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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Intel Rapid Storage Technology - Intel Smart Response Technology Problems and Solutions Unable to Activate Acceletate


Intel Rapid Storage Technology
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/rapid-storage-technology.html

This should be the reason why you had bought your Z series or other high end motherboard. If not, then you might be under utilizing it. This group of technology had evolved into many complex functions which I might talk about in the future when I have time. Today I want to talk about one particular expects of it. Smart Response Technology.


For a readup, here is the official site:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/smart-response-technology.html

In English, its just the use of SSD to cache your HDD whether the SSD is build in or a separate one.
Let's see that is the requirement to have this feature:

1. SSD free space (unpartitioned) 16GB-64GB (MAX, Intel had determine anything more than 64GB is not effective)
2. HDD (whether OS is on it is optional, do not believe the BS that tells you that OS MUST be on a HDD)
3. Intel chipset Z68, Z87, Q87, H87, Z77, Q77, H77 motherboard.
4. Intel RST Software installed. (https://downloadcenter.intel.com/search?keyword=intel%C2%AE+rapid+storage+technology+%28intel%C2%AE+rst%29)
5. BOTH SSD and HDD must be plug into the Intel SATA clot, not the 3rd party ones. You can verify this when you
6. At least 2MB of unallocated space on your HDD.

I am not going to write a set up guide, but link to one instead:
http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/sb/CS-032826.htm

Most people either had partioned the SSD or simply plug into the wrong SATA port which make the installation failed. For those who could not activate SRT because there is no Accelerate button. TAKE NOTE OF POINT 6 above! Somehow Intel need some space (2M on mine.,. but I suspect it may varies depending on your HDD). Simple shrink your partition and expand it again later.

Happy SSDing...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rooting Xiaomi Mi Pad and Installing Google Play Store!


The Xiaomi Mi Pad is a power tablet that can rival the Nexus and even Nvidia Shield itself as it is build upon the Tegra K1 chipset as well. However, rooting it and installing Google Play is slightly more than trivial if you do not know where to look.

Firstly, before we even start about Rooting. THE XIAOMI MI PAD OFFICIAL STABLE ROM IS NOT ROOTABLE! Yes, the stable is fully patched and there is no way to root it (and make it stable) as proven by many who tried including myself.

Now, you will see many articles teaching to install Vroot etc on your PC to root this. BUT do note that Vroot is detected as malware (probably because of the rooting codes) by many AV products. And whether it does contain anything malicious, that is entirely another topic. But I guess its safe to say we want to avoid installing anything if possible. And that is why you are reading this. :)

So this article is going to provide you a way to Root your Mi Pad without installing anything on your PC. BUT still it means you will need to be on one of the developer ROM. And there is NO INTERNATIONAL version of the Developer ROM. What is the difference? See this:

STABLE ROM

  • International - Comes with Google Play
  • China - No Google Play
DEVELOPER ROM
  • China - No Google Play
I think by now you know why we are even talking about Google Play in this article. Because if you are going to root it, you will need to be on a Developer ROM and you are going to lose Google Play if you come from an International ROM.

You can of course download the official Developer ROM from Xiaomi. But then you will need to find a matching Google Play what works with it. I decide to give you at least something that I tried and claim that it will work. Here is the Developer ROM I based on:


Now just flash this using the build in Updater. Nothing fancy. And get used to the Updater, you are going to use it at least one more time!

Next, after on the Developer ROM and rebooting a few time to make sure everything is stable (so that we can avoid blaming the rooting and all for something that already exist on the default ROM). Let's start Rooting... No wait. To be able to Root, you cannot use the default Bootloader. So I had chosen to use the CWM since I prefer that than TWRP since I had some screw up with it.


Put this onto your Mi Pad and.... No wait... Listen to me and your save yourself a few plugin and out with your cable.

Download the Root Package :


Download the Google Play Package. Well you can ignore this if you prefer not to use Google Play.


Put these 2 into the root of your Mi Pad (preferable on your SD Card if you need to re-use it again...)

OK, now you are ready to go to the Updater again. Select to flash a update and choose the CWM Package. It will reboot... If you are fast enough, hold Volume +, if not, reboot again to recovery anyway.

In CWM, choose to flash ZIP. Now you can select the Root Package. And if you want Google Play, flash that in after the Root. NEXT, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. And is the reason why 90% of the rooting and flashing screwed up. GO TO ADVANCE AND CLEAR DAVIK CACHE!

Now you can reboot, and accept the few prompts with Yes. Your Mi Pad should boot up nicely without any error about Google Service failing etc. If you do, its likely you screwed up on the flashing, but you can easily repeat it.

Well, that's all and although it sound so simple, I had bricked and crashed at least a dozen times with different configurations and packages, so I had decided to save your the trouble. Leave some comments and tell me how it works for you!  


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Mcafee vs Mcafee aka Error 12152 vs the Internet

Today, I am going to tell you a joke. Well, seriously I find it funny. There is this quite clumsy web proxy product from Mcafee call "Webwasher" (or Web Gateway as what it is called today) which more or less prevents direct downloading of most binaries, thus crippling most web storage as well as even Windows Play Store itself. This is the product information:

http://www.mcafee.com/sg/products/web-gateway.aspx

And which other product is the most well known from Mcafee? Yes, Viruscan or Internet Security:

http://home.mcafee.com/store/packagedetail.aspx?pkgid=272

As the days of media evolves... think is long forgotten. I recalled "buying" my viruscan DOS update from computer shops before BBS got popular, then there were diskette... and later CDs and so on... Now, guess what? You can no longer install Mcafee Internet Security from a media. You will need to download it via the "web installer". And I am not bullshitting this, read this:

http://service.mcafee.com/faqdocument.aspx?id=TS100407 

Normally, I would see other product introducing the offline installer here. But not for Mcafee.

Well, I promise you a joke, so here it is. Why do you think I need an offline installer? Yes, its well thanks to Mcafee Web Gateway! The very product that is stopping me from Mcafee Internet Security is from Mcafee! And to make it worse, it is not even listed as an incompatible product here:

http://service.mcafee.com/FAQDocument.aspx?lc=1033&id=TS101083

Well, it was a good laugh and I guess gave me the perfect reason to say "No" to Mcafee and move on. Well in case you are still wondering if the CD does exist, I would say... "Maybe.." Try asking the local store for the box version and shake it real hard... If it sound like there is a CD inside... you mayb be in luck, but I am skeptical.


Saturday, May 02, 2015

Domain Name Change



The previous domain for this blog :

http://blog.winston-avalon.com

is not longer working and has been replace with :

http://www.winstonavalon.com

Please update your links and bookmark accordingly.

Thanks.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Clustrmaps Resetted

As indicated by http://blog.clustrmaps.com/2015/03/25/important-www4-servermap-news/, it seems that my clustrmap data might had been destroyed... So following their suggestion, I recreated the account. Hopefully I will get back my stats... I can only hope.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kali KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400


While updating Kali Linux, I got a rather strange message:
KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400 KEYEXPIRED 1425567400

Somehow that indicate that the keys used for GPG is likely to be expired. 

I dig a bit and found that the way to update the keys is as follows:
apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 7D8D0BF6

Now your Kali should be updating normally again!
BTW, Kali v1.1.0a is out. Maybe its a good time to reinstall the latest version!

Monday, March 02, 2015

Download Windows 7 ISO from Microsoft


There are times you loses your Windows 7 machine and you will need to find some way to resinstall it, but then you realized you have no Windows 7 CD!

Well, that has been a problem and it is finally solved now when you can legally download the Windows 7 ISO from Microsoft and not from other other unverified sources where you might be installing spyware to your system.

Simply go to this website and key in your CDKEY and you are all ready to download it!
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-recovery

Trillian and MSN


As MSN chat is closing down slowly, the original server "gateway.messenger.hotmail.com" is no longer available and as such messagers like Trillian will fail to connect to the MSN chat network.

A simple solution is luckily available for now, simply change your MSN server address to :
bn1msgr1011204.gateway.edge.messenger.live.com

And it will work. For now. 

Solution is also highlighted on the official Trillian forum:
http://help.trillian.im/kb/accounts/windows-live-msn-the-servers-protocol-did-not-match-our-requested-protocol

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Chinese AV "Patches" Windows XP


As all of you know, Windows XP is dead.
Or it is? As far as the Chinese community is concerned, there is still hope.

Several AV companies had pushed for a special product where we do not see anywhere else in other markets known as "XP Protection". Basically, the AV Product claim to be able to protect even the unpatched XP against these new vulnerabilities and attacks.

Don't take my word for it. Recently, at "The EXP Challenger Contest". a total of 179 hackers and security experts coming from all over the world have tried to compromise Windows XP computers running:

  • 奇虎 360 XP盾甲 
  • 腾讯电脑管家(XP专属版本)
  • 金山毒霸 XP防护盾

In the 13 hours event, only 腾讯 was broken in 57 seconds by "shaheshang", followed by 金山 later. Qihoo managed to withstand all the attacks.

So, what does this mean? Maybe for those Chinese who are not going to upgrade to new Windows for whatever reasons, they could use these products to actually provide them protection and continue to use Windows XP?

But there is a epilogue to the story. At the end of the event, a hacker "小小小乖兔" managed to break through 奇虎 as well. So, it does means that, maybe hard, but there is a way. Nothing is invulnerable.


So, I guess at least with such products around, it is safe to assume if the clients in Chinese are still using Windows XP, they will be deploying at least one of these products.

And lastly, all the listed products had been updated and are FREE.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Microsoft Re-Patch Tues Aug 2014

It seems that due to the BSOD patches being retracted few weeks back, Microsoft had been working hard to restore the status of these vulnerabilities, especially when some of them are critical. Sure enough, we see a new patch that is suppose to replace the previous patch and I think for those who had not uninstalled the patches according to my post here:

http://blog.winston-avalon.com/2014/08/microsoft-aug-patch-tue-could-cause-bsod.html

You should apply this whether or not you had it uninstalled since this is quite critical in my opinion.

Just use your Windows Update and you should see this patch available now!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Microsoft Aug Patch Tue Could Cause BSOD


Yes, no joke~! 4 of the suspected Patch Tue updates for Aug 2014 were suspected to cause some users to crash or BSOD. Judging from the descriptions, it will only be a matter of time when the criteria are met. In fact, it is Microsoft who advise users to UNINSTALL these patches ASAP!

Don't worry,  let me walk you through this. Hopefully when you are now reading this, your PC has not crashed yet. Then the steps are simpler (I did not say it is simple, just not as complicated).

If your Windows is still alive... Time to uninstall those patches. According to Microsoft:
Open the Programs and Features item in Control Panel, and then click View installed updates. Find and then uninstall any of the following update that are currently installed:
  • KB2982791
  • KB2970228
  • KB2975719
  • KB2975331
Well, firstly, not very helpful. The patches are not arranged by KB numbers and the search somehow do not deal with these numbers either.
But luckily, you can still sort them by name and you should be looking for these two:
Security Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2982791)
Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2975719)

Based on the descriptions, it is very likely you will only have one of these:
2975719 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 
2975331 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012
So you might want to look for the other one instead if you are still on Windows 8.0

So, I guess its perfectly normal to have just one of them. As for the other missing one:
2970228 Update to support the new currency symbol for the Russian ruble in Windows

It sound like I may not have it because I do not have the Russian language installed? Likely.

Well if you are a bit out of luck and had the BSOD, you will have to go into safe mode to save that. The details are on their page at:

I strongly suggest you print that out on a working computer. Or be lazy and just system restore back to the previous month... That will probably work.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Download Opera Offline Installer

As more and more of the installers, especially for browsers, goes online, their installers had became smaller and smaller. In fact, most of these installers pulls the actual installation right from the Internet during installation. What you actually download is nothing more than a downloader.

