Monday, July 9, 2018

Compare Different Laptops for Home Lab

Compare Different Laptops

As we all know, there are many types of laptop computers that were manufactured to suit every need and requirement. This is why in what follows we will compare different laptop computers to get at least an idea about what you should look for when you want to buy a laptop.

There are 5 big types of laptop computers: desktop replacements, ultraportable laptops, standard laptops, thin and light laptops and tablet PCs. As to compare different laptop computers, we will discuss a bit about the things you’ll get and the things you’ll miss when and if you buy a laptop from the categories above mentioned.

If you decide upon a desktop replacement - that is a laptop that has all the things your former computer had, but in a more stylish practical chassis - than you’ll get a widescreen with a sharp display and great colours, a i5 processor, enough memory and sophisticated style. Such a laptop will also come with a numeric pad, a thing that is really rare on laptop computers nowadays.

Such a laptop is good for gaming, for editing and also for a good sound, as most of them with an integrated subwoofer. Though you get all these things, there are also some downsides of a desktop replacement laptop. It is not portable, as it weighs a lot due to all its components, their battery life is really poor and they are, by far, the most expensive (from $1500 to $4000).

While the desktop replacements are so hard to carry around, the ultraportable laptops are the ones you should think of if you are a traveler. Such a laptop is very compact and has a great design, but the performance is really low. If you buy one, you’ll also find that the battery life is also very poor, the screen is small and the keyboard is also very unpractical, as it too is very small.
Also, you won’t get a CD or DVD drive either, because the ultraportable laptops have to be small and really light. Know more about the pros and cons of ultraportable laptops from LaptopJudge and no matter what you choose to buy, check the reviews and ratings carefully before buying.

Standard laptops are really affordable; they provide great performance and excellent battery life. So if you need to travel a lot and also work on your laptop, then such a laptop is a great choice. The only bad parts are that they are not as portable as the ones mentioned above, and they don’t have upgraded graphics chips, so they won’t come close to the frame rates offered by desktop replacements.

Thin and light laptops are by far the best in the traveling domain because they combine power with battery life. They also have great displays and many wireless options, so you can stay connected whenever. However, they lack USB ports, there are only 2 or 3, which to be honest are less than enough and they utilize shared system RAM in the graphics department.

Finally, the tablet PCs will provide mobility, as they are very small; they have 2 viewing modes, either portrait or landscape and they also have a great battery life. However, they lack performance, screen quality, and optical drive, as you won’t get a CD or DVD drive. If you find this post helpful, check out "Best 2-person desk for College Students"

Which laptop do you want to use? And for what? Let me know through comments.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Stellar Data Recovery Technician Review

Stellar Data Recovery Technician is Powerful software utility tool to recover data, it is not only useful for IT environment but also can be used by end users as well, This software is capable of recovering data which is  lost or damaged from RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 6 drives. It is a complete solution with advanced features to recover files, photos, videos, emails etc. not only from Windows but linux and Mac - based hard drives as well as external media. Along with this software has three additional tools i.e. Stellar Drive Monitor, Stellar Repair for Photo, Stellar Repair for Video. Stellar proposes a comprehensible UI interface, reckless and full scans and a extensive choice of selections. You can't mistake with choosing this solution, however your decision might differ to preview its results.

The Stellar brand stances as one of the most trustworthy IT software provider today, thanks to a wide-ranging of data utilities planned to secure users out of tough conditions. Through this evaluation, I’ll be looking at the business’s data recovery solution, called Data Recovery Expert, which works for both Mac, Linux and Windows OSes.
Stellar Data Recovery can be used to revive files that you, an application, your OS or a virus have deleted. It can also be castoff to recuperate information from not working or corrupted hard drives, or erased, RAW or non-mounting partitions.
Bonuses that we like comprise the ability to recover data from external HDD, flash USB drives and damaged CDs or DVDs. The tool also provisions duplicating, which can be used to reproduction your whole file system or a volume onto a new hdd in case yours is deteriorating.
Stellar works proficiently and has one of the most feature-rich options of any data retrieval tool I verified, with options to scan by file type, scan specific folders and preview files while your scan is still in progress.
I was very enthralled with Stellar after hitting it through our difficult government that I called it my highest recommended data recovery tool for PC. Read on to find out the full scope of its capabilities, plus where it falls a little short.

Here’s a brief impression of the main features of Stellar Data Recovery Technician. We highlighted this software bundle because it proposals RAW partition recovery, a significant feature for any data recovery software.
Both of these are comprised in the additional exclusive “technician” edition of Stellar Data Recovery. A startup disk lets you recuperate data information from a computer that won’t boot due to a corrupted boot partition.
Stellar provisions recovery of most file types. The list includes:
  • Documents: Powerpoint, PDF, Word, Excel,
  • Images: RAW, Photoshop, Illustrator, JPEG, PNG,
  • Audio: AIFF, AAC, Ogg, MP3, WAV,
  • Videos: AVI, WMV, MPEG-4, QuickTime,
  • Archives: RAR, Stuffit, Zip, Gzip,

Also, you can add other file formats from the Setting option of the software

In the occasional occurrence that a file kind isn’t maintained, the software permits you describe new file categories if you have five examples that it can use to study from.
Stellar also take cares the common file systems used by Windows and Windows, Mac and Linux with Stellar Toolkit for Data Recovery 
  1. Windows: NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT
  2. Mac: HFS, HFS+
  3. Removable Storage: ExFat
  4. Linux: Ext2, Ext3, and Ext4
Installation Process

Installation Procedure for Stellar is very simple, I have downloaded trial version from Installation exe is very small in size, just 34 MB, While installation of Stellar Data Recovery Technician on the first page select setup language, by default it is English, click Ok. Next it welcome to the setup wizard, click next, Accept License agreement of Stellar.

Keep all the default unless you want to change Select Destination Location, Start menu folder and addition tasks creating desktop icon.
On ready to Install page review your installation setup settings, and start Installation by clicking Install. Once Completed installation of software, Launch the software by finishing wizard.
Recovery Process

Throughout this sector, I expression at the rudimentary recovery procedure for Stellar Data Recovery. The steps I cover represent the two of the most common procedures users will run with Stellar. We won’t inspect some of the extra procedures, like in what way to add new file kinds or how-to replica a partition in this space.
Once you’ve installed and started Data Recovery Technician, the wizard first asks you to pick the category of file you need to scan for. Being able to choose a definite file kind is a nice inclusion since it decreases scan time.

As it can be seen in the screenshot, Process is very simple to recover data. Click recover data, Here I have multiple options repair video, photo and monitor drive.

On the next page You can select what to recover, I am selecting everything to check the performance, I liked the options it has options separately for documents, emails and multimedia files.
Select the location which you want to scan for recovery, I am again amazed that it has option for common locations, drives and location like raw drive, disk images and raid recovery. I selected C drive - connected drive.
Pressing Scan will start looking for files and folders. Scan is pretty fast.
I re-run the scan with preview option enabled, which shows all the folder it scanned. 
In the Preview I see and verify the content of data before recovering.

To recover choose the destination and start saving.

  • RAID Recovery: Recovers lost or deleted data from RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 6 drives, More information provided in next paragraph.
  • Drive Monitor: It is a add-on SMART utility to monitor Drive health. Disk Monitor integrates a slew of options committed to advisory you in time about the probable disk catastrophes that could wipe away your years’ worth of valuable data. The competent tool provisions constant disk I/O error monitoring, temperature measurements, and SMART status. 
  • Photo Repair: Repair multiple corrupt photos in one go. Supports png, JPEG, bmp, gif  & other formats on Windows & Mac. If your images look blurred, grainy, distorted, pix-elated, split. Stellar Mends Photo and will help you revive your valued reminiscences making them high-pitched and rich.
  • Video Repair: Patch-up several corrupt videos in one go. Supports mp4, mov, avi & other formats, It maintenances the videos that became corrupt while shoot, when executing file transfer, also when editing, converting or processing.
There is good option to try recovering RAID 0, I use a lot RAID 0 for dev and test environment to utilize complete disks. It is the primary level of Redundant array inexpensive disk technology that uses block-level striping without parity or mirroring and has no (or zero) redundancy. RAID 0 progresses performance and storage but has no fault tolerance. Slightly drive catastrophe will cause complete data information loss and the probabilities of failure rises with an surge in the quantity of hard disks.

Raid 5 and Raid 6 are another level of RAID technology which uses Parity (Raid 6 uses double parity) and dispersed data between disks. Raid 5 requires minimum three disks and supports only 1 disk failure. In Raid 6 it is required minimum 4 disks and can support up to 2 disk failure. Recovery process one of the Raid level 5 same looks like below screenshots (Image source

There are good options under advanced settings, and they are self explanatory.

Last Judgement
Ended the path of rereading closely 6-7 data recovery solutions, no product overwhelmed me more than Stellar Data Recovery Technician. The product’s data recovery tool is filled with features, very user friendly and runs a snappy, thorough scan.
Anticipation is the best degree to safeguarding you don’t misplace your documents, so be sure and backup your hard drive if you aren’t already. Cheers for reading and please let me know if you have any opinions oStellar’s RAID recovery and data recovery technician software in the comments below.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Cisco CCNA Lab Guide - Wants to be master of CISCO networks?

How’s it going amigo? I hope you’re keeping well. After long time I am posting on this post and I think it is worth it.

I would like to discuss about, Author of this website Neil Anderson has been working his socks off on a free Cisco CCNA Lab Guide recently which I think my audience would really love. You can use it to pass the CCNA exam or as a configuration reference for Cisco routers and switches.

There’s a few free guides online but they all cover old out of date exam topics and aren’t great quality, which he guess isn’t surprising when they’re being given away for free. He wanted to produce a guide which is more complete (350+ pages), up to date, better quality and simple to use than all the paid guides out there, but which people can use completely for free. He also have a video course, but the PDF stands alone as a complete lab guide which could really help you further for your careers.  

He has attached the guide here so you can have a look. You can download the PDF link at it is worth reading.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Recently I have started writing on Microsoft Azure blogs, It is to be complete by this week, so do stay tuned on my new website


New-AzureRmLocalNetworkGateway -Name Poc-VPN_localGateway -ResourceGroupName POC-VPN -Location 'East US 2' -GatewayIpAddress '' -AddressPrefix @('', '')
Parameters break down as below.
-Name: Name for new local network gateway
-ResourceGroupName: Name of the existing Resource Group in my case is POC-VPN
-Location: This is region where gateway is location, mine is same as existing resource group (East US 2)
-GatewayIPAddress: This is my in-house public internet IP
-AddressPrefix: This is again my inhouse private IPs, I have my servers and desktops in this IP series.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Top vBlog 2016 - Time to Choose the Top Blogs.

Last year I registered my blog for top vblog, Again Top vBlog 2016 voting on vSphere-Land has been opened . Please vote me for keep bloggers motivated. 

If you appreciate my work and blogs please do vote me. LINK TO VOTE

Below is the paragraph Copying from Eric's post, what should you look for while voting.
  • Longevity – Anyone can start a blog but it requires dedication, time & effort to keep it going. Some bloggers start a blog only to have it fall to the wayside several months later. Things always come up in life but the good bloggers keep going regardless of what is happening in their life.
  • Length – It’s easy to make a quick blog post without much content, nothing wrong with this as long as you have good content in the post that people will enjoy. But some bloggers post pretty long detailed posts which takes a lot of time and effort to produce. The tip of the hat goes to these guys that burn the midnight oil trying to get you some great detailed information.
  • Frequency – Some bloggers post several times a week which provides readers with lots of content. This requires a lot of effort as bloggers have to come up with more content ideas to write about. Frequency ties into length, some do high frequency/low length, some do low frequency/high length, some do both. They’re all good and require a lot of time and effort on the bloggers part.
  • Quality – It all comes down to whats in the blog post regardless of how often or how long the blog posts are. After reading a blog post if you come away with learning something that you did not previously know and it benefits you in some way then you know you are reading a quality post. Good quality is usually the result of original content, its easy to re-hash something previously published elsewhere, the good bloggers come up with unique content or put their own unique spin on popular topics.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Find CDP or LLDP information on Windows Servers

The Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) is a proprietary Data Link Layer protocol developed by Cisco Systems. It is used to share information about other directly connected Cisco equipment, such as the operating system version and IP address. 

The Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is a vendor-neutral link layer protocol in the Internet Protocol Suite used by network devices for advertising their identity, capabilities, and neighbors on an IEEE 802 local area network, principally wired Ethernet.

