Over-Provisioning and SSDs

Over-provisioning is the allocating of a specific amount of free space on your SSD.  Over-provisioning improves SSD endurance and performance.   Many SSDs are packaged with software that helps the end user install the drive and to plan for OP.  (More advanced drives are doing away with OP).

The SSD controller manages all of the data that is stored on the drive.  While these drives are really fast, data writes are not just placed on the drive.  Data is moved around and the controller on the drive is programmed to use the drive evenly across the NAND blocks.   By moving the data around, the controller can use the free space (OP) to swap information as needed.     This in turn adds life to your SSD.  Always update your SSD firmware, use the manufacturer’s software for OP if your drive recommends it and don’t forget to trim your hard drive.  TRIM allows for the removal of junk or old data.  How? Easy – Open a command prompt (as Admin)

Type the following – fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0

Over-provisioning in Samsung Magician’s software.

OP

Always load the drivers – Below is Intel Drivers on my laptop vs. Windows 8 generic drivers

drivers

Windows 8.1 SSD Optimization

If you have install an SSD to Windows 8 or 8.1, and you aren’t sure if the OS is optimized for an SSD. Here’s the fastest way to make sure it is optimized.

Open a CMD prompt as an Administrator
Run winsat formal
Defrag will remain on, that’s right, on. After ‘seeing’ the SSD, this tool (defrag) will become optimize and will trim your SSD.
Of course AHCI should be on, over provisioning accounted for and the proper chipset drivers loaded.

Configuring WDS to extend your wireless network

Want to extend your network and make it more reliable and robust?   

Here’s what you will need -

  • Two routers with the same firmware
    • Preferably Tomato or DD-WRT

Login to the first router.  

In this example, the static number 192.168.1.1 is the Main router.

  • Enable the WAN to match your ISP  
  • Enable DHCP
  • Enable Access Point + WDS  (Picture two below)
    • You must have the same wireless configuration on both routers
      • Enter the MAC address of router two under WDS Link with.

Router 1 no 1

Router 1 no 2

Login to the second router

  • Disable the WAN
  • Disable DHCP
  • Assign the router a static IP address (Below we have given the router .250)
  • Enter Router One’s IP Address for the Gateway
  • Enter a DNS of your choice
  • Make the wireless configuration the same as the first router.  Under WDS, change the drop down to automatic.

Router 2 no 1

Router 2 no 2

With the same settings, you can now extend your network several hundred feet under the right conditions.  Because the SSIDs are the same, once you join one of the routers with a smartphone or laptop, it will seamlessly change to the stronger signal.

With Tomato, you can chain together approximately 12 devices.

Links-

Tomato RAF

Shibby’s Tomato

DD-WRT

Note; The IP addresses and MAC addresses are in a lab environment.

How does it look on a network map?  The two routers are actually connected together.  The switch is the four ports on the back of the router closest to the internet.

Map

How to tie your cloud storage services together

How can you tie your cloud storage services together?   It’s actually easy if you use MultCloud.   MultCloud ties together all of the most popular cloud storage services so you can upload files to multiple sites through a single sign-on.

Completely FREE app for home and commercial use.
Single login for multiple cloud accounts.
Add unlimited accounts such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, etc

logo

Add Cloud

Signing up is easy and free.   Once you sign in, you can connect your cloud services and use the power of MultCloud to Upload or Download files from a central dashboard.

services

See who’s on your wireless network – SoftPerfect WiFi Guard

Want to see who is on your wireless?  SoftPerfect’s  WiFi Guard is freeware that scans your network, both wireless and wired and it also inventories connections on your network.

Before setting up WiFi Guard, inventory your computers, printers, routers, TVs and other devices that use your network.  Get each devices’ MAC address.  Load WiFi Guard and mark each device as trusted.  WiFi Guard’s settings allows you to set a scan interval and to put comments on devices that you know.  In the event a new device is connected to your network, you’ll be alerted.

taskbar

Scanned

Set a scan interval that meets your needs.Settings 

WiFi Guard keeps a history of devices that connect to your network.History

SoftPerfect WiFi Guard

The Ultimate Toolkit for IT Professionals – GE Geek Toolkit

I discovered GE Geek through Rick at What’s On My PC.  GE Geek is a resource like no other.  The time and dedication to linking and uploading the thousands of resources at GE Geek is commendable.

The best feature by far is GE Geek’s Toolkit that contains 1.7 gigabytes of tools that every IT pro needs.

