Samba Problem after Updating to 3.6.23-30

One CentOS 6 Linux server got the newest Samba 3.6.23-30 update last week. This is a critical update to fix the Badlock bug. After applying the update, we had some machines which could not connect to the Samba service any more. All the machines in the same Active Directory are fine, but other machines could not connect any more.

It turns out the new version of Samba introduced a new option and changed the behaviors of some other options. I tried to play around with the options, but I still could not get it to work with some clients. I finally downgraded the client using the following command.

yum downgrade samba-common samba-winbind samba-winbind-clients samba-client samba samba-doc samba-domainjoin-gui libsmbclient

I also changed the /etc/yum.conf file to add this line to prevent yum from updating it again.

exclude=samba

Note that this is only a workaround. I’ll update the post again once I find out how to modify the smb.conf to work with the new version of Samba.

Strange Windows Update Problem on a Lenovo X1 Carbon running Windows 8.1

I helped a user with a strange Windows Update problem on a Lenovo X1 Carbon on Windows 8.1. Initially, all the updates failed. I tried to run the Windows update troubleshooter, but it did not help. Checked the error codes and found that it produced different codes each time the updates ran, so searching for a solution based on error codes did not work in this situation.

Finally got it to work after installing the optional updates first. Here are the steps to install the optional updates first.

  1. Open up Windows Update.
  2. Click on important updates are available.

  3. Uncheck the box. This de-select all the important updates.

  4. Click on Optional and check the box. This selects all the optional updates.

  5. Click on Install to install the optional updates.

How to Extract Driver Files from .EXE File Downloaded from Dell

Dell has driver packs for their enterprise class systems like OptiPlex and Latitude series. It’s very useful if you want to import the drivers to SCCM. However, if you want to prepare those non-enterprise systems like Inspiron, there is no driver package to download. You have to prepare the driver package by yourself.

When you download a driver from the Inspiron line, the driver is an executable (.exe) file. In order to prepare a driver package, you need to extract the files. To extract the driver from the .exe file, open up an elevated command prompt, change directory to the download location and type the following command.

driver_executable /s /drivers=folder_name

For example, the driver executable is called Video_Driver_40NXV_WN_10.18.10.3995_A00.EXE . The actual command is like this

Video_Driver_40NXV_WN_10.18.10.3995_A00.EXE /s /drivers=video

This command extracts the driver files to a sub directory called video. Note that this command might fail for some files. If you do not see any files in the video directory, you can use /e argument to extract every files and inspect them.

Video_Driver_40NXV_WN_10.18.10.3995_A00.EXE /s /e=video

To see other usage for the driver executable, type this to see a complete list of options.

Video_Driver_40NXV_WN_10.18.10.3995_A00.EXE /?

 

 

How to Solve Windows 7 Windows Update Hangs Problem

When we built Windows 7 machines lately, we found that Windows Update hangs for some of the computers. We tried a lot of different methods without success. Finally, I found a KB article which fixed the problem. Here are the step by step instructions:

  1. Visit this link and download the update according to your OS. Look for the download in Method 2.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3102810
  2. Run the downloaded update.
  3. Reboot your computer.
  4. Try the Windows Update again and you should be able to get it going now.

New Trent Airbender 1.0 Wireless Bluetooth Clamshell Keyboard Case Review

I have had my iPad 2 for many years. I only used it initially to get myself familiar with how it works and how to support it. I found that a tablet is good for checking the web for information and connecting to various social networks through apps. However, the lack of a hardware keyboard really impairs its ability to create a large document or type in a lot of commands. As a result, I didn’t use the iPad much after the initial excitement wore off. I got an opportunity to try this keyboard case and I am very happy with it.

The shipping is fast if you buy it from idealpoint. The keyboard case came in a nice shiny box. The package includes the case and a micro USB charging cable. The build quality is great. The case is made of hard plastic with a matte finish. I like the matte finish because it’s not a fingerprint magnet, compared to a glossy finish, which is. The hinge/stand is made of metal and very strong. The case has cutouts for the buttons, switches, camera, microphone, speaker, headphone jack and charging port. I was able to charge the iPad using a cable, but you might not be able to charge your iPad if you have a docking station (which is normal for most of the cases).

