Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BIOS does not recognize crucial m4 SSD

Crucial M4 SSDs encounter a critical error that make the drives unstable after 5184 hours of use - it can lock up, blue screen, and become unrecognizable in BIOS.  5184 hours translates to roughly 7 months of continuous use, so Zeen's description of 8 months makes sense if the system was powered down every now and again.  Power cycling (as described in the previous posts' link) will fix the problem, but only for an hour and then the problems will repeat.

The newest firmware for the M4 (currently 0309) fixes this issue.  You can visit this link to download the latest firmware:

You can check how many hours your drive has been powered on using a tool like CrystalDiskInfo (freeware).  Immediately after reading the firmware notes and installing the new firmware I decided to check my drive usage - sure enough I was at 5240. It took me about two and a half days to really get to the bottom of this - which means the problem started right at the 5184 hour mark.  Have not had a problem since.

Below is the procedure for a power cycle, in most cases your SSD can be returned to normal operating condition by performing the steps listed below:

1. Find a computer that you can use for approximately 1 hour. We recommend that you try to perform this procedure on a desktop computer because it allows you to only connect the SATA power connection. This will improve the odds of the power cycle being successful. A USB enclosure with an external power source will also work.

Apple desktop users please follow the same steps as Windows desktop users. If you don't have a desktop, a laptop will work as well. With a laptop you will want to have the drive connected and navigate to the systems BIOS menu. Please refer to your system manufacture’s documentation on how to access the BIOS. Letting the drive sit in the BIOS will improve the odds that the power cycle will work. It is not recommended to use a USB enclosure that is powered via USB. Apple laptop users will want to boot the system to the open firmware.

2. Once you have the drive connected and sitting idle for a desktop it is simply powering the computer and waiting. Laptop user will need to be in the BIOS menu, or open firmware as stated above. The computer will need to stay powered on for 20 min, and it is recommended that you don't use the computer during this process.

3. Power the computer down and disconnect the drive for 30 seconds.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 one more time.

5. Reconnect the drive normally, and boot the computer to your operating system.

6. Update your firmware, if you are not already at the latest on your drive. Please visit the following link for our firmware updates:

How to rename files in Linux Ubuntu

To rename files in Ubnutu it is very easy. Use the command for the desired filename name to be renamed.

mv desktop-login.ogg desktop-009.ogg

"mv" as in "move", there's no renaming tool as moving file has the same effect. Execute in the same directory where the files are, or use full paths:

mv /path/to/desktop-login.ogg /path/to/desktop-009.ogg

How to create an empty or blank file in Linux Ubuntu

Use the touch command, as shown below to create an empty file. In the below example, the file "myexamplefile" is created.

touch myexamplefile

How to run A Notepad/Wordpad (editor) On Bitdefender Linux (knoppix)

I was working on removing a bunch of viruses from an installation of windows XP and made a live bitdefender (which runs on knoppix) USB drive and booted into it. I was scared and rightfully paranoid to put the Windows XP box onto my network uncleansed, because I had made a backup copy of all the files that reside on the drive onto an external drive and scanned that on my main PC and found upwards to 40 infections. No need to allow a sentient infested XP box with active running infections access to my network to spread its vile disease.

So this distro has basic programs on it, but firefox is outdated and I wanted to play around on the internet and HTML 5 wasnt supported in this version of firefox... DOH !

So I tired to sudo apt-get update to update my repositories and I kept getting 404 errors and old versions of repos. So I researched and I found I needed to edit the File: /etc/apt/sources.list to an updated link association for the repos.

Problem was, I tried to use basic editors, emacs, vim, nano and none of them were installed. Tried to apt-get install them but ran into repo problems again.

I was at a loss as to how to edit this file, so I researched it and found out that XEDIT is the editor that is installed. Phew.

It was simple as opening a Terminal and entering xedit

A silly simple fix.

