Roodhouse Tech Blog

Technology at Geneseo Community School District 228

Archive for the ‘Misc. Repair’ Category

I have a couple of Server 2003 32 bit machines that I wanted to upgrade to Server 2008 (last 32 bit edition of Server 0S). Problem is I did not have enough space on the system drive c:. Since these machines are VHD files running on HYPER-V you can extend the size. Here is how.

Step 1. Shut down the Virtual Machine
Step 2. Using Hyper-V Increase the Disk size for the System Disk in my case (Disk 0)
Step 3. Turn on the Virtual Machine
Step 4. Download this file DISKPART_WITH_FSEXTEND  (This files can be hard to find so included a direct link)

This file contains a fixed version of Diskpart.exe and another unitlity fsextend.exe.  Unzip this downloaded file and go the command prompt.  Run this version of Diskpart.exe you just downloaded (not the version that comes with Server 2003).


Step 5.  In Disk part type List Volume

Step 6.  Find the Volume you want to extend.  Type Select Volume 2 (or whichever volume you are extending)

Step 7.  Type extend

Step 8.  This command will appear to hang, let it fun for a few minutes then hit CTRL-C.

Step 9. Now if you type List Disk  it will show the increased size of the disk but your file system still will report the old size.

Step 10.  Exit Diskpart and now type fsextend.exe c   (or whatever drive letter you are extending).  That is it, fsextend.exe will correct the file system and now you will see the expanded size.



I noticed with Mavericks and running Bootcamp that the drivers download automatically from the Bootcamp installer are not quite complete for Windows 7 64 Bit edition.  You can still manually install most of the drivers from the USB disk that Bootcamp creates but you will run into a couple that it will refuse to find.

After searching on the internet I have these drives which are for the NVIDIA chipset which adds the SMS Bus and Coprocessor / which makes the machine function properly / sleep properly / perform better :).


These drivers do not contain the NVIDIA graphic chipset.  this driver can be installed and downloaded directly from NVIDIA.  The Late 2008 model MacBook Pro shipped with the NVIDIA 9400M chipset,  the latest drivers on NVIDIA site is best.

In a nutshell the 2008 MacBook Pro’s shipped with NVIDIA graphic chipsets and with NVIDIA System Management Controller,  neither seems to install with the bootcamp installer from Mavericks but can easily be added after the Windows Install.

NVIDIA SMC Installed





NVIDIA GRAPHICS Chipset on MacBook Pro Late 2008




With the move towards maintenance free, user friendly devices in education I have updated my image of OS X 10.9.4 in this spirit.  The new image boots up quicker and logs in automatically as a student account with latest browsers, java, flash, Office, all updates, etc.  This creates a lab atmosphere where the Mac labs are simply easy and effective as learning tools,  no down time looking for account info,  no messy word group or apple configuration device to setup individual profiles etc.  Instead the machine is simplified like a Chromebook, but is capable of running much more software and is easier to deploy in large numbers.  Here if there is any problem simply shut off the machine or hit restart and the machine will set itself to default state.  My method is different then simply enabling “guest” mode on a mac since this mode has a few limitations and is actually a bit of a pain to configure with Mac OS X Server.

In a nutshell the process works very similar to what I wrote about in the past here Create a Mac Kiosk with using DeepFreeze 

except I have streamlined  and find tuned the process and login hooks a bit more.  Here using Disk Inventory X I examined the files copied back to create the cleaned student account and have reduced it from 700 megs (way to big) to under 80.  The effect is the machine now boots significantly faster (does not have to wait and copy so much info) and there is no longer a side effect sometimes the copying not finishing in time for the login process to continue.

Disk Inventory X gives  you a nice easy visual of where space is being used.  Here I was able to find in the default student profile directory some cache folders that were not needed and a variety of other information that was not necessary to get the entire user profile directory under 80 megs.  With this perfect Kiosk Mac image of 10.9.4 it will be deployed to all iMac labs k-5 and a similar MacBook Pro image will be deployed to all mobile labs K-12. (Deploy all Mac Images with Deploy Studio)

If you or anyone is interested shoot me an email and I will be glad to share the scripts and process of creating this machine.  This leaves the machine with a simplified feel like a chromebook but capaple of running lots more software and larger variety of web resources.

