Category: Troubleshooting

On my last Slackware Linux installation attempt I faced a tricky situation. Everything went fine (with some exceptions at start) up until the time I had to install LILO. The symptom was that the installation simply hanged but otherwise the system was responding. The problem was in fact with LILO and my 3TB drive which was in /dev/sdb and was not the drive I was using for my root partition. This drive had a NTFS partition. If this is your case then do the following. Let Slackware finish the installation up until the part you need to install LILO. At this point exit the installation process (do not reboot!) and run

I assume you are using /dev/sda1 as the partition you are installing Linux on, if not, then replace it with the appropriate one. Your root is now the same as if you had booted your new operating system. Now it is time to reconfigure LILO. For that open /etc/lilo.conf with your favorite console editor (vim, nano, etc). Add the following line to your lilo.conf file

You can add each one of these lines for each drive you don’t want LILO to scan. For example, all drives which do not contain an operating system installed on them are good candidates to be flagged inaccessible. Now install lilo by running:

That’s it! Reboot and your system should be working properly.

Recently, I’ve been playing Magic the Gathering after having last played it in 1998. I heard about this program called ‘cockatrice’ to test my decks, but couldn’t compile it on my Xubuntu 13.10 desktop. Finally I found out I could do it with the ‘clang’ compiler.

Here’s how to compile and install it:

Simply open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and copy a execute each command:

If you need the cards list or Windows/Mac binaries, go to Woogerworks.

I work at a company where we still have an authenticated HTTP proxy in place. It’s very boring having to config every new program I install which doesn’t support the http_proxy, https_proxy environment variables by hand.

I was playing with my Android phone and there’s an application called ProxyDroid, which I use, that proxifies all installed apps transparently. I decided to replicate this on my Xubuntu platform, but it should work on every Ubuntu/Debian variant.

First, we need to install the required packages:

Now we will configure redsocks, which redirects connections to a set of defined proxies. I have only an HTTP/HTTPS proxy at work, so I edited the ‘/etc/redsocks.conf’ file with this info:

Do a ‘sudo service redsocks restart’ to reload the config file.
Now, we must configure the iptables rules to use our redsocks server.

First we added a new chain called ‘REDSOCKS’ to the ‘nat’ table.
Next we used “-j RETURN” rules for the networks we don’t want to use a proxy.
We then told iptables to redirect all port 80 connections to the http-relay redsocks port and all other connections to the http-connect redsocks port.
Finally we tell iptables to use the ‘REDSOCKS’ chain for all outgoing connection in the network interface ‘eth0’.

This configuration is not persistent between boots. To do that we just use:

And there you have it, your own ProxyDroid (albeit a little more silent :D). Don’t forget to disable your proxy configurations afterwards to “use no proxy” and delete your proxy environment variables.

I was trying to install Linux Slackware 14.1 on my PC, which has a P7P55 motherboard and Marvell PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller. I had my SATA disks connected to the Marvell controller but the boot disk was not detecting them. The problem was that the module is not loaded by default due to some regression issues. In order to solve this you need to make sure the BIOS has the Marvell controller set to use AHCI. For that:

  1. Reboot your PC and press DELETE in order to enter the BIOS management tool
  2. Go to the Advanced tab and enter the Onboard Devices Configuration section.
  3. Go down to the Marvell SATA Controller, press Enter and select AHCI mode.
  4. Press F10 to save and quit.

Make sure you have your Installation CD/DVD or USB flash drive plugged in when the computer reboots.

When you boot your Installation disk do not press enter to boot the default kernel image. You now need to enable the ahci.marvell_enable kernel boot option. For Slackware simply type the following when the installation disk boot prompt pops up:

  • huge.s ahci.marvell_enable=1

That’s it! When linux finishes booting you now should see your disks under /dev/sdXyy. Continue installing your Linux system as usual.

Meteos Menu

Meteos Menu

Hello! Here it is, another tutorial for your Zopo C3 smartphone. This one is on increasing your internal memory storage size. The Zopo C3 has 16GB internal memory but only 1.4GB are used as internal phone storage for applications, so today we’ll increase that.

  • First you’ll need root access (Tutorial).
  • Next you’ll need to install a functioning recovery tool like Clockwork Mod (Tutorial).
  • Download this util called Meteos, which is an util in english (rare thing not to be in chinese :D) to be able to resize your storage easily. There’s another method which involves hex editing the Zopo ROM, but this one is easier.

