Thursday, November 24, 2011

Linux Mint 12 mint4win WUBI

I have created a mint4win.exe WUBI installer - (works on Linux Mint Version 12 DVD version and CD version) - WUBI installs Linux Mint inside of Windows allowing for an easy install/uninstall process.
I did this because the DVD version does not include mint4win.exe and there was an arbitrary decision why it was not included.
There is no technical limitation stopping the inclusion of mint4win.exe on the DVD.
I recompiled it from the sourcecode from Sourceforge mint4win project on 11/23/2011.
It is hosted @
It does not work on version 11 due to internal checking routines that I did not decide to edit.
---{(2 Easy Instructions)}---
1. Put linuxmint-12-gnome-dvd-64bit-rc.iso into the ROOT Directory (ie: C:\, D:\, E:\, Z:\, Q:\, L:\)
or whatever your .ISO is named, you can rename the ISO because mint4win does not check the name)
MAKE SURE IT IS IN the ROOT directory (ie C:\ D:\ E:\ -> Z:\)
2. Double click mint4win-12.exe (it will scan the root directories for any ISO between 600MB and 4.7GB and scan for any physical or virtually mounted DVD/CD, and analyze what it found to make sure what it found has the correct files.
---{(Additional Info)}---
This mint4win-12.exe Only works on version 12.
This mint4win-12.exe does not automatically download from the internet (please download the ISO first from a mirror)
If you use a physical DVD/CD you can choose the "Demo/Full Installation" option - but this does not install into Windows, it is exactly like using booting the disc itself and bypasses any functionality of mint4win and WUBI therefore you should not choose this option -
Choose "Install into Windows" to use mint4win (WUBI)
If you use a virtually mounted DVD/CD DEFINITELY do not choose "Demo/Full Installation" because it will try to reboot and the virtual drive won't be there anymore.

Here is the thread that I posted it to:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

As far as converting disks - the backup and system scan with TestDisk is overkill but of course it will work. The testdisk method is irrelevant to dynamic -> basic conversion - although testdisk is greatly useful if you have additional errors in the partition table...... I have converted many dynamic disks (working and non-working/non-bootable) back to Basic by changing the "Type 42" (dynamic disk) to "Type 07" NTFS as it says in the workaround section of "Microsoft KB article 913964" with a Disk Hex Editor such as (
  • " In the editor, find the 01C0 line. In this line, the third pair of numbers on the right is 42. Change 42 to 07".................
HOWEVER THERE IS A CATCH (and maybe why it didnt work for you). Essentially -
  • To sum up - If your 01C0 line says "42 A3" - That is the system reserved(boot) partition (the A3). If it says "42 EF" - That is the Windows install partition (the EF).
  • Hex-edit both instances of "42" to "07" (the third hex pair on line 01C0 and line 01D0).
  • This is necessary because only some simple Dynamic disks are created with 01C0 as the only partition.
  • With Windows 7 dynamic disks that contain the System Reserved boot volume(100MB), - The 01C0 line is followed by lines 01D0, 01E0 and 01F0 all having "42" in the third pair of numbers. The 1st and 2nd one correspond to your System Reserved and Windows Installation partition respectively. (The 3rd and 4th are the dynamic disk partition data info).
  • This is very reliable and I have tested it while writing this post.

Once you finish hex-editing, reboot, and the system SHOULD boot right up.

If you have line 01E0 and line 01F0 indicating "42" - change those to 07 as well - it will allow them to be removed- Disk Management will detect those 2 unused partitions (what was #3 and #4) in Disk Management (in the top portion they will show as Dynamic Missing Failed (one being 100MB and the other being the same size as your HDD) simply right click, Delete the two that have error'ed out icons with no name, Close out Disk Management, Re-open it. Now it will show up 2 more unlabeled partitions with sizes 0MB and 1MB (possibly having been given a drive letter showing up in my computer that shows as a RAW unformatted partition) ... right click DELETE those (0MB and 1MB RAW) And the process is done.

