Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day to remember those wrongfully taken away; special for my son and I...

9/11 is probably the most tragic day in the history of our country. It certainly has impacted everybody in one way or the other as we are all interconnected in a smaller world. For me personally is a day in conflict as it's a sad event, yet one for special significance. You see, I almost flew 9/11/01 on AA 011 hence 9/11 in a way it's my second birthday.

That shouldn't be that estrange at all. I'm sure plenty people probably browse through flights, changing them back and forth, etc until finally get a flight and day combination/schedule they like and then get the tickets and maybe then change it again, so nothing estrange about that. At least that's how I do it all the time. I was supposed to go to a conference in Tucson to present a science paper on work I was doing at my company. The conference was supposed to start I think Monday 9/10 and ran through 9/12 or similar. So my original plan was to fly from Boston to LA and then LA to Tucson.

Like I've done all my life, always pick up early morning flights to get maximum day time at the destination. What changed it this time was that I was returning from a week off vacation I took in PR and returned to Boston on Sunday, 9/9/11. I thought, I've been out on vacation for a week, maybe should not go immediately on another trip Monday and catch up with work, and let me go on Tuesday. At the time I almost only traveled through AA, I picked up 011 as it was a no brainer, early morning flight to LA.

Can't explain why, for whatever reason, there was something I didn't like about that number, 011. Don't know why, call it premonition, call it an act of God or simply sheer pure dumb luck. Maybe the excuse of attending an early project review meeting on 9/11 that I really didn't have to attend as I was supposed to be on travel. Bottom line is that for whatever reason I decided to change the morning flight to LA to the afternoon flight to LA, hence I'm here.

That 9/11 morning, as I came out of the project review, could hear all the commotion. Everybody running wild. Notice a call from the limo that was going to pick me up at my office to Logan (BOS), so I'm thinking the limo is already outside. Let me grab my stuff and say bye to everybody. As I'm walking down the hall with my bags a manager asks me, "Where are you going". Not knowing, I reply "to Logan to catch a flight" and he goes, "buddy, put them back in your car, you're not flying anywhere, we're at War!”

Needless to say, I was kind of shaken by that, especially considering I work for a defense contractor. As I'm going down the hall to my secretary's office, I could hear the level of commotion increasing, and then suddenly someone grabs me and hugs me really hard. It was my secretary crying her heart out because she thought I was gone in AA 011. As others came and hug me too, we started counting as we knew others were supposed to fly that day. At that point I realized my phone has been vibrating like crazy and I was just ignoring it. It hit me then that my mom, girlfriend, friends, etc that knew I was flying were desperately calling trying to reach me.

As I was going through the voice mails, you could hear their desperation growing. Finally was able to catch up with them to let them know that I was flying the afternoon flight, not the morning one; that all was OK and was heading home because the facilities were shut down. As I was leaving, check to see if we knew more about our people. By then we realized that indeed, we have lost some.

That day 4 other employees died in those flights (Peter Gay, Kenneth Waldie, Stanley Hall, David Kovalcin). My understanding is that one of them, David, was attending the same conference I was attending as he was a Mechanical Engineer and presenter too. Our company, which always has had a reputation of taking care of its own, made sure to totally take care of their families, etc. In this day and age, it’s rare to see private entities do such and our company is simply second to none about that. There are monuments at each of our facilities remembering them. Certainly it changed my life.

I remember my friends Eydie and Eric came to check on me and my luggage still there ready to leave. It took me awhile to go back to that bag. At that point, a couple of months later, I was taking my first post 9/11 flight. As you can imagine, people are tense, looking at each other, suspicions high and something weird, yet funny happened on the plane. A big, funny looking Puertorican guy gets up from his seat and with a strong accent shouted “There better not be any asshole Islamic terrorists in this plane, I'm going to visit my mom that I haven't seen in 15 years and if you try anything funny, I will personally kick your ass". The whole plane burst laughing and in a weird way, I instantly felt safe and that we as a nation and as a people somehow were going to be OK.

