Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Computing/2007 October 10

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October 10[edit]

NTLDR and Vista[edit]

Alright, so I built a giant professional computer rig and ordered Vista OEM 32-bit. The problem... when I first booted up vista after installing it I got the message "NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart". I pressed a key and it loaded vista fine. The thing is that, I can't access the boot menu (like being able to boot with safe mode, which I REALLY need) and I can't add more than one OS. I plugged in my older HDD to transfer the data from it to the new computer and I got a message about an error loading the OS (when I removed the extra disk it went back to normal). How do I fix this? It happened from the get go although I have not seen "NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart" since.

Stats: Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo, Intel D975XBX2 mobo, Nvidia 8800 Ultra, 4GB memory (2 sticks), ASUS Xonar D2 7.1. 2 Seagate Barracuda 500GB drives (one is being used, although the other is completely empty) I have a USB floppy drive but no floppy disks to use (except for RAID floppies, but I will not overwrite them). -- 19:42, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like your other hard drive or your DVD drive are in front of the main HDD in the boot order. Move your main hard drive to the first position in the BIOS setup utility and use the boot device menu (mine's F12) if you ever need to boot from a CD. I have no idea why NTLDR would be having problems.. you can try restoring it with this utility (use the /vista flag) or even the XP recovery console (boot an XP disk and hit R)- I'm pretty sure that fixboot and fixmbr work fine if you run them over a vista installation --frotht 22:09, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
They don't. MBR in XP and Vista are completely different animals, but that doesn't matter in this case since it's obviously okay or else Vista wouldn't boot. NTLDR is Windows's bootloader. To get to safe mode, press F8 just before the point where the error message came up earlier to bring up the menu. — User:ACupOfCoffee@ 02:52, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, I went into the BIOS and put the HDDs in first in the boot order. After the intel splash screen it still just jumps straight to loading vista, however. I still wish for a boot screen to be present. I also need it because I need other options than just standard safe mode, and I need to recover this data of the other hard disk in question! -- 20:37, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh is that your problem? Vista never displays a menu unless you have multiple NT operating systems set up in the Boot Configuration Data --frotht 23:01, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
No, when I tried to load more than 1 operating system on it said "Error loading operating system" or something like that! Maybe it's boot managers conflicting? The vista harddisk probably has the Vista bootloader process on it. The other disk I'm trying to recover data from is XP and has the older NTLDR loader. Is that the problem...? -- 03:17, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Recovering older versions of photos?[edit]

I had a family photo, and i may have accidently saved it down in photoshop as a compressed file, like, the original photo i took 5mp and was 2.5mb, and i still have a copy of the photo, but its only 1024x768 now, its still quite printable but i wouldnt mind the original back, but i may have either saved that over the top of the original or just deleted it. This happened about 3 years ago and since then i have formatted and reinstalled windows many times, i have no idea what the original was called ect. Should i just give up hope, or is it possible to get it back? i mean the photo wasnt priceless or anything, i took about 5 photos of that same shot so i wouldnt bother paying heaps for a pro to get it back but this one was the best i took. Thanks... USRM000107 04:57, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

No there's almost no chance that you can recover that photo. --antilivedT | C | G 07:32, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Do you mean you still have the original photo, but can't remember where you put and what it's called? In that case image search might help. I've never tried that sort of thing, but you might look into it. DirkvdM 06:13, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Intel Turbo Memory[edit]

I've been a little bit out of the computer-scene for a while, and I was suprised to see 1 gig of Intel Turbo Memory listed on the specs for a laptop that I'm planning on buying this week. I've just read up the article on it, and I just want to clarify something.

Am I correct in assuming that there must be a dedicated chip to the memory, i.e. that it can't be combined with any other cache memory/memory chip, and that the "1 gig" of turbo memory won't be subtracted from any other memory source on the system? The system itself has 2gb DD2 memory, and I'm wondering if the second gig isn't just "pretending" to be turbo memory, or something like that. I just don't want to be tricked into thinking that I'm going to get more for my money than I really am! Hah. Thanks always. 06:41, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Turbo Memory is a pseudo-cache blob of NAND memory. It's completely separate from RAM, and simply offloads some data from the hard disk so that it can be accessed quicker and without spinning up the HD. However, it's been shown to be completely useless in testing. The 2GB DDR2 RAM is completely separate, in both form and function, and you're not going to get cheated out of a gig. You should be more concerned about the graphics chipset and whether it's stealing memory. -Wooty [Woot?] [Spam! Spam! Wonderful spam!] 07:38, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
It's got a gforce card for the video so I don't think there are any problems there, though that sucks about the turbo memory : (. Thanks for the help! 07:43, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Nested RAID[edit]

