Tag Archives: computing

Recover Data from Internal Hard Drives

Computers are made of multiple different components. Not all components are vital to operations of a computer. For example, failure of a disk drive (DVD/BlueRay) would most likely have little to no impact on other functions of a computer. But failure of a vital component such as the processor, power supply or malfunctioning of a hard drive will lead to a situation where the computer is no longer operational. Do not panic. You may be able to recover data from such computers using either an external enclosure or using an IDE/SATA to USB adapter.

You can recover data from most “broken” computers even if you are not tech savvy. If you perform the recovery at home (or business) by yourself, you will save from $100 to $2000 CAD (2016 estimates) on data recovery costs.

External Enclosures

External enclosures are bit more expensive than the IDE/SATA to USB adapters. There are few advantages of this method for example, encloses these allow you to use the hard drive as an external storage device, if the hard drive is still in good condition. Another advantage of this method is that most enclosures are compatible with multiple interfaces such as USB 2.0, USB 3.0, older FireWire, etc. Higher end external enclosures will also have the ability to connect to a network as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) or to connect to multiple computers simultaneously.

Installation of external enclosures is fairly simple. To setup, attached the IDE or SATA connector and power supply cable from the enclosures’ printed circuit board (PCB) to the internal hard drive. You may also follow the instructions posted under IDE and SATA to USB Adapters. They are very similar to each other.

Example of a External Enclosure with connection points highlighted.
Example of a External Enclosure with connection points highlighted.

Image modified from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_enclosure#/ media/File:Usb_firewire_hard_disk_enclosure.jpg

IDE and SATA to USB Adapters

The IDE/SATA to USB adapters operate on the same fundamental principles as external enclosures. The major difference is that they do not have enclosure casing hence mostly used by computer technicians. The best advantage of using this method is that you can access the hard drives of computers and servers without completely removing the device from the main unit. The adaptors have a simple control board with IDE, SATA or other connectors and a power supply. As long as you can access these connectors on the hard drive, you can recover data from a unit without wasting time on removing components. These adaptors also take less space hence they can be easily transported and stored. Another advantage is the price. I must admit it is not a very good advantage because the price differences between IDE/SATA to USB adapters and external enclosures have significantly decreased in recent years.

Installation of these adaptors is bit more complicated than the external enclosures. Here are some suggestions for installation and usage of IDE/SATA to USB adapters.

Step 1: Ground yourself by using a wrist strap or by connecting a wire between yourself and the computer case (metal).

Step 2: Locate your internal hard drive and get clear access to data connector (IDE/SATA) and power connector of the unit.

Internal hard drive with attached cables from motherboard and PSU.
Internal hard drive with attached cables from motherboard and PSU. Click for enlarge image.

Step 3: Remove the attached IDE/SATA cable that runs between the motherboard and the hard drive. Remove the power rail connection between the computer’s Power Supply Unit (PSU) and the hard drive.

SATA and power connectors on a typical internal hard drive.
SATA and power connectors on a typical internal hard drive. Click for enlarge image.

Step 4: Attach the SATA connector from the IDE/SATA-USB to the hard drive and power connector from the IDE/SATA-USB power unit.

SATA and power connections from the IDE/SATA to USB adapter.
SATA and power connections from the IDE/SATA to USB adapter. Click for enlarge image.

Step 5: First power on the internal hard drive by plugging the IDE/SATA-USB power unit to a wall outlet. Then connect the control board to the IDE/SATA cable and the USB cable. Connect the USB cable to the computer.

USB connection to the computer via the IDE/SATA to USB adapter.
USB connection to the computer via the IDE/SATA to USB adapter. Click for enlarge image.

You should now have a USB attached mass storage unit on your computer just like a USB key. However, if this is not shown on the first attempt, disconnect power to the IDE/SATA to USB adapter, wait few seconds and reconnect the power.

