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Thursday, September 1

Six ---- Must Have, Programs For Your Laptop Or Netbook................

Laptops offer many advantages compared to desktop computers. Most importantly they are small and portable. The convenient hardware features of laptops, however, also imply a lot of limitations, for example finite battery life, a smaller keyboard, or an irritating touch-pad.
In this article I will introduce you to a selection of programs for laptops that address these hardware limitations. The tools in this list will make working with your laptop keyboard and touch-pad more convenient and increase battery lifetime. And just in case someone takes advantage of its portability, you better had a tool installed that allows you to track your laptop.

TouchFreeze Download

One of the greatest annoyances on a laptop can be the touch-pad. The most common issue is that the cursor is accidentally triggered and jumps to a random place while you are typing and gently brushing over the touch-pad with your hands. This is especially common for people who touch type. Touch Freeze helps solve the issue by automatically disabling the touch-pad while the keyboard is in use.

programs for laptops

Auto Sensitivity  Download

Another tool that tries to deal with the touch-pad dilemma is Auto Sensitivity. The tool can be used to control the sensitivity of the touch-pad and the mouse. A lower sensitivity basically means that the cursor will be less responsive or slower.
programs for netbooks
Unfortunately, my hardware doesn’t seem to allow separate settings for touchpad and mouse sensitivity and hence the tool did not work as expected. Note that Auto Sensitivity requires .NET Framework 3.5 or 4.0.

Two-Finger-Scroll  Download

Touch pads that only support the use of a single finger are utterly limited. Yet the hardware often is capable of interpreting the touch of two or even three fingers at once. This is where Two-Finger-Scroll comes in and taps into the unused potential of your touch-pad.
It doesn’t exactly enable multi - touch features known from iOS or Android devices. However, it does enable some familiar behaviors. For example you will be able to scroll up and down when you swipe over the touch-pad using two fingers, while using one finger will only move the cursor.
It also supports different behaviors for tapping the touch-pad. For example you can assign tapping with two fingers to activating the left and tapping with three fingers to activating the right mouse button. ‘One + one‘ or ‘two + one‘ means that you rest one or two fingers on the touchpad and tap with a second or third finger, respectively.
programs for netbooks
Whether or not these features will work for you depends on your touch-pad. Unlike some of the other tools above, they worked perfectly for me, although it does take some practice to get the tapping just right.
Two-Finger-Scroll received thorough coverage here - How To Easily Activate Two Finger Scroll In Windows Laptops

Sharp Keys Download

Laptops are small and so are their keyboards, hence the transition from a full-sized keyboard can be hard. Moreover, some functions require hitting several keys, which can be inconvenient. At the same time, there may be keys available that you never use.
If you want to put some of your unused keys to good use, try SharpKeys, an application that allows you to remap your keys by tweaking the registry. Apart from remapping keys, you can also turn keys off, i.e. disable them.
programs for netbooks
SharpKeys was featured on MakeUseOf along with two similar tools in this article: Remap Keyboard Keys with These 3 Free Apps [Windows].

Aero foil  Download

Aero foil tackles the limited energy resources when your laptop is running on battery power. Once you disconnect from A/C power, Aero foil will step in and optimize your Windows Vista or Windows 7 system for saving power. It does that by disabling Windows features like Aero Glass, muting the sound, or switching to a different Windows power plan.
laptop programs
Some sources claim that Aero foil can extend your battery life by up to 25%. The tool runs on minimal system resources and all features are optional. Aero foil is available for Windows Vista and Windows 7 in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Note that if you get an error message saying msvcp100.dll is missing, you may need a Windows update. Details are listed on the download page for Aero foil, below the download links for the tool itself.

Prey Download

Do you often work in public places and are you worried that your laptop might get stolen? Prey won’t protect your laptop from thieves, but if it ever does get taken away from you, you can use the software to keep track of its location and possibly get it back.
programs for laptops
For a comprehensive introduction to Prey, check out this article -

LoJack is a device that’s made life harder for would-be car thieves. Here’s how it works: a GPS chip capable of calling home is hidden somewhere on a given car. If that car is stolen, the police now have the ability to track where it is via GPS.
Wish you had something like this for your laptop? You can, and it won’t cost you a dime. Open source program Prey can do this for your computer quickly and easily, giving you the location of your computer via your on-board GPS chip or by analyzing nearby WiFi networks. Not only that, it will show you screenshots of what the thief is using your computer for. And if you have a webcam, even take a picture of them before they realize it, before you recover your stolen laptop.

