mainly linux, some windows…

stopped clicking hp laptop on ubuntu linux 9.10

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Managed to re-do the fix for the clicking hard disk in my HP latitude laptop under ubuntu 9.10.

Used the information from here;

All I needed to do to stop the power saving changing back to 128 when hiberating (check using sudo hdparm -B /dev/sda) was to create the script “/etc/pm/sleep.d/50_hdparm-pm“;

if [ -n "$1" ] && ([ "$1" = "resume" ] || [ "$1" = "thaw" ]); then
        hdparm -B 255 /dev/your-hard-drive > /dev/null


Written by Steve

September 5, 2010 at 2:22 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

homeasy: setting up the HE302b sockets with the SMS base station

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To get the HE302b sockets to talk to the base station you need to;

1. Prepare a text message “setup <groupname>”.

2. Just before sending, press (dont hold) the button on the socket so that the light flashes.

3. Send the text.

4. The socket will switch on and off twice.

Written by Steve

July 30, 2010 at 10:32 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

using DNS name in fstab

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kept getting error when using hostname (DNS entry or hosts file) in fstab for a CIFS share;

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on //SDDSKBLK/Share,
missing codepage or helper program, or other error
(for several filesystems (e.g. nfs, cifs) you might
need a /sbin/mount.<type> helper program)
In some cases useful info is found in syslog – try
dmesg | tail  or so

First I installed smbfs. This changed the error to;

mount error(5): Input/output error

I found that the hostname had to match the machine name to clear this.


BAD – //someothernamedefinedinhostsfile/share /mnt/share

OK – //actaulHostNameOfServer/share /mnt/share

Written by Steve

July 23, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

ssh tunneling samba on windows 7

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Followed these instructions;

Create localhost adapter.

We’ll give your computer an additional (fake) IP address, and we’ll port forward to that address instead of the computer’s real IP. Windows XP will continue to do file sharing on the real IP address. We’ll assign it an IP of (that’s what we configured putty to use above.)

  1. System->Control Panel->Add Hardware
  2. Yes, Hardware is already connected
  3. Add a new hardware device (at bottom of list)
  4. Install the hardware that I manually select
  5. Network adapters
  6. Microsoft , Microsoft Loopback Adapter
  7. (Go through the installation procedure.)

Configure the new localhost adapter.

  1. Open up your existing (real) ethernet adapter and write down your gateway and DNS server addresses.
  2. Open your new fake ethernet adapter (Network Connections) , enter a made-up IP address (I suggest, which is a privately routable address that most folk don’t use.)
  3. Enable Client for Microsoft Networks.
  4. Disable File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
  5. Enable Interent Protocol (TCP/IP)
  6. Click on properties for TCP/IP.
  7. Enter your chosen IP address (, subnet mask (
  8. Under advanced->WINS, Enable LMHosts Lookup and Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP
  9. Enter 9999 for the interface metric. (Necessary?)
  10. REBOOT (important!)

Configure Putty connection

  1. Fire up Putty on C (Client) , create a new connection to S (Server). Make sure you can ssh from C to S before going any further.
  2. Configure a new SSH tunnel for the connection you created in the previous step:
    1. Source port= (the IP:port notation is wider than the text box, but it will work!)
    2. Destination= (this tells the server to connect the other end of the tunnel to the server’s port 139.) Previous versions of these instructions suggested S’s actual IP address, which might not work if S doesn’t know its own true IP address (due to NATing, for example.) The destination options should be left at “local” and “auto”.
    3. (VISTA/7 work-around) Add an additional tunnel from source= to destination= (see Olaf Zehner, below)
    4. Click the checkbox, if present, reading “Local ports accept connections from other hosts”.
  3. Click add, save the connection

Now we test out our connection:

  1. Start->run
  2. type: “\\”.


– Add hosts file entry for (e.g. “      samba”)

(taken from

To get this working on Windows 7 you need to do the following;

Another solution for Windows 7 (that doesn’t involve running a .exe from a 3rd-party site) is to disable the “Server” service.  Specifically: Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services.  Within that, there’s a service named “Server” with the description “Supports file, print, and named-pipe sharing over the network for this computer. …”

Just stopping the service wasn’t sufficient, but when I set it to startup: Disabled and rebooted, Windows 7 was finally not listening on port 445.  I was then able to forward port 445 over ssh and successfully connect to a samba drive.

This does mean you can’t share files/etc. from the machine, but if you’re using a loopback adapter to handle the SMB (139/445) forwarding, you can enable and start the “Server” service once your ssh tunnel is started.  I’m running like that right now, and I’m both connected to samba over ssh and able to act as a server for file sharing.

(taken from

Written by Steve

July 23, 2010 at 7:06 AM

Posted in computers, linux

adding folders from networked XP machine or linux to Windows 7 library

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I use an old XP machine as a file server and would like to add some of the shares to Win7 libraries.!3110BDF94643CB31!1887.entry

Seems that I need to either;

– Install Windows Desktop Search 4.0 on the XP machine open firewall ports.

– Or disable the group policy setting.

The second option would also allow folders on linux machines to be included

Written by sumofungus

April 5, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Posted in computers

Options are missing from Authorizations in Ubuntu 9.10

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Written by sumofungus

February 8, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

making backup copies of damaged dvds using ddrescue

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I would normally use AnyDVD (on Windows) to take a backup of a DVD with copy protection, but is doesn’t seem to handle read errors very well (e.g. discs have small scratches) and copies fail.

GNU ddrescue (gddrescue, ddrescue, NOT dd_rescue) on linux is supposed to be better at handling small errors and is designed to handle read errors.

Using ddrescue

So far I have found that the best way is to take an quick(ish) initial copy;

ddrescue -b 2048 -n -v /dev/sr0 image.iso image.log

This reads the whole disk once, marking any bad blocks as “non-trimmed”. It then reads again in the other direction retrying any bad blocks. Any blocks that still fail are “trimmed” then marked as non-split. There is no further processing after this because of the -n option.

If there are any read errors do another pass using the direct option (-d). You must also specify the number of retries that bad sectors get (-r), otherwise they will be ignored;

ddrescue -b 2048 -d -r 3 -v /dev/sr0 image.iso image.log

… if there are further errors then you can use the -R (retrim) option to retry full sectors (taken from Forensics Wiki). This will try the any bad sectors in a different order which might help read some (according to the ddrescue documentation, see link below);

ddrescue -b 2048 -d -r 3 -R -v /dev/sr0 image.iso image.log

I have yet to investigate using different drives to read the disc for another pass, but this might also help.

Other Notes

I don’t think this method (using ddrescue)  removes any copy protection.


Full manual for GNU ddrescue;

Reading discs might take a long time;–td21461792.html

Good documentation about Data Recovery and ddrescue;

Written by sumofungus

January 19, 2010 at 2:07 AM

Posted in Uncategorized