Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Enable Remote Desktop from command line or SSH

Found this recently, and its very useful if you have SSH/CMD access to a box, but forgot to enable Remote Desktop.

C:\>netsh firewall set service remoteadmin enable
C:\>netsh firewall set service remotedesktop enable

Tested in Windows 7, but resulted in a deprecated message. Still worked though, so probably ok for now. Windows 10 users might need something else.

Original post:


Friday, May 08, 2015

Monday, April 06, 2015

HowTo: Fix a 2 drive failure in an MDADM Raid5 array ( continued )

Happened again to the raid array. Found that my previous instructions weren't 100% correct.

The command to use is:

sudo mdadm --examine /dev/sdb1 ( not --detail )

Here is the stackoverflow post:


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Rosewill RSV-S4-X and mdadm RAID5

I've had the Rosewill RSV-S4-X for about a week now. I've got it integrated into my MDADM RAID5 array using 5 2TB SATA drives. So far I think its working OK. I'd say 4 out of 5 stars. More on why that is later.

So the enclosure comes with a Silicon Image 3132 PCIe eSata expansion card. This is what does the port-multiplication. I'm currently running Ubuntu 13.10. The Sil3132 is supposed to be well supported in linux. My experience has been good in general with it. Ubuntu picked it up right away with no issue.

The enclosure itself seems to take all its queues from the card. Its default is to be in JBOD mode, which is exactly what I need for mdadm. I added 2 more 2TB HDs to the enclosure, and they showed up as /dev/sd[gh] right away. So far so good.

I had a drive fail inside the machine. I added /dev/sdg1 to the array and had it re-sync. The re-sync process was holding at a steady 70MB/s. While not blazingly fast, this seemed about normal with the speeds I was getting from the on-board SATA ports.


So far I have only run into 2 problems with the system, and I think they're related. I originally placed the 2 drives in the top most 2 slots. This turned out to be slots 3 and 4. At first I didn't think much of it. Later on, I removed the faulty HD and ran some tests on it through WinDFT. It seemed to pass those tests fine, so I shut the system down and inserted the drive into Slot 1 of the Rosewill. I wasn't 100% sure if the rosewill was hot-swap, so I didn't take the chance.

Immediately things didn't go well. The Sil3132 was no longer being recognized. I rebooted a few times, with no change. Finally I decided to just remove the faulty drive. A few reboots later the card came back up, as did the two drives. Unfortunately by then mdadm had already removed /dev/sdg1 ( the one in the enclosure) from the array. A --re-add was refused.

My hypothesis is that by adding the drive into Slot 1, the raid card reordered the drives. This was enough to confuse mdadm, and the drive ended up being removed and the array degraded. I've since did an --add on the drive, and the array re-synced over night. I rebooted the machine a few times to ensure that it works, and things seem to be going ok.


Its  a nice enclosure, and for home use I think its perfectly fine. I would be hesitant to use it in a mission-critical environment, simply because of the unknowns about drive re-ordering.

I'm especially concerned about what might happen if more of my drives are on the enclosure. If the drives re-order again, and 2 of my drives get kicked out of the RAID, then I may be in trouble. Keep good backups of everything!

I'll try to keep this post updated as I find more things. \

Sunday, January 12, 2014

[Linux] Pogoplug constant blinking orange light

My pogoplug started blinking orange shortly after I added OptWare to it. Usually the blinking orange signals that its having trouble reading or is currently working on a drive. This is not normal disk read/write.

I found that it had mounted the /opt directory, which is on the thumbdrive and houses the OptWare files. Unmounting this from the web interface fixes the problem ( but the /opt stays mounted on the file system when you SSH in as root).

Friday, December 13, 2013

Messenger comes


A few short months ago, a messenger had arrived at the manor. The messenger was from the king of Stormwind himself. The messenger checked the directions he was given twice before knocking on the dilapidated home in the middle of Elwynn Forest. Surely he must be in the wrong area. There was no way a Warlock or a Death Knight would live in a house that looked so much of ... Nature.

The surprises continued as the door opened. A young Drainei had answered, though in honesty, the messenger wasn't the best judge of age of other races. But judging from her attire and smile, she wasn't an adventurer, and couldn't be the heroes he was sent to find.

