Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Data Hustle: forensic tools and deleting a GPT protective partition

The last few days have been spent learning about forensic tools in Linux, I was already familiar with Testdisk and Photorec. I learned to use Gddrescue as well as foremost. My friends external drive used for work was connected to a mac mini when the IT staff re imaged the lab. Well the external drive was recognized as primary drive and was imaged, there went all of the data. I tried Testdisk first but it did not detect any old windows partitions, all it saw was the current Apple GPT and HFS partition. After that I used Photorec to try to recover any files that could be retrieved. Photorec recovered quite a bit of data, no luck with the file we were really looking for, it was and .epg extension. I am not sure if it wasn't found, because it was a format not supported by Photorec or if it was wrote over.  I used Gddrescue to make an image of the raw data and ran foremost to see if I would have any better results. Came up with similar results no .epg's.  Photorec did most of the heavy lifting.

Then came the headache first I partitioned the drive and reformatted it FAT32, with gparted. The formatting seemed to go fine, I tried to mount it in Windows 7 and XP neither would show it as an available drive. In Windows 7 the Disk manger did not give FAT32 as a format option for the drive due to size. I  tried in cmd   format D: /FS:FAT32 that seemed to be going well until at about 93 percent finished, I got an error saying the disk was to big. UGH!  After some reading what I found was that Apple uses the GPT Protected Partition not MBR. What I read was XP, Fdisk, gparted and Win 7 do not read GPT very well or not at all.  Now I new I needed to rewrite the partition tables, I tried to use the Disk Manger Windows 7  that did not work. Then I tried using gparted to do the same, no luck. Neither would delete the GPT Partition. I found Paul Gu's blog post on deleting a GPT Protective Partition. So here is what I did I fired up my netbook booted into Win 7 hit Super+r and ran cmd once the command prompt was up I did this from Paul Gu's blog.

Type in “DiskPart” in command line.

Type in “list disk” in command line to show all disks in this machine.

Use “select” to set the focus to the specified partition, for example “select disk 1″.

Use “clean” command to remove GPT disk from the current in-focus disk by zeroing sectors.
 Here is a example what the output looks like.

After that I opened up Disk manager again and right clicked the external drive and selected “initialize disk “

I safely removed the drive an unplugged it. I logged out of Windows 7, booted Ubuntu, started gparted created a new partition and formatted it FAT32. Everything went fine, then I unmounted and unplugged the drive. The big test came logging back into Win 7 I plugged the disk in and there it was, mounted as drive D: formatted FAT32.

I hate to see things break, but; it always turns out to be a good way to learn.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life made the most sense, when there was no sense to be made.

Life made the most sense when there was no sense to be made. That came to mind, as I was thinking about the one or two periods in my life when I did not think about "why". As a kid we ask why but it is not the all encompassing "why" i.e. why am I here? I think kids are asking, why are you here? Or why is that or this here? At some point something happens and you start to wonder "why".

I went through this real heavy as a teen, my Dads drinking and his flip flopping on his sexuality as I was coming in to puberty. A rumor at school that gave me daily teasing and intimidation for most of eighth grade, all gave "why" life in my mind. In ninth grade things changed a bit, I started to get more involved with riding bikes(bmx), punk rock and girls. My biggest concern in life was learning a Miami Hopper, going to the "Bowl" to learn 360's or going to a Punk show. I gained some new friends that year, one of which stood up for me, Mike. I really needed that at the time. Mike, Jerry, Greg and I would ride for hours after school.  Go to shows at Bogart's, the Building Lounge or the Electrician Hall. This became life from 15 to 21 the cast of characters whom I rode with and went to shows with changed as people dropped out and moved on. The "why" was but an echo in the far back reaches of my mind. Mostly when I got home and shit was crazy there.

Things changed in my life I was engaged for a year, that did not work out. I amassed a little debt so I started working 40+ to catch up, but; it just got worse. Biking and shows were still there, but; it was definitely much lower  on the ladder.

 In 1994 I got hired at Emery things picked up a bit, it was my first good job. I was there for about 18 months when I found out I had to have back surgery, that was a big "why" year. A close friend, my Grandpa and father died. I got in a fist fight with my Dad right before he passed. About a week later, on some self destructive rampage I totaled my motorcycle right before I was scheduled for surgery. My friends, namely Solly put up with my self loathing bullshit more than anyone and still stuck around ( a brave soul).

After my surgery for my wreck than the surgery for my back, I felt pretty good about life and amazingly the "why" slowly receded to the back of my mind. Work was good, I started working out to rehabilitate from the back surgery that was going real well. I was genuinely happy, I believe the two things that coincided where I had no wants, and I had no worries. The occasional girl trouble, but; over all pretty damn good. Than in 2000 My job started having problems the company made a bad deal with the U.S. Post Office and came up snake eyes. The company fell apart and the morale went with it. This job for many of was as good as it gets. We earned a decent wage, we got along with the managers more or less and we were treated with respect. All of that changed and slowly decayed to the point of pure entropy. I was just sad, so nine years to the day I said to hell with it and quit.

