendor changes when you restart a machine. Avoid restarting a Suspended machine on a different processor. If you know you’re moving to a different processor (e.g. moving to home from school or vice-versa), shut down your virtual machines instead of suspending them.

13 Windows ESET Anti-Virus ConfigurationIndexup to index

You must have a valid and current anti-virus installed in any Windows systems used on Campus. Your caddy Windows XP comes with ESET. You can update your ESET license via the Computer Systems Technician course on Blackboard, under “ESET Instructions”.

14 Handling forgotten passwords under LinuxIndexup to index

You can never recover or find out an existing password from Linux. All you can do is set a new password to replace the old one.

14.1 Changing an ordinary non-root account passwordIndexup to index

Since the default VMWare mouse escape (Hot Keys) starts with CTRL+ALT, you may need to change this in the VMWare Edit|Preferences|HotKeys dialog before the following instructions using CTRL+ALT+F2 can work. I recommend changing the Hot Key Combination to Custom and using CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+WIN in “Down” mode.

If you forget the password of your ordinary (non-root) account, switch to a text console (e.g. use CTRL+ALT+F2), log in as the root user and use the command passwd user where user is the account for which you want to set a new password. (You cannot log in as root via the Fedora GUI; you must switch away from the GUI to use a text console.)

After you have set the new password, log out from root by typing exit, switch back to the Fedora GUI using either CTRL-F1 or CTRL-F7, then log in as user using the new password. Remember it!

14.2 Changing the root account password - Single User ModeIndexup to index

If you forget the password of your root account, you have more work to do. Read this whole section through once before you begin.

To recover the root account, you have to Shut Down and restart Linux in single-user mode. Look for the “I forgot my password” PowerPoint file on Blackboard, which has pictures and is mostly right but not completely correct, or follow these directions here which are definitely right (Fedora 12, September 2011):

  1. Use the Fedora System menu to Shut Down and Restart Linux
  2. Quickly, just as the VMware logo and black BIOS boot screen appears, click the mouse in the VMware window (to set the keyboard focus there) and immediately push the space bar to trigger access to the blue GNU GRUB menu. If Fedora starts to boot, you weren’t quick enough, and you will have to wait until Fedora boots, then repeat the Shut Down and Restart until you get the space bar timing right. The blue GNU GRUB menu contains a line with your Fedora 12 kernel version number and some instructions on how to select entries.
  3. Your mouse does not work in the blue GNU GRUB window. Use only the keyboard and keyboard arrow keys.
  4. As the blue GNU GRUB menu says, press the letter “a” to edit the Fedora kernel arguments. This will switch to editing the kernel boot line.
  5. Add a space at the end of the line and then add the word: single
  6. Push ENTER to boot this modified kernel line in single-user mode.
  7. The system should come up in single-user mode. You will see a black text terminal screen with a root shell prompt and no mouse function. You will see a root shell prompt containing a number sign (“#”).
  8. At the root prompt, use the passwd root command to change root’s password.
  9. After changing the root password, type reboot at the prompt.

You can also change any other user account password as root in single-user mode, using the same passwd user syntax. See the man page for passwd.

Don’t forget your passwords!

15 Using VMware at Home or via LaptopIndexup to index

You can take your caddy home (or connect it to your laptop) and plug it in as a second external hard disk, either ESATA or USB. You can then open your virtual machines and run them using either the free VMware Player (from http://vmware.com/), or the full VMware Workstation application.

The version of VMware Workstation pre-installed in your Windows XP host O/S this term is already licensed for a year. (You can renew the license via the VMware Web Store, mentioned below.) You only need a license for the second copy of VMware Workstation that you download at home (or on your laptop).

You can get an updated license for VMware Workstation by following the directions you got in a recent email message sending you to the VMware Web Store at onthehub.com. (You can also get to this store via the Drivers and Downloads menu at http://cstech/.) You do not need Workstation to run your existing virtual machines - the free VMware Player application will do that. You need a licensed copy of VMware Workstation only to modify or create new virtual machines.

For home or laptop use, use your caddy as an additional external hard disk and connect it to your existing Linux/Windows/Mac computer or laptop using an ESATA or USB cable. In most cases you won’t even need to reboot your system when you connect the external disk; the disk will be recognized when you plug it in.

