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An administrator account is a user account in Windows that provides full permissions to make system changes, including those that will affect other users. Administrators can change security settings, install software and hardware, and access all files on the computer.

Drivers and software should be installed as an administrator to make sure that the user account has full permissions to make all system changes required by the install. Many driver and software packages need to be executed as an administrator to install all necessary components, even if the user is currently logged in as an administrator.  You can do this by right-clicking on the setup file and selecting Run as administrator.

You may need to change your IP address to access your StarTech.com networking device.  To explain why, first we need to explain how IP addresses work.

IP addresses are made up of four sets of numbers generally between 1 and 254, also known as "octets".  For example, 192.168.0.1.  This is required because two devices on a network typically need to have their IP addresses configured to be on the same network to be able to view and connect to each other.

Typically in order for devices to be on the same network, the first three octets must match. The fourth octet must be different, as two devices cannot have the same IP address. For example, if your computer’s IP address is 192.168.0.1, then the network is 192.168.0.xxx. You can replace the xxx with any number, as long as it is not currently in use by another device.

Certain StarTech.com devices come with a static IP address set. This address may not be on the same network as the host computer or router that it is being connected to. Manually setting a static IP address on the host computer to the same network of the StarTech.com device will allow you to connect directly to the StarTech.com networking device. This will allow the StarTech.com device’s networking properties to be manually configured through the host computer.  Here you can set a new static IP address for the StarTech.com networking device, which will allow it to connect with your local area network (LAN).  At this point you can change your computer's IP address back to what it was previously and still access the StarTech.com networking device.

Windows

The easiest way of determining the IP address of your router in Windows is to use the “ipconfig /all” command. The output of this command will display an IP address for “Default Gateway” - this is your router. To use this command, complete the following:

  1. Go to the Windows Desktop screen.
  2. Press the Windows key + R.
  3. Type cmd in the text field and press Enter.
  4. Type ipconfig /all.

Mac OS

The easiest way of determining the IP address of your router in Mac OS is to check Network settings. To find the IP address for your router, complete the following:

  1. Click on Apple menu.
  2. Click on System Preferences.
  3. Click on Network.
  4. Highlight the network being used, and click Advanced.
  5. Click the TCP/IP tab near the top of the window.

Your router's IP address is listed beside Router.

To disable Windows Firewall, complete the following:

Windows 8 and 10

  1. Right-click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  3. Click System and Security.
  4. Click Windows Firewall.
  5. Click Turn Windows Firewall on or off.
  6. Select Turn off Windows Firewall.
  7. Click OK.

Windows 7

  1. Click Start.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  3. Click System and Security.
  4. Click Windows Firewall.
  5. Click Turn Windows Firewall on or off.
  6. Select Turn off Windows Firewall 
  7. Click OK.

A static IP address is an IP address for a device on a network that has been manually configured not to change. This is often done for devices on the network that will need to be accessed very reliably by other systems or devices on the network.

For more information on static and dynamic IP addresses, refer to the following FAQ: http://www.startech.com/faq/networking-general-static-or-dynamic-ip-address.

A dynamic IP address is an IP address that can change every time you connect to the Internet. A dynamic IP address is generally assigned by a router that has been configured to distribute IP addresses. A network that is configured to assign dynamic IP addresses does so every time a network device is connected, without any setup required by a person.

Dynamic IP addresses expire after a certain period of time has elapsed, usually configured when the network is setup.  It is common to have dynamic IP addresses expire after a few days.  When a dynamic IP address expires, a router will assign a new dynamic IP address.  This can be the same IP address the network device previously had, or a new IP address.  For this reason it is preferable for certain network devices to have static IP addresses assigned by a network administrator.

It is ideal to use a static IP address for devices on your network that will need to be accessed very reliably by other systems or devices on the network. A device set with a static IP address makes sure that the device is easily found on the network, since the IP address will not change. It is also recommended to use static IP addresses for devices within the network that are accessed by the Internet (as in the case of a web server) or when it is critical that a data connection is not interrupted. Two examples of devices that we would recommend using static IP addresses for are network print servers and serial over IP devices.

A dynamic IP address is convenient to use for home networks, where you want it to be as easy as possible for new network devices to be added or removed, and your only concern is accessing the Internet with your network devices. Since most routers will assign IP addresses automatically using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), and most devices will have the option to use a dynamic IP address selected by default, this often requires the least amount of configuration.

