Entries Tagged 'Windows' ↓

Virtual Box on Mac OS X

Oracle’s (formerly Sun’s) VirtualBox software is a virtualization software that allows you to run many operating systems on top of your OS X installation in real time.  I’ve been running Apple’s Boot Camp with Windows 7 Ultimate, and decided it would still be beneficial to have an install of XP service pack 3 hanging around. I really didn’t feel like hacking Boot Camp was the best solution for having another  OS on my system, so I started looking into alternatives.  Surprisingly more than a few exist, although I decided on VirtualBox because, well, it’s free!

To start your installation, first download the software from the above link.  Installation is as easy as a double-click, and a few prompt screens.  Once complete, double-click the handy shortcut to your Applications folder, find the newly installed VirtualBox, and double-click that to start it running.

Help screens are well thought out, and tell you exactly where everything is to get started.  They’ve also thrown in some nice pop-ups once you are up and running, to explain some shortcuts.  More on that below.  The first screen you see is the Details window, which is where you will find your various operating systems after you’ve installed them.  It looks like this:


Next comes installation of your OS of choice, in this case I installed Windows XP SP2 (which I then updated to SP3 to be sure everything works properly.)  There are some settings that need to be adjusted when you install, such as RAM and Hard Disk size. Simply click the “New” button in the upper left-hand corner to get started.  VirtualBox walks you through the creation of the virtual machine and gives you allocation suggestions, which I modified to my liking.  See screen shots below:


VBSS4One thing I had to change were the video settings.  XP would blue screen at the text phase of the installation on my MacBook Pro (mid-2008).  I had the 2D Video Acceleration checked, and when I unchecked it, the installation proceeded without issues. You can see that the window warns you at the bottom to change a setting (Non-optimal Settings detected.)


VBSS9I also changed the Video Memory to 64MB instead of the allocated 16MB.  The installation went perfectly well after these minor changes, and the machine starts and shuts down promptly.  Faster than a typical boot or shut down on a stand alone machine, for sure.  It is also much quicker than having to log out of OS X and use Boot Camp.  The price is right at $0.00, and if you find the need for Windows this might be the best solution out there on a budget.


Stop error c0000218 Hive file Corrupted or Missing

I was searching around for this error on an older Dell 8300 running Windows XP.  It seems Microsoft’s KB Article doesn’t have a fix for someone with an OEM installation of Windows XP.  Also, it doesn’t mention anything about the SECURITY file mentioned in my stop error message.

The problem here was a pretty bad virus infection.  What I was able to do to fix it and get Windows to boot, was to pull the drive and connect it to another Windows machine and run chkdsk.  I probably could have used my XP Pro CD and run chkdsk from the Recovery Console, but I’m going off the assumption that if you have an OEM CD, this feature may not be available to you. If you have it, run chkdsk /f at the command line. Otherwise, connect the drive to another machine running XP or better via USB and run it from there. To access the drive, you need a USB enclosure and a computer running XP, Vista, or 7.
In Windows, type Windows Key+E to access Explorer. Find your newly connected drive in the left-hand column and right-click to open the menu. Click on Properties. Click the Tools tab, and then click Check Now. Be sure to check for bad sectors and file structure errors, even though it takes a little longer for the sectors check…mine had bad sectors. After it finishes, if it’s found and corrected the errors, you should be able to boot into XP when you reinstall the drive to the problematic computer. From there, be sure to pick up Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware and either Kaspersky Anti-Virus or NOD32 Anti-Virus, as you probably have a case of the virus blues.

I highly recommend you get Dr Web’s LiveCD, a bootable anti-virus disk. The image you download will be in .iso format, so be sure you can burn it to a CD from the computer you are using. I assume, if you’re reading this, you do have access to a bootable computer :)

There are a few things you should do, once you get your computer back to running condition. 
First, get off Internet Explorer!  Use a browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.
Second, be sure to get yourself a paid for subscription to one of the above mentioned anti-virus programs. Obviously the one you are (or lack of one, for that matter) using isn’t effective. Good luck getting up and running, and thanks for reading!

Common Shortcuts for OS X And Their Windows Equivalents

If you are new to OS X, there are a bunch of shortcuts that you’ll immediately recognize from Windows.  If you don’t use shortcuts at all, you really are missing out, as they are much faster than using the mouse in most situations.  I tout programs like LaunchBar and Colibri because they make your computer usage faster. It is no different for shortcuts built-in to the operating system, so you should really take advantage of them!
Here is a short list of the most common on both OS X and Windows:

OS X and Windows Shortcuts

OS X and Windows Shortcuts

Since Vista was launched, you can create keyboard shortcuts to your programs through the Shortcut Icons that a program creates.  You do this by:

  1. Right-Click the shortcut icon for the program
  2. Left-Click Properties
  3. In the “Shortcut Properties” box, find “Shortcut” tab and Left-Click on that.
  4. Left-Click the “Shortcut Key” box., and type in a letter you want to start the program.  For example, type P for Photoshop.
  5. The box should update to show CTRL-ALT-P, as all shortcuts created in this manner automatically must begin with CTRL-ALT.

Upgrading Windows Vista to Windows 7

I upgraded my wife’s Asus F3Sv Core2Duo last night from Vista to Windows 7 last night, using the Family Pack Upgrade 32-bit disk.  Upgrading failed at my first attempt, but it rolled back flawlessly and didn’t change anything which was nice.

The reason it failed, essentially the reason I’m writing this post, is because I chose to get the updates to the install disks live online.  Where it failed is in my inability to put 2+2 together.  The upgrade process first scans your current Windows installation and informs you of things that might have problems, in order of priority.  It gives you a scrollable list (quite nice actually) starting with things that will definitely be broken, might have issues, and then finally things that have updates available, even though the latter won’t be a problem when you upgrade.  The really slick thing is the list also gives you the manufacturer’s links to click on so you can go ahead and grab updates on the fly.

Where I dropped the ball, and my installation failed was fairly easy to see.  When you tell Windows to get the updates live before installing, it lets you know that you need to maintain internet connectivity throughout the installation.  I wasn’t plugged in to the ethernet connection when I upgraded, and my Intel Pro/Wireless connection was in need of an upgrade, too.  So the install got about halfway done, dropped the internet connection, and ultimately failed.  I plugged in to ethernet, restarted the installation, and all went nearly flawlessly.

The only other hiccup I had was getting re-established on my home network. For some reason, Windows connected to my router (I Was still wire-connected at this point) and also added a “Public” network, leaving me connected to two separate networks at the same time.  Weird, but it was an easy fix. I just disabled the ethernet adapter and re-enabled it, by clicking on the connection in the “Network and Sharing Center” window.