Archive for February, 2010

Fix /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions: line 513: 1345 aborted “[email protected]” FAILED

Edit the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf and remove (or comment out) any references to Keyboard Input.

Create a backup of your xorg.conf file:

cd /etc/X11/
cp xorg.conf backup.xorg.conf

Delete the following lines in xorg.conf:

InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
Section "InputDevice"
# generated from data in "/etc/sysconfig/keyboard"
Identifier     "Keyboard0"
Driver         "keyboard"
Option         "XkbLayout" "us"
Option         "XkbModel" "pc105"

Reboot your system:

shutdown -r now


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No directory /home/user – Logging in with HOME = “/”

This issue is caused by the file system being incorrectly labeled and SELinux subsequently disabling access to the home directory, or displaying this message but still allowing access.

To solve this, you can execute the following command as root to relabel your filesystem :

touch /.autorelabel; reboot

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Bug in Fedora : Cannot change number of workspaces via workspace switcher properties

This occurs when Compiz is enabled — you need to change the number of desktops through the Compiz Config Settings Manager (CCSM)

Bug :

To work around the issue, install ‘ccsm’, then under System->Preferences->Look
& Feel choose “CompizConfig Settings Manager”. In the new window choose
“General Options” and from the tab list choose “Desktop Size” and change the
top slider to how many workspaces you need. This may not change the number of
workspaces immediately – you may need to log out and log in again.

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Seagate drive clicking noise and what to do about it

Seagate drives seem to have a much-discussed issue with the power management modes in hard drives that causes the heads to park and unpark unnecessarily, which causes an audible clicking and additional wear and tear on the unload ramp. While hard drives are typically rated to 10,000-20,000 load/unload cycles, this power management bug causes the drive to load and unload unnecessarily when the drive is idle, causing the load/unload count to increase rapidly and unnecessarily.

The best way to quiet an affected drive is to change the hard drive’s APM setting.

For linux users, the command hdparm will change the drives APM setting, but must be run at every boot-up.

The command would be sudo hdparm -B 255 /dev/sda (assuming your drive is at /dev/sda)

For windows users, there’s two options. One is a windows port of the linux program hdparm. Use the same syntax as above.

The second, and easier to use option is the program QuietHDD.

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Mysterious “PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable” error?

So someone asked me about seeing the following error message on their computer before the OS boots up:

For Realtek Ethernet Controller RTL8139 v2.12
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM.

The solution is to go into your BIOS and locate your boot order. You likely have the network adapter before the hard drive. Place the hard drive before the network adapter and that’s that.

Questions, comments, and feedback are welcome.

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Troubleshooting BSOD STOP 0x0000007B in Windows XP / Vista

You might get a Windows Blue Screen with a STOP code 0x0000007B after doing one of the following:

  • Replacing your motherboard
  • Taking the HD from a similiar system and putting it in yours

And if you try to reinstall the OS, you might get the installer not recognizing your hard drive or blue-screening part-way through.

While the Microsoft Web Site has some troubleshooting steps on that, one of the first things you might want to look at is at a BIOS setting called “SATA Operation”

Depending on your PC manufacturer and model, you may seel BIOS options like the following:

[AHCI / Autodetect]  [ATA / Autodetect]





Choose the ATA option.


ATA is a standard hard drive operating mode, and the drivers for ATA drives exist in all versions of all modern operating systems. AHCI and IRRT are relatively newer technologies and require chipset drivers from the manufacturers before they will function correctly. Windows XP does not include stock drivers for AHCI or IRRT. Windows Vista and 7 does include the AHCI driver, but if the OS is installed with the BIOS in ATA mode, the AHCI driver will be disabled.

Changing the BIOS option will remedy the blue screen issue and get your system operational, although the AHCI and IRRT modes will give better performance. Installing the drivers and changing operational modes is tricky, but possible, without having to reinstalling your operating system. After installing your motherboard’s AHCI drivers (if necessary), you can re-enable the Windows AHCI driver using the technique described at this Microsoft KB article:

Error message when you start a Windows 7 or Windows Vista-based computer after you change the SATA mode of the boot drive: “STOP 0x0000007B INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DEVICE”

Feedback, comments, and advice is always welcome.

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Troubleshooting Internet connections with cable ISPs and MAC addresses

So if you have cable Internet service, such as Comcast, and change computers or routers and notice you can’t get connected to the internet anymore, read on.

Cable ISPs such as Comcast register the modem by MAC address. This MAC address is connected to your account, and if a modem is connected to your line that has a MAC address which is not connected to your account, you will not have connectivity. To solve this, simply call your cable ISP and give them the modem’s MAC address and ask that they make sure it’s added to your account.

Next, the modem identifies the device behind the modem by MAC address. If you suddenly swap this device, the modem may choose not to speak with it until it is either power-cycled (or in some cases completely reset).

A fairly straightforward way is to connect a computer directly to the modem, attempt to go to a website (which will cause your computer to have it’s MAC address registered), then connect a router and use the ‘MAC Address Emulation’ feature to clone the PCs MAC address. That should get you up again.

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