There are events that affect your life, and then there are EVENTS that really mark your life and this was certainly one. So decided to take the plunge and even though she thought we were just going to get engage, I actually went all the way and told my girlfriend, let’s get married and now! Ended up that we couldn't do it that quickly, but couple of months later did it nicely as we went to Hawaii in April of 02 and got married there in an insanely beautiful beach then took a cruise through the islands for the honeymoon; a pretty awesome vacation. Early next year it turns out we were expecting our first baby. At the time it seems that life has taken a turn for the good and always though how the whole 9/11 thing touched us in so many different ways.

September of that year, my wife started having issues with her blood pressure and her Doctor was very concern and decided to induce her as soon as the baby turn 35 weeks. The baby wasn't due for another 5 weeks so as you can image we were super worried and kind of shaken, not ready at all. After a whole day of intense labor work, the baby finally came out. We couldn't stop crying in happiness to see this little yet absolutely perfect little guy. Special is some many ways, he choose to come out September 11, 2003 around 10:28AM!

Amazing how a new life will bring new meaning to an older one and to the memories...

I don't know what’s more amazing. If the fact that I missed AA 011 by for the first time in my life not traveling in an early morning flight or the fact that my first son was born in the anniversary of that event at the time the first tower, the one that I would've died in if I have taken that flight, felt to the ground. Either way, I got the message and feel extremely fortunate that I was given a second chance in life. Now every 9/11 not only we remember those we lost, but celebrate my son's birthday as well as my second chance...

In a weird way it has taken me 10 years to write this. There’s always a sense of guilt, kind of a could I had made a difference had I been there? Memories are becoming kind of a blur, still gives me a sense of purpose, to always do my best for my country. Though that this been so close to the 10th anniversary of this event was the proper time to share it. If that wasn't enough, a person with my same name, died that day in the towers as he worked there. In so many ways this event has changed or influenced our lives and if there’s a lesson to take is to value every moment and try to make the max out of it, and most important, never forget…

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Photos, memories... rare, medium or well done. How do you like your storage?

It's very interesting how in around a decade we have moved from film photography to almost fully digital. I personally started with digital at the end of the 90's and still I'm surprised by how quickly digital took over. The first cameras were kind of a novelty and wicked expensive. The Nikon D1 was the first true DSLR that started to turn things around. It was a beautiful brick to carry around, but its adoption by the press media signaled things to come. Then back in 2004 with the Nikon D70 that truly did it for me. From that point on, my 35mms went to rest, with the occasional let's take it for a spin kind of as you drive an old classic around the neighborhood. I still use my Nikon F100 every now and then, but digital is here to stay.

The part of digital that I still can't shake up is how people don't properly backup their photos. Maybe me working at Enterprise I'm used to backup absolutely everything and always be as redundant as possible, but my impression is that for most, they're just sitting in their Mac or PC's drive, no backups or optical media, no printed copies, waiting for something bad to happen. I see pictures as one important thing: Memories, hence they're priceless and irreplaceable.

Regardless of your system brand and what you have been told, your Mac basically has the same hardware components than those in an HP or Dell and vice versa. What changes is the software you're using to run it; the Operating System (OS). All of these hardware components have a limited lifetime (measured a MTBF or mean time between failures) and bottom line is that when they die, your memories will die with them (if you haven't properly backed them up).

Answer a simple question: Do you have an exact copy of all your memories in a different place and using different media, other than your main computer? If you answer No, then you're in trouble. If you answered Yes, you're on the right track. Now the question is how to do it better. Well I'm going to split it in several areas and tell you exactly how and why.

