Subscribe

Receive updates via email:

 Updates via RSS

Tag Cloud

Blog Archive

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fixed! DBAN Finished With Non-Fatal Errors When Trying to Wipe SATA Drive

Yesterday I was able to complete the migration of my Dell Microsoft Windows Vista machine to a VMWare Virtual Machine so I could have one less PC running in my house. Having successfully moved everything over, no matter how painful (posts coming) it was now time to prepare the computer for disposal (eBay / Craigslist).

As I mentioned earlier this week, I usually use Darik's Boot and Nuke, called DBAN to wipe the disks and permanently destroy the data before reinstalling the operating system and getting rid of the computer.

So, I updated to the most recent copy of DBAN, 2.0.0 from the download site and dropped it into the CD-ROM to boot. I then followed the common steps I normally did to wipe the disk.

I choose my settings:
Entropy: LinuxKernal (urandom)
PRNG: Mesenne Twister (mt19937ar-cok)
Method: DoD 5220.22-M
Verify: Last Pass

I then selected both the drives that I wanted to nuke, and hit f10 to execute.

Oddly, rather than entering the progress screen dialog, I was greeted with an unfriendly message:

DBAN Finished With Non-Fatal Errors
Logs were being written to disk, yada, yada, yada. It didn't work.

I rebooted the machine thinking that would change something. I still received the same error message:
DBAN Finished With Non-Fatal Errors

Something was pretty odd here.

I went ahead and at the initial startup prompt entered the command "autonuke" thinking that would somehow lead to a different outcome. But, it didn't.

It then dawned on me that there could be some random incompatibility between my computer and DBAN 2.0.0. I pulled out my trusty DBAN 1.0.7 disk and gave it a try. Still, the same result of DBAN exiting with the non-fatal errors. (Which ironically, is fatal since your computer basically freezes up and you have to thumb it...but, I digress.)

Then I turned to Google. After much searching and little result, I stumbled across a post which suggested that DBAN had an issue with SATA drives that possibly had to do with them not being high enough on the primary channels. That led me to notice that there were 5 devices shown for some reason in the DBAN GUI menu, three that were not recognized and the hard drives were listed as the last two.

That led me to try something out.

What I did next, since I had 4 devices in my Dell Dimension E520 -- 2 Hard Drivers, 1 CD/DVD-ROM, and 1 CD-RW/DVD-RW drive was to reconfigure that SATA cabling. I pulled out two of the devices, the 2nd CD-ROM, and the secondary hard drive and put the single hard drive on channel "0" with the bootable CD-RW/DVD-RW drive on channel "1".

With just two of the drives connected, I then gave DBAN 2.0.0 another shot. After making the configuration setting changes, I attempted to start the data destruction process. Guess what? It kicked it off and started working, showing my progress. In just a few hours, my

Lesson learned? For those of you with SATA configurations with multiple drives from Dell or other manufacturers, you made need to either disconnect some drives or even re-order how they are connected to your motherboard or SATA card. With some basic tweaking, DBAN will be back and working in no time.

Did this work for you? If so, if you wouldn't mind tweeting about it on Twitter, posting a link on Facebook, or posting a comment below...that'd be awesome!

Read more of this post!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How To: Clean The Trackball on Your Blackberry (Video: Bold, Tour, Pearl, and Curve)

The other day, the trackball on my Blackberry Bold 9000 stopped working. By not working, basically, the trackball would not scroll down -- which is the most common problem as that is the most frequently used direction. Due to that, there can be some dirt and debris build up that needs to be cleaned out from time to time.

This guide will walk you through a quick tutorial on how you can clean the trackball. If this does not work for you, you can always replace the trackball by purchasing a replacement fairly cheaply from Amazon.com. Click here to go directly to a compatible product.

This guide and tutorial is available in both a video and text form. The video is below along with the supporting text on the steps to take and is compatible with the Blackberry series of devices and smartphones that include the Blackberry Bold, Pearl, Tour, and Curve lines.

Before getting started there are 3 things that you need:

1. You Blackberry Device, Blackberry Bold 9000 in my case. (9700 from AT&T, T-Mobile)

2. Isopropyl / rubbing alcohol or lens cleaning solution.

3. A couple of Q-Tips

4. Alternatively a can of air to initially clean or dry the trackball.

Here is the video:



Here are the actual steps to take:

1. Power off your Blackberry.

2. Optional: Spray the trackball and the area surrounding it on your Blackberry to dislodge and clean out any dirt or debris.

2. Prepare the isopropyl alcohol or lens cleaning solutions by pouring a little bit into the cap, just enough to wet the Q-Tip.

3. Lightly dip the Q-Tip into the rubbing alcohol or solution to wet the Q-Tip. Do not soak the Q-Tip as you do not want the alcohol to be dripping off.

4. Take the Q-Tip and roll the trackball several times in all 4 directions, up, down, left, and right. This will ensure that all of the areas of the trackball and contacts are cleaned and any dirt is collected.

5. Swab around the outside of the Trackball to pick up any additional direct or debris that may not have been removed.

6. Either use the can of air, or lightly blow on the Blackberry to dry an excess alcohol from the device.

7. Turn the Blackberry back on. Congratulations, your trackball should work again on your Blackberry device whether it is the Bold, Tour, Pearl, or Curve!

How To: Clean The Trackball on Your Blackberry (Video: Bold, Tour, Pearl, and Curve)

Read more of this post!

Monday, December 28, 2009

How To: Prepare and Sell A Used Computer & Hard Drive (Erase, Format, Wipe)

Did you get a new computer for Christmas?

I did not, but a number of my friends did. And on more than one occasion I have been told they did not know what to do with the old computer. When I asked why not sell it on Craigslist or eBay, the reply often was -- I did not know how to prepare it to make sure the data was removed from the old hard drive.

It immediately made me think that many people are not quite sure where to start when it comes to securing their hard drive before parting with it. If that's you, you may want to check this article out if you plan on disposing of that old hard drive or computer -- either by donating or selling on your favorite site, whether that is on eBay or Craiglist to see how you should prepare that computer for sale. That will enable you to get the most cash for your old machine and feel safe about letting it out of your hands; even if you had very personal data on it.

The first thing to realize is that simply formatting a hard drive is not enough to protect to remove, erase, wipe, or destroy the personal data that you may have on your hard drive. In fact, an article published earlier this year revealed that over 34% of resold hard drives still have personal data on them.

Unfortunately, in many cases it is all to easy with some basic utilities to scan a formatted only hard drive and recover most of the data if you have only have performed a basic format and have an unencrypted drive. Which today, is the most common scenario for most home PCs.

However, there is both a free and easy way to permanently wipe and erase you hard drive and making sure that nobody is able to access the data.

How you ask?

With Darik's Boot And Nuke, a free open-source software that enables you to boot via a CD-ROM, run the tool for a number of hours and wipe that data from your hard drive. Here's a little more on the tool:

Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.

DBAN is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.

DBAN is a free software product that can be used at home or in a business at zero cost. The only official place to obtain DBAN is by download at this web site. We do not sell DBAN media


Last time I wrote about DBAN a couple of years ago, the current version was 1.07. Now updated to version 2.0, it now supports AMD, Intel, and MAC PowerPC processors, so matter if you are running a Microsoft Windows or an Apple Macintosh (Mac) operating system -- you should be set to go.

