My new toy…

I’m typing this on my new HP nx6125 notebook – it’s got an AMD Turion processor, 2.2GHz. Currently got 1Gb RAM but I’ll be updating it to 2Gb shortly. I hear these are great machines for running virtual machines and this also gives me the ability, should I feel like reinstalling everything now that I’m 40% of the way through setting this baby up, to run a 64-bit operating system (be it XP Pro or Vista).

It also features a biometric fingerprint scanner that can be used for logging into the notebook, my office domain and also for numerous web sites (including this one). Whilst I typically remember passwords/passphrases for sites I visit without too much trouble the benefit I see here is my passphrase tends to be rather long for the office network so simply swiping my finger across the scanner makes logging in a whole lot simpler.

I’ll see about using another hard drive to test 64-bit Vista on this baby – will be nice to see it on a real machine at last rather than inside a virtual machine.

Stay tuned…

Stop that BUS…I mean USB…

There have been issues reported around the place about problems when using USB drives as backup devices on SBS2003. Simply unplugging the drive to switch over to another one so the latest backup can be taken off site yields error messages from the server complaining about volumes with no disk space left.

The best way to avoid these errors is to stop the device before unplugging it from the server. But what if you want to do this without having someone first log onto the server? There are some tools around that allow you to script a “USB stop” to run as a scheduled task but it would appear this too is not always the fix (if you want a copy of a tool that can be used with the scheduled task let me know).

Graham from the Adelaide SBS user group was having a problem with USB drives where the server would simply lock up and using the utility for stopping the USB device was simply not successful. A call to Microsoft’s PSS and they were able to provide him with a fix – albeit not one from the public knowledge base articles.

It’s tied in to “USB device selective suspend”. Use this ONLY if you really need to.

<in here goes all the typical warnings about editing the registry>

Create a DWORD key called “DisableSelectiveSuspend” under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CCS\Services\usb

Give it a value of 1 to disable selective suspend.

Once again – use this ONLY if you’re having system lockups where using USB drives as backup devices and make sure you’ve got a complete backup of the system beforehand (kind of makes it hard to ensure you’ve got a backup in advance though doesn’t it!!).

Be interested to get feedback on this one too…