So today, let's visit Opera. The default installer is the one you get when you click the big Blue button in the above screen. But however, do you see a smaller line of text just below it? Yes, that is the link to the Offline Installer. This is very useful when you are in an environment with funky proxy (that doesn't really work) or without Internet. You Opera can still be updated using a Thumbdrive or something along that line.

Grab Opera (both online and offline installer) at:
http://www.opera.com/computer
Or just grab the Offline Installer here:
http://www.opera.com/download/get/?partner=www&opsys=Windows

Monday, August 04, 2014

Turn Off Facebook Video Autoplay


Facebook has recently introduced a new feature which will autoplay video posted as you scroll to it. While there are reasons why this is cool, there are also reason why you may not want to do so. Let me name a few. For example, when you are on limited or charged bandwidth, playing some useless MTV posted yb your friend is definitely not a good idea. But more seriously, if there is a way found to be able to exploit the video codec on your browser, you will be 0wned as soon as the autoplay starts. Without even clicking anything!

Well, its easy to disable this feature actually.
1. Upper Right corner, click on the dropdown settings menu. Select Settings.
2. On the left side, select the Video tab.
3. Check the autoplay to off on your right panel.

That works for Desktop. What about on Android? Well, it is just as easy.
1. Open your Facebook app.
2. On the Left sidebar, tab App Settings.
3. Check Auto-Play Videos on Wi-FI Only.

Now, wait right there. That doesn't disable the autoplay totally. In fact, you can't. It will play when you are in Wifi mode. If I find a way to do so, I will update this blog.

Similarly, you can do it on iOS. Very similar steps. And since I couldn't care less about iOS I would skip the instructions here.

Hope this helps you.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Manual Update for Kaspersky Product

Ever have an issue with the massive downloading of update from Kaspersky product? This is especially bad when you are stuck in a location where bandwidth is a concern since the update could well be over 100MB sometimes.

But little do people know that there is in fact a way to update Kaspersky offline and this makes a lot of senses if you have more than 1 PC requiring the same update. Today, let's take a look at a BETA product from Kaspersky themselves call Kaspersky Updater 2014 for Windows.

Link:
http://forum.kaspersky.com/index.php?showtopic=234108
This is quite a straight forward program. Just download the archive, extract it and run the updater. This is what you will see.

1. Select Applications. Choose the EXACT version you are using because the updates are different.
2. Select Settings. Choose whether you want just signatures or modules updates as well.
3.  Just Update it then.

This end the part the updater has to do. The rest is about configuring your Kaspersky product to take in the update. In general, this is the instructions, but may varies slightly from version to versions.

1. Open your product settings and look for Update.
2. There should be a update source option, select it and point it to the directory you downloaded the update from. It could be in temp under the updater and so on.
3. Update your product.

Hope this helps you guys!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Sandboxie v4.12 Fail Installation due to VC Redistribution Library


Sandboxie is an awesome on-the-fly sandbox application for Windows! It provides you the functionality of running an application in a sandbox just by a right-click. No VMWare or VM to manage.

Recently, there is a new update to v4.12, but it appears that many people are having issues installing it. The main culprit is the VC++ Redistribution library download and it looks something like this:


Basically, even if you updated your VC++ Redist manually, the download will still happen and likely fail again and again. To overcome this, Sandboxie actually had setup standalone version of their installer and it will solve the problem, but I still strongly suggest you update your VC++ Redist manually first before downloading this and running it.