Can't Delete Folder, "Destination Path Too Long" Error in Windows 7

I finally deleted all of the folders by drilling down to the almost endless copies of Application Data and moving subsequent levels to the root of the D:\ and deleting piece by piece.  I have no idea how those copies were made in the first place, and secondly, why Windows makes it so hard to delete such a nasty, unwieldy folder structure.  Ugh!

next time it happens
try this
At a command prompt with elevated level (Start -> type cmd -> rightclick cmd > run as administrator)
try the following:

cacls D:\Foldername /T /G Everyone:F
rmdir /s /q D:\Foldername

This command should delete any folder whatsoever

Friday, May 10, 2013

Location of Pidgin Log files in .purple on Linux

Are you looking for Pidgin log files, the free instant messenger application ? Maybe you want to backup them or delete them securely. Here you can find them on a Debian based system and maybe on other distros as well
For other protocols just substitute yahoo with the corresponding names.
Why is the name of the directory "purple" ? Because Pidgin is a GTK+ frontend to libpurple the core of the IM program.
Tested on Ubuntu 8, 9,10

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How To Add Different Background Color Or Image In Each Blogger Post

When you have multiple authors on a blog and want to make a specific post stand-out, then you can change your posts background color or place a background image behind them, each time is needed. Therefore, this tutorial will show you how to style each post differently by adding some codes in your Blogger posts. (this won't take effect if you have the read more function enabled on your blog)

How to Change the Color of the Post Background

When you create a post, switch to HTML, near the Compose tab and add the following code just at the beginning and at the end of your post content.

<div style="background-color: #DCC368; padding: 5px 8px 5px 8px;">
Your text goes here...

  • add the red line at the BEGINNING of your post.
  • add the div tag in blue at the END of your post.
  • replace the part in green with your own color (search for color's hex value)
  • "Your text here...." is where the Post content goes

It's done by wrapping your Post content into a "div" element. You can apply this setting anytime to your already published posts as well or you can change/remove it later.

Here's the example of the placed code in the Post Edit box:
blogger posts color, backgrounds, blogger tricks

How to Add a Background Image in a Blogger Post

Add the following code just at the beginning and end of your post content.

<div style="background-image: url(IMAGE-URL-HERE); background-repeat: no-repeat; ">
Your text goes here...

  • in green, you need to paste the URL address of your hosted picture (use Photobucket, Tinypic etc.)
  • the red line has to be added at the beginning of your post.
  • the blue part has to be added where your post ends.
  • "Your text here...." is where your Post content should be

Now click Publish and you are done.

How to install and run a FULL Windows XP from a USB drive

What is this about?

To keep the introduction short, Microsoft denies that booting Windows off a USB drive works.
See this page for example. It says:
Q: Can a USB storage device be the primary (and only) means of storage?
No. USB-based mass storage devices cannot be the primary hard disk storage solution on a regular system …
Or this one from the microsoft newsgroups:
Windows cannot boot from an USB drive. If your computer supports
booting from such device, you can load a boot loader to the USB device
which starts Windows XP from the HDD.
Anyway, the web is full of those. I was wondering about the same thing, as i did not want to put a Windows partition on my Linux.based work laptop, and thought it was a good idea to run Windows XP off a USB Hard drive that i just plug in when i need it, and boot from it. To put a long story short, this is exactly what i do now, thanks to the fantastic research of the people credited below. However, it took me significant time to figure out all the painful little problems, and i was not fully happy with the current official guide by Dietmar (no pun, he was the first to make ANYthing public). I wanted an easy guide that allows creating a modified version of the Windows XP CD, for painless and transparent installation to as many systems as you want.


…must go to the people that made this guide possible in the first place. In recent months, a few blokes going by the handles ofmkiaerDietmar and sisal and a few others from the forums came up with many good pieces of research on how to enable any NT-based Windows to boot from a USB-drive. Little of this guide would exist without them – in fact the only reason why i write this up is that my particular solution seems to be lower effort than any of the steps i saw before. Many of the steps here are the result of their research.

