ASUS K56C, i5, 8GB, GT 740M

For sale is my ASUS K56C. The laptop is in very good condition. The lid has a couple of scratches and a couple of tiny dents, but is purely superficial. The keyboard doesn’t have a £ symbol, but you can hot key or enter code “alt” and then “0163”.

I bought this off gumtree a few months back, hoping I would get some time to play games, but work and family life said no. So this is up for sale. Specs are as follows:

Windows 7 Home Premium (Can update to Windows 10)
i5-3317U
8GB RAM
GT 740m…

ASUS K56C, i5, 8GB, GT 740M

The HP Elite x2: Stunning, Secure, and Built for Business

Today, HP Inc. announced one awesome piece of hardware: the HP Elite x2, an incredibly versatile tablet that offers the productivity of a full notebook and the convenience of a tablet. It’s perfectly designed for the mobile professional, and it’s also the first tablet to combine BIOS-level security with HP SureStart, manageability with HP Touchpoint Manager, and an optional Intel vPro processor. In short, the HP Elite x2 is a dazzling machine with top-shelf security and all the accoutrements that a modern business professional needs.

The HP Elite x2 with Windows 10 offers productivity of a full notebook and convenience of a tablet.
The HP Elite x2 offers productivity of a full notebook and convenience of a tablet

The tablet is a mere 8.1mm thin, weighing less than two pounds – with a built-in kickstand that offers an impressive 150 degrees of adjustability, whether you’re using it with a proper keyboard, or just lounging around and using the touchscreen. Either way, the Elite x2’s 12-inch diagonal anti-glare HD display automatically adjusts to different lighting conditions. It’s convenient no matter how you choose to use it.

The built-in kickstand of the HP Elite x2 offers 150 degrees of adjustability
The built-in kickstand offers 150 degrees of adjustability

And of course, performance is the key factor. On top of the Elite x2’s long battery life, Intel Core M processor, built-in SSD technology, HP Noise Reduction software, 4G LTE modem, and a variety of ports (including USB-C and USB-A), it also comes loaded with Windows 10 and all of the great features that it brings to the table. Cortana, Microsoft Edge, Continuum, and the Windows Store are just the tip of the iceberg for the latest and greatest release of the world’s premier operating system.

“We designed the HP Elite x2 to be thin, light and powerful in a way that captures the simplicity and elegance users will love while also delivering the durability, serviceability, security and manageability IT departments need to enable true mobile productivity,”

— Michael Park, vice president and general manager, Mobility, Personal Systems, HP Inc.

The Elite x2 includes the HP Active Pen with App Launch as a standard feature

The Elite x2 includes the HP Active Pen with App Launch as a standard feature

The HP Elite x2 is expected to start shipping in the United States in January 2016, through HP’s online shopping portal and its retail partners. You can pre-order the Elite x2 starting on Monday, November 23, at a starting price of $899 (which includes the HP Travel Keyboard and HP Active Pen with App Launch).

(added) HDDs, PSU, Case, Barebones

Coolermaster VS-450 semi modular 80+ Gold rated 450w PSU £40

Barebones Atom system – Intel D945GCLF2 ITX motherboard with N330 dual core Atom, 2Gb Ram fittd in a W110B ITX case with fanless 60W PSU. These were popular for Hackintoshing in the day but also run Amithlon well. £60 inc

Fractal Design Core 1100 micro ATX case (excellent scratch free condition) with DVD (writer?) drive £25 delivered or £18 collected (St Albans) *Sold elsewhere pending payment*

WD40EZRX Western Digital GREEN…

(added) HDDs, PSU, Case, Barebones

StarTech 2 Port SATA 6GPS PCI Express SATA Controller Card (With RAID) – Reduced to £12 delviered

As header, I have this 2 port SATA PCI-E card surplus to requirements.

I only installed it for about an hour and then realised I could do what I wanted to on the motherboard so it went back in the box.

For the record its this one….

2 Port SATA 6 Gbps PCI Express SATA Controller Card

Comes boxed with driver CD and both large and low profile bracket….

