Windows 7 Blue Screens on New Hard Drive

Is your system crashing after having just installed a new hard drive in your Windows 7 computer?  Crashes typically occur when resuming from sleep mode and I recently had this issue after I moved my system over from a small hard drive to a much larger Western Digital 2Tb drive (See here).  After much searching, I figured out what the problem was and that (luckily for me) Windows 7 provided an easy fix. The problem has to do with really large hard drives 1Tb and above. See below for a solution to this problem.

The problem: When waking from sleep mode, a blue screen appears.

Why this occurs: When Windows is in sleep mode, the drive shuts down.  When your system comes out of sleep mode, the drive turns back on and spins up.  The larger drives take longer to come on and Windows times out before the drive is finished–resutling in a blue screen.

The solution: Windows provides a hotfix for this that can be downloaded and installed. See Microsoft support here for the hotfix.

Since installing the hotfix, my computer has worked perfectly!

I hope this helps others.

As always back to mechanical engineering and product design!

Should the density of snow be included in snow depth measurements?

Snow Measurement Device

With the large number of snow storms this winter, I have been thinking about all the snow I have been shoveling.  It seems to me that density should be included in the snow depth measurement.  I believe that meteorologists should report not only the measurement of snow as it has fallen to the earth but also should report the compaction of snow, for instance 12″ of snow will compact to 6″ inches of snow. This would give us a sense of how hard it will be to get rid of all the snow once the storm passes.

There is a method for measuring snow depth that involves returning the snow back to a liquid state then measuring the amount of liquid. This seems to be a bit much to me.  I propose a  system with a simple rod with a bearing plate on it. The user would measure the depth of snow with the plate at the surface then the user would then press the disk into the snow and take a measurement after reaching full compaction.

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Uses for SolidWorks Combine Subtract and Common Bodies

SolidWorks Bodies Combine Subtract and Common

Using bodies in SolidWorks is a good way to simplify your modeling by reducing the number of features needed to make a part.  Using Boolean features;  combine subtract and common are excellent methods to create complex parts or work in team on a single part.   One of the most common uses for body features is to connect two separate bodies.  This is typically done when the deign of features of your part are defined but the connection between is still unknown of variable.

Below is an animation of the three principal body cut features.  Combine (add) Subtract and Common.  Using a sphere I have shown the results of each of the features.

Continue reading to learn about the uses of the bodies especially working on a single part with a team!

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How to move Windows 7 to a new internal hard drive

Moving Microsoft Windows from one hard drive to another can be very stressful. For example you may be afraid that you will make a mistake and lose all your data. I used to be in your shoes but I have figured out a simple to do this.

Below is a description of how to create a system image of your current Microsoft Windows 7 setup, move it to a new hard drive, and successfully restart Microsoft Windows again.  I was really impressed with how easily this worked out so I wanted to put the details up for others to use.

For this process you will need:

  • A functional Windows 7 OS
  • A Windows 7 install disk
  • An external hard drive (large enough to hold your data while you transfer to a new internal hard drive)
  • A working knowledge of the installation process of a new hard drive
  • A new internal hard drive equal to or larger than your current internal hard drive

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