Limitations

If the internal hard drive data is protected through hardware or software encryption, then this simple recovery method may not work. Sometimes only the main user folder such as “Documents” or “My Documents” is encrypted by the operating system (OS). In this case you will be able to extract data from all other locations except the user folder. For instance, Windows XP, 7 and 8 usually encrypt user folder by default except if the user change the default settings. This limitation also applies to professional data recovery services. If the password or encryption key is known, then data recovery companies may charge you a premium and may be able to recover your data. If the password or encryption key is unknown, then depending on how strong the encryption is no one can guarantee recovery success.

Another limitation is the differences in interfaces and communication protocols. Older products may have operating and file systems that are incompatible with modern computers. Hence, you will not be able to read information from the extracted drive. The best solution for this is to find an older unit that can read such data files and use that in the recovery process.

Corrupted files can also pose a major problem for recovering data. Sometimes when hard drives fail, they can overwrite meaningful data with useless junk. This can be reserved but at a very high cost because this type of recovery require military grade data recovery tools.

Finally, if the components of the hard drive have failed, then you have to send the drive to a laboratory that can take apart the disks and read it in a special dust free, static free and highly controlled environment. This is probably the most expensive recovery option and most likely be used by large corporations and government agencies than consumers and small businesses.

Installing a router and routing basics

Modem, Router and Modem-Router combination

The term routing has been in used long before the Internet age. In the past, routing refers to distribution of mail or landline (traditional) phone calls through mail sorting centers or telephone switching centers. Today, a router is an electronic networking device that acts as the “middle guy” between two or more data lines from different devices. A router manages the packets (data) migration between computers within the local area network (LAN) and provides distributed Internet (Wide Area Network) access to the local clients.

There are differences between a router and a switch. A router assigns individual identification tags for each unit in the LAN known as internal IPs through a method called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). DHCP help each individual unit to communicate properly with the rest of the units in the LAN and on the Internet (WAN). A network switch connects data lines from one single network for another without routing. A switch is often used in conjunction with a router to add additional physical ports or wireless connections to a network. A switch must obtain DHCP IP addresses from a router within the same network to work because switches do not have the DHCP engine.

Modem is a unit that converts signals from the WAN and transcribes into LAN format for internal use. It is the main communication hub between your home and the Internet Service Provider (ISP). It is usually provided by the ISP and sometimes contains a built-in router. If your modem has more than one LAN connection, then it must have an internal router. Without a router and its’ DHCP capabilities, you would not be able to connect more than one unit to the modem.

If you want to use a separate router with these modem-router combination units, you have to remove the routing capabilities of the unit. You can do this either by contacting your ISP or by following instructions on your specific model. A router is connected to the (or a) LAN port of your modem.

You may ask what is DHCP? DHCP is like a local address assignment office. When you paid for your Internet connection, usually the cable or telephone company assigns you an IP address known as the external IP. Each computer/network unit requires a unique IP address to communicate with other network equipment. But almost every household and business has more than one computer/network unit. The DHCP creates local addresses to separate each computer/network unit while maintaining the connection to outside world using just single IP address; the external IP. Another way to look at this is the router’s DHCP is like an intercom internal telephone exchange; one main phone number with multiple extensions. Each computer/network unit has their own internal IP (just like a telephone extension), but all units can be reach though a single Internet connection to the outside world. You cannot use a one Internet connection with a single IP to connect several units without a DHCP system.

Parts of a Router

Most consumers are not interested in internal hardware of networking equipment. However, it is important to have a familiarity with at least the external parts of a router in order to make an informed purchasing decision. The following diagram shows the basic parts; the WAN (Internet) port, LAN (local) ports, reset switch and the WPS push button. Depending on the type of router, the location of these may differ. Generally the WAN port is coloured or marked differently from the LAN ports. The reset button is usually a pinhole button where you need a pin/pen tip to press it.
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Above: Two images of a D-Link router and a Linksys router. 1. WPS button and it is usually pops out of the back surface. 2. LAN ports. Typically there are four ports on consumer grade routers. 3. WAN (Internet) port where the ISP connection is attached. 4. Rest button and unlike the WPS it is usually a pinhole button. This prevents accidental hard resets. Click on images to enlarge versions.

