Support

Technical Support Questions

Choose from the categories below to find answers to common questions and resources, including troubleshooting steps, operating systems, or areas such as networking, hard drives and more.

Expansion Cards (PCI/PCIe/CB/EC/USB)

Q

Mac OS cannot detect my new PCI or PCIe expansion card. What do I do?

To determine if Mac OS detects your expansion card, you need to check System Information to see if the card is listed under the appropriate heading or is listed with an error (for example, Device has not been configured). An example of an appropriate heading for a network card is Ethernet Cards. The expansion card is listed in System Information as the name of the chipset. You can find the name of the chipset on the Technical Specifications tab for the product ID on www.startech.com/Support.

To open System Information, complete the following:

  1. In the upper-left screen, click the Apple icon.
  2. Click About This Mac.
  3. Click More Info or System Report.

If you installed a new PCI or PCI Express expansion card and Mac OS cannot detect the card, you can complete the following troubleshooting tasks to help to resolve the issue:

  • Turn off the computer, unplug the power cord, and remove the expansion card. Put the card back into the computer, making sure to apply firm pressure across the entire card. If the card is on an angle, it can cause issues and may not function properly.
  • Move the expansion card to another PCI or PCI Express slot.

Note: PCI Express cards work in PCI Express slots that are longer than the card and do not use the entire slot's capabilities. PCI Express expansion cards do not fit or work in PCI expansion slots, and PCI expansion cards do not fit or work in PCI Express expansion slots.

  • Put a different expansion card in the slot that is experiencing the issue.
  • Put the new expansion card in another computer.

If you completed the previous steps and determined that the problem is not with the card or expansion slots on the motherboard, you may need to update the EFI firmware on your system.

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Q

Mac OS cannot detect my new CardBus or ExpressCard expansion card. What do I do?

To determine if Mac OS detects your expansion card, you need to check System Information to see if the card is listed under the appropriate heading or is listed with an error (for example, Device has not been configured). An example of an appropriate heading for a network card is Ethernet Cards. The expansion card is listed in System Information as the name of the chipset. You can find the name of the chipset on the Technical Specifications tab for the product ID on https://www.startech.com/Support.

To open System Information, complete the following:

  1. In the upper-left screen, click the Apple icon.
  2. Click About This Mac.
  3. Click More Info or System Report.

If you install a new CardBus or ExpressCard expansion card and Mac OS cannot detect the card, you can complete the following troubleshooting tasks to help to resolve the issue:

  • Turn off the computer, unplug the power cord, and remove the expansion card. Put the card back into the computer, making sure to apply firm pressure across the entire card. Press the expansion card as far into the slot as it can go. The expansion card should click into place. 
  • Put a different expansion card in the slot that is experiencing the issue with the new expansion card.
  • Put the new expansion card in another computer.

If you completed the previous steps and determined that the problem is not with the card or expansion slots on the motherboard, you may need to update the EFI firmware on your system.

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Q

Mac OS cannot detect my new StarTech.com USB device. What do I do?

To determine if Mac OS detects your USB device, you need to open System Information on your computer to see if your USB device is listed under the appropriate heading or is listed with an error (for example, "Device has not been configured"). Examples of appropriate headings for a USB video adapter include "USB without the driver installed" or "Graphics and Displays". The USB device is displayed in System Information, under the name of the chipset. You can find the name of the chipset by navigating to https://www.startech.com/Support, searching for the product ID, and clicking the Technical Specifications tab.

To open System Information, complete the following:

  1. In the top-left of the screen, click the Apple icon.
  2. Click About This Mac > More Info > System Report.

If you install a new USB device and Mac OS does not detect it, you can complete the following tests to identify the issue:

  • Open System Information and disconnect the USB device from your computer. Wait a few minutes, and click File Refresh Information. Reconnect the USB device. You should see a device disappear from System Information when you remove the USB device, and it should appear again when you reconnect it.
  • Connect the USB device to another USB port.
  • Connect the USB device to another computer.
  • Update the USB device drivers.
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Q

Windows cannot detect my new USB device. What do I do?

To check if Windows detects your USB device, you need to go to Device Manager to see if your USB device is listed under the appropriate heading or listed with an error. For example, an appropriate heading for a USB serial adapter is Ports (COM & LPT). The USB device is displayed in Device Manager under the name of the chipset. To find the name of the chipset for your product, navigate to https://www.startech.com, search for your product, and click the Technical Specifications tab.