The "why" had come back and has not left, it has been here in varying degrees, but; still flutters around in my mind. I believe it does in most peoples minds. Their "why" may be a slightly different question, but; it is still there flitting about like a butterfly. It does not drive me to self loathing since I have made peace with it. Why I believe is how we survive, with out it we would just lapse into a sad apathetic state.  Will everything make sense as it did before the loss of innocence, no. Getting the "why" to be but a ghost in the back my mind is a state acceptable to that. Why I am here really does not matter, where I go after wards does not either. What matters is what I do while I am alive and breathing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How I found Linux (what I posted on Linux Outlaws)

I was given a Redhat disk in 1999, I ended up passing it on :( so..  flash forward to 2006 my XP install got bricked lost a dll, DELL support told me I was going to have to do a fresh install and wipe out all of my files, my wife is photographer plus my music,  so that was not an option. The second problem was I would have to wait for DELL to send me a XP disk, I did not have access to an XP disk, so recovery console was out of the question.  The thought I had was if I could just put a new copy of the dll in the proper directroy, but how was the question. LIVE CD!  I downloaded Ubuntu edgy LiveCD and the dll to be replaced, in the process of fixing XP I decided to setup Ubuntu as dual boot.  XP quickly became only used to play T.H.U.G. and KOTOR.  The part that actually hooked me, was that when I installed edgy I was using the VESA drivers, which would not support Beryl. Because I had a ATI Graphics card, I spent hours tweaking xorg.conf so I could use Beryl. Doing so I realized the freedom to tweak Linux and the communities kicked ass.  I finally wiped out my XP partition when I did a fresh install of 7.10. I have been using Ubuntu as my desktop distro till recently. I started looking around tried Debian Sid for a bit.Next I installed Arch and I am really digging Arch I like how much I can tweak things, the same thing that pulled me in to Linux in the first place.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Trying Arch Linux

OK I have been obsessed with finding a new Linux distro tried Fedora not for me , was using Debian Sid, but; could not for the life of get Gwibber 2.0 to install with out errors. So... I thought I would try Arch and so far so good was able to get Gwibber installed by following this guide mostly. Thanks CD Wiki, I had to do three things different. Instead of installing yaourt -S pywebkitgtk-svn  I had to use yaourt -S pywebkitgtk and I also needed yaourt -S python-mako pycurl  That did it Gwibber 2.0 started no problems. So far I like Arch I am able to use all of the packages I need, I am using Wicd instead nm-applet, my first time trying Wicd, I like it. I was able to set up my static IP with out any issues with Wicd. Pacman and Yaourt really make sense to me coming from using Aptitude , it was a easy switch. I started using Linux via Ubuntu Edgy, learned a lot about xorg.conf  in my first weak. I was using and ATI graphics card at the time, I learned a lot using Ubuntu. I have been using Ubuntu continuously since Edgy, I was looking for a change. I first tried Arch on a old laptop it gave life to that old machine. That is another reason why Arch seems like a good change. I will probably install Eeebuntu/EB4 on my net book when they release the beta. You never know it may end up Arch on it also :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

nm-applet in Debian Sid unable to edit connections, RTL-8169 network card blocked

When I installed Debian Sid it configured my integrated network connection instead of my PCI network card. I could not edit my connection nor configure my PCI card via nm-applet or even ifup or ifconfig. In nm-applet the connection it showed I was unable to edit . It listed this connection as ifupdown (eth1), which I wanted to set the ip address manually. I was able to create a second connection that would use my integrated network card, but; I had to reconnect whenever I restarted the computer. The default was always ifupdown(eth1), a few things were curious to me one I could not edit this connection even as root, the name ifupdown and even though the module was loaded for my PCI card I could not use it. My thought was ifupdown was configuring everything when the services were started. I figured this caused my  PCI card to be blocked and the integrated one unable to be edited. So what I did to be able to use my PCI card, and edit the other connections, I edited my


I changed:  managed=false to managed=true

then I also in : /etc/network/interfaces the two lines under primary network interface I hashed them out. I changed it from

# The primary network interface
 allow-hotplug eth1
 iface eth1 inet dhcp


# The primary network interface
#allow-hotplug eth1
#iface eth1 inet dhcp

(could have deleted them, but; just in case my hunch was wrong I hashed them out)

Then I restarted the computer and that did it. The ifupdown connection was gone and I was able to use which ever network card and set my static ip as I wanted.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Created my first image in GIMP

I scanned some graffiti script I had in a sketchbook. It just a simple pencil drawing of the word "Linux" I was just curious to learn more about GIMP so this seemed like a good way to do it. The first one the word "Linux" is slightly transparent and the second the word "Linux" is completely opaque and has a dropped shadow. I like the second one better personally I will probably keep messing with them or start a new image   I shall see.

Friday, January 8, 2010

virtualbox error in sid "Please install the virtualbox-ose-dkms package"

                                                                  I received this error :
Please install the virtualbox-ose-dkms package and execute 'modprobe vboxdrv' as root.
after a kernel upgrade in Debian Sid, it had an easy fix all I had to do was

dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox-ose-dkms 

Since it was already installed. Then all I had to do was:
                                                                     modprobe vboxdrv

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Terminator in Fedora 12

I just installed Fedora 12 yesterday. I have used mostly Debian and Ubuntu on my desktop, and Arch on a older laptop. So it seemed time to try something else. So far so good, it has been little things to get used to. Like the program Terminator every time you quit, it displayed "I'll be back" in Notify. I had never seen this in Ubuntu before, the first time I laughed, well then it just kinda annoyed. So I decided I wanted to get rid of it. thought I would find it in gconf-editor no go. After reading a couple of mailing list I found what I needed to do was remove the last lines from


what I had to remove was :

import pynotify
icontheme = gtk.IconTheme()
icon = icontheme.lookup_icon(APP_NAME, 48, 0)
notification = pynotify.Notification('Terminator', "I'll be back", icon.get

That was it, it is not coming back.