“A complete collection of over 300 Portable Freeware Tech Related
programs, all accessible from one Menu Launcher Utility. There’s
even a program to update all the essential programs automatically,
all contained on a USB/Flash drive for travel.” ~GE Geek

Here’s a short list of the categories -

Apps to Install
App Updates
App Uninstallers
BackUps
Benchmarking
Compression
Configurations
Diagnostics
Drivers
FTP Tools
Internet
Maintenance
Malware Removal
Multimedia
Network Tools
Recovery
Remote Tools
Repair Tools 1
Repair Tools 2
Scripts
Search
Security
System Information
System Tools
Tweaking Tools
Windows Services Defaults
Windows 7 Tools
Windows 7 Troubleshooting
Windows 7 / 8 Shortcuts
Dozens more
getoolkit 

 

Here’s a Snapshot of his Site. You have to visit the site to get an understanding of how this has to be one of the best sites on the web for IT Professionals.   Link

SnapShot

An introduction to Big Data – RackSpace’s CloudU MOOC

CloudU

Several years ago we introduced you to CloudU. A perfect introduction to how the ‘cloud’ works.  CloudU by RackSpace now has a MOOC (Mass Open Online Course) that introduces you to Big Data.

According to Wikipedia, Big Data is a term used to describe a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. Thats a great definition but its only one. This topic is too big to base this learning series on one definition so we asked the brightest minds in academia and the cloud industry the same question, “What is Big Data”? We are confident you will enjoy their insights and take away a broader perspective on big data.       Sign up, it’s free (Link)

Earlier Post

“After contacting Rackspace so that my students could benefit from the cloud university curriculum as a supplement.   I was met with open arms and personally talked with Greg Alfaro, Michael Ferranti and Ben Kepes either by phone or email.   Here’s a quote from Ben. - “CloudU is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn about Cloud Computing. As an instructor of information technology, the certificate provides a great learning tool for the planning, deployment and logistics behind cloud computing.”    ~ Ben Kepes

Tweak your wireless router

Many people who set up their wireless routers never optimize the channel to keep from ‘bumping’ into their neighbors.  Regardless if you are a Apple, Linux or Windows user, you should select a channel as far away from your neighbors devices as you can.   Use WiFi Analyzer for Android, (Apple), or InSSIDer for a PC to see what channels are being used around your home or business.

The second tip is involves fragmentation..   We don’t have one or two internet devices anymore, we have four or more.   Computers, laptops, netbooks, e-readers such as Kindles or Nooks, iPods, iPhones, Android tablets, iPads, Android, Windows Phones, Blurays, TVs and more.    So how can this be optimized?   These devices send packets of data in frames.

Imagine you talking.   Each word is a packet and the packets together are a sentence.   In a wireless environment, each device has to wait for the other to complete their sentence before it can talk.

Computer talking to router – ” I am going to WordPress to read a blog!”

Tablet waits on router and says – “I want to go to YouTube!”

Your router listens to the computer while the tablet is waiting.   The router processes the computer’s request and then listens to the tablet.   So how can this be optimized?

The default fragmentation for routers is 2346.  Many professionals recommend to set this at 800 or 1000 if there are many devices on your network.   So your router should work like this -

Computer and Tablet say – “I am going to – I want to go to – WordPress to read – YouTube! – a blog!”

See how each device gets a small piece of what it wants to say in to the router?  The router can process the information a little at a time keeping each devices wait time down.   This in  turn works with the RTS Threshold.

The RTS Threshold is  used as a trigger to engage the back and forth of RTS (Ready to Send – “I have something to say”) and CTS (Clear to Send – “I am listening”) messages between the wireless router  and  your device.  The trigger’s purpose is a type of “handshaking”.   The default value for RTS is 2347.   Try 2340 and lower as necessary. 

Note: Before changing these defaults, remember – you can reset these if you cannot connect.  Read your owner’s manual on how to reset your router in the event you have connectivity problems.  Every situation is different.  

Here’s my settings on Fragmentation and RTS Threshold.

wireless

The preamble should be set to short.   Long is for 802.11b  devices (old legacy laptops or devices).  Auto is just in case you have someone with old computers that are coming into your home.   Auto works for old and new.   Generally older devices today have 802.11g.   802.11g and 802.11n work with long.   So if you don’t anticipate someone visiting with older devices, move the preamble to short.

DTIM is a traffic indicator.  It basically says – “Yo, I got something for you” during the beacon.  Setting this 1 point higher can actually save power when devices are listening.   So the device will awaken only when DTIM tells it to.

These settings are for people who have several devices on their network and are true consumers of the internet.   They are by no means the settings for everyone.   You may have to play with the settings to get optimal throughput.  Remember, test your bandwidth with two devices side by side and simultaneously.   Have each device strain your network by testing their throughput by going to an ISP site that test download speeds or stream a video at the same time.  You’ll see a difference.   The default values very well may be what you need if you don’t have many users and devices.

Give it a try.  You can always go back to your routers default values.