Here is a screenshot of cache data under the /Users/user/Library/caches/ directory.  Everything in this entire directory can be deleted and is unnecessary for the kiosk setup.

(Example shows 2.6 gigs of data in cache,  my older kiosk image had about 700 megs of useless data here I had missed on first go around)

example of unneccesary Cache



Gone are the days of Firefox 3.x, where the release schedule was slow and stable.  Firefox is on pace to change version about every 6-8 weeks and with this I find that sometimes things get a bit jumbled up.   Mainly the cache seems to get corrupted and can cause some funny behavior and slow the browser down.

If your Firefox on your Apple computer is running slow or acting strange, here is a small Apple Program I wrote that simple cleans the cache, removes your browser history and resets a few minor preferences.  Running the program will close firefox then do a quick cleanup and that is it, quick and easy.

Download it here Fix-Firefox-Mac


Fix Firefox



Time Machine is a great backup tool and usually works pretty flawlessly.  One area that could be improved is in recovering iCal Calendars.  To recover your iCal Calendars from a specific time you have to jump through a few hoops and do a few steps that may not seem very intuitive.  Here is how:

1.  Make Sure iCal is closed and not running.

2.  First Connect your backup Time Machine Device and Turn off your WIFI (and disconnect Ethernet if hard wired)


3.  Next Click on Finder and click on the word GO | Go to Folder




4.  Type in ~/Library


5.  Now Click on Time Machine and Enter Time Machine


6.  Using Time Machine go back in time to the date where your Calendars were good.  Now in the Finder windows find the folder Calendars and click to restore this entire folder.  You can Restore it to your Desktop.

7.  Exit Time Machine and Drag / Copy this folder Calendars on your desktop to your Library Folder.  You can click again on Finder | Go to Folder | ~/Library if you missing the windows.  (Step 2 Again).

A message will appear letting you know there is already a Calendar folder,  click on REPLACE or Replace All.


7.  Now Restart the Computer.  Do Not Open iCal yet.  You must first restart the computer or logout first and then after you are logged back in, then start iCal.  Your Calendars will be back (you may need to wait a minute or it to and you may see a message saying restoring calendar events.

After Restoring the Calendar Folder and copying it to ~/Library (Replacing the Folder) Make sure to reboot the computer before starting iCal.



Thats it Calendars are restored.  A bit of hassle but can be done.


Youtube has updated its site and Video Download Helper and  no longer work to download many videas as mp4 files.  Strangely using still works if you save in the webm format but not the more universally accepted mp4 format.  All is not lost however as a quick Google search reveals that this add on works well.

Download YouTube Videos as MP4 – yes that is really the name.



Now with this Add On installed and working to download a video you must first play video on youtube.  Now with the video playing look below the video and you will see a new option that says Download.




Notice the Download tab on the video and the option to pick MP4.

That’s it.  If you don’t see this option first close firefox (or reboot computer) and then start it back up.  Now search for a new video and you should see the little download link.



So perhaps my iPhone 4s is no longer operational and am awaiting a new phone, which may not arrive for a couple more weeks.  To fill in the gaps in between I took my original AT&T iPhone and activated it using a GoPhone Sim Card.   No Jailbreak is needed and you can do from the phone and from a computer with web access (or Phone connected via Wifi).   Here is what worked for me.

1.  Buy a 15$ GoPhone generic Samsung flip phone from Wal-Mart.  I bought ATT because that is what the original iPhone (2007) was.

2.  Open the GoPhone and discard the phone and keep the Sim card (looks like a credit card with a little chip that pops out).

3.  Join your iPhone to Wifi and download this file.  Mobile Config (For US AT&T carriers only)

Your phone will ask you to install the settings, just click install and choose okay.

4.  Now put in the SIM card into the older iPhone (Works with Original iPhone, iPhone3g and iPhone 3gs -with older iOS)

5.  Now follow the GoPhone instructions and activate the phone but using the iPhone and using the web to activate instead of the phone.

Start here.

You will find your SIM number on the card that came with the GoPhone.





You will find the IMEI number on your iPhone under | Settings | General | About – then scroll down to IMEI.