We’ve reviewed similar programs before — Lalarm, Adeona and Firefox plugin Firefound, just to name a few. Prey differs from these in a few ways, but the most important one to keep in mind is that Prey is cross platform — meaning it works on Linux, Mac and Windows.

Setting Up

Setting up Prey is simple. Just head over to the Prey download page and download the version of Prey your operating system needs. Install the program and you’ll be told how to launch the configuration tool on your platform. Fire up that tool and you’ll see something like this:

recover stolen laptop
As you can see, you need to register. No problem; just go to Prey’s signup page and sign up. You’ll need to do the standard register, email, confirm process but don’t worry: it’s worth it.
Once you are signed up you’ll get your API key; you’ll need this to configure Prey. You’ll also need a device key, which you can get easily by adding your computer to your Prey account online. Just click “Add a new device” and you’ll see some straight-forward steps. Complete this and you’ll have a device key. Go back to the Prey configuration tool and add this:


Now that you’re set up, you’re ready to track your laptop. By default Prey does nothing, but when your laptop goes missing you can log onto Prey’s website and activate your protection. Do this and you’ll receive an email as soon as the thief turns on your computer, linking you to a report so you can recover your stolen laptop.
Be sure to configure Prey online in order to get the most of it. For example, you can enable your webcam to get a picture of your thief, or turn on your computer’s GPS chip to give you a precise location. Explore your options. Find a full list of features over at

Conclusion: Useless? Not Entirely

You might be wondering if this product is of any use if the laptop is reformatted, or stripped down and sold for parts. Well, not really. But many thieves aren’t all that smart; you’d be surprised how many will start up a stolen laptop without thinking about the possibility of such tracking software.
It’s also possible that a thief will fire up your laptop in order to try to find private information about you. How ironic would it be, then, if you get private information about them in the process! So it won’t save your laptop under all circumstances, but it might help in some. The main thing to remember is that this tool doesn’t cost you a dime, so why not install it just for the peace of mind? You might well be glad you did someday.
What do you think? Is a tool like this cool, or a mere gimmick? Would you install this, or can you not image a thief dumb enough to boot up a stolen laptop?
And what I’m most interested in is this: have any of you successfully used this program to recover a stolen laptop? Please share your story if you have; we’re all ears!

What are your best tips and tricks for working with a laptop or net book? Are there any gems you would like to share with us?


Sunday, August 14

Garbage Finder is a system maintenance tool designed to help you keep your disk clean and speedup Windows


Garbage Finder is a system maintenance tool designed to help you keep your disk clean and speedup Windows. It removes unused and junk files that could dramatically slow your PC. Garbage Finder, with its intuitive and easy to use interface, helps you quickly to find and to wipe out all the garbage files.
Using of the program is really easy, even beginners will appreciate it. On the other hand Garbage Finder contains settings for advanced users that more risky but with better effect.

Key features:

  • Safe for Windows;
  • Clean online traces;
  • Remove unused Windows files;
  • Remove third-party applications;
  • Automated scan and clean

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WallWatcher :Become Really Paranoid By Monitoring Your Network’s Comings & Goings

If you have access to your router, and it’s able to log activity, it’s relatively easy to watch everything that’s going on to try to find any untoward activity. Today I’d like to show you how to set that up on your DD-WRT router and some Windows-only software called WallWatcher (OSX users – you can still use this network traffic monitor software in aParallels virtual machine just fine)


The WallWatcher app.
A router with DD-WRT or similar that allows remote logging.

Installing & Configuring

Download and install the VB runtime files from Microsoft first. If you can’t find the download link, check out the following screenshot of the download page.
Next, create a new folder called WallWatcher and extract the contents of both of the zip files you downloaded into the root of that folder. Run setup.exe when you’re done. If the coloured boxes on the right at the bottom of the page are all blue, click install to continue. If some have errors, make sure you check the box that says install and register library files (OCX). Windows 7 users should have no issues though.
Warm regards,
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Tuesday, June 7

How to enable Dreamscene or Video Wallpaper in Windows 7

Dreamscene was a feature introduced in Windows Vista that allowed users to have video wallpapers in the background. Microsoft seems to have replaced the Dreamscene feature from Vista with automatic changing wallpapers in Windows 7.  However by adding the Dreamscene files and making a few registry changes, Dreamscene can once again be enabled. Don’t worry if that sounded intimidating, we do have a file that does all for you [if you're on 32-bit.]

