Archive for February, 2013

Want 22.5 Gigs of Free Space with your dropbox account? Its easier then you think, they are giving it away but you need to know the secrets!

First, clicking this link will get you a free 500MB because its a referral, yep that was easy, so you can click that link, sign up and already you will go from the 2 Gigabytes up to 2.5 GB, pretty neat huh. **UPDATE they changed the rules slightly  not a big deal but you need to install the software after you folloe the link. You will be installing the software from THEIR site, not mine, some people thought I was hosting the software, but that wouldnt make sense, you should only download dropbox software from DROPBOX, it is the only way to insure it is legitimate. Its very stable. safe and following these directions is the ONLY way you can obtain the entire 22.5 Gigs, so make sure you sign up AND install the software or you will not get the entire amount of free space thats possible. I get credit too, so please help me out if you can by helping yourself out too.**UPDATE

After you have signed up, dropbox makes it pretty easy to get EVEN MORE space! Here are a few steps.

1. Complete 5 out of the 7 steps in the “getting started with Dropbox” on dropbox. They are simple. Things like “Take the Dropbox tour”, “Install Dropbox on your computer”, “Put files in your dropbox folder”,  “Install Dropbox on other computers you use”, “share a folder”, “invite friends”, and “install on your mobile device”, These are simple, quick little tasks that you can do. Remember you only need to complete 5 of them to earn 250 Megs FREE space!

2. Connect your FaceBook account for another 125 Megabytes FREE!

3. Connect your Twitter account for another 125 Megs FREE!

4. Follow Dropbox on Twitter for an additional 125 MB’s

5. Tell Dropbox why you love them, literally a word or sentence and you get another 125 Megs FREE!

Ok, so if you do all of the above, you will earn an additional of 750 MB’s for a grand total of 3.25 Gigs of Free Cloud Storage, but this is just the beginning, the real free space comes next!

6. Connect your camera to your computer and allow it to sync to dropbox. Just upload 2.5 Gigabytes and you will earn an additional 3 GB’s totally free! You don’t have to keep the pictures in there either, if you remove the pictures from dropbox, you get to keep the free space FOREVER!

So, now you just jumped up to 6.25 Gigabytes of FREE online storage! But wait, there is more!

7. This is the big one, with the Dropbox Free account you currently have, you can earn 16 GB more of totally FREE space by simply referring 32 people to dropbox. Once they signup and install dropbox you will earn 500 Megabytes for each referral!

So that brings your grand total too…drum role please…22.25 Gigs of the best online cloud storage available!

See, told you it was easy! Enjoy!


Get FREE Space!

Get FREE Space!

How to properly format an Advanced Format Harddrive for Windows XP is easier than you might think. If you are reading this you’re probably already aware of what an Advanced Format Hard Drive is, but if not, here is the cliff note version. Up until about 2010 most consumer Hard Drives had 512 bytes per sector. Seagate developed a new standard of 4096 bytes per sector and any drive released after January of 2011 is very likely this new Advanced Format, whether it is from Seagate, Western Digital, IBM, or other. This larger 4096 byte sector allows the error checking code to be moved to the end of the sector by combining eight 512 sectors, allowing data to be read more efficiently and eventually allowing for more dense platters, aka bigger drives.

The problem is up until Vista, operating systems in all flavors (including Linux and Mac) did not correctly write to these new drives, they expected 512 sectors and found 4096 sectors, causing them to need multiple rotations to do the same work, basically making them slow and prone to errors. Even with Vista and above you need to make sure you have the correct service pack installed. So what if you have over 500 computers in your environment that still run Windows XP? Simple, buy Seagate Drives because they include firmware on the drives that makes this transition transparent to the operating system. What if your purchasing agent instead purchased something like Western Digital because they were a buck cheaper? Well then you have problems. According to WD you can run a tool to properly align the drive. This isn’t a great idea since you could lose your data and plus the data has already been installed. I’ve also noticed that the Western Digital tool will report the drive incorrectly as aligned when it isn’t so forget that junk tool.

This is what you do, simply download and burn a copy of Parted Magic, it is Free and is the #1 tool for partitioning Hard Drives, Thumb Drives, birds, mice, whatever, ok it only works on drives and disks but whatever.

**** WARNING ***** if you are reading this you better have all your data backed up because this will wipe the drive, you have been warned!

I’m just going to give a quick overview of the process since it is fairly straight forward. Here are the steps, good luck.

1. Boot Parted Magic and choose default

2. Double Click “Partition Editor” on desktop

* If more than one drive is installed, be sure to choose the correct drive on the right top of the screen drop downs.

3. Select “Device”, then “Create Partition Table” from the menu at the top of Gparted (this is the Partition Editor Program)

4. You will get a warning ” This will erase all DATA on the entire disk…” simply click “Apply”

5. Right Click on the drive and choose “New”, change File System to “NTFS” and click “add”

6.Right Click on the New Partition #1 and choose “Format To” and then NTFS, click “Apply”

7. Click “Apply” at top of current window, you will get a message saying “Are you sure you want to apply pending operations?” Click “Apply” to continue.

You should see “All operations successfully completed” just click close, wait for rescan of drives to finish and close gparted.

You can then shut down the computer.

Now when you go to install Windows XP you will come to the section to Partition the drive, just select “Leave the current File System intact (no Change)” Since I use slip streamed installs I dont have the exact screen this will show up on but it will be obvious.

With this process, it’s actually a little quicker to use Parted Magic to create and format your partition, but it is a two step process which is just 1 step too many, so as I suggested at the beginning, simply buy Seagate Drives and don’t worry about this new Advanced Format.

If you want to verify your drive is aligned I recommend the dell utility if you have a Dell, actually it might work on others but I don’t have a machine to test that on. I will include a copy of the file since it is kind of a pain to find on Dell’s Home Page. DELL_ADVANCED-FORMAT-HDD-DET_A00_R306204

To see if you have an Advanced Format Drive, you can, depending on your version of fsutil installed, run an elevated command prompt and type fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo c: you will see there is a section on Physical Sectors and Bytes per sector, if physical sectors say 4096, then you have an Advanced Format Drive.

I just did some testing with a Seagate and they say their firmware handles this transparently, but it appears this is not the case. I will continue to test and update this post ***CORRECTION