If you are looking for more details on how to operate DBAN, please check out my old article here.

Once you complete the low-level format and completely wipe the data -- you are now able to reload all the original operating system and software. Once you have done that, you can put it up on eBay or Craigslist to maximize the value, while feeling safe about letting the old hard drive out of you sight.

Was this article helpful? If so, please post a tweet (on Twitter) or a link on your Facebook page to let other know!

Read more of this post!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Blogger Editor Broken: Add Photo Icon Missing from Updated Editor

It appears that Blogger's new updated Editor is broken. Broken to the point where it is not usable, at least for me. While it looks "neat" and is a little more functional than the older version, it appears to be missing a key component, the links and icons for upload pictures, videos, and more.

As far as I can tell, there is no way to fix the problem and it is not supposed to be that way, according to the post on Google's Blogger Help.

Google / Blogger's new editor is supposed to be fully functional with more features. I find it to be ocurring with less

But, that's what I am not experiencing. Rather, my new "enhanced and update" Blogger Post Composer and Editor is missing all but the most basic editing options. Yes, it is enhanced and more usable, but unfortunately not functional.

Blogger's updated editor for post creation and editing is missing key icons like adding photos, videos, and more

At first, I thought it had to be just a configuration issue. There had to be a seating on the page, through another menu or somewhere that would aid in resolving the situation. After searching around the application I could find no menu bar options to add the additional icons and functionality. That left me with only one option, to revert.

With the broken updated editor, your only choice is to revert to the previous old editor by going to the settings and basic tab

In order to revert, all you need to do is click on 'Settings' and on the basic tab at the bottom there is a section called Global Settings where you can select your Post Editor. Simply click on the radio button for the Old Editor and you are back in business where you can upload photos, videos and more.

Back to the old Blogger Post Editor, not pretty, but it still works

In the end, it is a pretty big bummer. What attracted me to the new updated Blogger editor is the new Amazon widget that they published. Rather than having to switch between the Amazon Associates website for their Affiliates program, it integrates right into a widget on the right hand side where you can search, link, embed with much greater ease. In fact, if you even highlight text in your posting editor it automatically fills in the search -- making the process much more efficient.

For now, it looks like I will have to upload pictures, screenshots, and other items with one editor and then switch the settings back to use the new Amazon functionality. That's a real downer.

Does anyone know how to either fix the issue or if Blogger is working on the fix?

Read more of this post!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How To: Force Blackberry to EDGE Network on AT&T instead of 3G

Sick of your AT&T Blackberry dropping calls on the 3G network?

Sick of having full bars on your AT&T yet data will not download?

Sick of your battery draining because the service switches between GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and 3G frequently because of poor 3G coverage?

Tired of poor connections and phone call quality on the AT&T 3G network?

Wish you could go back to the EDGE 2G network permanently?

Well, now you can. But first, do you want to?

From my point of view, I have been longing to return to the AT&T EDGE network for months. While AT&T may cover over 200 million people according to their latest releases, the quality of that coverage is terrible in most areas. Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and the Silicon Valley just to name a few. That's why I really laugh when I see the commercials. It seems that AT&T has forgotten that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to 3G coverage.

And unfortunately, for me -- changing providers is not an option. I won't got into the particulars, it is just not an option. So, that leaves me with the desire to force my Blackberry Bold 9000 back to the EDGE 2G network, so that it would hopefully revert to the old performance.

The good news is that if you have a Blackberry 3G device like the Blackberry Bold 9000, 9700, the Curve, or the Tour on the AT&T network, there is now a way that you can by a simply changing a configuration on your device. It really is that simple.

But, it has not always been that way. When I first started looking into this 6 months ago, the device did not support a network mode or preference. In fact, there are number postings (like this one) where AT&T originally removed this option from the Blackberry software for the AT&T specific devices. Whether it was intentional to force people on the 3G network or an oversight, no one knows.

However, over time...the demand for the ability to have a better choice in choosing network due to customers that were on the fringe of coverage as well as recommendations from AT&T techs put AT&T in a tough position. In recent software updates, they have re-enabled that feature.

So, if you are not seeing the screens below in your Blackberry you may not have an updated version of the Blackberry Device Software. The current version on my Blackberry Bold 9000 that has the feature is v4.6.0.297 (Platform 4.0.0.247) by looking at Settings --> Options --> About. If you do not have the most current version, there are two ways to get to it.

1. Go to the Blackberry website and download the latest version of you Blackberry Device Software. The link is here.

2. You can also update the software on your Blackberry by using the Blackberry Desktop Manager, if you have the latest software. If you do not, go to this link to download it.

If you have any difficulties with either process, please leave a comment a the bottom of the post. If people are struggling with doing this, I will go ahead and put together a post on how to do it.

Now for the moment you have been waiting for. Here is how you can force your AT&T Blackberry to be on the EDGE 2G network rather than the poor performing 3G network:

1. On your Blackberry navigate to Settings --> Options and then scroll down to Mobile Network. Click on the Mobile Network.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: On your Blackberry navigate to Settings, Options and then scroll down to Mobile Network.  Click on the Mobile Network.

2. Here is the data services screen. Scroll down to the 3G & 2G Setting.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: Here is the data services screen.  Scroll down to the 3G & 2G Setting.
3. Click on the 3G & 2G settings and scroll up and select the 2G setting.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: Click on the 3G 2G settings and scroll up and select the 2G setting.
4. You'll notice the the EDGE / 3G network is no longer in the upper right hand corner as the device reconnect to only a 2G AT&T Network.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: You'll notice the the EDGE / 3G network is no longer in the upper right hand corner as the device reconnect to only a 2G AT&T Network.
5. 30 seconds later, you'll now be on the more reliable AT&T EDGE 2G network and no longer experience the pains of AT&T's poor performance on the 3G network.

Force EDGE Network on ATT Over 3G for Blackberry: 30 seconds later, you'll now be on the more reliable AT&T EDGE 2G network and no longer experience the pains of AT&T's poor performance on the 3G network.
Congratulations, you're done. Did this work for you? If so, leave a comment below to let others know!

Read more of this post!

Photo Blog: New York City: Weather, Travel, and Times Square Snowball Fight

This past weekend, Ashley and I took a quick holiday getaway to New York City to relax and taken in the Christmas spirit with all the decorations and festivities of the city. As we learned a couple of years ago on our first holiday trip there, nobody does Christmas like New York City. We were very excited for the trip, and before we left on Thursday, there was a good chance of getting some snow and a white Christmas...of which we rarely see from Southern California where it is usually 80 degrees on Christmas!

Little did we know that we would have what we would consider to be one of the best experiences of our lives; including an epic snow storm that left the city buried in snow and a social media phenomenon created with the snowball fight in Times Square that was featured on CNN that we stumbled on. Combine that with some great food, good shows,a peaceful Central Park covered with snow, and some Christmas cheer -- and it makes for an almost perfect three days.

What made it even better?