From Systems perspective You can view on which Switch and Switchport your Server or desktop NIC/Network cards are connected.
Finding CDP or LLDP information from ESXi very easy as VMware has provisioned separate interface for the same. As in the below screenshot click esxi server, then go to configuration tab, select Networking from Hardware, now as shown click on the CDP button after the Physical Network Card, and you will see CISCO Discovery Protocol, Now you can see I know which switch port I am connected, with this information I can connect to my networking team for any further troubleshooting issue or any changes if I required.
As I wanted to design HyperV/SCVMM solution, I was working on the same from networking part. and while architecturing Network solution for HyperV and I needed some Network side inventory like where my Windows Server HyperV Nic ports are connected on Physical switches for further designing, I don't see any separate interface or console where I can find such Information (if anyone know feel free to point out). So to find that information you can use Microsoft's tool Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4. It can capture network traffic and then you can filter the information you required. This topic is not only limited to Windows Server you can also use your own desktop to test this.
Here I will be using my favorite tool WiresharkWireshark is a network protocol analyzer for Unix and Windows, and it has many great features, I have download and installed it on my Windows Server., Here my server has got two physical ethernet cards and I want to know where both cards are connected on physical Switch. 
Search for wireshare and open it
Once Wireshark is running, you will detect all Network cards you have in your server, It matches the earlier screenshot I posted, Now You need to select one network card at a time, first NIC card I select is Team01, It will capture traffic on Team01 Nic.
Once you click on the network card it will start analyzing traffic in and out from the Nic. and you will see tons and tons of information. Now you will need to filter this captured information to find required CDP information. Type CDP and it will drop down the list of protocols from that list select CDP, incase you need LLDP information you can filter for LLDP.
Here I have got what I wanted. Very specific useful information regarding Switch name and Switch port number. 
Now I have collected information for one of the NIC card, I will be capturing data for another NIC card. from the capture menu press Stop to halt the capturing packets and go on selecting another Ethernet Card in the Options which is currently grayed out.
Now in the same Capture menu Options will be active once you stop capturing and we can click it to select another NIC.
You will again see 2 Nics in the list as we have already collected and captured information for one of the NIC in my scenario I had team01 and now will collect information for Management NIC card and click on start.
Now here is the info for another NIC card. As long as you keep wireshare capture starting and running, It will keep fetching the CDP data after some interval, Again you can capture LLDP information also with this tool. 
I found some of other tools exist which only CDP from tallsoft CDP monitor which is also handy, and there is windump.exe commandline utility which is available on the wireshark only.

My earlier useful script for collecting CDP and LLDP from VMWare ESXi environment.

Save complete virtual PortGroup information Settings - Powercli

Powercli Pull CDP and LLDP information in single nice table format - Part 2

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Error resolved: Hyperv cannot be installed: A Hyperviser is already running.

From my earlier Post Powershell Rocks - Creating virtual Nic cards for testing (Standalone HyperV), While installing HyperV role I got error through Server Manager GUI I was receiving error, HyperV cannot be installed: A Hyperviser is already running. After many repetitive attempts through server manager GUI it was failing, I also used Powershell command Install-WindowsFeature Hyper-V but result was same. In the last I stumble upon Microsoft blog .
And I got to know about new command for installing optional roles. 
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature –Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V –All 
This resolved my error and after reboot I was able to use hyperV.

Old useful Posts
Configuring HyperV on windows 2008 R2 and configuring Failover clustering 

Powershell Rocks - Creating virtual Nic cards for testing (Standalone HyperV)

Today I had to setup some demo lab environment for my friend for tutoring purpose. He had couple of old desktop and Laptop with low configurations and one manageable old switch and router, I intended to install Windows server 2012 R2 on them and wanted to show standalone HyperV Demo. I installed and setup server everything was working fine but I wanted to show him HyperV Microsoft Failover Clustering but unable to simulate it, why because all those couple of desktops and laptop had only one NIC card and I required another Network Card for heartbeat purpose. but we didn't want to invest anything on the old. so here Powershell came to our rescue.
In windows server 2012 R2 when installed Hyperv Role and Powershell module, there is a feature you can create multiple virtual ethernet card, and all the traffic flows through single physical network card. Here I wanted to achieve my physical and virtual network card configuration like below diagram, HyperV role must be installed is requirement and Switch port where physical Nic is connected must be trunk if you want to use different subnets. 
Here are the Powershell commands with there parameters I used to setup and configure virtual network cards. First rule open Powershell as administrator.
Note: Running second command in the line can cause server disconnection. hence advised to not use remote desktop instead use ILO, DRAC or make sure you are in the front of server.
New-NetLbfoTeam -Name "SwTeam" -TeamMembers PhysicalNic -TeamingMode Static -Confirm:$false
New-VMSwitch "VirtualSwitch" -MinimumBandwidthMode weight -NetAdapterName "SwTeam" -AllowManagement $false
Add-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name "Management" -SwitchName "VirtualSwitch"
Set-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name "Management" -MinimumBandwidthWeight 33
Add-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name "HeartBeat" -SwitchName "VirtualSwitch"
Set-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name "HeartBeat" -MinimumBandwidthWeight 33
Add-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name "Storage" -SwitchName "VirtualSwitch"
Set-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name "Storage" -MinimumBandwidthWeight 33
Get-VMNetworkAdapter -All -Name *
Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -ManagementOS -VMNetworkAdapterName "Management" -Access -VlanID 5
Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -ManagementOS -VMNetworkAdapterName "HeartBeat" -Access -VlanID 10
Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -ManagementOS -VMNetworkAdapterName "Storage" -Access -VlanID 20
Get-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -ManagementOS