Simple, easy to set product recommendations if you don't want to read the whole thing:

I personally have tested and used several brands (Linksys, D-Link, WD, etc) but have found that the one with the best combination of quality, price, features, GUI are the ones made by Buffalo Tech. Pretty much can't go wrong with any of them. I have several different units and here's some recommendations:

  1. Single drive unit: Linkstation Pro LS-VL NAS (around $200, This is the best single drive unit you can get.
  2. RAID capable: Linkstation Duo Pro LS-WVL/R1 (around $275, This is a dual drive version of the previous.
  3. High performance RAID: Around $700 the Thecus it's literally a full blown server in a small box with 6 storage units and great performance, currently rules the performance and value charts and can easily handle a small business. (

Figure 1: The Buffalo Tech Pro or "V" series offer high performance and a full rich set of features at a very reasonable price. Starting at around $200 there's no reason why you can't get one of these and make your data safe. The single drive version looks like any regular external HDD. The dual drive version offer expandability and RAID.

There are others at different price points. All depends on what you want to do and the level of complexity and expandability. Single drive units tend to be not user upgradable, at least easy to. RAID units tend to have open bays which allow for easy exchange of the drive units which it's really important specially if one of the units die and you need to replace it. All of the previous are sub $1K and easy to set with basically no maintenance required, and reliable enough to trust your data to them. For most professionals, the previous will serve them well for awhile.

Now let's talk details and cooking. How do you prefer it done?

Some people like food rare, others well done. I'm going to split this in rare, medium and well done, going from easiest to most complex.

1. Rare - Cheaper, simple but slow and limited:

1.A. Optical media: I know, nobody uses DVD's anymore. Well, bad news, you're very wrong. Optical media has a huge advantage over magnetic media: It's the closest thing to permanent you get!

You see the hard drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SDD) in your computer is made out semi-conductors and other magnetic media. The problem with magnetic media is that it does have a limited and unpredictable life span. Key word here is "unpredictable" and that's because we really don't know how long our HDD/SDD's are truly going to last. I still have some SCSI HDD from the 90's as a self experiment and they seem to be holding fine, but there's no way to know when they'll hit the bucket.

Optical media, at least has the theoretical potential of passing the 100 year mark and regardless if they last that long or not, the point is that you have plenty of time to look for an alternative to keep your photos or data safe, at least while you're alive. There's a second benefit and that's their lack of sensitivity to Electro Magnetic Pulses (EMP's). You see, optical media, ironically, works on the same principle as photo film: You have a media that's sensitive to a particular type of light and when it's exposed to it, that data is permanently etched in that film hence are resistant to magnetic pulses.

1.B. Magnetic media: After bad mouthing it, still a simple external or secondary HDD or SDD plugged into your computer, remains the easiest and cheapest backup storage option. The important thing you must remember is that such storage system should be a separate physical unit from your main unit. The reasoning is really simple; you want to avoid putting all the eggs in the same basket.

My ideal configuration is a second physical HDD in your computer so you're always running your applications and OS in a main HDD and then you put the data on the second HDD, then you use an external solution as the backup solution. Yeap, that was 3 physical units, that way when you're done backing up, simply pull it out and put it in a safe place. There's a side benefit from having a second HDD inside your computer for data storage only: You can always replace the main drive with a different OS or if you have a fatal crash requiring a full restore, your data remains safe in the data drive!

2. Medium - Independent, self contained, good performance and reasonable features:

2.A. BlueRay media: BD media is another type of optical, more expensive but with much larger capacities. Same benefits as all the ones for optical with the advantage of larger storage capacity and potentially longer life span as the media itself should be of higher quality in order for it to sustain a higher capacity. Again same side benefit of their resistance to EMP's. Pretty much magnetic media is sensitive to magnetic pulses and electricity; hence data held by such devices can be easily wiped by any of such. In theory, properly protected optical media like BD's or DVD's should survive the EMP of a atomic blast (of course assuming they're far away enough from that blast radius)!

2.B. RAID: Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives is basically the use of multiple storage units to replicate the data you're storing in them. There are multiple classifications of RAID, but the simplest and most common is RAID 0 or a "mirror" in were at least two storage units have an exact copy of the same data. Most computers you can pop in two drives of the same size and set them up as a RAID 0. Better is if you have an external RAID storage unit plugged into your computer. That way the storage is redundant, and can be unplugged and stored safely at another location.

