Tag: Microsoft Windows

How to Create a New Hard Drive Partition: Windows 8

How to Create a New Hard Drive Partition: Windows 8

Disk partitioning is the act of dividing a hard disk drive (HDD) into multiple logical storage units referred to as partitions, to treat one physical disk drive as if it were multiple disks, so that different file systems can be used on each partition

HDD Partition

Benefits of having multiple Partitions:

Creating more than one partition has the following advantages:

  • Separation of the operating system (OS) and program files from user files. This allows image backups (or clones) to be made of only the operating system and installed software.
  • Keeping frequently used programs and data near each other.
  • Having cache and log files separate from other files. These can change size dynamically and rapidly, potentially making a file system full.
  • Use of multi-boot setups, which allow users to have more than one operating system on a single computer. For example, one could install Linux, BSDMac OS XMicrosoft Windows or other operating systems on different partitions on the same HDD and have a choice of booting into any compatible operating system at power-up.
  • Protecting or isolating files, to make it easier to recover a corrupted file system or operating system installation. If one partition is corrupted, other file systems may not be affected.
  • Raising overall computer performance on systems where smaller file systems are more efficient. For instance, large HDDs with only one NTFS file system typically have a very large sequentially accessed Master File Table (MFT) and it generally takes more time to read this MFT than the smaller MFTs of smaller partitions.
  • Partitioning for significantly less than the full size available when disk space is not needed can reduce the time for diagnostic tools such as checkdisk to run or for full image backups to run.
Disadvantages of multiple partitions:
  • Reduces the total space available for user storage on the disk, as it forces the operating system to duplicate certain file system administration areas on the disk for each partition.
  • Reduces overall disk performance on systems where data is accessed regularly and in parallel on multiple partitions, because it forces the disk’s read/write head to move back and forth on the disk to access data on each partition and to maintain and update file system administration areas on each partition. It also prevents disk optimizers from moving all frequently accessed files closer to each other on the disk, which could reduce the number and distance of required head movements. Files can still be moved closer to each other on each partition, but those areas themselves will still be far apart on the disk. This issue does not apply to Solid-state drives as access times on those are neither affected by nor dependent upon relative sector positions.
  • Increases disk fragmentation because it lowers the average size of continuous free blocks on each partition – as compared to a single partition of the same overall size – after the same amount of data has been written to them.
  • May prevent using the whole disk capacity, because it may break free capacities apart. For example, if you have a disk with two partitions, each with 3 GB free (hence 6 GB in total), you can’t copy a 4 GB DVD image file on that disk, because none of the partitions will actually provide enough space for that – even though you have more than enough free capacity in total on the disk. If the same files on those two partitions would have been stored on a single partition spanning the whole disk, then the 4 GB file could be easily stored in the 6 GB of free space.
  • Hurts portability and might impose constraints on how entities might be linked together inside the file system.

Creating a Partition on Windows 8:

Hold the Windows logo key on your keyboard and press “R” (Winkey+R). This will launch the Run the utility. Type “diskmgmt.msc” inside the text box and press Enter. This will open the Windows Disk Management utility. This is where you can format, create, and delete hard drive partitions.

1In order to create a partition, you need unallocated space. Unallocated space is basically disk space that is not formatted or not prepared for storage. Formatting is the act of preparing a disk space for storage. It’s similar to establishing a foundation for a place to be inhabited. Thus, unallocated space is just useless blank space with no “foundation” or format.

To create unallocated space, you need to shrink your hard drive. When you shrink your hard disk, the remaining space becomes unallocated.

To do this, right-click your main drive and select “Shrink Volume.”


Now you need to enter the amount you want to shrink the hard disk by in megabytes (1000 megabytes = 1 gigabyte). For example if you want to create a 1 gigabyte partition, enter 1,000 megabytes in the text box. Now click “Shrink.”

The Disk Management Utility will show you the maximum amount of shrink space available. That’s the maximum size that can be allocated to the new partition.


You will then see the region of unallocated space (shaded black). Please note that  this space is not yet usable


Now you need to create “new volume” and format  the unallocated space. This will allow for the space to become usable.

Right-click the region of unallocated space and select “New Simple Volume.”


This will launch the New Simple Volume Wizard. This will guide you through the installation process.


Assign the disk a drive letter. You can choose any drive letter that is not currently in use.


Select a file system for the disk. The file system is basically the type of format or “foundation” the storage device has. If you plan on installing a Windows OS to the partition select the “NTFS” file system.


Name the partition in the “Volume Label” text box.  You can choose any name for your partition.

Now click “Finish” to create the new partition.


Source: Wikipedia, technorms

Secret Partition on a Pen Drive

Secret Partition on a Pen Drive:

There is no simple way to partition USB pen drives, as they show up as a removable drive on the PC. In order to do so, you need to trick the operating system into recognizing the USB pen drive as a fixed hard drive. To do this, you need to create your own set of drivers. Doing so, you can create multiple partitions and store your private data on it. Only the first partition will be visible and the other partitions will not show up on any PC other than your own. In this way, you can secretly store your personal data away from your friends and family, and also you can avoid viruses affecting this data when plugged in on another computer. To do this, all you need is a simple universal USB pen drive driver, which can be downloaded from 


Download the archive, uncompress it to a folder on your Desktop and get started. Don’t forget to backup the contents of your pen drive as it will be formatted.

flash drive

Step 1: Plug your pen drive into your PC’s USB port. Next, right-click on ‘My Computer’ and click on ‘Manage’ in the context menu. Click on ‘Device Manager’ on the left pane. This will show all your hardware devices connected to your PC. Now on the right pane, scroll down to ‘Disk Drives’ and you should see your pen drive connected here. Right-click on the pen drive and select ‘Properties’.



Step 2: In the properties window that just opened up, click on the ‘Details’ tab. From the scroll down menu under ‘Property’, choose ‘Device Instance Path’. You should see a string of characters highlighted in the ‘Value’ window below, which should read something like ‘USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_&PROD……Right‑click on this value and select ‘Copy’. Now close all the windows without saving changes.


Step 3: Now open the folder that you uncompressed after downloading the universal USB flash drive driver. In this folder, find and open the file named ‘cfadisk.inf’ in ‘Notepad’ or any test editor you prefer (Notepad++ is ideal. Download from notepad-plus-plus.org).

 Step 4: Now locate the words ‘device_instance_id_goes_here’, which is available at line 26. You need to replace these words with the string you just copied to the clipboard from the Device Manager. Save the file and close the editor.

 Step 5: Now go back to the ‘Device Manager’ page (repeat step 1). This time, click on the ‘Driver’ tab and click the button ‘Update driver’.


Step 6: On the next window, choose ‘Browse my computer for driver software’ when the system asks how you want to search for the driver software. Then on the next window, choose ‘Let me pick from a list of drivers…. ‘.



 Step 7: On the next window, un check the box ‘Show compatible hardware’ and click on the ‘Have disk button’. Now click on ‘Browse’ and from the universal USB driver folder on your Desktop, select the ‘cfadisk.inf’ file and click on the ‘Open button’, followed by the ‘OK’ and then ‘Next’ buttons on the previous windows.

 Step 8: An update driver warning message should show up stating that you are trying to install a driver which is not compatible with your hardware. Ignore the message and click on ‘Yes’. Don’t worry; it is safe to do so. The system will start installing the driver and show up another warning that the driver is not a verified or authentic driver. Ignore this one too and click on ‘Install this driver software anyway’. Let the system update the driver and you will receive a message of a successful driver update.


Note: you can use this modified driver for this pen drive only. To use another pen drive, you will need to perform the whole process again.

 Step 9: That’s all you needed to do. Once you are back to the ‘Computer Management’ window, click on ‘Disk Management’ from the left pane and start partitioning your pen drive as you would with a regular hard drive. You can create multiple partitions.


Note: You can access all the partitions on the pen drive only from your PC (see Figure-9) Other PCs will only be able to see the first partition (see Figure-10). Make a copy of the driver on the first partition of the pen drive and you can install it on other PCs in case you need to access the other partitions. In this way, you can plug in the pen drive on a shared PC without allowing access to your data. Others won’t know that the other partition even exists another. To reset everything back to normal, simply delete the partitions and uninstall / delete the driver for the pen drive from the Device Manager.


source: tech2, chip

Tips for speeding up a slow PC

Tips for speeding up a slow PC:

Over the time, the speed of computers can decrease. This appears as the system taking more time to respond to a user’s actions like opening files, folders, surfing the Internet and other tasks. Here are a few steps which are helpful to make your machine (especially Windows machines) run faster.