"Yes? Can I help you Soldier?" asked the Drainei in a cheery voice. The Drainei was attractive. Her bright smile, and sunny greeting only helped to momentarily clear the messenger's mind of what he was about to say.

"I have a message for Master Bob, and Mistress Hotplate" replied the messenger, in the most authoritative tone he could muster.

The messenger saw a tiger behind her yawn, apparently bored of the entire exchange.

"I'll take it to them" answered the Drainei, extend her hand to take the missives.

"I'm sorry ma'am, but I was instructed to present the messages to them in person". said the Messenger.

"Suit yourself, come in.", the door opened wider to allow the messenger in. "My name is Huntry. Bob's in his study, and I think Hotplate is in the backyard practicing. I'll see if I can get them"

The messenger walked through the threshold. The house almost seemed bigger on the inside. It seemed ordinary, if not a little messy. There were singe marks on the drapes, some bigger than others. Simple wooden furnishings here and there. Though not ornate, the furniture was solid and strong. This was easy to notice since the large tiger "brushed" against the leg of a table, and the table didn't budge.

"Have a seat at the table", Huntry gestured towards the chair closes to the Tiger. The Messenger thought for a moment about sitting next to the Tiger, but its large fangs "encouraged" him to take a seat a few chairs down.


A raggedy looking old man walked into the room. His beard was unkempt, his eyes sullen from too much reading, the midsection of his simple robe was tighter than on the rest of his body. To the casual observer, he looked like a simple, though somewhat curmudgeon farmer. But the messenger had been around warriors all his life, knew how they talked, knew how they walked, and knew how they entered a room. This "old man" did not walk like an old man. His gait had no limp, and was fluid, never off balance. As he entered the room, his eyes flickered around, quickly taking stock of anything, or any one, that hadn't been there before.

"You have a message for me... corporal?" asked the old man.

"Yes sir, from King Varian himself". The messenger drew closer to hand the sealed note to the old man. As he got closer to his subject, it became much clearer that this was no ordinary old man. His eyes were sharp, and burned with a fire born of service and magic.

The messenger handed the sealed envelope to Bob and waited patiently.

Bob took the message, and seeing that the messenger had no intention of leaving until it had been read, quickly broke the wax seal and opened the letter. 

Huntry busied herself by "cleaning" a shelf nearby. Conveniently the position afforded her a clear view of the message. Dranei eyes are sharp. Unfortunately Huntry could only see a blank page. Bob studied the page intently. Obviously he could see something that Huntry could not.

Bob folded the missive and regarded the messenger. "Yes, two."

"Yes sir, I shall inform the King of your reply" replied the messenger, giving a quick bow. Huntry showed the messenger out.

Huntry returned to the table to find Bob re-reading the missive quietly.

"Yes to what?" asked Huntry, no longer able to contain her curiosity. Bob was never one to accept anything, especially not from a message.

"Tell Hotplate to pack her gear. Her and I are leaving at nightfall." commanded Bob. Though his voice was clear, Huntry could tell that his attention was elsewhere.

Suddenly Kragnar and Bizpit materialized between them. Bob, not surprised in the least merely commanded,  "Find Onaara, tell her to drop whatever she's doing and come here". Kragnar disappeared without a reply. Bob turned to Bizpit, the usually annoying Imp was silent. He must have picked up on his master's thoughts and remained serious for once.

"Send word to the dragons, I'll need their help soon" Bizpit disppeared as quickly as Kragnar. 

Huntry, frozen by the sudden activity merely stared at Bob. It was clear that Bob was worried. Again, not characteristic of the old Warlock at all.

"Ready my armor, I must consult my books before we leave. Wait for Onaara, she should arrive within the week. When she arrives, both of you follow us."

"I don't understand, where are you going? Where am I going? What's going on?" asked Huntry.

"Anduin is missing, they think the Horde has taken him" replied Bob.