2.C. NAS: A Network attached storage is basically some sort of independent computer/storage unit which is accessed via a network connection and it's dedicated for storage purposes. These come on various flavors some of which are listed here:

2.C.1. USB to LAN adapters: Units such as the Pogo Plug or the Lynksys SLUG pretty much allow you to plug a USB device to it and give it access via a network connection. These are the simplest and cheapest but very often, painfully slow. I normally recommend staying away from these as you get what you pay for.

2.C.2. Router with USB adapter: Some routers allow you to plug in a USB device to their backs the same way as the previous, making it available to the network. With this kind of units you kind of kill two birds with one stone, but again, you pay the price is the capabilities and performance as often they're very simple but slow performers. One that I found to work really well is the Buffalo Tech Air Station WZR-HP-G300NH ( which actually is pretty usable and simple to set offering a whole package solution in one unit.

Figure 2: Notice to the left the router, as any typical router unit you might already have. The advantage with this kind is that it allows you to plug an external USB HDD to it and turns it into a NAS.

2.C.3. NAS drive: Dedicated NAS units have the advantage of basically been a small server with a storage unit connected to it, normally in small packages. Depending on brand and features, some are really good performers that offer a good feature sets and capabilities other than storage. Best of all they don't cost much more than a typical external, direct connect unit and their power consumption is very low, for example the single drive Buffalo Pro unit listed in Figure 1 barely uses 17w and provides up to 2Tb of storage.

3. Well done - We're talking redundancy, top performance and even Enterprise level.

3.A. Small server: Do you have a old PC doing nothing sitting around? Good news, it's actually fairly easy to turn it into a dedicated storage unit or as a multi role server. There are plenty of free server OS that will allow you to do that. This is a higher level of complexity, but also a higher level of performance and features. Here are some good simple offerings for such a project:

3.A.1. Amahi Home Server ( This OS and software tools combination will turn any old or new PC into a central computer allowing you to handle all your entertainment, storage, and computing needs. Most important it's FREE and expandable, allowing you to grow it as your needs change.

3.A.2. FreeNAS ( Enough said, it's a NAS, it's FREE and most important simple and does what it has to do in an effective yet simple way. Actually it's a little bit more complex than that, the cool thing about it is that basically they prepared a whole Linux OS based on FreeBSD Linux ( and added NAS specific web based tools that are simple and easy to use and configure. You can literally run FreeNAS from a CD or USB thumb drive, allowing to almost intently turn any machine into a NAS, without actually having to change the core configuration. Pretty much a NAS on the fly...

3.A.3. Microsoft Home Server ( Actually this is a really simple to set and well featured system based on the powerful, Enterprise class Windows 2008 Server product. You have to either buy the software ($45 here or buy a product already with it, but it does offer a powerful solution for your storage needs.

3.A.4. Apple Mac mini with Lion OS Server ( This is a pretty cute little server that has a fully featured set. The only problem I have with it is that first it will set you $1000 back just to start and then it only has two 500Gb drives which is kind of limited specially in this day and age with huge media files. You can expand with an external unit, but that means more $ to shell out.

3.B. NAS/SAN/DLP/Optical/HDD dedicated backup units: These units are really expensive and mostly Enterprise class. Most are dedicated for a large number of users. For example, a well configured HP backup tape library storage unit ($5,660.00), well configured will easily set you thousands hence most of these are an overkill for home or a small office as we're talking hundreds of Terabytes of automated backups.

3.C. Dedicated Server running either Linux or a Windows Server OS: These can range from a single system running a dedicated server OS to a blade cluster. Either way, we're talking highest level of complexity and capabilities.

3.C.1. Ubuntu ( The Ubuntu organization is probably the biggest hero of the freeware movement. It offers anywhere from a netbook OS to an Enterprise level server solution all based on Linux. This will be a bump in complexity, but also a huge level of expandability and feature sets that literally goes all the way up to Enterprise class. Did I mention FREE! The question becomes then what kind of hardware you will get to run this solution. Again a huge range of features and capabilities, but professional level of complexity and knowledge required.

