Monday, 12 November 2018

I moved to AMD Platform part 5

I have my AMD computer up and running with all the drives connected, fresh, and ready to work. Except the graphics card driver that had been released the same day as my installation I did not install any other drivers.

I did not use the DVD of  the drivers that  came with my ASUS mother board. I did not need it. Windows 10 had taken care of everything. Why should I stuff my smoothly silent working computer with things. I closed both sides of the computer case (the habit that I never had, being used to leave them open) I put all the noise dampers back on their places and look! When you enter the room you cannot recognise a computer is working there. It boots in seconds, moreover.

My phone immediately was found by the Windows, no waiting for the drivers to be installed and trying to find your ways through the forums and manufacturer sites, etc.

They have made things easy these days! Of course not much out of good intention! Why? There was a time that as the user of a PC gradually you would become a nerd that could understand what was going under the hood. Then you could find ways around the ad ware spy ware and puffery promises and so on. When you feel you do not need to learn then gradually you become a sheeple that sits and consumes every rubbish, like the golden time of the TV. TV and news papers with loads of rubbish are back but now on computers with much more power, turning the society into a more individualistic way, and at last we have smart TVs. They are actually computers that cannot be tweaked even by most committed nerds.

Next it was the time for installing the Oracle Virtual Box where after adding my Windows 7 x64 I found a new problem. I had no problems with my Linux virtual boxes, though.

I need this virtual Windows 7 as I do my Visual Studio on it.and it is full of my codes. I kept my Windows 7 RTM DVDs when I moved to the Windows 8. But used them to create two virtual boxes one for 32 bits and one for 64 bits Windows 7.

I also use these virtual boxes when some dodgy producers offer free software etc. I download them on virtual boxes and test; if suddenly on  using them they act as bait and switch and solicit you to buy a key to see the miracles of the software or when I found them bloatware or other unwanted undesirable behaviours.

Now on first boot of Windows 7 64 this message came out:

"Your PC uses a processor that is designed for the latest version of

Windows. Because the processor is not supported together with the

Windows version that you are currently using, your system will miss

important security updates."

AMD (and also Intel and Qualcom)  have decided that to leave the support for the Windows 7 and also Windows 8.x in favour of Windows 10. This is consistent with the Microsoft model described earlier; supposedly not releasing a new version of Windows.

If you are interested you can read about this policy change here: Windows 10 Embracing Silicon Innovation.

As we know, Microsoft will push this model forward and individuals resist for a while and gradually market will accept it. It is not bad or evil. It is planned by scores or even hundreds of highly skilled, and experienced programmers and operating system developers. (Well, with cues from marketing people and perhaps other layers behind the scene.) If it was not for the market we still were tweaking with the DOS, assembly and C codes, would be happy to make a connection with a friend on the other side of the ocean.

If I had a Windows 7 on my AMD platform as the main (host) operating system and insisted to keep it, due to certain reasons, then it could be a great problem. But for me it is just a guest on the virtual box. I can close the warning, ignore it and continue work until the next booting of the machine. There is  no danger not that much for average users to  make the security updates very critical.

You can remember there were too much noise a year or two after the release of Windows XP, regarding security weakness of that product, such that a service pack was released for the operating system and again after a year or two a second service pack. And constant security updates. Even at that time some people continued using the original XP without service packs and any update; just see what could happen. We know nothing happened.

Most of the time attacks are politically motivated or the attackers look for some precious things. You know that even burglars do not risk themselves into the ordinary people who own nothing of special values.

I am an expert and know that there is nothing you can do to prevent a committed programmer/hacker unable to intrude into your computer. Anyhow, businesses are interested in your pocket and need to target you legally and get your information. What is the fear? Few months ago I noticed next to the "Angel" Station (a London Underground Station) people were standing in a queue to give their personal information to Google in exchange of a doughnut ( one pack of five doughnuts sells for 50p in Morrisons). The most available information now-a-days is the personal data of ordinary people, under the hammer of data auctioneers.

For many years I have opted in Windows Insiders Program and always have tested each release of Windows dozens of times before they come to the market. Hence, have no resistance to upgrade and frequently have done it much cheaper.

As I will explain under another title that I am intending to write on virtual machines I am not concerned about the security threats. I always have a clone of the machine and if something bad happens I delete the infected machine and reboot in the cloned machine. Virtualisation is partly for this. I also do not activate bidirectional shared clipboard and shared folders. I even keep virtual machines beyond an air gap with no connection to the internet. I surf from the host computer.

I did not want to throw away my Windows 7 DVD's and buy a Windows 10 for my virtual machines.

