All posts by bsdman

Currently working as an IT Manager. Worked for an OIT company as a Network Engineer in 2011. Worked for a Medical IT company as the Network Administrator 2009-2011. Worked as the Senior Systems Administrator at a computer reseller from 2005-2009. Worked as a Computer Consultant for several small companies from 2007-2009. Worked as a Computer Technician at a computer reseller from 2002-2004.

Linux Show Hard Drive Lifetime Specs

This is a pretty cool tool I came across while doing research for another topic. Basically if you run Linux you can run this tool.

1.) sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda (or in my case it’s hda)

And that’s it. If it gives you an error, try running sudo smartctl by itself. If it says it requires tools to be installed, you can use apt-get install smartmontools.

This will give you all the details as reported by the SMART hardware system built into all newer drives. Total hours in use, power cycles, temperature, recovered errors, failures. Some of the data can be a little bit off (my initial reading of HD temperature was 705757226C) but overall it’s pretty neat.

Ubuntu Broadcom BCM4318 802.11g Laptop Wireless Driver

A fresh install of Ubuntu 7.04 or 7.10 will yield quite a few drivers built in. I’m actually impressed that most of the devices on my laptop work right out of the box (so to speak). Not complaining about Windows too much, but I’m constantly drawn towards Linux because of the support given via hundreds of thousands of individual peoples. Have an issue? Probably it’s been well documented and there are fixes available. If not, someone can most likely help you out. Want to make changes to your OS? Want free software and free support? Linux.

Now that the rant is over with, here’s an issue I came across while installing 7.04 AND 7.10 on my laptop (actually Windows had this issue too, but it’s much easier to find driver support on that side). The problem was my built-in Broadcom wireless 54G card (BCM4318 is the model). I didn’t want to use ndiswrapper to solve this one. I wanted a linux native driver.

BCM43xx Auto Install Driver

This is a debian package script that will install the Linux Native driver. Double click, install, reboot. If the wireless doesn’t work, you may have the wrong Broadcom card installed, or you will have to use ndiswrapper.

EDIT 08042008
Ubuntu 8.04 and beyond actually has built-in support for the Broadcom Card (not quite as good as the NDIS wrapper, but it will connect at 54mbps and has fairly decent range). You can go to System, Administration, Hardware Drivers. It should then be listed as one of the available to use.

Ubuntu Startup Screen Blank Issue

That’s the best description I could come up with. Basically I installed Ubuntu 7.10 on my laptop (Compaq V5000 CTO). After a series of simple updates, I no longer had the booting Ubuntu screen with the progress loading bar. Basically the Grub boot menu will load, but then the screen goes blank for roughly 2 to 3 minutes. Then the login screen for Ubuntu will finally load. After a series of quick google searches, I finally came across the answer:

It’s a resolution issue.

Here’s the fix:
1.) Open up Terminal
2.) CD to /etc/
3.) Nano usplash.conf
4.) Change the resolutions to 1024×768
5.) Save the file
6.) sudo update-initramfs -u -k `uname -r`

It looks like this is an issue mostly found on ATI based computers. So if you have an nVidia based video card, you probably won’t be able to fix this using the above technique (correct me if I’m wrong). After the fix, the boot time went from 2 to 3 minutes down to less than 30 seconds. I’d say that’s a pretty good bug fix.

EDIT 08042008
I’m pretty sure since 804 came out this is no longer an issue.

Microsoft System Tools MRT SFC

Here are some hidden gems within the Microsoft Windows OS. I’m pretty sure these still apply to the newest Vista OS, but if not then it’s for XP ONLY.

Start >> Run >> “MRT”.
This will load up the Microsoft Removal Tool (Also known as Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool). This will scan all of your files to see if some of the well-known Trojans or Viruses are loaded on your machine. This is NOT a replacement for AntiVirus software.

Start >> Run >> “SFC /SCANNOW”.
This will load up the System File Checker tool (Also known as Microsoft Windows XP Windows File Checker Version 5.1). This program will find all altered system files and fix them to the original. You’ll need a copy of your i386 folder (found on the Windows XP CD-ROM) in order to take full advantage of this tool.

Can Ping Out, Not In

Having problems pinging a remote user? Can they ping you just fine?

Here’s the steps I did:
1. Install the latest and greatest driver for the network card. Check.
2. Turn off the firewall. Windows firewall, or a third party firewall, may be blocking the ICMP ping protocol. Check
3. Uninstall the network device. Then scan for hardware changes and it should automatically reinstall. Check.
4. Do you use Cisco VPN Client? Open the VPN Client, right-click on the system tray icon, and uncheck “stateful firewall (always on)”. Check.
5. Reset the switch/change cables/reboot the computer. Check.

Then you should be done. If you have more suggestions, or can’t get something to work, let us know.

Exchange 2003 Send On Behalf Of

Sending on behalf of sounds like a very easy task. Fire up Outlook, type in someone else’s name in the from box, hit send. Doesn’t quite work out that way.

Rights must be given to the user to send on behalf of. One can NOT send on behalf of a group, it must be on behalf of a user.

1.) Open up Active Directory Users and Computers.
2.) Click on the View Menu and select Advanced Features
3.) Select the user that you want to send on behalf of
4.) Right click the user and select Properties
5.) Click on the Security tab
6.) Click on the Advanced button
7.) Click on the Add button
8.) Type the username you want to give permissions to
9.) At the bottom of the list, select Send As
10.) Click OK to all the dialog boxes
11.) In the properties of the user you want to send on behalf of, click on the Exchange General tab
12.) Click the Delivery Options button
13.) Click the Add button
14.) Type in the username you want to give permissions to
15.) Click OK to all the dialog boxes

Optical Drive Disappears

If your CD or DVD ROM drive has recently disappeared, you may want to read this post. If it disappeared on its own, then it can be one of a few problems:

1. The driver has been uninstalled/corrupted or the wrong driver is installed. You can either use Microsoft Update to update to the newest driver, or you can RollBack the driver to the previous version.
2. You’ve disconnected the data/power cable. Check the cables.
3. The drive has died. You’ll need to buy a new drive.

If it disappeared after you uninstalled or installed a software package, then here’s a registry hack (fix) that helps solve your issue. Most of the time this is a result of uninstalling or installing a second version of a CD/DVD Burning Software kit.

1. Make sure that the driver is correct/up-to-date/installed properly.
2. Microsoft recommends uninstalling any CD/DVD Burning Software PRIOR to performing this hack.
3. Open up the Registry Editor. Start >> Run >> regedit.
4. Go to this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Class/{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
5. Delete the keys “UpperFilters” and “LowerFilters”.
6. Reboot the computer.

You should now see your favorite Optical drive in your My Computer.