Version History:

  • v1.0 – 3rd Mar 2006
    rewritten, tested and working against two different drives with my laptop.
  • v0.9 – 29th Feb 2006
    initial version, untested

What works?

Basically, everything as far as i can see. After completing this tutorial, your Windows XP install should directly boot off your USB-drive, and be fully upgradable, DirectX games will run, all apps i tested work like normal, speed is the same as with a real HDD (you need USB2 though) – so it is in fact a fine solution as far as i can see.
Host HardwareUSB hardwareSuccessful
Dell Latitude D820WD Pocket Drive 80gbYes
DFI Infinity Ultra 2Dane Elec 4GB USB StickYes
Asus M2A-VM HDMIAdata PD2 4GB StickYes
HP Compaq 6510bWD 2908AYes
Compaq nc6400WD2500BEVYes
Compaq nc6400Trekstore i.Beat 2GBNo
Compaq nc6400Hitachi DK23EA-30No
Compaq nc6220TrackStore DataStation XUYes
HP Pavillion dv6700tInfoSafe USB with Toshiba SATA 250GBYes
Compaq nc6120Lacie 80gbYes
Asus P5LD2-VMVantec IDE to USB cable + Maxtor 60gb PATAYes
Thinkpad T42WD HDD Passport 2Yes
Acer Aspire 5600Ipod 20g PhotoYes
Thinkpad T43Generic 80gb USb2 caseYes
HP Pavillion dv1000Generic USB2 HDDYes
Thinkpad R61Generic USB2 / Seagate 120 GBYes
Dell Latitude D620PQI i221 USB stickYes
Fujitsu Lifebook E8410CShintaro USB2 + 80GB SamsungYes
Dell Inspiron 6400generic USB2 enclosureYes
Intel 945 GNTKingston 4GB SDHC with USB adapterYes
HP nx6110Sandisk Cruze 8gbYes
HP nx6110OneTouch4 MiniNo
Dell Latitude D620Seagate FreeAgent 500GBYes
Acer Aspire 5710GAdata 4GB stickYes
…and LOTS more…


This is a hobby project of mine. I will not assume ANY responsibility for the correctness of this guide, nor can I be made liable for any errors, hardware or software problems / loss that are caused by following this guide. Basically, if things screw up, its your own fault. Do not follow the guide if you fear data loss.


  • An existing Windows install for carrying out the steps in this tutorial
  • A USB2-compliant Hard disk drive (or a big USB2 stick, see remarks below)
  • An original Windows XP CD (tested only against SP1 so far, but reported to work on other versions)
  • A registered version of WinISO (or any other software that allows direct editing of ISO files)
  • The Microsoft CAB SDK
  • A CD-burning software that can handle ISO files. I like the free burnatonce

How To:

