Category Archives: Computers

Dell Latitude E6410 – TrueOS Desktop

This is a short explanation of why I went from Windows 7 SP1 to various Linux distributions and ended up on TrueOS, which is based on FreeBSD.

The laptop has 8 GB of RAM and is configured well. It had become unstable on Windows 7. I would boot and it would not be able to get into Windows 7 and ask me if I wanted to revert to a previously saved version. I would permit that. Then, it would update (Windows Update) to the latest Windows 7 files. Then, it would be necessary to go back to an earlier version. Catch 22. I did a “clean” install of Windows 7 SP1 and then installed the Microsoft file with the Updates to 2016 and that went well, but when I tried to get the Updates starting in 2016, it failed.

Then, I tried various Linux distributions. Most of them Ubuntu or Ubuntu based. Also, CentOS and Fedora and OpenSUSE. Some of the Ubuntu based distributions I was not able to install. I did get CentOS and Fedora and possibly OpenSUSE installed. There were issues with the Mouse freezing constantly. At that time, my belief was that the Hardware was OK, but I was not positive that it was not the Hardware. Apparently, it is something in the latest Linux Kernels.

I read about FreeBSD, but that is more difficult to get running properly on the Desktop and on their web site I read about TrueOS. I downloaded the TrueOS Desktop .ISO file and burned that to a DVD.

So far, it seems to be very stable. I have sound, but at this time I do not have sound for YouTube and other videos, so I need to spend time on that. My guess is that I will need to change the configuration or add some files to get the Sound working the way I want it to.

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Installing a “Thin” (7 mm) Hard Disk Drive or Solid State Drive in a Dell Latitude E6410 laptop

This probably also applies to other laptops made by Dell and to laptops made by other manufacturers. I won a Used Dell Latitude E6410 in an eBay auction. It had a 160 GB HDD (Hard Disk Drive) installed in it when I received it. I also purchased a larger Hard  Disk Drive, a Seagate Laptop Thin 500GB 7200RPM SATA 32MB 2.5″ Hard Disk Drive (ST500LM021) from an eBay Seller.

Probably the 160 GB Seagate HDD I removed from the Caddy was a 9.5 mm drive.

In the case of my Dell Latitude E6410, the normal way to install a HDD is to turn the laptop off, turn it over, remove the battery, remove the Caddy with the old HDD, remove the Caddy from the old HDD, put the Caddy onto the new HDD, and then slide the Caddy and HDD back into the laptop and secure the HDD with the 2 screws. Then, install the battery and turn it over so the keyboard is on top.

That did NOT work for me, and apparently has not worked for many other people who participate in the Dell Customer Forum. It has to do with the SIZE of the drive (this is also true of SSD drives apparently) AND GRAVITY… The solution, after removing the battery and the old HDD, which I found on the Dell Customer Forum, is to install the new HDD or SSD (7mm) while the laptop is in the normal operating position (keyboard on top). Then, after the Caddy is installed, turn the laptop over again, install the 2 screws to secure the drive, and install the battery again.

This has to do with the position of the SATA connector in the Dell Latitude E6410 laptop and the size of the 7 mm drives.

How to Reinstall Windows 7 if you do not have a Restore Partition or a Reinstall DVD

The DVD I purchased for this task cost USD $6.99. I have used it to reinstall Windows 7 Professional on 2 laptops and Windows 7 Home Premium on 1 laptop. The Windows 7 Reinstall DVD I purchased in September, on eBay, was purchased from leo81056. On the flap of the sleeve it came in, it shows “Windows 7 32 & 64 bit All versions Install/Reinstall DVD”

This is the URL for that DVD on eBay, on 12 December 2015.. He sent it via First Class Mail, with USPS Tracking.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Windows-7-32-64-bit-All-versions-install-reinstall-recovery-repair-dvd-/221956067241?hash=item33ad9ccfa9:g:nIAAAOSwDNdVm2zy

Last week, I won another used Dell Latitude E6410 laptop, in an eBay auction and that eBay Seller wipes the hard drives of the computers they sell. Like the first laptop I won in one of their eBay auctions, it does not have a Restore partition on the hard disk drive. After it is delivered to our house, I plan to use this DVD to Reinstall Windows 7 Professional on it. The laptop has a Microsoft COA (Certificate of Authenticiy) with the 25 digit Product Key necessary to activate Windows with Microsoft, so one can obtain the Windows Updates.

Microsoft no longer permits people to Download the files needed to reinstall Windows 7. DO NOT DOWNLOAD Windows 7 files from any other source. There is too much of a chance the file you Download would be corrupted, infected, contain a virus or Trojan, etc. You CANNOT LEGALLY Download those files. That was apparently possible, in the past, but it is not possible now, unless you purchase Windows 7 from Microsoft again. If you have a Desktop/Tower/Laptop with a Microsoft COA (Certificate of Authenticiy) with the 25 digit Product Key, there is no reason for you to purchase Windows 7 again. All you need is a Reinstall DVD like this, which is very inexpensive.