WAN port: The connection from your modem provided by your ISP will connect to this port via a CAT5e or CAT6 network cable (regular computer network cable).

LAN ports: Any computer or device can be connected to one of these ports. Usually only about four to five LAN parts are provided by the router manufactures. You may increase the number of LAN ports by attaching a network switch. A network switch can be used to increase the number of LAN ports from 4 to 50+. For a general home use with a family of four, I would recommend a simple 4 or 6 port switch or router.

WPS button: This is a standard secure WIFI connection method. If a device is equipped with the WPS (Wifi Protected Setup) button or software and a compatible wireless card, it can be connected to the wireless LAN by pressing the buttons on both units. Please follow the instructions on your specific router and the device for configuration.

Rest button: There are several things that can be obtained from the reset button. As the name implies, it can be used to reset the router to factory settings. Additionally, some router will allow the users to even rest set the router firmware all the way back to the original version. Depending on the router if you hold down the reset button for a short period, generally it will result in a factory default. If you hold the button for more than five seconds of so, it may reset the whole unit back to the original factory setting.

Installing a Router

Consumer routers currently in the market are usually plug-and-play type units. Manufactures includes quick install guides for faster setup. Depending on the manufacture and the quality of the product, a router can be as simple as just a DHCP server with few basic features all the way up highly customizable unit with as complex as VPN configurations (higher price units have more features). For home use I recommend a simple basic router. But if your house is large (eg. over 1500 sqft) or the wireless connection is not reaching every corner of the house, you should invest in a high-end router.

Typically a router can be installed by:

    1) Plug-in the Internet cable and at last one wired LAN computer.
    2) Turn on the power to the router and wait for few seconds (refer to specific manufacture instructions).
    3) Open a web browser on your LAN connected computer and either type in the router’s internal IP address or in “smart routers” the web address provided by the manufacture.
    4) Follow the “quick setup” or “automatic setup” or “plug-n-play setup” (each manufactures will have a different term to describe easy setup feature) to configure the router.
    You will have Internet with DHCP at the end of the Step 4. If that fails, do not immediately reboot the router. Instead wait few minutes (~10 min) because sometimes it takes more time than what manufacture stated to complete the initial setup. If there is still no connection, then reboot the router by physically disconnecting-reconnecting the power supply to the router.

Configuring a Router or Routing system of a modem

Computers

Simply plug-in the computer to a LAN port using a CAT5e or CAT6 cable. For wireless, use either the provided password by the manufacture or the new password you have created. Make sure to pick the wireless network name or SSID you have created during the setup of the router to find your network.

IP/Network Cameras

IP or network cameras are becoming popular due to lower prices. They are used as a deterrent against crime, baby monitors, pet monitors or simply for fun. While the “smart” IP cameras will allow you to view the live feed from anywhere in the world using a mobile application, you can also get direct access to most of the IP cameras from your web browser. To do this, you should reserve the internal IP of the camera using DHCP reservation in your router. Otherwise, every time the router reboots (power failures, etc) a new internal IP will be issued to the device. By reserving the internal IP, you can use the same internal IP to access the camera from any web browser by entering the internal IP address.

The DHCP reservation feature can be found in several places in the firmware (router software) depending on the routers’ model number and the manufacture. Please refer to the user manual or call the 1-800 helpline if you are uncomfortable with changing router configurations manually.

An example of a typical DHCP Reservations Table with three devices with reserved internal IPs.
An example of a typical DHCP Reservations Table with three devices with reserved internal IPs.

Network Attached Servers (NAS)

Similar to IP cameras, I highly recommend DHCP reservation for NAS servers. However, just like the IP cameras, most NAS server manufactures will allow you to access the home server using a mobile application or a web program regardless of the internal IP address. Additionally, if the NAS server is properly setup with a device name, regardless of the internal IP address, you can connect to the NAS server using the device network name. The IP cameras can also be setup with network names hence eliminating the need for the DHCP reservation. But in the long run, I highly recommend both network names and DHCP reservations for NAS servers and IP cameras. It makes it easier to troubleshoot problems in the future.

