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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Discounted Office 365 Home Premium Subscription


Great Amazon deal at $20 off the regular price for Office 365 Home Premium 1 Year Subscription Key Card. This can be used for your upcoming annual renewal as well. For Win7+. The funny part is that they send you a physical card. This would be perfect for a digital delivery, but I guess Microsoft does not trust Amazon that much.

EDIT: I bought this, and now Amazon has applied a $15 credit to my account that is valid for over a year. That brings the cost of this offer down to $65. Sweet.

UPDATE: I just entered the product key code from the Office / My Account page. (Look under Billing then Renewal Information.) Easily done. It comes in a nice but mostly useless box. A small envelope would have been just as good -- or an email. Highly recommended if you are renewing.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cleaning Up After Chrome


I find Google Chrome, which I have no interest in, is continually getting installed on machines in my house, mostly due to Adobe Shockwave bringing it along as an install package. (Family members are agreeing to the download, not realizing the Chrome is getting dropped as well.) My major issue after uninstalling Chrome is that you can no longer click on links in Outlook emails. There is a lot on the web about this, and Google has not been proactive at fixing their uninstaller.

I have now added a registry file to my Win64 systems to reset the problem registry keys and clear the error. This registry file is pretty simple. It merely resets HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.htm, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.html, and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.shtml back to their default values of "htmlfile". Chrome takes over the handling of these file extensions because its default install is to make itself the default web browser. The Chrome uninstalled fails to clear/reset them.

In troubleshooting this, I looked in my registry based on the web info on the Chrome uninstall problem. Since my system had never had Chrome installed, my registry did not have the problem keys. To troubleshoot, I installed (ugh!) and uninstalled Chrome. Sure enough, Chrome left the expected debris with a value string of "ChromeHTML.PR2EPLWMBQZK3BY7Z2BFBMFERU" or something similar. Resetting these values fixed the problem.

I see that Chrome leaves quite a bit of debris behind in the registry. I guess it is creating the keys then leaving them behind, even though their presence (with bad data) subsequently affects operations.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Windows 7 Registered Owner and Organization


This is another of those memory aid posts. After I got tired of seeing Hewlett-Packard as the licensed organization on my laptop, I dug into the registry and changed it.

Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion and make your changes to RegisteredOwner or RegisteredOrganization as desired. A reboot is not required. Your ProductId is there too if you want to record it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Noise Canceling Earphones


I travel a lot. The hours spent droning through the sky can be made more tolerable with an MP3 player and a set of noise-cancelling headphones. Reducing the sound of the airflow and engines is a great relief.

For a year or two, I used a pair of folding Sony MDR-NC5 Noise Canceling Headphones, the ear foam covers self-destructed. I replaced them with old washcloth material and was happy, but the DW thought it looked bad.  I switched to a new set of Sony MDR-NC6 Noise Canceling Headphones.  These worked equally well, although they did not fold as small as the MDR-NC5 headphones.

Over four years of use, the MDR-NC6 headphones started cutting out and making popping noises.  This was not surprising considering the beating they took on travel in my backpack.  It looked like I needed another new set.

The older MDR-NC5 headphones were still on the shelf with the hated washcloth covers.  A quick search online showed a vibrant business in selling replacement ear foams, often at exorbitant prices.  Nowhere did I see ear foam covers made for the oblong MDR-NC5.  I then realized that foam is stretchable and that the shape should not matter.  After another search and some consideration, I purchased 2-5/16" foam pad ear covers that were able to stretch over the MDR-NC5's strange shape.  Problem solved for less than $5.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

C# Value Type Table


One of the things I always seem to be checking are the various characteristics of the C# value types.  You know, stupid questions like whether int is the same as System.Int32 or System.Int64.  I know the answer, but when I need it, I just want a quick reference.  I could not find one, so I made one.  I think it is correct since I combined multiple tables from the MSDN documentation.