Do not use your caddy drive as a boot drive (main disk) other than in the Algonquin caddy labs T108, T110, T111, T113, T114, T115, T126. Booting from the caddy anywhere else will confuse the Windows XP host operating system (because the hardware will be different), and it may lock you out and require you to re-image your O/S partition over again to recover.

16 Configuring the T126 Printer under Linux Fedora 12Indexup to index

Make sure your Networking is working before you configure a network printer. (Check the Network icon in the Linux top menu bar, and make sure you can use Linux Firefox to open a Google window inside Linux.) Installing a network printer requires network access.

Athough the printer in T126 is a Lexmark model Optera T632, the Lexmark E220 driver is available and works, so we use that below.

Note that the printer will only work if your Fedora Linux system is fully connected to the network, as indicated by the Network icon in the Linux top menu bar. Be careful about queueing multiple print jobs with the network disconnected - all those print jobs will rush to the printer when the network becomes active. Go to System -> Administration -> Printing and right-click on lp126 and select “View Print Queue” to see and delete queued print jobs you don’t need. Once all the print jobs go to the printer, you have to physically go to the printer and use the front panel buttons to cancel the print jobs.

17 Installing VMware Tools for Fedora 12Indexup to index

Installing VMware Tools into your Linux system will improve many aspects of using Linux under VMware. See the last paragraphs, below, for details.

Arrange your windows so that you can read these instructions and see your Linux desktop at the same time. (You may find it easier to open these instructions in a web browser in your Windows XP host O/S.)

Start by going to the VMware “Virtual Machines” (“VM”) menu and select “Install VMWare Tools”. A dialog Question may appear, giving you instructions similar to what you read here (but with less detail). Click “Install”. A CD/DVD volume named “VMWare Tools” should appear on your Linux desktop.

A file browser dialog box should open with the title “VMware Tools”. If the file browser does not open, double click on the “VMware Tools” CD/DVD icon to open it. Two icons are visible inside the browser window: a manifest.txt file and a compressed VMwareTools file ending in “.tar.gz”.

When you can see the compressed VMwareTools tar.gz file, click-and-drag that icon to your Linux Desktop to copy the file. Close the file browser dialog box when you are done. The VMwareTools compressed tar.gz file should now be a file visible on your Linux Desktop.

Go to the Linux menu "Applications" -> "System Tools" and open "Terminal" (usually at the bottom of the menu). A command terminal will open, with a shell command-line prompt. Arrange your windows so you can read these instructions and type into the command window at the same time.

Read this entire next section before typing any of the commands below:

Now, having read all the above instructions carefully, type each of these commands into your Linux Terminal window:

   cd  Desktop
   tar  -zxvf  VM*
   rm  -rf  VM*  vm*

After the terminal window closes, in your VMware application, under the “View” menu, un-check (turn off) “Autofit Window” and check (turn on) “Autofit Guest”.

The simplest way to get VMware Tools working is to shut down and restart your Linux virtual machine using the usual Fedora System | Shut Down and then Restart menu. Do this now.

When you next log in to Linux, you should find that your Linux Desktop is expanded to the full size of the VMware window containing it (no more black border), and changing the size of the VMware window will change the size of your Linux Desktop to match. (Sometimes, you may see a pop-up error message saying that the monitor size cannot be changed. Ignore this.)

With VMware Tools working, your mouse will now flow seamlessly between the virtual machine and the host machine, without having to push any escape keys to unlock it from the VMware window, and cut-and-paste will work between this virtual machine and the Windows host O/S.

18 Troubleshooting a failed caddy driveIndexup to index

Your first lab in this course contains printed instructions on troubleshooting a caddy that does not appear to be working properly. See also troubleshooting help on the http://cstech/ web site. (The cstech web site only works properly inside the College or through the College VPN. You can find a partial mirror of some of the information here.)