NOTES:

(1) The DVD I received in September was not labeled. If the one you receive is not labeled, immediately, with a Marking Pen, write on the DVD what it is.

(2) Backup your Data files (photos, school work, etc.) BEFORE you reinstall Windows 7.

(3) Shutdown the Laptop and Remove the battery. Carefully write down what the 25 character Product Key is, so you can Activate Windows 7 again, after the reinstall and get the Windows Updates.

(4) in the BIOS, you need to have the Boot Sequence set so that the first option is for the Laptop to boot from is the DVD drive. If it is not set that way, change it, before you try to boot from the DVD.

(5) During the Windows 7 installation sequence, when you come to Partitions and Formatting, you will probably have at least 2 Partitions. Probably, if you are running on the original OEM installation from the factory, there will be 3 or more Partitions. (a Restore partition, etc.). DELETE ALL of those partitions before proceeding. You will receive warnings, that you may be deleting Data, Windows files, the Restore partition, etc. Ignore those warnings and DELETE ALL Partitions you see, so that you can use the entire space on the hard disk drive, which is shown as “Unallocated”, after you DELETE the Partitions.

(6) After the reinstallation of Windows 7, not all of the Hardware may be working. When I installed Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, on the Dell Latitude E6410 we received in September, Windows 7 didn’t find the Driver(s) for the Ethernet chip. So, connected by cable to our Ethernet Switch, the laptop was not on the Internet. I downloaded the correct Driver(s) from support.dell.com on another machine, copied that file to a USB Memory, and then put that USB Memory into the machine that couldn’t access Ethernet and installed the Ethernet Drivers. Then, it was online via Ethernet.

(7) Once the laptop is online via Ethernet, then do “Windows Updates”, several times, until you have all of them. The DVD (and others I looked at) has SP1, which is five years old, so there are approximately 700 MB of Important Updates (for Security and Stability), available from Windows Update for Windows 7 SP1

The three (3) laptops I have reinstalled Windows 7 on, with this DVD, so far, were activated with Microsoft, without any issues and they are working properly.

This is not Rocket Science, but if it should go awry the first time, start over and try again.

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboards

 

One peripheral that we strongly recommend to you is the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard. We had used the  Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite keyboards, for approximately 16 years, on our PCs with PS/2 ports. . After she began using a  Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite keyboard, approximately sixteen (16) years ago, it completely eliminated the problems Pilar had with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Pilar had been to doctors and the possibility of surgery, which may have eliminated or exacerbated her problems, was discussed.  Our sincere thank you, to the Microsoft Engineers who designed these wonderful Ergonomic keyboards!

 

The Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite keyboards are PS/2 devices. At least one of ours came with a PS/2 to USB adapter cable in the carton, but when I tried to use it on my Dell Latitude E6400 (Windows 7 Professional) laptop, on a USB port, the keyboard was not recognized.  The Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 is a USB device. I read a review (on CNET?) that said they had tried to use it with a PS/2 to USB adapter on a PS/2 port, but they were not able to get that to work. Update on 23 May 2015: We have four (4) of the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite keyboards. Today I got them out of the box they were stored in. One appeared to be brand new, in a Retail box. WIthin the box was a PS/2 to USB adapter cable. I was able to get that keyboard working with my Dell Latitude E6400 laptop (Windows 7 Professional) and Melissa is now using it with her Dell Inspiron 660s micro tower, which is a Windows 7 Home box. I tried the other 3 keyboards, with the other adapter cable we have, but none of them was recognized. Probably those keyboards are an earlier version, or, the adapter cable is an earlier version.

I bought and have been using a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 for the past week and am very happy to be using it, and not the flat and thin keyboard I was using for the past 4 months. There were no instructions included in the carton for the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard, so I will look for information on the Microsoft web site and other places on the Internet, to learn how to use the capabilities it has.    This photo is an Affiliate advertising link for this keyboard.

Deployment from DesktopServer Limited

This  is where paying for DesktopServer Premium would save a lot of time, if exporting a .dev developed on the desktop, to a .com or other .tld works properly.

This site previously had 10 Static HTML pages. The deployment took me 6 or 8 hours, mostly Copy and Paste from .dev on the laptop to .com on the live server. I did all of the images manually again, to avoid any possible issues.

If I was going to work on a larger site, I would pay for  DesktopServer Premium

 

 

DesktopServer Limited cannot export

DesktopServer Limited is free and was wonderful for the development of this site on WordPress. I was able to select the Theme,  the Header, the Plugins, add pages, make changes, etc.

The development is done with a  .dev TLD and with the free version it is impossible to export with another TLD, such as .com

I have deleted the old Static HTML version of this web site from the server and I will now do online, what I did with DesktopServer Limited, which will make this task less time consuming.

After I finish this site should look the same as it does in DesktopServer Limited on my Windows 7 laptop.