Our 8:25pm flight out of JFK on Sunday evening was the only flight to LAX that day that was not delayed and our upgrades came through. :-) Combine that with the slush developing in NYC (another popular iReport here) and it was the perfect time to get out.

My only regret?

Leaving my Canon EOS SLR at home with my trusted L-lenses as wells as my Flip Video MinoHD camera. I had no idea how epic the experience would be and intentionally left it at home. A poor decision in retrospect and I was left wanting with my Canon PowerShot SD790IS. Still, at least I got some decent pictures.

Here are a few pictures from our trip:


Ashley and I hanging out with Santa Claus in the Winter Wonderland at Macy's.  The wait was only 45 minutes on Saturday as opposed to 2 hours the previous weekend.  Whew.Ashley and I hanging out with Santa Claus in the Winter Wonderland at Macy's.  The wait was only 45 minutes on Saturday as opposed to 2 hours the previous weekend.  Whew.



The start of the snow falling in Central Park.  We were considering ice skating, but passed on this trip just to walk and enjoy the lightly falling snow in the city.The start of the snow falling in Central Park.  We were considering ice skating, but passed on this trip just to walk and enjoy the lightly falling snow in the city.


One of the few blur pictures I have taken and liked.  When we went in to see South Pacific at the Lincoln Center at 7:30pm, there was very little snow.  3 hours later, there were over six inches on the ground right outside the doors.One of the few blur pictures I have taken and liked.  When we went in to see South Pacific at the Lincoln Center at 7:30pm, there was very little snow.  3 hours later, there were over six inches on the ground right outside the doors.


Some Times Square Fun in the Blizzard conditions.  After watching South Pacific we grabbed some late night snacks at Maxie's, we stumbled across the beginning of a snowball fight in Times Square which has been a social media wonder.  Not only is there an iReport on CNN, but also a Facebook group has been created.Some Times Square Fun in the Blizzard conditions.  After watching South Pacific we grabbed some late night snacks at Maxie's, we stumbled across the beginning of a snowball fight in Times Square which has been a social media wonder.  Not only is there an iReport on CNN, but also a Facebook group has been created.


The rooftops were all covered in snow when we woke up from our hotel room at the Hilton Times Square on Sunday morning.  It was time to head to Central Park.The rooftops were all covered in snow when we woke up from our hotel room at the Hilton Times Square on Sunday morning.  It was time to head to Central Park.


One of the many beautiful and peaceful scenes in the park early on Sunday morning.  If I would have brought my Canon DSLR camera, there is no telling how much time I would have spent in the park taking photos before it became too crowded.One of the many beautiful and peaceful scenes in the park early on Sunday morning.  If I would have brought my Canon DSLR camera, there is no telling how much time I would have spent in the park taking photos before it became too crowded.


Undisturbed snow on a bench in the middle of Central Park.  Families were flocking to the Park to sled and play in the snow.Undisturbed snow on a bench in the middle of Central Park.  Families were flocking to the Park to sled and play in the snow.


Taking a quick photo by the fountain in front of the Lake in Central Park.  While cold, the wind was fairly calm making it quite enjoyable.
Taking a quick photo by the fountain in front of the Lake in Central Park.  While cold, the wind was fairly calm making it quite enjoyable.


The horse drawn carriages were just starting to run.  This was the first on and the driver was reporting back about only 1 lane being workable from a carriage perspective.The horse drawn carriages were just starting to run.  This was the first on and the driver was reporting back about only 1 lane being workable from a carriage perspective.


A shot of the bridge with the snow and ice covered pond.  Breathtaking and peaceful!A shot of the bridge with the snow and ice covered pond.  Breathtaking and peaceful!

Read more of this post!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How To: Change Resolution on PS3 for Ubuntu Linux (576x384 ps3videomode)

When I first installed Ubuntu Linux on my Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) a few weeks ago (how to guide is here), the first thing I noticed was the video mode and resolution was a really bad 576x384. So bad in fact, that I could not even see to run the various update programs to automatically upgrade the Ubuntu Linux operating system from the 9.04 packaged installation to the 9.10 current distribution for PS3.

After a couple of hours of tinkering, frustration, and looking through several guides -- I finally figured out how to not only detect the resolutions that would work with my Television and the Ubuntu installation on the PS3, but also how to set the resolution so it would take effect in GNOME and whenever the PS3 booted to Linux.

This guide will take you through the process so you can very quickly get your Unbuntu installation running at the right resolution so you can use it the most effectively.

To get started, you first need to realize there are two steps to the process. The first step is that you will need to test out various video modes to figure out which video mode you prefer. Once you have the video mode figured out; we'll then go ahead and put it in your startup commands so you can now use the new resolution and not be stuck with the 576x384 video mode.

Here we go...

1. The first thing you need to do is to enter the full console mode. To do this, just quickly hit Ctrl-Alt-F1. From here you will need to login. If you try the following commands in the terminal screen in the Ubuntu Desktop, you will not see the desire results. You can shift back to the Desktop mode at anytime by using the shortcut Ctrl-Alt-F7.

2. Once you have logged into console mode, we now will get familiar with a new command called "ps3videomode" which is a program that will allow you to test and change the video mode on your Playstation 3. Type "sudo ps3videomode -h" to see the output and options for the command. Here is the output:

sudo ps3videomode -h
ps3-video-mode (ps3-utils) 2.0.2

Usage:
ps3-video-mode [options]

Options:
--help, -h print this message
--video, -v set video mode ID
--full, -f use full screen mode
--color, -c use HDMI full range
--dither,-d use dither ON mode

Video mode ID:
0:auto mode
YUV 60Hz 1:480i 2:480p 3:720p 4:1080i 5:1080p
YUV 50Hz 6:576i 7:576p 8:720p 9:1080i 10:1080p
RGB 60Hz 33:480i 34:480p 35:720p 36:1080i 37:1080p
RGB 50Hz 38:576i 39:576p 40:720p 41:1080i 42:1080p
VESA 11:WXGA 12:SXGA 13:WUXGA

full screen mode:


3. Having familiarized yourself with the command and options, now it is time to find out where the video mode is currently set to. Simply type "sudo ps3video mode" to see the current setting, the output is likely to be a single number and "1". Just a quick note, if you get the message "error open:-1" when typing the command -- it is most likely because you forgot to type "sudo" in front of your ps3videomode command. Lastly, both "ps3-video-mode" and "ps3videomode" are accepted commands.

4. Now it is time to test out which video modes work best on your computer. I recommend starting with setting "2" and working your way up until you are happy...or encounter an issue. The command to test out video mode 2 which is 480p would be "sudo ps3videomode -v 2", for 720p, "sudo ps3videomode -v 3", and so on until you have full 1080p with "sudo ps3videomode -v 5".

If you encounter any issues during the process; in that the screen will not render properly, you can always try the previous setting by hitting the back arrow once, the up arrow once and hitting enter (assuming you are doing the commands in successive order) or hit Ctrl+Alt+F7 to go back to the desktop mode.

5. Once you have a setting you're happy with you can further tune it by turning on dither mode (adding 2048) or full screen mode (add 128). As an example, video mode 3 with dither and full screen would look like "sudo ps3videomode -v 2179". Now remember the number that you like the best.

