Samsung ATIV Book 6 – Windows 8.1 Drivers

I finally got a new laptop with US-only keyboard. It is a big deal for many people living in Canada because 95% of the laptops sold in the retailer shops have bilingual keyboards.

I bought a nice Samsung ATIV Book 6 from via Amazon. Adorama ship to Canada (thank god!).

The computer comes pre-installed with Windows 8. Since Windows 8.1 is available I decided to give it a try. I wanted to do a fresh install vs. upgrade. Since the laptop does not have an optical drive you need to burn the Windows 8.1 ISO file to USB drive and boot the installation from there. I also used the opportunity to upgrade the standard hard drive to SSD following this video (although it is for a different model).

Everything went smooth and I got a freshly installed Windows 8.1. The next step was to make sure I have all the latest drivers. I went to the Samsung’s web site, provided my laptop’s model just to find that there were no drivers available for download:


It took me some time to figure it out. If you click the “Use Our Interactive Tool To Fix Common Problems.” and try to “fix” a specific problem eventually you will see a link that allows you to download “SW Update”:


Here is a link to SW Update as of the moment.

Install it, type in your laptop’s model, choose the version of the Windows and it will show you the list of available drivers. You can choose to download them or you can install them – individually or all at once:


I am hoping this might help someone and save them time.

EDIT: Just found this: Update to the new Windows. If you click “Firmware and Drivers” it will download the SW Update. It is newer version ( vs. the link above (

Google Chrome looks blurry in Windows 8.1

Recently I bought a new laptop with screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. It has Windows 8.1 on it. At some point I noticed that Google Chrome looked a bit blurry – both the browser UI and the web page displayed. I thought the problem was with the display driver but even after installing the latest version the problem was not fixed.

It turns out the browser was doing “display scaling” because o the high display resolution. It is a setting that you can change. Right-click the Google Chrome icon and select Options:

Google Chrome Properties 1

Google Chrome Properties 2

By default the “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings” is not checked. If you check it the blurriness will go away.

Here is a screen-shot of a blurry screen:


This is a screen-shot with the check-box checked:


Both images have the same resolution 1016 x 368 pixels. Because the first screen-shot uses scaling things look bigger and blurrier. Less information is displayed. The second picture shows much more content but it looks smaller and sharper. If the font is hard to read you can always use the browser zoom in functionality (Ctrl +) to make the text bigger.

Free SSL certificate from StartSSL

If you own a web site and would like to provide better security to your visitors in terms of encrypted communication between your server and their browser you need to install a SSL Certificate. You can get a certificate from different companies and the price can vary.

The StartSSL

FreeNAS – Setting up ZFS

I always was curious about ZFS but haven’t played with it until very recently. I thought it was too complicated and I was afraid it will use up too much space because of the snapshots capability.

Few days ago I installed the latest beta of FreeNAS 8 on a USB stick (here how it is done) and decided to give a try to ZFS finally.

I use an old laptop and 120GB USB hard-drive. The goal is to create the file system (ZFS) and some Windows (CIFS) shares on top of it that will be available for data storage on my local network.

I will start with creating a group (HomeUsers) and user (john). These will be used later when setting the shares owner. The next two screen-shots show just that:

The newly created group is associated with the user (through the Members button).:

The next step is to create the file system on the USB hard-disk. From the left navigation expand Storage -> Volumes and click on Volume Manager. This will show a pop-up where you type the volume name, select the disk (in this case ada0), the file system type (ZFS) and click Add Volume button:

This will also automatically create a ZFS Scrub for the volume. ZFS has a repair tool called “scrub” which examines and repairs Silent Corruption and other problems. The default interval between consecutive runs is 35 days.

With the new ZFS volume in place you can create either ZFS Volume or ZFS Dataset.

A zvol (ZFS volume) is a feature of ZFS that creates a device block over ZFS. This allows you to use a zvol as an iSCSI device extent for example.

In contrast ZFS datasets allow for more granularity when configuring which users have access to which data. A dataset is similar to a folder in that you can set permissions; it is also similar to a filesystem in that you can set quotas and compression.

NOTE: if your goal is to share an entire ZFS volume, you don’t have to create datasets. If you wish to divide up a ZFS volume’s data into different shares, create a dataset for each share.

The next screen-shot shows creation of a dataset named Backup:

Let’s set the permissions for the new dataset from Storage -> View Volumes -> Change Permissions:

The next thing will be to set up a periodic snapshot for the ZFS volume. The lifetime will be 2 weeks, it will run between 9:00 and 18:00 every hour from Monday to Friday:

Having a periodic snapshots is like having a time machine – you can go back and restore the data to a previous state. This is illustrated in the next article