Fixing a broken Grub2 Bootloader after hard drive upgrade

13 11 2010

I recently replaced the hard drive in my laptop. I used Acronis True Image Home 2011 to clone the old hard drive to the new one. It increased the sizes of the partitions proportionatly and made the drive bootable. So far so good.

In addition to Windows 7 I have Ubuntu 10.10 dual booted using Grub2.

Windows 7 booted just fine after the upgrade but Ubuntu would not boot and dropped into busybox with the following error

/dev/disk/by-uuid/xxxx does not exist
dropping to shell

Where xxxx is a long number called a UUID

Because the Linux partition was now 20GB larger than before it had a new UUID which did not match what Ubuntu expected.  Since the introduction of Grub2 Ubuntu boots using Read the rest of this entry »

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Sharepoint Recycle bin – File Not Found Error

13 04 2010

SharePoint MOSS 2007 has a nice two stage recycle bin which should cover one should anything get deleted accidentally. However there are cases when the recycle bin lets us down and throws a ‘File Not Found’ error when restoring items from the recycle bin. I experienced this recently and was lucky enough to find the cause and cure.

One possible cause for this error is when you are restoring items deep in a folder structure and the parent folder(s) have also been deleted. SharePoint is not smart enough to create placeholders for the parent folders prior to restoring the deleted item, it just gives up and throws an error.  To remedy this problem, restore the deleted parent folders from the Recycle bin first, then the restore of the child folders and files will now work.





Transfer Contacts from Blackberry to Droid

31 12 2009

The easiest way to transfer contacts from a blackberry to a Motorola Droid phone is via the GMail contact import feature using a CSV file exported from the Blackberry Desktop Manager. There is one gotcha though; Google does not give you a preview of how the contact data will map, which can have undesirable results!!

Here is the procedure.

  1. Backup your Blackberry data using the BB Desktop Manager.
  2. Export BB contacts to an Excel compatible CSV File. Follow the procedure found here.
  3. Open CSV file in Excel. Read the rest of this entry »




Ubuntu SMART disk analysis is slick!

26 12 2009

As soon as Ubuntu detects problems with a hard drive that reports S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics it pops up a warning and the depth of information is impressive. Speedfan has a nice enough analysis of hard drive health, but it is a little arcane. The Ubuntu utility really explains what is going on. It also shows historical ‘watermarks’ where a characteristic went over threshold in the past.

Here are some screen shots of what one can find about a hard drives health status.

Not surprisingly the failing hard drive was replaced and data backed up. Not one piece of user data was lost, as is often the case with failing hard drives, files affected are mostly system/program files. Recovery of data is typically very successful. In this case the user had only 700MB of data on a 500GB drive.

To look at the SMART characteristics of drives attached to an Ubuntu system start the Disk Utility which is located under
System -> Administration -> Disk Utility. This disk utility is a Gnome desktop tool, for those with other variants of linux or Ubuntu with different desktops it can be added to your distribution by installing the application gnome-disk-utility using synaptic package manager or the command line

sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility

Update 2010-11-14: Since the introduction of Ubuntu 10.4 the disk utility included in Ubuntu has changed. Screen shots of the new disk utility are included below. The utility provides more information, especially about how the disk partitions are organized. However I have found that once in a while the new utility reports that SMART disk statistics are unavailable for a disk, using Ubuntu 9.10 Live Disk reveals that the SMART statistics are available after all. This is an unfortunate problem with what is a great diagnostic tool, hopefully the drive compatibility will be improved back to its former glory.

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