Clean up the Desktop: 

Each time Windows starts; operating memory is used to open your profile. The total amount of memory used will be small. If however, there are several or dozens of files on the Desktop lot of operating memory is used by these files, essentially for no purpose or gain. With less memory available, the computer runs slower because it has to swap out information from operating memory to the hard drive. It does this process (called memory paging) to keep everything the user wants to do running at the same time.

The simple action of cleaning the Desktop will make your computer run faster.

Clean up the disk and registry:

One of the first things to check on a machine that’s running slowly is how much of the hard disk has been used. If there isn’t roughly 10% of the hard disk free, it’s time to clean the HDD. One of the tools I like is CCleaner. It quickly clears out all temp files for you. 

Remove Spyware/Malware:

One of the most common causes of the “my PC used to be fast, and now it isn’t!” complaint is actually the presence of malware. Malware can sneak onto a computer in a zillion different ways and quite often it sits in the background slowing your machine as it sends out spam emails, searches for other computers to infect, works on cracking cryptography, or performs any number of the other nefarious tasks that hackers like to use their botnet slaves for.

Try a different browser:

Different browsers perform differently, and most people spend a lot of time on their Web browser. Some browsers perform well on some but poorly on others, even when they are supposed to test the same thing. The problem with the benchmarks is that what they usually test is not real work performance! While JavaScript is an important part of the modern Web, few Web applications beat on the JavaScript engine hard enough to produce a noticeable impact on performance. If you want to have your Web browser feel more responsive and lively, consider a switch to Chrome.

Add a faster DNS lookup Server:

Most ISPs love to brag about how much bandwidth they are giving you. But they don’t mind letting the rest of their infrastructure slowly get overwhelmed or deteriorate. Among the biggest offenders are the DNS servers our ISPs use. If you want to know why things seem to take forever to start loading, slow DNS servers are often the cause. Consider adding a fast DNS server as your primary DNS server in your TCP/IP settings. Google’s Public DNS server is a great option.


Defragmentation is the process of physically organizing the contents of the mass storage device used to store files in to the smallest number of contiguous regions.

Visualization of fragmentation and then of defragmentation

Defragmentation places all parts of a file together in the same place on the drive. It organizes all directories and files according to how you use your computer. After this process is complete, your computer will most likely run faster.

Following precautions should be taken before doing defragmentation:

 Make sure your data is backed up to another medium like pen drive, DVD or external HDD.

 Close all the running programs including virus scanner.

 Assure your computer has a constant source of power.  If you have frequent power outages, you should not use a defragmentation program without a battery backup. Note: If your computer does shut off while defragmenting, it may crash the hard drive or corrupt the operating system, or both.

Steps for Defragmentation:    
  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Right-click the local disk volume that you want to defragment, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Tools tab, click Defragment Now.
  4. Click Defragment.

Improve Your Hardware:

If your computer is slow, it may be because your hardware isn’t getting the job done. How will you find that out? By using the Windows Experience Index, found in Windows Vista and Windows 7. This will show you where your computer is weak, and what you would need to beef up to turn your PC into a screamer.

Go to Start –> Control Panel — > System and Security –> under System click on Check the Windows Experience Index

Use ReadyBoost:

You can speed up the computer with a flash drive. Through the magic of a Windows technology called ReadyBoost, your PC can see a real speed increase. It’s a little-known Windows secret that can help you zip on down the Information Superhighway, or make whatever you’re doing faster.

Note:  ReadyBoost is available in Windows Vista, and Windows 7 Operating Systems.

source: about.com, Wikipedia, Techrepublic,

The complete list of Windows 7 Logo key shortcuts:

The complete list of Windows 7 Logo key shortcuts:

One of the more powerful, and probably least used, sets of keyboard shortcuts relies on the Windows Logo key, which is common on most keyboards packaged with a Windows-based personal computer. The following list includes all the shortcuts that use the Windows Logo key and explains what each one does. Take a good look because one or two of these shortcuts may make your computing life just a little more efficient.