Network Printers

I do not recommend manual installation of network printers. Use the software provided by the manufacture to install the printer through a LAN connection. Most companies like Brother, Cannon and HP have excellent software tools to help you install (map) the printer to your home computers. You do not need a DHCP reservation for this type of installation because the printer software will look for the printer name/ID and the MAC (Media Access Control) address for connection.

Frequently asked Questions

How often should a router be replaced? A typical consumer grade router should last for at least one year with heavy usage (large downloads and uploads with heavy bandwidth usage). Some routers can last for five to six years. But the technology is changing at a rapid rate; hence to keep up with the technology and the increasing speed of the Internet, I would recommend changing the router biennially.

Do I need a router? Please consider investing in a router:

    -If you have more than one computer or network device (such as network printers, etc) and you only have one single LAN port available on your modem
    -If your modem comes with a routing capabilities but with limited number of LAN ports
    -If you need wireless (WIFI) connections, which is not provided through a ISP modem-router combination
    -If the range of the wireless (WIFI) provided by the ISP modem-router is small or the signal strength is weak
    -If you are planning an advanced LAN network (such as hosting file servers, multiple IP cameras, etc)

I recommend buying 10/100/1000 Mbps or gigabit routers and networking devices for both consumers and businesses. I do not know why companies still manufacture 10/100 Mbps units. Routers and switches are cheap and gigabit units will benefit you especially with the higher internal file transfer rates.

How much should I spend? If you are living in a small apartment or a condo, there is no point of buying a high-end top of the range router. The prices increase with the wireless range, the strength of the signal and the processor/hardware capabilities of the unit.

When should I add a network switch? If your wired network expand to the point where you no longer have enough wired LAN ports on the router, then buy a 10/100/1000 Mbps switch. Because most families now have NAS servers for family pictures, movies, music and other media, invest in gigabit routers and switches, which will improve the internal data transfer rates. Any network equipment that handles up to 1000 Mbps will not provide the full capacity throughput to the Internet due to Internet (ISP) speed limitations. (I don’t know any Canadian company that offer 1000 Mbps Internet speeds at this time).

Building a website

I do not think you need an explanation on what is a website. It is a digital platform that can be used to share information and media across the general purpose Internet (as opposed to internal sites). I have been asked by several people about website development. So I compiled this handy little FAQ type article so that you have all the answers in one place.

Basic questions

What do I need to create a website?
You need a web address, sever space for hosting your site and access to a decent Internet connection.

How can I obtain a web address?
You can obtain a web address from a domain registrar or a reseller. If you are also looking hosting options, you can also get a domain name from the same company that hosts your site. I use two companies; one for my domain and one for my hosting.

What domain name should I use?
If you are looking for free web hosting, please read the next question. But if you decided to create your own top-level domain (TLD) then I recommend using common/generic domains such as .COM, .ORG, .NET, etc. The .COM would be the preferred one.

If you are developing a website for country specific item or the name you desired is not available, you can get with a country code top-level domains. For example, cbc.ca. But beware of legal restrictions such as residency requirements. Some domains like .CAs can be registered by anyone. But others like .IN, you must need an Indian physical mailing address to register. Make sure you read the requirements when going for country specific domains before you register.

Additionally please do not register domain names of established companies and organizations. This will get you in hot water. For example, if you register ucalgary.com, you may be taken to court by the UofC.

It is possible to me to have a free website?
You can get a free web address from several different companies and organizations. For example, the WordPress (WP) offers free web addresses with hosting included at WordPress. If you need more detailed information on free WP setup click here. Of course there are other free service providers out there. Feel free to search for such providers. However, one big advantage of using WordPress based free service is that if you decided to migrate your entire site to a new server later time, it can be easily done with WP installs. Note that all free services will provide you with a sub domain names as opposed to top-level domains (TLDs). For example, yourname.wordpress.org instead of yourname.com.

Website design and building questions

How can I build a website?
There are few different ways. The most complicated, but the most primitive method is to develop using basic HTML pages.

