My Tech Scrap


Sunday, 31 January 2010

Acer Serial number -> Manufacture date relation ship

Decoding the Serial Number
First 10 digits/chars refer to the part
number of the laptop (ie. model/build type)
Then digit 11 is the build year eg. 6 => 2006
Digits 12 and 13 give the week number of the build

Monday, 18 January 2010

Restoring to Dissimilar Hardware with Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Universal Restore

You need to use Acronis Universal Restore to recover the system backup of one machine to another one with dissimilar hardware
This article applies to:
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Server
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Server for Windows (Standalone)
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Server - Small Business Server Edition
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Workstation
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Workstation (Standalone)
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Server - Virtual Edition


With Acronis Universal Restore you can recover system backup system of one machine to another one with dissimilar hardware.
For more information see:


Before restoring the backup to a new computer with dissimilar hardware please ensure the following:
  • You have Acronis Bootable Media with Acronis Universal Restore. See Installing Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Universal Restore;
  • The backup contains a supported Windows operating system. See Acronis Universal Restore;

  • You have drivers for the hard disk drive controller or chipset drivers for the new computer. These drivers are critical for booting the operating system. You can download the drivers for your motherboard on the Vendor's web-site. Please note, if you downloaded the drivers in *.exe, *.cab, *.zip format, you should extract them first. The driver files should have *.inf, *.sys or *.oem extensions. (!) The product does not support or install plug and play drivers.
Restoring system backup using Acronis Universal Restore:
  1. Boot the target machine from Acronis Bootable CD. (Make sure that the primary boot device is set to CD-ROM in BIOS):
  2. Once loaded, select Acronis Bootable Agent:
  3. Click Run management console (manage this machine):
  4. Click Recover:
  5. Click Change next to Archive:
  6. On the Backup Archive Selection screen choose the backup archive with system partition that you intend to recover:
  7. Enable Advanced view. Make sure that Data type is set to Volumes. Click Change:
  8. On the Backup and Items to Recover Selection screen choose partitions you want to recover:
  9. Click Change next to System C partition to specify the location where you want to recover the partition to. On the Volume Destination screen select the target partition or unallocated space to which the backup will be restored. In this case we are restoring to unallocated space:
  10. On the Volume Parameters window set the type Primary-Active for your system partition. If you do not set the type Active for your system partition, the machine will not boot. Also you can specify the target partition size here:
  11. Universal Restore should be set to Use. Click Change next to Search folder and specify the folder with the drivers for the hard-drive controller of the new computer. This folder may contain both Raid and Chipset drivers, for example. Universal Restore will search this folder (with subfolders) for the appropriate driver automatically:
  12. Click Change in the Mass storage drivers to install anyway section to specify drivers manually:
  13. The recommendation is to specify the drivers manually. Hardware Vendors usually provide separate drivers for SCSI or RAID controllers. IDE or SATA drivers are usually included into the chipset drivers for the motherboard. The HDD controller drivers are critical for operating system booting. Specifying drivers for other devices (video/sound card) is not recommended. Once you restore and boot the system, you can update all other drivers manually through Windows Device Manager (Start -> Run -> devmgmt.msc).
  14. In Recovery options you can also check Change SID after recovery. If this option is enabled, the computer security identifier (SID) will be automatically changed after the restore:
  15. After viewing the summary screen click OK:
  16. The restore process will start:
  17. (!) If Acronis Universal Restore detects unsupported devices (i.e. devices critical for booting, the drivers for which are missing), it will ask for the necessary drivers. To identify the device by its PCI ID, refer to If the driver is still not accepted, it should be checked if it is the correct one by using a Windows installation CD and hitting F6. See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 314859. If, after the restore, the machine does not boot correctly, please boot in Safe Mode (hit F8) and check the drivers in Windows Device Manager.

Reference >>

    Saturday, 16 January 2010

    How to Search text within files in Windows Vista

    1. From an Explorer windows, Tap Alt. This should show the hidden menu of the windows vista explorer.
    windows vista explorer hidden menu

    2. On the menu, click Tools >> Folder Options.
    3. On the folder options window, select Search tab.
    4. There are three selectable option for searching: file names only or content or both.
    Windows Explorer Search Option

    5. Choose "Alway Search file names and contents" then click Apply.

    Now just type the text you are looking for on the Search box located at top-right of your windows explorer.

