Archive for May, 2008

How to get Windows Vista to remember Windows Explorer Folder View settings

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

For a while now I've been planning on writing a blog post on how to get Windows Vista to remember Windows Explorer Folder View settings. Why? Because this seems to be a common ailment affecting Vista users (I think all my Vista rigs here are affected by this issue ... on most of them I just live with it though).

However, the other day I came across a post over on that covers this problem from pretty much every angle going. The site even contains registry edits available as downloads so that you can make the necessary system tweaks without having to mess about in the registry manually.

How to get Windows Vista to remember Windows Explorer Folder View settings

Excellent post!  Well done to Brink for the effort!

Heat and noise – Core 2 Extreme vs. Dual Xeon

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Over the past few weeks I've had a handful of emails from readers asking me to compare the heat and noise of my Core 2 Extreme system and my dual Xeon system.

Both systems use the standard OEM heatsink/fan assembly.

The Core 2 Extreme system is quite quiet. The ASUS BIOS automatically controls the fan speed based on the temperature of the CPU. This means that under load the fan noise does get louder but I can't say that it's annoying in an office setting (the twin 3870 X2 graphics cards are noisier). To be honest the OEM heatsink and fan assembly that comes with the Core 2 Extreme is quite a nice setup and even incorporates a switch that allows you to flip the fan between high and low (although you do have to open the case to do this). I've pushed my system hard and I find that the low fan speed setting works just fine.

The dual Xeons are at the other end of the spectrum. When I first turned on the system the fans spun at 100% and they sounded like a jet taking off. After I activated the smart fan setting on the Tyan board the fan noise dropped considerably but it's still far from quiet.

I'm pretty sure that with third-party heatsink/fan assemblies I could make both systems a lot quieter. There's plenty of choice of coolers for the Socket 775 Core 2 Extreme (I like the Arctic Cooler Freezer 7), but options are far more limited (and expensive) for the Socket 771 Xeon. Since the Xeon system is located where noise doesn't matter, I don't care.

As for heat, both systems chuck out a lot of heat and when gaming the Core 2 Extreme system combined with two 3870 X2 cards throws out a LOT of heat. However, the Xeon is far from cool, and the more you push the system, the more heat it produces. I've not taken any measurements, but you can feel the heat from both systems, especially the Xeon system (2x quad core CPUs means a LOT more heat generated).

Bottom line: I wouldn't like to have either system running in a living room or as a media center!

Making thermal epoxy

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

A while back someone asked me if it was possible to buy/make thermal Thermal epoxyepoxy resin - that is, an epoxy resin that could be used to permanently stick a heatsink to a component. At the time I said I didn't think that there was such a thing, and that making it would be risky because if you got it wrong, the heatsink is permanently bonded to the component.

Oddly enough, today I came across a how-to that covers how to do just this on the Custom PC website. All you need is thermal compound, epoxy resin mix and a non-porous mixing surface.

I can't urge caution enough here - get this wrong and you've made a permanent mistake. Also, while this might be suited to sticking heatsinks on chipsets and RAM modules, I wouldn't like to use this method to stick a heatsink onto a CPU.

If you decide to try this method, and you screw up, you're on your own. If you try it and it works, let me know!

Hackers create fake Apple store

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Hackers are now trying to lure people to fake Apple store (by using scammy emails) websites in order to phish their credit card details:

Fake Apple store

Take care out there ...

(via Sunbelt Blog)

Useful RAID tutorial

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

As RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks or Redundant Array of Independent Disks) seems to have become standard on all but the cheapest of motherboard I'm getting more and more random questions about RAID, for example:

  • What is RAID?
  • How does it work?
  • How many disks do I need?
  • How do I make use of RAID?
  • Is RAID worth the cost/hassle?
  • If I use X number of disks, each of Y capacity, how much space will I have if I use RAID X?
  • What type of RAID (also known as RAID level) should I use for ... ?

Rather than try to answer all these questions individually, I've decided to create this post to serve as a placeholder for RAID-related information. I'll add to it as I come across good resources:

  • RAID definition on Wikipedia - Good all-round definition.
  • AC&NC RAID tutorial - Excellent visual demonstration of how RAID 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 50 and 0+1 work. Also tells you how many disks you need for each RAID level.
  • RAID explained - RAID levels explained.
  • RAID calculator - Tells you how much space you get depending on number of disks, capacity and RAID level.
  • RAID levels pros and cons - The advantages and disadvantages of each RAID level.
  • For details on how to implement RAID on your hardware, consult you manuals!

Final thoughts - If you have no clue what RAID is or why you should use it, chances are that you don't need really need it! Unless you're doing something quite specific (or something quite nuts - hopefully next week - or the week after - I'll be able to show you something nuts!) then you probably don't need the hassle of RAID.