Checking the SMART details of a hard drive with an Ubuntu Boot CD

Monday, January 12th, 2009

S.M.A.R.T. is a self monitoring and reporting tool built into every modern hard drive. Did you know that you can use an ubuntu linux boot cd to check that smart status and run SMART tests on your drive? This is the same boot cd that you can use to test out or install the ubuntu [...]

Smartmontools on Windows – emailing warnings

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

For years I’ve been using smartmontools on my linux-based machines. What I’ve absolutely LOVED about it is the advance notice I’ve had of hard drive failures. Two consecutive Decembers I received an email from my server claiming that a drive was dying and had time to replace them rescuing the data. (Although the first one [...]

Drive images – filling free space with zeros

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

So, one of the things I’ve been doing is drive imaging. I’ve got 3 systems that are to be identical (based on, of all things Freedos…) So, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to dust off cloning/imaging software. So, I’ve been using the excellent g4l (ghost4linux) which is now up to v 0.22 (I [...]

Sleuthkit – windows and linux file recovery

Sunday, February 18th, 2007 Sluethkit… is a collection of tools for forensic analysis of a system. Usually it’s something that would be done when you’ve had a suspected rootkit on the system and you boot to another operating system with sluethkit installed (maybe livecd/etc.) and want to try to analyze and hunt for traces of the rootkit. However [...]

Site hosting tons of email addresses

Friday, February 9th, 2007

A little over a year ago I was doing a web search for my email address (something that’s worth doing from time to time.) I ran across my name in a text file hosted at a domain called….. There is a different site active at that domain now (although I don’t know if it’s [...]

Live filesystem “capture” into a virtual disk image

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

ah… the joys of *nix utilities…. I’ve just successfully tested a “capture” of a live, running system into a virtual disk image. No, I don’t mean that I booted up with an imaging utility. I took a live, booted and logged in system and imaged the primary hard drive that it was living on, into [...]

The CD is dead….

Friday, October 27th, 2006

I’m tempted to say “long live the cd…”, but… EMI’s CEO has declared that the CD is dead. He does point out that you’re not likely to give your Aunt an iTunes download, so “dead” just means “in decline” in this parlance. However, I can’t help but laugh to myself of the notion that I [...]

Cutting Short, splitting or truncating mp3 files…

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

from the command line in linux… or generating them from Wavs…. So, I’ve got this CD that I’ve made and is up for sale at traditional hymns done as “chimes”. I’ve spent quite a bit of time recording to hard drive, editing and getting the wav files as good as possible and I’ve uploaded [...]

fdisk Unable to read /dev/sda

Monday, October 9th, 2006

The other day I was trying to partition a drive hooked up via usb. (So it get’s /dev/sda as it’s device in linux)… I tried a few utilities to access the partition table and all failed, finally, I resorted to fdisk /dev/sda and was told “unable to read /dev/sda” which I thought was peculiar. The [...]

More linux software raid fun

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

OK, I know there are probably quite a few looking at this thinking…. “Hello where has he been?” when I’m talking about playing around with software raid under ubuntu linux, but…. in spite of all I’ve done supporting desktop systems and even small business servers I’ve never had an opportunity to setup a raid array. [...]


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