Roughly two weeks ago, the New Jersey Governor’s Cyber Challenge was hosted by Brookdale Community College and administered jointly by CyberAces and SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security). It was my first experience in such a competition: there were approximately 600 participants during the first phase back in January, I made it to the top 100 and was given the opportunity to participate in the second phase, NetWars. The stuff that we dabbled in on Saturday; the military, government agencies and private businesses do monthly. SANS’ NetWars is kind of a big deal… Continue reading
I was receiving a stupid error from my fresh installation of Outlook 2010, it seriously “just started happening”. Clicking any such hyperlink in any such body of an email would give me such a dialog box…
This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.
Your organization's policies are preventing us from completing this action for you. For more info, please contact your help desk.
Don’t you love these kinds of errors; I am the administrator!
Well what do you know, there’s a MS KB article detailing the symptoms and solutions. In the end, I ran Fixit 50388, rebooted, and it corrected the issue, no more errors and clicking hyperlinks launched my browser.
I was presented with the following issue during a malware cleanup. “The Windows Security Center service can’t be start”; after browsing through services.msc, the “Security Center” service was missing. Continue reading
Geek Squad didn’t come through this time *cough*, so I was her last resort?!?! The laptop, running Windows Vista Home Premium x86 could not login, more specifically, the keyboard nor the touchpad were working. Okay then, will they work if I boot to Recovery Console? They sure do… any hardware issue is scratched off that list.
Let’s plug in an external mouse… Continue reading
I received a phone call the other day, your average “my data is gone, laptop has a virus, I don’t know what happened, help!” type of phone call. No biggie, I thought to myself, it must be ransomware and has hidden all the files and done some nasty stuff like disable Task Manager, EXEs, and everything else malware does to poor innocent people.
So I arrive on the scene, whip out one of my trusty flash drives and sit behind the infected laptop (Windows 7 Home Premium x64). I am staring at the desktop, it has a few system icons, the sidebar is up, and the wallpaper is unchanged. “Everything’s gone”, says the user, I reassure her that I’ll get her data back, “I’ve seen this before”, but my attention is quickly drawn to an error dialog that says it couldn’t find the the Desktop folder’s location, referring to the Desktop folder’s location existing on another drive which is inaccessible. So this laptop’s hard drive must be partitioned, good, one partition for Windows, and another for the user’s profile: I’m thinking, perhaps the drive letter was changed. I open Computer, only to find one partition, the Windows partition. Clicking on any of the personal folders (e.g. Documents, Music, Pictures) gives me the same location error… Continue reading
I was working on a customer’s Dell Dimension 3000, for one reason or another, there was a password on the BIOS/bootup screen, and the BIOS wasn’t seeing the hard drive. Needless to say “it just happened”.
Pulling the CMOS battery wasn’t enough, I had to reset the BIOS with the jumper. On this board it was located directly beneath and a little bit to the right of the CMOS battery. All you have to do is move the jumper one pin over then power up and power down, move the jumper back, power up and everything should be reset.
But! My trouble didn’t end there, the hard drive was still missing from the BIOS. After spending 5 minutes with jumpers, cables, and master/slave connections, I looked around in the BIOS, and found under Drive Configuration an option for Primary Master, “AUTO” or “OFF”.
Who woulda thunk it? I found that if you reset the BIOS (A04 I think? Whatever the latest is) it would set all IDE connections to OFF…
After that was squared away, I went down the path of performing a fresh install of Windows XP *shudder*.
Here’s the service manual for the Dell Dimension 3000 series, http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim3000/en/OM/j6758A04.pdf.
Yesterday, I was experiencing the most embarrassing issue with VMware Workstation, but first, let me backtrack (see what I did there? ). I store the majority of my virtual machines on my Western Digital 300GB Passport external hard drive, compared with the 40GB of free space on my Latitude, you can see why external drives are critical, even if it’s USB 2.0…
Anyway, so, yesterday I started up one of my Windows 7 installations as I normally do, but this time I was getting a read/write errors from VMware, and Windows was notifying me that my drive was removed, then attached. After a few more startup attempts, I was paying attention to the attached devices on the bottom of VMware, and noticed it was attached the external drive that it was booting from, hence the disk read errors, drive E: doesn’t exist anymore!
I’ll cut to the chase, I moved the virtual machine to my local disk, started the VM, disconnected the external drive under the VM > Removable devices tab, restarted the VM twice, moved it back to the external drive, and was then successful in starting up the VM from the external drive.
There’s an option to “automatically connect new USB devices” and this was disabled. One issue which may have influenced my trouble, is that Windows sees my external drive as “VMware USB device” and saw that is prevalent more on VMware Fusion, but nevertheless, may or may not be the cause.
On Tuesday I got house call, the user said that Windows XP would not boot into any mode (safe, last config, or normal) and would restart right after the XP loading screen appeared.