6.  Thats it now just save the phone number and put this into your iPhone settings,  Settings | Phone | My Number

7.  Make sure you add money to your go phone account,  can do it through the phone if you reboot it, or can also put money on account via the web.

After you have money on the account, reboot the phone or just wait few minutes and your iPhone is now a GoPhone.


Note:  There is no need to jailbreak or modify your phone whatsoever.

Note:  Do not activate the GoPhone Sim in the generic flip phone that comes with the package.  If you do the SIM gets locked to that phone for 6 months and will not work.  You must activate the SIM first with the iPhone or go to AT&T and get a new SIM.




This summer I migrated two servers to Linux based platforms running on Dell PowerEdge R210’s.  Previously a G5 Xserve was running our mail server for the last 7 years and it has done a great job.  Kerio no longer supports the PPC based architecture meaning no more software updates.  In addition the age of the machine itself in terms of hardware meant ready for a change.    Kerio now has a true 64 bit version of their software and supports Linux natively.

Kerio Running On Ubuntu 64bit


The migration process was smooth although time consuming,  with over 400 active email accounts and 300 gigs of information simply copying the info took well over 5 hours.  The configuration files are for the most part interchangeable and could simply copy from old server to the new with just some minor changes to file paths.  Mac uses /usr/local/kerio and Linux uses /opt/kerio.

The new version of Kerio supports jabber protocol and would like to enable this having the server handle all instant messaging, video chats and email.

In a similar move I setup another server which hosts all staff websites and it running latest version of Apache, PHP.  The Windows server that these sites were previously on was 32 bit based and was starting to max out the RAM limit of 3.5Gigs.  PAE extension was possible but simply running on a dedicated 64 bit server with less overhead seemed a better path.  Moving the information was pretty slick in this case as well (200 gigs of website data, 70 websites).  The only trouble here was correcting URL pathnames to case sensitivity (Windows not case sensitive, all flavors of Linux are case sensitive).

Both Servers are R210 Dell PowerEdge running a RAID 1 configuration with Western Digital SE4 drives.  Plan to continue to reduce the number of Microsoft based servers with Linux.





Blue iPhone Screen #3

So I just finished replacing iPhone 4S screen a couple weeks ago. Just like that I was walking and literally accidentally tossed it onto the pavement and cracked it again. My white and black cow phone did not last long.

Cracked Cow Phone

This time I replaced the back and front screen with blue covered parts off of amazon for 35$. Since this is screen number 3 I thought I would stick with just the parts and focus on cheap.

Blue phone works great .. Repair is a lengthy process.




Okay so the iPad 3 and iPad 4 have exceelent displays with great resolution.  They are also much more fragile then the original iPad 1 and crack easily from a drop here or there.  After fixing my iPhone 4S display I thought the screen repair on the iPad 3 and 4 would be a huge undertaking.  Actually it is much easier then the iPhone the hardest part is simply removing the screen.

I went home and grabbed my wife’s hair dryer and used this to heat up the edges of the units.  Using a swiss amy pocket knife and iSesame tools included in my screen repair kit the glass eventually was removed.  The adhesive holding the screen on these units is pretty tough and I found myself scrapping bits of glass here and there.  On the bottom left hand corner you will find the cable the connects the digitizer to the main board of the machine.

Removing screen with Hair Dryer and Knife

removingscreenwith hairdryer

Removing Screen iSesame
With the screen/digitizer removed you need to simply remove the Retina Display underneath with a small Phillips.  With the Retina Display removed you will see where the ribbon cables connect and using the plastic splunger can flip open the latches and pull out the cables removing both the screen/digitizer and retina display.

Removing Ribbon Cables



With everything removed Can now simply plugin in new screen and carefully reattach.  This is easy for the iPad 3 but with the iPad 4 you have one extra step.  The iPad 4’s button is different and you must change out the button or use a new ribbon cable.  I used the screen repair kits from  Also used one of the tear down videos on youtube from same company.

When I go to replace another iPad screen I will likely just order the part itself and not the kit, saving 30-40$.  The tools provided in the kit are good and can be easily reused.

I say 45-60 minutes is a reasonable expectation of time it takes to repair.

Whats left of the old screens

whatsleft of the screens

Fixed – iPad 3 and iPad 4




October 2014
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