Aleksandar's computer workshop

Let's see what Aleksandar was fixing today.
My findings, tips & tricks related to computers, internet, programming and other stuff I was working with.

How to fix Vista Multi Booting, HDD Cloning, drive letter and other boot problems

Today I had to migrate data from one HDD to another. Afected computer have XP and Vista in dual boot configuration.
In normal situation if booted with XP you will see only C: drive while Vista partition is hidden.
When booted with Vista second partiotion is visible as C: and first (XP) partition is D:
HDD was cloned using Acronis True Image 11 Home Edition. Due to fact that HDD was bigger than older one partitions size changed as well.
Everything worked perfectly until old HDDD was taken out and cloned HDD was used to boot from.

First boot XP was working perfectly. Visible is only C: drive and second hidden partition.
But after booting Vista I got some strange errors caused by drive letter change. Vista partition is now D:!

In order to fix the problem I have used "Drive Letter Problems" section from this page: 
http://www.multibooters.co.uk/cloning.html

After few registry entry changes, PC is restarted and everything works!!! GREAT!

I would higly recommend the article for following issues:

Dual/Multi Booting With Vista
Cloning Vista
Possible partition issues
Preparing the BCD
Curing drive letter allocation problems
Fix the BCD while working from another OS or the Vista DVD
Hibernation issues
Backup the BCD
Whole drive cloning

 

NetStumbler under Vista?

You don't have Netstubler with you or it does not run on your Vista notebook?
For quick and dirty situations you can do bit of war driving with Vista, too!

Go to a command prompt, type
netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid
You will get all available networks with enough details mostly not available in Vista GUI.

It looks like this:

Other alternatives are:

Vistumbler
URL: http://www.techidiots.net/project-pages/vistumbler
Vistumbler is a netstumbler like program for Vista (or later...maybe).

Features
* Find Wireless access points - Uses the Vista command 'netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid' to get wireless information
* GPS Support
* Export/Import access points from txt file
* Export access point GPS locations to a Google Earth KML file
* Open Source ( AutoIt Scripting Language - http://www.autoitscript.com )
* Change column order, column title, and column width in the 'vistumbler_settings.ini' file
* Change search terms in the 'vistumbler_settings.ini' file. This means Vistumbler should be able to work with other languages. Change searchwords to what they are in the another language, Search terms can be found by running 'netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid' in a command prompt

Inssider
URL: http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider
Inssider is a Wi-Fi network scanner for Windows Vista and Windows XP. Although NetStumbler, the most popular Wi-Fi network scanner, is free, it hasn't been actively developed for years. We heard complaints that NetStumbler doesn't with Windows Vista and 64-bit Windows XP, so we decided to build an open-source Wi-Fi network scanner designed for the current generation of Windows operating system.

Features
* Works with internal Wi-Fi radio
* Wi-Fi network information (SSID, MAC, data rate, signal strength, security, etc)
* Graph signal strength over time
* Open source (Apache License, Version 2.0)

Using NSLOOKUP for DNS Server diagnosis

Nslookup.exe is a command-line administrative tool for testing and troubleshooting DNS servers (also known as name servers).

To use Nslookup.exe, please note the following: 

  • The TCP/IP protocol must be installed on the computer running Nslookup.exe 
  • At least one DNS server must be specified when you run the IPCONFIG /ALL command from a command prompt.
  • Nslookup will always devolve the name from the current context. If you fail to fully qualify a name query (that is, use trailing dot), the query will be appended to the current context. For example, the current DNS settings are att.com and a query is performed on www.microsoft.com; the first query will go out as www.microsoft.com.att.com because of the query being unqualified. This behavior may be inconsistent with other vendor's versions of Nslookup, and this article is presented to clarify the behavior of Microsoft Windows NT Nslookup.exe 
  • If you have implemented the use of the search list in the Domain Suffix Search Order defined on the DNS tab of the Microsoft TCP/IP Properties page, devolution will not occur. The query will be appended to the domain suffixes specified in the list. To avoid using the search list, always use a Fully Qualified Domain Name (that is, add the trailing dot to the name).


Nslookup.exe can be run in two modes: interactive and noninteractive. Noninteractive mode is useful when only a single piece of data needs to be returned. The syntax for noninteractive mode is:

nslookup [-option] [hostname] [server]

For example to check all MX records (email servers) for GSMBLOG.COM domain you have to type this:

nslookup -type=mx gsmblog.com

 and it will return something like this:

Server:  speedtouch.lan
Address:  192.168.0.254

Non-authoritative answer:
gsmblog.com     MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mail.gsmblog.com

mail.gsmblog.com        internet address = 194.30.175.198

Or to validate the SPF (TXT) record you can use this command:

nslookup -type=txt gsmblog.com

it will return this:

Server:  speedtouch.lan
Address:  192.168.0.254

Non-authoritative answer:
gsmblog.com     text =

        "v=spf1 ip4:194.30.175.0/24 a mx -all"

More details:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/200525

http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Using-NSLOOKUP-DNS-Server-diagnosis.html

Verbatim string literals

Verbatim string literal does not require the use of escape characters to define special characters. Instead, any information in the source code, including new lines, is included in the string. To define a string literal an @ symbol is placed before the opening quotation mark. Verbatim string literals are often used for specifying paths and multi-line strings:

    string path = @"C:\Data\File.ext"; //verbatim literal

    string path = "C:\\Data\\File.ext"; //regular literal

    string msg = @"First line,
                           Second line"; //verbatim literal

    string msg = "First line,\nSecond line"; //regular literal

    string quote = "This is \"quote\" sample"; //regular literal

    string quote = @"This is ""quote"" sample"; //regular literal

In a verbatim string literal, the characters between the delimiters are interpreted verbatim, the only exception being a quote-escape-sequence. In particular, simple escape sequences and hexadecimal and Unicode escape sequences are not processed in verbatim string literals.

More details:

C# String literals