How to Create A Bootable Windows 7 Installation USB from Linux

Thanks to Gunthers at serverfault, I was able to create a USB and start the Startup Repair tool from there to repair my Windows 7 boot.

Probably the only thing you need to know is how to make the USB bootable as I assume you know that you need an NTFS partition on the USB including the installation files (copied over from a DVD or a backup ISO file).

Well, after all that pretty regular stuff, you need to grab ms-sys from here and install it to be able to write Microsoft compatible boot records. (It could also exist in your repositories, so do a check first if you want with your favorite package management tool. (e.g. apt-get, aptitude, yum etc.)

To write a Windows 7 MBR onto the USB device; just do a

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Change display language of a non Ultimate/Enterprise version of Windows Vista

So.. if you are here, you probably bought your laptop from a country different from the one you are originating from and want to change it to your local language.

Hmm.. So you google a bit and realize that you can’t do that unless you are using an Ultimate/Enterprise version of Vista. Well, there is an unofficial way to achieve your aim.

Note: This probably violates the EULA of Microsoft, so carry on at your own risk.

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Utilizing Human Computational Power by Games?

I just watched this great video of a Google Tech Talk by Luis von Ahn; who is a professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Luis von Ahn developed reCAPTCHA, a new form of CAPTCHA that also helps digitize books. In reCAPTCHA, the images of words displayed to the user come directly from old books that are being digitized; they are words that optical character recognition could not identify and are sent to people throughout the Web to be identified. He also was awarded many fellowships and awards like the MacArthur Fellowship (a.k.a., the "genius award").

He came up with really interesting thoughts on how to use humans to identify and tag images on Google’s image database, and more importantly, how to do it for free! 🙂 When people play, they help label images on the Web with descriptive keywords. These keywords can be used to significantly improve the accuracy of image search. There are, of course, algorithms behind to prevent cheating and to prevent wrong tags.

This talk introduces a paradigm for utilizing human processing power to solve problems that computers cannot yet solve. The idea is to make the people want to help this verification process by actually turning it into an enjoyable and fun game!

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Start MS Outlook in Safe mode

Just a quick tip to let you know that you can start Outlook in safe mode by doing either of the following:

  • Hold Ctrl key as you click the Outlook shortcut
  • Add a command-line argument to the shortcut – /safe (i.e. run it with this command-line argument)

The first option also works on other Microsoft Office applications, dunno about the second one though.