To open Device Manager, press the Windows key + R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter.

If you install a new USB device and Windows cannot detect the USB device, you can perform some quick tests to rule out potential issues. 

  • Open Device Manager and then disconnect the USB device from your computer. Wait a few moments and then reconnect the device. You should see a device disappear from Device Manager when you remove the device, and it should appear again when you reconnect the device.
  • Connect the USB device to another USB port.
  • Connect the USB device to another computer.
  • Update the USB device drivers.
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Q

Windows cannot detect my new CardBus or ExpressCard expansion card. What do I do?

To determine if Windows detects your expansion card, you need to check Device Manager to see if the card is listed under the appropriate heading or listed with an error. An example of an appropriate heading for a USB controller card is Universal Serial Bus controllers. The expansion card is listed in Device Manager as the name of the chipset. You can find the name of the chipset on the Technical Specifications tab for the product ID on https://www.startech.com/.

To open Device Manager, press the Windows key + R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter.

If you install a new CardBus or ExpressCard expansion card and Windows cannot detect the card, there are some quick tests that you can complete to identify the issue. 

  • Turn off the computer, unplug the power cord, and remove the expansion card. Put the card back into the computer, making sure to apply firm pressure across the entire card. Press the expansion card as far into the slot as it can go. The expansion card should click into place. 
  • Put a different expansion card in the slot that is experiencing the issue with the new expansion card.
  • Put the new expansion card in another computer.
  • If you completed the previous steps and determined that the problem is not with the card or expansion slots on the laptop, update the motherboard's BIOS.
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Q

Windows cannot boot or cannot detect my new PCI or PCIe expansion card. What do I do?

If you install a new PCI or PCI Express expansion card and Windows will not load or Windows cannot detect your expansion card, there are some quick tests that you can perform to identify the issue. 

  • Turn off the computer, unplug the power cord, and remove the expansion card. Put the card back into the computer, making sure to apply firm pressure across the entire card. If the card is on an angle, it can cause issues and may not function properly. 

Note: This is a common problem with PCI Express x1 expansion cards.

  • Move the expansion card to another PCI or PCI Express slot. 

Note: PCI Express expansion cards work in PCI Express slots that are longer than the cards and do not use the entire slot's capabilities. PCI Express expansion cards do not fit or work in PCI expansion slots, and PCI expansion cards do not fit or work in PCI Express expansion slots.

  • Put a different expansion card in the slot that is experiencing the issue with the new expansion card.
  • Put the new expansion card in another computer.
  • If you completed the previous steps and determined that the problem is not with the card or expansion slots on the motherboard, update the motherboard's BIOS.

To determine if Windows detects your expansion card, you need to check Device Manager to see if the card is listed under the appropriate heading or listed with an error. An example of an appropriate heading for a USB controller card is Universal Serial Bus controllers. The expansion card is listed in Device Manager as the name of the chipset. You can find the name of the chipset on the Technical Specifications tab for the product ID on http://www.startech.com/.

To open Device Manager, press the Windows key + R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter.

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Serial

Q

How do I check to ensure the COM port is listed properly in Windows?

To ensure your serial device is installed properly, complete the following:

  1. Open the Device Manager by pressing the Windows Key + R. Type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter.
  2. Expand the Ports (COM & LPT) section.
  3. You should see a COM number in brackets to the right of each port, and there should not be any exclamation points or question marks next to the entries in the list.

 

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Q

My serial device requires a specific COM port to function, how do I change this in Windows?

Some serial devices require a specific COM port number to function. In these cases, consult the manual of your serial device to determine the correct number to use.

To change the COM port number of a serial device in Device Manager, complete the following:

  1. Open the Device Manager by pressing the Windows Key + R. Type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter.
  2. Expand the Ports (COM & LPT) section.
  3. Right-click the COM port and select Properties.
  4. Click the Port Settings tab and click Advanced.
  5. Change the COM port number to an available COM port number.

Note: Multiple serial ports cannot share the same COM port number.

  1. Restart your computer.

Note: Even if you change the COM port number back to the original number, you still need to restart your computer.

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Common Issues

Q

What is a Windows administrator account?

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.

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Q

Can I disable the beep the KVM switch makes when entering hotkey commands?