The shortcuts:

Note: Click graphic to enlarge (Please click twice on image)

source: Microsoft,TechRepublic

Chrome vs IE vs Firefox

Browser Security Comparison:

Which is the most secure browser around? According to a newly released study by Accuvant, that’s Google’s Chrome.

New study claims that Chrome is the most secure browser.

From the cellular phone to the desktop, the web browser has become a ubiquitous piece of software in modern computing devices. These same browsers have become increasingly complex over the years, not only parsing plaintext and HTML, but images, videos and other complex protocols and file formats. Modern complexities have brought along security vulnerabilities, which in turn attracted malware authors and criminals to exploit the vulnerabilities and compromise end-user systems.

Google Chrome:

Google, Inc. develops the Google Chrome web browser. Google released the first stable version of Chrome on December 11, 2008. Chrome uses the Chromium interface for rendering, the Web Kit layout engine and the V8 Java Script engine. The components of Chrome are distributed under various open source licenses. Google Chrome versions 12 (12.0.724.122) and 13 (13.0.782.218) was evaluated in this project.

 Microsoft Internet Explorer:

 Microsoft develops the Internet Explorer web browser. Microsoft released the first version of Internet Explorer on August 16, 1995. Internet Explorer is installed by default in most current versions of Microsoft Windows, and components of Internet Explorer are inseparable from the underlying operating system. Microsoft Internet Explorer and its components are closed source applications. Internet Explorer 9 (9.0.8112.16421) was evaluated in this project.

 Mozilla Firefox:

Mozilla develops the Firefox web browser. Mozilla released the first version was released on September 23, 2002. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine and the Spider Monkey JavaScript engine. The components of Firefox are released under various open source licenses. Firefox 5 (5.0.1) was evaluated for this project.

Total vulnerability counts for each browser
Vulnerabilities by severity for each browser

Time to Patch:

The amount of time it takes for a vendor to go from vulnerability awareness to a fix can be seen as a security commitment indicator. However, the reality is not so simple. Internet Explorer has such a deep integration with the Windows operating system that a change in Internet Explorer can have repercussions throughout a much larger code base. In short, the average time to patch is less indicative of a commitment to patch, as it is of complications with providing a good patch.

It is clear that Microsoft’s average time to patch is the slowest. To be fair, this information was based on a much smaller sample set than Firefox and Chrome. Even worse, it may be possible that the advisories for these vulnerabilities had timeline information only because of the fact that they had taken so long to patch.

 Firefox comes in second, taking an average of 50 days less than Microsoft to issue a patch. The browser with the fastest average time to patch is Chrome. With an average of 53 days to patch vulnerabilities, they are nearly three times faster than Firefox and slightly more than four times faster than Microsoft.

Average time to patch for all three browsers

URL Blacklist Services:

The stated intent of URL blacklisting services is to protect a user from him or herself. When a link is clicked inadvertently, via a phishing email or other un-trusted source, the browser warns the user “are you sure?” and displays a warning that the site might be unsafe based on a list of unsafe URLs regularly updated as new malware sites go live and are taken offline. Microsoft’s URL Reporting Service (from here forward, “URS”), formerly “Phishing Filter”, referred to in the browser application as “Smart Screen Filter”, was the first to provide this feature, with Google’s Safe Browsing List (“SBL”) following suit later, utilized initially by Mozilla Firefox, and now by Chrome as well as Safari.

Blacklist overview
Sandbox overview
JIT hardening overview


A sandbox is a mechanism of isolating objects/threads/processes from each other in an attempt to control access to various resources on a system.

Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) attempts to make it harder for attackers to answer the question ‘where do I go’. By taking away the assumption of known locations (addresses), the process implementing ASLR makes it much more difficult for an attacker to use well-known addresses as exploitation primitives. One key weakness of ASLR is the ability for one module to ruin it for the rest, a weak link in an overall strong chain.

Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is one of the first steps in compromising a system is achieving arbitrary code execution, the ability run code provided by the attacker. During traditional exploitation scenarios, this is achieved by providing the compromised application with shell code, data furnished by the attacker to be run as code. Data Execution Prevention (DEP) addresses the problem of having data run as code directly. DEP establishes rules that state: “Only certain regions of memory in which actual code resides may execute code. Safeguard the other areas by stating that they are non-executable”.

 Stack Cookies (/GS) are the common programming errors, archaic APIs and trusted user input, stack-based buffer overflows have been leveraged to gain code execution on Intel-based architecture.

 The URL blacklistingservices offered by all three browsers will stop fewer attacks than will go undetected. Both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement state-of-the-art anti-exploitation technologies, but Mozilla Firefox lags behind without JIT hardening. While both Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer implement the same set of anti-exploitation technologies, Google Chrome’s plug-in security and sand-boxing architectures are implemented in a more thorough and comprehensive manner.

In conclusion, overall browser security needs to be considered when attempting to compare browsers from a security standpoint. Drawing conclusions based solely on one category of protection, such as blacklisted URL statistics, doesn’t give a valid perspective on which browser is most secure. Instead, they should be considered in the context of other mechanisms such as anti-exploitation technologies and malicious plug-in protection, which play a more important role in protecting end users from exploits and persistent malware. By these measures, Google Chrome to be the web browser that is most secured against attack.

source: accuvant

Google Chrome hacked with sandbox bypass

Google Chrome hacked with sandbox bypass:

VANCOUVER — A Russian university student hacked into a fully patched Windows 7 machine (64-bit) using a remote code execution vulnerability/exploit in Google’s Chrome web browser.

The attack, which included a Chrome sandbox bypass, was the handiwork of Sergey Glazunov, a security researcher who regularly finds and reports Chrome security holes.

Glazunov scored a $60,000 payday for the exploit, which targeted two distinct zero-day vulnerabilities in the Chrome extension sub-system.  The cash prize was part of Google’s new Pwnium hacker contest which is being run this year as an alternative to the more well-known Pwn2Own challenge.

According to Justin Schuh, a member of the Chrome security team, Glazunov’s exploit was specific to Chrome and bypassed the browser sandbox entirely.  ”It didn’t break out of the sandbox [but] it avoided the sandbox,” Schuh said in an interview.

Schuh described the attack as “very impressive” and made it clear that the exploit “could have done anything” on the infected machine.  ”He (Glazunov) executed code with full permission of the logged on user.”

“It was an impressive exploit.  It required a deep understanding of how Chrome works,” Schuh added. ”This is not a trivial thing to do.  It’s a very difficult and that’s why we’re paying $60,000.

Glazunov is a regular contributor to Google’s bug bounty program and Schuh raved about the quality of his research work.

Schuh said Glazunov once submitted a similar sandbox bypass bug but stressed that these kinds of full code execution that executes code outside the browser sandbox form a very small percentage of bug submissions.

Less than 24 hours after Sergey Glazunov hacked into a fully patched Windows 7 machine with a pair of Chrome zero-day flaws, Google rushed out a patch for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Chrome Frame users.

Technical details of the vulnerabilities are being kept under wraps until the patch is pushed out via the browser’s silent/automatic update mechanism.

According to Google’s advisory, the flaws related to universal cross-site scripting (UXSS) and bad history navigation.

  • [Ch-ch-ch-ch-ching!!! $60,000] [117226] [117230] Critical CVE-2011-3046: UXSS and bad history navigation. Credit to Sergey Glazunov.

Glazunov’s exploit also bypassed the Chrome sandbox to execute code with full permissions of the logged on user.

The Google browser was also popped by a hacking team from VUPEN and there’s speculation that a vulnerability in the Flash Player plugin was exploited in that attack.  VUPEN co-founder Chaouki Bekrar told that the flaw existed in the default installation of Chrome but declined to say if the faulty code was created by Google or a third-party vendor.

The Flash Player plugin in Chrome runs in a weaker sandbox than the full browser and has always been a tempting target for attackers.

Google is working on putting Flash within the more robust plugin and  this will happen before the end of this year.

source: zdnet,chromium,pwnium

Windows XP default wallpaper

Ever wonder where the Windows XP default wallpaper came from?