Value Type

Category

.NET Framework Type

Approximate Range

Default Value

Literal

Size

Precision

Implicit Numeric Conversions

Explicit Numeric Conversions

sbyte

Signed, numeric, integral

System.SByte

-128 to 127

0

1 byte

-

short, int, long, float, double, or decimal

byte, ushort, uint, ulong, or char

byte

Unsigned, numeric, integral

System.Byte

0 to 255

0

1 byte

-

short, ushort, int, uint, long, ulong, float, double, or decimal

Sbyte or char

char

Unsigned, numeric, integral

System.Char

\x0000 to \xFFFF (hex)

\u0000 to \uFFFF (uni)

(char)0 to (char)65535

'\0'

2 bytes

-

ushort, int, uint, long, ulong, float, double, or decimal

sbyte, byte, or short

short

Signed, numeric, integral

System.Int16

-32,768 to 32,767

0

2 bytes

-

int, long, float, double, or decimal

sbyte, byte, ushort, uint, ulong, or char

ushort

Unsigned, numeric, integral

System.UInt16

0 to 65,535

0

2 bytes

-

int, uint, long, ulong, float, double, or decimal

sbyte, byte, short, or char

int

Signed, numeric, integral

System.Int32

-2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647

0

4 bytes

-

long, float, double, or decimal

sbyte, byte, short, ushort, uint, ulong, or char

uint

Unsigned, numeric, integral

System.UInt32

0 to 4,294,967,295

0U

U u

4 bytes

-

long, ulong, float, double, or decimal

sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, or char

long

Signed, numeric, integral

System.Int64

-9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807

0L

L

8 bytes

-

float, double, or decimal

sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, uint, ulong, or char

ulong

Unsigned, numeric, integral

System.UInt64

0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615

0UL

UL, ul, Ul, uL, LU, lu, Lu, or lU

8 bytes

-

float, double, or decimal

sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, uint, long, or char

float

Numeric, floating-point

System.Single

±1.5e-45 to ±3.4e38

0.0F

F f

4 bytes

7 digits

double

sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, uint, long, ulong, char, or decimal

double

Numeric, floating-point

System.Double

±5.0e-324 to ±1.7e308

0.0D

D d

8 bytes

15-16 digits

long

sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, uint, long, ulong, char, float, or decimal

decimal

Numeric, decimal

System.Decimal

±1.0 × 10^−28 to ±7.9 × 10^28

0.0M

M m

16 bytes

28-29 digits

-

sbyte, byte, short, ushort, int, uint, long, ulong, char, float, or double

 

There is also a PDF that I still need to upload.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Finally: The 1600-volt Compact Hairdryer


You have to love Amazon.  They will sell you anything.

1600vHairDryer

Get them while they last!

Friday, August 19, 2011

MSDN vs. TechNet


For a period of time, I have access to both an MSDN and a TechNet subscription. Both offer Microsoft software for download.  I wondered what the similarities and differences were between the two subscriptions. I copied the two download lists into Excel and aligned them. Most of the material I would never use.  Some products I have never heard of.  I present the lists, current as of today, for your reviewing pleasure.

 