Installing Dreamscene:

1) First, you need to have Aero enabled. You’ll know Aero is enabled if you’re able to preview windows in your taskbar, use Aero Peek, or see the animation effects of windows minimizing. If you think Aero isn’t enabled, open the Start menu, and type in Aero.

How to enable Dreamscene or Video Wallpaper in Windows 7
Click on Find and fix problems with transparency and other visual effects and go through the wizard. The wizard will determine whether your computer is capable of having Aero on.
2) If you’re on 32-bit Windows 7, download the Windows 7 Dreamscene patch here
If you’re on 64-bit Windows 7, download this patch and follow the instructions in Important Readme.txt
Then skip Step 3.
3) Run the patch and let it do it’s thing. When it’s finished, explorer.exe will restart.
If it doesn’t restart, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and click on Task Manager. Right click on explorer.exe and click on End Task. Then click on File, New Task, type in explorer.exe and press OK.

Setting video clips as your desktop background

4) Before you start adding videos, you need to make sure that your videos are in .wmv or .mpg format. If they are not one of those formats, you can download a free video converter here.
Converting a video is simple. Choose Add Video at the top left corner and choose your video of choice. The drop down-menu in the right side-bar will allow you to choose your codec. On my computer, .wmv videos worked properly while .mpg videos would not work with Dreamscene.
The bottom portion of the sidebar will allow you to change the video size or bitrate. If you are not sure what those options do, the only one you should worry about is video size since some videos may end up being too large and get cut off the screen.
How to enable Dreamscene or Video Wallpaper in Windows 7
When the video is finished converting, a new window will pop up. Right click your video and choose Open Destination File Location to locate the video. You can also access your converted videos at this directory:
C:\users\%username%\Documents\Any Video Converter\
How to enable Dreamscene or Video Wallpaper in Windows 7

Once you have converted the file, just right-click and select Set as Desktop Background and Dreamscene will begin to work.
Should you want to revert back to a stationery wallpaper, sometimes the stopped video will stay frozen as your wallpaper. To fix this, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and click on Task Manager. Right click on explorer.exe and click on End Task. Then click on File, New Task, type in explorer.exe and press OK.
Note: Desktop icon text will become transparent sometimes. This is a bug that has yet to be fixed.

Looking forward your feedback about this Tutorial. please mail me on

Monday, April 25

Recovering Ubuntu After Installing Windows !!

how to restore or recover the boot-loader after installing Windows. Ubuntu uses the Grub boot-loader; refer to the GrubHowto or Grub2 for more information on Grub. Some reasons to repair your boot-loader might include installing Microsoft Windows after you have installed Ubuntu, adding or removing a hard drive, or changing hard drive settings.

Note: These instructions provide multiple options. Pick the option which works best for you; otherwise, choose recommended option.

Recovery Using the Ubuntu Desktop/Live CD (RECOMMENDED)


This method will install Grub boot-loader into the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the main computer hard drive.

The slight complexity of this method consists of determining whether Ubuntu Operating System installed on your computer was configured for Grub or Grub 2.

If you fresh-installed Ubuntu Karmic 9.10 or newer, you are running Grub2.

If you ran previous version of Ubuntu and upgraded to Ubuntu Karmic 9.10, you are running Grub Legacy by default; unless you have executed upgrade-from-grub-legacy, then you are running Grub2.

If you are running Ubuntu Jaunty or Intrepid, you are running Grub Legacy.
If you are not sure, follow the guide assuming you are running Grub2 -- there will be a point to make a correction.

You can check the current version installed on your system via Synaptic or from the command line. Open a Terminal and enter the following:
grub-install -v

GRUB 2 should display a version number of 1.96 or later. Legacy GRUB is version 0.97.

Grub2: Download the latest version of Ubuntu Desktop edition from and burn your Ubuntu CD.

Grub Legacy: See the dual-boot guide about recovering grub

Reboot your computer and boot into a live session.

Mount your Ubuntu partition from Places menu. If you have multiple Ubuntu partitions (e.g., /boot, /home, /), you need to mount the /boot partition.

Are you using Grub or Grub 2?

Skip this section if you are sure about your version of Grub

Go into boot/grub directory and check for the existence of the files menu.lst and grub.cfg.