We will dump the contents of your original Windows XP CD , extract a few files from the Image using ISO modification software, edit the files, and put the modified versions back on the ISO. The resulting ISO image is burnt back onto a CD media, and can then directly be used to install Windows on your USB drive.
I am also covering a few pitfalls that happened to me, in hope they will save you a bit of time.
1) Does your computer support booting from USB?
Usually, if its an option in your BIOS boot sequence menu, the answer to this is yes. If its not there, look for BIOS updates. If you are not sure, proceed and see what happens ;-)
2) Sorting out the “Bootability” of your USB-Drive
Connect your USB drive to your computer, directly, without a Hub. Then, shut down your computer, disconnect any other hard disk drives from it, and insert your original Windows XP CD into the drive. Start the installation, and proceed to the section where you are allowed to pick a hard drive. If it goes beyond the partition selection, your drive is already fine for booting Windows XP. If not (seems to be the cases with many of the Freecom USB HDDs for example), you will get an error like “Windows is unable to find your drive, partition, data etc bla”. This is usually not a big problem. All you need to do is “properly” format the drive. Reboot into your normal Windows, and get this HP tool , and use it to format your HDD completely. I chose NTFS format, worked fine everytime i tried. After this, my drives are recognized as valid installation devices by the Windows XP installer.
(In fact, i did not manage to create a USB primary partition with FAT32 that was recognized as being installable)
3) Dumping the original Windows CD into an ISO File
Pretty easy one. Simply open WinISO, and select Actions -> Make ISO from CDROM, and save your CD image.
4) Extracting the files we need to work on
After the CD dump is done, close and reopen WinISO. Then, open the ISO file you just created using File -> Open.
Now, click the I386 folder, and select the following files (Ctrl key to multi-select)
  • USB.IN_
Select Actions -> Extract and put the resulting files into some folder to work on them.
5) Unpacking IN_ files
Use the Cab SDK (from the command line) for extracting the contents of the .IN_ files. Each of them contains exactly one .inf file. If you are unsure how to use the Cab SDK, here is an example command line: “cabarc x USBSTOR.IN_” . You should end up with three new files in the folder, called:
  • usb.inf
  • usbport.inf
  • usbstor.inf
You can now delete the .IN_ files.
6) Editing the files
This is the main job. i ll also try to explain a bit whats happening. Use a simple Texteditor like Notepad.
This file is loaded on the initial install step by the Windows XP CD installer. In this file, we will change the way Windows treats USB devices during system setup — the default is to only treat them as input devices during installation — we will change this to include mass storage driver support (which needs to be loaded into the installer much earlier in order to work).
First, move the following entries from [InputDevicesSupport.Load] to the [BootBusExtenders.Load] section , as shown here
pci = pci.sys
acpi = acpi.sys
isapnp = isapnp.sys
acpiec = acpiec.sys
ohci1394 = ohci1394.sys
usbehci = usbehci.sys
usbohci = usbohci.sys
usbuhci = usbuhci.sys
usbhub = usbhub.sys
usbstor = usbstor.sys
usbehci = usbehci.sys
usbohci = usbohci.sys
usbuhci = usbuhci.sys
usbhub = usbhub.sys
usbccgp = usbccgp.sys
hidusb = hidusb.sys
serial = serial.sys
serenum = serenum.sys
usbstor = usbstor.sys
… now the same for [BootBusExtenders] and [InputDevicesSupport]
pci = “PCI-Bustreiber”,files.pci,pci
acpi = “ACPI Plug & Play-Bustreiber”,files.acpi,acpi
isapnp = “ISA Plug & Play-Bustreiber”,files.isapnp,isapnp
acpiec = “Integrierter ACPI-Controllertreiber”,files.none,acpiec
ohci1394 = “IEEE-1394-Bus-OHCI-konformer Anschlusstreiber”,files.ohci1394,ohci1394
usbehci = “Erweiterter Hostcontroller”,files.usbehci,usbehci
usbohci = “Open Hostcontroller”,files.usbohci,usbohci
usbuhci = “Universeller Hostcontroller”,files.usbuhci,usbuhci
usbhub = “Standard-USB-Hubtreiber”,files.usbhub,usbhub
usbstor = “USB-Speicherklassentreiber”,files.usbstor,usbstor
usbehci = “Erweiterter Hostcontroller”,files.usbehci,usbehci
usbohci = “Open Hostcontroller”,files.usbohci,usbohci
usbuhci = “Universeller Hostcontroller”,files.usbuhci,usbuhci
usbhub = “Standard-USB-Hubtreiber”,files.usbhub,usbhub
hidusb = “HID-Parser”,files.hidusb,hidusb
serial = “Treiber f�r seriellen Anschluss”,files.none,serial
serenum = “Enumerator f�r seriellen Anschluss”,files.none,serenum
usbstor = “USB-Speicherklassentreiber”,files.usbstor,usbstor
usbccgp = “USB Generic Parent Driver”,files.usbccgp,usbccgp
Next, we also have to write several keys into the registry. Convieniently, the txtsetup.sif allows you to specify files that are parsed and instered into the registry at install time. Insert the following in the [HiveInfs.Fresh] section:
AddReg = hivedef.inf,AddReg
AddReg = hivesys.inf,AddReg
AddReg = hivesft.inf,AddReg
AddReg = hivecls.inf,AddReg
AddReg = hiveusd.inf,AddReg
AddReg = dmreg.inf,DM.AddReg
AddReg = usbboot.inf,usbservices
and also in [SourceDisksFiles]
usbboot.inf = 1,,,,,,_x,3,,3
bootvid.dll = 1,,,,,,3_,2,0,0,,1,2
kdcom.dll = 1,,,,,,3_,2,0,0,,1,2
Finally, save and close TXTSETUP.SIF. We are done with it.
Now, open DOSNET.INF , and change the second [Files] section to look like this:
6-C) usb.inf
Change the bolded lines in the [StandardHub.AddService] and [CommonClassParent.AddService] sections:
DisplayName = %StandardHub.SvcDesc%
ServiceBinary = %12%\usbhub.sys
LoadOrderGroup = Boot Bus Extender
DisplayName = %GenericParent.SvcDesc%
ServiceBinary = %12%\usbccgp.sys
LoadOrderGroup = Boot Bus Extender
6-D) usbport.inf
Change the bolded lines in the [EHCI.AddService], [OHCI.AddService] , [UHCI.AddService] and [ROOTHUB.AddService] sections:
DisplayName = %EHCIMP.SvcDesc%
ServiceBinary = %12%\usbehci.sys
LoadOrderGroup = Boot Bus Extender
DisplayName = %OHCIMP.SvcDesc%
ServiceBinary = %12%\usbohci.sys
LoadOrderGroup = Boot Bus Extender
DisplayName = %UHCIMP.SvcDesc%
ServiceBinary = %12%\usbuhci.sys
LoadOrderGroup = Boot Bus Extender
DisplayName = %ROOTHUB.SvcDesc%
ServiceBinary = %12%\usbhub.sys
LoadOrderGroup = Boot Bus Extender
6-E) usbstor.inf
Change / Add the bolded lines in the [USBSTOR.AddService] section
DisplayName = %USBSTOR.SvcDesc%
ServiceType = 1
StartType = 0
Tag = 3