The best option is to build a site with a Content Management Program (CMS). They allow you to use pre-configured templates with almost unlimited options for customizations. This saves a lot of time and money since most people can build a website by themselves without using a third party web developers. I highly recommend using a CMS like WordPress or Drupal. Even large organizations such as University of Calgary and CNN use Drupal and WordPress for their sites. These programs are free in almost all hosting packages.

Can I build a website on my own sever?
Yes you can. You can use simple HTML pages or you can also install CMS program for free on your server.

What do I need for my own server?
If you are asking this question and you do not already know the answer, please do not build your own server. Unless you have the time, resources, knowledge and enthusiasm to maintain your own server, please do not try this method. For that reason plus it will take a long explanation, I am not going to answer this question. Do your down research and use diligence to determine if it is worthwhile to do so. Remember, it will cost you a lot more to have your own physical server than to rent (“buy”) hosting from a company.

Can I get my own email address?
Once you have your own domain top-level name, you can create your own email address. There are two ways to do this; one is to go with Google Apps or if you went with a hosting provider, the hosting package will come with an email system included.

Note that Google Apps are no longer a free service.

Content and miscellaneous

Can I promote my site on search engines?
You do not have to do anything to add your site to Google Search. But you can speed up the process via Google Webmaster Tools. You can promote your website for a fee, but only do so if you are earning money off of the site itself. It is not worth it, if it is a personal website.

What can I publish on my website?
You can publish any media (images, videos, animations, etc) and text. The media files will take a lot of space and bandwidth on the server. Therefore be resourceful of what you publish and be smart. You can post videos on YouTube and embed the video to your website to save storage. You can reduce the size of the image by reducing high resolution images, etc.

While you can publish anything you want, beware of the local and international laws. Even in Canada, you are not allowed to publish certain items online such as other people’s personal information without explicit written permission, images obtained (copied) from other websites without appropriate reference or clearance, etc. In some counties publishing pornography or even birth control, etc may be considered illegal.

Can I sell items and/or accept donations online?
In most countries, including Canada, yes you can. But make sure you keep records of all your transactions for tax and auditing purposes. If you are a small company or if this is your personal website, I recommend using PayPal as a payment processing service provider. For donations this can be done simply via a link to the PayPal site. For ecommerce, you would have to install either a module on your CMS or install an ecommerce specific CMS to integrate payments via PayPal. Unless you are a large company or a growing small business, I recommend against accepting direct credit card payments.

Can I publish a website in languages other than English?
Yes you can. Simply write the pages in whatever the language you prefer. But for non-English languages, the site must have proper language coding at the top of the code. Even English and Chinese can be setup on the same page using UTF-8 Encoding standards.

Where can I learn HTML?
Google is your friend! Even with a CMS, you must learn at least basic HTML tags in order to maintain a website.

I am sure you probably have more questions. If you do not find this page helpful, try searching online or you can contact me with your questions.

Choosing a thermostat

In most parts of the developed world, we live in houses that are at least ten years old (or often older). Hence homeowners spent their money on home improvements. One of the easiest ways to renovate your house is to replace the old units with new ones. Today I am going to discuss a simple item found in every Canadian household; the thermostat.

Good old days

Thermostats in the past are based on mercury switches. The temperature and humidity information is passed to the furnace, air conditioner and humidifier from a mechanical leaver inside the thermostat. Today, the same task can be done either electronically or electrically without the use of mercury or mechanical parts. Almost all modern thermostats operate by sending electrical signals via two circuits built in to the controller and the receiver on the other end.

Choices

thermostats

With electronic controllers, you can buy thermostats from several different manufactures. Additionally there are many models even from the same manufacture. This is expected because modern units are not limited to manual controls. Depending on the type of the unit, you may be able to control the temperature and other aspects either remotely or via an automated system.

When purchasing a unit, here are few pointers to think about;
How old is your current furnace/heater, air conditioner and humidifier?
What are the types of input controls in your current units (can it take an electronic signal)?