Grub Legacy uses boot/grub/menu.lst.

Grub 2 uses uses boot/grub/grub.cfg.

If you are still not sure, view the file and check whether syntax follows Grub2 conventions.

If you downloaded Ubuntu Karmic 9.10 Live CD, but your installed version of Ubuntu uses Grub Legacy, please use this guide

Verify if your partition is correct.

mount | tail -1

You should see output similar to this:

/dev/sda2 on /media/0d104aff-ec8c-44c8-b811-92b993823444 type ext4 (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=devkit)

Note the designation for the disk /dev/sda which you will be using later, and the directory in /media.

Use Tab Completion in Terminal to complete the path. Hitting the key will automatically finish file names, directory locations, and other long or hard to type file names.

To make sure this is indeed the Ubuntu boot partition, run
ls /media/0d104aff-ec8c-44c8-b811-92b993823444/boot

But substitute the example's UUID, 0d104aff-ec8c-44c8-b811-92b993823444, with your volume's UUID which you found earlier. If your boot partition was a separate partition which you mounted in a previous step, use this instead
ls /media/0d104aff-ec8c-44c8-b811-92b993823444

In either case, the output should be something like this:

config-2.6.18-3-686 initrd.img-2.6.18-3-686.bak
grub lost+found vmlinuz-2.6.18-3-686
initrd.img-2.6.18-3-686 memtest86+.bin

If what you have is not similar, unmount it and try another partition.

Now that everything is mounted, we just need to reinstall GRUB by specifying the correct directory and the correct drive name:

sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/0d104aff-ec8c-44c8-b811-92b993823444 /dev/sda

If you get BIOS warnings try:

sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/0d104aff-ec8c-44c8-b811-92b993823444 /dev/sda --recheck

Replace /dev/sda with the location you want to install GRUB on.

If all went well, you should see something like this:

Installation finished. No error reported.
This is the contents of the device map /boot/grub/
Check if this is correct or not. If any of the lines is incorrect,
fix it and re-run the script `grub-install'.

(hd0) /dev/sda

Reboot, making sure to boot to your hard drive and not to the live CD. Grub should be installed and both Ubuntu and Windows should have been automatically detected and listed in the menu.

The Master Boot Record will execute Grub as the initial boot-loader. The Windows boot-loader is contained within the Windows partition and will then be chainloaded by the Grub boot-loader.

For Grub Legacy

Please refer to the guide


I don't see a Grub menu

If the menu is not normally displayed during boot, hold down the SHIFT key as the computer attempts to boot to display the GRUB 2 menu. For Grub Legacy, use ESC key to display a menu.

Grub comes up in shell mode with no boot menu

You may have mixed up Grub Legacy and Grub 2. This symptom is most typical when you assumed you have Grub 2, but your Ubuntu OS actually uses Grub Legacy. Follow these instructions again using Ubuntu 9.04 Live CD.

If you are certain you have Grub 2 and it's still displaying shell mode by now, follow the method using chroot listed here...

What if Grub 2 does not list Windows

If, after installing grub, Windows does not appear in the boot-menu, boot into Ubuntu and execute command
sudo update-grub2

Grub 2 gives "error: no such device: xxxxx.xxxxx.xxxxx.xxxx"

If at any time grub2 gives this error, boot up into Ubuntu (on hard disk if possible, otherwise with Live CD), open a terminal and run command
sudo update-grub2

This should automatically detect the devices and configure grub appropriately.

What if Grub Legacy misses Windows

If, after installing grub, Windows does not appear in the boot menu, you will need to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst (That is a lowercase "L" and not the number 1 in menu.lst)

Open a terminal and enter:
gksu gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Or, in Kubuntu:
kdesu kate /boot/grub/menu.lst

Your Windows stanza should look something like this:

title Windows XP/Vista # Use any title you wish, it will appear in the grub boot menu
rootnoverify (hd0,0) # This is the location of the windows partition
chainloader +1

Note: Put your Windows stanza before or after AUTOMAGIC KERNEL LIST in the menu.lst

Recovery using Microsoft Windows and Its Bootloader

If you have your Linux system in a second (or third...) hard disk this method will not work. Please check Super Grub Disk's method that address this problem.

This method will also fail with Grub 2.

This method allows you to restore GRUB and keep the Windows boot-loader as your primary boot-loader. Thanks to Ubuntu's support for NTFS writing this method is now quite simple.

