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· 2 min read

Want to get emailed disk status reports of your drives/hard drives and you are using a Windows PC? Using a great tool developed by Acronis you can. Acronis Drive Monitor runs down in the notification tray (by the time) and monitors your hard drive(s) temperature/spin time and sector failure rate giving you a good indication of when/if they are going to fail before they do. If you are away from the computer or simply would rather get status reports emailed to you, this is how you do it.

  1. First things first download Acronis Drive Monitor
  2. Install Acronis Drive Monitor
  3. Down by the notification tray you will see a little icon of a hard drive, double click it.
  4. To view the status of your disks click “Show Disks” you will get an overview on the drive(s) health, clicking on S.M.A.R.T parameters gives you more of an advanced look.
  5. Click Options (up the top of Acronis Disk Monitor)
  6. On the Alerts tab, click “change settings
  7. Type in the email address you would like them sent to you can have multiple addresses by separated them with a semicolon.
  8. Type in the from field who you want them sent from (ie Home Computer)
  9. For the outgoing mail server settings you have to type the outgoing mail settings for the email account you wish to use to send from, the easiest way is to check your mail client for the ones used there and copy them in.
  10. Click Sent Test Message to email a test email to the email address you specified above. Once it has been setup click Ok.
  11. Now you can select to be either emailed about Critical Events (which stops email spamming in your inbox) or you can either have regular disk status reports sent (for a Windows server it is probably better for this to be selected so then you can go back and have a look at drive status if needed.
  12. Congratulations you have just set up your computer to email hard drive alerts.

Note: One of the adjustments I make for my home computer, is to disable Backup alerts (under Backup Monitoring)

· 2 min read

First off, you need a Raspberry Pi and an SD Card/Reader

  1. Once obtained download Xbian
  2. Once downloaded, make sure that the SD Card is blank or is safe to format and plugged in.
  3. Extract Xbian to a folder on your computer
  4. Run the Win32 Extractor and make sure you select the SD-Card as the correct destination.
  5. Once selected press Run
  6. The tool will then format (erase) everything on the SD-Card and overlay the Xbian software onto the card and make it bootable, it generally takes 1-2 minutes to complete.
  7. Once completed make sure that nothing is writing to the SD-Card or has it open and take the card out.
  8. Put the SD-Card into the Raspberry Pi (the slot is underneath the Pi)
  9. Plug the Pi into power and attach it up to a TV/Monitor using HDMI and let it boot up Xbian.
  10. As easy as that, you have now a fully functionally media centre.

 

Note: Xbian automatically boots NTFS/FAT32 External HDDs, however make sure that the external HDD has its own power source the Pi doesn’t have enough juice to pump through to drives that only have one USB cable for both power and data.

_Note: To add Videos, click Add Videos, Add Files, Add Source, select the folder that contains the video files it is entirely normal for no videos to appear in this dialog.  _

· One min read

One of the common causes of Windows Vista problems is due to Windows Updates; especially when it forces the computer to continuously restart follow the prompts below to repair.

  1. First off, you need a Windows Vista DVD or related CD/DVD you can access the files on the Windows installed partition.
  2. Using the Windows Vista DVD as an example you need to Boot from the DVD
  3. Once the Windows Vista DVD displays the first dialog Window giving you the options to install click Repair My Computer (below the Install).
  4. Select the Windows Vista installation you would like to edit (you would usually only have one).
  5. You should now have the Windows System Recovery dialog window, click Command Prompt.
  6. Once you are greeted with a blinking cursor type: del c:WindowsSoftwareDistribution > Press Enter
  7. This will delete the folder that contains all the temp files for Windows Updates (it will regenerate itself, so safe to delete).
  8. Now typecd Windows
  9. Typecd winsxs
  10. Typedel pending.xml > Press Enter
  11. Now restart your computer, it should now load Windows properly.

· One min read

For use setting up Phones, inc iPhones to the Vodafone network

APN: live.vodafone.com

MMSC:

MMS Proxy: 172.030.038.003:8080