If your units are old enough to replace, it may be time to replace them with a modern cutting-edge units. This way you can use any thermostat to control them. If you have an older unit, then make sure you have the right configuration for whichever the thermostat you want to install. For example, if you are missing a specific wire required for an electronic automated thermostat, you may either have to add an additional circuit box in between the controller and the heading/cooling unit or you may have to opt in for a traditional older thermostat. This is where the return policy of the store will help you out! However, you can avoid retuning an item by doing your research before you buy one.

Technology

There are several technologies in the consumer market. Most of them are proprietary technologies made by companies like Nest and Honeywell. Others have little more flexibility with built in standards like Z-wave, which can be used along with any Z-wave controller.

Most “smart” thermostats can be connected to your LAN (home network) and ultimately to the Internet. You can control these thermostats from computers and mobile devices in addition to physical controls. You can create accounts and enforce restrictions on who can control what. You can create schedules or in some thermostats can learn from your behavior and automatically create schedules for you (eg. Nest). You can create relationships between the thermostat and other units in the house. For example, you can connect a Z-wave thermostat to your front door sensor. Then you can set it up so that if the front door is opened between 4-6 PM, the temperature will increase from 19 C to 21 C. This way, when you come back from work, the house will be warmed up in few minutes. With the electronic and Internet age, the possibilities to make your house a home with technology are endless.

So when you are ready to buy a thermostat, ask yourself what do you want to do with it. Do you simply want to control the temperature? Or do you want to control the temperature via a computer in the house or mobile device or anywhere in the world? Of course, how much will you be spending?

Proprietary or Independent

Personally, I prefer flexible options because it limits dependencies. If you have a Nest thermostat, for your remote controls you will depend on the Nest network. Any issues there including technical or otherwise (like free to paid service), must go through Nest company. Contrast this with a Z-wave unit like Honeywell VisionPro Thermostat, in which the remote control is done through your home LAN and Internet connection. To me, it is no brainier; Z-wave is better for independence.

Here are some key things about proprietary verses the Z-wave based thermostats (or any other equipment). With proprietary technologies you get much better security and reliability. Since millions of others also use the same network and technology, you will provide with cutting edge support for your thermostat. It is also easier to setup a Nest thermostat than to setup a Z-wave thermostat for most people. However, you will be giving up your personal information such as “Away from home time/temperature” to a server somewhere in the world. Since you are one of millions of others on the same network, you may be vulnerable to cyber security issues. Additionally, you have no control over the network itself. While it may be reliable and secure, if the company responsible for the network decided to charge you for the remote service, you have no choice but to pay (or stop using the remote features).

Installation

Installation is very simple assuming you have all the right wires. In other words, as long as you have a compatible heating/cooling unit, you can install the thermostat by yourself. I found the programming the thermostat is harder than the actual installation process. But it is just me!

Installing web applications

There are two major platforms used commercially for web development; Microsoft Windows Server and Linux based OS versions such as Red Hat Enterprise. You could also get a fully operational free version of Linux Operating Systems for personal or small business use. Out of the two main platforms, the most popular one among large companies is Microsoft Windows Server. I will demonstrate how to install a Web Application using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer (version 4.6 to be exact).

Web Applications

Web Applications, Scripts or web modules are programs that can be installed on a server to manage web based media. It can be databases such as SQL, or server side languages such as PHP, or web Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Drupal. Some of these programs depend on others. Drupal and WordPress depend on PHP database so a server must have the PHP module installed to support them.

Microsoft Web Platform Installer (Web PI)

Web PI is a free software package (yep… it is legally free) developed and distributed by Microsoft. You can download it here. In includes a large repository of free web applications for web development and deployment. To install it, you need a Windows based operating system. It could be a server type OS or a regular desktop OS like Windows XP, 7, 8, etc. Check their website for supported systems.

I will use the Web PI 4.6 installed on Windows Server 2012 Datacenter OS for my examples. But the process is the same/similar regardless of the Operating System. Please note that this article explains the Server Administer side installation process. The client side installation process, which you usually get through a web hosting company, has a completely different installation process (on shared hosting).