The previous method puts GRUB back on the MBR (Master Boot Record) of the hard drive instead of in the root partition. Should you not wish to do so, for instance if you use a third-party boot manager like Boot Magic or System Commander, this next suggestion will be helpful. Another reason to prefer this method is for when restoring the Grub menu after a re-ghosting. In either case, use this alternative.

Restoring GRUB

1. Boot from a Live CD, like Ubuntu Desktop, or similar. It is recommended to use Ubuntu 9.04 or newer as this has NTFS write support.

2. Open a Terminal. Open a root terminal (For non-Ubuntu live CDs type su the terminal. For Ubuntu based distros run
sudo -i

Enter root passwords as necessary.

3. Type

which makes a GRUB prompt appear.

4. Type
find /boot/grub/stage1

You'll get a response like "(hd0)" or in my case "(hd0,3)". Use the output from this command for the following commands.


You should have mounted the partition which has your Linux system before typing this command. (e.g. In Knoppix Live CD partitions are shown on the desktop but they're not mounted until you double-click on them or mount them manually)

5. Type
root (hd0,3)

note the space between root and (hd0,3).

6. Type
setup (hd0,3)

into the prompt. This is key. Other instructions say to use "(hd0)", and that's fine if you want to write GRUB to the MBR. If you want to write it to your Linux root partition, then you want the number after the comma, such as "(hd0,3)".

7. Type

8. At this stage you can either restart the system and install your own boot-loader, or you can continue and tell the Windows boot-loader where to find GRUB which will handle booting Linux.

Making Windows Load GRUB (and then Linux)

This is taken from Dual-Boot Linux and Windows 2000/Windows XP with GRUB HOWTO which has been helping people dual boot since at least 2005.

1. In Linux open a command window.

2. Mount a drive which you can share with Windows. This could be a USB drive, a FAT32 partition on your hard drive, or if you are using a Linux distribution which supports NTFS writing natively (Such as Ubuntu 8.04 or later) then you can mount the actual Windows C:\ drive itself! The advantage of writing to the Windows drive is that you are going to need to put a file there eventually, so it saves time copying a file around. For example:

#mkdir /tmp/windows
#mount /dev/sda1 /tmp/windows

However, when writing directly to the C:\ drive you could also do some damage to the system if you delete or move something. If you do pick the option to write directly, go in, put the file where it belongs, and touch NOTHING else.

3. Now you are going to make a copy of your boot partition. Finding out what this is called is not always completely reliable since the Linux naming conventions differ from the GRUB naming conventions. Linux labels partitions as hd[Letter][Number] or sd[Letter][Number] whereas GRUB always names them as hd[Number][Number]. If you installed GRUB on (hd0,0), then the /boot partition will be on hda1 or sda1. (Since (hd1,0) == hdb1 or sdb1, then by extension if you installed GRUB on (hd0,1) then the /boot partition will be on hda2 or sda2 and so on and so forth.) This narrows you down to two possibilities. If you now paste
ls /dev |grep hd

it will let you know if you have that drive on your machine. If nothing comes up which matches, then that means you must have an sd drive.

Note: The command df won't work as you are booted from a Live CD.

4. Having determined your boot partition run this command as root by using sudo
sudo #dd if=/dev/sda2 of=/tmp/windows/linux.bin bs=512 count=1

Looking at this example /dev/sda2 is your boot partition and /tmp/windows/ is the drive you want to copy the boot sector image to.

5. If you haven't created linux.bin in the Windows drive then you need to copy it there now.

6. Next, reboot your computer and boot into Windows. Open C:\boot.ini in Notepad, and add a new line at the bottom:

This file might be write protected. If that is so, you need to enable writing to the file. To do so, right click, and from the context menu select Properties. Then uncheck the box that says "File is read only". Make sure to put that checkmark back afterwards.

Next, make sure that at the top of the boot.ini file there is a timeout set, i.e timeout=5 or some such number.

Do not edit this file from the Live CD, even if you have NTFS write support. Linux and Windows represent line breaks in different ways, so even though you can edit the file, it won't add a new line.

7. That's it, reboot and you will be given the option of booting into Linux, selecting that will chainload GRUB and this will let you boot into your Linux distro.


