Over Christmas, I installed some software on my laptop and something went wrong. My computer wouldn't boot (hard drive boot sector got corrupted somehow), and, to get it running again, I needed the custom Windows XP installer dvd I made using nLite, which I had left back in the states.
So for the last three weeks, I have been using my father's old computer. It works fine but has several drawbacks, the biggest being that it doesn't have outlook.
Not as productive as normal
Trying to answer the flood of emails after last month's of big blog entry (see *****2010 Food Crisis for Dummies*****) using web interface hasn't worked out very well, and I have fallen badly behind.
Not having my outlook (or my favorites, excel files, etc) really slowed things down with writing blog entries. I usually write my entries in outlook and email them in to Market Skeptics. However, over the last three weeks I have been using blogger's web interface to write entries, and the process has been slow and frustrating (why is the text area so small in the blogger editor?).
To sum it up, I haven't been as productive as normal these last few weeks.
Fixing the problem
The new laptop I bought earlier this year came with a SATA interface hard drive that isn't recognized by normal Windows XP installer dvds. So in order to install XP (I can't stand Windows Vista for many reasons), I made a custom Windows XP installer dvd with the needed SATA driver integrated. Below is the more info why it has necessary to make this dvd (for anyone strangely interested).
As we know, Microsoft stopped Windows XP selling product to new computer purchasing in order to overcoming Windows Vista. On recent days, new computers or notebooks product which has the requirement hardware are now capable to use it. It will run, but slow (a very to me) [Windom Vista is badly made wreck. Windom XP, especially when optimized, runs much faster]. To make it double faster running OS, try to using Windows XP.
One problem found that lots of newest computers or notebooks are equipped with a SATA interface hard drive that not all recognized by Windows XP installer. It would ask the SATA driver for the hardware and you must provide it before continue to installing the rest processes.
For example, a week ago I've purchased an Acer Travelmate 6291-100508. This sub-notebook are comes with Intel Core 2 Duo 1,66 GHz processor, 80 GB SATA hard drive, 512 MB DDRAM, DVD RAM Super Multi, 12.1" WXGA screen & LinPus Linux pre-installed OS. From the selling box, Acer recommended to use Windows Vista hence there are no Windows XP driver CD software included. In manner way, there will no chance to installing it with Windows XP since the installer didn't recognized the SATA interface. One for sure, Acer website provides all of the Windows XP drivers software, including the SATA driver to support the Windows XP installation. So, how to integrating the bootable installer with the SATA driver software, since I'm not too interesting to buy a USB floppy drive?
First of all, get the SATA driver manufactured from your hardware factory website (Acer link) & download nLite to create a custom Windows XP installer (note that you need .NET Framework 2.0 available from Microsoft download site before running the nLite). Next, from nLite application, browse to the Windows XP CD installer (I'm not responsible to any legally use of Windows.
Recreating another custom XP installer dvd would have been complicated. I would have needed to acquire an XP installer dvd, buy some burnable dvds, download the software (nlite, etc), track down the right SATA drivers for my computer, go through the whole process of integrating driver into the xp installer, find a computer that can burn dvds, and then finally create new custom Windows XP installer dvd. (In retrospect, I should have gone through this hassle anyway to get laptop running sooner and avoid being as unproductive as I been).
Anyhow, since it was the holidays (quiet news wise, people with family and not reading blog, etc), I decided I could wait and had the custom Windows XP installer dvd I left in the US sent to me in Moscow. Well, it arrived today, and, after twenty minutes (nearly annoyingly fast (only boot sector need to be fixed)), my laptop was running again. I now have all my links, excel files (data on soybean open interest, exports, fed's balance sheet, etc), and other blogging material. I am also writing this entry in outlook, which is very refreshing.
Catching up on emails
Now that I have outlook again, my number one priority is getting caught up with emails, and I am planning on spending a lot of time writing email response this weekend.
Also beginning next week, I will also go back to publishing two entries day, as I was doing most of the time before my laptop stopped booting.
Update on Regia Russia Agro Investment
In a happy coincidence, I have just received the PPM of LLC for US investors. I will get it out as I answer emails over the weekend.
I have moved the preview of my next major article to its own blog entry: