First impressions with my Seagate FreeAgent GO 500GB drive

I’m really excited to have received this gift from Seagate because I’ve moaned to all who would listen that I needed an external hard drive. Last year, I entered a promotion (sponsored by Seagate) on Notebooks.com (which is run by Xavier Lanier) and in March, I received some correspondence about possibly providing some anecdotes on my storage issues. I participated in the case study primarily because I was tickled at being picked to provide notes on my experience. The icing on the cake was being told that I might be provided with a free storage solution from Seagate after/during the case study. I didn’t have my heart set on receiving anything because I was very impressed that Seagate seemed genuinely interested in learning about my habits and what made me/users tick with regards to our backup habits.

Fast forward to today, I am now in possession of a ruby red Seagate FreeAgent GO portable drive (500GB). My first impressions are:

  1. Pinch me for I suspect I’m asleep. πŸ™‚ Seriously, this item is easily worth $130 and I have it for free now.
  2. It is lighter and not as bulky as my Iomega GO portable hard drive (which is only 320GB and cost $100). I was nuts over my Iomega hard drive’s sleek look, but Seagate has made the Iomega portable hard drive look ancient.
  3. It comes with free software that should make backing up easier. It’s called Seagate Manager and right now, I’ve already run into a little snag.

    Seagate Manager error

  4. That error occurred as a result of an update to the Seagate Manager that was downloaded automatically. That is not a good start, but I will scour the Seagate.com website for the correct update for my 64-bit computer.

That is all for now. A review of this drive will follow as soon as I’m able to whip one up. πŸ™‚ Cheers!

Update: Pics of the newest addition to my hard drive family. πŸ˜›

treo pics 010 treo pics 011 treo pics 009 treo pics 008 treo pics 007

Resolved: Making your user folder visible in Vista

So, the weirdest thing happened to me a couple of days ago: My entire user folder stopped being indexed by Windows Search Indexing service. I visited C:Users and I couldn’t find my user folder at all! The panic didn’t start yet. Then, I calmly proceeded to look at my “Folder Options” and on a hunch, I allowed protected system files to be viewable. To my horror, I found out that my User Profile/Folder had somehow become: (a)hidden and (b) a protected system folder.

folderoptions.png
I don’t recall doing anything to make it change from a regular user folder so I was baffled. Now, I would not have worried so much if not for the awful fact that my files were no longer being indexed because Windows doesn’t index protected system files because under normal circumstances, your user files are not protected system files. So, I set about findingΒ  a solution to my problem and after a couple of days & false moves, I hit upon a simple solution (thanks to Google). Here are the steps to “unhide” and remove the “system file” attribute from your user profile/folder:

  1. Hit “Start” and type “cmd” into the search box (on Vista/Windows 7 systems)
  2. Your first search hit should be cmd.exe; Right-click cmd.exe and run the program as an administrator. command prompt
  3. You will see something like this: C:\Windows\system32:
  4. Change the directory using the “cd” or “chdir” command; What you type should look like this: “cd C:\Users\YourUsername” (without quotes).
    change directory command
  5. Before I proceed, I’ll give you a short overview of the commands that you’ll be using. The main command is the “attrib” command which allows you the change properties of the file or folder. To see the list of commandline arguments that you can pass to the attrib command, do the following: type in “C:Users\YourUsername attrib /? and hit “Enter”. The following items should be displayed:
    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
    Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
    
    C:\Windows\System32> cd C:\Users\Jane
    C:\Users\Jane> attrib /?
    Displays or changes file attributes.
    ATTRIB [+R | -R] [+A | -A ] [+S | -S] [+H | -H] [+I | -I] [drive:][path][filename] [/S [/D] [/L]]
    +  Sets an attribute.
    -   Clears an attribute.
    R  Read-only file attribute.
    A  Archive file attribute.
    S  System file attribute.
    H  Hidden file attribute.
    I   Not content indexed file attribute.
    [drive:][path][filename]  Specifies a file or files for attrib to process.
    /S  Processes matching files in the current folder and all subfolders.
    /D  Processes folders as well.
    /L Work on the attributes of the Symbolic Link versus the target of the Symbolic Link
    

    cmdprompt.png

  6. To cut this narrative short, the relevant command for removing the hidden file attribute & system file attribute from your user folder, enter the following command:
    attrib -H -S "C:\Users\YourUsername" /S /D 

    Unhide User Folder in Vista

It seems rather self-explanatory in retrospect, but I totally bombed during the first few days of trying to figure out the solution. I didn’t arrive at this solution by dint of my “smartitude“. God, I love the Urban Dictionary. lol. I’ve always sworn by this phrase, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing‘ so I don’t even want to leave the slightest intimation that I am the source of any of these epiphanies unless I explicitly tell of how I discovered so-and-so. The following links were invaluable to me during those trying days. πŸ˜€ In retrospect, I think why I didn’t happen on the solution sooner via Google was because of the way I crafted my inquiry to Google. If I’ve learned anything from the web, it’s that to get the right answers, you have to ask the right questions. Without further ado, the gurus:

  1. Tim Sneath at Musings of a Client Platform Guy. The relevant article is titled: “Windows Vista Secret #11: Deleting the Undeletable” His suggested solution didn’t work right away for me, but it was good reading it. His post will help you if you are dealing with screwy ACL permissions.
  2. The How-To Geek on removing hidden file attribute.

Strange happenings in Vista land

I haven’t really talked about my computer set-up on this blog, but I did ramble a lot on my personal weblog (Fading Whispers). I own an HP dv9700t customized laptop and I’ve put it through its paces by installing & uninstalling a bunch of software on it. The past two days, I noticed something weird: my User profile folder has suddenly become a “protected system file.
folderoptions.png

Right now, I can only see my User folder under C:Users if I uncheck “hide protected system files” under “Folder Options” menu in Vista. Also, when I hide system files (which now includes my user profile!), any searches I make on my computer exclude all files in my User profile!! I’m really upset about this and having to view ugly system files everytime I use my computer. Searching the web hasn’t really helped much so I’m doing as much backtracking as I can i.e. uninstalling nonessential programs which may have triggered some weird protective mechanisms in Vista. Of these programs, I’ve uninstalled MikTex which was a monster (a whopping 1.33GB on my system). I expected that kind of consumption from a program like Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.0. πŸ™‚ I have a feeling that the solution to my problem will be ugly. Wish me luck. *sigh* Talk about annoying.

In better news, I’ve begun playing with SnagIt more and I can’t believe that all I’ve used it for is simply excellent screen captures and short video. I’m having so much fun with the callouts, accents etc and I have a feeling I’ll be putting up a lot more screenshots of things that go wrong. πŸ™‚ In yet other news, there’s a $500 Kmart giftcard up for grabs. I love the freebies so go ahead and enter to your heart’s content. Thus far, I’ve entered ShoeMoney‘s and Julia Roy’s.