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User Journal

Journal Journal: On Vundo and repair CDs

I love the fact that people at my workplace come and ask *me* when their computers screw themselves up. Of course, we have an MIS department (of which I am *not* an employee), but waiting for them can sometime take an eternity.

So, when a co-worker asks me, "Have you ever heard of Vundo-1?" my interest was piqued. Quick Google, looks like a typical spyware, and of course I volunteered to see if I could help him get rid of it. Not like I had much better to do, considering that my project is at least two weeks behind due to a production backlog.

The antivirus suite knew that gebbywt.dll was the guilty party. Tried a Vundo remover utility - cannot delete. Cannot delete after reboot. Lovely.

Can we just delete it? Nope, locked. Who's using it? Fire up Process Explorer. Hmm, hooked Explorer twice, and Winlogon. Winlogon? Ohboy.

Fire up Autoruns and Regedit, try to delete all obvious references to it and reboot. Still there.

Try to boot into Recovery Console. Recovery Console is not installed, and cannot be installed since we only have XPSP1 CDs and the machines are all up to XPSP2 now. Great.

Safe mode - pointless, since the user cannot remember his local password (and Winlogon is loaded anyway).

Googled some more, found a CLI-based utility called 'Trinity Rescue CD'. Grabbed the ISO, burned it, booted up the infected PC with it. OK, how to mount the NTFS drives?

mountallfs -g

Bingo. Browse to \Windows\SYSTEM32 and nuke the offending gebbywt.dll. Reboot, and all is blissful.

I'm now seriously considering getting a small pen drive just to keep this disk close to me. It's great for this sort of work. Highly recommended.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ubuntu lament

The spare parts box that once hosted MythTV is long gone.

I was hoping to spend some time with MythTV and Ubuntu 6.06, but for some incredibly annoying reason the kernel hangs every time I boot my primary PC from those "Dapper" live cds (both x86 and x64; my box is an Athlon 64). I was hoping to replace Vista RC1 with Ubuntu, but if they can't be bothered to put a text-mode installer on those disks, why should I waste time downloading a whole new installation? Why can't they ship me a text-mode CD like those other purty coasters^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hlive cds? Ubuntu seems like a decent enough distribution ... seems, since I CAN'T ACTUALLY TRY IT!

User Journal

Journal Journal: MythTV Musings (Vol. 3)

Upgraded the box to KnoppMyth R5A10. Haven't had much opportunity to reconfigure everything (again), but at least the USB-to-Ethernet adapter was automatically recognized and seems to connect properly.

User Journal

Journal Journal: MythTV Musings (Vol. 2)

I figured out why X was broken with the 1.0.6629 nVidia drivers.

According to the logfile (/var/log/XFree86.0.log) the server was hanging when trying to load the GLX interface.

apt-get install nvidia-glx loaded some dependancies (among them, nvidia-kernel) and made X come to life again. Of course, the TV-out is horribly interlaced and only occupies 75% of the horizontal screen space, but from what I've read these are (somewhat) fixable things.

The USB-to-Ethernet adapter is not requesting an IP from my router, so I have to dig into /etc/network/interfaces to see what is going on. Could also be a sequencing problem, if dhcp is happening before hotplug.

User Journal

Journal Journal: MythTV musings (Vol. 1) 2

I decided to try and build a spare-parts computer for the purpose of running the KnoppMyth Knoppix/Debian distribution, and of course, MythTV.

MythTV seems to be very nice (far better than any Windows PVR software) and of course, the price is right.


  • AMD Sempron 2100+
  • Asus A7V600 motherboard
  • 256MB DDR400
  • ATI Radeon 8500LE 128MB w/TV-out
  • ATI TV Wonder VE tuner card
  • ATI Remote Wonder
  • old Fujistu 40GB hard drive
  • old LG 2x DVD burner

Several hurdles followed:

  • Getting the ATI remote to work (add_ati_remote)
  • finding the correct bttv TV tuner card settings (card=64, tuner=2)
  • making the correct bttt tuner setting stick (update-modules)
  • getting the onboard 3Com 3C940 NIC working (modprobe sk98lin)
  • stopping kernel panic every time the system initializes the NIC (insmod sk98lin, disable NIC, install USB-to-Ethernet NIC instead)
  • resolving no network connectivity issue (remove staples holding cable to baseboard; fix broken wire in cable caused by staple penetration)
  • getting the TV out to work at all (reflash card with proper ATI 8500LE NTSC BIOS)
  • getting TV out for X (install ATI proprietary driver; fglrxconfig (tinker); fglrxconfig (tinker); fglrxconfig (tinker); fglrxconfig (tinker); uninstall ATI proprietary driver; remove ATI card; throw ATI card in trash; install old nVidia GF2 card; build homebrew S-Video to composite adapter with a 470nF cap, a 100 ohm resistor and two cables; install bundled nVidia driver)
  • breaking RGB *and* TV out for X (install latest nVidia driver)
  • More to come.

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