Prime lens and E3

Took my 35mm f/1.8 lens to E3. Rationale was that the low light inside the expo floor would really need the super wide aperture. Plus I could simply zoom with my feet

Unfortunately it just didn't give me the flexibility I needed. I was constantly at the wrong place, and everything was out of composition. It was frustrating.  The wide aperture was nice, but a flash would have probably done more to help with the whole situation.

[Server Fame] Current State of Machines

So every now and then I put up an update on my never-ending-collection of computers. Near as I can figure, this is whats up.

25Mhz 286/386
Retired, donated. I just didn't have the room to keep it any longer.

200Mhz Pentium Pro w/MMX
Retired, donated. I just didn't ahve the room to keep it any longer

350Mhz Pentium 3 Laptop
Retired, waiting to be donated. I don't have room for it, but I haven't got around to donating it yet.

1.4Ghz Athlon T-bird. 768MB RAM, 2.25TB
Retired. Still in box. It is still viable, and works well. Considered giving it to my parents and having them have a server at home. That might have been the plan if I didn't get a "new" Core2Duo to become the new main desktop.

2.3Ghz Athlon64 3000+ 3GB RAM, 8TB
Currently the main server. Still going strong. Recently had its first hard drive fault. The plan for the future is for it to "retire" and head to my parent's place to serve as their DLNA server, and offsite backup. It won't have a raid when its there, so the load should be quite a bit less. Majority of the space will be on the 2TB external drive.

2.66Ghz Core2Quad E8400 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1TB 7200rpm
Still the "big iron" of the farm. Running strong. Installing the extra 4GB of ram was harrowing, since it seemed to cause instability in the north or southbridge. Was very annoying to diagnose.

Currently running the AirVideo software for streaming to the iOS devices. Also runs the uTorrent software for downloading. Also running PS3 Media Server. Its a backup DLNA server. I still haven't found a software I like as much as MediaTomb, but MediaTomb just isn't doing everything I want it to. Plus squirrel is beefy enough to do live-transcoding, which mostly works.

2.40Ghz Core2Duo E7400, 17" Mobile Workstation. 128GB SSD
One of two laptops I got from a friend. It was missing battery, charger, ram and HD. This laptop even has a Quadro level graphics card. It plays WoW fine, though I don't play that much. It plays hearthstone just fine though. Named after Battlestar Galactica, because its so huge.

2.40Ghz Core2Duo E7400 15" Laptop. 4GB RAM, 750GB 7200RPM
The other of the two laptops I got from a friend. This one is virtually the same as the previous, but with intel integrated graphics, a 15" screen and a 7200rpm HD instead of the SSD. I use it mostly for when I'm out and about. Though lately I've been using it as a server to offload repacking/transcoding duties from Frisket. With Gigabit and SMB mounts, the network lag isn't that bad. Named after the other battlestar, Pegasus.

Codename: Dreadnaught:
2.66Ghz Core2Duo E6700, 4GB of RAM, 300GB 7200RPM
I got this for cheap at work. It came with a Quadro graphics card, but it is faulty so I took ti out. But it has onboard video, which I'm using now, it works fine. Right now I'm planning on migrating the 8TB RAID from frisket to this machine. This will become my main server. Frisket will then be moved to lighter duties at my parent's place. This solves a few of the issues I was trying to figure out with the Pogoplug and PS3.

Haven't decided if I'm going to get a case for it. I want to. The alternative is to transplant frisket into the case from work, and put the Core2Duo into Frisket's Antec 300. The case from work is probably good enough for what my parents need, but if its going to be on 24/7 and it gets super hot where they are.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Converting to Mp4 ( for PS3 use for example)


I decided to use avidemux. It seems to work pretty well. On this Core2Duo T7700 @2.4Ghz ( laptop) speed was decent. Specially since this IS NOT TRANSCODING then speeds are very fast. The only transcoding I had to do was the Audio into AAC, since the MP4 container only supports AAC with H264 and presumable X264.

Note: This is a repackaging program, but it will do transcoding as well. Transcoding recompresses a video ( or audio or both) from one format to another. Demuxing ( remuxing) copies video/audio/both from one container to another, without recompressing ( so its fast and lossless). In this case I was converting from mkv and avi's ( the containers) to mp4 (container).