What is the difference between RAID 5+1 and RAID 5 plus one more desk ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

According to the RAID article, "RAID 5+1: mirror striped set with distributed parity (some manufacturers label this as RAID 53)". If I recall correctly, that means that you have two separate RAID5 arrays mirrored in a RAID1 configuration. That means you have to have at least 6 disks in a RAID5+1 array. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jsbillings (talkcontribs) 22:10, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Faking a unix tape drive[edit]

I'm tweaking my linux tape backup script, and I'd like to test changes (stuff about handing "tape is full" issues) out on a small tape device (rather than the gargantual actual DLT tape, where filling the tape takes several hours). I'd hoped I could make a fake tape device (much like one can make a loopback filesystem with /dev/loop/..), but I can't figure out how. The /dev/loop mechanism provides a block special device, not a character one. Is it possible to make a similar loopback character special device, such that one can tar stuff in and out of it, and that mt is happy to treat it as if it were a really tape? -- 14:07, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I *really* wish I had an answer for you. You should be able to use a file as a tape device, but it won't give you the end-of-tape messages, which is what you really want. You might check with the 'ftape' developers to see if they ever came up with a fake-tape device. --Mdwyer 21:08, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

How to increase the time of timeouts?[edit]

I am using Mozilla Firefox and I cannot seem to access the number of my edits on Wannabe Kate tool. After 2 minutes exactly, this message appears: The connection was reset. The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading. The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments. If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection. If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web. The values on my Mozilla Firefox is this: accessibility.typeaheadfind.enabletimeout -Value false. accessibility.typeaheadfind.timeout - Value 5000 network.ftp.idleConnectionTimeout - Value 600 network.http.keep-alive.timeout - Value 1800 network.proxy.failover_timeout - Value 1800. Moreover, remarkably, I can access the edit counts of this user as well whose maximum contributions for the month of May was around 9 000 edits (more than the 7000 edits made by me in the month of July). There is also a statement on top of the page which states Too many pages fetched. Terminating. Does anyone have any idea how can I change the length of my timeout? --Siva1979Talk to me 14:30, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

  • TCP's "Connection reset" means that there was an unrecoverable error in the network connection, not that your browser got bored and timed out. There's probably not a lot you can do to improve this situation, as it's likely to be a problem on the server side related to load. --Sean 22:39, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiMedia private pages[edit]

Is it possible using the Wikimedia software to have a group of privileged users in some fashion and then flag a page so that only that group of privileged users can see it?  — Timotab Timothy (not Tim dagnabbit!) 18:36, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

That would be against the spirit of Wiki. Still, check the mediawiki developer sites to see what options you have. --Mdwyer 21:06, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
It's contrary to the spirit of Wikipedia - but not to Wiki's in general. After all, many companies have Wiki sites that are locked away from the general public behind firewalls (the company I work for certainly does - and so did the company before that). Locking up your Wiki behind a firewall is equivalent to giving access only to privilaged users - so there would be no logical difference in having some kind of a privilage lock in the software. However, I don't think MediaWiki has this feature (or at least if it does, there isn't any obvious way to turn it on). I have godlike powers on the Wiki that I run at home and on the Mini Owners of Texas Wiki - and I don't see any way to do what the OP is asking on either of those setups. SteveBaker 14:04, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Though it is contrary to the spirit of Wiki, there are several extensions available which provide the facility in different ways. At my work we use something resembling (it's not quite the same, so I'm guessing that we have an older version of it, but I haven't looked in detail). We try hard to persuade our users they don't need private pages, but sometimes they manage to convince us they do, and we set up a namespace for them. --ColinFine 21:58, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Fixing the boot sector in WinXP.[edit]

I did a bad thing.

My home is generally a Windows-free area - we run Linux everywhere...except on my Wife's laptop which has to run some god-awful business software or other.

Last week, I borrowed my wife's WinXP laptop - and, needing to run Linux, I plugged a 300Gb USB drive into the beast and installed SuSE Linux on the USB drive. Changing the BIOS to try to boot from USB before the internal hard drive should have allowed me to run Linux with the USB drive plugged in - and to leave the laptop COMPLETELY working.