The beeping sounds cannot be disabled. They help confirm that a successful or unsuccessful hotkey command has been entered. Many people position their KVM switch out of sight.  As a result, this feature saves time by not having to check the LEDs or press the physical buttons on the KVM switch.
 

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Q

How do I assign or change a drive letter in Windows?

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.
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Q

Why should I install drivers and software as an administrator?

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.

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Q

What are drivers and why do I need them?

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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Q

Why would I need to change my computer's IP address to access my StarTech.com networking device?

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.

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Q

How do I format a hard drive?

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.
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Q

What is the difference between initializing, partitioning, and formatting a hard drive?

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.

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Q

What is a 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.

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Q

What is a static IP address?

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.

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Q

How can I check the IP address of my router?

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.

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Q

When should I use a static or dynamic IP address?

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.

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Q

What is ATAPI?

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.

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Q

How do I change my default recording device in Windows?

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.
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Q

How do I change my default audio playback device in Windows?

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.
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Q

How do I initialize a hard drive?

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.

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Q

How can I tell if my network device sees another network device?

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.

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Q

How do I disable Windows Firewall?

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.
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Q

How do I rename my hard drive in Mac OS?

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.
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Q

How do I change my sound input device in Mac OS?

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.
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Q

How do I partition a hard drive?

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.
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Q

How do I change my audio output device in Mac OS ?

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.
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Networking

Q

How do I ping another network device in Windows or Mac OS?

You can use the ping command to verify the connectivity between two network devices that are IP (Internet Protocol) based.

Windows

To ping another network device using a computer running Windows, complete the following:

  1. To bring up the run dialog, press the Windows key + R.
  2. Type cmd and press Enter.
  3. Type ping <IP address> and press Enter. The IP address is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, where xxx is a number between 0 and 255. For example, to ping 192.168.1.1, you would type ping 192.168.1.1.

If the ping is successful, you should receive replies from the address that you are trying to ping. If the ping is unsuccessful, you need to diagnose your network setup further.

To verify if your local network adapter is working, you can ping 127.0.0.1, which is a loopback address. The loopback address is a virtual network port for most operating systems.

Mac OS

You can use the ping command to verify the connectivity between two network devices that are IP (Internet Protocol) based.

To ping a network device using a system that is running OSX, complete the following:

  1. Click Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  2. Type ping -c <number of times to ping> <IP address>. The IP address is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, where xxx is a number between 0 and 255. For example, to ping 192.168.1.1 five times, you would type ping -c 5 192.168.1.1.

Note: If you do not enter the number of times that you want to ping the IP address, your system will continuously ping the address until you manually stop it. To stop pinging the IP address, press Control + C.

If the ping is successful, you should receive replies from the address that you are trying to ping. If the ping is unsuccessful, you need to diagnose your network setup further.

To verify if your local network adapter is working, you can ping 127.0.0.1, which is a loopback address. The loopback address is a virtual network port for most operating systems.

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Q

How do I change my IP address in Windows or Mac OS?

Windows 10 

  1. Press the Windows key + X.
  2. Click Network Connections.
  3. Right-click the connection that you want to change and click Properties.

Note: The IP address for a wired connection is called Local Area Connection or Ethernet. The IP address for a wireless connection is called Wireless Network Connection or Wireless.

  1. Left-click Internet Protocol Version (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.
  2. Select the Use the following IP address option.
  3. Enter your desired IP address and click in the Subnet Mask area, which should auto-complete.
  4. Click OK twice to apply the settings.

Note: If you are changing your IP address to access a specific device, minimize the Network Connections window. Complete the steps above, but in step 7, select Obtain an IP address automatically to access the Internet again.

Windows 8

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows Key + X.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click Change adapter settings on the left.
  5. Right-click the connection you want to change and choose Properties.  

Note: If you are changing the IP address on a physical connection, it will be called “Local Area Connection” or “Ethernet”.  If you are changing the IP address on a wireless connection, it will be called “Wireless Network Connection” or “Wireless”.

  1. Left-click “Internet Protocol Version (TCP/IPv4)” to select, then click Properties.
  2. Select the radio button "Use the following IP address".
  3. Enter your desired IP address and click into the Subnet Mask area, which should auto-fill appropriately.
  4. Click OK twice to apply the settings.   

