Antivirus Woes

This topic is a little out of place on this blog, but it is a technical story that I have dealt with, so I wanted to include it anyway…

The story starts with my mother-in-law’s computer running slow.  It is running Windows 8.  Chrome was taking about 20 minutes just to open up, and the whole computer just felt sluggish to me.  She was also complaining about popups from McAfee saying that the computer was unprotected.

When I opened Task Manager, I found that McAfee was using almost 1G of RAM!  Is there any excuse for that?  McAfee supposedly was out of date and shouldn’t have been doing anything anyway.  Why would I want to pay for the subscription if this is the way it is going to run?

Antivirus Memory Usage


McAfee took forever to uninstall, but once it did and rebooted, the computer was back to new again.  Chrome started immediately, and the computer felt normal again.

Now, to install an antivirus back on to get it protected again.  Does anyone have suggestions?

I have been partial to Clam Antivirus (Windows version) because it is open source.  For now, I just activated Windows Defender.  It was easier with no extra install.  I just search for it in the control panel and updated the virus definitions.  I assume that it will automatically download the definitions, whereas Clam would constantly popup and require manual downloads.  I have also heard that AVG is free for personal use.

Does anyone have any recommendations?  Please comment below.

Posted in Uncategorized. No Comments »

Ubuntu 14.04: Installing Trusty Tahr

Time to upgrade again.  Each time Linux comes out, I try to install everything from scratch.  I could upgrade, but this keeps me consistent in backing things up and helps me revisit my install steps.

This post is just simply going through the installer and selecting the different options.  If you want to follow along with the other steps in my install, check out the main installation page:

Ubuntu 14.04 Install Page

So, here’s what I did…


Posted in Uncategorized. No Comments »

Ubuntu 13.10: Installing Saucy Salamander

The time has come again for installing my laptop over from scratch. My goal is to take notes as I go through and capture what I do in case it might help others, or if nothing else, my notes will help me remember what I did.

So, here’s my first post of notes…


Posted in Uncategorized. No Comments »

Linux to Samsung

A very good friend asked me to install Linux on his new laptop.  It is a Samsung NP550P5C-A01UB.  He has used Linux in the past, but he has a requirement to run a Windows-only program.  Not sure how he would want to meet that requirement exactly, I decided to give options.  I shrunk the original Windows 8 to make it dual boot.  Then, I installed Windows in Virtual Box so that Linux and Windows could run at the same time.  Finally, I installed Office with Wine to allow for editing Office docs natively.

Backing Up

My first task was to back up the PC before I did anything.  I wanted a snapshot so that I could get it back to the way the laptop was given to me.  Clonezilla was the tool of choice.  It boots from a CD or USB drive and it can snapshot a harddrive.

Bad EIP Value

When it booted with my first image of clonezilla (clonezilla-live-20121217-quantal.iso), it wouldn’t work.  I tried adding the following options in the boot menu:

pci=noacpi nobiospnp noapic nolapic

Unfortunately, that didn’t solve my problem.  I ended out just downloading the latest version from SourceForge/the Clonezilla website.

Creating the Clonezilla USB Drive

The “Make Startup Disk” program that I have been using has been crashing for me.  So, I set out to find a better way.  UNetbootin stepped in to save the day!  It was an easy install from the Software Center, and it worked with no problem.


The “Distribution” option looked cool.  I didn’t read up on it, but it looks like it would download the version for you.  The only problem was that all of the versions were out of date.  So, I downloaded the latest version myself and I used the “Diskimage” option.

GPT Partition

Clonezilla gave me this error message:

This disk contains mismatched GPT and MBR partition: /dev/sda

It will confuse Clonezilla and might make the saved image useless or fail to clone the disk.

You can use gdisk or sgdisk to fix this issue.  E.g. if you are sure only MBR partition table is the one you want, you can run this command to destroy the GPT partition table while keep the MBR partition table:

sudo sgdisk -z /dev/sdx

First things first, I backed up the master boot record —

sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=GPT bs=512 count=34

If I needed to restore, I should be able to use this:

sudo dd if=GPT of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=34

Here’s the output of: sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

Device     Boot      Start     End      Blocks    Id     System
/dev/sda1     *       2048    718847      358400      7      HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2             718848  1465147391  732214272   7      HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

I checked, and this drive wasn’t over 2TB, so I just got rid of the GTP.  I ran this command:

sudo sgdisk -z /dev/sda

After rebooting clonezilla, the backup worked fine.

Installing Linux Mint

I downloaded the latest version of Linux Mint.  I chose the Cinnamon 64-bit version from the download page.  And, I used UNetbootin to put it on the USB drive.

When it asked for installing beside Windows, I chose “Install Linux Mint alongside Windows 8″:

Selecting install type

The interface to choose the size was very nice.  I could just drag the divider, and I chose to split the space like this:

Selecting parition size

Finally, the install finished and reported no problems:

Installation Complete

Fixing the Bootloader

After the install, it would only boot into Windows.  It wouldn’t load any bootloader.

