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Initializing new hard disk: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error

Submitted by Druss on Fri, 2012-10-12 01:09

I got a new 3TB hard disk. While it's being detected in Windows 7, initializing it has proved to be impossible as I keep running into the following error:

The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error

After testing this one a couple of different systems and in Linux, I have arrived at the conclusion that the drive is screwed. Time to get it replaced.

Shifting the pitch (and tempo) of music rather than retuning your guitar

Submitted by Druss on Sat, 2012-05-12 14:12

If you, like me, enjoy playing on your guitar to music from your PC, you will share my annoyance at the fact that bands often tune up or down a step or so for different songs. While it might be simple enough to tune your guitar up and down as and when necessary, I think that everybody will agree that it's a bit of a pain. Here's a solution for people like me who tend to have, well, an indolent approach to their guitar.

Windows 7: Moving your user profile to another directory/partition/drive

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2012-02-21 22:34

Continuing on with my workarounds for moving system files around, today, I decided to look into moving my user profile folder to a different partition. While IIRC, it used to be possible (in earlier versions of Windows) to do this by setting the home folder to an appropriate value in the user management snapshot, that did not work for me.

Windows 7: Changing the location of system temporary files and browser caches

Submitted by Druss on Wed, 2012-02-15 01:11

My windows machine is running off a bum drive and seeing as to how HDD prices are temporarily ridiculously high at the moment, I've decided to attempt a few workarounds to see if I can continue to use this erratically faulty drive for a couple of more months. The issue with the drive is in itself unknown. It just locks up suddenly with the HDD LED continuously on. Windows continues to be active for a while, but not terribly responsive. Sometimes, the issue sorts itself out after a while. Other times, the system reboots.

sed: Deleting all lines between two types of lines

Submitted by Druss on Sat, 2012-01-28 01:17

Today, I made quite an impression on my furniture thanks to incessant contact between it and my illustrious head. This, as usual, was due to my looking for a clean regex to solve my issue while working with text files in Vim. My task was, I initially believed, quite simple: delete all the lines that are sandwiched between two types/patterns of lines. In this case, the top slice of the sandwich consisted of a line which was entirely a number and the bottom slice was a line entirely populated with underscores.

Vim E303: Unable to open swap file for "[No Name]", recovery impossible

Submitted by Druss on Fri, 2011-09-30 14:04

On a new installation of GVim (in Windows 7), I ran into the following curious error whenever I tried to open a new document for editing:
Vim E303: Unable to open swap file for "[No Name]", recovery impossible

According to friendly chap on IRC, this is caused by a temporary directory bug and that it can be fixed by adding the following directive to the _vimrc file:
set directory=.,$TEMP

Setting up Unicode support for PuTTY

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2011-09-27 23:34

I work extensively on a Windows desktop. However, I do SSH into Linux servers often and I do so using PuTTY, a free and open source client. Everything works peachy. However, I recently had occasion to work extensively with some Unicode source data and I found that there were times when I thought that there were encoding issues with the data as they were not being displayed correctly on my screen.

Vim/Gvim and missing line numbers in the interface

Submitted by Druss on Sat, 2011-09-24 00:32

I'm not sure whether it was something I did, something that the Vim developers did, or an anomaly with the Windows 7 binary, but I could no longer see the line number and cursor position tracker in the bottom right of my interface. Looking at the menus, I could find nothing. I could turn on a line number prefix for each bleeding line, but this is not what I was after.

Implementing a shutdown timer in Windows 7

Submitted by Druss on Wed, 2011-08-17 21:15

Every now and then, I find the need to shutdown my PC automatically at a specified time for some reason or the other. In my most recent case, I needed to shut my Windows 7 PC down at 8am in the morning anticipating a scheduled power shutdown in my block. While there are many GUI-based applications out there that could do this for me, I chanced upon a simpler solution detailed below:

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