This would have worked out just fine...except the I didn't notice that the stoopid SuSE Linux installer wrote the GRUB boot loader onto the internal hard drive instead of the USB hard drive. So now the machine won't boot into Windows anymore...which means I'm in deep trouble with my wife (NOT GOOD).

OK - so I grab the WinXP (Home edition) CD's and presume that I can just re-install the boot loader somehow...but (just my luck) the CD is scratched to hell - and (of course) my wife never made a backup. I went to Microsoft's web site and they want $35 to replace the CD set. (Ack!)

So - is there anything I can download or create from Linux (or at a pinch) another WinXP machine that will enable me to restore the boot stuff? Remember I can run Linux, download from the web and write CD's, I can even mount the WinXP drive under Linux and look at the contents - and I have access to a WinXP machine at work (but not the original CD's for it). I also have the product ID thingy to install Windows with if I can get an ISO of the CD or something.

Help!! SteveBaker 18:47, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

This could be illegal and highly unsafe, but have you considered bittorrenting the windows iso? --KushalClick me! write to me 20:33, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Go to [[1]], grab a boot disk with fdisk on it, and once you have it, run the command "fdisk /mbr". That should fix you right up! You might also consider uninstalling grub. I might be on crack, but I seem to recall that some boot loaders will backup your original boot sector when they install. Good luck, Steve! You help out a lot on the ref desks, and I hope it can return the favor. --Mdwyer 21:04, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
The site I linked wants money. You can probably steal a boot sector from another machine. All you need is "dd if=/dev/hda of=/tmp/bootsector bs=512 count=1" to steal it, then reverse the steps to write the boot sector back to another hard drive. --Mdwyer 21:21, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
  • How about you make a Windows boot disk on another Windows machine, boot into that, and do an "fdisk /mbr"? If that doesn't work, you could resort to this. --Sean 22:44, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
How about the Super GRUB CD? Has a very easy option to repair the MBR for Windows. Splintercellguy 00:06, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
  1. Acquire an XP disk. Burn from ISO or get it from a friend or from work.. XP disks are everywhere nowadays, just reach under your butt and chances are there's one right there!
  2. Boot from it
  3. Hit R to enter recovery mode
  4. run fixmbr and fixboot
By the way IIRC there's something weird you have to do to instal grub to a USB drive.. I don't know, possibly not --frotht 04:39, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Many thanks! I'll make a boot disk on another WinXP machine here at work. I wasn't sure that would work between computers with different license ID's - but if it does, that's the simplest solution. Thanks! SteveBaker 13:56, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

From Cygwin on WinXP Pro, I ran this: dd if=/dev/sda of=foo bs=512 count=1
That got me a file with an MD5Sum of aafa19e1a45900c1f0d5c9f3009e3674 --Mdwyer 17:20, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
A nobrainer would be to install a small Linux somewhere, just to install GRUB or whichever bootoader (unless you know how to do that without the complete Linux-install). After that, you can remove Linux again, if you don't need it. (Might be a good time to install the latest version Suse 10.3 is out now.) Btw, may I advise you to install some windows in your house so you can look outside once in a while to clear your head, which may help to solve problems like this. :) DirkvdM 06:06, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I tried that but there were some pretty hefty dependencies.. turns out you have to bash big holes in your wall! --frotht 02:06, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Is there a design pattern for taking a joined query result and getting it into a hierarchical data structure?[edit]

The simplest version table A and table B with a 1-to-many relationship between the two. I want to do a query SELECT a.c1, a.c2, b.d1, b.d2 FROM a INNER JOIN b ON and store the result in a data structure along the lines of

 {c1=>val, c2=>val, [d1=>val, d2=>val]}

where the square brackets indicate arrays and the curly braces structures. Worse still is the case where b is joined to yet another table so that we get nested arrays. I'm doing too much cut and paste coding on this. (As an aside, the language is PHP using MDB2 to talk to the database.) Donald Hosek 18:55, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Firstly, your result set is always 2-dimensional using any ANSI-compliant Relational DB. I assume you want to create a tree structure where for certain combinations of [c1, c2], you want to "drill down" into subsets of [d1, d2], or even further if joining to another table. I'm not familiar with PHP but I know in a typical windows development tool, you can make use of a "Tree-view" or similar tree (hierarchy) component. You would have to populate this from your flat result set using some typically recursive code. It all depends how you want to manipulate and present your data. Sandman30s 11:31, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

how virgin mobile sugarmama works[edit]