ErrorControl = 1
ServiceBinary = %12%\USBSTOR.SYS
LoadOrderGroup = Boot Bus Extender
6-F) new file: USBBOOT.INF
Create a new file called USBBOOT.INF in the same directory as your other changed files, and put the following content into it:
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR”,”DisplayName”,0×00000000,”USB Mass Storage Driver”
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR”,”Group”,0×00000000,”System Reserved”
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci”,”DisplayName”,0×00000000,”USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller Miniport Driver”
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbehci”,”Group”,0×00000000,”System Reserved”
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub”,”DisplayName”,0×00000000,”USB2 Enabled Hub”
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbhub”,”Group”,0×00000000,”System Reserved”
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci”,”DisplayName”,0×00000000,”Microsoft USB Universal Host Controller Miniport Driver”
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbuhci”,”Group”,0×00000000,”System Reserved”
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci”,”DisplayName”,0×00000000,”Microsoft USB Open Host Controller Miniport Driver”
HKLM,”SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\usbohci”,”Group”,0×00000000,”System Reserved”
7) Repack the inf files into their original IN_ format
If you have not already deleted your extracted .IN_ files, do so now. They need to be replaced. Open a DOS shell again, and navigate to the folder with your changed files. Then exceute the following commands:
cabarc n USB.IN_ usb.inf
cabarc n USBPORT.IN_ usbport.inf
cabarc n USBSTOR.IN_ usbstor.inf
The three IN_ files should now exist again.
Congratulations. All out modifications are done.
8) Inject the changed files into the ISO
Open your Windows CD image again with WinISO. Navigate to the I386 folder, and delete the following files from the ISO, saving the changes to the ISO afterwards:
  • USB.IN_
Just to be sure all is updated in the ISO, cloase and repoen the ISO in WinISO. Now, again go to the I386 folder and select “Add Files”. Now add your changed files, in detail:
  • USB.IN_
Save the ISO. You are done.
9) Burn the ISO back to CD
Feel free to use any burning package you want. I used the free and simple Burnatonce
10) Install Windows XP from the CD
Shut down your computer. Disconnect ANY internal and external hard drives (so Windows cannot find them during installation and mess up their Master Boot Records hehe). Some computers will have trouble to boot without an internal HDD attached, check in your BIOS and, if possible, remove the HDD from the boot sequence and set the USB Harddisk as the first boot device, and the CDROM as second.
Also, now connect your USB Harddrive directly to the computer, without any Hubs in between.
Windows should install just fine, with the exceptions noted below.
Issues you will encounter during installation:
  • During driver installation, the USB drivers will prompt you, as they are “not certified” – This is normal. Our changes invalidated the checksum, and therefore the driver is no longer signed. Just press “yes” a couple of times.
  • Upon completion of the install, the system will complain once on the first bootup that the pagefile does not exist. You can ignore this for now, as Windows will work fine without it. People are looking at fixing this issue, but its not critical for now.
Once everything is up and running , shut down and reconnect all your drives.
This version of the guide has been tested successfully on the follwoing hardware configurations – please email me your infos if you have successfully completed the guide, so I can add your configuration as well:
If you have troubles, please visit the forum dedicated to this tutorial.
have a lot of fun!
Emanuel Schleussinger