One of the most famous wallpaper images is undoubtedly the default Windows XP image, showing a blissfully relaxing vista of green rolling hills and a bluer than blue sky. The wallpaper, probably one of the most viewed images of all time, is aptly named ‘Bliss.’ Do a Google image search for just the word ‘bliss,’ and the first result is the Windows wallpaper.

Bliss as seen in a clean Windows XP desktop

Have you ever stopped to wonder where the image was taken, or who took it? In fact, the image is so crisp you might have assumed it wasn’t real at all.

‘Bliss’ is the name of a Windows bitmap image included with Microsoft Windows XP, produced from a photograph of a landscape in Sonoma County, California, southeast of Sonoma Valley near the site of the old Clover Stornetta Inc. Dairy.

The man behind the camera is American photographer Charles O’Rear (born 1941)

The photo was taken in 1996, years before Windows XP launched, and before the area was converted into a vineyard. In fact, a photo taken 10 years later from exactly the same spot where Bliss was shot, shows a disappointingly, dreary view:

The same location November 2006

So how much did O’Rear get for taking what is considered one of the most famous photos of all time? A non-disclosure agreement prevents him from revealing the actual figure, but according to Napa Valley Register, O’Rear stated that it was:

“extraordinary” and second only to that paid to another living, working photographer for the photo of then-President Bill Clinton hugging Monica Lewinsky.

Taken with a medium format camera, the most surprising fact about the image is that O’Rear claims that it wasn’t digitally manipulated.

Source: wikipediathenextweb


UEFI: The acronym stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface and is designed to be more flexible than its venerable predecessor.

Wave goodbye to BIOS, say hello to UEFI, a new technology that will drastically reduce start-up times.

The next generation of home computers will be able to boot up in just a few seconds, as 25-year-old BIOS technology makes way for new start-up software known as UEFI.

BIOS technology, which has been used to boot up computers since 1979, was never designed to last as long as it has, and is one of the reasons modern computers take so long to get up and running.

By contrast, UEFI – which stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface – has been built to meet modern computing needs, and will soon be the pre-eminent technology in many new computers, enabling them to go from ‘off’ to ‘on’ in seconds.

Pronounced “bye-ose,” BIOS is an acronym for basic input/output system. The BIOS is built-in software that determines what a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk. On PCs, the BIOS contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial communications, and a number of miscellaneous functions.

The BIOS is typically placed on a ROM chip that comes with the computer (it is often called a ROM BIOS). This ensures that the BIOS will always be available and will not be damaged by disk failures. It also makes it possible for a computer to boot itself.

 Below are the major BIOS manufacturers:

When you turn on your computer, several events occur automatically:

  1. The CPU “wakes up” (has power) and reads the x86 code in the BIOS chip.
  2. The code in the BIOS chip runs a series of tests, called the POST for Power On Self-Test, to make sure the system devices are working correctly. In general, the BIOS:
    • Initializes system hardware and chipset registers
    • Initializes power management
    • Tests RAM (Random Access Memory)
    • Enables the keyboard
    • Tests serial and parallel ports
    • Initializes floppy disk drives and hard disk drive controllers
    • Displays system summary information
  3. During POST, the BIOS compares the system configuration data obtained from POST with the system information stored on a CMOS – Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor – memory chip located on the motherboard. (This CMOS chip, which is updated whenever new system components are added, contains the latest information about system components.)
        4. After the POST tasks are completed, the BIOS looks for the boot program responsible for loading the operating                         system.  Usually, the BIOS looks on the floppy disk drive A: followed by drive C:
        5. After being loaded into memory, the boot program then loads the system configuration information (contained in                the registry in a Windows environment) and device drivers.
       6. Finally, the operating system is loaded, and, if this is a Windows environment, the programs in the Start Up folder                  are executed.

            The BIOS has two fundamental weaknesses. Firstly, it is based on 16-bit assembly code and cannot directly address          the latest 64-bit hardware, and secondly, there are no set standards for specifications, so manufacturers come up with            their own versions.