TechNet MSDN
   
Applications (63) Applications (79)
  Access 2.0
Access 2003 Access 2003
Access 2007 Access 2007
Access 2010 Access 2010
Accounting Accounting
Business Contact Manager Business Contact Manager
Business Contact Manager 2010 Business Contact Manager 2010
Business ScoreCard Manager Business ScoreCard Manager
Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP
Front Page Front Page
Groove 2007 Groove 2007
Hyper-V Server 2008 Hyper-V Server 2008
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
InfoPath 2003 InfoPath 2003
InfoPath 2007 InfoPath 2007
InfoPath 2010 InfoPath 2010
Interconnect 2004 Interconnect 2004
Interconnect 2007 Interconnect 2007
Internet Explorer 6.0 Internet Explorer 6.0
Lync 2010 Lync 2010
  MapPoint 2004
  MapPoint 2006
  MapPoint 2009
  MapPoint 2010
  MapPoint 2011
Office 2003 Office 2003
Office 2007 Office 2007
Office 2010 Office 2010
  Office 95
Office Communicator 2005 Office Communicator 2005
Office Communicator 2007 Office Communicator 2007
Office Communicator 2007 R2 Office Communicator 2007 R2
  Office Communicator Mobile
  Office Communicator Web
Office Communicator Web Access Office Communicator Web Access
Office for Mac 2011 Office for Mac 2011
Office Servers 2007 Office Servers 2007
Office XP Office XP
OneNote 2003 OneNote 2003
OneNote 2007 OneNote 2007
OneNote 2010 OneNote 2010
Outlook 2003 Outlook 2003
Outlook 2007 Outlook 2007
Outlook 2010 Outlook 2010
  Parallels Desktop
Patterns & Practices Patterns & Practices
PerformancePoint Server PerformancePoint Server
PowerPivot PowerPivot
ProClarity ProClarity
Project 2002 Project 2002
Project 2003 Project 2003
Project 2003 Server Project 2003 Server
Project 2007 Project 2007
Project 2010 Project 2010
  Project 95
Project Portfolio Server 2006 Project Portfolio Server 2006
Project Portfolio Server 2007 Project Portfolio Server 2007
  Publisher 2002
Publisher 2003 Publisher 2003
Publisher 2007 Publisher 2007
Publisher 2010 Publisher 2010
SharePoint Designer 2007 SharePoint Designer 2007
  SharePoint Designer 2010
SharePoint Workspace 2010 SharePoint Workspace 2010
Small Business Accounting (Application) Small Business Accounting (Application)
  Streets and Trips 2009
  Streets and Trips and AutoRoute 2010
  Streets and Trips and AutoRoute 2011
Virtual PC 2004 Virtual PC 2004
Virtual PC 2007 Virtual PC 2007
Virtual PC for Mac 6.1 Virtual PC for Mac 6.1
Virtual PC for Mac 7.0 Virtual PC for Mac 7.0
Virtual Server 2005 Virtual Server 2005
Virtual Server 2005 R2 Virtual Server 2005 R2
Visio 2002 Visio 2002
Visio 2003 Visio 2003
Visio 2007 Visio 2007
Visio 2010 Visio 2010
Windows Virtual PC Windows Virtual PC
   
   
Business Solutions (27) Business Solutions (28)
Dynamics AX 2009 Dynamics AX 2009
Dynamics AX 4.0 Dynamics AX 4.0
Dynamics Axapta 3.0 Dynamics Axapta 3.0
  Dynamics CRM 1.2
Dynamics CRM 2011 Dynamics CRM 2011
Dynamics CRM 3.0 Dynamics CRM 3.0
Dynamics CRM 4.0 Dynamics CRM 4.0
Dynamics GP 10.0 Dynamics GP 10.0
Dynamics GP 2010 Dynamics GP 2010
Dynamics GP 7.5 Dynamics GP 7.5
Dynamics GP 8.0 Dynamics GP 8.0
Dynamics GP 9.0 Dynamics GP 9.0
Dynamics NAV 2009 Dynamics NAV 2009
Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 Dynamics NAV 2009 R2
Dynamics NAV 4.0 Dynamics NAV 4.0
Dynamics NAV 5.0 Dynamics NAV 5.0
Dynamics Point of Sale 2009 Dynamics Point of Sale 2009
Dynamics SL 7.0 Dynamics SL 7.0
Point of Sale 1.0 Point of Sale 1.0
Small Business Accounting Small Business Accounting
Small Business Manager Financials 7.5 Small Business Manager Financials 7.5
Small Business Manager Financials 8.0 Small Business Manager Financials 8.0
Small Business Manager Financials 9.0 Small Business Manager Financials 9.0
Solomon 5.5 Solomon 5.5
Solomon 6.0 Solomon 6.0
Solomon 6.5 Solomon 6.5
Solomon 7.0 Solomon 7.0
Solomon FRx Solomon FRx
   
   
  Designer Tools (6)
  AutoCollage 2008
  Expression 1
  Expression 2
  Expression 3
  Expression 4
  Songsmith
   
   
  Developer Tools (43)
  Access Developer Extensions 2003
  Automatic Graph Layout
  Electronic Learning Libraries
  eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0
  Macro Assembler 6.11
  MDAC
  ODBC Data Packs
  QuickBasic 4.5
  Robotics Studio
  SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools
  Visual Basic .NET 2003
  Visual Basic 2.0
  Visual Basic 3.0
  Visual Basic 4.0
  Visual Basic 6.0
  Visual Basic 6.0 Code Advisor
  Visual Basic Applications (VBA)
  Visual C++ 1.52
  Visual C++ 2.0
  Visual C++ 4.2
  Visual C++ Browser Toolkit
  Visual C++ Tools
  Visual FoxPro "Sedna"
  Visual FoxPro 7.0
  Visual FoxPro 8.0
  Visual FoxPro 9.0
  Visual J#.NET
  Visual Modeler
  Visual SourceSafe 2005
  Visual SourceSafe 6.0d
  Visual Studio 2005
  Visual Studio 2008
  Visual Studio 2010
  Visual Studio LightSwitch 2011
  Visual Studio.NET
  Visual Studio.NET 2003
  Windows Embedded
  Windows Embedded CE 5.0
  Windows Embedded CE 6.0
  Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2
  Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3
  Windows XP Embedded
  XNA Game Studio
   
