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Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Dell Inspirion 6000 – ATI Mobility Raedon x300 (M24) – Windows Server 2008

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So I received a laptop from work that they were tossing around a year ago. It came with Windows 7 and was all setup and good to go, so it remained that way for a year. I went to install SQL Server 2005 the other day to do some development and wham, can’t install onto Windows 7, it must be a server class OS. I have Windows Server 2008 so I began the re-install. That went well picked up 99.9% of my hardware and Windows happily installed a Standard VGA Adapter driver for my ATI card which is an ATI Mobility Raedon x300. The problem with that is that it is a terrible driver and offers no good resolutions, 1024×768 was my best bet at 32bit. So off I went to find drivers. Did Dell offer any? NO!

As far as I know Dell has a deal worked out where they force customers to use their drivers, you know the CD that comes with your laptops? Well I have Windows 2008 on here and they are not to be found anywhere. This is how I made this work using legacy drivers and Mobility Modder. Mobility Modder is an application which will ‘mod’ your inf files to work with an updated and ‘unsupported’ OS (you know that deal between ATI and Dell).

1. Go download the legacy ATI drivers from

2. Download Mobility Modder from

3. Extract the legacy drivers. This is done by double clicking the installation executable and once it gets past the extraction point, cancel the installation. The legacy drivers are extracted to C:\ATI\Support\10-02_legacy_xp32-64_dd_ccc

4. You then install Mobility Modder and it’s requirements XML 6.0, .Net Framework (which on most modern systems are already installed). Also select turn off UAC, this does require a reboot.

5. Once MM is installed run the program and Browse to C:\ATI\Support\10-02_legacy_xp32-64_dd_ccc and click Modify (this can take a few minutes)

6. Once that is done you need to update your driver manually. This is done by

  • Device Manager
  • Select your Display Adapter
  • Right Click ‘Update Driver Software’
  • Browse My Computer for driver Software
  • Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
  • Have Disk
  • Browse to C:\ATI\Support\10-02_legacy_xp32-64_dd_ccc\Driver\XP_INF
  • Select CX_95952.inf
  • Say Ok all the way out.
  • Say Yes if it complains that this driver is not digitally signed.
  • Reboot

Once you are rebooted you can verify you are using the ATI drivers and set your resolution,Voila!


Once Mobility Modder has modified your .inf file you can search the file and verify your hardware is found. If you do not know how to find the hardware id. You go to the details section of your card properties, found under device manager and select from the dropdown Hardware Id’s. The following screenshot shows mine.


Hope this helps!


I also had to update the sound card which is a SigmaTel – Sound – SigmaTel C-Major Audio.

1. Download the cab file

2. Extract cab

3. Update the driver in the same manner as above by browsing to the folder that contains the extracted files.



Written by lordfu

July 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Linux – Checking Memory Usage / Getting Memory Information

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Memory is one of the most critical resource components on a server to ensure that the smooth and fast operation. Thus, the availability of adequate and abundant physical memory size is vital especially for any server, especially high load web host that are also running database servers such as Oracle or MySQL, which are famous for being memory intensive. Linux, including CentOS, come with several commands and tools to check memory usage on server.


The free command displays the amount of total, free and used physical memory (RAM) in the system, as well as, shows information on shared memory, buffers, cached memory and swap space used by the Linux kernel.

free -[options]

Example usage of free; This command will display information about physical memory in MB.

free -m

The following command will activate a continuous polling delay of 5 seconds apart and then display memory status in megabytes on the terminal. Any floating point number for delay can be specified.

free -m -s 5

Same with “free -m”, but -t switch will display a line containing the totals of physical memory and swap space.

free -t -m


The command vmstat reports report virtual memory statistics, which has information about processes, swap, free, buffer and cache memory, paging space, disk IO activity, traps, interrupts, context switches and CPU activity. With the vmstat command, administrators can have instantaneous reports on memory usage.

vmstat -[options] [delay count]

Example usage of vmstat


The following command will display report based on averages since last reboot. The command will pool average system resources usage level for a sampling period of 5 seconds at interval of 5 seconds, except for the first result that is averages since the last reboot.

vmstat 5


The top command displays dynamic real-time view of the running tasks managed by kernel and system information in Linux system. The memory usage stats by top command include real-time live total, used and free physical memory and swap memory with their buffers and cached memory size respectively.


Using top is simple, simply type top at command shell, and constantly update stats page will be shown.

ps aux

The ps command reports a snapshot on information of the current active processes. Advantage of ps command is that system admins will be able to see where the memory is used. ps will show the percentage of memory resource that is used by each process or task running in the system. With this command, top memory hogging processes can be identified.

Syntax and example of ps aux

aux is actually already the options for ps command to see every process on the system. So the typical command to type the following in the command shell:

ps aux

To see only the memory resources occupied by each category of processes, such as Apache httpd, MySQL mysqld or Java, use the following command:

ps aux | awk ‘{print $4″\t”$11}’ | sort | uniq -c | awk ‘{print $2″ “$1” “$3}’ | sort -nr


You can also use the DMIDECODE command line utility to check the ram speed and type:

Written by lordfu

January 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

Asus P5Q-E – Intel Core 2 Duo E8440 Black Screen

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I have a Asus P5Q-E motherboard in my main workstation at home. I recently just bought a Intel Core 2 Duo E8440 as an upgrade cpu. When I installed it and upon the first boot with the new CPU in place, I got a black screen and a completely unresponsive workstation (even pressing power had no effect).

I went to Asus’ website and downloaded the latest BIOS release P5Q-E-ASUS-2101.ROM for my motherboard. I slapped this new ROM file onto a usb stick and installed it. Voila! I can boot with the new CPU!

Hope this helps!


Prior BIOS version was 1.01 I think, not the factory default.

Booting with old cpu in place worked after my first failed attempt at booting with the new one.

Written by lordfu

February 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Hardware