Monday, February 20, 2017

New series of articles coming soon

I Just purchased a pro license for unraid and I will be writing a series of blog articles for it soon.

I had been previously using freenas, but just didn’t like how complicated it was to rk with.

I hope these articles will be useful for you.

The new articles will be coming soon.

Dr. E

Friday, February 27, 2015

remove user's ability to browse network on Server 2012 (Possibly windows 7 or 8 as well)

I used to work for a cloud hosting company where we setup all customer's servers and joined them to our active directory domain controller so we could manage their users, and use group permissions to manage who had permissions to be able to log into their server.

Even though users couldn't log into other servers because we had them locked down, they can still see them if they browse the network.

After doing some research I found a group policy Administrative template (ADM) file that I was able to use to remove the network from the left side of the file explorer but this didn't stop users from being able to type in network up in the address bar, which would then allow them to browse the network to see other local computer systems.

I did some further digging and found this site Which had information about how to edit the registry to remove the ability to see the network tab, but as an added bonus it also removes the ability to view any computers on the network if you change the registry key.

After testing it on a test system I knew it would work, but I didn't want to have to manually edit the registry or use a reg file on every single server that we host.

Since I had previously used the other ADM file I knew it was possible to make a custom file that could be imported into active directory to make the registry change, so I started researching on how to do this.

After reading up on how to create my own ADM file I created a file that gives the ability to edit the file explorer's ability to browse the local network and have verified that it does work.

If the user types in network on the address bar the only option that shows up is network (Domain Name). If they select this it shows entire network, and if they click this it shows a blank page with nothing, so they can't see other computers on the local network. Please note that this does not remove the ability to directly access a computer on the network by using a UNC path like

\\computer\sharename\

Again this wasn't an issue for us, due to how the servers are locked down.

For their environment the servers are server 2012, or server 2012 R2 depending on when they were setup, and this ADM file worked for both after I imported the template and enabled it. The ADM file may also work for windows 7 but I haven't tested it. My recommendation would be to review the site I provided the link for and check the registry keys for windows 7 or 8 and see if they are present and if the default entry for the registry key is the same. If so then this should work for you.

If you want to try my ADM file here is the link Update: this site deleted my file, so here is it shared from my dropbox public folder. So long as the bandwidth download stays low this should keep working.

 






Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How to Fix a Motorola Moto-G XT-1034 that is having no sim, or radio turned off issues after receiving the 4.4.2 OTA update

I had purchased a Consumer Cellular Motorola Moto-G for my wife to use as a replacement for her Samsung Galaxy Nexus which had started developing issues with the radio stopping working until the phone was rebooted. These issues were getting more and more frequent so it was time for a replacement.

I got the phone then got CC to unlock it for me as my wife didn't want to switch her cell service to them. I then unlocked the boot loader thru motorola and proceeded to flash the phone with the retail 4.4.2 rom available from the http://sbf.droid-developers.org website for the Moto G.

After doing this the phone was no longer able to recognize that a sim card was inserted, and attempts to reflash the rom did nothing.

Well I was desperate and with the bootloader unlocked I couldn't get any kind of warranty from Motorola, so I decided to experiment with flashing different modems from other versions in the hope that I could fix the issue.

after flashing the 4.4.2 radio from the Retail GB (Great Britain) rom and then restarting the phone, it was able to again recognize that there was a sim installed, and it's working.

I have packaged up a zip file with the needed files to flash a XT-1034 Moto-G with this radio and I'm sharing them here for anyone who is having this issue from the OTA update and is willing to try this before giving up on their phone.

to use this you must have a unlocked bootloader, if your bootloader is not unlocked I strong urge you to try to get the phone replaced thru Motorola, as you should have a full year of warranty and they should be willing to advance rma you a replacement phone before you send them back the defective phone.

Anyways here is the file if you want to try it.

