Windows How to Clone Your Windows 10 Installation USB Drive to another USB Drive

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I recently purchased and installed the retail version of Windows Pro on my primary desktop machine. The installation media came on a USB flash drive. I like to keep backup copies of the Windows installation media, preferable at on offsite location in case I need to reinstall the operating system and the original media is unavailable for some reason. This post described how to clone this USB flash drive. Software versions used in this post were as follows:

  • Windows 10 Pro (x64)
  • ImageUSB, version 1.3.1004
  • So let’s get started…

    To clone the Windows 10 installation media we’re going to use ImageUSB. ImageUSB is a free utility from PassMark software which lets you create on image file from a USB flash drive and then write that image to one or more USB flash drives.

    Begin by downloading ImageUSB, then unzip and copy the files to a location of your choice. Insert the Windows 10 USB flash drive into an available USB port then double-click on the file imageUSB.exe. Select the Windows 10 USB flash drive that appears under “step 1”, then select the option to “Create the image from USB drive” under “step 2”. Under the “Available Options” section ensure that the “Post Image Verification” option is selected so that ImageUSB can verify the integrity of the image after it writes it. ImageUSB needs a location and file name to write to; select both under “step 3”. In this example, we’ll write the image to C:/Users/iceflatline/Desktop/win10-image.bin. Now select “Write” under “step 4” and ImageUSB will write the image file (See Figure 1).

    Screenshot showing how to create an image of a USB drive in ImageUSB

    Figure 1

    Once ImageUSB completes writing your image remove the Windows 10 USB flash drive and insert the USB flash drive you want to write win10-image.bin to into an available USB port. Note that this drive must have sufficient space available to contain the Windows 10 image (~16 GB). This space will be inaccessible on the USB flash drive after the writing process; however, any remaining space will be accessible.

    Select “Refresh Drives” in ImageUSB, and select the USB flash drive under “step 1”, then select the option to “Write the image to USB drive” under “step 2”. Again, ensure that “Post Image Verification” is enabled. Select “Browse” in “step 3” and navigate to C:/Users/iceflatline/Desktop/win10-image.bin. Now select “Write” under “step 4” and ImageUSB will write the win10-image.bin to the USB flash drive (See Figure 2).

    Screenshot showing how to write an image to a USB drive in ImageUSB

    Figure 1

    Verify that your computer can boot to the backup copy of the Windows 10 installation media and then store the USB flash drive in safe location. Note that ImageUSB can only write *.bin files created with ImageUSB.

    Conclusion
    ImageUSB is great tool for creating exact bit-level copies of USB flash drives, including those containing Windows 10 installation media.

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    Games How to Transfer Your Steam Games From One PC to Another

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    iceflatline decided to build a new gaming PC. iceflatline was also in the middle of several Steam-based games on his current gaming PC. iceflatline really wanted play those games on his new PC, not his old PC. This post describes how iceflatline transferred those Steam games from his old PC to his new PC without losing any game play progress.

    Software versions used in this post were as follows:

  • Windows 10 Pro, version 1709
  • Steam client application, build 20171215
  • So let’s get started…

  • On your old PC navigate to your Steam directory and copy the steamapps subdirectory and all of its contents somewhere you can access from the new PC. The Steam directory is typically located in C:\Program files (x86)\Steam.
  • On your old PC copy your games’ saved game directories (e.g., C:\Users\your-user-name\Documents\My Games\some-game\) and all of their contents to somewhere you can access them from the new PC.
  • On your new PC, install Steam and launch it once, then exit.
  • On your new PC, navigate to the Steam directory and delete everything in it except the file Steam.exe.
  • Copy and paste the steamapps directory you backed up from the old PC to the Steam directory in the new PC and launch Steam. After a brief self update Steam should show your games as installed in the Steam library.
  • Launch one of the games and verify it works. You likely won’t see your characters, saved games, etc – that’s okay. Quit the game.
  • Copy and paste the saved game directories and files you backed up from the old PC to the same locations on the new PC (e.g., C:\Users\your-user-name\Documents\My Games\some-game\).
  • Right-click on one of the games in the Steam library, select properties, then select the Local Files tab. Now select Verify Integrity of Game Files (See Figure 1). Let that process run to completion. Now start the game again and your characters, saved games, etc should be there. Rinse and repeat for each game you’ve installed.
  • Screenshot showing the Local Files options under a game's properties settings in Steam

    Figure 1

    Game on!

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    Linux Install and Configure Folding@home on Ubuntu Server

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    Folding@home is a distributed computing project started by Stanford University to help understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases. The project uses the idle processing resources of thousands of personal computers belonging to people that have installed the Folding@home software on their systems. In this post I will describe how to install and configure the Folding@home client software on Ubuntu server. All steps assume that the Apache http server on Ubuntu server is installed and operating correctly.