Happily, more enthusiast people have found a solution. You can delete the file that does not support the new hardware for the security update and use the patch that has been created by this bright enthusiast computer expert at GitHub here:  Disables the "Unsupported Hardware" message in Windows Update, and allows you to continue installing updates on Windows 7 and 8.1 systems with Intel Kaby Lake, AMD Ryzen, or other unsupported processors. 

I used the patch and updated my virtual Windows 7.

Conclusion: As I do not play games and do not develope them and also do not edit videos routinely my AMD Rayzen 7 2600 and X470 platform with its stock cooler is enough for me. I have thrown away all the stupid extra fans and all the home made led lighting that I had made. I have a silent well behaving computer with enough power for my C/Java coding, maintenance of my websites and other works. My powerful Graphics card is also beyond the power necessary for watching even in 4k. As I already had case, PSU and graphics card it also did not bring much expenses. (I gave my older parts still with a good life time remaining in them to the charity of cats to sell them on eBay). I might buy a glass window for my Thermaltake case to enjoy RGB of motherboard.

Friday, 2 November 2018

I moved to AMD Platform part 4

Then I turned the computer and disconnected it physically from the main. I connected Blu ray and two of the hard disk drives.

I did  not attach all hard drives then, out of being cautious. I have seen things. We all are sleeping at night and when we wake up in the morning there are new realities and new idea in place without already being notified about the changes. We have to sign and accept at the bottom of small fonts without understanding what is going on and we like to be amused by toys we have bought from them.

“For God’s sake, let us be men
not monkeys minding machines
or sitting with our tails curled
while the machine amuses us, the radio or film or gramophone.

Monkeys with a bland grin on our faces.” 

D.H. Lawrence, Selected Letters

Hence, we might enter into the unchartered waters and some patience is always handy.

I power up the computer and immediately right click on  the start button and select the disk manager utility to open it.

But lo and behold! Panic seized me: one of the most important partitions of newly attached disks was labelled as "Recovery healthy partition" a total of 1 TB. It contained all my codes, backup of my websites and many other goodies. It did not also appear on the "My Computer" Windows

Many thoughts came to  my mind. For instance I am used to label partitions with Greek alphabets instead of Latin and I load my costume made icons with them - such as lambda theta etc. The lost partition had a combined name "PsiPhi" to be pronounced as Sci-Fi. and its icon was also combined letters, ψφ.  Perhaps this was the reason.

I also change letters Windows uses for enumerating partitions. I do not like when Windows starts from the letter 'D' and then 'E', 'F', 'G' etc. I use X, Y, Z, U, V, W and so on. the lost partition was always labelled as X. As Windows installation has its own use of letter X and Z, I became suspicious that this could be the cause. (These letters are something related to the OS and are not engraved into the hard drives. so no worries about this)

Well, happily it is a rule that when Windows become confused and label a partition, it is just a label and should be corrected.

I opened a command prompt as administrator and typed "diskpart" (without quotation marks, of course - to the end of this article) to open the application for examining the partitions.

On the diskpart prompt I typed  "list disk" and tapped the  "enter" key. A list of my drives (now two of them) came.

Next I typed "select disk 1" and entered. Disk 1 is the disk that contains my ψφ partition. 

Then I typed "list partition" and entered. A list of partitions come on the command. Voila! here is my lost partition It is not primary as it should it is described as the "Recovery"

I select the "Recovery" partition to examine it by typing "select partition 1" and enter.

After selecting the desired partion I examine its properties by typing "determine partition", or briefly, "det par"  and enter.  You can see that a description of the lost partition comes in the next lines. 

For the first time, the label of the partition is shown correctly as "psiphi." But there are differences between this and a primary partition first its type id is "27" instead of "07" second, there is no letter attributed to it and at last under the "info" column it is described as "hidden."

please note that you might find hexadecimal numbers for the recovery type de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac that could be changed or set to the primary type ebd0a0a2-b9e5-4433-87c0-68b6b72699c7

(As I had to go back and forth between OS and BIOS and I was a bit in an uneasy state due to disappearance of the partition I did not take snapshots and used the camera on my mobile phone to take the pictures, so the previous picture is patched with the mobile phone pictures.)

I need to chang the "type : 27"  id to "type : 07" id, everything then will be back to normal. Even if you delete a partition you can undelete it easily but you should not be tempted to fiddle with things on your own such as formatting the deleted partition or writing things on it that makes reversing the situation more difficult.

Now as the partition is already selected, I type "set id=07" and enter. To check if the partition is back to primary.   Now, I type "det par" again and enter.  I can see the changes have been done.

No letter is attributed, but the volume number is also has changed from "12" to "3". It does not appear in "My Computer" until you attribute a letter to it. I opened the "Disk Management" utility and find it as the "primary" partition with no letter. I select a letter for it (my favourite X) and see that now it appears in "My Computer" too.