Recovery Using the Unofficial Rescatux

Note about grub2: Rescatux can be used to restore either Grub (Ubuntu 9.04 and previous versions) or Grub2 (Ubuntu 9.10 and later versions)

Download Rescatux
Burn the Rescatux ISO in a cdrom
Make your PC boot from the cdrom
At Debian Live Boot screen just press ENTER

Select Restore grub / Fix Linux Boot option and click on OK button

Select the partition where your Ubuntu is and click on OK button

Select the hard disk where you want Grub to be installed (usually the first one)

Grub was installed OK confirmation / Grub was not installed error will appear

Look for System -> Shutdown in the top tray in order to halt your machine

Recovery Using the Unofficial "Super Grub Disk"

Note about grub2: The methods regarding "Super Grub Disk" described here do not work with grub2 but with grub legacy. That means that you should not use them for fresh Ubuntu 9.10 install or Ubuntu newer versions.
From within Windows

Download Auto Super Grub Disk

Double-click auto_super_grub_disk_1.7 icon, install it, and reboot.

On the next boot, select the UNetbootin-supergrubdisk menu entry; this will launch the Auto Super Grub Disk.
Do nothing till you see your Grub menu again.
Next time you boot Windows, click yes when asked to remove UNetbootin-supergrubdisk to remove the Super Grub Disk menu entry.

As a standalone cd/floppy/usb

Download Super Grub Disk
Burn into a cdrom (better) or a floppy
Boot from it

Select: GRUB => MBR & !LINUX! (>2) MANUAL |8-)
Select the Linux or Grub installation you want to restore.
You see the message: SGD has done it!
You're done.

Preserving Windows Bootloader

The method shown above puts GRUB back on the MBR (Master Boot Record) of the hard drive instead of in the root partition. If you use a third-party boot manager like Boot Magic or System Commander you probably won't want to do that. This method could also be used to restore the Grub menu after a re-ghosting. If this is the case, use this alternative.

NOTE: This alternative, used without a third-party boot manager, will not cause Ubuntu to boot.

This method will let you boot your second hard disk Linux installations from Windows while the Using the Ubuntu Desktop/Live CD. Preserving Windows Boot-loader instructions will not.


Download Super Grub Disk
Burn into a cdrom (suggested) or a floppy
Boot from it


Download UNetbootin Super Grub Disk Loader (Windows .exe version)
Run the installer and reboot when once done installing.
On the next boot, select the "UNetbootin-supergrubdisk" menu entry; this will launch the Super Grub Disk interface.


Pick the Super Grub Disk (WITH HELP) :-))) option
Select your language from the list

Choose Windows

Select: Windows chainloads Grub!
Select the Linux or Grub installation you want to restore to its own partition.

You see the message: SGD has done it!
Job completed.

Recovery Using the Ubuntu Alternate/Install CD

This section explains how to rescue Grub, using the Ubuntu Alternate/install CD.
Enter your computers BIOS to check computer can boot from CD ROM. If you can boot from CD, insert CD ROM into drive. Exit the BIOS (if needed save your settings to make sure the computer boots from the CD ROM).

When the Ubuntu splash screen comes up with the boot: prompt, type in rescue and press enter.
Choose your language, location (country) and then keyboard layout as if you were doing a fresh install.
Enter a host name, or leave it with the default (Ubuntu).

At this stage you are presented with a screen where you can select which partition is your root partition (there is a list of the partitions on your hard drive, so you are required to know which partition number Ubuntu is on). This will be dev/discs/disc0/partX, where the X is a partition number.
you are then presented with a command prompt (a hash).

$ grub-install /dev/XXX

where XXX is the device of your Ubuntu install. (eg: grub-install /dev/""hda"" or grub-install /dev/""sdb"" ). Note: newer 2.6.xx kernels call all hard disks ""sdx"" now but not sure if grub does.

The GUI Way: Using the Alternate/Install CD and Overwriting the Windows bootloader

Again, this is for Grub legacy, not for Grub2. So, do not try with Ubuntu 10.04 or more recent unless you have deliberately installed Grub legacy and managed to get it working in the past.