Now I will be running one command at a time and whatever I will be setting parameters based on results. First I will be running Get-Netadapter which shows all the Ethernet cards on the my system. As you can see from below screenshot I got only one Physical NIC and it is named as "PhysicalNic", Which I will be require in my next cmdlets.
Now I know, What is my Physical Nic name is, which I am going to use it in next command
Note: Running this command can cause server disconnection. hence advised to not use remote desktop instead use ILO, DRAC, or make sure you are in the front of server.
New-NetLbfoTeam -Name "SwTeam" -TeamMembers PhysicalNic -TeamingMode Static -Confirm:$false
It has created new software switch "SwTeam" and PhysicalNic is part of the Team, Static is the Teaming mode I am using here.
Tip: Incase you have installed HyperV but you are not able to find above command or next command I am going to run below command to install hyperv feature before starting command. HyperV role must be installed before running above commands. 
Install-WindowsFeature Hyper-V-PowerShell
New-VMSwitch "VirtualSwitch" -MinimumBandwidthMode weight -NetAdapterName "SwTeam" -AllowManagement $false
New-VMSwitch cmdlet creates a new virtual switch on one or more virtual machine hosts, Parameter minimumbandwidthMode is weight (weight is a unit (1 to 100) which i will be using in next command.)
Next I will be adding Virtual Network card and to the Host. and it will be using 33 % bandwidth weight of Physical nic. ManagementOS is your main operating system.
Add-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name "Management" -SwitchName "VirtualSwitch"
Set-VMNetworkAdapter -ManagementOS -Name "Management" -MinimumBandwidthWeight 33
Here is next screenshot after creating all the virtual nic cards. 
Next command to verify again what we have deployed. 
Get-VMNetworkAdapter -All -Name *
The last command is setting Vlan. and verify what settings has been configured. You can change below parameters as per your requirements. 
Tip: Incase you don't have trunk port(I mean your computers are connected to normal switches), do not run below commands, just assign IP directly.
Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -ManagementOS -VMNetworkAdapterName "Management" -Access -VlanID 5
Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -ManagementOS -VMNetworkAdapterName "HeartBeat" -Access -VlanID 10
Set-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -ManagementOS -VMNetworkAdapterName "Storage" -Access -VlanID 20
Get-VMNetworkAdapterVlan -ManagementOS
Now the last step is assign IP to virtual network cards and verify you can connect them over network, here I will assign IP on Management Network and just will check whether I am able to do RDP to the server. And I am Successful.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Resolved: The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed

In my earlier post I knew only 2 commands (Netdom and Test-ComputerSecureChannel) to rejoin computer in domain without restart. One of the user Tim Basten commented on my post that there is one more powershell cmdlet can be used to fix broken computer account without restart. so I tried it and yes it works perfectly.

Reset-ComputerMachinePassword -Credential (Get-Credential)
Once you execute it will ask for your domain admin username and password.
It is fairly simple. I guess their might be more commands available to do same tasks, I know there is one more from command prompt nltest but never used it.

Powershell Rocks, Rejoin computers in domain without restart

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Powershell Rocks, Rejoin computers in domain without restart

I received below error many many times when logging to some critical server and I am stuck. (I am very sure you also must have received this error many times)
The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed.
Due to this error I cannot login into server with my domain credentials. In old days I had to disjoin this server from domain, reboot and rejoin again. This was big headache for Mission Critical servers. If you like using Powershell for system management it is very easy to rejoin computer account to domain without restarting server. You must have at least Powershell version 3 to use this command which is by default there in windows 2012 server version and windows 8. 

Video how to use Test-ComputerSecureChannel
It is obvious that you can use your domain accounts means you have to use your local administrator account to login, and open powershell as administrator.
Once powershell is fired up you have to just run below command to rejoin computer into domain without restart.

Test-ComputerSecureChannel -Repair -Credential (Get-Credential)

It prompts for username password, It should be domain and should have AD rights. 
It will simply repair broken computer account password on your computer. and will give message True. Once this is done and you can logoff and test logging with your Domain account, This trick has saved me many times when there was restriction on rebooting Server, even plenty of time I used it on my own desktop, so I dont have reboot and I can work undisturbed (I found I can no longer access file servers and other things).
there is old trick for old OS you can use Netdom command (I used to use it on Windows 2008 r2 and lower OS, you can find this netdom 2008 os series by default, for older you can download it from its CD/DVD)
netdom resetpwd /Server:DC /UserD:DomainAdmin /PasswordD:Password
In next blog I found one more command to rejoing computer into domain without reboot.

Resolved: The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed