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  • JohnW

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    Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 1,209 total)
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    • JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      A live-Linux boot is indeed the usually easiest method of dealing with storage devices gone “weird”. It’s not just Windows that’ll just give up and not acknowledge a disk at all if its contents are in certain ways “unexpected” … like a badly damaged FAT or NTFS after a power surge, for example.

      Totally agreed. Just last weekend I used GParted running in a live Linux Mint session to delete some partitions that Windows Disk Management wouldn’t let me touch. I wanted to allocate all of the disk as one contiguous NTFS partition.

      So with GParted I completely deleted all of the existing partitions, and the partition table. Then created a single partition using all available unallocated space.

      Very handy tool! 🙂

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GParted

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      Yes – definitely on my radar! I check that site frequently, and that may be what I end up doing. Might be easier in the long run!

      I noticed that the ones loaded with Win 7 are cheaper than Win 10.

      That would be an advantage if the Win OS would be a “thowaway” to just be overwritten by Mint.

      I bought my first laptop there 15 years ago as a refurb w/WinXP, and it still works, although I don’t use it anymore… 32-bit only.

      My sister has bought all of her laptops there. And you can find anything from laptops, desktop, workstations, etc.

      They are having a sale on the 1 year extended warranty now. $19 for desktops and $29 for laptops… see below for basic warranty on Dell refurbs:

      Warranty on DellRefurbished.com:

      All of our products include a standard 100 Day Limited Warranty.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      Maybe just find a cheap refurbished PC and load Mint directly on the hard drive, no dual boot, and use that as your secure network facing device.

      Dell sells them directly.

      https://www.dellrefurbished.com/

      Then keep your Win7 laptop around for use as needed.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: MS-DEFCON 3: Time to get the June patches installed #2279221
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      I just upgraded Win 10 1909 Pro to Win 10 2004 Pro two evenings ago (after taking a Macrium image, of course, and then holding my nose).

      Well so far so good! Nothing weird and everything working well so far.

      I use Firefox as my default browser.

      But I do occasionally use Edge for a few sites. When I first opened it in 2004 it opened to a landing page with only a big download button for the new Edge (Chredge), I assumed that might be the only option.

      Then I found that by opening a page from my favorites list that I was still using the old version. It popped up a nag for the new one, but I clicked it away with “remind me later”.

      So anybody using Chredge yet? Any pros/cons? Known issues?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      Maybe I should start a new discussion about that, but can I ask one question here? Are things like emails or FF favorites saved in the VM version – is there a kind of persistence with it? And maybe you’d know if FF might work the way I have it set up now between Win 7 and Cinnamon on the SSD. Right now, I have it synced, so that the FF in whichever OS I was using would sync with the other so that all history, passwords, bookmarks, etc would always be available in either OS. Do you think that might be possible with the VM – assuming that there is persistence with the VM programs? Guess it will be a case of trial and error to see how it all does work. As to the space needed – on my 240gb SSD, I used about 40gb for Cinnamon – so that might give me an idea of how much I’d need. Can you allocate more if you need it?

      There is no difference in the applications like Firefox or anything else running in a VM version of the OS. The OS is identical to one running on hardware, as the only thing virtual is the hardware. VirtualBox creates a “virtual” hardware environment for you to install your OS of choice.

      So your data would be as persistent as with an OS installed on real hardware. Anything that you sync today between copies of the same application on different platforms would work the same way.

      If you give yourself 40GB of space when you install the virtual hard drive, then you should have plenty of space. If necessary, you can make it larger later, but it is much easier to do it up front and not have to adjust later.

      One more thought is that you could turn the entire situation around and install Linux as the host on the actual hardware, and install Windows as the VM guest. The only thing about that method is that Windows does require a valid license even when run as a VM. I did this once with an extra license for WinXP that I had sitting around. Worked great! Still running! I think it might even be a better setup to run a current supported OS, like the latest Mint as the host, and the end of life OS like Win 7 as a VM guest. Of course you would still need a fresh install of Win 7 to setup the VM.

      If you do decide to go down this path, it would probably be best to start a new thread.

      Good luck, and I do hope you get your problems sorted out.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks John! I am going to reread that old thread about running Linux in a Virtual Box and maybe give that a try.

      VirtualBox is a neat way to have both systems running at the same time. No more dual-booting!

      You can hot-key switch back and forth between the two desktops. You can even have shared folders for data on the Windows disk. You can copy/paste between clipboards of both systems.

      You will have to decide how much disk space on the host Windows system to dedicate to the virtual hard drive for the VM. If you store all of your data in the host partition via a shared folder, you would only need enough space in the virtual drive for the Linux Mint operating system, plus any software packages you might add. Then some additional space for growth. For example I have a Linux Mint Mate VM with an initial 20GB allocated to the virtual disk, and I am using 14.4GB of that. The rest is “free space” for the VM.