You can have some devices, such as computers, use DHCP to automatically obtain an available IP address from your router, while other devices, like your network print servers and serial over IP devices use static IP addresses.

One easy way of verifying that your network device can see another network device is to use the “ping” command. This command, entered in Command Prompt in Windows, or Terminal in Mac OS, can be used to send packets of information to an IP address and receive them back. This is done to make sure that the devices can communicate with each other.

For more information on how to ping another network device, refer to the following FAQ: https://www.startech.com/support/faqs/technical-support?topic=networking#ping-test-windows-mac-os.

A hard drive needs to be initialized by the operating system before it can be used. The process of initializing the hard drive involves setting the partition style; this will define how the hard drive will store the partition information so that the operating system knows which sectors belong to each partition, and which partition is bootable. The options are MBR (Master Boot Record), and GPT (GUID Partition Table), with GPT being used more commonly with newer, larger capacity hard drives.

A hard drive needs to be partitioned so that the operating system knows how the data on the hard drive will be arranged. It is common to create one large partition on a hard drive for all of the data (often identified as C:). You can create multiple partitions on a hard drive, and each will be assigned a drive letter in Windows or a name in Mac OS.

Formatting a hard drive is necessary to apply a file system. A file system is used to control how data is stored and retrieved. In Windows, the most commonly used file system is NTFS, and for Mac OS it is Mac OS Extended (also referred to as HFS Plus).

Note: Formatting a hard drive will erase all data on the hard drive.  Make sure you have any data backed up before continuing.

Before you can access a hard drive in your operating system, it needs to be initialized. You typically only need to initialize a hard drive if the drive is new.

Windows

A hard drive can be initialized in Windows using Disk Management. To open Disk Management, complete the following:

Windows 8 and 10

  1. Right-click the Windows icon.
  2. Click Disk Management.

Windows 7

  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click Computer.
  3. Click Manage.
  4. Click Disk Management.

Typically, you will be prompted to initialize your hard drive, which will show up in Disk Management as a hard drive with a black bar (as opposed to a blue bar for initialized and partitioned drives). If this is the case, omit steps 1 and 2 below. If you are not prompted automatically, complete the following steps:

  1. Right-click where the disk number is listed.
  2. Click Initialize Disk.
  3. Click either MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table).

Note: If you are running Windows 7 or later and are using a drive larger than 2TB, initialize the hard drive with GPT. If you are running an earlier version of Windows, initialize the drive(s) with MBR. For more information, refer to the following FAQ: https://www.startech.com/support/faqs/technical-support?topic=hard-drives#mbr-vs-gpt.

Mac OS

Mac OS automatically detects hard drives that need to be initialized and will prompt you to initialize the hard drive. If you are prompted to initialize a hard drive, click Initialize. If you are not prompted to initialize the hard drive and you cannot find the hard drive in Finder, you will need to create a partition on the hard drive.

For more information on creating a partition, refer to the following FAQ: https://www.startech.com/faq/hard-drives-general-partition.

Windows

A hard drive can be partitioned in Windows using Disk Management. To open Disk Management, complete the following:

Windows 8 and 10

  1. Right-click the Windows icon.
  2. Click Disk Management.

Windows 7

  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click Computer.
  3. Click Manage.
  4. Click Disk Management.

In Disk Management, if the connected hard drive is not yet partitioned, it will show up with solid black bars and the label “Unallocated”. To partition the hard drive, complete the following steps:

  1. Right-click the unallocated space and click New Simple Volume (partition).
  2. Click Next.
  3. Enter Volume Size in MB.

Note: The default size will be the entire capacity of the drive, which is recommended if a single partition will be used.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Click the desired drive letter to use.

Note: Windows will automatically use the next available letter as default.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Click Do not format this volume if you are not formatting at this time. Click Format this volume with the following settings if you wish to continue with formatting as well.

Note: Formatting a hard drive will erase all data on the hard drive.  Make sure you have any data backed up before continuing.

Refer to the following FAQ for more information on formatting hard drives: https://www.startech.com/faq/hard_drives_general_format.

