Showing posts from 2012

Bootable external drive for Windows & OSX

This is how I created a bootable external drive with two partitions: One for WDS/Ghost etc. and the other for OSX install disk. For my drive, I've got a custom WinPE startup OS, and the OS 10.8 install image. The end result is an external drive that I can use to image or backup almost any computer that I come across. Below are the steps that I took to create the drive, but I'll cut to what I got hung up on: The Windows partition must be Active or your machine won't boot to it. Restoring the OSX image will remove this from the NTFS partition.

1. Create your Windows partition. (these steps can also be done in disk management)
Run CMD as an administrator (you must right click on CMD and run as administrator, not just be logged in as an administrator)  In CMD, run diskpart  list disk  select disk <#>  clean (! will remove all current partitions !)  create partition primary size=<n> (MB)  active  format fs=ntfs quick  assign letter=<L> (drive letter you want)  c…

Windows 7 MySQL installation error service account

When installing MySQL 5.5 on a Windows 7 machine, I received this error:

"an unknown error occurred while validating the service account"

and the installation would not complete, and I also got a configuration error with something like "unable to configure service".

After googling a bit and playing around with the settings, the answer was pretty simple. The default administrator account needs to be enabled. Although this was a pretty easy answer, I couldn't find it anywhere!

Sorry I don't have more screen-shots, but I think it's pretty self explanatory. I may or may not add more later.

Texting is just like faxing

It doesn't seem like texting (SMS) has much to do with fax machines. Perhaps not technically, but I will argue that the two technologies are very similar in the way we use them. At first I just wanted to compare the two tools of communication and how similar they seem. However, what I really want to say is that both of these tools are absolutely useless, and if you have either one, you are just giving your money away for something that is already free.

The most important thing that they have in common is that both technologies are obsolete, yet are still widely used. Worse, these technologies have free alternatives, but many many people are still paying large monthly fees to keep the service running. A lot of money is spent to keep us backwards compatible for those that only have these ancient forms of communication and refuse to use something better. The short answer is that internet access has replaced these tools, yet many still are clinging to that old familiar fax or text.


Embedding File Hangs Office

I ran into the problem when embedding files into a Word document. I was using Office 2007, but this may be a problem in other versions. Word says that it is waiting for another application to complete an OLE action. What I had to do is open the task manager and end acroread.exe or whatever pdf program was running. After that I could embed the file successfully.

I'll upload screen-shots if I ever run into it again.

Print Screen Active Window Only Shortcuts

Print screen the active window only by pressing ALT + Print Screen. On a mac you press Command + Shift + 4 then Space-bar, then click the window.
Mac: Just a quick tip for reference. There's a more comprehensive tutorial for macs here: or
Windows: If you want to capture a selected area in windows, you can do it if you have One Note installed with Windows + S, or from the Insert menu in OneNote, select screen clipping. 
You can also use the screen snipping tool in Windows Vista or 7. Here's a good tutorial on how to assign a shortcut to the snipping tool: