A little while ago I purchased a Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8 (currently the Amber release). The phone itself is great, but I had a problem with the Windows Phone WordPress app, it wouldn’t upload or post any content that contained an image.

  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920
  • OS: Windows Phone 8 (amber – Australia)
  • Connectivity: WiFi and 3G/4G
  • Problem: WordPress App won’t complete submission of a post or page that contains an image.
  • Server: Xen VDS hosted on Amazon AWS with Amazon Linux (Amazon’s version of CentOS 6)

In case it’s not obvious, the WordPress blog I was experiencing the problem with is a self hosted installation. We can assume I installed it and set it up correctly ūüėČ

(for sake of this post, I have replaced all references to the host with ‘mokonamodoki.com’).

Whenever I attempted to submit a page or post that contained an image, I would get the follow error message:

Media Upload Error

The remote server returned an error: NotFound

Yes, extremely helpful. I knew what the solution was immediately. Thank you, Microsoft!

I tried all sorts of tricks. PHP settings, ¬†Apache settings, and WordPress settings. Nothing worked. What frustrated me even more; was that the iOS app worked fine! Something I did notice, was that the iOS app uploads images separately, and not as part of the post content… this got me thinking.

Is the problem the Windows Phone WordPress app or is the problem the server?

Read More →

I spent some time setting up Microsoft Exchange 2010 Enterprise today. Following Microsoft documentation, I had to do it the ‘advanced’ (aka custom) way and found myself needing to know my ‘Active Directory Site Name’. I tried all sorts of values while trying to set up a Client Access Array on the domain contoso.com using this command:

New-ClientAccessArray -FQDN ClientArray.contoso.com -Site “Contoso” -Name “clientarray.contoso.com”

I kept getting an error message like this:

Exchange can’t find Active Directory Site Contoso. Make sure it exists.

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the value for ‘Your Site’ was.

I Googled and Searched and Searched and Googled.

In the end I did something extraordinary. I logged onto my Active Directory server, and loaded up the ‘Active Directory Users and Computers‘ snap in. Under ‘Domain Controllers‘ it was right in front of me…

Default-First-Site-Name – Not only had I not set a ‘Site Name‘ but I only needed to check the properties of the only domain controller in my forest to find it!

Comodo Time Machine is a fantastic product. Allowing you to completely ruin your Windows operating system, and then restore it back as good as new with the click of a button (well, maybe more than one click). By that I mean its great software for being able to roll back after your kids have just destroyed the OS directories or you have suffered damage by a virus.

For most users, the installation is a breeze and Comodo Time Machine does it’s job. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all of us.

I’ve been installing Comodo Time Machine on systems for a little while now, and more than once, after the initial installation, I get the following error message upon boot up:

Testing Memory <Hexadecimal Value>...

Something went wrong. I don’t know exactly what, and perhaps a helpful reader can fill us in, however at this point, it would seem all is lost. Now, I’ve only tested this so far on PCs with Windows Vista and Windows 7. So if you have Windows XP, you made need to use a little additional effort.

If you have Windows 7 or Windows Vista, possibly like me, your first thought was ‘No worries, I’ll use the System Repair Utility on the my installation media’. This won’t work. ‘Startup Repair’ won’t be able to solve the issue, and neither will rolling back to a ‘System Restore’ point. It simply won’t work, yet.

Even though this is a problem for you, as far as your computer and operating system are concerned, there is no issue. Which is correct. Yes, Comodo Time Machine has failed to install correctly (of which there are many reasons why this may occur, one being lack of space on drive ‘C:’), however that has not really done any harm to your PC. You just simply can’t get into Windows!

If you have Windows 7 or Windows Vista, yes Startup Repair can help you, but first you have to give it something to repair. I was pretty desperate when this first happened to me, and I actually ended up re-installing the entire system. Not the second time around though. No way was I re-installing, especially since I didn’t have a backup of my clients system, and I was working on site without additional PCs to help my efforts.

In come Hirens Boot CD. Admittedly, you could use any number of rescue boot CDs out there on the internet, I happened to have Hirens Boot CD 10.0 which had exactly the tools I needed. In CD/ISO form, Hirens boot CD does contain some software that others would call ‘commercial’ thus I can’t provide you with a download link to the ISO. However, this page, and this page, should get you on the right track.

Once you have the CD prepared (or USB Key), place it in your computer, and boot from it. Most recent computers are capable of booting from a USB device or CD-ROM. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a computer that couldn’t boot from CD-ROM, and I’ve worked on some old PCs!

Don’t try booting the ‘MiniXP’ It’s a little over kill for what we are going to do, although it is a very VERY responsive Windows XP based environment with most of the tools available. MiniXP runs entirely from memory, meaning you can remove the CD or USB Key once it has finished booting! Neat huh?!

Choose to ‘StartBootCD’. At the ‘Hirens All in 1 BootCD 10.1 Menu’ menu, you’ll need to use your keyboard to select option 9, then select option 1, then select option 2. You should now have MBRtool loaded.

This program requires just a little understanding about the configuration of your HDDs in your computer. For simplicity sake however, if your computer only has one HDD with only one partition on it, the following instructions will work just fine. If your computer has multiple HDDs, and you don’t boot from the otherwise known as the ‘first HDD’ then you need to pay attention to the screen and modify the¬†instructions¬†below accordingly. Feel free to ask for help in the comments below.

Enter 4 and press [Enter]

Enter 6 and press [Enter]

Enter 0 and press [Enter] (Zero)

Enter o and press [Enter] (O, as in the circled shaped letter for Orange) <– This final step will wipe your MBR straight away, no questions asked. If you are feeling concerned, nervous or worried at this point, I suggest you reboot again and use another program on the CD called ‘ghost’ to clone your HDD in its current state to a safe location.

Remember, I said we need to give Windows 7 / Windows Vista Startup Repair tool, something to fix? Well, now it has something to fix!

Press the [ESC] key three times to return you to the DOS prompt. Remove the CD/USB, put your Windows 7 or Windows Vista installation media in the drive and type: reboot (followed by a press of the enter key). Be sure to boot from your newly inserted installation media again.

After selecting your language, Time and currency format and Keyboard or input method, click Next. Click the text link ‘Repair your computer’. The ‘System Recovery Options’ window will appear. Don’t be alarmed at the fact that it doesn’t detect your installed operating system (Windows 7 or Windows Vista), this is what we want!

Click the next button, and from the main menu choose ‘Startup Repair’. This process should only take a few seconds. If you want some assurance it worked, click the ‘Click here for diagnostic and repair details’ link and scroll to the bottom. You should see something like this:


Root cause found:
----------------------------
MBR is corrupt
Repair action: Disk metadata repair
Result: Completed succesfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = ####ms
----------------------------
----------------------------

Click the Close button and click the Finish button. Your system should automatically reboot. If not, click the Restart button.

Hopefully you are now staring at your Windows 7 / Windows Vista logon screen or desktop!

For Windows XP Users

¬†Thankfully Windows XP has something ¬†a little less evolved, but no less powerful called ‘The Recovery Console’. To access it, you’ll need an original Windows XP (SP1/2/3) installation media disc. Boot from the media and when prompted, press the R key.

When you are asked for the Administrator password, enter it. If you are on Windows XP Home, and you’ve never configured an Administrator password, chances are it’s blank, so just press enter. This may apply to some Windows XP Professional users as well.

At the prompt, assuming you have Windows XP installed to C:> type:

fixmbr

Ignore the warnings, unless you understand what they are (your situation couldn’t get any worse at this point anyway), and press the [Y] key followed by pressing the [Enter] key.

Type:

exit

to leave the recovery console and reboot. Hopefully you are now staring at your Windows XP Logon screen or desktop!

Why Does This Work?

When you install Comodo Time Machine, it makes a modification to your HDD MBR (Master Boot Record) telling your computer to first boot Comodo Time Machine (instead of your Windows OS), which in turn is configured to boot your Windows OS. When we use MBRtool to erase your MBR, we then use one of the options above to rebuild or repair your MBR. Regardless of Windows XP, Vista or 7, your MBR will be repaired/rebuilt to only boot your Windows OS again! By passing Comodo Time Machine altogether.

What About Comodo Time Machine?