Note: If you are changing your IP address to access a specific device, minimize the Network Connections window. Complete the steps above, but in step 7, select Obtain an IP address automatically to access the Internet again.

Windows 7

  1. Click Start, then select Control Panel.
  2. Click Network and Internet.
  3. Click Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click Change adapter settings on the left.
  5. Right-click the connection you want to change and choose Properties.  

Note: If you are changing the IP address on a physical connection, it will be called “Local Area Connection”.  If you are changing the IP address on a wireless connection, it will be called “Wireless Network Connection”.

  1. Left-click “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” to select it, then click Properties.
  2. Select the radio button "Use the following IP address".
  3. Enter your desired IP address and click into the Subnet Mask area, which should auto-fill appropriately.
  4. Click OK twice to apply the settings. 

Note: If you are changing your IP address to access a specific device, minimize the Network Connections window. Complete the steps above, but in step 7, select Obtain an IP address automatically to access the Internet again.

Windows Vista

  1. Click Start, then select Control Panel.
  2. Click Network and Sharing Center.
  3. Click Manage network connections on the left.
  4. Right-click the connection you want to change and choose Properties.  

Note: If you are changing the IP address on a physical connection, it will be called “Local Area Connection”.  If you are changing the IP address on a wireless connection, it will be called “Wireless Network Connection”.

  1. Left-click “Internet Protocol Version (TCP/IPv4)” to select it, then click Properties.
  2. Select the radio button "Use the following IP address".
  3. Enter your desired IP address and click into the Subnet Mask area, which should auto-fill appropriately.
  4. Click OK twice to apply the settings. 

Note: If you are changing your IP address to access a specific device, minimize the Network Connections window. Complete the steps above, but in step 6, select Obtain an IP address automatically to access the Internet again.

Windows XP

  1. Click Start, then select Control Panel.
  2. Click Network Connections.
  3. Right-click the connection you want to change and choose Properties.  

Note: If you are changing the IP address on a physical connection, it will be called “Local Area Connection”.  If you are changing the IP address on a wireless connection, it will be called “Wireless Network Connection”.

  1. In the middle of the Properties window, scroll down to "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and left-click on it to select it, then click Properties.
  2. Select the radio button "Use the following IP address".
  3. Enter your desired IP address and click into the Subnet Mask area, which should auto-fill appropriately.
  4. Click OK twice to apply the settings. 

Note: If you are changing your IP address to access a specific device, minimize the Network Connections window. Complete the steps above, but in step 5, select Obtain an IP address automatically to access the Internet again.

Mac OS

  1. Click the Apple menu.
  2. Click System Preferences.
  3. Click Network.
  4. Select the network device that you would like to configure.

Note: The IP address for a wired connection is called Local Area Connection or Ethernet. The IP address for a wireless connection is called Wireless Network Connection or Wi-Fi.

  1. Click Advanced.
  2. Click TCP/IP.
  3. Beside Configure IPv4, select Manually.
  4. In the IPv4 Address field, enter your desired IP address.
  5. In the Subnet Mask field, enter a default subnet address (for example, 255.255.255.0 for 192.168.xxx.xxx). 
  6. Do one of the following:
  • Leave the Router field blank.
  • Enter the IP address of the default gateway.
  1. Click OK and Apply to apply the changes.

Note: If you are changing your IP address to access a specific device, minimize the Network window. Complete the steps above, but in step 7, select Using DHCP to access the Internet again.

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Hard Drives

Q

How do I initialize a brand new hard drive in Windows or Mac OS?

Windows 10 

Before you can access a new or formatted drive in your operating system, you need to initialize it first and then create a partition on the drive. A partition defines an area of the drive to use for storing data. The partition uses a file system (for example, ex-FAT, NTFS, and so on).

Initialize a drive

Note: You typically only need to initialize a drive if the drive is new. If you cannot find an uninitialized drive in Disk Management, skip the following steps and try to partition your device.

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type compmgmt.msc, and click Run to open Computer Management.

  2. Navigate to Disk Management.

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

  4. Click OK.

Create a partition in a drive

Note: The following steps create an NTFS partition that uses the entire drive space. To use a different file system, select a different option in step 6.