6. Now we are going to go into the startup configuration and create the setting that will enable your Ubuntu OS on PS3 to use that mode. We will be using the nano command editor to make the changes. From the command line, type "sudo nano /etc/kboot.conf" which will launch you into the command editor.

7. Find the line that looks like:
linux='/boot/vmlinux initrd=/boot/initrd.img root=UUID=256a61d2-fd0c-449c-8b7f-9ed6effc0c62 quiet'


8. Add the following to the end of the line after quiet (without the quotes) " video=ps3fb:mode:3" where the number 3 represents the video mode you settled on in step 5. The line should look like the following:

linux='/boot/vmlinux initrd=/boot/initrd.img root=UUID=256a61d2-fd0c-449c-8b7f-9ed6effc0c62 quiet video=ps3fb:mode:3'


9. Now hit Ctrl+O to save the file, then Ctrl+X to exit the editor.

10. Finally, type in "sudo reboot" to reboot the Ubuntu system and for the new video mode to be utilized in not only the console, but also the Ubuntu Desktop with you new resolution.

Congratulations, you have not gotten rid of the dreaded 576x384 resolution. Did this solution work for you? If so, let me know with a comment.

Trackbacks that led to this post:
change resolution ps3videomode
ps3 video modes in ubuntu
how to change change reslolution in ubuntu for ps3
ubuntu 9.10 ps3 change resolution
576x384
how tochange linux 6 resolution for ps3
ps3 linux resolution bad
"change resolution on ps3" ubuntu 9.10
change resolution ps3videomode
error ps3videomode
how to change the screen res in ubuntu 9.10 on ps3
how to change ubuntu resolution ps3 9.10
playstation 3 dither
ps3 gnome change screen resolution
ps3 kboot
ps3 ubuntu 9.10 lcd resolution
ps3 video mode 9.10
ps3 videos modes --kernel command line
ps3-video-mode ubuntu 9.10
ubuntu ps3 video mode dither
what is dither mode linux

Read more of this post!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fixed! Firefox can't find the server at www.msnbc.msn.com

Ever since I upgrade to Firefox 3.0 on my Mac Mini (actually running 3.5.5) -- I have not been able to access the MSNBC website. And seemingly of all the sites I normally visit, this was the only one that I could not visit. Anytime I tried to go to the website, I would get the following error message:

Firefox can't find the server at www.msnbc.msn.com


It did not matter if I typed in msnbc.com, www.msnbc.com, msnbc.msn.com, or www.msnbc.msn.com. I still received the same error message:

Firefox can't find the server at www.msnbc.msn.com


I had previously searched Google with no luck, but came across an interesting post that seemed to indicate some possibilities with the HTTP protocol version in the setting for my FireFox browser. However, both of mine were set to version 1.1.

So that was not my problem, which caused me to look a little deeper. After some research, I found that not only did the page render correctly in the Apple Safari browser, but others were reporting the same issue between Firefox, and Internet Explorer -- whether they were using Windows XP, Windows Vista, or even the new Windows 7.

And, I should say, that the first order of business regardless should be to check your proxy settings under the network settings. You can do this by going to Firefox --> Preferences on your Mac, then choose the advance tab, then click on settings and make sure that "no proxy" settings unless you are positive you do not need it.

If that does not solve your issue, then the solution I found in for this guide -- should get it working for you. It did fix the problem for me -- and I will include the HTTP protocol how to in this guide so that it should cover the problem for you end to end, no matter which is the cause of your issue.

Here we go:

1. Go to the browser URL entry and enter (without quotes) "about:config" and hit enter.

2. You will be prompted with a message suggesting that it might void your warranty with some additional warning disclaimers about how the advanced settings can be harmful to the stability, security, and performance for the Firefox application. You can choose to uncheck the checkbox if you like, then click on the button that says "I'll be careful, I promise".

Firefox can't find the server at www.msnbc.msn.com accessing the about:config settings for the advanced Firefox configuration
3. Now in the filter box, enter the text "network.http" without the quotes to filter down all the settings so that you will not need to scroll.

4. Now that you have filtered the results, this where you will need to do the verification and possibly make some changes.

5. Please verify that both the network.http.version and the network.http.proxy.version are set to 1.1 and not 1.0. If you need to change both of these, double click on the line and you will get a dialog box asking you to enter the value "1.1". As you can see in the picture below, both of mine were set to 1.1 by default.

6. Now we are going to look at both the network.http.pipelining and the network.http.proxy.pipelining settings. In my case, both of were set to the default setting of false. For each of these I double-clicked on the configuration line and they were changed to true from false with a status of "user set" instead of default that remains bolded in the configuration screen. Look at the image below to see the exact settings that I have on my Firefox 3 browser.

Firefox can't find the server at www.msnbc.msn.com fixed by changing FireFox configuration settings for http network version and pipelining
7. Once you complete the changes and verify your settings, exit the Firefox browser to complete the changes. Open up the browser and type in www.msnbc.com; which should successfully take you to the MSNBC page.

Congratulations, you now have a fully working browser where you can browse to the MSNBC website without getting the message:
Firefox can't find the server at www.msnbc.msn.com


Did this fix work for you? If so, please post a comment to let me and others know -- including if you experienced this problem with another URL other than MSNBC. There are rumors that other URLs including www.microsoft.com can be subject to the configuration issue. Best of luck!

Read more of this post!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How To: See Sunrise at Haleakala National Park Volcano on Maui and Other Tours

So you want to visit Haleakala National Park to see the sunrise at the famed volcanic crater?

We wanted to. It's listed in the book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die -- and also well known as one of "the things" to do on the Island of Maui in addition to the road to Hana.

However, you may have been scared off by the rumored 3:00 AM wake-up time to make it to the summit in time for that perfect moment. Let's just start by saying that during many times of the year, you DO NOT need to get up quite that early.

This post will take you through some basic "how to" in order to guide you on your journey and separate a lot of the fact from fiction that we encountered on our tour. Furthermore, we'll take you up close and personal on our recent visit to Haleakala including our Pony Express Crater horseback ride that we took just a couple of weeks ago while on vacation in Maui, Hawaii.

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Capturing Sunrise

Let's talk about planning for the trip.

In our case, since we were coming from California on our vacation to Maui, Hawaii -- we knew that the very next day on the island would be the best choice for us to make the journey to the summit of the 10,000 foot volcano crater. The reason was that we had a 2 hour time difference, meaning depending on when we woke up, it would not be a huge adjustment for us. For example, waking up at 4:00am would really be like waking up only at 6:00am if we were still in California with the time adjustment.

Once we got to the hotel, we spoke with one of the concierges who recommended we wake up by 3:00am and leave the hotel no later than 3:30am. Looking at the time tables for the sunrise -- it was set to rise at 6:30am the next morning. At first it really sounded crazy that it could take 3 hours to get to the summit -- especially from where we were staying at the Grand Wailea Resort in Wailea, Maui. We were planning to drive ourselves, but alternatively there are tours that will pick you up at your hotel (earlier than you would have to leave yourself) but leaves the driving to them.

