Technology Insights

Play HD DVD’s On Windows 7 Using Xbox 360 HD DVD Player

The LCD TV in my office started having issues with the LCD screen a couple weeks ago so I had to take the TV in to get the screen replaced. Luckily the LCD panel happened to be under warranty or I would have been out $2200. Regardless though it left me without the TV in my office which I use not only for TV but also for a second computer screen from one of my desktop computers so I was limited to using my HP w2408h monitor to watch movies, etc. One of the things I wanted to accomplish was to get the HD DVD player from my Xbox 360 working on a Windows 7 computer so I could watch some older movies on the monitor while the TV was in the shop. Below is information regarding what issues I ran across and how to overcome them which really is limited to the software used to play the HD DVD movies.

Technology Insights

How to Create a Hirens Boot CD Usb Thumb Drive

Occasionally I get a PC in my shop which has a broken or non working cd drive. One of the mail tools I use is a disk called Hirens Boot CD. Yes I know its considered Warez however it is by far the best collection of tools for a PC tech around so I use it all the time.  I will leave finding the actual disc up to you however once you have it you may want to create a USB drive with Hirens for situations when you dont have your cd or the cd option is unavailable.

Technology Insights

WD My Book 1 TB External Hard Drive: Uninstall WD SmartWare & Unlock Drive For Use

A friend of mine called the other day and asked if I would stop by to help him setup and configure an external hard drive he had purchased and unsuccessfully setup on his Mac desktop. Upon initial inspection I figured I would just uninstall the WD SmartWare software, reformat the drive, and set it up to simply act as a secondary drive. It turns out that the initial releases of the SmartWare software would require you to configure the drive using SmartWare so I instead of completely wiping the SmartWare software I decided to simply minimize the impact the SmartWare software would have on what my friend wanted to do which was simply have a secondary hard drive that he could copy files to. Below are a couple steps I took to minimize what the WD SmartWare software would do or require you to do before copying files to the external Western Digital hard drive. The first couple of steps are to make sure that the configuration we are starting with is from scratch and sense my friend started the install I wasn’t sure what had been configured so it was better to start over.

Technology Insights

Install Prolific USB To Serial (DB-9/DB-25) Adapter Drivers On Windows 7 64-Bit

I have had the same USB to serial adapter working on Windows XP for quite awhile. After I recently purchased a new laptop running Windows 7 64-Bit I needed to reinstall my USB to Serial Converter. I had a couple issues the first being the fact that the Dell Studio XPS laptop has a slot load CD/DVD drive and the drivers were on a mini CD. So the first thing I tried was to zip up the drivers CD that initially came with the USB to Serial Converter and get the zip file over to the new laptop. After doing this and attempting to install the drivers I was still receiving an error. I imagine either the drivers were not working with Windows 7 or there were no 64-bit drivers. Below I explain the USB error that was displaying, provide access to the correct drivers, and provide steps to install the drivers.

Technology Insights

Move Skype History From Windows XP To Windows 7

If you got a new computer like me then you probably want to move your Skype history from your old computer to the new one. In my case I needed to move my Skype history from a Windows XP computer to a Windows 7 computer. This is fairly easy but you want to make sure to do this as quickly as possible so you don’t loose any new conversations on the new computer when you copy the actual data over to the new computer. Follow the directions below and you will have all of your Skype history on the new computer in no time. The below has the same concept on any Operating System but the guidelines are very similar for all Windows computers and Windows Vista has the same path as Windows 7.