Archive for the 'HOWTO' Category


How to Install Multi-Disc Software from ISO Files

Okay, so you’ve got yourself a new laptop, and decided a netbook rather than a full size notebook is more your style. They make a great substitute (I recently purchased the Asus 1000HE 10″ model), but they lack an optical drive for reading CDs or DVDs. So what happens when you need to install a piece of software that you have only on CD?

What You’ll Need:

  • Windows XP Virtual CD Control Panel
  • ISO Recorder by Alex Feinman

    For my example, I was attempting to install the Adobe Creative Suite 2 package, which uses 4 CDs for installation. What we need to do first is pull the image of each CD into an ISO. We’ll do that with the ISO Recorder software. After you have finished the installation of ISO Recorder, insert the CD you wish to convert, and open up My Computer. Simply right-click on the optical drive icon, and you should see an option for “Create Image from CD/DVD”.

    Copy Image to CD/DVD

    Click this, and ISO Recorder will load, and ask for a location to save the ISO. Once you pick a location, simply click next and allow it to finish processing (it should take around one or two minutes).

    Choose ISO Location

    Once you have the ISO files for all the installation discs, now transfer them to the laptop by whatever means you have. I prefer to use a USB drive, but you can transfer them through a network if you have one set up.

    Now we’re going to move to the Virtual CD Control Panel. Open virtualcd file you downloaded, and it will again bring up a dialog asking where to extract the files. I recommend saving it in a folder in your Documents file, or on your Desktop. Navigate to the place you extracted the files, and open the file VCdControlTool.exe. Click “Driver Control…”

    Virtual CDRom Control Panel

    and you will see an option to “Install Driver…”. Click that, and you should see the file VCdRom.sys. Double click to open it. Now click the “Start” option underneath, and then click OK.

    Driver Control

    Install Driver

    Now we’re going to add a Virtual Drive. Click the “Add Drive” button. You can do multiple drives, but we’ll only need one right now, typically it will start with Z:\.

    Drive Added

    This will work fine. If you open My Computer, you will see that you have a new Removable Disc for Drive Z. Go back to the Virtual CD Control Panel, and select Mount.

    Navigate to ISO

    Here we’re going to tell it where the ISO is that will be acting as the CD. Navigate to where you stored your ISO files, and select the one you wish to mount. Click “Open”, and you’ll be presented with the Special Mount Options dialog.

    Special Mount Options

    These three options you won’t need to select for now. Suppress UDF, and Suppress Joliet I am not entirely certain what purpose they serve, but the Persistent Mount option allows the ISO to stay mounted even after rebooting the computer (which is useful when a software requires a reboot in between portions of the install process, such as a Windows installation). Now click OK, and you’ll see that your ISO has been mapped as drive Z:\. You’re ready to go!

    Image Mounted!

    You can now use this just as you would a normal optical drive, but the last thing we’re going to do is “swap” discs. Partially through the installation, Adobe asks to insert Disc 2. We’re going to go and mount the second disc, but the important step to remember first is to eject the drive before mounting the second disc. If you simply mount the new ISO without first ejecting the original ISO, the installation will not recognize the new ISO, and leads to several other problems (through my own experience!).

    No Image Mounted

    I hope that this information is able to help some of you out there. Please share your experiences if you wish in the comments!


HOWTO: Replace Keyboard on Laptop Computer (HP dv6105)

EDIT 2011/05/06: Wow! So this post alone has passed 100,000 views. Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the comments. I don’t always have time to reply to all of the questions in the comments, but I’m glad this post has been helpful to so many!

Since I recently had to replace a keyboard on a laptop, and couldn’t find any resources on replacing it for this model, I thought I’d go ahead and do a run-through for anyone else who may need this.

Okay, to start with, you’ll need:

  • Replacement keyboard (Part# 431414-001)
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Flat Head Screwdriver (for prying off cover)

Step 1

Step 1: Remove RAM cover and Battery

Step 3

Use your Phillips screwdriver to remove the two screws securing the RAM cover, and set it aside. Then remove the battery as well.

Step 4

Step 2: Remove Necessary Screws

There are a total of eight screws that you’ll need to remove to get to the keyboard: Five black screws, and three smaller silver screws.

Step 6 - Which screws to remove

You’ll see a keyboard icon next to the three lower screws:

Step 5 - Keyboard Screws

Step 7 - Screws Taken Out

And these are what you should end up with after removing the screws.

Step 3: Remove Keyboard Shield

Step 8 - Pop off keyboard guard

Next, we’ll have to remove the shield that holds the keyboard in place. You can do this using the Flathead screwdriver, fingernails, or a coin.

Step 9 - Cover popped up

You’ll pop them up like the image above on both sides.

Step 10 - Cover off

Once you get the cover up, be careful not to damage the flex cables beneath it.

Step 4: Remove Keyboard

Step 10 - Removing Keyboard 1

Now that you have the shield loose, you can now remove the keyboard. There is another flex cable connecting the keyboard, so don’t pull too far up on the keyboard just yet.

Step 11 - Careful with Ribbon Cable

Carefully work the cable out of its slot by pulling back towards the screen.

Step 13 - Remove ribbon cable

Now you’ve got the keyboard removed, and you’re ready to reinstall the new one. Almost there!

Step 12 - Keyboard removed

Step 5: Install the New Keyboard

Step 14 - Reinsert ribbon cable

First, carefully insert the new cable into the slot. Be careful not to damage it, the cables are fragile.

Update: “The connector slot has a lever the pins are connected to the white box and the black lever at the bottom of the white box can be pulled towards the screen. This will loosen the keyboard cable. If you press that black lever back it will fix the cable.” Thanks, alex for the tip!

Step 15 - Reinsert the keyboard

Now, place the keyboard back down inside the case.

Step 17 - back latches of cover

Now we’ll replace the shield. Push backwards toward the screen to make sure the back latches set in place correctly, then pop the sides back down into the case until you feel them lock.

Step 16 - Pop covers back on

Step 6: Close It All Back Up

Now that you’ve got the keyboard back on, flip it back over onto its back, and reinstall all eight screws.

Step 18 - Small screws go here

Don’t forget, the three small screws go here, under the battery.

Step 6 - Which screws to remove

Now, we’ll put the RAM cover back on…

Step 19 - Recover RAM cover and battery

…and put the battery back in.

And that’s it! As long as you’ve got the cable plugged in correctly, it should work with no problems.

Step 20 - Done!