The first row of keys are function keys, including the following: home button, brightness up, brightness down, soft keyboard toggle, cut, copy, paste, rewind, play/pause, forward, mute, volume down, volume up and sleep/lock. The keyboard is a typical chiclet keyboard that you can find on smaller laptops. Even though the keys are smaller than the standard size, I find them easy to type with without my hands feeling cramped. It has dedicated arrow keys and bigger shift keys just like the standard keyboard, which is a plus. You can use the keyboard with iPad in either portrait position (vertical) or landscape position (horizontal). There are two positions (two viewing angles) where you can rest the iPad on the keyboard. You can also fine tune the position by moving the hinge in the back.

One thing I like about the keyboard is that you can use it on your lap, unlike some of the other keyboards on the market. However, what I find odd about the case is when the iPad is in tablet position (lying horizontally on top of the keyboard). The keyboard case works well when you need to use the keyboard, but it doesn’t fold flat when you don’t need to use the keyboard. This makes holding the iPad rather awkward. When you hold the case, it’s more like holding a binder than holding a book.

Installation is really easy- just snap your iPad to the case. Make sure you hear the clicking sound when you press down the corners. If this is the first time you use it, you might want to charge the keyboard first. The keyboard has three indication lights: chrg, battery and pair. When you are done charging, the chrg light turns off and battery light turns blue. Turn on the keyboard by using the on/off switch. You have to pair the keyboard with the iPad first before you can use it. Press the connect button on the keyboard and it puts the keyboard to pairing mode. Go to Settings -> Bluetooth on the iPad to finish pairing. When I first used the keyboard, I noticed there was a slight delay when I pressed a key. However, I don’t notice any delay now that I have used it for a while. I use the keyboard whenever I can and feel like I am using a laptop. I was able to use the keyboard with the remote desktop client and SSH client while typing various commands efficiently. This is a huge thumbs up for me, because I can just take the iPad with me when I am not in my office. I don’t have to carry a heavy laptop with me any more.

Pros:

  • Touch typing possible
  • Solid build quality
  • On/Off switch to save battery usage
  • Matte finish

Cons:

  • The case does not fold flat when you don’t use the keyboard.

Overall, the keyboard case transforms your iPad into a lightweight laptop. You can type with speed and accuracy. I recommend this keyboard case to any iPad 2/3/4 owners who would like a keyboard.

Note: I am part of the New Trent Pilot program. I bought the case at a discount in exchange for my review.

iPhone 6/6S Plus Case, New Trent Alixo 6L Rugged Transparent Clear Bumper Case Review

This is the second clear case I’ve gotten for my iPhone 6 Plus. My first clear case was the Ringke Fusion TPU Bumper Case, which is also good. The shipping is fast even without the 2-day prime shipping. The case comes in a nice paper box that includes the bumper case, two front covers, and a single-use wipe to clean your phone before installation.

The case is made of two different materials. The bumper part is made of rubberized TPU, while the back part is made of hard plastic. I really like this design. It provides great protection to the phone while the clear back showcases the original design of the iPhone. The bumper part also provides some grip, so the phone is not as slippery. The buttons are all covered and raised. It’s easy to press the buttons without looking at the case. It’s easy to switch the mute switch as well. There are plugs that cover the lightning charging port and the headphone jack. I have no problems with charging. However, the cut-out for the headphone is small. I couldn’t easily connect my Sennheiser HD 201 headphone to the headphone jack with the case on. If your headphone has a big connector, you might want to consider buying a different case or trying to make the headphone cut-out bigger.

The case comes with two front covers, one black cover and one white cover. The covers have built-in screen protectors. I already have a nice Tech Armor screen protector on my phone, but I was able to fit the phone with the screen protector in this case. I do not have problems with the touch functionality with two screen protectors. Note that I have an iPhone 6 Plus, not an iPhone 6S Plus. Therefore, I am not sure if 3D Touch works properly in this case. There is a protector on the home button. Remember to remove the protector before installation if you want to use Touch ID. I do notice the rainbow effect, but I can only see it at a certain angle, so it does not bother me. The front covers are a bit flimsy. If you don’t handle them with care, you might break or bend them.

Pros:

  1. Strong bumper protecting the phone.
  2. Two front covers are included.
  3. Charging port and headphone are plugged to prevent dust from getting inside the phone.
  4. Built-in screen protector included. There is no need to buy an extra screen protector.

Cons:

  1. The case is bulkier than the other slim cases.
  2. Headphone cut-out is small.
  3. The front cover is flimsy.

Overall, I give this case 4.5 stars. Compared to the Ringke case, the Ringke case is slimmer but is also quite slippery to hold.

Note that I am part of the New Trent Pilot program. I bought the case at a discount in exchange for my review.