I tried to load/install grub manually.  Here the commands that I used, but I won’t bother explaining them because they didn’t work:

sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

sudo mount /dev/sda5 /mnt
 sudo mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
 sudo mount -t proc none /mnt/proc
 sudo cp /etc/resolve.conf /mnt/etc
 sudo chroot /mnt /bin/bash
 sudo mount -t sysfs none /sys
 sudo mount -t devpts none /dev/pts

sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get install grub-efi
 sudo update-grub
 sudo grub-install /dev/sda
 sudo grub-install /dev/sda1


sudo umount /mnt/dev/pts
 sudo umount /mnt/dev
 sudo umount /mnt/proc
 sudo umount /mnt/sys
 sudo umount /mnt

Unfortunately, no luck.

Switching to Ubuntu

Finally, I decided to give up on Linux Mint.  I have more experience with Ubuntu, so I thought I would see if it makes a difference.  I found documentation that looked like they had the new bootloader issues taken care of.

I removed the partitions that Linux Mint created using gparted (had to launch with sudo gparted).  It had mounted the the Swap partition, so I had to use the swapoff option before it would let me delete:

removing the Mint partitions

It cleaned up like this:

Clean up partition table

Next, I went through the install, and it just asked if I wanted to install along side Windows

Install Type option

So, here’s the result after the install:

Partition Table after install

The install went fine.  The only problem was that it still wouldn’t boot to Linux.  It was like it didn’t install any bootloader at all!

Boot Repair

I finally found a program called “Boot Repair”.  It was supposed to fix issues like what I was running into.

I used the following two commands to install and launch boot repair:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && (sudo boot-repair &)

Then I clicked on the “Recommended Repair” button.  It had me run a couple of things in the terminal.

I did run this:

[ -d /sys/firmware/efi ] && echo "EFI boot on HDD" || echo "Legacy boot on HDD"

It said that I was installed in EFI mode.

After the reboot, I was good to go.

Getting Up to Date

I ran this to download the latest updates:

sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get upgrade

Installing VirtualBox

I was able to install Virtual Box very easily from the Software Center.  Then, I downloaded the latest version of the Clonezilla image.  I created a machine with 3G of RAM and a dynamically allocated 500G drive.  I set the Clonezilla.iso as the CD drive.

When I booted the image, it gave me an error about the kernel not being available.

To fix the problem, I tried:

sudo apt-get remove virtualbox-dkms
 sudo apt-get install virtualbox-dkms

That’s when I got the message:

Module build for the currently running kernel was skipped since the kernel source for this kernel does not seem to be installed.

I made sure that the linux-headers-generic package was installed, and it was.  Then, after playing with it for a while, I noticed there was a kernel update.  So, I let Software Updater do it’s job.  After rebooting, the machine worked.

The next challenge was getting Clonezilla to see the USB drive in the virtual machine.  I found that I needed to check the “Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller” on the USB tab of the VM’s settings.  When I did that, it said that I needed the “Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack”.  That requires a different installation of Virtual Box, and I dropped that idea.

So, I created a new virtual drive.  Then, after booting CloneZilla and going to the command line, I created a new partition with fdisk.  Then, I formatted it with:

sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1

Next, I had to mount that drive on the host so that I could copy my clonezilla backup to it.  I installed:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-fuse

To mount the drive on the host, I ran:

sudo vdfuse -a -f "<path to vdi file>" /mnt

Then, I needed to mount the partition:

sudo mount -o loop /mnt/Partition1 /mnt2

After that, I had access to the clonezilla backup.  I was able to unmount the partition and boot the virtual machine.  Clonezilla restored the backup onto the machine, and I was good to go.

Finally, I had to fix the NAT … I followed my old instructions and ran these commands:

vboxmanage modifyvm "Windows 8" --natdnshostresolver1 on
 vboxmanage modifyvm "Windows 8" --nic1 nat

Installing Microsoft Office on Wine

I tried to install via Play on Linux, but the install wouldn’t work.  At first, I thought the problem was because I had a different version of Office than what was expected.  Looking back, I think it was because I had the wrong CD in.  It was a 3 disk set, but I didn’t see that at first.

So, I installed by following this post and installed it manually:

sudo apt-get install mesa-utils mesa-utils-extra libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 libgl1-mesa-dev ia32-libs
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/ /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa/ /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine
export WINEPREFIX="/home/cgomez/.wineprefixes/office2010/"
export WINEARCH="win32"

Then, I ran winetricks and installed:

  • dotnet20
  • msxml6
  • corefonts (under install a font)

Then, in winecfg, I set:

  • msxml6 to native
  • gdiplus to native

Next, I used wine to run the setup program on the CD.

After installing, I ran winecfg one more time and set riched20 to native.


