Howto convert a Windows 10 installation from legacy BIOS to UEFI boot

I’m currently trying to build a Hackintosh. I had some troubles with bootloaders and modified BIOS, as they weren’t able to detect my existing Windows 10 installation. Windows 10 was installed in legacy BIOS mode, which means you have a traditional boot layout using a Master Boot Record (MBR) instead of GPT (which is also used by Mac OS).The Windows 10 installation would be visible if I could somehow change it from MBR to GPT.

Normally you would do a reinstall and would create a new installation of Windows 10, but this time you would select the Installer as UEFI Installer and it would suggest to reformat the disk with GPT.

However, I don’t want to reinstall everything so I searched for a solution. With one of the recent Windows 10 updates Microsoft added support for a tool called MBR2GPT. This tool can update your existing installation to GPT.

WARNING: The following assumes that you’ve created a working backup of your installation and that your computer supports booting via UEFI.

The necessary steps are:

  • Start your computer, so that Windows 10 is loaded.
  • Select restart and press and hold the shift key.
  • The computer will restart into Windows PE mode.
  • Select Troubleshooting, Advanced options, Command Prompt.
  • Windows will ask you to select a user name with admin rights.
  • Login with that user.
  • The Command Prompt opens and you can start the process with
  • If that command succeeds without errors, you can start the conversion with
  • You can exit the Command Prompt.
  • Reboot your computer.
  • It should boot from the found GPT partition scheme and should present you the Windows boot screen.

 

Slow SMB transfers in Mac OS 10.12.2

I’m using a 802.11ac WLAN to connect to my Synology NAS. With the last Mac OS 10.12.2 update the network performance was catastrophic when I tried to access the NAS via SMB. At first I thought this might have been caused by the WLAN connection but even with a Gigabit LAN connection my transfer rates were around 3-5MB/s.

After a short search online, I’ve a few hits describing the actual problem:

Apple uses their own version of SMB and enabled client signing to mitigate against Man in the middel attacks. Therefore all connections underly this signing process and are way slower.

Therefore I’ve disabled client-signing on my mac using this command:

This will write this content

 

to the file /etc/nsmb.conf. After you’ve set this value you need to unmount all samba shares. If you’ll reconnect now, you’ll witness a much better performance, starting with faster loading of network shares.

You can revert this change with

 

How to remove Spotify’s notification badge from the Mac OS X dock

Are you also annoyed and tired by Spotify’s notification badge in the dock of Mac OS X? I totally was and found a simple list of instructions on apple.stackexchange.com and want to show you how to remove this „feature“.

If correctly used, notification badges are a cool thing. They notify you when an app wants your attention. Spotify abuses this feature and shows the number of pending notifications inside its app. That means: If you ever subscribed to somebodies playlist and this playlist is updated, you will be notified. Same goes for stuff like new tracks of your favorited artists. You have no control over these notifications and will always be notified. Other users are also annoyed by this misbehavior but nothing changes 🙁 Thats why my Spotify is mostly minimized to the background and when opened it shows this ugly notification badge in its UI:

Spotify in app notification badge

Its annoying and always tries to steal my attention. Same goes for the Mac OS X dock icon:

Spotify Dock Icon with 99 notifications

Normally, you can open the system preferences and can disable the notifications. However, Spotify isn’t listed (although it uses the notification APIs of Mac OS X).

The instructions from stackoverflow write this missing entry into the notification database, so that it shows up in the list. Only after that you are allowed to disable Dock notifications:

Disable Spotify Badge App Icon Here’s the code of Ryan Patterson’s stackoverflow entry, in case it ever gets deleted:

 

Office Mac 2011 cannot open files from network folder with home in its name

It’s unbelievable: Microsoft Office Mac 2011 cannot open files from network folders when the share name contains „home“. My Synology NAS uses shared folders for each of its users. The user folders can be reached under the „home“ share and are automatically mapped to the user’s home folder on the Synology. This is the default setting for every new standard setup of Synology NAS.

I’ve tried recently to access an Excel file from my home folder. After double clicking in the Finder, Excel opened with this error message:

Excel File cannot be opened

So it cannot find the file. This is due to a known Office bug that exists now for several years and appears to be still unpatched.

It’s inexplicable how an error of this severity is still unpatched. All my search results suggest me to stop using the home folder and use instead a different name. That’s working for my user, because it has admin rights and can open the „homes“ share with a subfolder to my username. However, not all of the users on my network should have this right.

I only hope that the new Mac Office will address this issue. The currently available preview is pretty unusable and tends to crash when I’m working with network volumes.

WP-Sweep plugin helps you to clean up your WordPress data

Inspired by this tweet, I’ve decided to give WP-Sweep a try:

https://twitter.com/chemik3r/status/572127624346148864

WP-Sweep is a new WordPress plugin which only uses the official WordPress API to delete and clean up orphaned and unused data.

I’ve given it a try on my personal blog and it worked flawlessly. Unfortunately I’ve forgot to write down the exact percentages on what could be sweeped and saved but I have now a good feeling that at least my > 3000 blocked spam comments are finally gone 🙂

Don’t forget to backup your data, before you try this!