Nick MacKechnie
#8 wire kinda guy.....

Creating a bootable Windows 7 USB Flash Drive

Tuesday, 5 May 2009 23:02 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

Now that Windows 7 has hit release candidate, people are asking me how to create a bootable USB stick so they can quickly install Windows 7 RC1.

You will need the following to create the bootable USB flash drive:

  • USB Flash Drive (>2GB+) - 4GB minimum recommended
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Disk
  • A computer running Windows 7 or Windows Vista

Step 1: Format the USB Drive

The steps below describe how to use the command line to format a USB disk correctly using the diskpart utility.

**** This will erase/delete/nuke/remove/junk everything on your drive. Be careful to select the right drive!  ****

Plug in your USB Flash Drive

Open a command prompt as administrator (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt (right click and select “Run as administrator”)

Find the drive number of your USB Drive by typing the following into the Command Prompt window:

diskpart

list disk

The number of your USB drive will be listed, write it down - I’ll assume for this tutorial that the USB flash drive number is disk 2.

Format the drive by typing the following instructions into the same window. Replace the number “2” with the number of your disk below.

select disk 2

clean

create partition primary

select partition 1

active

format fs=NTFS

assign

exit

When that is done, you’ll have a formatted USB flash drive that is ready to be made bootable - don't close this Command Prompt, as you'll need it again soon.

Step 2: Make the USB Drive Bootable 

Now we’ll use the bootsect utility that comes on the Windows 7 or Window Vista to make the USB flash drive bootable.  

Insert your Windows 7 or Windows Vista DVD into your  drive - I’ll assume the drive letter is d:

Using the same Command Prompt window that you used in Step 1, change directory to the boot folder located on the root of the media.

d:

cd d:\boot

Use bootsect to set the USB Flash drive as a bootable NTFS drive prepared for a Windows 7 image. I’m assuming that your USB flash drive has been labelled as drive  f:\ by the Computer:

bootsect /nt60 f:

You can now close the command prompt window as this is no longer required.

Step 3: Copy the installation DVD to the USB drive

Using Windows Explorer, copy all of the files from your DVD to the formatted flash drive, once completed, this USB flash drive is ready to boot. The final thing you need to do is to enable your computer to boot via USB in the BIOS and then you’re away.

To request a valid key for the beta and release candidate, please go here - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-download.aspx.

Nick.

Currently rated 4.3 by 6 people

  • Currently 4.333333/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Photosynth’ing Liam’s School

Monday, 6 April 2009 03:24 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I’ve given myself a project of synth’ing Liam’s school (Halswell) for them – It’s a wicked technology from Microsoft Live Labs which has a whole heap of potential uses.. So if you’ve got some photos of Halswell School, ping me an email and i’ll happily add them in the collection as I progress...

NB: You can zoom in/out on the photos by using the + and – buttons as well as navigate around using the arrows.

Nick.

Currently rated 5.0 by 3 people

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

PhotoSynth – Very cool!

Saturday, 4 April 2009 04:23 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I've been working a bit with Nigel Parker in our developer evangelist team on some projects and he's always doing cool stuff with our new technologies, so I wanted to see how hard it was for mere mortals to synth photos - It's surprisingly very very easy - I took a few photos of my office at work.. and put this together (or you can view the embedded version below). For more info check out http://photosynth.net/

Nick.

Currently rated 5.0 by 4 people

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Tags:  
Categories:   Cool! | Internet | Microsoft | My Opinion | Technology
Actions:   E-mail | del.icio.us | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

WorldWide Telescope is Now a Web App

Thursday, 19 March 2009 21:44 by Nick MacKechnie

Starting today, you don’t have to download any software to your PC to enjoy what Microsoft Research’s WorldWide Telescope has to offer – it’s now available online as a web application! This is good news for folks running non-Windows operating systems who were previously unable to use this amazing tool which lets your computer function as a virtual telescope while bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world.

The new WWT web application (alpha) uses Silverlight 2.0 to display the satellite imagery within your browser and it offers most of the features of the desktop application, including the following:

  • Access to hundreds of terabytes of sky, earth and planet data
  • Ability to navigate seamlessly through 3D spherical environments
  • Finder Scope to quickly identify astronomical objects
  • Instant thumbnail previews of tens of thousands of popular astronomical objects
  • Access to billions of objects in web-based astronomical catalogue
  • Loading tours, images and other WorldWide Telescope data files on local machine
  • Real-time positions of planets and moons
  • Move forwards and backwards in time 2000 years
  • View guided tours (without 3D planets)
  • Browsing local user collections
  • Virtual Observatory Cone search/registry look up and SIMBAD search

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Tags:  
Categories:   Cool! | Microsoft | Technology | Thumbs up!
Actions:   E-mail | del.icio.us | Permalink | Comments (1) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

One of the worst network wiring jobs I’ve ever seen…

Wednesday, 18 March 2009 05:29 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

We moved Microsoft offices last week here in Christchurch, and as such we needed some additional wiring and electrical work to be done as there wasn’t enough wiring to cater for our needs. One of the ports in my office wasn’t working (it didn’t pass the cabling test with my tester) so I asked the cablers to test all ports in the rooms to ensure they were working as expected. When we pulled the jack off the wall, this is what we found…..

DSCF9336

So from the look of it (and from testing) the original cabler/sparky decided that the jackpoints on this wall maybe better suited on the other wall, so daisy chained it to the new jackpoint rather than running another cable from the patch panel… Both jackpoints are 26 and 28.. truely cowboy-ish for a new building install!

Nick.

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Mac vs PC

Wednesday, 4 February 2009 21:29 by Nick MacKechnie

I saw this on a post by a colleague of mine (Nick King) based in Seattle, Check out this video below!

Currently rated 3.6 by 8 people

  • Currently 3.625/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Categories:   Apple | Microsoft | Mac | Cool!
Actions:   E-mail | del.icio.us | Permalink | Comments (6) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

A day in history for MS…

Saturday, 24 January 2009 11:00 by Nick MacKechnie

Today Microsoft announced on the back of its 2nd quarter earnings, that it plans to cut 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months - starting with 1400. I found myself today reflecting on the organisation I work for, the job I do, and what I/the company needs to focus on to weather the storm moving forward in the current economic climate. I’ve often joke with colleagues and friends that for me, working for Microsoft is an addiction. I’m never far away from email, a laptop or my cellphone, and I find myself fortunate to be paid to do my hobby. So my sincere thoughts are with those that were let go today and their families.

We had a company meeting in New Zealand today, and it’s clear to me that the company wants to look after it’s strongest assets (the people) while ensuring we meet our shareholders expectations by increasing market share and profitability. Our leadership team did an excellent job in relaying the facts as they currently stand, installing confidence in the job that we do, our contribution as a subsidiary to the corporation as well as New Zealand and how we can play a positive hand in our destiny by the way we engage with our customers and partners and focus on the job at hand.

We can’t be successful unless our customers and partners are, so now is the time more than ever, for us to help identify opportunities to drive costs out of organisations through automation, process improvement, and smart adoption and deployment of technology.

We aren’t a faceless US Corporation, we are Microsoft New Zealand. If you need to drive costs of your business, make sure you are realising the value of the software you currently own, talk to us about the challenges you face - you maybe surprised where we can help.

Nick.

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Live Mesh Mobile Now Open To All

Monday, 15 December 2008 21:25 by Nick MacKechnie

The Live Mesh team recently announced that Live Mesh for Mobile is now available for all countries, so everyone can try it out. Since the mobile service initially launched back on October 30th, the team has updated Live Mesh for Mobile to address many of the reported issues that users had submitted. With those issues out of the way, the mobile version was then ready for wider testing. Although anyone can try Live Mesh for Mobile now, it is worth noting that it works better on 3G networks.

If you want to try it out, you had better hurry: there are only a limited number of spots available. To sign up, go here  and add your Windows Mobile device to your Mesh. (That link will provide you a Live ID for adding a WM phone to the Mesh.) If you were already running the Live Mesh for Mobile client on your device, you should see an update notification the next time you log in. 

Nick.

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Tags:  
Categories:   Internet | Microsoft | Windows Mobile
Actions:   E-mail | del.icio.us | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Mount SkyDrive As A Virtual Drive In Windows

Wednesday, 3 December 2008 00:26 by Nick MacKechnie

Love the 5GB (soon to be 25GB) of free online storage provided by SkyDrive, but wish you could access it browser-free? That’s the promise of a new application called Gladinet, a desktop software program that delivers web applications and online files to your desktop. With Gladinet installed, online storage sites like SkyDrive and others become available through Windows Explorer, where they exist as a virtual drive.

To use Gladinet, you only need provide your username and password to the program once, then the credentials are stored in a "Safe Card," which can be managed separately from the application itself. When connecting to remote drives, some reports note that Gladinet may take a minute or two to connect to the resource.

In many ways, this program functions as a desktop app for services that don’t provide desktop access. However, with the upcoming Windows Live Photos service (which stores images on SkyDrive), the Windows Live Photo Gallery desktop app integrates seamlessly with the online service, making the need for another desktop app somewhat redundant if you only use SkyDrive for images. But for those who manage all sorts of files on SkyDrive, Gladinet could be a useful tool.

Currently rated 5.0 by 3 people

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Live Search Launches “Big Ticket” promotion

Tuesday, 18 November 2008 00:13 by Nick MacKechnie

Capture The Live Search team has just launched a new search promotion to encourage people to use Live Search. Dubbed “Big Ticket Search,” this promo is a contest that will run from October 31st through December 31st. Every time you perform a search at bigticketsearch.com, you have a chance to win prizes every hour, 24 hours a day. The prizes that will be given away include 2 new Mitsubishi Lancers, Raptors VIP package, Home Entertainment Systems, Laptops, $10,000 cash, Ticketmaster Gift Cards, Zunes, Xboxes, Raptors Season Tickets and Raptors Memorabilia.

After you enter in a search query in the box provided, you’ll be taken to a search results page where you’ll be informed as to whether your search was a winner or not. With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s a great time to try this out because - who knows? – you might just win some cash to go shopping with!

Nick.

Currently rated 5.0 by 1 people

  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5