After consulting Google Maps and identifying that the drive was only 51.3 miles and that Google Maps showed only 1 hour and 47 minutes to get there -- we decided that getting up at 3:00am was way too early. We decided to wake up at 4:00am, planning on about a 2 hour drive to the summit for a sunrise watch.


View Larger Map

And goodness, were we right. The next morning we woke up at 4:00am, headed out from the hotel at 4:20am and arrived at the summit at approximately at 5:50am -- only an hour and a half to make it to the summit. Now, I used a GPS in order to make sure to not make any wrong turns. But, since Ashley commonly gets very motion sick -- we took it very easy on the way up in terms of driving to the summit.

For us, getting there about a half an hour before the official sunrise was perfect, which I will describe a little more, but first a detailed recommendation about getting there if you drive.

When to leave:
The first thing to realize that the sunrise time changes fairly dramatically during the year, so in the summer time you may need to leave at 3:00AM. However, in the Winter time you can get away with much later times. What I would recommend is finding out what time the sunrise will be that morning and then taking two hours and fifteen minutes earlier as the time you should leave. For us, since the sunrise was at 6:30am, leaving at around 4:15am using the rule of thumb would get you there about 45 minutes before sunrise -- able to see some of the pre-sunrise lighting. This is an approximate time if you're leaving from Wailea, Maui. If you're leaving from Lahaina, Kaanapali, or Kapalua -- you'll need to add 15-30 minutes to the time.

Getting There:
The first thing to remember when you go is that it will be VERY COLD compared to the rest of the Island, often a 40-degree Fahrenheit temperature difference. You should pack at least a heavy sweatshirt and possibly even gloves for the early morning. It likely will be in the 40's, so be prepared -- it even gets colder depending on how windy it is.

The second thing to remember is that no stores will be open on your way there. Not even the Starbucks in Kahului. Pack your own food, breakfast, snacks, water and hopefully a thermos of coffee or hot cocoa for your trip up there. There are no food or general store facilities within the Haleakala National Park, so if you forget, you are really on your own. Also, bring a LED flashlight or headlight as it will be pretty dark when you arrive and you do not want to trip and fall over a volcanic rock which you may choose to walk over. And lastly, don't forget the sunblock. If you do any activities there, it will seem cool -- but given the intensity of the sun in Maui, Hawaii and the altitude of 10,000 feet -- you will burn very quickly if you're not careful!

The last thing is to remember that the Ranger Station at the base of the National Park will not be open. You will need to pull over to the right after you pass the booth and use the automated machine. As of this posting (November, 2009) the cost was $10. While the machine will take $20 bills, just remember the change will be made in $1 coins, so be prepared for heavier pockets if you do not have $5 or $10 bills. The Haleakala National Park pass is good for three days in case you are camping, or want to return. Do not forget, it is not worth getting a ticket from the Park Rangers for failing to register.

Once You're There:
There are two lots once you arrive at the top. A "lower" lot at about 9800 feet or so, and an "upper" lot at 10,000 feet. The lower lot is where the the Ranger Station is at and is a little larger of a lot, and where most people choose to go. If it is full, you can proceed up to the upper lot. While we never made it to the upper lot, there are definitely restrooms at the lower lot that are open.

Once you park, get a few layers on and proceed to the observation point. It can get crowded, but generally there are spaces available against the rail (which we found) if you're there a half hour or more before the sunrise. There you can just hang out and chat with others while you wait for the show to begin. We ended staying outside for about 40-50 to watch the entire sunrise.

Once you're done with a sunrise, there are a ton of other options for you.

What to do After Sunrise at Haleakala Volcano Crater:

First, a note -- weather can change quickly and dramatic at Haleakala. It can go from a sunny 60 degrees to a freezing 40 degrees or lower with lots of rain very quickly. Please make sure you're prepared for the elements.

Horseback Riding
What we chose to do was take a Horseback ride down into the crater. Horses and people on foot are the only ways that you can get down into the actual crater itself. The tour operator that provides the tours are the Pony Express Tours. If you book online (click here) you can save 10% on the price. You can either check in with them on your way up (except Sundays) if you do not want to catch sunrise -- or you can make arrangements like we did to just meet them at the top. It'll be enough time where you can catch a nap in your car between sunrise and the horseback riding if you want. They also provide rain equipment in case of weather changes.

The ride into the crater is approximately a 5 hour tour. A couple hours down the Sliding Sands trail into the crater -- then lunch -- then a couple of hours back up the crater, where at this altitude -- you are extremely thankful for the horse. We had a great time with our guide's nickname "Ra" from the "Sun God" -- and the lunch was excellent once we got down there. The horses were great and calm, and it was a very enjoyable trip for us. 4 hours on a horse can be pretty long if you are not used to it, so plan on having some extra padding or being a little sore at the end of it.

We highly recommend this tour, and made it back to our hotel shortly before 5pm after the 5 hour tour.

Hiking:
The only other way you can get into the crater is by hiking, which a lot of people choose to do -- and you cannot do it on bicycles or mountain bikes. But hiking comes with a strong caution. Please realize that you are at 10,000 feet and if you are not experienced with the altitude -- it will be difficult. "Ra" told us numerous stories of people (both young and old) that they had to pull out. Going down the crater will be much easier than coming back up as you will traverse about 2,000 feet of elevation -- make sure you plan for time accordingly and bring plenty of water so you do not get dehydrated.

Lastly, make sure you check in at the Ranger Station at the lower lot and let them know you'll be out on the crater in case anything happens or there are dramatic weather changes.

Bike Rides:
Bike riding is an extremely popular event at the Haleakala Volcanic Crater on Maui. There are a ton of companies, but first realize that you will not be going down into the actual volcano crater itself. You will be on other approved trails and roads.

There are a ton of companies that provide this type of tour and event. Rather than recommending a couple of them that are the most popular -- I will point you to an independent site where people review the various tours and often give their ages and skill levels so you can decide for yourself. Click here to read more.

Closing:
In all, a trip to the Haleakala National Park to see the sunrise and the crater are a must on your trip to Maui. We had an amazing time and were glad we got up early and made the full day investment.

Here are a few pictures from our Haleakala visit:

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Capturing SunriseSunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Capturing Sunrise

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Looking Out Over the CraterSunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Looking Out Over the Crater

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Watching while others take picturesSunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Watching while others take pictures

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Posing in front of the Haleakala crater.Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Posing in front of the Haleakala crater.

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Taking many pictures to get the right ones.Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Taking many pictures to get the right ones.

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Our horses ready for the Horseback Tour Ride with the Pony Express.Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Our horses ready for the Horseback Tour Ride with the Pony Express.

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Ashley on her horse Mele or Merry in Hawaiian.Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Ashley on her horse Mele or Merry in Hawaiian.

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Kenny on his horse Joe.Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Kenny on his horse Joe.

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Descending to the floor of the crater from 10,000 feet.Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Descending to the floor of the crater from 10,000 feet.

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Looking out over the landscape (moonscape) over the volcano.Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Looking out over the landscape (moonscape) over the volcano.

Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Posing on our horses before heading back up to the top.Sunrise and Tours at Haleakala Volcano Crater: Posing on our horses before heading back up to the top.

Read more of this post!