   
  MSDN Library (11)
  2001-10 MSDN Library October
  2005-07 MSDN Library July
  2006-01 MSDN Library January
  2006-05 MSDN Library May
  2006-06 MSDN Library June
  2006-07 MSDN Library July
  2006-08 MSDN Library August
  2006-12 MSDN Library December
  2007-01 MSDN Library January
  2007-04 MSDN Library April
  2007-06 MSDN Library June
   
   
Operating Systems (31) Operating Systems (33)
Compute Cluster Pack Compute Cluster Pack
MS-DOS MS-DOS
Small Business Server 2003 R2 Small Business Server 2003 R2
Windows 3.1 (16-bit) Windows 3.1 (16-bit)
Windows 3.11 (16-bit) Windows 3.11 (16-bit)
Windows 3.11 for Workgroups (16-bit) Windows 3.11 for Workgroups (16-bit)
Windows 3.2 (16-bit) Windows 3.2 (16-bit)
Windows 7 Windows 7
Windows Advanced Server Windows Advanced Server
  Windows CE .NET Platform Builder 4.1
  Windows CE .NET Platform Builder 4.2
Windows CE DirectX Kit Windows CE DirectX Kit
Windows CE Toolkit Visual C++ 6.0 Windows CE Toolkit Visual C++ 6.0
Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Windows Essential Business Server 2008
Windows Home Server Windows Home Server
Windows Home Server 2011 Windows Home Server 2011
Windows Internet Explorer 7 Windows Internet Explorer 7
Windows Internet Explorer 8 Windows Internet Explorer 8
Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 R2 Windows Server 2003 R2
Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Services for UNIX 1.0 Windows Services for UNIX 1.0
Windows Services for UNIX 2.0 Windows Services for UNIX 2.0
Windows Services for UNIX 3.0 Windows Services for UNIX 3.0
Windows Services for UNIX 3.5 Windows Services for UNIX 3.5
Windows Small Business Server 2008 Windows Small Business Server 2008
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Windows Small Business Server 2011
Windows Storage Server 2008 Windows Storage Server 2008
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Windows Storage Server 2008 R2
Windows Thin PC Windows Thin PC
Windows Vista Windows Vista
Windows XP Windows XP
   