    Ref >>

    Tuesday, 12 January 2010

    Hide Unread Email Messages Notification on XP Logon Welcome Screen

    After Windows XP boots up to Welcome Screen or Logon Screen for user to log on to Windows desktop, there may be a message on the Logon Welcome page that user have certain number of unread mail messages, together with the email address of the account. For example, “1 unread email messages”. The unread email messages count also appear when system is locked, and user is required to enter the password to enter the desktop again.

    The count of number of unread messages is generated for each users individually, and normally will be shown after user starts to use Microsoft’s related email clients or services, such as Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live Hotmail. The count takes into account all unread messages from programs like Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Hotmail, and etc, depending on how these programs are used and setup.

    It’s pretty useless and something annoying to display the number of unread mail messages available, especially when it also display user’s email address together. It’s possible to to remove these list and count of unread email messages on the Welcome Screen page with the following tricks.

    The most easy way is to use TweakUI PowerToys, which the TweakUiPowertoySetup.exe setup file can be downloaded from Microsoft Download Center. After installing the TweakUI, run the program, locate and select Logon in the left pane. Then click on Unread Mail. Unselect and uncheck the Show unread mail on Welcome screen option. Users can choose whether to apply the new setting (without unread email count) only to user’s account or for all users on the computer.

    It’s also possible to modify the registry directly to get rid of the unread email messages count on Logon Welcome Screen. To do so, run Registry Editor (regedit.exe), and the navigate to the one of the following registry keys:

    For current logged on user:

    For all users on the computer:


    On the right pane, find a value data named MessageExpiryDays. If it’s not found, create a new DWORD key named MessageExpiryDays. Set the value of “MessegaExpiryDays” to 0, and save the setting.

    Once disabled, unread emails count notification will no longer be displayed.

    Sunday, 10 January 2010

    Setting Up Perl and CGI For Wamp Server WAMP(P)

    I work on Perl and CGI recently for my college project and so I decided to write a few steps on setting up Perl and CGI with Wamp Server. I hope this might be useful.
    First you need to download Wamp Server from and install Wamp Server on your machine. The default installation directory is ‘C:\wamp” and here I am using the default options for installation. To complete the installation you have to set the host name for your mail server and your email address, here you can leave the default option again. That will do no harm.
    The current Wamp Server will install Apache 2.2.11, PHP 5.2.9-2 + PECL, MySQL 5.1.33, SQLitemanager and PhpMyadmin.
    Now you have to download ActivePerl (currently 5.10.0) from and install it. The default installation directory is “C:\Perl“, but for simplicity and ease of use I use different directory. I create a new folder name “perl” inside “C:\wamp\bin“. So I install Active Perl in “C:\wamp\bin\perl” directory. The next thing you need to do is configure the Apache web server to execute Perl and CGI script.
    This is the most important part here. You need to edit the Apache configuration file. Now go to “C:\wamp\bin\apache\Apache2.2.11\conf” directory and open “httpd.conf” file. Edit the httpd.conf file as below.
    1. Inside httpd.conf, look for the line that says ““, just a few lines below this you’ll find the line that says “Options Indexes FollowSymLinks“. Add “Includes ExecCGI” in the line just next to FollowSymLinks, thus it look like this
    1. Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes ExecCGI  
    This will enable CGI script inside your www folder.
    2. Now look for the line “AddHandler cgi-script .cgi“, this line is commented out. You need to enable this by un-comment this line, to do that remove the # character at the beginning of this line. This will add handler for files with .cgi extension. If you want to use .pl file extension in your server add “AddHandler cgi-script .pl” just below the above line. Now you will be able to execute CGI and Perl script with .cgi and .pl, extension.
    Lines to add
    1. AddHandler cgi-script .cgi  
    2. AddHandler cgi-script .pl  
    3. To add directory index file, look for the line “DirectoryIndex index.php index.php3 index.html index.htm“. Add index.cgi and in this line.
    Lines to add
    1. DirectoryIndex index.php index.php3 index.html index.htm index.cgi  
    Alternative: If you do not want to waste your time doing the above 3 steps, you can download the edited configuration file httpd.conf here. Replace the one inside your apache directory with this one.
    Your server is now configured and ready to run perl and cgi script. Next thing you might need to do is to configure perl to use mysql database. You need to download and install mysql driver to enable database connection through your perl script. You have to grab the driver from the ActivePerl package repository. However, mysql driver module is not available in the default ActivePerl Package Repository. So, you need to add additional repository and install from that repository. Follow the steps below:
    1. Open command prompt [type cmd in run], then type “ppm repo add uwinnipeg” and press enter.
    2. After the “uwinnipeg” repository is added successfully, you can install DBD-mysql by typing this command “ppm install DBD-mysql” and hit enter.
    Note: The ActivePerl default package repository contains DBD-mysqlPP module. If you install that one, you will get an error in your SQL SELECT query and especially when you use the WHERE clause. Your localhost will hang if you run this kind of query with the WHERE clause, so to get it work you need to install the package that I mentioned above only.

