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Netgear AC750 Wifi Range Extender (EX3700)

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Posted by: z24 | Sun, Jul 24 2016 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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Opening notebook Toshiba Satellite Pro SP4270

(Updated Aug 12 2012)
(Updated Aug 29 2013)

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Posted by: z24 | Fri, Sep 26 2008 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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Motherboard Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DS5

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Posted by: z24 | Fri, Sep 26 2008 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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3Com OfficeConnect ADSL Wireless 54 Mbps 11g Firewall Router

This 3Com product has many functions: router, firewall, adsl modem, wireless access point, 4 port switch. 3Com chose to give two names to its products: a name for the market (as the long name in the title), which identifies the purpose of the product and is not changed when a new model replaces the older one, and a model name, a number which identifies the specific model.
The "ADSL" term in the name is particularly useful to specify that it's a adsl modem too, with a RJ-11 port that would connect the router directly to the phone line, through a RJ-11 cable, just like any adsl modem; in fact I found several routers that were capable of routing the adsl signal but were equipped with a RJ-45 port instead of a RJ-11 port: they were not DSL modems and needed to be connected to an external DSL modem. Checking the rear of the product, maybe on the user guide, can help making sure the router is a DSL modem too.
I will review two 3Com OfficeConnect ADSL Wireless 54 Mbps 11g Firewall Router models, the older 3CRWDR100A-72 and the newer 3CRWDR101A-75.

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Posted by: z24 | Sat, Dec 22 2007 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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Asus MyPal A686 PDA with GPS

(Updated Jul 24 2011)

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Posted by: z24 | Sun, Dec 09 2007 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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Scythe Ninja Plus rev. B

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Posted by: z24 | Mon, Oct 29 2007 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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Zalman ZM-MFC1 fan controller

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Posted by: z24 | Mon, Oct 29 2007 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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Noctua NH-U12F

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Posted by: z24 | Mon, Oct 29 2007 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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Recover "Logical sector size is 0" with dd

A few hours ago while I was using my pc suddenly Windows froze completely (mouse was stuck and Ctrl+Alt+Del did nothing). It's not astonishing but I was quite surprised because such a freeze never happened since I began using Windows XP on my new pc.
The problem appeared at the reboot: grub, the bootloader on /dev/sda, showed this error message:

13 : Invalid or unsupported executable format

I have a dual boot configuration with Windows XP booting from a EIDE disk and Ubuntu booting from a SATA disk, so I entered Ubuntu, successfully; /dev/hda1 (the Windows partition) was not mounted while /dev/hda5 and /dev/hda6 were; attempting to mount it resulted in

Special device /dev/hda1 does not exist

At reboot I started Windows XP Recovery Console from the Windows CD and tried CHKDSK.EXE, and this was the outcome:

The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems

I booted again linux to launch fsck and see it fail:

Logical sector size is zero.


Then I found the solution in ubuntu forum:
root@am2:/home/z24# dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/defmedia/bkup_fat32_hda1.img bs=512 count=2048000 conv=noerror,sync
2048000+0 records in
2048000+0 records out
1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 43.61 seconds, 24.0 MB/s

root@am2:/home/z24# dd if=/defmedia/bkup_fat32_hda1.img of=/home/z24/sector6.bin bs=512 count=1 skip=6 conv=noerror,sync
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
512 bytes (512 B) copied, 0.011544 seconds, 44.4 kB/s

root@am2:/home/z24# dd if=/home/z24/sector6.bin of=/dev/hda1 bs=512 count=1 conv=noerror,sync,notrunc
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
512 bytes (512 B) copied, 0.030644 seconds, 16.7 kB/s
Explanation: In the original post the partition that was just backupped with dd was also checked with losetup and mount. Thanks a lot to the ubuntuforums user Onlymee for his post!
Update 13.09.2008
The same problem happened again today and gave me the opportunity to complete the series of error messages :)
The first, at boot time, was the same:

grub: 13 : Invalid or unsupported executable format

Mounting the partition (mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt):

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sda1, missing codepage or other error

dmesg | grep sda1

VFS: Can't find a valid FAT filesystem on dev sda1

But fdisk -l /dev/sda shows the partition table.
fsck.vfat /dev/sda1 (executed from Ubuntu 8.04 alternate cd)

Cluster size is zero

The solution was exactly the same: copy the sixth sector back to the first. And voilà, it booted.

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Posted by: z24 | Sun, Jun 24 2007 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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Mounting a second fan on the back of the case (Antec SLK3000B)

With the summer approaching, I am making some experiments trying to cool my pc as much as possible while keeping it quiet. Now, airflow in the case is made by 2 fans: the intake fan, a Papst 4412 F/2GLL, pulls air inside the case from the front, the exhaust fan, a Antec Tricool coming with the SLK3000B, pushes air out to the back; in addition, the psu fan pulls air from the top of the motherboard through the psu to the back.
Since I bought a second Papst 4412 F/2GLL, I tried positioning this fan in different locations to see which one conributes the best to the cooling. One of these is the back of the case, in the bottom, where there would be additional cards: it pushes air out of the case through the back slots.

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Posted by: z24 | Sun, Jun 17 2007 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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Hard disk suspension in an Antec SLK3000B

The main problem of the Antec SLK3000B case is it converts hard disk vibrations to noise, and this is the most annoying noise coming from my pc when the fans are set at the lowest speed. In the SLK3000B the hard disks lay in a cage with grommets that are supposed to dampen the vibrations of the 7200 and more rpm hard disks.
The trend spreading amongst silencing modders is to suspend the hard disks in the air to avoid contact between the case and the hard disks.

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Posted by: z24 | Tue, Jun 12 2007 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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