Tuesday 29 October 2013

Repairing Windows 7 installation using DISM after motherboard replacement

I have a Dell Dimension 9200 (bought in 2006) with Windows 7 and Windows XP MCE 2005 loaded on it. Though Windows XP MCE 2005 was doing ok, Windows 7 was struggling to get off its foot due to inadequate processing power. Eventually I decided to replace it with a new home built system. For that I went with a motherboard (ASUS Z87 Plus) which supported Windows 8 and the latest Intel Haswell processor. I had a plan to reuse the old hard disk with Windows XP MCE 2005 and Windows 7 on it. Little did I realise that building a new system with an old hard disk with OSes wouldn't work straight off. I desperately needed Windows 7 to work to take advantage of upgrading to Windows 8 and thereafter to Windows 8.1. Though I was distraught in the beginning, I found a way of getting Windows 7 to work within the new built system using the DISM (Deployment Image Service and Management) tool within the Windows 7 installation disk.  

This is how to do it with the courtesy of the article I found on the web.
  1. Load the original DVD with Motherboard drivers for Windows 7 into the DVD drive bay. If you don't have the drivers, you can get it off the Motherboard manufacturer's website. Just load the drivers onto a USB memory stick and put it into a USB slot of the PC. You can also burn it onto a CD or a DVD,
  2. Load the original Windows 7 installation DVD into the second DVD drive bay. If you have just one DVD/CD drive bay, you are better off copying the Motherboard drivers onto a USB memory stick,
  3. Boot the system off the Windows 7 DVD,
  4. Go into Repair your Computer,
  5. In the Recovery console, go to Command Prompt.
  6. Identify the drive letter of your CD/DVD drive or your USB memory stick. In my case it was I:
  7. Next, identify the drive letter of your Windows 7 installation on the hard disk. In my case, it was G: 
  8. Type the following command, dism /image:G:\ /add-driver /Driver:I:\ /recurse. 
  9. You will notice that the drivers being installed on your Windows 7 drive. Be patient as not only the Chipset drivers, but also the LAN, Audio and VGA drivers will be installed.
  10. Once all the drivers are installed, restart the machine. 
There you have the system with Windows 7 working all over again.

However, I will not be able to get back Windows XP the same way. The reason being Intel's Haswell processor doesn't support Windows XP.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Are Apple’s iPhone 5C and 5S going to be game changers?

I hoped they would before the Apple event held on 10th September, but my honest opinion now is not at all. I will give you the reasons behind my opinion.

I will start off with iPhone 5C, which was touted to be not only colourful but also cheap.  Did I hear cheap? Not by any stretch of imagination. iPhone 5C is an iPhone 5 encased in a brand new colourful polycarbonate chassis. That is basically it. No innovation nothing. Just a colourful plastic phone, which is priced marginally lower than its predecessor. In a way, with this phone Apple have priced themselves out of the market of the mid-phone segment.

Now let us come to iPhone 5S. It has the following new features, (1) A7 chip with 64-bit architecture, (2) M7 motion coprocessor, (3) Touch ID (a fingerprint based identity sensor), (4) ƒ/2.2 aperture camera with a Sapphire crystal lens cover.

What does the new 64-bit architecture processor and motion coprocessor do? The new 64-bit A7 chip is supposed to deliver up to 2x faster CPU and graphics performance. Whilst, the new M7 motion coprocessor is expected to handle specific tasks to make iPhone 5s even more power efficient.

The Touch ID as the name suggests, is a fingerprint based identity sensor, which the user can use to unlock the iPhone by simply putting the finger on the Home button. The fingerprint can be placed in any orientation. The fingerprint is also used to approve purchases from iTunes or the App store.  

The camera has been redesigned with a larger sensor with a wider f/2.2 aperture. It has a True tone flash and can take slo-mo video. It also has a burst mode to take pictures in a burst.

To add to all this, the iWork suite of apps are installed by default for all the new Apple devices that are sold henceforth.

The iPhone 5S is priced similar to the existing iPhone 5, thus, there are no surprises here. Now comes the question, what does any of this to do with game changing?

What does a user basically do with a smart phone? (1) Make calls, (2) Send texts, (3) Take Pictures and Videos, (4) Listen to Music, (5) Navigate, (6) Watch movies, (7) Browse the Internet, (8) Play games, (9) Read books. The user expects the phone to be secure and wants the battery to last for at least a day until he returns home. This phone does the first 5 things brilliantly. For watching movies, browsing internet, playing games and reading books one needs a bigger display than the current 4-inch one. That is the biggest let down with this phone. The 4 inch display on the iPhone is the smallest in the high end smartphone market. As a result the brilliance of the phone is totally lost. I did mention in one of my earlier posts on iPhone 5, the screen of 4.5 inch is a must in any high end smartphone. I can’t understand the reluctance of Apple to go for a larger display screen. It is absolutely a no brainer. A bigger screen means more real estate for your apps to display.

With iPhone 5C and 5S, Apple has lost another opportunity to come up with a game changer or shall we say game changers.