April 6th, 2012 By joel Categories: Hardware, Media PC


Addressing Hardware concerns:

To open the case there are screws holding it down and then there are little tabs holding the lid on around the edges, use a small flat head screw drivers to pry (carefully) open the sides and then pull off the lid.

Heat can be an issue but it easily fixable with the following:

1. Put some holes in the unit’s lid for more airflow
2. Replace the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5 (keep the gummy thing around the smaller cpu/gpu thing but expose the cpu/gpu so you can put paste on it -that gummy thing is to prevent the thermal paste from conducting with the resistor and capacitor contacts-

Was running at around 70*C while doing nothing and now runs at 65*C at full tilt.

Flash the BIOS

Make sure to flash the bios as it does not come with a version that can support 4GB of RAM. Its called the NTA3500 (its a Nano Barebone), here is their website link:


Make a boot capable USB drive with this application:

Download directly should the above go bye bye: SP27608

You will need these files for the boot image that the above application will ask for:

Download directly: win98boot

Here is a tutorial if you get lost:

See tutorial below if the above link disappears.

To install XBMCbuntu:
Download XBMCbuntu 11

Make a bootable USB drive for BIOS flashes:

1. Download the HP Flash Utility hpflash1.zip and also download the Windows 98 MS-DOS System Files win98boot.zipExtract hpflash1 to a location readily accessible

MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create-pic1.jpg
MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create-pic1-1.jpg

2. Run the installer and follow the simple on-screen instructions

MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create-pic2.jpg
MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create-pic3.jpg

3. Extract the contents of “win98boot” to a location readily accessible

MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create-pic4.jpg

4. Run the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool that was just installed. Choose your flash drivefrom the drop down list at the top. Also make sure that the file system is set to FAT32.

MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create-pic5.jpg

5. Under Format Options tick the “Create a DOS startup disk” option. Click the “…” button near the empty text box to browse to the location of where you extracted the Windows 98 MS-DOS System Files (see step 3).

Tip   Tip
Tick “Quick Format” under Format Options to speed the process up (if you don’t want a comprehensive format). You may also want to give the drive a label by typing one in theVolume Label text field

MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create-pic6.jpg

6. Click the “Start” button.

warning   Warning
After you click the “Start” button , you will be given one final prompt that warns you that the flash drive selected will be formatted. This is your last chance to backup data on the drive; after you click yes it will be too late

MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create-pic7.jpg
MS-DOS Bootable Flash Drive - Create-pic8.jpg

Tip   Tip
You may remove the files extracted from the archive “win98boot”, they are not needed anymore

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why would a MS-DOS USB Drive be useful today? Wasn’t that included in older Operating Systems?
A: MS-DOS was the underlying layer of the Windows 9x series of Operating Systems (Windows 1-ME) that was the “functionality” of the system. A MS-DOS bootable disc can be used to run many recovery tools (still used today) and also update the BIOS of the computer. If you are running an x64 system with no floppy drive and a manufactuer who only provides a 16-bit BIOS updater, this method is the only way to update your BIOS.

Q: I checked my flash drive after applying the steps above and it is empty? What gives?!
A: Unless the option to show protected operating system files is checked in folder options, Windows will hide these files due to their attributes matching that of system files. Don’t worry, the relevant files are still there

Q: Alright I successfully completed the steps above, now what do I do?
A: Now you can download the tool you wanted to run (such as CHKDSK) or your BIOS update application (from the manufactuer) and place the files on to the root of the flash drive. You can find most tools by doing a simple google search

Q: My flash drive has been converted to the MS-DOS System Disc and I have some tools/BIOS revisions on the drive as well, how do I boot up MS-DOS?
A: This will largely depend on your model of computer but you will need to restart you computer with the flash drive plugged in and boot to the drive by means of a boot menu or by modifying your BIOS to boot to the flash drive first. Consult the manual of your computer or the respective manufactuer’s website for further details.

Q: I have no further need for the MS-DOS System Disc, how can I remove it from my flash drive?
A: You may format the flash drive with the built in Windows format utility or you may format it by using the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool that was used above.



Follow these steps to use a USB drive to install XBMCbuntu:


Insert a USB stick with at least 2GB of free space


The easiest way to get up an running with USB is to use the USB installer provided by pendrivelinux.com. You’ll need to download and install and follow the instructions.


Download Pen Drive Linux’s USB Installer

  1. Select Ubuntu Desktop Edition from the dropdown list
  1. Click ‘Browse’ and open the downloaded ISO file
  1. Choose the USB drive and click ‘Create’


We would encourage Mac users to download Ubuntu Desktop Edition by burning a CD for the time being. But if you would prefer to use a USB, please follow the instructions below.


Note: this procedure requires an .img file that you will be required to create from the .iso file you download.


TIP: Drag and Drop a file from Finder to Terminal to ‘paste’ the full path without typing and risking type errors.


  1. Download the desired file
  2. Open the Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities/ or query Terminal in Spotlight)
  3. Convert the .iso file to .img using the convert option of hdiutil (e.g.,hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o ~/path/to/target.img ~/path/to/ubuntu.iso)
  4. Note: OS X tends to put the .dmg ending on the output file automatically.
  5. Run diskutil list to get the current list of devices
  6. Insert your flash media
  7. Run diskutil list again and determine the device node assigned to your flash media (e.g. /dev/disk2)
  8. Run diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskN (replace N with the disk number from the last command; in the previous example, N would be 2)
  9. Execute sudo dd if=/path/to/downloaded.img of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m (replace /path/to/downloaded.img with the path where the image file is located; for example, ./ubuntu.imgor ./ubuntu.dmg).
    • Using /dev/rdisk instead of /dev/disk may be faster.
    • If you see the error dd: Invalid number '1m', you are using GNU dd. Use the same command but replace bs=1m with bs=1M.
    • If you see the error dd: /dev/diskN: Resource busy, make sure the disk is not in use. Start the ‘Disk Utility.app’ and unmount (don’t eject) the drive.
  10. Run diskutil eject /dev/diskN and remove your flash media when the command completes
  11. Restart your Mac and press alt while the Mac is restarting to choose the USB-Stick
Installing XBMCbuntu:
XBMCbuntu live will run automatically and will not let you install it (it loads too quickly usually).  If this occurs then hit the power button inside XBMC and choose “Exit”
Log in as xbmc with no password
Using a mouse run the install option on the desktop
Reboot when done and you are now rocking the XBMCbuntu 11!


April 5th, 2012 By joel Categories: Uncategorized

VRMS notes:

  1. Do ONE side at a time.
    1. Each side must be treated as if it was separate – linked mode does not work for setting up VRMS.  That means a VI client to Side A while setting up Side A, and a client open to Side B while setting up Side B.  This is because the certificate warnings do not propagate through the link between VCs .
    2. Don’t use DNS in VRMS.  Use IP addresses only for everything in VRMS config, regardless of how well DNS works in the environment.
      1. Static IPs cannot be changed after being set.  This is a known PR.
      2. Static IPs work better than DHCP for VRMS servers, if at all possible.
      3. DB2 works better than SQL.
        1. SQL connections may not be closed on reboot, requiring a restart of the DB.  You may want have a separate SQL server for VRMS because of this.
        2. Old Certs don’t work.
          1. Any VC2.5 originating / VC4.0 cert uses MD5onRSA, which is incompatible with VRMS.
          2. It will accept the cert anyway, but will not connect from experience.
          3. Either build a new VC, or update to a new 2048 bit certificate.  Working on details of requirements now
          4. Setup order is VERY specific.
            1. Deploy Site “A” VRMS server from VI Client to Site “A”.
            2. Open web browser to IP of VRMS server “A”.
            3. Generate new SSL Certificate and install.
            4. Add settings for VC / DB / etc, BY IP ONLY.
            5. Hit “Save and Restart Service” when setup.
            6. On Site “A” VI Client, open “vCenter Solutions Manager”

i.      Click VR Management.  You should be soon prompted to accept a certificate.  Do so, and click the ignore button.

  1. Open SRM.  Click vSphere Replication for the appropriate site.

i.      Wait for a certificate prompt.  Accept it.

ii.      In about a minute, you should see the VRMS server log in to SRM.

  1. Close VI Client for site “A”, open VI Client to site “B”, and repeat prior steps on Site “B”.
  2. Connect VRMS servers together.
  3. Deploy VR servers on required systems.
  4. Add VR servers.
  5. Configuring VMs for VRMS replication.
    1. If initial configuration fails with a “optimistic locking failure” immediately try to reconfigure again.
    2. If the second time it fails with a “VC View” error, remove replication and try to configure fresh after ~10 seconds.
    3. IMMEDIATELY after configuring replication, go to SRM to verify that it has started the “initial sync”.
      1. It seems that if this step is skipped, VR may decide that the VM is synced, even though it isn’t (reproduced twice, verifying – it claims to have replicated a 15g vm in 10 seconds).
      2. If for some reason it does that, remove replication, reconfigure replication, and set RPO to 15 minutes.  This seems to always trigger the initial sync correctly.  Modify RPO as needed afterwards.
      3. SRM hangs – linked mode tends to cause VC to close connections.  Check number of logged in sessions if this happens.