   
Servers (80) Servers (84)
Antigen Antigen
Application Virtualization Application Virtualization
BizTalk Server 2002 BizTalk Server 2002
BizTalk Server 2004 BizTalk Server 2004
BizTalk Server 2006 BizTalk Server 2006
BizTalk Server 2006 R2 BizTalk Server 2006 R2
BizTalk Server 2009 BizTalk Server 2009
BizTalk Server 2010 BizTalk Server 2010
BizTalk Server Accelerators and Adapters BizTalk Server Accelerators and Adapters
Commerce Server 2002 Commerce Server 2002
  Commerce Server 2007
Commerce Server 2009 Commerce Server 2009
Connected Services Framework Connected Services Framework
Content Management Server Content Management Server
Customer Care Framework 2005 Customer Care Framework 2005
Customer Care Framework 2008 Customer Care Framework 2008
Customer Care Framework 2009 Customer Care Framework 2009
Desktop Optimization Pack Desktop Optimization Pack
Exchange Server 2003 Exchange Server 2003
Exchange Server 2007 Exchange Server 2007
Exchange Server 2010 Exchange Server 2010
FAST Search Server 2010 FAST Search Server 2010
Forefront Client Security Forefront Client Security
Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010
Forefront Identity Manager 2010 Forefront Identity Manager 2010
Forefront Protection 2010 Forefront Protection 2010
Forefront Security for Exchange Server Forefront Security for Exchange Server
Forefront Security for SharePoint Forefront Security for SharePoint
Forefront Security, Office Communications Server Forefront Security, Office Communications Server
Forefront Server Security Management Console Forefront Server Security Management Console
Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010
Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010
Groove Server 2007 Groove Server 2007
Groove Server 2010 Groove Server 2010
Host Integration Server 2000 Host Integration Server 2000
Host Integration Server 2004 Host Integration Server 2004
Host Integration Server 2006 Host Integration Server 2006
Identity Integration Server 2003 Identity Integration Server 2003
Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007 Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007
ISA Server 2004 ISA Server 2004
ISA Server 2006 ISA Server 2006
Live Communications Server 2003 Live Communications Server 2003
Live Communications Server 2005 Live Communications Server 2005
Lync Server 2010 Lync Server 2010
  Mobile Information 2001 Server
  Mobile Information 2002 Server
Office Communications Server 2007 Office Communications Server 2007
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Office Communications Server 2007 R2
Office Forms Server 2007 Office Forms Server 2007
Office Server Language Pack 2010 Office Server Language Pack 2010
Office Web Apps Office Web Apps
Operations Manager 2000 Operations Manager 2000
Operations Manager 2005 Operations Manager 2005
Project Server Project Server
Project Server 2010 Project Server 2010
Search Server 2008 Search Server 2008
Search Server 2010 Search Server 2010
SharePoint Server 2001 SharePoint Server 2001
SharePoint Server 2003 SharePoint Server 2003
SharePoint Server 2007 SharePoint Server 2007
SharePoint Server 2007 Search SharePoint Server 2007 Search
SharePoint Server 2010 SharePoint Server 2010
Speech Server 2004 Speech Server 2004
SQL Server 2000 SQL Server 2000
SQL Server 2005 SQL Server 2005
SQL Server 2008 SQL Server 2008
SQL Server 2008 R2 SQL Server 2008 R2
  SQL Server 6.5
SQL Server Code Named "Denali" CTP SQL Server Code Named "Denali" CTP
SQL Server Compact 3.5 SQL Server Compact 3.5
System Center Capacity Planner System Center Capacity Planner
System Center Configuration Manager System Center Configuration Manager
System Center Data Protection Manager System Center Data Protection Manager
System Center Essentials 2007 System Center Essentials 2007
System Center Essentials 2010 System Center Essentials 2010
System Center Mobile Device Manager System Center Mobile Device Manager
System Center Operations Manager System Center Operations Manager
System Center Reporting Manager 2006 System Center Reporting Manager 2006
System Center Service Manager System Center Service Manager
System Center Virtual Machine Manager System Center Virtual Machine Manager
Systems Management Server 2003 Systems Management Server 2003
Systems Management Server 2003 R2 Systems Management Server 2003 R2
Windows Embedded Device Manager Windows Embedded Device Manager
Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 Windows MultiPoint Server 2011
   
   
TechNet Technical Library (1)  
TechNet Technical Library  
   
   
TechNet Technical Training (5)  
Technet Briefings  
TechNet Webcasts  
Technical Services Guides  
Windows Server 2008 Training  
Windows Vista Training  
   
   
Tools and Resources (30) Tools and Resources (105)
.NET Compact Framework 1.0 .NET Compact Framework 1.0
.NET Compact Framework 2.0 .NET Compact Framework 2.0
.NET Framework 1.0 .NET Framework 1.0
.NET Framework 1.1 .NET Framework 1.1
  .NET Framework 2.0
  .NET Framework 3.5
  .NET Framework 4
.NET Framework Redistributable 1.0 .NET Framework Redistributable 1.0
.NET Framework Redistributable 2.0 .NET Framework Redistributable 2.0
.NET Framework Redistributable 3.0 .NET Framework Redistributable 3.0
  .NET Micro Framework
  16-bit SDK and DDKs
  Academic Alliance Tools
Application Compatibility Application Compatibility
  ASP .NET AJAX 1.0
  Azure SDK
  Bank Framework SDK and DDKs
Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0.1 Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0.1
Bookshelf Symbol 7 Bookshelf Symbol 7
  CMC SDK and DDKs
CRC 3.05 CRC 3.05
Data Analyzer 2002 Data Analyzer 2002
Desktop Player  
  Developer Security Resource Kit
  Device Simulator
  DHTML Editing SDK and DDKs
  Digital Dashboard
  DirectX SDK and DDKs
  Enterprise Instrumentation framework
  eScrum
  ESP 1.0
  FabriKam 3.1
  GIF Animator
  Healthcare Framework
  Help Workshop
IIS IIS
ILMerge ILMerge
  Interix 2.2
Internet Security and Acceleration Internet Security and Acceleration
  ISDN
Log Parser Log Parser
  Mobile Internet Toolkit
  Modem Developer Kit
  MSDN Online Web Resource
MSXML 4.0 MSXML 4.0
  MSYubin7 1.5
Office Resource Kit Office Resource Kit
  Office System
  Palm Size PC 1.2
  PassPort Manager
  Passport SDK and DDKs
  Platform SDK and DDKs
  Pocket PC 2003 SDK
  Provisioning System SDK
  Repository SDK and DDKs
  Security SDK and DDKs
  Semblio
  Server Appliance Kit
Services for Netware Services for Netware
  SharePoint Products and Technologies
  Smart Card
  Smart Tag SDK and DDKs
  SMS 2003 SDK and DDKs
  Soap Toolkit
Solver Foundation Solver Foundation
  Source Code Migration Tool
  Speech SDK and DDKs
  SQL 2000 Sybase
SQL Server Migration Assistant SQL Server Migration Assistant
SQL Server Tool (SQLH2) SQL Server Tool (SQLH2)
  Standard User Analyzer
  Surface
Translation and UI Strings Glossaries Translation and UI Strings Glossaries
  UDDI SDK and DDKs
  Unified Communications Managed
  Virtual Earth
  Visio Tools
  Visual Basic for Applications
  Volume Shadow Copy Service
  Web Control SDK and DDKs
  Web Platform Installer
  Web Services Enhancements
  Web Storage SDK and DDKs
  Windows Academic Program
  Windows Communication Foundation
  Windows DNA XML
Windows Hardware Compatibility Windows Hardware Compatibility
Windows Installer Windows Installer
  Windows Media
  Windows Mobile 2002
  Windows Mobile 2003
  Windows Mobile 5.0
  Windows Mobile 6.0
  Windows NT 3.51
  Windows Point of Service
  Windows Real-Time Communications
  Windows Rights Management Services
  Windows SDK and DDKs
Windows Server Update Windows Server Update
  Windows SharePoint Services
Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor 1.0 Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor 1.0
  Windows Workflow Foundation
WinFS WinFS
  WinFX Beta 1
  WinFX Runtime Components CTP
XML Parser 3.0 XML Parser 3.0

Friday, July 8, 2011

Configuring the Synology DS1511+


My last post related the sad story of a dead HP MediaSmart Home Server. This time, I will relate the steps I took to configure the Synology DS1511+ for use. To avoid unnecessary typing, I recommend this post to provide the basic details. It is written for the older DS1010+, but the process is the same for the DS1511+. … OK, now that you have read that, I have different drives in my NAS so I had a different kind of problem.

I chose to go with five Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green SATA II drives (WD20EARS) because of their availability, great price, and presence on the Synology compatible hard drive list.  That "Green" technology is what is causing the problem.

When I examined the SMART data after only 10 hours of run time, I was puzzled as to why the Load Cycle Count (LCC) values were over 100. Some searches showed that the recent WD Green drives have an aggressive Idle3 power saving feature that is not compatible with Linux standard settings. While the drives are certified to 300,000 LCC cycles, the drives in the Synology would get to that level in one year instead of 5-6 years. There is even an entire discussion board concerning the Western Digital LCC issue on the Synology website.

The WD Green drives have a default of 8 seconds before they park the drive heads and increment the LCC value. That value is changeable, but you have to run a custom application. Western Digital provides one (WDIDLE3) that runs under DOS. That is OK for laptop/desktop users who can put it on bootable CD, but it is not useful for a headless NAS appliance.

Since WDIDLE3 is a Windows application, it does not run on the NAS under Linux. The DS1511+ has an Intel Atom D525 1.8GHz x86 Processor, 1GB of 64-bit DDR2 RAM (expandable to 3GB). The solution is to create a native Linux application.