Monday, May 6, 2013

How to Make a USB Bootable

  1. 1
    Insert your USB into your computer. When your computer finally recognizes it, open the command prompt. There are a couple of different ways of doing it depending on your operating system.
    • This does not work on Windows XP.
    • Vista/Windows 7:
      • Start > (type in the search bar) cmd , Right click on cmd and run as administrator.

  2. 2
    Once inside the command prompt, type indiskpart , then press Enter.

    • After that, a new window, diskpart, will appear.

  3. 3
    Once inside this new window, type inlist disk . All active drives will be displayed to the command prompt.

    • After that is done, you will want to select your USB. Typically, it's always the smallest one in size, so you will always be able to tell which one it is. Type in: select disk 1 .

    • Clean your USB. Be sure to back up all data stored on the USB you are using, because you will lose all your data in this step. Type in: clean .

  4. 4
    Now you will create a partition for the USB. Type in: create partition primary .

  5. 5
    Type inselect partition 1 . This will select the partition you have just created.

    • Now type in: active . This will make the partition active on the USB.

  6. 6
    Format your USB. This could take awhile depending on the size of the drive and the processing power of your computer. It could take anywhere from a few seconds to 45 minutes. Type in: format fs=ntfs .

    • Once completed, type in: assign .

  7. 7
    Congratulations, you now have a bootable USB.Type "exit" in command prompt
  8. 8
    Now.Insert your Windows DVD in the optical drive and note down the drive letter of the optical drive and USB media. Here I use “D” as my optical (DVD) drive letter and “H” as my USB drive letter.
    • Go back to command prompt and execute the following commands:
    • D: CD BOOT and hit enter. Where “D” is your DVD drive letter.
    • CD BOOT and hit enter.
    • After that type BOOTSECT.EXE/NT60 H: and hit enter. (Where “H” is your USB drive letter).

      USB Drive
       USB Drive
  9. 9
    Once you have done that,Open the DVD from windows explorer(My computer). You might have to right-click, then click on "Open". select all that you see and transfer to your USB.

  10. 10
    Install your operating system. You will have to go into your BIOS, which can only be accessed when your computer first turns on. You have the option, when the computer boots, to press F2 key and access your BIOS. When you enter your BIOS, make sure your USB is plugged in and go to boot options and then boot device priority and make sure your USB is the first one on the list. That way when your computer reboots, it will load from the USB, thus enabling you to install your Operating System.