Please be advised, I can't guarantee this will work for any other model of Moto-G, and I do not guarantee this will fix the issue for you on your XT-1034 Moto G, I'm only offering this to anyone who wants to try this as a last ditch effort before they give up on their messed up Moto-G

 UPDATE: the US Retail Blur_Version.210.12.32.falcon_umts.AWSRetail.en.US 4.4.3 Factory firmware from here fixed the issue, it also adds a handy sim tool utility.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

how-to fix a Samsung 11.6 inch ARM Chromebook if it has a blank screen during startup

OK first, you need to make sure you are having the same problem I was experiencing. On my Samsung 11.6" ARM Chromebook I was having a problem that whenever I turned my Chromebook on it wasn't turning on the backlight on my screen. You can tell if this is happening by shining a light onto the screen. If this is what is happening to your chromebook the light will allow you to see that there is a very very faint image of the normal login screen. You can also do a reset on it to get it to come on (To do a reset press and hold the power button for 30 or so seconds, then let go and then press the power button again), but it will keep doing it until you follow these steps each time the Chromebook is turned off.

1. first make sure anything you have saved on your chromebook that you want to keep is saved to a thumbdrive or external hard drive, or to your google drive. We will be turning developer mode on, and doing this will wipe the 16 GB SSD drive on your chromebook and reset it to factory settings (no user profiles,etc.)

2. next power off your chromebook using the reset method described above (otherwise recovery will show up with the same issue where the backlight is turned off).

3. press and hold the esc and the refresh key (the one that looks like a arrow going in a circle), and then tap the power button. this boots the Chromebook into recovery mode.

4. you are now in recovery mode, the next step is to press control-d and you will then it will ask you to confirm that you are about to go into developer mode once you have confirmed the system will reboot into dev mode and show a progress bar across the top. once this finishes it will reboot again and take you back to a screen where you are prompted to press space to exit developer mode.

5. Press space and the system will erase the storage on your chromebook again and then reboot to normal mode.

If you wish to keep the Chromebook in developer mode you can press control-d and then skip step 5, however you will have to do this each time the Chromebook is turned on or alternately wait 30 seconds afterwards the Chromebook will then boot normally.

Another thing to try is doing a reset as described above, then pressing the refresh button and then tapping the power  button, this is supposed to do a hard reset without entering recovery. I haven't tried this method yet, if my Chromebook acts up again I will give it a try and if it works I will update this post.

Monday, January 28, 2013

how to configure your APN for better download speeds with Net10 if you are using an AT&T BYOD sim.

Back around the end of July, I made the mistake of changing my cellular service over to sprint.

Sure I loved the new samsung galaxy nexus phone, and 4G cellular was great in the 4 or 5 places I could get a 4G signal at in the Roswell / Alpharetta Georgia area (none of which were at my home where I could barely get 2 bars of 3G service). Combine this with having a lot of trouble with their 3G network where I would have full signal strength but wouldn't be able to access anything on the data network, which was absolutely fricking ridiculous.

Well at the end of December I was completely fed up, and I started researching on finding a cheaper way to have decent cell service. See, I used to have AT&T which gave me great coverage, but their policies on data usage sucked. I rarely go over 1 1/2 to 2GB of data usage per month, but when I had to spend 4 days in the hospital and only had my cell phone for internet usage I racked up a whopping 2.1GB of data and got charged an extra 20 dollars on my bill, which prompted me to look for something with unlimited data. Having unlimited data plus the supposedly great 4G coverage Sprint advertises suckered me into signing up with them.

Anyways, after some research I decided to go with the Net10 BYOD (Bring Your own Device) unlimited plan using one of their AT&T compatible sim cards and my old Samsung Captivate phone that I still have. You might say why in the hell are you going from such a nice phone like the galaxy nexus back to the captivate which has issues with the GPS lock not working very well, random shutdown issues, and in general just being an older model phone.

The answer is, I already own it, and that I'm also in the process of getting the needed parts in to repair a unlocked International model GT-I9250 GSM model Samsung Galaxy Nexus that I purchased off ebay that has a damaged micro USB charging port. I ordered the flex cable part with the usb connector on it that I will swap out after I take the phone apart.

Anyways back to the info about how to configure your APN for better download speeds with Net10 if you are using an AT&T sim.

I followed the instructions on setting up the APN on my captivate using the APN settings that Net10 gave me, but ran into issues with download speeds being very sub par, especially with me having a HSPDA signal with 4 bars on my phone.

thru a little trial and error I determined that the issue was with the proxy settings that net10 wanted me to use so I wanted to share the APN settings that gave me the best speeds both for uploads and downloads.