After re-initializing your mount points and other options, and after writing the changes to disk, system files are automatically installed. Each time I have tried this an error is thrown that busybox-initramfs could not be installed (I assume because a newer version exists - but I don't know. This error MIGHT be avoided if one has internet access, again, I don't know). The error aborts the installation of system files, and returns you to the menu. If you then select to install the grub boot-loader, it too, errors-out because the installation of system files did not complete. You are stuck in a loop. Unless you know some bash-magic to bypass this impasse, your only alternative (you will be unable to boot into your system now), is to return to the partitioner, reformat, and reinstall from scratch.
Boot your computer with the Ubuntu CD
Go through the installation process until you reach "[!!!] Disk Partition"
Select Manual Partition
Mount your appropriate linux partitions:

Finish the manual partition
Say "Yes" when it asks you to save the changes
It will give you errors saying that "the system couldn't install ....." after that
Ignore them, keep select "continue" until you get back to the Ubuntu installation menu
Jump to "Install Grub ...."
Once it is finished, just restart your computer

From: and

Recovery Using Third-Party Proprietary Software

This software runs only under Microsoft Windows.

EasyBCD software allows Microsoft Windows users to boot into multiple operating systems, including Ubuntu Linux.


This section applies to...
Dual-boot setups in which Windows was installed after Ubuntu
Conditions where Windows failure forced a re-installation
Windows recovery techniques involving the "restoration" of the MBR
Cases where GRUB failed to install

Your Ubuntu partitions are all still intact
You have a LiveCD, such as the Ubuntu Desktop CD or the Knoppix Live CD
You are familiar enough with your LiveCD to gain access to a console

You remember how you set up your partitions (having a printout of /etc/fstab is ideal, though you can make do with the output of

sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda
Knowledge of how your kernel works (specifically with regards to initrd), if you're using a non-Ubuntu kernel or you have built your own
Your kernel's version; this howto assumes 2.6.10-5-386

Preparing Your Working Environment

To begin the restoration procedure, insert your LiveCd and reboot your computer. Proceed with your LiveCD's bootup procedure until you are presented with an interface. To find how to open a command-line please click here] or try

Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal

Note: Since this is a LiveCD environment, any changes to user accounts or file-system layouts at this level will not be permanent. This means you can set a temporary root password and create directories without affecting your actual installation.

Now, you need to gain root access. Under Ubuntu, this can be done with the following commands:

sudo -i

Under Knoppix, the following command will suffice, and you will not be prompted for a password.

su -

Now that you have root access, you need to mount the partition(s) containing your boot-loader files.

You will need access to both your /sbin/ and /boot/ directories. If you have a /boot/ listing in your fstab, you are among those who will need to mount two partitions.

Begin by creating a mount point for your working environment -- you'll notice this is the same as creating a directory.

mkdir /mnt/work

If you need to mount /boot/, too, run the following command.

mkdir /mnt/work/boot

Now it's time to actually load your file-system data. Review your fstab and identify the location(s) of / and /boot/; these will likely look something like /dev/sda3 and /dev/sda4, though the letter 'a' and the numbers 3 and 4 may differ.

Note: For the remainder of this howto, /dev/sda3 and /dev/sda4 will be assumed, so alter them as needed when typing them in yourself.

Enter the following commands to load your file-system and some information GRUB may need.

mount /dev/sda4 /mnt/work
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/work/dev
mount -o bind /proc /mnt/work/proc
cp /proc/mounts /mnt/work/etc/mtab

Now, you have to enter your working environment. The following command will take care of that.

chroot /mnt/work/ /bin/bash

Warning: From this point on, any files you modify will affect your Ubuntu system. You have left the safety of the LiveCD. Exercise caution.

Recovering GRUB Automatically

If you have a separate /boot/ partition, type the following line.

sudo mount /dev/sda3 /boot/

Reinstalling GRUB from this point is easy. Just enter the following command.

sudo /sbin/grub-install /dev/sda

If the command you used above failed, which is unlikely, you will need to configure GRUB manually (it isn't too hard). If it succeeded, you should read the note at the start of the final section: "Configuring the GRUB Menu".

Recovering GRUB Manually

Before you can undertake the next step, it's important that you understand how GRUB identifies partitions.

To GRUB, numbers begin with 0, and letters are expressed numerically, also beginning with 0.

For example, /dev/sda1 is "hd0,0" to GRUB. Similarly, /dev/sdb3 is "hd1,2".

Note: The "root" line must point to the location of your /boot/ partition if you have one. If you do not have one, point it at your / partition.

sudo /sbin/grub
grub> root (hd0,2)
grub> setup (hd0)
grub> quit

Configuring the GRUB Menu

Note: This step does not need to be done if you're just trying to recover your MBR. Installing Windows will not alter the contents of your existing menu.lst, so if everything was working right before, everything will continue to work right now, and you can restart your computer.