StarTech 2 Port SATA 6GPS PCI Express SATA Controller Card (With RAID) – Reduced to £12 delviered

Asus x102b 10.1 inch touchscreen laptop

For sale I have a like new boxed Asus X102ba 10.1 inch touchscreen laptop. It comes with Microsoft office 2013 and it’s been upgraded to Windows 10. I only purchased this in July and so there is still warranty left. Was purchased off ebuyer and I have only used it twice after receiving a new laptop as a gift. Can be collected from Whalley Range, Manchester with cash on collection. Any offers or questions just comment or message me.

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Asus x102b 10.1 inch touchscreen laptop

Discrete Device Assignment — Description and background

With Windows Server 2016, we’re introducing a new feature, called Discrete Device Assignment, in Hyper-V.  Users can now take some of the PCI Express devices in their systems and pass them through directly to a guest VM.  This is actually much of the same technology that we’ve used for SR-IOV networking in the past.  And because of that, instead of giving you a lot of background on how this all works, I’ll just point to an excellent series of posts that John Howard did a few years ago about SR-IOV when used for networking.

Everything you wanted to know about SR-IOV in Hyper-V part 1

Everything you wanted to know about SR-IOV in Hyper-V part 2

Everything you wanted to know about SR-IOV in Hyper-V part 3

Everything you wanted to know about SR-IOV in Hyper-V part 4

Now I’ve only linked the first four posts that John Howard did back in 2012 because those were the ones that discussed the internals of PCI Express and distributing actual devices among multiple operating systems.  The rest of his series is mostly about networking, and while I do recommend it, that’s not what we’re talking about here.

At this point, I have to say that full device pass-through is actually a lot like disk pass-through — it’s a half a solution to a lot of different problems.  We actually built full PCI Express device pass-through in 2009 and 2010 in order to test our hypervisor’s handling of an I/O MMU and interrupt delivery before we asked the networking community to write new device drivers targeted at Hyper-V, enabling SR-IOV.

We decided at the time not to put PCIe device pass-through into any shipping product because we would have had to make a lot of compromises in the virtual machines that used them — disabling Live Migration, VM backup, saving and restoring of VMs, checkpoints, etc.  Some of those compromises aren’t necessary any more.  Production checkpoints now work entirely without needing to save the VM’s RAM or virtual processor state, for instance. 

But even more than these issues, we decided to forgo PCIe device pass-through because it was difficult to prove that the system would be secure and stable once a guest VM had control of the device.  Security conferences are full of papers describing attacks on hypervisors, and allowing an attacker’s code control of a PCI Express “endpoint” just makes that a lot easier, mostly in the area of Denial of Service attacks.  If you can trigger an error on the PCI Express bus, most physical machines will either crash or just go through a hard reset.

Things have changed some since 2012, though, and we’re getting many requests to allow full-device pass-through.  First, it’s far more common now for there to be VMs running on a system which constitute part of the hoster or IT admin’s infrastructure.  These “utility VMs” run anything from network firewalls to storage appliances to connection brokers.  And since they’re part of the hosting fabric, they are often more trusted than VMs running outward-facing workloads supplied by users or tenants.

On top of that, Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is taking off.  SSDs attached via NVMe can be many times faster than SSDs attached through SATA or SAS.  And until there’s a full specification on how to do SR-IOV with NVMe, the only choice if you want full performance in a storage appliance VM is to pass the entire device through.

Windows Server 2016 will allow NVMe devices to be assigned to guest VMs.  We still recommend that these VMs only be those that are under control of the same administration team that manages the host and the hypervisor.

GPUs (graphics processors) are, similarly, becoming a must-have in virtual machines.  And while what most people really want is to slice up their GPU into lots of slivers and let VMs share them, you can use Discrete Device Assignment to pass them through to a VM.  GPUs are complicated enough, though, that a full support statement must come from the GPU vendor.  More on GPUs in a future blog post.

Other types of devices may work when passed through to a guest VM.  We’ve tried a few USB 3 controllers, RAID/SAS controllers, and sundry other things.  Many will work, but none will be candidates for official support from Microsoft, at least not at first, and you won’t be able to put them into use without overriding warning messages.  Consider these devices to be in the “experimental” category.  More on which devices can work in a future blog post.

Switching it all On

Managing the underlying hardware of your machine is complicated, and can quickly get you in trouble. Furthermore, we’re really trying to address the need to pass NVMe devices though to storage appliances, which are likely to be configured by people who are IT pros and want to use scripts. So all of this is only available through PowerShell, with nothing in the Hyper-V Manager. What follows is a PowerShell script that finds all the NVMe controllers in the system, unloads the default drivers from them, dismounts them from the management OS and makes them available in a pool for guest VMs.

# get all devices which are NVMe controllers

$pnpdevs = Get-PnpDevice -PresentOnly | Where-Object {$_.Class -eq “SCSIAdapter”} | Where-Object {$_.Service -eq “stornvme”}

 

# cycle through them disabling and dismounting them

foreach ($pnpdev in $pnpdevs) {

       disable-pnpdevice -InstanceId $pnpdev.InstanceId -Confirm:$false

       $locationpath = ($pnpdev | get-pnpdeviceproperty DEVPKEY_Device_LocationPaths).data[0]

       dismount-vmhostassignabledevice -locationpath $locationpath

       $locationpath

}

Depending on whether you’ve already put your NVMe controllers into use, you might actually have to reboot between disabling them and dismounting them. But after you have both disabled (removed the drivers) and dismounted (taken them away from the management OS) you should be able to find them all in a pool. You can, of course, reverse this process with the Mount-VMHostAssignableDevice and Enable-PnPDevice cmdlets.

Here’s the output of running the script above on my test machine where I have, alas, only one NVMe controller, followed by asking for the list of devices in the pool:

[jakeo-t620]: PS E:test> .dismount-nvme.ps1
PCIROOT(40)#PCI(0200)#PCI(0000)
[jakeo-t620]: PS E:test> Get-VMHostAssignableDevice

InstanceID : PCIPVEN_144D&DEV_A820&SUBSYS_1F951028&REV_034&368722DD&0&0010
LocationPath : PCIROOT(40)#PCI(0200)#PCI(0000)
CimSession : CimSession: .
ComputerName : JAKEO-T620
IsDeleted : False

Now that we have the NVMe controllers in the pool of dismounted PCI Express devices, we can add them to a VM. There are basically three options here, using the InstanceID above, using the LocationPath and just saying “give me any device from the pool.” You can add more than one to a VM. And you can add or remove them at any time, even when the VM is running. I want to add this NVMe controller to a VM called “StorageServer”:

[jakeo-t620]: PS E:test> Add-VMAssignableDevice -LocationPath “PCIROOT(40)#PCI(0200)#PCI(0000)” -VMName StorageServer

There are similar Remove-VMAssignableDevice and Get-VMAssignableDevice cmdlets.

If you don’t like scripts, the InstanceID can be found as “Device Instance Path” under the Details tab in Device Manager. The Location Path is also under Details. You can disable the device there and then use PowerShell to dismount it.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a blog post without a screen shot. Here’s Device Manager from that VM, rearranged with “View by Connection” simply because it proves that I’m talking about a VM.

In a future post, I’ll talk about how to figure out whether your machine and your devices support all this.

— Jake Oshins

Apple iMac 21.5" Mid 2011

Mid 2011 21.5 inch iMac boxed with accessories and in superb condition. Zero scratches/damage of any kind and in full working order, only selling as have moved to a 27″ model.

Spec:
2.5GhZ i5
4 GB Ram
500 GB HDD
Radeon HD 6750M 512MB Graphics
Magic Mouse & Wireless Keyboard included.

Collection in West London is possible.

450 GBP plus delivery at cost.

Price and currency: 450 GBP
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT
Location: Ealing,…

Apple iMac 21.5″ Mid 2011

Samsung Chromebook XE303C12

It is in acceptable condition, the top case and hinges have some scratching/removed paint, along with a long mark next to the touchpad. This is only cosmetic damage, everything else works perfectly, no issues at all. The LCD screen is in good condition. Included is the Notebook and Charger (UK), do not have the original box. Battery life is superb, can get around 7/8 hours out of it if I reduce the screen brightness!

Any questions, please ask!

Price and currency: 75
Delivery:

Samsung Chromebook XE303C12