Name: NET10

APN: wap.tracfone

Proxy: not set

Port: not set

username: not set

server: not set

MMSC: http://mmsc.cingular.com

MMS proxy: not set

MMS port: not set

MCC: 310

MNC: 410

Authentication type: not set

apn type: not set

apn protocol : IPv4

Bearer: Unspecified.


the main differences between this and the settings that Net10 wanted me to use were the proxy, proxy port, mms proxy and mms port. Once I removed these I went from very slow download speeds of less than 100K per second, to nearly 3 MB per second download, and 1 MB per second upload speeds.

for cheap unlimited service this isn't bad, and by me setting it to auto renew every month on their website I was able to get my monthly service for $45 per month instead of $50.

You might be asking youself, now if he signed up with sprint back at the end of July, isn't he going to have to pay an ETF fee? Well the answer for that is yes, but I'm getting a nice refund back from the IRS and plan on using it to pay the ETF, and I plan on selling my phone after everything is settled and square for whatever I can get out of it, to help recover some of the ETF.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

How-to: Windows 8 Professional Upgrade install and activation on system without OS installed



Using this info you should be able to do a clean install of the Windows 8 Upgrade on a system without an Operating system.

  • Open regedit by pressing Windows-q, entering regedit and selecting the result from the list of hits.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/
  • Change MediaBootInstall from 1 to 0
  • Go back to the start screen and enter cmd there.
  • Right-click Command Prompt and select to run it as administrator.
  • Type slmgr /rearm on the command line and hit enter.
  • Reboot Windows now.
  • Run the activation utility afterwards, enter your product key to activate Windows.
This is the same method that worked for Windows 7.




Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How to resize a HFS+ partition on a Hackintosh if it's created in the middle of the drive.

OK first off a little back info on this situation. My hackintosh system was originally setup with the hard drive partitioned fully for my original Lion OSX install. When Mountain Lion came out I purchased it, used the unibeast tool from TonyMacx86's site to create a new Mountain Lion USB installer and then I used the Disk Utility on that installer after I rebooted my hackintosh and then booted off the USB Mountain Lion installer disk to resize my original Lion HFS+ partition so I could create a second blank partition for Mountain Lion. I then installed Mountain Lion on this second partition and after downloading the new Mountain Lion Multibeast software from the TonymacX86 site and installing it I was able to successfully boot my hackintosh from the new Mountain Lion Partition without having to use the USB Mountain Lion install disk.

So after I copied over all of my files,etc. that I wanted to keep from the old Lion partition I decided to use disk utility to delete this partition with the goal of moving the mountain lion partition to the beginning of the drive and then resizing it to fill the full drive.

That's when I ran into problems, apparently Disk utility can shrink a drive, and it can be used to expand a partition to fill the entire drive, but it can't move an existing partition to the beginning of the drive.

I know I could have just backed up the partition to a dmg and wiped the drive, created a new single partition and then restored the DMG file to it, but I wanted to see if this was possible to move the partition. Since I was able to do it I wanted to document the steps and share so anyone else who runs into this situation can also benefit from this info to move their partition and then resize it to fill the full size of the drive. 

here are the steps I took.

1. downloaded current version of partedmagic bootable linux cd iso from here. http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=downloads
2. burned the partition magic iso to cd, inserted cd into optical drive on my system.
3. booted system to linux desktop using the partedmagic bootable cd I burned.
4. ran the partition editor shortcut on desktop.
5. chose the resize/move option in the gparted program that the partition editor shortcut opened.
6. moved the partition to the beginning of the drive, this takes quite a long time so be prepared to wait, or go do something else and check back in about an hour or so.
7. after the move is finished reboot the system and boot it from your Lion or Mountain Lion usb installer key, and use the disk utility from it to do a repair on your drive as the header will show as being slightly screwed up and will prevent you from being able to resize the drive until this is fixed. I tried to resize the partition using gparted and it didn't give me that option, which is why you need to use disk utility.

8. after running the repair you can now open the mountain Lion disk utility program and go to the edge of the partition and drag it down so it will fill the entire drive, and then click apply. this process takes a little while to finish but is much faster than the move to the beginning of the drive using gparted from the partedmagic boot cd.



Anyways I hope this information is useful for you.


I remain your obedient servant,

Doctor Evil