Category Archives: Tips & tricks

Create files and folders textual structure tree (Windows)

I have sophisticated folders structure in my computer and cloud. For example, I have huge collection of personal photos or digital archive of documents.

If I want to generate “graphically displays the folder structure of a drive or path”, I use tree command in windows command line (cmd)

Example of output

Also possible to include\list all files inside folders to output.

I find this command very useful. It allows to compare before\after situation and see the differences.

Sometimes I use this at customers. Just to have a visual backup. So if someone moves or deletes some files, we can always track it back.

Tree command also allows output to text file, which is perfect format for backup.

tree “c:\CsvStagingData” > “c:\a\output.txt” /A /F

Folder PATH listing
Volume serial number is 0000005E 462E:DA4E
| CSVed.exe
| csveditor.chm
| licence.txt
| _pini.dat

HDD replace by SDD in old Dell 5520 laptop

Last year I have installed SSD in my old laptop Dell 5520. Idea was to get better performance, especially after upgrade to Windows 10. Even they say Windows 10 runs faster, but I don’t agree with that statement.

I started by comparing SSD models and prices. My final choice was between “Crucial MX200 2,5″ 250GB” and “Samsung 850 EVO 250GB”. Both hard drives cost (at date 2015-07-..) around 100 eur. Will 250 GB will be enough? For standard home user it is more than enough and I personally have bunch of external hard drives and one NAS running on my LAN.

Below is a video how to do the replacement of HDD in a laptop. If video will be not shown in the future, all Dell laptops are similar, so look for similar model. All replacement is pretty easy, even doing it for the first time.

If you are upgrading to Windows 10, like I am, at first do Windows upgrade and activate your Windows license. After that you will be safe to change your HDD and Windows license remains. As you maybe already have heard Windows 10 license is coupled with computer hardware configuration. So if too much hardware will change (like motherboard on a laptop), your license can stop working.

I also used some disk partition cloning tool, to copy all my data from HDD to SDD, so I didn’t need to reinstall Windows at all. System booted like a charm. All programs and files there in their places and Windows was up and running. It has saved me a lot of time, so my recommendation goes to “EaseUS Disk Copy Home”, because it is also free. Note: make sure you have less data in HDD than total SSD size, otherwise copying all data not fit. It is possible to copy single partition (for example, only C drive).

What does it feel running old laptop with SSD? I really felt boost of performance: Windows was starting and reacting faster, all software, apps and games were running faster, copying huge and small files was super super fast. Appreciable speed increase from laptop for me was at least 2x-3x times.

I have run benchmark tests before and after hard drive replacement, so I could show difference between old HDD and the new Samsung 850 EVO 250GB performance. By the way, the Dell 5520 has SATA II connection, which is still enough to reach maximum of SSD performance (540 MB/s sequential read and 520 MB/s sequential write).

Dell Inspiron 5520 + HDD performance (CrystalDiskMark)

Dell Inspiron 5520 + HDD performance (CrystalDiskMark)

Dell Inspiron 5520 + Samsung 850 EVO 250GB performance (CrystalDiskMark)

Dell Inspiron 5520 + Samsung 850 EVO 250GB performance (CrystalDiskMark)

If you look only at plain numbers, hard drive read\write speed increase varies from 6-398 times for read operations and 6-290 times for write operations. The biggest increase is for small size chunks copying. Even these numbers are already amazing, additionally SSD performs a lot more IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) than HDD.

It is really worth do such replacement if you only want faster computer, but you are satisfied with everything else on the machine. I have now already changed all my laptops to run with SSD and I am planning  to help my non-technical relatives to do the same. I don’t see a reason why I should spend money by buying new machine, while I can replace single part to extend computers lifetime.

TomTom Via 135 can’t update maps (solved)

Last week I was solving big issue with my TomTom Via 135 (including Lifetime Maps). As usually (every quarter) I got email about new free map available for my navigation device. As usually I connected my device to computer and expected smooth update process. But this time things went bad…

Download of a map went OK using MyTomTom application. Maybe I even didn’t saw at first, but later I noticed that I got this error while updating the maps.

TomTom Via 135 not connected. Installation interrupted. Please reconnect your navigation device.

1) Not connected. Installation interrupted. Please reconnect your navigation device.

I immediately started cheeking what have happened. Old maps from my navigation device were deleted and new maps were not yet installed. I was getting red screen on TomTom navigation and a message “Maps not found”.

I tried like ten more times to proceed with copying, but neither was good. Still was getting the same message (1). So started Googling…

I found such issues similar to mine: “tomtom installation interrupted”, “tomtom not connected”, “tomtom no maps found”. Also bumped into this advices from TomTom support (copied for the future):

  • Make sure you have the latest Service Pack for Windows installed.
  • Reset your navigation device and make sure that your device is switched on when connecting to the computer.
  • Make sure you are logged in as an ‘Administrator’ to ensure that you have sufficient rights to connect new hardware to your computer.
  • Connect your navigation device to a different USB port on your computer.
    You should plug the USB connector directly into a USB port on your computer and not into a USB hub or USB port on a keyboard or monitor.
  • Make sure that you are using the original USB cable that came with the navigation device and connect it directly to the device. You cannot use the mount to connect your device to your computer.
  • Check if the USB cable is faulty.
    If possible, use a different USB cable to connect your navigation device to the computer.
  • Firewalls, antivirus scanners and pop-up blockers can also interfere with MyDrive Connect. It may be necessary to configure your firewall and router to allow MyDrive Connect full access to the internet.
  • If you are using MyDrive Connect on a business network, for example at your workplace, be aware that your company may have restrictions and access policies that may prevent MyDrive Connect from connecting to TomTom servers. Also, if you are using a public network, it could be an unstable internet connection and could cause a download or an installation failure.

None of these tips were helpful. Also tried many suggestions from TomTom forums, but also without luck. I was still experimenting after few days. After cache cleanings, re-installations, resets, different USB ports, different computers, different browsers (TomTom MyDrive) and various other things I saw this new error while TomTom was plugged in (for a long time):

TomTom USB device not recognized

TomTom USB device not recognized

Again Googled and in few posts found out that TomTom device, if connected successfully, should show up in “Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Devices and Printers” and also in “Device Manager\Network adapters”. I was not seeing it.

In the mean time, I got automatically “critical update” for MyTomTom software (Windows) and it became TomTom MyDrive. Web interface had this name long time ago. But error didn’t disappear after software update.

TomTom MyDrive installation interrupted. Please reconnect your navigation device

Installation interrupted. Please reconnect your navigation device

The only thing I was suspecting was the same USB malfunction error. Totally accidentally I tried not TomTom original cable. As I saw later this tip was already mentioned by TomTom itself: “Check if the USB cable is faulty. If possible, use a different USB cable to connect your navigation device to the computer”. I have used micro USB cable from my phone to connect TomTom navigation to a computer. I needed carefully insert micro connector to the navigation device, because it was not like TomTom hook thing and I was afraid to damage micro USB slot in the device itself.

Solution: with the new USB cable I updated the maps on TomTom from the first try. After many hours I was again able to use the device. But I am still not sure if this “fix” is future proof… 

I hope this information summary will help you in your case solving, dear reader!

For the record, I also made some print screens of TomTom device details (Device manager -> Network adapters -> TomTom), before the fix.

TomTom device manager network adapters general

Currently, this hardware device is not connected to the computer (Code 45)

TomTom device manager network adapters driver