Category: Old weblog


Hardware update

My BD-RE drive arrived a few days ago. Well, the drive itself is nothing special, it looks like any ordinary DVD/CD drive except for being able to write to BD-R and BD-RE (and the Blu-Ray Disc logo ofcourse).
The drive is made by LG-Hitachi. It’s a 8x burner. Too bad some new models of this drive arrived just after I’ve bought this drive.

I also bought 5 BD-R to test the drive. This is where the problems started.
The drive did not like those BD-Rs. Tried burning at 2x, it went to around 80% and then the drive decided to uninstall itself from system (perhaps due to bad SATA cable). Burned another disc (with the same cable), this time it was a success (somewhat), but due to bad disc a few sectors got corrupted.
Replaced SATA cable. I had 3 BD-Rs left so I’ve tried burning some data to them. The drive burned them at around 1.5-1.7x (these were 4x BD-Rs) and always encountered a write error at around 75-80% accompanied by a click-click noise from the drive (like if it was trying to recover from error).
But at least one burn was successful. So the drive should be OK (but we can’t be sure until we try to burn some more discs).
I have one of DVD-R DL discs made by the same company (InfoSource). It’s ok but none of my drives like it (they all read it really slowly). It seems that InfoSource BD-Rs are no better than their DVD-Rs.
I returned bad BD-R discs to the shop.
Too bad Verbatim BD-Rs are really expensive here.
I will have to find some better BD-Rs and try burning them.

P.S.: My Twitter is here.

Some better news

Have some better news to post. Got my money back to my account.
Ordered a LG BD burner and a Logitech laser mouse (my second PC’s mouse is dead and my backup mouse is old and crappy).
The site where I ordered does not require registration but has a strange policy of having the manager contact you before you pay (possibly, to confirm that things you have ordered are in-stock). The good thing that they will ship my items to me, so I don’t have to go anywhere to get them (the site where I usually buy everything PC related charges too much for a home delivery).
I will wait now, and post here when there’s anything new.

P.S.: I will soon get rid of that Giveawayoftheday.com ticker image if they continue to post crappy software.

I found where to buy a BD-RE drive locally. The drive is made LG and does 8x. The cdfreaks review of this drive looked good for me and I’ve decided to buy it.
It’s a bit older model but it’s 8x so it should be OK.
But I also have some bad news.
I wanted to deposit some cash to my bank account but the person, who accepted my money, mixed up two last numbers of my personal id so the money got deposited to the wrong account. Dammit I’m going to scream this: SUCH MISTAKE IS UNACCEPTABLE !!! The cashier did not even bother to check account holder’s name before depositing the money.
Now I can’t order my hardware. I’ll have to wait until I get my money back (I hope, not “if I get my money back”).
Well this shows at least one thing: Humans who work in supermarkets or even banks are not robots.
I hope I will have some better news for posting in my next blog post.

That’s all for now.

Virus Alert !

Recently found that some of my programs (in Creations folder have been infected by a Delphi virus (Win32.Induc.a). This virus is harmless, all it does is infect Delphi to add itself to compiled EXEs. The code added infects Delphi installation (up to Delphi 7) when infected EXE is run. It seems that this virus has been in the wild for a while (I’m detecting it in EXEs compiled three months ago) but was discovered only very recently.
I will re-upload disinfected copies of the infected programs now.
Also, more than 50 of my other compiled EXEs had this crap in them.

I was reading about this virus and even found the code it adds to compiled EXEs. Just didn’t think that my own Delphi installation could get infected.

Also, my ISP was complaining about the virus activity in one of my PCs. I found and removed the freakin’ Conficker worm from my secondary PC. The good thing that this worm did not do any additional damage (like disabling Safe Mode) to the OS.
It seems that the worm did not infect any of my other PCs.

Second monitor died

The secondary monitor I used for my second virtualized PC died (it is a 19″ LG widescreen LCD). It was turned off and now it would not turn back on. It seems that there’s no power at all (I’m suspecting a dead power supply board). The good thing is that the LCD is still under warranty, so I will RMA it.
But my second virtualized PC is useless without it’s monitor, so I will have to use my main PC until the monitor is fixed.
That reminds me that there’s some other hardware that needs to be checked (eg. PSU in my main PC emits strange sounds at startup).

I’m also trying to fix a Toshiba laptop (in a very bad condition: LCD cracked, touchpad does not work, hard drive going bad, DVD drive dead)
I was asked to reinstall XP, so I used a RIS server (on my Win2003 VM) which formated the HDD. That normally would not be a problem (most PCs I repair are used as DVD or music players, so the data is not important) but it turns out that there was some valuable data in second partition (the drive had 2 partitions) which is now inaccessible. I’m trying to get that data back somehow. The process will take very long time due to a damaged HDD (lots of bad sectors).
This laptop has seen a lot of bad things in it’s life.

That’s all for this time.

P.S.: I usually ask people whether they want me to backup their data, but this time I forgot to do it.

Ads!!

Our host just placed Google ADS in our blog.
Well, injecting your own HTML crap into someone else’s page is kinda annoying to me (well, I don’t get paid for their Adsense ads), but we’re using a free hosting provider (as we don’t have too many visitors) and there’s a saying: “You get what you pay for.”
The ads should go away after a week.
I hope they don’t bring them back again. Or I probably will have to look for another hosting provider.

Downtime

Our host messed up something on their servers (it has something to do with their ads), so our blog at ddscentral.co.cc went down (just the site, email was ok). If you see this, we’re back online now.

Site problems are not that kind of stuff I like to have.

Uuppddaattee!! part 3

VM Software updated.
Too bad that it expires after 2 weeks. Fortunately, simply setting the system date back works. I hope they will release a retail version until then. If not, I will have to set the date back to continue using the beta version when it expires.
That’s not a big deal though.

That’s all (there will be no part 4).

Uuppddaattee!! part 2

Ok. About those two PCs.
Fixed one of them. XP did not boot at all. Booted PC from XP Live CD and found a damaged partition (and a crappy loud Maxtor HDD) that I could not access.
Ran Paragon PM 10.0 Live CD and repaired the partition. XP booted up and showed a “Checking Drive C” screen. Then booted to desktop and worked as normal.
This damaged parition may be a sign of failing HDD. I did not scan the HDD for bad sectors (due to lack of time).
There was Kaspersky AV installed but it had no valid lic. key so it did not work. I ordered a renewal for Kaspersky and also bought a 320GB mobile hard disk.
Second PC did not have any problems except that it was slow and had some crappy half-XP half-Vista skin installed. That one had just 256MB RAM (the first one had 51MB2 RAM).

Also, some good news and some bad news:
The Good:
Fixed a PC and got paid.
Bought additional 320GB of external space

The Bad (or not?):
Found an update for my virtual machine software, VMWare WS 7.0 Tech Beta. It had many new features, including an updated 3D with SM 3.0 support.
But the damn installer doesn’t want to work at all.
Edit: OK, got it to work somehow, will post back all is done.

The strange thing is that that “private beta” is available for download if you know where to look at: Here’s the link (registration needed)

Uuppddaattee!!

No posts for this July (Darn!).
Here’s some news. I will not go anywhere to buy the Bluray. There are some people how will get it and send it to me.
Also, I will be fixing a couple of PCs tomorrow. One has a problem with some application not working properly, the other one has Win installation messed up.
Will post the results tomorrow.
That’s all.

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