I heard that there are three types of advertising sugarmama has. 1) text messaging ads, 2) video ads, 3) filling forms. Can you explain a bit of the procedure of these three types of ads. If you know only one or two types, please explain. Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Visual Basic 6[edit]

Hi, i was wondering if anybody here had knowledge about the audio aspects of VB6, I have the following code that lets me play one song

   Private Sub Form_Load
   mmcMP3.DeviceType = "MPEGVideo" '\\Change MCI device type to MPEG 
   mmcMP3.Filename = "C:\Myaudio.Mp3" '\\designate file to be played
   mmcMP3.Command = "Open" '\\Open file for playing
   mmcMP3.Command = "Play" '\\Play file
   End Sub

But the song only plays once, I was just wondering if you know how to get some other songs playing after the song that is playing has finished or/and how to get the song to loop so that it plays again and again

That would be much appricated, many thanks, POKEMON RULES 21:23, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I haven't used MCI devices, and I don't use VB6 anymore (VB.NET appears to be the VB way of the future), but I believe you can create a Sub like this:
Private Sub mmcMP3_Done(NotifyCode As Integer)
End Sub
that will be called when the Play command has completed, or something like that. You would then use that sub to again tell it to play, if you wanted it to loop or play something else. -- 22:47, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I tried do that by entering the following code

   Private Sub mmcMP3_Done(NotifyCode As Integer)
   mmcMP3.Command = "Play"
   End Sub

But it didn't work, maybe I'm putting the code in the wrong place? What code would I need to get other songs playing? Try to be more specific please.

Once again many thanks, POKEMON RULES 23:59, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Why don't you try placing a notifying command like MsgBox("Hello!") in that _Done sub, just to see if it is called at all? If it is being called, then there's probably something else that needs to be done instead of just passing on a "Play" command; if it's not being called, then it probably uses a different callback function. -- 19:38, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I did what you said

  Private Sub mmcMP3_Done(NotifyCode As Integer)
  mmcMP3.Command = "Play"
  MsgBox ("Hello!")
  End Sub

And the Hello popped up, but the song didn't play again. What different callback function should I try?

Once again many thaks, POKEMON RULES 22:50, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

ls -l shows asterisks in filetype bit on Solaris 5.10[edit]

Does anyone know what these asterisks mean, how they came about, and how to remove them?

Also, when I try to print out a file with an asterisk in the filetype bit, it says file not found. Moreover, notice the asterisk at the end of the first 5 filenames.

e@n[350]cs_a> ls -l
total 12575
-rwxr-x---   1 iwtt   iwtt   1290529 Oct 10 17:33*
-rwxr-x---   1 iwtt   iwtt    199609 Oct 10 17:33*
-rwxr-x---   1 iwtt   iwtt    224228 Oct 10 17:33*
-rwxr-x---   1 iwtt   iwtt    670732 Oct 10 17:33*
-rwxr-x---   1 iwtt   iwtt    332509 Oct 10 17:33*
*rwxr-x---   1 iwtt   iwtt   1276521 Oct 10 17:33
*rwxr-x---   1 iwtt   iwtt    717249 Oct 10 17:33
*rwxr-x---   1 iwtt   iwtt   1182111 Oct 10 17:33
e@n[358]cs_a> head No such file or directory

Has anyone experienced this before?

Thanks, --Iwouldntthinkthat 22:32, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

  • The stars on the right just mean that the file is a regular file (not a directory or link), and executable. They're displayed because your "ls" command is aliased to something that passes in "-F" or "--classify" (do a "type ls" to see). I don't know about the stars on the left, but I'm guessing they're some nonstandard Unix feature like deleted files that can be undeleted or something like that. They don't get stars at the right because ls only puts stars on executable files, not undeleteable entities, or something like that. Post back here if you find out. --Sean 22:57, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
    • I was able to reproduce your stars by touch "^v^M*" (that is control-V control-M in the file name). Your oo and og files may have a star on the end of the names too without an embedded carriage return. To delete, try typing rm -i op* and answer y to appropriate prompts. Graeme Bartlett 23:15, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
      • Wow, good call! I didn't think of that. I should have known I was on the wrong track, though, as I went to and looked at the source for ls, and didn't see a * type. --Sean 04:13, 11 October 2007 (UTC)