Friday, November 27, 2009

How To: Install Ubuntu Linux as the Other OS on your Sony Playstation 3 (PS3)

After a very unsuccessful attempt at installing a version of Linux (Ubuntu) as the "Other OS" on my Sony Playstation 3 (PS3), I was forced to reformat and start over. It was painful and frustrating, but forced me to do a little more research (your can read about the experience by clicking here) before making a second try.

What did I learn?

First, the bad news. There is a lot of conflicting information out there about how to get your PlayStation 3 (PS3) loaded with a secondary operating system (known as "Other OS") -- in fact some of the information and links on even the "official" Ubuntu Linux page are bad.

Now for the the great news! Now that I have successfully installed the latest version of Ubuntu Linux with all current patches (was 9.10 as of this posting), I am able to produce (hopefully) a great how-to guide that makes it EASY for anyone to install the Ubuntu Linux Operating System on their Sony Playstation 3.

Before getting started however, there are a couple of things that I would recommend you at least "think about". :-)

1. A hard drive upgrade. Although the Other OS partition on the Sony PS3 only allows for 10GB of space, you may be able to dramatically benefit from a better performing hard drive than what comes built in. For a specific recommendation on the hard drive (as it requires notebook drives) and an easy-to-follow guide, please click here.

2. Before you install the "Other OS" partition on your hard drive, you should first backup your Sony Playstation 3 system, so you can retain all of your users, settings, and game saves. For another easy-to-follow manual on this process, please click here.

After you finish those, there are a couple of things that you will need in other to complete the installation of the upgrade. The first is a must, which is a USB keyboard. You cannot use your PS3 controller better know as the Sony PlayStation SIXAXIS controller to type or as a mouse. Secondarily, you will benefit from having an USB mouse, especially if you choose (which installs by default) to use the GNOME or Ubuntu Linux GUI. Lastly, you should have access to the CD/DVD burner where you can create a ISO image of the Ubuntu Linux Operating system to install you PS3.

Once you have those available, you're ready to get started.

1. Step one is that you should obtain the latest stable build of the Ubuntu Linux operating system with the appropriate distribution for the Sony Playstatioun 3. You can go to this link to get the latest list of versions. As of this posting, 9.04 was the current stable and completed version...which you can automatically upgrade to 9.10 once you have it installed. Simply click here to download the Ubuntu 9.04 version.

2. Burn the ISO image to a CD/DVD. I will not cover the specfic steps on how to burn a CD.

3. Making sure you've backed up your PS3 as described above, it is time to get started by formatting the drive of your Sony PS3 to create the new partition that the Other OS will be installed on. To do this, Go to [System Settings] > [Format Utility]. Then select "Format Hard Disk" and click [Yes]. Next, choose [Custom] and [Allot 10GB to the Other OS] -- unfortunately, it cannot be made any larger. Finally, select [Quick Format] and confirm with [Yes].

3a. Right here I would restore my PlayStation 3 that I backed up earlier by going to System > System Settings > Backup Utility. Here you can restore (mine took 45 minutes) before you move forward. I did run into some odd behavior where the first time it wiped the secondary or Other OS partition, but worked great the second time. :-)

4. Now that your hard drive is prepared for the installation. Go ahead and put the ISO CD image you created into the Sony PlayStation 3 in step 2, making sure first that the keyboard and mouse are connected from there, go to [System Settings] > [Install Other OS]. Select "Other OS" and hit "Yes" to restart the system.

5. The Sony PS3 should reboot and the boot loader for Linux. The steps below are all in order on what the Ubuntu Linux system presents you with. The drivers for both the Ethernet direct connection and the Wireless 802.11 WIFI connection are provided, so you should be able to connect in any case. (I did have some difficulties with the WiFi connection; reverted to wired for the installation and then configured the Wireless from the GNOME GUI after the 9.10 updates were completed.)

Here are the steps in order:

a. First choose a language for the installation process, then your geographical location.

b. The system can try to determine your keyboard or you can choose it from a list.

c. The CD ROM is scanned, and additional components are loaded.

d. If your PS3 is connected to the internet via cable, choose eth0: Ethernet. (unless you are using WEP encryption - wireless networks can be hard to configure from here.)

e. Enter a hostname for the system - like "psubuntu" dashes are allowed, underscores are not.

f. Disks and hardware is dectected. If asked if you want to Activate Serial ATA RAID devices just choose yes, although frankly it's pointless.

g. When asked how to partition the disks, choose option 2: "Guided - use entire disk" (meaning the 10.7GB you formatted from the XMB).

h. On the overview screen, hit "Finish partitioning and write changes to disk". If asked to confirm, choose yes.

i. The partition is formatted and base system installed. It should take about 6 minutes.

j. Set up your user information (full name, username and password twice), and choose whether you would like to create a private encrypted directory for your user.

k. Unless you're using a proxy, leave the HTTP proxy information field blank (just hit enter).

l. The system will start installing software. It might appear to hang at 6%, but just give the installer time and it will move on. The process will take about an hour.

m. System clock - Yes to UTC.

Once it is all finished, the system will load and you will be in the Ubuntu XWindows / Gnome screen. From here, you might noticed you're locked in a pretty unfriendly 576 x 384 screen resolution. It can be very tricky (took me a couple of hours to understand and get it right), so I will be publishing a guide very shortly on how to complete that. Once you do that, you can run the Updates to bring your Sony PS3 system with the Other OS of Ubuntu Linux up to date!

Congratulations, you are now running a full fledged Linux Operating system on your Sony Playstation 3!

Read more of this post!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blackberry: The RIM handheld USB drivers are unable to suspend at this time

It's like a blast from the past with my Blackberry Bold 9000 handheld from RIM. What is it you ask? When I attemtped to close my laptop computer and put it into a "sleep" mode, I got the following messsage:

"The RIM handheld USB drivers are unable to suspend at this time."

The funny thing, it is not 2005 anymore -- when is the last time I can find on Google where anyone experienced this particutlar issue with trying to suspend or put their computer to sleep. Yep, you read that correctly, 2005! Not only that by this wasn't on Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows 2000...it was on a "fairly recent" Windows XP machine. Ok, maybe a little outdated we're two versions behind with Windows 7 being released and Windows Vista before that.

Still, a pretty big surprise.

How and why does it happen?

I am not sure why yet or how to solve the problem, but I can tell you it has happened three times in the past few days. And, I have a pretty good idea on what happened to cause it.

In an effort to improved the terrible performance on the BlackBerry Bold 9000 and the AT&T 3G network, I decided to check and see what updates were available -- both for the Blackberry Desktop Manager and the base handheld software / firmware.

As luck would have it, updates were available for both. The Blackberry Desktop v4.5 software I was running had been updated with version 5.0.1. And the Blackberry Bold Software had an update available to the handheld software. I was most excited about the handheld upgrade to version 4.6 build 297 -- hoping the woeful batter life, random reboots I would experience, and poor 3G coverage would cease.