3.C.2. Windows 2008 R2 ( This is probably your more powerful and fairly expensive solution as it is Enterprise level. The software by itself will set you back almost $1000, and that's without the hardware but then we're talking Enterprise level and 99.99% uptime. There's a reason why this is the most used solution at Enterprise level. Same as for the previous, the question becomes then what kind of hardware you will get to run this solution. Again a huge range and high professional level of complexity and knowledge required.

3.C.3. Custom made solution, beyond belief technology: If you truly have money to burn, and I'm talking a lot of $ there are plenty of companies that can custom build a super infrastructure for you. For the particular case of arts and entertainment, the state of the art system is the infrastructure HP prepared for Paul McCartney. This dream system pretty much holds absolutely all media created by Paul and some of The Beatles. You can check this amazing system here (if you're not impressed by it there's something wrong with you):


If you don't have any of the previous, not only your photos, but any relevant documents you might have are at risk. From all the previous, the ones listed in the first two sections can be done by any hobbyist or with some tech skills. Feel free to ping me if you have any questions about the previous. Most important the cost of such systems is irrelevant compared with your memories... unless you have made none worth keeping...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Slow Pages? That damn latency, here's one way to make it better...

Your pages are downloading but it takes time for them to show up or they simply feel sluggish. This might not be your computer at all, not even the service you're trying to use, but rather you might be experience domain name resolution (DNS) issues. What that means is that the names you type in your browser or services, do not get properly translated into IP addresses for such services, hence delays or no connections at all will happen. Also having a long latency, or response time, from your ISP's DNS service will certainly slow you down. Recently a friend contacted me with the following question:

"Lately, my LAN is being having latencies of over 2000ms. I was able to trace route to an ISP server. Do you think I should call my ISP and waste my time with them or should I do something else? What do you think?

I am paying for a 10MBit connecting (cable) and the weird thing is that as soon as I load the internet (netflix, youtube, hulu, etc) the connection falls to 1-2MBit and does not stay constant. It was not like that. Could it be a rogue program or maybe a hacker?

Any advise will be welcome. Thanks."

Sounds familiar? Before calling the ISP, there's a couple of things we can check. For me a latency above 100ms will certainly make you feel slower and in the thousands is definitely a sign of some trouble somewhere.

If you're doing a trace and it's getting hung at a server along the route, the question becomes why is it going through there? That might point to a DNS issue or some weird re-routing. Either way, changing your DNS servers from the ISP providers to something like's might give you an improvement or at least, will let you test if this is indeed a DNS issue. This is the web site:

To do that you need to your NIC's configuration, TCP/IP, look for the DNS server section, instead of automatically get it from provider, set to manual and enter the following IP's from OpenDNS as your new DNS servers:

Once set, you can try it with your PC or Mac first, then if it works better for you, change it at the router level. I personally have it mixed between the ISP and OpenDNS. That way if one fails, the other will pick up. Then of course, I love redundancy.

It's important to point out that there might also by the possibility, if you're doing a lot of streaming, that of your ISP putting some sort of "bottleneck" to control your appetite for video, etc.

Can we check first of how do we do it?

Regardless of the cause, we should start by doing some testing. Use the following site:

for download and upload speeds. Then use this to see the line quality:

Figure 1: screen shows and easy to use, yet very detailed GUI which provides a wealth of information about your connection, in an easy to understand way.

Use these tools with both original ISP and OpenDNS configurations to compare once you get the results. If you see an improvement after going to OpenDNS then we know the answer. If not, feel free to let me know and I'll give you some other suggestions. Hope this helps.


We heard back from our friend and good to hear this worked out for him:

"Good news, OpenDNS worked like a charm ... well so far. I tested both the speed and quality and is rated at A with ~30ms pings and 9.75MBit download.

The latencies went down to 59ms average after using OpenDNS.

Thanks for your help and advice."