There is a SourceForge project to set the Western Digital Idle3 drive setting here.  The goal of this exercise is to get the Idle3 Tools to run natively on the Synology NAS.  To do this on a fresh, unmodified Synology box, I did the following from a Windows 7 machine.  (This is a compilation of several posts on the Synology website.)  I recommend compiling the source code locally on the NAS.

  • From the Synology DSM web interface, configure the NAS for remote access
    • Open the Control Panel, click on the Terminal icon in the Network Services section, select "Enable SSH service", and click OK
  • In Windows, download and install PuTTY if you do not already have a SSH client on the PC
    • Configure PuTTY using the IP address of the NAS on port 22 (I saved it as a new session for easy recall)
    • Establish the PuTTY session with the NAS
    • Login to the NAS as username "root" with the same password as the administrative password of the Synology system
  • In Windows, download and extract the Idle3 Tools source code to the Synology box
    • I downloaded the file "idle3-tools-0.9.1.gz" from here (It is listed as a .tgz file, but it is not.)
    • When I extracted it, WinZip could not read the archive correctly, so I had to use 7-Zip
    • I extracted the archive to a new "\\DISKSTATION\public\idle3-tools-0.9.1" directory on the NAS (You can use any shared directory. I used the "public" directory I created.)
    • In that directory, I opened the file "Makefile" in Notepad and removed the "?" from lines 13 and 14
      • "CC ?= gcc" was changed to "CC = gcc"
      • "STRIP ?= strip" was changed to "STRIP = strip"
    • Save the Makefile and close Notepad
  • Using PuTTY, download and install the Itsy Package Management System (IPKG)
    • Change to a temporary directory by entering the command "cd /volume1/@tmp"
    • Download the IPKG bootstrap by entering the command "wget http://ipkg.nslu2-linux.org/feeds/optware/syno-i686/cross/unstable/syno-i686-bootstrap_1.2-7_i686.xsh" (this takes some time)
    • Install IPKG by running the downloaded script with the command "sh syno-i686-bootstrap_1.2-7_i686.xsh" (this takes some time)
    • Delete the IPKG script file with the command "rm syno-i686-bootstrap_1.2-7_i686.xsh"
    • Close PuTTY by entering the command "exit"
  • From the Synology DSM web interface, reboot the NAS
    • Click the top left arrow, click on "Restart", and close the browser tab
  • Using PuTTY after the NAS restarts
    • Login to the NAS again user "root"
    • Change to the Idle3 Tools directory by entering the command "cd /volume1/public/idle3-tools-0.9.1/"
    • Update IPKG by entering the command "ipkg update" (this takes some time)
    • Download and install the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) via IPKG by entering the command "ipkg install gcc"
    • Download and install Make via IPKG by entering the command "ipkg install make"
    • Run Make to compile the Idle3 Tools by entering the command "make"
    • Test for proper compilation with the command "./idle3ctl –h" which should display the lines

        idle3ctl v0.9.1 - Read, Set or disable the idle3 timer of Western Digital drives
        Copyright (C) 2011  Christophe Bothamy

        Usage: idle3ctl [options] device
        Options:
        -h : displat help
        -V : show version and exit immediately
        -v : verbose output
        --force : force even if no Western Digital HDD are detected
        -g : get raw idle3 timer value
        -g100 : get idle3 timer value as wdidle3 v1.00 value
        -g103 : get idle3 timer value as wdidle3 v1.03 value
        -g105 : get idle3 timer value as wdidle3 v1.05 value
        -d : disable idle3 timer
        -s<value> : set idle3 timer raw value

    • Run the Idle3 Tools and set the the values on the drives as desired. The default timer value is "80" for 8 seconds.  Because I have five drives in the NAS, I had to run the utility five times to disable the timer on each one. Set yours as desired.

        ./idle3ctl -d /dev/sda
        ./idle3ctl -d /dev/sdb
        ./idle3ctl -d /dev/sdc
        ./idle3ctl -d /dev/sdd
        ./idle3ctl -d /dev/sde

  • From the DSM interface, shutdown the NAS (This is required for the drives to read the new Idle3 setting on power-up.) 
    • Click the top left arrow, click on "Shutdown", and close the browser tab
  • Once it is fully off, restart the NAS

Your NAS disks should now have stopped their LCC cycling.  This kind of process is why I am staying with Windows as much as I can.

 

 

Copyright © Mark Treadwell