Installing WordPress Web App

WordPress is the most popular platform for blogging for awhile. Recently full-blown websites have been built on it. The WordPress platform became popular because it has an easy to use user interface and a streamline update system. Naturally, I will use the WordPress Web Application as an example. But you can install any other program or application using Web PI following the same steps.

1) After installing Web PI, select “Products” tab from the top. Install “ISS XX.XX Express” and “ISS Recommended Configuration”. You may have already installed these on your server during the initial setup of the system.

MS Web PI Products Tab. Make sure the key components are installed.
MS Web PI Products Tab. Make sure the key components are installed-Click to enlarge.

If the PHP module is not installed, you will be prompt to install during the install of applications that depends on it. Since we are going to install WordPress, you may also install the PHP module now.

2) Select “Applications” tab and “Add” all the Web Apps you would like to install. You may install more than one at a time. After adding, press “Install”.

MS Web PI Applications Tab. Add for installation.
MS Web PI Applications Tab. Add for installation-Click to enlarge.

In this particular example, I will be installing one application; WordPress for Windows. Other options include variety of CMS such as Drupal, Joomla, Orchard, .NET, etc and web programs such as Moodle, Gallery Server Pro, etc.

3) The PREREQUISITES Window will check for all dependencies. If a dependency such as SQL or PHP is not installed, this will add those to the installation process. Accept for installation. Depend on the speed of your computer components, it will be installed in few seconds to a few minus period.

Prerequisites for WordPress Web Application.
Prerequisites for WordPress Web Application-Click to enlarge.

Application installation process.
Application installation process-Click to enlarge.

4) Once installation is completed, you will be greeted with the CONFIGURE Window. Select the location of install in your system from “Web Site” drop-down. The “application name” will determine the folder in which the installation will be done. In this case I choose “wp” as my application name. Hence the final access will be at http://localhost:80/wp and you may change the root folder of the site later. Keep reading this article for more information on how to do that.

WordPress installation server location setup.
WordPress installation server location setup-Click to enlarge.

5) The next CONFIGURE Window has a form which user should edit. Do not panic! All those “Keys” can be confusing. Just enter either a random set of numbers and letter or something meaningful to you. It does not matter what you enter. I usually use the exact same set of characters for all of the options. Press “Continue”.

Web Application Configuration Window. Type several characters for each option (key).
Web Application Configuration Window. Type several characters for each option (key)-Click to enlarge.

6) Record all the “Password Settings” information under the FINISH Window. You may “Copy to clipboard” and paste it somewhere for saving as well. I usually save in a Text file.

Password Settings for WordPress app Install.
Password Settings for WordPress app Install-Click to enlarge.

Now you may visit the site by selecting “Launch WordPress” or you may simply type the location address in Step 4 on a Internet window. Close the windows by pressing “Finish”. The first thing you will see on the Internet window is a setup page. Each Web App has its’ own setup page. In this particular example, it will be a WordPress CMS setup page. This is the final step!

WordPress CMS setup page.
WordPress CMS setup page-Click to enlarge.

Additional options

We setup the Web App in a folder named “wp” in Step 4. But let’s say your client insists that their website should not have “wp” as prefix (http://example.com/wp). You do not have to reinstall everything. You do not have to relocate the folders on the server either. What you need to do is to go to the domain settings and make “wp” your root folder. Now the http://example.com/wp will be http://example.com/. Another way to do this is through domain registrar options. You can point the domain name to wp folder from there as a root.

As mention before, you may install any of the Web Applications on a single server. They very lightweight programs, that they will not effect the performance of the server (but the traffic flow will). I highly recommend using different folders for each Web Application. This will avoid conflicts between them.

By default, all web applications take Port 80 (HTTP port) over others. However, you may also change this to whatever the port you want. You may ask, why would you want to use non-standard port? One reason would be that you are a developer or a student. If your ISP blocked access to Port 80, then you can bypass this by using a different port and utilizing port forwarding.