Final note or recommendation:

One more suggestion. As I mentioned I like redundancy, so even if OpenDNS works great, they're based out of San Francisco. So if anything was to happen to their servers, you get the point. Hence what you can do is that at the router level, use the faster of their two (use the testing tool to determine which one is faster for your connection) and then as secondary, use the DNS IP of your ISP. That way you hit the fastest first, but if it's down, you always can go to your ISP, just in case, even if it's slower. The important thing is that not all the eggs are on the same basket...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Getting rid of your old computer? Wait a second, wipe your... HDD first!

How safe is safe?

When you delete any kind of data from a storage unit, in reality what you're looking at is at what I call "access removal". In reality, bits and other pieces of that data remain in that unit. You can even format a drive and still there are ways to get to that information. Bottom line is that if someone wants to get to it, they can, regardless of the OS. Hence you have to ask yourself: How important is the data stored in my old computer?

I'm amazed at how often people get rid of old systems and either simply hit delete on most of their files or worst don't even do that leaving all of that available for anybody to steal. There are several simple ways you can wipe the storage unit in your old computer before you dump it somewhere else. As always we're keeping it simple, hence going straight to a pair that does the trick and just works:

1. Piriform's CCleaner ( - One of my favorite software tools is CCleaner. It's nothing short of one of the best tools you can get for either Windows PC's or Mac PC's. and literally it's free. It helps you to protect your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure allowing you to perform data cleanups in multiple ways. Easy to use and a small, fast download, and did I mentioned free! In the tools area it has the "Drive Wiper" tool. Use carefully as this gives you the option you doing a whole drive wipe with different levels of security such as an NSA level wipe as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Piriform's CCleaner Drive Wiper utility will allow you to wipe any storage unit and give you multiple levels of wipe and other options making it an easy, GUI based tool for security and maintenance.

The only drawback is that it can't delete the drive you're running you OS, but and easy work around is to simply, delete your data and then use the Drive Wiper to Wipe the Free Space Only in that drive. That will pretty much assure your data is gone after been deleted and the good thing is that if you want to pass or donate your computer, you can leave it operational for someone else to use.

2. Darik's Boot and Nuke ( - This is a disk erasure tool whose main purpose is simple: Boot your system and erase the hard drive. This is a more dramatic approach as the name suggest, the idea is to nuke your hard disk leaving your computer unable to boot. Pretty much for anybody to re-use it, they'll have to do a full install and setup of an OS in that computer to be able to use it again.

Both of these offer different approaches, but the end results is the same: Getting rid of the data. As a bonus, both are freeware or "donate for use" so be thankful if possible to keep them going.

After these is the data absolutely gone?

Well the general assumption is that within reason yes. After all these are software based solutions. If only software is intended then use full hard drive encryption to make it even harder to recover any kind of usable data. Finally, if your data is really that important, the true way of making sure there's not way to access it is to physically destroy the storage unit. From shocking it with high voltage, a huge electromagnet or simply sending it to a hard disk shredding company is the ultimate insurance...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Advantage of Multiple Partitions: Creating a Drive by Resizing and Creating an Extended Partition Using Windows Vista or 7

Ideally, with any computer system, having multiple physical drives provides the a safer environment to separate applications and system components from where your data is as well as allowing for simultaneous data paths to such. Simply put, you store your data in a different place from where your system is running otherwise you're having "all the eggs in one basket".

Regardless of the OS you're using, by keeping that data separate, you can move it from system to system independently or simple be able to better keep it safe, encrypted ideally. Finally in terms of performance, by having those drives independent, you have independent physical paths to that information, hence better performance.

In some case you simply don't have multiple physical storage units. Still you can benefit from keeping data and OS separate by partitioning your hard drives. We're going to use Windows 7 as an example. To create a drive by extending a partition on an existing physical drive:

1. From the Control Panel select Administration Tools. You should see the dialog shown in Figure 1:

Figure 1: The Administrative Tools dialog. From here you can select the Computer Management tool that will allow you to manipulate the storage units in your PC.

2. Double click on Computer Management you should get the dialog shown in Figure 2:

Figure 2: The Disk Management selection from the tree allows you to manage the storage units in your PC as well as the different partitions that hold your data.