  1. Right-click Unallocated or RAW volume, and select New Simple Volume.

  2. In the New Partition Wizard, click Next.

  3. Select Primary partition.

  4. Leave the partition size set to default, and click Next.

  5. Assign a drive letter or leave it set to the default, and click Next.

  6. Enter the following settings to format the partition:

  • In the File System field, enter NTFS.
  • Set the Allocation unit size to Default.
  • In the Volume label field, enter <your name/reference>.
  • Select the Perform a quick format check box.
  • Clear the Enable file and folder compression check box.
  1. Click Next > Finish.

The new drive should appear in Windows Explorer.

Mac OS

Before you can access a new or formatted drive in your operating system, you need to initialize it first and then create a partition on the drive. A partition defines an area of the drive to use for storing data. The partition uses a file system (for example, HFS+, ex-FAT, NTFS, and so on).

Initialize a drive

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

Create a partition on a drive

Note: The following steps create an HFS+ (Mac OS Extended (Journaled)) partition that uses the entire drive space.

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

  1. Open Finder.

  2. Navigate to Applications and click Utilities.

  3. Open Disk Utility.

  4. Select the new drive and click the Partition tab.

  5. Click Options and verify that it is set to GUID Partition Table.

  6. Enter a name for the partition.

  7. Click Partition.

The drive should now be accessible in Finder.

For products related to this article, click here.

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Q

What do MBR and GPT mean, and when do I use them?

MBR stands for Master Boot Record and was the default partition table format before hard drives were larger than 2 TB. The maximum hard drive size of MBR is 2 TB. As such, if you have a 3 TB hard drive and you use MBR, only 2 TB of your 3 TB hard drive will be accessible.

To remedy this, the GPT format was introduced. GPT is an acronym within an acronym. The G stands for GUID (Globally Unique Identifier), and the P and T stand for Partition Table. The maximum hard drive size of GPT is 9400000000 TB, with sector sizes of 512 (the standard size for most hard drives at this time).

If you have a hard drive that you would like to use and it is 2 TB or smaller, select MBR when you initialize the hard drive for the first time.

If you have a hard drive that you would like to use but not boot from and it is larger than 2 TB, select GPT (GUID).

If you have a hard drive that you would like to boot from and it is larger than 2 TB, you can select GPT (GUID), but you will also need to be running a supported operating system and the system's firmware must be UEFI, not BIOS.

If you need to switch from MBR to GPT, or GPT to MBR, you need to back up your data ahead of time to avoid losing all of the data on the hard drive when you format it.

For more information on this subject and Windows, refer to the following Microsoft knowledge base article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2581408.

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Video

Q

What is the difference between mirroring, spanning, and extending monitors?

Mirroring monitors means that you see the same thing on multiple monitors. 

Spanning monitors means that your computer interprets all of the monitors that are spanning as one giant monitor. You can see different things on each monitor, and your desktop, taskbar, Start menu, and background are stretched across the monitors.

Extending monitors means that your computer interprets the monitors that you are extending as separate devices. You can see different things on each monitor, and your desktop background is displayed on each monitor.

In general, video splitters can only be used to mirror monitors. If you want to extend your desktop across monitors, you need to make a separate video connection for each monitor that you are attaching. If you want to attach more monitors than your computer has video ports for, you can read about USB Video Adapters here: www.startech.com/AV/USB-Video-Adapters/.

If you are using a video card with a DisplayPort connection that supports DisplayPort 1.2 you can use MST hubs from StarTech.com to extend your desktop to each monitor.

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Q

What do I need to know about different versions of the DisplayPort standard?

DisplayPort is a modern digital video standard that is typically used for computer monitors. The standard replaces other standards such as VGA, DVI, and HDMI, but allows for adaption to older video standards.

There are two connector types for DisplayPort: DisplayPort and Mini-DisplayPort.

DisplayPort versions

Multiple versions of DisplayPort have been introduced. Later versions of the standard increased the bandwidth and amount of video modes, and implemented features beyond a simple video standard. The version is typically identified by the DisplayPort source and destination device specifications.

The following table shows the key features of each revision.

Version Release date Maximum speed Connector type(s) Introduced features
1.1 May 2006 8.64 Gb/s DisplayPort
  • Copper and fiber cabling
  • HDCP and DPCP
  • Active adapters
  • 7.1 audio
1.2 December 2009 17.28 Gb/s DisplayPort, Mini-DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, USB-C
  • Multi Stream Transport (MST)
  • Improved video and audio sync
  • Passive adapters
1.3 September 2014 25.92 Gb/s DisplayPort, Mini-DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, USB-C
  • 4K and 8K support
  • HDMI 2.0
  • DockPort

 

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Q

What do I need to know about different versions of the HDMI standard?