Tip: Last Known Good Configuration will work only if, and only if, the last time Windows booted it started normally.
The first thing step in troubleshooting was disabling “automatic restart on system failure”, this allowed me to view the error causing the system failure. The registry was corrupt and Windows could not load the SOFTWARE hive. Since I was given the original installation disc I attempted to repair Windows (the second repair option right before you install/format, not the recovery console) and was not given the repair option (my guess is the disc only had SP2, and the system was sporting SP3), so I backed out and entered into the recovery console off of the disc.
I ran chkdsk with the repair option and the drive came up clean, but chkdk found and made changes to the file system, blah blah blah…
Approximately 20 minutes later, Windows rebooted loaded normally! I ran a couple more instances of chkdsk, ran a malware scan, cleaned up the system with ccleaner, backed up the registry and cleaned the registry. Rebooted the machine a few times to make sure it would start back up after I left. Before leaving, I encouraged the user to upgrade to the more stable, secure, and better OS, Windows 7.
Some of you were expecting OSX.
It’s finally here, June 6th 2012, the day all internet activists and techies alike will remember forever, the day IPv6 was turned on. If you want to get in on the fun, play with an IPv6 tunnel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IPv6_tunnel_brokers) or simply read up on www.worldipv6launch.org/.
Oh, and if you have not the slightest clue what this is all about, http://www.google.com/intl/en/ipv6/.
With the help from FastTech and their video. Apart from the video, I think the only thing worth noting is that I did not reuse the adhesives for the webcam assembly.
The screen had been experiencing the normal HP dv4 screen issues, green bar blinking on the bottom of the screen, jumping, and flashing.
The VGA and HDMI outputs were fine as the laptop’s monitor continued its conniption.
Believe it or not, that was an organized mess, I did not have the correct sized screw drivers and picks so I had to rummage through the toolbox and find something compatible, the only thing I broke was a guitar pick!
Only time will tell, but it has been over a day an no issues, except for a slight orange smear appearing during boot but its gone now and hopefully stays gone for another 5 or so years.
Anyone else find HP’s DV series to be, well, cheap?
Dell’s Latitude series has this special feature, when the CPU becomes dangerously hot, it will downclock to nearly a tenth of it’s clock speed, and as you might imagine, you’re better off turning the laptop off then finishing your work; the speed becomes worse than an Intel Celeron.
Luckily, my issue wasn’t hardware failure, or software for that matter. The Latitude E series has a history with heat issues, but this time I was plauged with a bit of dust.
A few short breaths and a vacuum later (didn’t have compressed air…), I had a much cooler Latitude, and the clock speed was back to normal.
This has been going since last week of April but it looks like it was unavailable for some customers according to comments on lifehacker, however I happened to be going through Windows Live services and saw I was qualified for the free upgrade!
So if you’re still looking at 7GB, go see if you’re eligible! https://skydrive.live.com
Made available at the beginning of this month, I’ve had some time to play around with the new 2.8 and I just love the new update! The Gimp Team has definitely been hard at work, some things have been moved around so it will take some getting used to but it’s a welcomed update. The Windows installer is 72.7MB, http://www.gimp.org/downloads/. See Arstechnica for a more thorough review.
“We are happy to announce immediate availability of GIMP 2.8 — a new stable version of GNU Image Manipulation Program that culminates 3.5 years of exciting work.
With this version we are introducing some long-anticipated features such as layer groups, on-canvas text editing, advanced brush dynamics and the much desired optional single-window mode. We also started applying other important changes to the user interface that bring us closer to matching the product vision.
For detailed information about changes since 2.6 please read the release notes. Source code is available for downloadingfrom a plethora of mirrors, a build for Windows will soon be available, and we hope to see a build for Mac OS X released as well.
We’d like to thank everyone who participated in development of GIMP 2.8: programmers, translators, documentation writers (updated user manual is a work in progress), and testers. We also thank our user community for the dedication and support — we needed it more than ever.
Now that this version is finally released, we are grasping the future with both hands. Stay tuned: some really exciting news will follow.”
This scenario is for SOHO networking, we will not be touching on enterprise solutions. You will need at least two Wireless Access Points. This will work whether you have an Open network or Secured network. The we will be using consumer grade Linksys, Netgear, and Rosewill wireless routers.
WAPs with the same SSID and encryption method joined together by Cat6 ethernet, to provide roaming access throughout a building; specifically, to provide one secure network on the user’s side, this means automatic switching between the two WAPs. The advantage over using a repeater or wireless bridge is greater speed, both WAPs experience equal up/down speeds. Continue reading
Sam Bowne is a Network & Security professor at City College San Francisco. Below is a snippet (approx. 2.5hrs) from December 2010 from a lecture he gave at Convergence Technology Center’s Winter Retreat at Collin College in Frisco Texas concerning IPv6 and why and how we will be implementing it over the next decade. Continue reading