Cloning NTFS disks and extending the partition

Posted by & filed under Data Recovery, Server Admin.

I have this eye imaging computer here that needs the drive upgraded. I have a 500gb one that will be replacing it. I will need to clone the old disk to the new one.

There are several ways to clone the disk. I ended up doing it twice because I hosed it up the first time.

One way is with dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb conv=noerror,sync
It also would of been a lot faster to set the block size so it completes faster.

I can watch the progress of the dd with: while killall -USR1 dd; do sleep 5; done

Pretty normal stuff… the conv= at the end tell it to not stop on errors (bad sectors) and to sync .

The other way is with a clonezilla live cd which is how I did it the second time around. It ran a lot faster than the simple dd, and booted into windows fine as well.

Next I booted into the recovery console and ran a chkdsk /r

After that I will boot my gparted live cd and resize the partition to fill the disk.

I will then boot again into the recovery console and run chkdsk /r

Sysprep best practices:
Windows 2000 recovery console info:
STOP 0x7b:
Extending NTFS Disks:…

Here it is laying on it’s side, complete with integrated power distribution unit and what looks to be n additional power supply (gold box).

coreboot — Free GPL BIOS replaces proprietary BIOS

Posted by & filed under Hardware Development, Open Source, Programming, Server Admin.

Now this is cool… I may have to build a coreboot based box soon.

coreboot (formerly known as LinuxBIOS) is a Free Software project aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS (firmware) you can find in most of today’s computers. It performs just a little bit of hardware initialization and then executes a so-called payload.

DBAN — Securely Wipe Disk Drives

Posted by & filed under Forensics, Server Admin.

DBAN is a means of ensuring due diligence in computer recycling, a way of preventing identity theft if you want to sell a computer, and a good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware. DBAN prevents or thoroughly hinders all known techniques of hard disk forensic analysis.

APF Firewall — Removing Deny

Posted by & filed under APF, Firewalls, Server Admin.

Sometimes for some reason the APF is tripped, thinking the server is being hammered, when its actually not. The following command removes it from the list immediately:

/etc/apf/apf -u

Setup my iPhone’s VPN client tonight…

Posted by & filed under Linux, Security, Server Admin, VPN.

Well I finally got the VPN tunnel up for my iPhone.

First I tried IPSec, but it would not connect, and judging from the Firewall’s log output, I’m guessing the IPSec client only works with Cisco units.

Next, I tried L2TP, which I thought would work like a snap since the Sonicwall I’m using has a L2TP server built in. Unlucky for me, it turns out that Sonicwall’s built in L2TP server sucks and is only there for Windows clients.

Ffinally, I turned to PPTP. This was pretty easy to get working since my WLAN router has a PPTP server built in and just needed some quick configuration to get working. After that, I forwarded port 1723 (TCP-PPTP) to the LAN ip of the WLAN Router/PPTP Server.Now, I am able to connect my VPN tunnel, and transmit all data encrypted to my network, where it is then routed out to it’s final destination. Excellent!

I will do some packet captures later on to verify the traffic is truly passing thru my network.

Removing MX records from a Microsoft DNS Server via script

Posted by & filed under DNS, Email, Programming, Server Admin.

We recently switched our barracuda system from using two equally weighted MX records to using one MX record that points to two same-named A records. We are hoping that this will help better load balance the Barracuda cluster. I wrote a quick-n-dirty batch script to remove the second barracuda MX record from our DNS zones:

for /f %%h in (domains.txt) do dnscmd /RecordDelete %%h @ MX 10 /f

This script takes the input file domains.txt and processes each domain contained in the text file. The format is one domain per line…

RedHat LVM Expansion Fiasco

Posted by & filed under Linux, Server Admin.

Finally I figured out a procedure for resizing the LVM partition. A server’s /usr partition has been dangerously full for some time now so this has become a priority.


  • Resize VHD with VhdResizer
  • fdisk /dev/hda
    Add a new primary partition (hda4 for this list)
  • Reboot
  • Tell LVM about the new physical volume
    pvcreate /dev/hda4
  • Extend the volume group
    vgextend VolGroup00 /dev/hda2
  • Extend the logical volume to use the newly expanded space
    lvextend -L 19G /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
  • Resize the filesystem to use the new space
    ext2online /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
  • Optional – check the disk for errors
    e3fsck -f /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00