HDMI is a modern digital audio/video standard used on many computers and television displays. HDMI replaces analog consumer video standards, such as composite, S-Video, and component, as the first digital consumer video standard. For computers, it can replace VGA and the video from HDMI works with DVI.

HDMI connector types include the following:

HDMI can be passively adapted to DVI and DVI can be passively adapted to HDMI, but there is no official support for audio in the DVI standard.

HDMI versions

Numerous revisions have been made to the HDMI standard, which have increased the capabilities while maintaining the same connectivity. HDMI has been designed to be fully backward compatible with older standards. The performance of the system is defined by the earliest version of HDMI used in the setup. For example, if you have a 1.2 source and a 1.1 display, the 1.1 capabilities will be used.

Using cabling that is certified with a specific version number becomes more important when you use the latest standards in your setup, due to increased bandwidth requirements. Cables that are certified for version 1.4 and later can contain Ethernet and will usually state "with Ethernet" in the description. Cables with Ethernet can still be used with any earlier versions of HDMI.

The following table gives a brief overview of the progression of HDMI.

Version Date Bandwidth Max. resolution Features
1.0 December 2002 4.95 Gb/s 1080p60
  • 8 channel LPCM/192 kHz/24-bit audio
  • DVD audio added
  • Greater support for PC sources, One Bit Audio
1.1 May 2004 4.95 Gb/s 1080p60
  • 8 channel LPCM/192 kHz/24-bit audio
  • DVD audio added
  • Greater support for PC sources, One Bit Audio
1.2 August 2005

4.95 Gb/s
 

1080p60
  • 8 channel LPCM/192 kHz/24-bit audio
  • DVD audio added
  • Greater support for PC sources, One Bit Audio
1.3 June 2006 10.2 Gb/s 2560x1600p60
  • 48-bit colour
  • Dolby TrueHD
  • DTS-HD
1.4 May 2009 10.2 Gb/s 4096x2160p24
3D: 1920x1080p24
2.0 September 2013 18 Gb/s 4096x2160p60
3D: 1920x1080p60

HDMI cables

HDMI cable types can be separated into two different categories: active and passive.

An active cable is designed to exceed the maximum length of a standard passive cable. Active cables require power from either the HDMI port or an external power source. The cable converts the signal at the source to one that is better suited for the longer distance, and then converts the signal back to standard HDMI on the display end of the cable. StarTech.com carries active cables up to 100 feet (30 meters).

HDMI extenders also perform an active conversion to standard category cable (for example, CAT5, CAT6) or to wireless.

A passive cable does not convert any signals and is limited to a maximum length of 50 feet (15.2 meters). Cables that are not certified for resolutions higher than 1080p may experience problems when the cable is longer than 25 feet, resulting in errors in the video and audio. If you use passive cables, you should use the shortest length possible.

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Q

How can I tell if an HDMI device will support 3D capability?

Numerous revisions have been made to the HDMI standard, which increased the capabilities while maintaining the same connectivity.

HDMI version 1.4 and later support 3D capabilities. Only cables that have one or more of the following specifications are compatible with 3D sources and displays:

  • 3D
  • HDMI 1.4 (or later)
  • Ultra HD, 4k x 2k

If you use an HDMI cable that does not have the above specifications, it may function for non-3D content but then fail when 3D content is displayed. As such, you should always use the correct cable for 3D content.

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Q

How can I tell when I can use Mini-DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 1 or 2 interchangeably?

Although Mini-DisplayPort and Thunderbolt versions 1 and 2 share the same 20-pin connector, care must be taken on how the standards are adapted or utilized.

Thunderbolt can configure itself to have Mini-DisplayPort signals, but Mini-DisplayPort does not contain Thunderbolt signals. Therefore, a Thunderbolt source can connect to Thunderbolt and Mini-DisplayPort devices or displays. A Mini-DisplayPort source cannot connect to Thunderbolt monitors or devices (for example, Apple Cinema Display).

Note: When you connect a Thunderbolt source to a Mini-DisplayPort display, you must use a Mini-DisplayPort cable.

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