Archive for March, 2009

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Something happen to a windows Master Boot Record (MBR) that you’re responsible for? Want a very quick, very easy way to restore it with nothing but your craft, native intelligence and a liveCD?

Be cautious here – you’re working with your disks in a very direct manner.  If you don’t have everything backed up or are unsure of anything, you may want to wait until you have a standard Windows CD/DVD.

Boot into your Ubuntu LiveCD on the offending machine. Once Ubuntu starts up, go to System -> Administration -> Software Sources and enable (by checking it off) the Universal repository.

Now, open a terminal session (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and type the following:

sudo apt-get install ms-sys

ms-sys is a program used to write Microsoft compatible boot records.

Now you’ll need to figure out what partition is the one hosting your Windows operating system. Back in the command line, type:

sudo fdisk -l

That will list the available partitions. You’re looking for a partition that says something like

/dev/sda1 1 9327 74919096 83 NTFS

The two important bits are the ‘/dev/sda1‘ which is the partition itself and the ‘NTFS‘ which tells us it’s a Windows formatted partition.  So your Windows partition exists on your drive sda and it’s partition 1. The MBR for drive sda (assuming you boot into windows using it’s native boot loader) is what you want to repair.

We want to fix the MBR on /dev/sda. To do so, type:

sudo ms-sys -m /dev/sda

You’ll want to change the ’sda’ bit if your results from ‘fdisk -l‘ are different.  If for instance your windows install is on sdb or hda.

Once you do that, reboot the machine, removing the LiveCD from the drive and Windows should come back to you.

Sure, you could do this by inserting the correct Windows CD and booting into repair mode from it – but I find the Ubuntu way a bit faster and I’m more likely to have an Ubuntu LiveCD on me than a Windows CD.

Ubuntu Privacy Remix is a free project. Anyone finding it useful can use UPR free of charge and is encouraged to send suggestions, bug reports and criticism to us.

The image of the CD can be downloaded here. The UPR developers can neither guarantee that the download servers never get compromised, nor can we guarantee that downloads are not being redirected to other servers by DNS spoofing or similar. The authenticity of the image can be verified using our GPG-Signature.

Today one of our blog readers asked me how to get hardware info of the memory, I want to share the answer with all of you, actually I have never needed this, but could be very useful in some situations.

lshw is the command that will do the magic for us.
Installing it

sudo aptitude install lshw

Yes, that easy if you are using Debian, for Arch you need to use AUR lshw AUR

Once installed, run it as root

sudo lshw

The output will appear directly on the screen, so you can pipe it to less to be able to see the output, as it is a lot.

Maybe is a good idea to forward the output to a text file

lshw > /tmp/hwoutput.txt

You can also format it as html or xml, ie:

lshw -html > /tmp/hwhtml.html


lshw -xml > /tmp/hwxml.xml

If you are going to make the info public, you can sanitize the output to hide ip address, serial numbers etc.

lshw -html -sanitize > /tmp/hwhtml.html

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Check the USB Coffe warmer a nice gift for $16.99

There is other for lower price then that

People sometimes have to do a reinstall of their Ubuntu system for various reasons (been playing/experimenting with configuration/drivers/other packages or just because something is badly broken) but remembering all the extra packages you have installed can be a chore – but here is the simple solution:
On your old system (assuming it is still working), start up Synaptic and go:

File-Save Markings and choose a file name along with a location (like a USB drive) that you can use when you have installed your new system)

This file contains a list of all your currently installed packages, and when you have installed and booted up your new system (and configured your repositories to the best for your location ) then start up Synaptic and go

File-Read Markings and point it at your saved file, and after that has completed then select Apply to kick off the download & installation of all of those packages you had installed previously!

There are also apt-get command line functions that achieve the same outcome, so those who don’t have/use Synaptic can still do this.

You will still have to do any special configuration changes that you had on the old system, but at least all of the packages are now in the new system.

This is also very handy for moving to new hardware/duplicating setups etc.

Be aware that doing this between different Ubuntu versions may cause complications because some packages may not be in a later version or have different names.

Note:- Don’t forget to backup your sources before you reinstall.

sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list ~/sources.list.backup

Otherwise if you have added any PPAs or other sources, this tip won’t work.

1) Turn on your computer, and as soon as you the Press Esc to enter grub message, press the escape key.

2) Select the option that says (recovery mode).

3) Your PC will boot into a shell. Once you get a command prompt, type “passwd username” where the username is your username. If you can’t remember your username, then you can type “ls /home” which should bring it up.

4) Enter a new password when prompted, and again when prompted again Type “shutdown -r now” to reboot your system,


I’ve just tried installing Ubuntu but when it restert for the first time, GRUB returns an Error 21. I know this means that it can’t find the grub.conf file, but I don’t know how to fix this. I used Windows XP’s Recovery Console to get back into XP, but I can’t access the GRUB files.

1. Boot your computer up with Ubuntu CD

2. Open a terminal window or switch to a tty.

3. Go SuperUser (that is, type “sudo -s”). Enter root passwords as necessary.

4. Type “grub”

5. Type “find /boot/grub/stage1″. You’ll get a response like “(hd0,1)”.

Use whatever your computer spits out for the following lines.

6. Type “root (hd0,1)”, or whatever your hard disk + boot partition numbers are for Ubuntu.

7. Type “setup (hd0)”, to install GRUB to MBR, or “setup (hd0,1)” or whatever your hard disk + partition nr is, to install GRUB to a partition.

8. Quit grub by typing “quit”.

9. Reboot and remove the bootable CD.

Note:- In the above procedure hd0,1 is an example it might be different in your case.

This is a must for anyone using Ubuntu

Good tool to help you setup backup schedules also help install codecs needed for your system automatic.

House Cleaning help to delete Unnecessary  file from Computer

Sync selected folders

Every now and again, I’ll find myself with some files sitting around in my trash that I can’t delete.  This can be particularily problematic when I’ve got several gigs worth of stale ISOs sitting there giving me an error like

Error removing file: Permission denied

I like computers but I’m not a big fan of when they talk back.  So here’s a quick and easy way to go into your system and nuke those files.

First, open up a terminal session (Applications-> Accessoris ->Terminal)

Now, type this:

cd /home/YOUR-USER-NAME/.local/share/Trash/files

Typing ‘ls’ at this point should reveal to you the folders and files you’re trying to delete.  Now on to the nuking.  If it’s just a few files, this will do:

sudo rm -f *

If it’s files, folders and files within folders, try this:

sudo rm -Rf *

No more stuck stuff in your trash.