      Another nice thing about a VM guest is that it lives in a single file on your Windows system. You can easily back the whole thing up just by clicking and dragging it to a backup location as a copy.

      I did mention that I was running Mate as my VM desktop. I actually prefer Cinnamon, but it always said it was running the graphics without hardware acceleration. I had never encountered that with a bare metal install of Cinnamon. But there was some incompatibility with the virtual graphics controller. With Mate I had no issues with that. It’s close enough that Mate is fine with me!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      All of that said, I am now again giving some serious thought to possibly installing Linux in a Virtual Box – a question you all were very helpful with back in the fall when I was trying to figure out what to do with this Win 7 laptop. Since the SSD isn’t reliable now for running Mint, maybe it is time to look into the VB idea again? I did install more RAM several months ago – I now have a total of 8 gb – not ideal, but possibly workable?

      I have run Virtual Box with 8GB RAM machines with great success!

      I was even able to run it on a 4GB laptop, but it was a tight fit. The host Windows system had to be mostly idle to free up memory for the guest Linux session running in VB.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      I was going to say pretty much what you did.

      The internal hard disk that runs Windows uses a SATA controller. The Mint drive is an external drive that uses a USB controller. It it’s a hardware issue it probably has something to do with either the internal USB in the laptop, or the USB in the drive itself.

      If it’s a software issue, I like Mn-‘s suggestion to rollback software updates in case a Mint update wonked the graphics drivers with something incompatible with that laptop. The problem report sounds like it could be graphics related.

      I would probably back up the disk before I did anything, just in case. Then explore both possibilities…

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Recording sound with Mint #2275400
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      Simple solution then. Don’t send the Audacity project file to the recipients, but rather export the sound file in a common format such as a standard .wav format, which is universal on all Windows machines (and others).

      One of the coolest things about Audacity is that it is like a Swiss army knife that easily lets you convert from one sound file format to another.

      The Audacity manual can be read online here: https://manual.audacityteam.org/

      Export Formats

      “There are a number of audio formats that Audacity, as shipped, can export to. Other formats can be added by installing extra software libraries.

          As shipped formats include WAV, AIFF, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and MP2.
          You may install the optional FFmpeg library to export to many more audio formats including AC3, AMR(NB), M4A(AAC) including MP4 and WMA.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Recording sound with Mint #2275322
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      I would say +1 for Audacity. I use it on Windows for quick one-off recordings.

      I like how you can even use it to record “what you hear” from your browser, to an audio file.

      It’s simple to use, light, and free and open source.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Adobe announces the end of Flash in December 2020 #2274486
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      Running Flash and the Java web applet increases your attack surface for online exploits that are known to be in the wild. They have scripts that probe your browser for that stuff before deciding what to throw at you.

      I would uninstall them. Just a friendly suggestion.

      Take a peek at browserleaks.com for examples of how much info you give up about about your browser capabilities, particularly your Flash and Java versions.

      in reply to: VPN Caution: How Genuine is That Review? #2272863
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      I can’t see where an email is optional on their site. I can find “10GB with a confirmed email”.

      Windscribe also have a server in the country of “Fake Antarctica” and their website is copyright 2021. Hmm!

      cheers, Paul

      They are legit. The developer does have quite a sense of humor though, and occasionally sends out some witty promo emails to subscribers. 🙂

      in reply to: VPN Caution: How Genuine is That Review? #2272858
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      On https://windscribe.com/signup it says email optional. Not sure if you get free GB w/out an email tho.

      I believe it’s 5GB/month without email. I seem to recall that from when I signed up a couple of years ago. Went ahead and gave up email for 10GB.

      in reply to: The Win10 version 2004 bugs keep rolling in #2272161
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      But one catch-22 with using “wushowhide” and the “pause” updates, is that no updates will be available to hide while you have them paused.

      With wushowhide you don’t need the pause.

      Exactly! My point was that if you had paused them first, then they wouldn’t show up in wushowhide. Catch-22.

      in reply to: Useful life of laptops and desktops #2272147
      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      But my personal preference is for desktop

      I’m onboard with that.  The desktop is easier to use, screen is larger for the benefit of my tired old eyes, and I prefer being set up in one place anyway- I still have a home office from my self-employed business days.

      We use a laptop strictly for portability around the house or if the desktop is otherwise engaged.  There are very few files on it as it is mainly used for Internet access.

      Nowadays I just use a laptop for internet access when I am away from home for more than a day or two. If it’s going to be a while I setup a pseudo docking station with my 24″ HDMI monitor and a wireless keyboard/mouse combo. Love the Logitech stuff!

      I’ve found that I can do most things necessary from a smartphone, but the little screen drives my old semi-retired eyes nuts.

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