Open the GRUB menu file,

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

with your favourite text editor. We use Gedit as an example.

Note: Your menu.lst file is used to control the operating systems GRUB displays on start-up, as well as its visual appearance. This howto will only explain how to get your operating systems to boot, it will not tell you how to make your boot-loader pretty.

A sample menu.lst, stripped of unnecessary comments, appears below. It is based on the /dev/sda3 and /dev/sda4 example above, and assumes Windows resides at /dev/sda1.

timeout 5 #The number of seconds GRUB should wait before booting an OS
default 0 #The entry which should be booted by default
fallback 1 #The entry which should be booted in the event of the first one failing

title Ubuntu, 2.6.10 #A 32-bit Ubuntu entry
#This (or something like it) should be in your configuration
root (hd0,2)
initrd /initrd.img-2.6.10-5-386
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.10-5-386 root=/dev/sda4

title Ubuntu, 2.6.10 #Another 32-bit Ubuntu entry
#This is an example of an Ubuntu entry which does not have a separate /boot/ partition
#(it is provided only as an alternate to the example above -- do not use them together)
root (hd0,2)
initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.10-5-386
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.10-5-386

title Microsoft Windows XP Home #An entry for a Windows installation
#If you're reading this guide, you probably want this
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

And that's it. Save and close the file, then reboot and try out the entries.

Wednesday, April 20

How to Configure Tata Indicom Photon+ and Reliance NetConnect Broadband+ on Ubuntu or Any Linux OS

Tata Indicom Photon+ offer Huawei or Olive
Reliance Netconnect Broadband+ offers a choice of  Huawei and ZTE.
Reliance Huawei was the only one that works out of the box on Ubuntu and gets detected as  /dev/ttyUSB0.
After that you can edit /etc/wvdial.conf and put the following lines.

[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Username = yournumber
Phone = #777
Password = yournumber
New PPPD = yes
Stupid mode = yes

Replace yournumber with your number (provided at the back of the box).
ZTE didn’t even get detected,  and strangely enough there was no message on dmesg either.
lsusb shows: Bus 005 Device 002: ID 19d2:fff6
Tata Indicom Photon+ (Huawei based) also didn’t get detected.
lsusb shows:
Bus 005 Device 009: ID 12d1:140b Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Moz has tried this and has got this working using the following steps.

$ sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0x12d1 product=0x140b
$ sudo mknod /dev/ttyUSB0 c 188 0
$ sudo mknod /dev/ttyUSB1 c 188 1
Add the following lines to the /etc/wvdial.conf, customise phone number, username and password as per advise of TataIndicomm.
[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Init1 = ATZ
Phone = #777
Username = cdma
Password = cdma
New PPPD = yes
Stupid Mode = 1
Try connecting with sudo wvdial
If you want a graphical dialer, install gnome-ppp
Go into setup, select your modem as /dev/ttyUSB0

Put your login/password depending on the service provider. Put the number as #777 and you are ready to connect.

  1. Install “wvdial” if you do not have it already. To install wvdial, use the command:
    sudo apt-get install wvdial
  2. Next, plug in your Tata Indicom USB Modem.
  3. Now, create a dialer for your modem with the command:
    sudo wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf
    This creates the appropriate dialer configuration for your modem. Remember to keep the modem plugged in while running this command.
  4. Edit the wvdial.conf file by issuing
    sudo vi /etc/wvdial.conf
  5. Your wvdial.conf file opens on issuing the above command. It should look like this :
    [Dialer Defaults]
    Init1 = ATZ
    Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
    Init3 = AT+CRM=1
    Stupid Mode = 1
    Modem Type = Analog Modem
    Phone = 0
    ISDN = 0
    Password = 
    New PPPD = 
    Username = internet
    Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
    Baud = 9600
  6. Now you have to edit the file. Put “internet” in place of and . Do not change any other auto-generated entry. Place the appropriate phone number in place of 0. It is #777 for Tata Indocom.
That should complete setting up your dialer. Now, to dial a connection, simply execute
sudo wvdial
in a terminal window. Enjoy.
[ In case it still does not work, add the lines:
Init3 = AT+CRM=1
Stupid Mode = 1
Stupid mode allows the connection to dial through a firewall and Init3 = AT+CRM=1 prevents frequent disconnections.
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