Category: tech


Windows 7 64bit upgrade and Intel Storage manager issues

Windows 7 Default Desktop

Originally uploaded by nopattern

I just upgraded my 3 year old Dell Dimension E520 to Windows 7. I did a fresh install just to make sure there wasn’t any legacy junk from Vista hanging around. So far I’m very happy with Windows 7 so far! Its certainly faster, networking capabilities is certainly better and easier! It also works super well with my Xbox360 perfectly now!

I originally purchased my Dell with Windows XP 32bit, and later did an upgrade to Vista 32-bit. I had so many issues with Vista 32bit. The machine certainly got better with Sp1 came out, but the biggest problems I had to deal with was the Cisco VPN client did not work on machines that were upgraded to Vista. This made working at home an issue. The Cisco VPN client only worked on a fresh install of Windows Vista 32bit, and had no support for Windows VIsta 64bit. After a few months of struggling with various problems I wiped my machine and did a fresh install of Windows Vista 32bit. It was relatively problem and crash free since doing the fresh install, but I’ve consistently had strange network issues with Vista.

Some strangeness I had to deal with using Vista 32bit was my machine was invisible on the network even with the firewall disabled. The vista machine could access other machines with no issue, but other devices could not reach the Vista box using various methods (ping/netbios/CIFS/etc). I knew the local IP of the Dell, and it was basically invisible to the rest of the network sometimes till I pinged the IP address of the Vista box. Yes that sounds crazy..but that was the behavior. Trying to use the Xbox360 with Vista was painful due to these network issues.

Now I’m using Windows 7, and I have zero networking issues! All machines can see each other on the network including the Xbox360.

I’ve been using my windows 7 box for a few weeks now and I noticed my box would freeze up occasionally. I checked the event log and saw a few hundred of these messages:

Log Name: System
Source: iaStorV
Date: 11/6/2009 5:08:22 PM
Event ID: 9
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: VADER
The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.

I checked around the internet and noticed that other Dell owners were having the same issue when they upgrade to a 64bit Vista or Windows 7. It appears Microsoft is using the wrong driver for the Intel Storage Manager to run under a 64 bit OS

this is the latest Intel driver to fix the issue:*


Bigbelly the solar powered garbage Compactor


Originally uploaded by Declan!

I found yet another reason why I love California. While taking care of some errands yesterday I came across a strange looking garbage can. What I found is that it was actually a garbage compactor, and even cooler is that its solar powered!

This is a great for the environment as compacted trash will take up less space in the dumps. The only possible issue I see is the ability to sort through compacted trash for bottles, cans, and other recycleable goods.

I’m sure its pissing off the hordes of homeless people in Santa Monica that go through the garbage cans for cans and what not.


Apple and the OS marketshare

MacBook Pro

Originally uploaded by the_ml

In the news recently I read that mac laptop sales have take something like 17% or the market. And I think mac desktops have increased 5% or something.

(these stats only show purchasing habits for the past 3 months, but still interesting)

anywho, looking at awstats on my own personal website (which doesn’t get a lot of traffic), I find it interesting that it almost matches what the stats are saying in terms of OS marketshare. I also posted website OS stats from a year before. This looks like clear evidence that apple’s marketing is working (I just got a macpro for work)

Another thing I noticed is that I seem to be getting less traffic this year than last. lol I’m not taking enough photos to drive traffic to my website these days. Either that, or I guess I’ve been using Flickr more so the traffic isn’t showing. August 2007 stats:

Operating Systems





73.9 %



19.3 %



5.9 %



0.6 %



0 %



0 %

Symbian OS


0 %

Sun Solaris


0 %



0 %

Unknown Unix system


0 % August 2006 stats:

Operating Systems





85.1 %



8.3 %



5.6 %



0.8 %



0 %



0 %


Mac Tip: How to increase the size of the…


So I got an MacPro laptop with Parallels from work. While running XP under Parallels, XP keeps telling me I’m running out of space.

While in XP looking at my partitions:

my XP parallels install is 26GB total in size – C: partition is 8GB, and D: is 16GB

I’ve been trying to figure out if there a way to resize the C: partition without re-installing the OS completely and/or XP parallels install. Partition Magic doesn’t seem to run under XP under Parallels.

The Parallels support site doesn’t have anything official listed to fix this problem. So I figured out how to fix my problem after parsing through the below support thread.

To Start with I ran the Parallels image expander tool to increase the total XP parallels hard drive size from 25GB > 34GB

Within the windows XP disk manager, you will see another 10GB of unpartitioned space.

So someone on the support thread said to do the following:

Download the live cd from
Setup another
Boot your VM from the live cd iso
Select default values until gpartd starts
Select partition to resize
Resize and apply
Disconnect iso

They however don’t mention that to increase the size of your C: drive the expanded disk space has to be contiguous. (meaning free space right next to your primary partition)

So the exact steps were to

  1. Make a copy of your XP parallels image (so your data can be restored if something gets corrupted)
  2. Download the live cd from
  3. Run the parallels disk expander tool (expand your XP diskspace to whatever you want)
  4. Using the windows disk manager, create an E: drive with the additional space.
  5. Reboot XP
  6. Then copy/move all the data from D: to E:
  7. Delete the D: partition
  8. shut down XP
  9. create another parallels VM where you boot of the gparted ISO, add your XP image as a 2nd hard drive
  10. from within Gparted Live CD, a disk manager will start automatically
  11. choose the 2nd hard drive, which you will see the C: and E: partitions defined within windows. There should be 16GB of free space right after the first partition. Expand you first partition to whatever size you want (I just added the whole 16GB)
  12. save and quit
  13. boot into your XP parallels VM
  14. checkdisk will run
  15. verify that your C: drive is now 25GB
  16. reboot XP VM (it will ask you to)
  17. delete the Gparted disk space and ISO when you are done to reclaim diskspace.