Thankfully, my persistence paid off.  I was able to get the machine up and running.  I wasn’t super happy with the performance of the machine.  It seemed to run slow at times, which is frustrating for a brand new machine.  I ended up coming back and installing Windows Vista for the virtual machine.  The Windows 8 just didn’t work well in Virtual Box.

Also, I think it is worth noting that I could have probably used that “Boot Repair” program with Linux Mint.  Both are debian based, and I think it would have worked had I discovered it before trying Ubuntu.

I hope these notes help someone else.  They are a bit abbreviated at times, but at least I have some notes as to what I did.


Posted in Uncategorized. No Comments »

Ubuntu 12.04: Essential Tweaks

There were a few tweaks that I made that just didn’t belong anywhere else.  So, this is just a collections of those tweaks.


Concatenating Flash Videos

What if you get a single flash videos split across multiple files? Is there a way to combine them into a single video?

I found my answer in this command:
mencoder -forceidx -of lavf -oac copy -ovc copy -o output.flv clip1.flv clip2.flv clip3.flv

At this thread in Ubuntu Forums:
Ubuntu Forums: Join FLV Files Together

Posted in Uncategorized. No Comments »

Fun with Comics

In catching up with my RSS feeds, I saw Jake’s link to this comic. It struck me as very funny.

Check it out — Sticky Comics: An Update is Available for Your Computer

I find my self very much like the Linux and Windows user. Probably, one of the biggest reasons I hate Windows updates is because they always come when I am either trying to reboot or shutdown and go home. My Linux updates I can choose to do when I want. Plus, they do update more than just the OS, which gives me new features. So, go Linux! Everybody should be running Linux!

Posted in Uncategorized. No Comments »

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 70 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 207 posts.

The busiest day of the year was October 21st with 166 views. The most popular post that day was Webex in Ubuntu 8.10.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for webex linux, webex ubuntu, linux ports in use, iso to usb linux, and ubuntu webex.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Webex in Ubuntu 8.10 February 2009


Bootable ISO to USB Drive November 2008


Linux Alternatives for OneNote October 2008
1 comment


WebDav and fstab September 2008


Webex in Linux August 2008
1 comment

Posted in Uncategorized. No Comments »

Installing APK files through ADB

I was having trouble getting adb to recognize my phone.  I found this post that helped.  Here is what I did.

First, I used this command to determine, which device was my phone:

lsusb | grep "High Tech Computer Corp"

The output looked like this:

Bus 002 Device 008: ID 0bb4:0c01 High Tech Computer Corp.

When I look at the device node, I can see that permissions might be an issue.  If you notice from the above statement, the Bus is 002 and the Device is 008 so those are the numbers I will use in looking at the device.  Here is the command:

ls -l /dev/bus/usb/002/008

Here is the output

crw-rw-r-- 1 root vboxusers 189, 135 2010-06-16 09:54 /dev/bus/usb/002/008

Next, the post did not say where to place the rules file to correct this.  I found another article with a little more information on udev rules.

So, I opened the file with this command:

sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/70-android.rules

And, I placed this in the file:

BUS=="usb", SYSFS{idVendor}=="0bb4", GROUP="android", MODE="0660" /* HTC */

Next add the group with this command:

sudo groupadd android

Next add the user (my username is skp) to the group with this command:

sudo usermod -a -G android skp

Then, it was time to test.  I restarted the udev service with this command:

sudo restart udev

Here is the output of the service:

udev start/running, process 23528

Now, I don’t see the phone, but I had VMWare running, so that may have grabbed the device instead.  I don’t know what happened and I had to come back to this later.  Then, after a reboot, my security settings looked better:

crw-rw---- 1 root android 189, 133 2010-06-16 21:25 /dev/bus/usb/002/006

Still, it didn’t work.  The command:

./adb devices

gives this output:

* daemon not running. starting it now *
* daemon started successfully *
List of devices attached
Then, I realized that there is security on the phone. (I felt kind of silly)  I had to turn on the USB debugging option.  In the settings, I enabled Settings > Application settings > Development > USB debugging.
Then, the adb output looks like this:
List of devices attached
HT849GZ65323	device

Now that I have access to the phone, I used this command:

./adb install ~/app/<my program file>.apk

The output looked like this (I had already installed the application from the SDCard, so it makes sense):

383 KB/s (28018 bytes in 0.071s)
	pkg: /data/local/tmp/nehemiahG1.apk

This command did the reinstall:

./adb install -r ~/app/nehemiahG1.apk

Here is the output

224 KB/s (28018 bytes in 0.121s)
	pkg: /data/local/tmp/nehemiahG1.apk


Posted in Uncategorized. No Comments »

Open Office Updated

An update came across for me for Open Office.  It updated from 3.0

Here is what the about dialog was:


And, here is what it is now:


I found a link to the features: 3.1 New Features

Posted in Uncategorized. 1 Comment »