I went ahead and installed both of the updates and everything seemed fine. Actually, the Blackberry Bold device software has done wonders for my system by upgrading to 4.6 build 297. My service is quite a bit better -- although I am still plagued by a 1/2 mile stretch in Malibu with no signal (how can this been in 2009?). Other than that, the spurious reboots are gone and overall the device seems a lot more stable -- not as stable as an iPhone, but pretty good for a Blackberry.

And then, as mentioned above -- I have started to get the message below when trying to suspend my IBM, err...Lenovo ThinkPad T61:

"The RIM handheld USB drivers are unable to suspend at this time."

How does it happen? Well, in my case the Blackberry is "connected" to the BlackBerry Desktop Manager and Microsoft Outlook / Exchange via a USB cable and not just plugged in. My Lenovo ThinkPad T61 is in the docking station and I go ahead and shut the computer to force it to enter the sleep / suspend mode. However, I get a Windows alert that says:

"The RIM handheld USB drivers are unable to suspend at this time."

With the notebook desktop opened back up, I unplug the Blackberry Bold 9000 from the computer and re-attempt the suspend mode by closing the laptop. The laptop suspends cleanly and goes into the sleep mode.

I did some Google searching and all I could find was a reference to an posting back in 2005 that had to do with USB conflicts. (link here) Given the age of, as well as the description of the issue with Windows 2000, still unanswered -- it clearly does not apply to the situation here.

Has anyone else encountered this error with Blackberry Desktop Software v5.0 or v5.0.1 and have a solution to recommend? If so, please let me know with a comment!

Read more of this post!

Monday, November 16, 2009

How To: Upgrade / Replace Your PS3 Hard Drive (Sony PlayStation 3)

So, you want to upgrade the hard drive on your Sony Playstation 3? Maybe to either increase the speed of it or perhaps the capacity?

Or, perhaps the original hard drive on your PS3 crashed or failed and you need to replace it?

Whatever your reason for needing to upgrade or replace the hard drive on your Sony Playstation 3 (PS3), you've come to the right page to find out how you can do it. I recently upgraded my hard drive on my PS3 and this is the experience I went through. My reason is that I wanted to increase capacity as well as speed for downloadable content, multimedia and even the "Other OS" function that you can run Linux on. Overall, this guide should make it really simple for your to upgrade in just a manner of minutes.

Before you get started, there are a few things you need before you can get into the actual project.

And recently I made a video (available in HD of the procedure), here that is:



1. The most important thing to realize about the Sony Playstation 3 hard drive is that it is not a standard 3.5" hard drive. Rather, instead it is a 2.5" hard drive which are generally found in laptops, notebooks, and even the Mac Mini. Another important consideration is that if you are running Ubuntu Linux or another operating system you may want a 7200 rpm drive as it will make a dramatic performance difference. To find the right drive at a great price, click here to see the 2.5" hard drives from Amazon.com.

2. Tools -- you'll need a regular Flathead screwdriver, a standard Phillips screwdriver, and a smaller / precision Phillips screwdriver.

3. Other items: A USB memory stick, as you may need to update the Sony PS3 system.

4. Make a backup of your PS3 system so you can retain all of you settings, memory, and more. A very helpful guide can be found by clicking here.

Once you have those three, you are ready to go ahead and proceed with tutorial. Here is the step-by-step guide on how you can replace / upgrade the hard drive on your Sony PS3.

1. Power down and unplug all the cables from your Sony Playstation 3.

2. Find the side of your PS3 with the sticker labeled "Detach this cover when removing the hard disk". There is a little tab on the right hand side. Place your flat head screwdriver in the slot and slide the plastic piece. It should snap and then pop right out.

Sony PS3 Playstation 3: Find the side of your PS3 with the sticker labeled Detach this conver when removing the hard disk.  There is a little tab on the right hand side.  Place your flat head screwdrived in the slot and slide the plastic piece.  It should snap and then pop right out.

3. With the plastic cover removed, the hard drive tray is exposed. There is only one screw (blue) that is required to remove the hard drive. Take your regular phillips screwdriver and remove the screw.

Sony PS3 Playstation 3: With the plastic cover removed, the hard drive tray is exposed.  There is only one screw (blue) that is required to remove the hard drive.  Take your regular phillips screwdriver and remove the screw.

4. With the screw removed, the tab that the screw holds in will slide out from the PS3. From there slide it out and pull the tab to disconnect and slide out the hard drive.

Sony PS3 Playstation 3: With the screw removed, the tab that the screw holds in will slide out from the PS3.  From there slide it out and pull the tab to disconnect and slide out the hard drive.

5. Now comes the trickiest part. The four screws that hold the hard drive are in fairly tight. If you are not careful or have the right Phillips screwdriver size, you could strip them easily. Make sure to apply a good amount of pressure to the screws when turn and they should loosen more easily. Remove all four screws.

Sony PS3 Playstation 3: Now comes the trickiest part.  The four screws that hold the hard drive are in fairly tight.  If you are not careful or have the right Phillips screwdriver size, you could strip them easily.  Make sure to apply a good amount of pressure to the screws when turn and they should loosen more easily.  Remove all four screws.

6. After you remove the screws, you can easily slide out the hard drive from the tray to make room for your replacement hard drive.

Sony PS3 Playstation 3: After you remove the screws, you can easily slide out the hard drive from the tray to make room for your replacement hard drive.

7. Slide your new hard drive into the tray and reverse the previous steps in order to have your PS3 ready to turn back on.

Sony PS3 Playstation 3: Slide your new hard drive into the tray and reverse the previous steps in order to have your PS3 ready to turn back on.

8. Reconnect your Playstation 3 cables and power on.

9. In many cases, you may immediately receive the message "Update data 2.76 required" or a similar message. Do not panic, it's a fairly easy solution.

10. Take you USB memory stick or other storage media types compatible with your PS3 and format it as FAT32. Create a PS3 folder in the root of the stick. Then under the PS3 folder create an UPDATE folder.

11. Go to the Sony site (link here: http://www.us.playstation.com/Support/SystemUpdates/PS3/pc_update.html) and under Step 2, click on the DOWNLOAD NOW button to get the latest update. Once the update downloads, place it in the --> PS3 --> UPDATE folder.

12. Plug it into your Sony Playstation 3 and the system will automatically install the latest update on your USB or other storage media and update the system to the current version.

13. You're complete now and ready to use the new performance and capacity of your Playstation 3 system. I would recommend an immediate formatting of the new system including a partition for OTHER OS so you can have the maximum flexibility for your Sony PS3 hard drive.

If you have experience with replacing any hardware, you can complete this upgrade in less than 15 minutes. Those with less experience may want to plan on the upgrade / replacement taking about 30 minutes.

Good luck!

Trackbacks that led to this post:
ps3 hard drive upgrade os
crashed ps3 hard drive replacement
formatted ps3 hard drive now i have a blank screen
how to replace ps3 hard drive 2009
ps3 update download new hard drive
put new hard drive in ps3 it says need update 2.76 or higher to upgrade new hard drive
replace ps3 laptop hd
can you inclrease the hard drive size on a ps3
change hd ps3 size philips
how to upgrade ps3 harddrive
maximum size hard disk upgrade ps3
ps3 install other os windows
ps3 new hard drive update 3.00
ps3 replace hard drive
ps3 replace hard drive speed
ps3 upgrade hard drive
replacing ps3 hard drive guide
replacing ps3 hard drive with 7200 rpm
replacing the sony ps3 hard drive part 2
security tab screw ps3
standard hard drive, ps3
steps to upgrade hard drive on ps3
upgrade playstation 3 hard drive

Read more of this post!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How To: Fix GNOME blank screen in Ubuntu for PS3 Other OS and other update problems...