It’s up to you. If you try again and it fails,¬†you know now you have a way to get things working again. Having said that, I’ve had an almost 100%¬†success rate when installing Comodo Time Machine again the second time around. I don’t why sometimes it fails the first time around like it does, it just does.

Any comments, improvements or criticism is welcome.

Kudos to qmchenry at Tech-Recipes for the Windows XP Recovery Console instructions, where you can find additional comments and instructions about it’s use.

My last few days looked like this:

10 Days to Go5 Days to Go4 Days to Go3 Days to Go2 Days to Go

 

Unfortunately, I was away on “1 Day to Go”, so I wasn’t able to get a screen grab, but I think you get the idea. My days of using Windows Live One Care, were over! Trust me, I celebrated!

The inclusion of Windows Live OneCare in my 90 day stint, was most certainly a disaster, and also the cause of most of my stress during my use of Windows Vista. Just like other Virus/Spyware detection combo software suites, it too was always scanning in the background. Scanning so much infact, that it would often make reading my email near impossible. I would sometimes wait up to 5 minutes for an email to load into view. The Windows Live OneCare firewall was a pain in the butt, not to mention that Windows Vista itself, did not even acknowledge that it had a firewall installed. For the entire 90 days, Windows Vista was bugging me to enable Windows Vista Firewall, because apparently I didn’t have one installed! For some unknown reason, Windows Live OneCare continued to disable Windows Defender. I found this to be a pain, because every few days Windows Defender would make it to the top of the pile saying “Hey! I am disabled! Enable me Again!”. Of course after enabling Windows Defender, I would then have to do a spyware scan, even if I didn’t want to! “Later” I would click, only to see my CPU usage go way up as it started scanning in the background instead.

One very irritating caveat of Windows Vista, is physical memory usage. During my 90 days, I was unable to get Windows Vista to really function the way I wanted it too. For example, I have 2GB of DDR Memory. So I figure “what do I need a swap file for”. So I disable the swap file, and immediately Windows Vista complains that it does not have enough memory! It even performed sluggishly! Now, if I were to do this in Windows XP, the system would be forced to push as much as possible into physical memory. Which in the case of my laptop with 2GB of DDR Memory, was perfectly fine! I never exceeded 2GB and my laptop never skipped a beat. Come Windows Vista, and I am able to perform the same feat! The best I could get was a compromise, which was still horrid. I was able to push the swap file down to a minimum size of 200MB (instead of the “Windows Managed” 3.5GB). However, if a program on my laptop should use more then 200MB of Memory (Firefox for example, as I am sure many of you have experienced), I would still get the memory warning errors. Sure, I can ignore them, but eventually, Windows Vista would crash Firefox altogether, or whatever offending programs were “taking up too much memory”. As I said above, this was never a problem in Windows XP. Hopefully there is a work around for this out there somewhere. I share my HDD with a Linux Partition, so 3.5GB wasted on a swap file is a lot for me, especially since Fedora 7 is quite capable of running smoothly with no swap partition at all!

Overall, my 90 days of Vista has been fun, and for the most part, I have had next to no troubles. I have swamp of applications installed, and they all work fine, including the ones I had to install in “Windows XP SP2 Compatibility Mode”. Heck, I was even able to install Command and Conquer Windows 95 Edition. With an extra piece of software, I was able to battle against my younger brother.

The slick new interface is funky, and easy to disable when it gets in the way (like when it is sucking up too much of my 200MB swap file for example!). Windows Aero is handy, but it’s not the be all of Windows Vista, it’s just the icing on the cake.

I also opted to include Microsoft Office 2007 in my 90 day stint. The latest version of the Microsoft Office Suite, and boy is it something! Most of the applications have been completely re-written, others updated. If you haven’t tried Microsoft Office 2007 yet, you should give it a shot!

I am sure that Windows Vista has far more to offer then what I have experienced so far, and for the moment, I am going to stick to using Windows Vista and Office 2007, to get the most out of both of them, and broaden my knowledge. I am somewhat established here now, and it would be a shame to just leave it all. I miss using linux, however I think I will continue my use of Windows Vista, at least until Fedora 8 is released.

I will even continue to post my findings and discoveries of Windows Vista, and hopefully at some point, I write a “Windows Vista – The Perfect Setup” guide. Actually, I have one in the works already… so stay tuned!