3. Select the C: main drive as shown, right mouse click on it and select "Shrink Volume" from the pop up menu. The system will analyze the drive and should show the dialog in Figure 3:

Figure 3: The Shrink drive dialog allows you to dynamically change a partition's size. Think of this as an easy to use Norton's Partition Magic, but Free and built into Windows.

Note: A generic recomendation is to divide this number by 2 or less. You need to set the amount in MB that you want to shrink the original partition. Recommendation is from 25 to 50% of the available space, but no higher than 50%. Notice the circled number: Divide by 2 for 50%, by 3 for 33%, by 4 for 25%. The result goes in the text box cicled in red. Remember that you need to leave space on the original partition for future use otherwise you won't have any usable space.

4. Click on the Shrink button to execute. Once the process is done, notice the Computer Management dialog. You should see a new, Unallocated space next to the main drive as shown in Figure 4:

Figure 4: Notice a new partition which is now available. At this point it's simply allocated space which means that still it needs to be prepared for use.

5. Rick mouse click the unallocated volume circled in Figure 4. Select the "Create a New Simple Volume" from the pop-up menu.  The dialog/wizard shown on Figure 5:

Figure 5: The New Simple Volume Wizard dialog will guide you through the steps of creating a new logical drive for data storage. 

6. Click Next and you should see the Specify Volume Size dialog. Use the maximum space available to use all of the empty volume space as shown in Figure 6:

Figure 6: The Specify Volume Size dialog allows to enter the size that you want to use with your new partition. As a general rule, use all available space, unless you intend to create more partitions later.

7. Click on Next and you will have a chance to assign the drive letter as shown in Figure 7. Depending on your setup, you'll have multiple options based on the available drive letters. Let's use D for this case. If the letter you want to use it’s been used by another drive such a CD-ROM, you need to go to such drive before and right mouse click on it, select “Change drive letter” and assign another letter to such drive before you do this.

Figure 7: The assign a drive letter dialog lets you assign such to your new logical drive.

7. After you click on Next, the Format Partition dialog shown in Figure 8 should show up. This will allow to format the new logical drive. You can add a label to better identify it. In this case we're using DATA and then we format the drive to start clean. Accept defaults and click on Next. It should format the drive for use

Figure 8: The Format Partition dialog allows you to format your logical drive.

9. Once you click on Next the system will Format and prepare your drive for use. You should get the dialog shown in Figure 9. At this point click on Finish to commit all actions and finalize the process.

Figure 9: At this point you're done and this dialog confirms that.

10. As confirmed with the dialog shown in Figure 9, you should have a new drive ready to use. A recomendation is to go back to the Computer Management dialog to confirm you have your new drive. As shown in Figure 10, you should have a usable drive partition with a letter assigned to it.

Figure 10: Notice the new drive listed as a usable storage unit or logical drive.

At this point the process if finalized and you should be ready to use the new logical drive. To process should be valid for both Windows Vista and 7. You do need admin rights to perform all of the previous steps. You should be able to do this in other OS systems. The important thing to remember is that to keep your applications and data separate, helps you to avoid the "all the eggs in one basket" situation hence the best way to keep you data safe.

Welcome to eMechanic Shop!

As defined, Mechanics is the branch of physics that is concerned with the analysis of the action of forces on matter or material systems. From an Engineering perspective involves the design, construction, and use of machinery or mechanical structures. As it pertains to this blog, hopefully we'll be focusing on the functional and technical aspects of any given systems.

If that was too complex, a collection of good technical articles for my own benefit or for anybody interested on it. Rather than collecting shortcuts or URL's, we'll be posting them here to hopefully keep them organized and the why they look interesting with our own twist on it.

Enjoy, post comments if you like, keep it clean. If you want me to check any tech stuff for you feel free to ping me. I have backgrounds in Arts, Information Systems, Engineering and Science, so pretty much plenty of range to cover.

ProeMan (yes, because I'm a Professional Engineer, a ProENGINEER SME, and a Man)