After getting Ubuntu linux installed as the "Other OS" on my Sony Playstation 3 with the upgraded hard drive, I wanted to update to the latest supported version of the Ubuntu, which happens to be version 9.10 as of the time of this post. Since the version of Ubuntu I download based on my Google search was much older (you can get 9.04 from this page: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PlayStation_3), say version 7 -- I had a lot of updates to perform.

In fact, I would first need to jump to version 8 of Ubuntu before I could even get to version 9. A little bit painful to say the least. Still, since the system was going to do the majority of the work for me, I went ahead and browsed to System --> Update Manager and was informed that the update would be to version 8.04. I went ahead and confirmed and started the process.

At first things looked like they were going fine, but at some point I ended up in some sort of error loop between an SSL certificate update and a couple of package installs. In the end, I needed to thumb the PS3 to get any sort of response from the system. I wondered where that was going to leave me...perhaps with a corrupted OS with the partial Ubuntu install?

On boot-up, amazingly everything looked find and I got to the log-in screen for Ubuntu. I was very pleasantly surprised. I went ahead and entered my username and password and they were accepted. Great news...but then the problem started.

After the logon screen went away, I ended up with a blank screen with just the mouse pointer / cursor that would move, but there was no user interface, task bar, or icons to perform any actions. At first I thought I was stuck.

Luckily, Ubuntu / Gnome has a feature that allows you to go directly to the command line by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1. From there, you just log into the shell with the username and password and you are back in business.

Once I got to the command line, I was able to work through the issue by doing an automatic smart update from the command line. The command to enter to perform the update is:

sudo apt-get update

After all the packages are checked and downloaded, you are instructed to enter the following command to complete the update installation:

sudo dpkg --configure -a

It took about 10 minuts and froze on the cups-pdf package which I hit control+c to quit after 5 minutes of no activity, but the install of the updates worked great.

I then rebooted to try and get the PS3 Ubuntu update to work. After getting to kboot and hitting enter, the following happened:

Loading Kernel with initrd … success
Booting system
_

With the system being frozen and not able to boot. I tried a reboot again, and even a cold reboot -- but neither made a difference. Instead, I needed to type in the command "old" (without quotes) which uses the old kernal to boot.

Once I got back to the GNOME, the same symptoms persisted and I could not seem to get an upgrade to version 8.10. Whether I tried a plethora of commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install update-manager-core
sudo do-release-upgrade

The reality is that I got stuck in a loop and there was not way out of it, in fact the update manager would not recognize that new versions (9.04 and 9.10) of ubuntu existed. Other than to start over with the 9.04 release. So, to start the process I turned off the PS3, returned to the kboot command line. Where, contrary to some articles out there you're not stuck and locked out of XMB. Rather than holding down the power button for multiple beeps to return to the Sony XMB, all you need to do is type the following command to get back in:

boot-game-os

The lesson here is that you cannot always fix everything. :-) Or, better stated -- it may not be worth the time to continue down a certain path. Given that I was still on an older version of Ubuntu Linux for PS3 -- I figure it was best to start over.

Read more of this post!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How To: Prepare and Return Playstation 3 (PS3) for System Repair

Having the Blu-Ray player in my Playstation 3 (PS3) die a couple of weeks ago was a big bummer. Not only could I not play games, DVDs, or Blu-Ray movies, but my PS3 was out of warranty meaning that I needed to spend $150 to have it fixed.

Despite the loss of $150, Sony (SCEA - Sony Computer Entertainment America Consumer Services Department) makes it really easy to return your Playstation 3 system to them. About 5 days after placing my order, a pre-packaged box arrived at my door that was ready to have my system packed in.

Empty box my Sony Playstation 3 PS3 went will go into before being sent off for repair

But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves -- there are several steps we need to perform with the PS3 before disconnecting and shipping it. Most importantly, we need to backup the data, then deactivate the user, and then finally delete your local users since once the Playstation 3 is serviced, it will be returned without any of the original data.

Let's start with the backing up of the hard drive. In most cases, you will need an external hard drive (USB) to backup the hard drive. If you do not have one, you can order one pretty cheap from Amazon.com by clicking here.

Once you have your USB 2.0 hard drive for your Playstation 3 (PS3), you need to plug it in, and make sure it is recognized by your PS3. This can be a little tricky to be honest given some of the limitations with what the Sony PS3 will recognize. If you are struggling with this, I posted a how to guide that you can access by clicking here.

Finally, you are ready to perform the backup or take a drive image of your Sony Playstation 3. It entails several steps, that I've documented in a separate guide that you can access by clicking here.

Now that you have finally backed up your Playstation, we're ready to take the next steps.

The next step is to deactivate your Playstation 3 from the PlayStation Network. In order to do this, on the XMB go to the Playstation Network and Sign in by pressing 'X'. Next, scroll to Account Management on the XMB and press 'X'. Then highlight the System Activation icon and press 'X'. Highlight the PS3 System and press 'X'. You'll now receive a pop-up and select the type of content you do not want your system to use. (I started with game and then repeated with video.) Highlight Deactivate System and then press 'X'. An acknowledgement apprears, press 'X' to complete.

It is recommended that you repeat it for video.

Next, it's time to delete all the users. To do this:

On the XMB, go to (Users) and sign in to each user account. With the user name highlighted, press the button. Select "Delete" and press the button. The message "If you delete the user, saved data for the PlayStation 3 format software, messages, and bookmarks will also be deleted. Do you want to continue?" will appear. Highlight "Yes" and press the button. You will receive a confirmation message "Are you sure you want to delete the user?" Highlight "Yes" and press the button. The user will now be deleted. Repeat for all users.

Now we need to format the hard drive. To do this:

Go to (Settings) > (System Settings) and press the button. Highlight [Format Hard Disk] and press the button. The message "Do you want to format the hard disk?" will appear. Highlight "Yes" and press the button. The hard drive will then be formatted.

Now we're ready to pack and ship. The packing and shipping instructions that came in the box were simple and easy to follow.

It takes only 5 minutes to pack and prepare your Sony PS3 for service shipment with the instructions from Sony (SCEA). Make sure to take up the box good!It takes only 5 minutes to pack and prepare your Sony PS3 for service shipment with the instructions from Sony (SCEA). Make sure to take up the box good!

With the Sony Playstation 3 packed and ready to ship, take it to you nearest UPS store to drop it off with the prepaid return label. Hopefully, in just a couple of weeks your PS3 will be serviced, repaired, and as good as new. I can't wait for mine to return!With the Sony Playstation 3 packed and ready to ship, take it to you nearest UPS store to drop it off with the prepaid return label. Hopefully, in just a couple of weeks your PS3 will be serviced, repaired, and as good as new. I can't wait for mine to return!

Read more of this post!