If your caddy doesn’t work on a particular machine in a lab (i.e. your disk drive is not visible during POST, or the blue LED light never blinks during POST to indicate access to the hard disk, or the blue LED is constantly blinking even when the computer is off), follow these steps:

  1. Power down. Unplug your cables and plug them back in again firmly. Also check where the cables connect to the computer and make sure they are pushed into the computer firmly. Power up. Does it work now?
  2. Power down and try a different ESATA cable. (Many of the lab cables are worn and intermittent.)
  3. Power down and try a different caddy power supply.
  4. Power down and move to a different computer. (If this works, label the computer that doesn’t work.)
  5. If you are imaging your caddy using the lab boot disk, try using a different boot disk.
  6. Try a USB cable instead of ESATA (but USB will be much slower to use than ESATA!). If USB works but not ESATA, determine where the problem is or contact CSTECH to help you.
  7. Re-seat your disk inside your caddy drive. See below.
  8. Contact CSTECH for assistance. See below.

18.1 Re-seat your disk inside your caddy driveIndexup to index

If your caddy still doesn’t work, take your caddy apart, unscrew, remove and re-insert the hard drive, making sure to push it firmly against the circuit board for a good connection. There should be no space between the hard disk and the circuit board. Screw it down firmly.

Many student drives shift during term and need to be re-seated inside the caddy enclosure.

18.2 Last Resort - get CSTECH helpIndexup to index

If after all the above attempts you still can’t get the drive to work properly, go to a working machine or an open access centre and bring up the CSTECH problem report form and submit a problem report: http://cstech/

Under “Room Number:” either select the room you are in from the drop-down menu or use “General Inquiry” if you are in a different room. If you are in a different room, remember to include the room number in the description of the problem report so that the technician can come to you.

This CSTECH report will go immediately to the hardware people via pager, and if they are on duty they will come to your room right away to help you diagnose the problem. You can also try visiting the hardware lab in T110, though paging through the reporting form is probably faster.

You cannot return your drive or caddy to the campus store as defective until it has been signed off as defective by our hardware technicians. You must follow the above steps before you can get a replacement hard drive or enclosure.

19 Learning the VIM Text EditorIndexup to index

VIM is an easy-to-use but hard-to-learn text editor. It doesn’t need the X Windows system to be running; you can use it over a serial line and a dial-up modem. Perhaps this will help: http://lifehacker.com/5844890/the-interactive-vim-tutorial-teaches-you-how-to-use-the-super+efficient-vim-text-editor

19.1 VI and VIM Reference CardsIndexup to index

20 How UMASK worksIndexup to index

The UMASK value is a mask. It turns off permissions. Do not subtract a umask value from permissions; use it as a mask. For example: default 666 with umask 002 gives 664 but default 666 with umask 001 gives 666 (no change!) and default 666 with umask 007 gives 660.

21 Run LevelsIndexup to index

In 2011, many distributions of Linux are still in a transition from the old static run-level system sysvinit inherited from System V Unix™ to the new event-driven upstart system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upstart) or to the newer dependency-based systemd system (http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/systemd.html and http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/why.html).

The old System V run-level system had a small number of system states, called run levels, each of which had an ordered list of processes running. Switching between states stopped and started processes in a given order. You couldn’t have dependencies such as “start this process whenever that process starts” or “start this process when this hardware changes”. The new upstart and systemd systems can handle these things, while retaining backward-compatibility with the legacy System V scripts.

While Linux is in transition, upstart emulates the old run levels using events and systemd extracts dependency information from the LSB (Linux Standards Base) headers in the old sysvinit files under /etc/init.d. Many programs have not yet been converted to upstart or systemd and still use a legacy run-level start script. Fedora moved to upstart with Fedora 9, then to systemd with Fedora 15.

22 Windows XP mishandles Modern Hard DisksIndexup to index

Many modern hard disks have 4KB blocks, not the old 512-byte blocks, but Windows versions prior to Vista(?) don’t handle these disks properly, leading to extremely slow access times. You need to re-align your 4KB-block disk to make it usable under old versions of Windows, especially Windows XP. See this link: http://support.wdc.com/product/downloadsw.asp?sid=128

The hardware kits supplied to students have Seagate disks that claim to have alignment software built into the disk.

| Ian! D. Allen  -  idallen@idallen.ca  -  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
| Home Page: http://idallen.com/   Contact Improv: http://contactimprov.ca/
| College professor (Free/Libre GNU+Linux) at: http://teaching.idallen.com/
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