windows


If you want to build your own disk array, let’s say RAID, on your computer to increase disk space and efficiency, you should know about few important things in general:

  • You can consider MBR and x86 obsolete. New way is GPT, UEFI, AMD64.
  • Large RAID arrays (over 2TB) will not work with older hardware and OS (except FreeBSD) due to architecture limitations.
  • To use large RAID volumes you must use GPT partition scheme. MBR will not do the job.
  • Some systems can use GPT only with UEFI BIOS (i.e. Windows works with GPT only via UEFI). You may be forced to buy new motherboard.
  • UEFI and GPT is totally different way of bootstrap so you can forget what you know about BIOS and MBR here.
  • Hard Drives have hidden corruption-fix mechanisms in firmware that will make your RAID array fail to operate. For RAID choose dedicated drives such as WD RED (not Green, not Black, not Blue).

In order to use GPT and UEFI I have replaced my nice ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 motherboard with M5A97 R2.0 only because M4 series did not support UEFI. New BIOS is totally different, but I am not really sure if replacing the hardware was mandatory..

Summing up, if you want to use large RAID volumes make sure first that you can use GPT and UEFI BIOS is present on your AMD64 hardware. If not, still you can use the FreeBSD as it knows how to bypass some limitations. Also remember to use dedicated HDD for RAID operations.

windows


If you find keyboard/mouse to be missing when installing Windows7 on a new hardware, make sure you are connected to USB2.0 ports not USB3.0. New hardware host of USB3.0 may not yet be supported by older installer software.

windows


The new Microsoft Windows Vista/7 brought also new revolution to the installer and bootloader components. If you are in that group who gets their OS preinstalled on the computer and no backup DVD is attached, then you have really bad luck.

If MBR gets modified Windows won’t boot anymore, unless you use installer disk to fix the bootstrap. But hey – you may ask – where is my installer disk, I only got the preinstalled system with rescue partition on the hard drive! So if you dare to install BSD, Linux, or any OS other than Windows, beware and get the installer disk first. Also note that this is not Microsoft duty to provide that system disk, but the Manufacturer, so good luck with getting back what you paid for.

The other issue in Microsoft Windows Vista/7 installer is the nasty welcome screen that lets you select the language for further installation – but, in fact, there is no “Next” button and the list is “one click”, so if you click anything except your language on the list, there is no other choice but to use this foreign language for the installation process – because there is neither “Back” nor “Restart” button (like in the FreeBSD and Linux installers) on the following screen. You can only reboot the computer and wait few more minutes for the installer to load again… assuming that you have the disk and won’t click anything wrong on the welcome screen 😉

Ah, by the way – you won’t get into fixing the previous installation if the active partition has changed and does not point to windows installation anymore. Also be prepared and download Ethernet Adapter drivers because fresh install does not contain any of them bundled, so in order to download all of the drivers you need at least network up and running. So called “backup disk” contains only system, no drivers.

Now tell me who really creates piracy?