Get the standalone installer of Sandboxie here:
http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php?AllVersions

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Diyomate K9 Firmware Update A20 14-5-8


Well, it seems that a lot of people had been looking for the firmware to update your Diyomate K9 and it was nowhere to be found, even on Diyomate's website. Actually, to be honest, it IS on Diyomate's site here:
http://www.diyomate.com/DownLoadList.asp?CID=66

But it doesn't say K9 anywhere right? Yes, that is because the K9 box uses a chip call A20 (AllWinner) and Diyomate release the firmware according to the chipset rather than the Box model. Now you will see that there are 2 firmware release in May for A20.
So, what is the differences? Well in case you did not know,the K9 is one of the few model from Diyomate that ships with an option to have either Android or Ali YunOS. So theses 2 files corresponds to the 2 different options. And the good news is that in case you had chosen the wrong version, you just need to reflash it or if you want to change to the other favors, you too can just flash that in.

Ask me, personally, I prefer Ali YunOS and in fact, that is what you actually paid a little bit more for!

Have fun with your upgraded firmware! (Please copy all your important files to your SDCard first before flashing...)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Windows XP Extended Support Till 2019 Registry Hack


I am not the first to disclose this registry trick to change your Windows XP into Windows XP POS Edition. The purpose of doing so is that while all other desktop edition of Windows XP had been withdrawn from support, the POS (Point-of-sale) version is however still supported until 2019. This essentially give you extended support on your Windows XP.

HOWEVER, even if this trick works to give you updates until 2019, Microsoft will make some assumptions. For example, people will not be using it wo surf the web, read email, load Youtube of Facebook etc. Because this is a POS system, which is pretty much those dump terminal operated by sales in stores. So what does that mean? It mean you will not be FULLY protected anyway. IE will probably never be fixed. So, my advise is still to just ditch Windows XP and upgrade to Windows 7/8 as a long term solution.

Anyway, here is the simple hack. Put the following into a text file and save it as WinXP2019.reg :

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady]
"Installed"=dword:00000001

Double click this file to have Regedit execute it. That is all to it.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kali Linux Slow Update


For those using Kali, you must had noticed how slow and painful it is to update the Linux. Unless you have a very fast internet, which will not be the case on a oil rig or the space shuttle. Just kidding about that. But its slow. That's a fact.

What I am going to show you here is a simple tweak and it will work much faster. And I am not talking about private or custom repository, which I strongly discourage as these are not verified and could contain something else which you do not want on your Linux.

Let's find a file call sources.lst in /etc/apt. Open it and look for http://http.kali.org.... Now, all you need to do is to change it to http://repo.kali.org..... You should have 2 instances of it if you are using the default installation.

Now do you normal apt-get update && apt-get upgrade and you will see the differences. While Repo and Http are both official Kali sources, there are slightly different, but I do not suppose most users will be affected by this differences.

Well, good luck updating and happy pen-testing!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Adobe Flash Player 13 Full Offline Installer - Fixing the stopped at 7% Error


The latest Flash Player 13 may had stopped downloading for some at 7% and giving a message:
"Lost connection. Trying to reconnect..."
And actually it does nothing of that sort...

The Flash installer had been one of the worse nightmare ever. For a start, its a EXE executable, but because of whatever reason, something its saved as a ZIP and you can imagine the mess of confusion it is to average user.

Then the download is horrible and I get 10% success rates only in some places.

To top that up, the installer is ALWAYS deleted once it is ran and no matter if it is successful or not! Obviously a waste of bandwidth.

I had talked about it again and again in the past:
http://blog.winston-avalon.com/2011/11/flash-player-11-download-fail-at-12.html

My advise is DON'T use Flash. Really. Given the track record, its probably one of the easiest door to open on your PC if not the MOST. And most of the bigger players had long given up on Flash, like Apple (not surprising) and finally Google in Android 4.4.

But if you really have no choice, need to run it in a VM etc, there is still the option to download it.
Just go to :
http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/distribution3.html

And I really want to stop hot-linking the direct EXE file now since Flash is updated ever so often and that last thing I need is to misdirect someone into downloading a old version.

But hopefully, I will not need to post this for Flash 14 (if it will ever exist...)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Change in Domain

From the old http://blog.90283600.com, the blog is now moved to http://blog.winston-avalon.com.
You may want to update your bookmark etc.

Thanks for the support for all these years!

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