Mac OS

To create a partition on a new drive in Mac OS, complete the following:

  1. Click Finder.
  2. Click Applications
  3. Click Utilities.
  4. Double-click Disk Utility.
  5. Click the new hard drive.
  6. Click Partition.
  7. Click [+].
  8. Under Name, enter a name for the partition.
  9. Click the desired format for the hard drive in the Format field.

Note: The most commonly chosen format is Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

  1. Enter the size of the partition (in gigabytes) in the Size field.
  2. Click Apply.

Note: Formatting a hard drive will erase all data on the hard drive.  Make sure you have any data backed up before continuing.

Windows

A hard drive can be formatted in Windows using Disk Management. To open Disk Management, complete the following:

Windows 8 and 10

  1. Right-click the Windows icon.
  2. Click Disk Management.

Windows 7

  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click Computer.
  3. Click Manage.
  4. Click Disk Management.

In Disk Management, if the connected hard drive is not yet partitioned, it will show up with solid black bars and the label “Unallocated”. For more information on how to partition a hard drive and why you may want to, refer to the following FAQ: https://www.startech.com/faq/hard-drives-general-partition.

If the hard drive has already been partitioned but not formatted, it will show up in Disk Management with a blue bar, but without a file system associated. To format a hard drive, complete the following:

  1. Right-click on the blue bar.
  2. Select Format.
  3. Enter a name for the partition under Volume Label.
  4. Under File System, choose your preferred option.

Note: If you are unsure which option to choose, NTFS is commonly used.

  1. Click OK.

Mac OS

A hard drive can be formatted with the Mac OS Extended file system by using Disk Utility. To format the hard drive, complete the following:

  1. Click Finder.
  2. Click Applications.
  3. Click Utilities.
  4. On the left side of the window, click the drive name.
  5. Click Erase.
  6. Click Mac OS Extended (Journaled) under Format.
  7. Enter a name for the drive.
  8. Click Erase.
  9. Click Erase again to confirm.

A drive letter can be assigned or changed in Windows using Disk Management. To open Disk Management, complete the following:

Windows 8 and 10

  1. Right-click the Windows icon.
  2. Click Disk Management.

Windows 7

  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click Computer.
  3. Click Manage.
  4. Click Disk Management.

To assign a drive letter in Disk Management, complete the following:

  1. Right-click the drive you would like to change.
  2. Click Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Click the letter you want to use.
  5. Click OK.

To change a driver letter in Disk Management, complete the following:

  1. Right-click the drive you would like to change.
  2. Click Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  3. Click Change.
  4. Click Assign the following drive letter.
  5. Click the letter you want to use.
  6. Click OK.

To rename a hard drive in Mac OS, complete the following:

  1. Click Finder.
  2. Under Devices, click on the hard drive.
  3. Below the icon of the hard drive, click and hold on the name of the hard drive, until a field opens.
  4. Enter the new name for the hard drive.
  5. Press Return.

Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface (ATAPI) is a protocol that allows a greater variety of devices to be connected to a computer than ATA (PATA / IDE and SATA) on its own would allow. ATAPI allows IDE and SATA controllers to support optical drives.  ATA on its own doesn't allow for specific functions required by optical drives, such as a "media eject" command or a way for the controller to determine whether media is present in the optical drive. Optical drives include CD-ROM drives, DVD-ROM drives, and Blu-ray players.

You can change your default audio playback device in Sound. To do so, complete the following:

  1. In the bottom right of the Desktop, right-click the speaker icon.
  2. Click Playback devices.

Note: A list of all available playback devices should be displayed.

  1. Right-click on the desired audio device for default playback.
  2. Click Set as Default Device.

You can set the audio output device in the Sound utility. To accomplish this, complete the following:

  1. Click Apple icon.
  2. Click System Preferences.
  3. Click Sound.
  4. Click Output tab.
  5. Click the output device you would like to use.

You can change your default recording device in Sound. To do so, complete the following:

  1. In the bottom right of the Desktop, right-click the speaker icon.
  2. Click Recording devices.

Note: A list of all available recording devices should be displayed.

  1. Right-click on the desired device for default recording.
  2. Click Set as Default Device.

You can set the sound input device in the Sound utility. To accomplish this, complete the following:

  1. Click Apple icon.
  2. Click System Preferences.
  3. Click Sound.
  4. Click Input tab.
  5. Click the input device you would like to use.

A driver is a small piece of software that tells the operating system and other installed software how to communicate with a piece of hardware.

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