The participants of the UEFI Forum wanted to set this straight. From the outset, each process has been precisely defined. Thus, the boot process or platform initialization (PI) is clearly described in phases. Immediately after powering up the PC, the Pre-EFI Initialization (PEI) is executed, which initializes the CPU, memory and chipset. This is then followed by the Driver Execution Environment (DXE). At this point, the rest of the hardware is initialized. This process saves the time required for booting because UEFI can integrate various drivers that need not be reloaded during booting. Thanks to these drivers, the user already has access to network card, including features such as network booting and remote assistance at the early stage of the boot process. With the graphics processor enabled, a fancy user interface is also presented.

However, biggest time-saving feature of UEFI is the fact that not all the installed hard drives will be scanned for the boot loader, since the boot drive is set during the installation of the operating system in the UEFI. The default boot loader is run without consuming much time searching the drives.

The faster boot time is not the only advantage of UEFI; applications can be stored on virtually any non-volatile storage device installed on the PC. For example, programs and diagnostic tools such as antivirus or system management tools can be run from an EFI partition on the hard drive. This feature will be very useful to original equipment manufacturers (OEM), who can distribute systems with extra functions in addition to the standard EFI firmware stored on the motherboard’s ROM.

UEFI fully supports 3 TB hard drives

The classic BIOS can access only up to 232 sectors of 512 bytes in size, which  translates to a total of 2 TB. So the upcoming 3 TB variants of Western Digital Caviar Green and Seagate Barracuda XT won’t be fully compatible with the current BIOS. Seagate uses larger sectors to make the full capacity usable on Windows, but the BIOS cannot boot from this drive.

UEFI, on the other hand, works with GUID partition table (GPT) with 64-bit long addresses and can handle up to 264 sectors that address up to 9 Zettabyte (1 zettabyte equals 1 billion terabytes).

The GUID Partition Table (GPT) was introduced as part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) initiative. GPT provides a more flexible mechanism for partitioning disks than the older Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning scheme that was common to PCs.

A partition is a contiguous space of storage on a physical or logical disk that functions as if it were a physically separate disk. Partitions are visible to the system firmware and the installed operating systems. Access to a partition is controlled by the system firmware before the system boots the operating system, and then by the operating system after it is started.

MBR disks support only four partition table entries. If more partitions are wanted, a secondary structure known as an extended partition is necessary. Extended partitions can then be subdivided into one or more logical disks.

GPT disks can grow to a very large size. The number of partitions on a GPT disk is not constrained by temporary schemes such as container partitions as defined by the MBR Extended Boot Record (EBR).

The GPT disk partition format is well defined and fully self-identifying. Data critical to platform operation is located in partitions and not in unpartitioned or “hidden” sectors. GPT disks use primary and backup partition tables for redundancy and CRC32 fields for improved partition data structure integrity. The GPT partition format uses version number and size fields for future expansion. Each GPT partition has a unique identification GUID and a partition content type, so no coordination is necessary to prevent partition identifier collision. Each GPT partition has a 36-character Unicode name. This means that any software can present a human-readable name for the partition without any additional understanding of the partition.

Below given Windows OS supports GPT:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1
  • Windows Server 2003 (64-bit)
  • Windows XP x64 edition
Source: wikipedia, chip, MSDN

How to Block Websites without Hardware or Software

It’s a simple technique.

The user just needs to modify one “Host” file.

The user who is going to modify “HOST” file should have administrative privileges

1.] Browse C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc

2.] Find the file named “HOSTS

3.] Open it in notepad

4.] Under “ localhost” add www.sitenameyouwanttoblock.com , and that site will

no longer be accessible.

5.] Done!

-So-   localhost www.blockedsite.com

–> www.blockedsite.com is now inaccessible

The host file will have the following line local host (it will be there by default) in all three operating systems windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

In the next line, we have to add www.blockedsite.com127.0.0.3 www.abc.com   localhost www.blockedsite.com www.abc.com www.xyz.com

Above example is for Windows XP.

In the Windows Vista and in the Windows 7 we have to add websites without #.

Example shown in Windows 7 image given below.

I have pasted host file to show how it looks in Windows XP, Windows Vista and in Windows 7 operating systems:

Windows XP Host File is shown below:

Windows XP

Windows Vista Host file is shown below:

Windows Vista

Windows 7 Host File is shown below:

The users will be able to browse other sites; they would not be able to browse the sites which are all added in the host file.