Archive for December, 2009

New Media PC for the living room

Posted in Hard Stuff on December 28th, 2009

We needed a media PC to drive a 46″ display in our living room. I saw an article in the May 2009 Maximum PC and basically followed their recipe when I built this system in August.

Picture 002

The system has been solid and very quiet. It draws 55-65 watts up and running and the box cost $600 in parts, keyboard and mouse $140, 5.1 amp with speakers $240. About $1,000 when you include cables. This system has been donated to the nonprofit Autistry Studios.

AMD Phenom 9350e Agena 2.0GHz Socket AM2+ 65W Quad-Core Processor Model HD9350ODGHBOX – Retail $99.99
JetWay JNC62K-LF AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard – Retail $129.99
CORRSAIR XMS2 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model CM2X2048-6400C5 – Retail $27.99
Western Digital Caviar Black 500 GB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM SATA II WD5001AALS $67.75
Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case External 3 X 5.25; Internal 6 X 3.5 2*Usb2.0 $59.79
LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner – Retail $124.99
Antec Mult-Station Elite Internal IR receiver w/ VFD and remote – Retail $69.99
Sabrent CRW-UINB 68 in 1 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Internal Memory Card Reader & Writer (Black) $15.98


Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 5500 Revolution $138.40

5.1 Surround sound system:

Sony BRAVIA DAV-HDX285 5.1-Channel Theater System (Black) $239.65

How to delete GPT Protective Partition

Posted in Windows Details on December 10th, 2009

I loaned a portable USB 1 TB drive to someone recently and they accidentally horked it up pretty well. They attempted some fix up on it but when I mounted it on my system it did not appear in the list of disks under My Computer but it was listed as a device off the USB hub.

Opening Computer Management under XP Pro the disk was listed as a “GPT Protective partition” and no options were available for doing anything to it under the Disk Management applet. A GPT partition is a GUID Partition Table and is usable by Macs and Windows Vista and greater — but not XP which is what what I’m running.

A quick search found this procedure:

In Windows XP Professional, if you cannot access or modify GPT disk, you can convert a GPT disk to MBR by using the “clean” command in the command line application DiskPart, which will remove all data and partition structures from the disk.

1. Go to the DOS command line (click on “Start Menu”, then “Run”, type in “cmd” in textbox, and hit “OK”)

* Type in “DiskPart” in command line.
* Type in “list disk” in command line to show all disks in this machine.
* Use “select” to set the focus to the specified partition, for example “select disk 1″.
* Use “clean” command to remove GPT disk from the current in-focus disk by zeroing sectors.

2. Go back to Disk Management, the disk should be “unallocated” now. Right click on disk info, choose “Initialize Disk” then format it.

Warning: Duh: This command will of course erase all data on the disk, but if you got here, you couldn’t access it anyway!