    Software versions used in this post were as follows:

  • Ubuntu server 16.04.3 LTS
  • fahclient_7.4.4_amd64.deb
  • So let’s get started…

    Download and Install

    First, update your package list:

    Then download and install the latest 64-bit version of the Debian-based Folding@home client to a location of your choice. In this example we’ll use the user’s home directory:

    Note that fahclient_7.4.4_amd64.deb was the most current version of the client at the time this post was published. You may need to update the file name in this command in order to fetch the most recent version of the software.

    Now lets install the client:

    The installer will request you to enter a Folding@home donor name, team number, passkey (optional), whether the client should be automatically started at system boot, and how much of your system resources should be used (See Figures 1-5, repectively).

    If you have an existing Folding@home donor name enter that name here, else enter a new donor name:

    Screenshot showing the install message regarding the folding at home user name

    Figure 1

    If you’re joining an existing Folding@home team, enter that team number here, else simply enter 0 for no team:

    Screenshot showing the install message regarding the folding at home team number

    Figure 2

    The Folding@home passkey is a unique identifier that ties your Folding@home contributions directly to you (not just those with your username). The passkey uniquely identifies you as an individual donor and is associated with the results that you have completed. If you have an Folding@home passkey and would like to use it enter it here. If you don’t have a passkey and would like one, you can request one from Folding@home. Else simply select “Ok” here to move to the next screen:

    Screenshot showing the install message regarding the folding at home passkey

    Figure 3

    Choose whether or not you want the Folding@home client to startup automatically when the Ubuntu server boots:

    Screenshot showing the install message regarding the folding at home start up

    Figure 4

    Finally, you can select how aggressively the client uses your system’s CPU resources:

    Screenshot showing the install message regarding the folding at home resource use

    Figure 5

    The installer will finish and automatically start the Folding@home client. You can verify that the client is running using the following command:

    You can now delete the installation Folding@home package fahclient_7.4.4_amd64.deb from your home directory, if desired.

    Configure

    Now that the Folding@home client has been installed it’s time to configure Web Control, Folding@home’s graphical interface. Web Control is the default control program for monitoring your Folding@home client via an easy to use web page.

    First, stop your running Folding@home client:

    Then use sudo and your favorite editor to append the following lines to /etc/fahclient/config.xml, which will grant access to the Web Control dashboard to a specific IP address. Unfortunately Web Control can only grant access to a single IP address. In this example we’ve chosen to grant access to the host with the IP address 192.168.10.100:

    Finally, restart the Folding@home client:

    You should now be able to access the Folding@home Web Control dash board at http://your-ubuntu-server-IP-address:7396/ (See Figure 6)

    Screenshot showing the folding at home Web Control dashboard

    Figure 6

    Conclusion
    There you have it. A few minutes of your time and you can easily have Folding@home up and running on your Ubuntu server. I think Folding@Home is a great cause and have created my own Folding@Home team to contribute some of my spare CPU cycles. How about you? If you have a few cycles to spare how about dedicating some to Folding@home’s efforts? You’re also welcome to join join my team. To join, simply enter the team number 78746 when you install folding@home.

    References
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folding@home
    http://folding.stanford.edu/support/

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    News Update to Creative Commons License

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    I have updated the Creative Commons Attribution license used on this site from version 3.0 to version 4.0. Version 4.0 features a number of improvements, primarily in the area of terminology that should now be better understood worldwide. What hasn’t changed is the rights granted by the license. Like its predecessor, the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license allows you to freely copy, distribute and transmit content made available on this site, to adapt it to something you may be working on, even make commercial use of the content. All I ask is that you attribute the original content to me in some way.

    If you have any questions or seek additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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    News Wither Mint

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    Back in 2012 I installed Mint, a self-hosted web site analytics program, to this site. Since that time Mint has been anonymously collecting information on about who is referring readers to this site, which posts are most popular, top searches, etc. Sadly, the Mint development team has announced that sales and support has been suspended. I have no desire to use software that isn’t going to be maintained so effective immediately I will no longer be using Mint on this site.

    So what did I learn from Mint while in use?

  • This site receives on average 8,472 unique visitors per month.
  • Unsurprisingly most of the referrals to post on this site come from Google.
  • The top three posts in terms of popularity at the time of this post were:
    1. How To Create And Configure VLANs In pfSense
      How to Install and Configure MRTG on Ubuntu
      How to Dual Boot Windows 7 and Linux using BCDEdit
  • 58% of you use the Chrome browser, while 30% use Firefox. Safari and Internet Explore receive honorable mentions at 6% and 1% respectively.
  • At the moment I have no plans to replace Mint with another web site analytics program. Should I decide to do so I will let you know. Rest assured though that anything I may decide to use will not collect personal data of any kind.

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