    For testing purpose , I have given some test codes below :
    you need to create 2 files inside a new folder under www directory of wamp :
    • cgi_form.html
    • backatcha.cgi
    then run the cgi_form.html under wamp server.

    Example file :
    Create a file named cgi_form.html
                What is your favorite color?                                
    Create a file named backatcha.cgi
    use 5.010;
    use CGI;
    use strict;
    use warnings;
    my $q = CGI->new();
    say $q->header(), $q->start_html();
    say "


    "; for my $param ($q->param()) { my $safe_param = $q->escapeHTML($param); say "$safe_param: "; for my $value ($q->param($param)) { say $q->escapeHTML($value); } say ' '; } say $q->end_html();
    then , run the wamp server ,
    and open the cgi_form.html
    (  for example :   http://localhost/cgi/cgi_form.html )



    Resize a Partition for Free in Windows 7 or Vista

    Windows 7 and Vista include a built-in functionality in Disk Management to shrink and expand partitions. No more 3rd party utilities needed!

    For better results perform disk defragmentation before shrinking.

    To get to this utility, open up Control Panel, and type in partition into the search box.. you’ll immediately see the link show up:

    Shrink a Partition
    In the Disk Management screen, just right-click on the partition that you want to shrink, and select “Shrink Volume” from the menu.

    In the Shrink dialog, you will want to enter the amount you want to shrink by, not the new size. For example, if you want to shrink your 50gb partition by roughly 10gb so that it will now be roughly 40gb, enter 10000 into the box:

    Extend a Partition
    In the Disk Management screen, just right-click on the partition that you want to shrink, and select “Extend Volume” from the menu.

    On this screen, you can specify the amount that you want to increase the partition by. In this case, I’m going to extend it back to the roughly 50GB size that it was before.
    Note that the extend partition feature only works with contiguous space.

    Sunday, 3 January 2010

    Modify the Windows XP System Properties logo

    The Windows XP System Properties logo is often changed by computer manufacturers. Hardware vendors use this general system information dialog to brand your computer with their own logo and support contact information.
    In this tip you can learn how you can insert your own logo in the system properties dialog and complete it with your own contact information.
    To invoke the system properties dialog, click the Start button, right-click "My Computer" and select "Properties".
    This will open up your general system information dialog. On our Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pro laptop, the Windows XP System Properties logo looks like this :
    XP System Properties logo
    If you want to put your own graphic in there, you should create your image in a .bmp graphic file. It's also a good idea to create this bitmap image with the same background shade of gray (RGB: 192, 192, 192) used in the Properties dialog. Otherwise, you risk letting Windows make its own judgments regarding color contrast and background shading.
    The next thing to consider is the image size. The system properties dialog only offers enough real estate for an image of about 180 (wide) x120 (high) pixels. Make sure that you can fit your logo in this area.
    Once you have created your logo and saved it as a .bmp file, copy it over to the system32 subfolder of your Windows system folder. If you don't know where your system folder is :
    • Click the Start button and select "Run"
    • In the "open" field, enter "cmd" (without the quotes) and click ok
    • Windows will open up a dos command window
    • In the command window, type "set system" (without the quotes)
    • Look for the line that contains "SystemRoot", this is where your system directory is (generally, the Windows XP system folder is c:\windows)
    Now that you know where your system folder is, copy your logo image file over to the system32 subfolder of your system folder. Then rename your logo image file to oemlogo.bmp
    Additionally you can create a new file in this same folder and name the new file oeminfo.ini
    In this file you can enter your contact information like in the example below :
    Manufacturer=Windows Help Central
    [Support Information]
    Line1=" "
    Line2=" For support, sales, upgrades or questions:"
    Line4=" Some text to demonstrate the XP System Properties logo"
    Line5=" Windows XP Tips and Tricks "
    Line6=" yadayada"
    Line8=" +1 (888) 888-888 (voice)"
    Line9=" +1 (888) 888-889 (fax)"
    Save and close the file and you are ready. From now on, if someone opens up the system properties dialog, your own Windows XP System Properties logo is in there.
    XP System Properties
    And if someone clicks the "Support Information" button :

    XP System Properties logo
     Reference >>