I have done this with much success. The Microsoft and most tutorials on the web fail to mention all 4 partitions (The most important difference that I listed is - if you use Windows 7 (it comes with a SYSTEM RESERVED 100MB partition being partition 1(line 01C0) and Partition 2 is your windows installation - If you don't change partition 2 to 07 (line 01D0) as well - You are essentially not allowing the system to find your NTFS drive volume with windows on it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Converting a VMWare Virtual Machine to Physical Machine using sysprep
(Windows OS)

VMWare Converter cannot do V2P (it allows only P2V or V2V conversions)
Other Software exists for this but it does cost money, the following procedure is free:

1. On the virtual machine (Windows), open an Administrative Command Prompt & type
C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /shutdown /oobe
The main purpose of this command is to "generalize" the hardware, shutdown the VM, and run the microsoft Out-of-Box-Experience (oobe) on the New Physical Machine afterwards. OOBE is NOT optional and WILL re-prompt you for the computer name, locale, and a few other pieces of info.

2. Create an Image of the VM with a program of your choice (Acronis, Clonezilla, Ghost etc...)
To load the cloning program off a .ISO or CD/DVD and load it up as a CD Drive in the VMWare settings: Edit the VM settings to specify the CD-Drive source as the cloning program. Turn on the VM, immediately hitting the ESC key to bring up the Boot Menu & Choose the CD-Drive that you just virtualized so that the cloning program boots off the virtual CD-Drive before the VM loads itself.

3. Restore the Image to the Physical Machine's Hard Drive.
Boot off the same CD or burn the ISO to CD so that you can restore the disk image you just created above to the physical machine's desired hard drive.

4. If the VM OS was using dynamic disks, the resulting physical hard drive MIGHT need to be converted to a basic disk if you run into a 0x000007B STOP error:
Use a disk hex editor from your favorite cloning/disk suite or download one such as (note - does NOT run on WinPE/Recovery.wim)
Dynamic Disks should read 42 at sector 0 location 00000001C2. Change it to 07(ntfs)
The following 3 lines should also be changed as done above from 42 to 07 if they exist.
Click the save icon at the top to save back to the drive. Now Reboot.
chkdsk drive: /F afterwards to clean up any errors induced from cloning.
Thats it, it's now a Basic Disk. ( )

No additional precautions are needed to restore the image to a machine with multiple hard drives or multi-OS (multi-boot) but if you are using a boot loader, you will need to reconfigure that afterwards OR change the HDD Priority in the BIOS or manually select the new HDD from the bios boot menu.

Steps 2 and 3 should be done with the same program, with ANY Program that supports images, or more advanced programs can be used with client/server, network support, or direct disk-to-disk over the network capabilities. (Clonezilla is a very advanced linux program)

Step 4 is not necessary under most conditions but can also be done with any partition utility (ie: Partition Magic, GParted) that allows you to change the "Type" from 42 to 07 (the standard type codes 42 being dynamic, 07 being NTFS).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I have a Dell Studio 1737 Laptop with a Supervisor Password on the BIOS. It has been there for a long time and I just now finally removed it. As usual on these Dell Laptops, there is an EEPROM that stores the password information, so simply removing the CMOS Battery will not remove the password. The BIOS turns out to be a Phoenix BIOS. I have found a script that will generate the master password unlock codes for it. Follow the link to "Phoenix (Generic)" for this laptop.
(or if your laptop has the suffixes -595B,-D35B,-2A7B after the service tag, follow the "Dell" instructions.
It involves entering an the incorrect supervisor password 3 times, a message box pops up listing "System Disabled: 12345 (this code (a hash) is used to generate the master unlock code)" Don't worry - the system won't be disabled. Just push the power button on/off and try again. Enter this code into the provided binary program(on windows) Or python script (on linux) - and now try to power off/on and unlock the laptop with the code that it generated from the System Disabled Hash Code. (all credit goes to dogber1)