Let’s start:

  • Install the Meteos app.
  • Boot your phone into recovery mode (Power button + Volume up, release only the power button when the logo appears).
  • Make a nandroid backup to your EXTERNAL storage SD card. This is important as your internal storage will be erased.
  • Run Meteos and choose your new internal storage size.
  • Reboot into recovery mode again and restore your backup

That’s it. Have fun installing everything available in the Play Store now. 😛

Bitforce Jalapeno

Bitforce Jalapeno

Hello again. I’ve recently received 2 Bitforce SC Jalapenos in my mail. One of them worked, the other didn’t. I tried every configuration, cable, etc… it just refused to work (if you have the same problem read to the end, my solution involves the fan).

I received a RMA ticket from Butterfly Labs but didn’t want to send it back, so I tried to repair it myself by flashing it (WARNING: this will void your warranty).

Since a have a Raspberry Pi and don’t have a Avr Dragon flasher, I followed this tutorial:

The bin image I used was downloaded from here:

Well, it didn’t matter which image I chose it always failed with a “verification error” message, at different flash memory addresses. With that behaviour I arrived at the conclusion that the board must have a faulty power regulator so I

  • Disconnected the external power and used another jumper to connect the “pin 1” from the Pi to the “pin 4” on the Jalapeno JTAG. This gives the interface a 3.3V tension from the Pi.

I tried again to flash it with this new jumper connected (no external power) and the flashing worked!!! 🙂

I tried the new firmware and the cube now works. Even more, at 8GH/s it’s faster than the other one.

BUT, I had disconnected everything and was testing the board with just the cooler. As soon as I plugged the fan again (power it off when doing this) it didn’t work again. So now my conclusion is, either the power regulator or the fan is/are faulty.

I now have it out of the box in a cool spot and it works just fine, though very hot. 😉

No RMA needed! 😀 😀 😀


BFGMiner Jalapeno @8GH/s

BFGMiner Jalapeno @8GH/s


I actually closed the cube now and it’s working. I forgot to tell you: I was in a hurry one morning and connected the fan without powering down the unit. I actually blew a capacitor but it still works so far. 😀 So flash away and don’t RMA.

Select CWM image

Select CWM image

Here’s the 3rd tutorial in my planned Zopo C3 series. Another easy one.

This one is on installing a recovery mod that you’ll need to backup your data before the last tutorial (increasing the phone’s internal storage)

The original ROM that comes with the phone already has a version of Clockworkmod installed but you can’t navigate it and it doesn’t work with “ROM Manager” (by the way, if you use this app to install the mod you’ll brick your phone ;)).

Of course you need root access (tutorial).

First, install the Mobileuncle MTK Tools app from the store.

Next download a CWM recovery image custom made for Zopo models and transfer it to the phone.

Open the Mobileuncle Tools app and choose the “Recovery Update” option.

Select the file you just downloaded and follow all steps.

There you go, now you have a phone recovery that is actually usable. 😀

Delete 'mtkgps.dat'

Delete ‘mtkgps.dat’

Time for another easy tutorial.

This is the only method I could find to fix my terrible GPS reception. I couldn’t get even one satellite signal before.

First you’ll have to have a rooted phone (Tutorial).

Next turn off your data and wireless connections.

Using a terminal or a root enabled file browser navigate to and delete the file ‘/data/misc/mtkgps.dat’.

Last, go to an open area and activate the GPS. You should start detecting signals and eventually get a position lock. The deleted file will be recreated so don’t worry.

This was the only thing that solved my reception problem, hope it solves yours too.

Activate USB Debugging

Activate USB Debugging

System Settings -> Developer Optons

System Settings -> Developer Options

I recently acquired a chinese Zopo C3 smartphone. I’m very happy with it so far, but I’ve had to fiddle with it sometimes to fix things I didn’t like (the GPS not receiving any signal and increasing the internal memory size – I’ll publish tutorials for achieving this as well). Well, the first thing I’ve had to do was to root it. Here’s the easiest method I found.

First, activate USB debugging in the phone and connect it to your computer. It should install the “My HTC” driver automatically.

Then download eroot v1.3.4.

Open the program and after a while the name of the phone should appear as C3 in the window.

eroot Tool

eroot Tool

Press the big green button (the only one on the window) and wait until it completes all 4 steps. The last one takes a while longer than the previous three.

That’s it, your phone should now be rooted. 🙂

If you’re having errors with drush since upgrading to Ubuntu 13.10 here are the steps to make it work:

Now editing the file, make sure the “disabled_functions =” list is empty.

There you go, problem solved, drush should throw no more errors.