Keyboard Gone Crazy on Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook

How to Switch off the Number Block on a Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook S7220 or 7210

Somebody at Siemens or Fujitsu had the fantastic (not) idea to put something like a fake number block onto their notebooks.

You won’t ever need it. But you’ll accidentally switch it on and then you’re helpless. Some of your keys around k,l,o then will just not print k,l or o but 2,3,*,/ and 5.

123 instead of jkl and 56* instead of iop and so on.

You’ll doubt your senses are working correctly. You’ll think you should have stopped taking those pills long ago.

But your brain and your senses are working fine. The problem is, you’ve switched on accidentally the F*ck Fake Number Block.

At first you won’t know that you’ve switched on the number block, as you never knew of its existence. You’ll just see that the keyboard on your Lifebook has gone bat shit crazy.

You can switch it off by pressing the Fn key, releasing it and then pressing the Num Lock key. Pressing Fn and Num Lock together won’t work.

Delayed Hibernation Or Shutdown of Your PC

timeout /t 600 & shutdown /h

waits for 600 seconds and then puts the computer into hibernation.

Sometimes, it is desirable to be able to shut down your PC at a later time. For this task, there is the command line command shutdown on MS Windows PCs. Shutdown has a lot of options and I don’t need most of them most of the time. You can see them by running shutdown /?.

What I want is mostly to put the PC into hibernation in some time from now on. According to shutdown /?, shutdown /h /t 600 should do the trick and put the computer into hibernation in 600 seconds from now. But it doesn’t. I don’t know why, but the switches /h and /t do not work together with the shutdown command. There are two simple workarounds. For Vista and later, you can chain a timeout and a shutdown command with the &. So,

timeout /t 600 & shutdown /h

does what I want.

But on pre-Vista PCs, there is no timeout command. There you can use 600 pings to localhost to wait 600 seconds:

ping /n 600 127.0.0.1 & shutdown /h

shutdown /s /t 600 shuts down the computer in 600 seconds from now. This one works like it should.

Merge and Split PDFs with PDFSam

From time to time I need to merge some pdf files.
One such case happened today. I’ve written a book (Schach-Taktik. Training für Vereinsspieler, Bd. 1, ISBN 9783734731037) and ended up with two separate pdf files. To publish it, I needed to upload it as one pdf to my publisher BoD.

An easy task for PDF Split and Merge or PDFSam like it is called also. I am using version 2.2 and it just does what it should.

Attention: There are installers of PDFSam which want to install some Adware on your PC. So when installing it, be cautious. Do not click Yes without first reading what you are doing. Deselect all the unneeded stuff.
Rollei Rollei

Linux Live USB Creator

Sometimes it is useful to be able to start a computer not with its installed OS, but with another OS.

  • to clean up and rescue data after virus infestation.
  • to rescue data after crash of the system hard disk.
  • to test an OS.
  • to repartition hard drives.

So, people have developed so-called Linux Live Systems. Formerly, these have been usable from CD – and they still are – if your computer has an optical drive.

LinuxLive USB CreatorBut many newer PCs and Laptops do not have an optical drive. If you want to start such a computer with a live system, you need to put it onto an USB stick.

For this task, the Linux Live USB Creator (Lili) has been created.

Though it has got a terrible transparent/half-transparent UI, it is really easy to use, its documentation is decent and you can easily create a bootable Linux Live USB from e.g. the Avira Rescue System or one of dozens of other Linux distributions.

For the Avira Rescue System you cannot have persistence, so skip step 3. Also you don’t want to start your Avira Rescue System from Windows, and normally you don’t want to hide your files: Unselect all three checkboxes in step 4.

If you want to start a live system directly from Windows, you can select the corresponding option in Lili’s step 4. Then a special version of VirtualBox will be put onto the stick and you can run your live system inside VirtualBox.

Troubles With Booting the PC From USB Stick

To make your PC willing to boot from the created USB stick, you probably have to change some BIOS settings. You can reach the BIOS settings by pressing one of the keys Del, Esc, F1, F2, F8, F12 during boot. It is different from PC to PC. Many PCs write a short notice onto the screen during boot which key to press. But also some don’t and with some the text disappears too fast to read it so you have to guess.

If you’ve got a PC with UEFI BIOS, you probably have to enable the Compatibility Support Module (CSM) and/or disable Secure Boot.
You still might get problems: PCs with UEFI BIOS often use the GPT partitioning scheme for their hard drive and many live systems cannot cope with the GPT partitioning scheme.

Avira Rescue CD: Very Valuable

Avira Rescue 2-2In the 03/2014 issue of the german computer magazine com! there has been the very helpful Avira Rescue DVD.

The DVD contains a bootable system with

  • an Ubuntu version as OS
  • the Avira Rescue System including a virus scanner. If an internet connection is available, the virus scanner downloads the latest virus signatures.
  • A Team Viewer client. You get to the Team Viewer client via the second tab Support in the Avira Rescue System. See image below.
  • The Avira registry editor. You can start it via the third tab Tools in the Avira Rescue System.
  • Firefox, may be well used for research
  • Gparted, a partition editor
  • A manual
  • The Linux Live USB Creator

Avira Rescue 1

And the best: the DVD also contains an iso image of a CD which contains nearly all the stuff mentioned above. You can download the rescue iso image and the manual directly from Avira.

Of course, you can put the iso image to an USB stick to make a bootable USB rescue stick, too. The com! DVD contains the Linux Live USB Creator to do this.

The rescue system does work on Win 7 PCs and Laptops and Win 8 PCs, but not on Win 8 Laptops.

Further Tools

Avira Rescue 3The base of the rescue system is a trimmed Ubuntu and it contains a lot of the things usuallay present there. Some of these tools can be started directly from Ubuntu’s Unity launcher on the left. From top to bottom, the start menu is preconfigured with these entries:

  • Unity Dash
  • Avira Rescue System
  • Firefox
  • Home, a file browser
  • GParted
  • Terminal

But there are more tools available, like

  • a screenshot tool
  • an image viewer
  • a pdf viewer
  • Midnight Commander

How to start these further tools:
1. Click onto the topmost icon in the start screen, Dash. This will open a window containing the last used programs.
2. Here, click onto the second icon at the bottom which looks like a ruler besides a pencil besides a pen.
3. In the next view, click onto Show 45 more results somewhere in the middle of the screen.
4. Now you’ll see all the installed tools.

Where is my C: drive?

In the running file browser or other tools, you can find your C: drive under File System/target/C:.

What do you use as a rescue tool?