Wipe a Cisco 3560 without the password

I had a dozen Cisco 3560 switches I needed to wipe, but I couldn’t give the intern the password to the switches. These steps let the intern wipe the switches quickly and easily.

  1. Boot up the switch.
  2. Hold the Mode button for a few seconds. The LEDs will blink then go solid. Let go of the button and the switch will reboot with a blank config. The original configs will be renamed and backed up on flash.
  3. Skip the Initial Configuration dialog then run the regular commands to wipe the switch.
Switch# write erase
Switch# delete flash:vlan.txt.renamed
Switch# reload

You’re done.


Jason Lewis Gone Galt

I’m a fan of Jason Lewis, but I missed most of his show today. Apparently it was a big day. Jason Lewis quit. On air. At 6:27 pm, in the middle of his show. I came in after that to what sounded like show producers scrambling to get Dan Conry to fill in for him. It could be an elaborate ruse. I’m prone to be a little more gullible trustworthy than most, but it sounds legit. Jason Lewis has gone Galt.

I can’t fault the guy. A long time advocate of lower taxes and more liberty, Jason has been on a Galt kick since he started his Galt.io site. A social network for conservative organizers. I’m dubious as to whether this site will work. Conservatives by nature aren’t the kind of people to sit and organize over the web. They’re too busy trying to produce something, or in this economy, stay afloat. Organizing has long been the expertise of the leftists whose websites are too numerous to count. Then again, perhaps this is what’s needed. Sometimes I wish there was a force to troll the leftists sites as much as they troll the Right. That is where I get worried for any Right-leaning social websites. The leftists and rabbits have long established the fact that they are more than willing to troll Right-leaning websites to weaken and bring them down. Another problem are the pansy ass Conservatives go along with it. Some hardball needs to be played. Hopefully, Galt.io can fill the gaps.

Like I said, I can’t fault Jason for taking his earnings and going home. He earned it. I just hope we haven’t heard the last of him.

Re-run Your Boot Loader

While cleaning out some old kernels in the wiki server I built for work, I ran across this suspicious message:

The link /vmlinuz.old is a damaged link
Removing symbolic link vmlinuz.old
 you may need to re-run your boot loader[grub]
The link /initrd.img.old is a damaged link
Removing symbolic link initrd.img.old
 you may need to re-run your boot loader[grub]

It made me a little nervous to do a reboot. I’m not sure if anything was broken or would have been trouble, so I didn’t reboot. I found several blog and forum posts that said running the command, sudo update-grub would fix it. After running the command and rebooting, everything is still working.

Raw Device Mapping and 3TB Drives

Raw Device Mapping is actually easy for sata drives in ESXi. Not as easy as just picking the drive from the GUI, but I guess we can’t have everything. I followed the instructions from this blog and they worked.

Also, I found that connecting the 3TB drive to an existing machine to do the formatting and partitioning is the best bet. Trying to initialize and partition the disk from the Windows 7 VM failed, and using a USB adapter failed as well. Connecting it directly to the sata ports on my workstation’s motherboard worked well.

Windows 8 Updates and Audit Mode

Windows update does not function while in Audit mode in Windows 8.1.

That’s a nice little tidbit of information that I would have liked to have known before trying nearly everything I could to troubleshoot why it wasn’t working.

Chris123NT has very clear instructions to get around this limitation and apply the updates. I have copied the instructions here. Thank you, Chris123NT.

  1. Download the Windows Update Powershell Module
  2. Copy the module folder to %WINDIR%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules
  3. Run PowerShell ISE as Administrator
  4. Run the following commands:
  5. Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
    Import-Module PSWindowsUpdate

The rest should be automated with some prompts.

**NOTE: Sometimes setting the execution policy to RemoteSigned doesn’t work, in those cases, temporarily set it to Unrestricted, and then set it back after you have used the script to install all windows updates.

Realtek and ESXi

While building up an ESXi whitebox from some older hardware, I discovered that vSphere 5.5 doesn’t include some Realtek NIC drivers. The motherboard is a Gigabyte P35-DS3L and has a Realtek chipset on the NIC. I used the instructions here to take the 8186 chipset drivers (.vib file) from vSphere 5, the 5.5 .iso, and a utility called ESXi-Customizer to slipstream the two to create a custom .iso. I saved some cash as I didn’t have to buy an Intel based NIC. Although, I probably should get and Intel based NIC and be done with it. There may be a chance that patching the 5.5 install may remove the custom drivers.

Devil’s Canyon

The Brains

Devil's CanyonThe last computer I built for myself was in April, 2008. Quad-core processors were just released and I ponied up big bucks for the Yorkfield based Q9450. It was Intel’s Core 2 Quad 2.66 Ghz desktop processor with 12MB of L2 cache on a 45nm process. That processor has served me well over the years. Its led me through a lot of gaming, video encoding, and virtualization over the years, but now it will serve me as my dedicated plex server. It’s time to upgrade. Over the past six years, the only performance upgrades I did to that machine was moving  from an nVidia 9600GT to a 560 Ti, and adding an SSD as my Windows drive. Pretty good amortization if you ask me.

Six years ago I bought the (almost) best Intel desktop processor and I’m doing it again. I splurged on a new Devil’s Canyon i7-4790K. I’m not much of an overclocker, so the 4.0Ghz base clock speed and turbo boost to 4.4Ghz was quite tempting. It nearly doubles the raw clock speed from the Q9450. Combined with three generations of microarchitecture upgrades will make for quite a large performance upgrade. I’m betting on this chip lasting me the next half-decade. And who knows, maybe I’ll start overclocking when the half-decade is up and I want to amortize my purchase out further.

The Rock

I paired my new CPU with a Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H. The Q9450 was sitting on a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L. One of the best things about the DS3L are the solid state capacitors. After moving to solid state capacitors, I’ll never go back. No more popped capacitors from cheap manufacturers. Reliability is important to me. The P35 board from Gigabyte has been rock solid for me, so when I was picking out a board for the new CPU I wanted to stick with Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable series. So far I’m liking the board. The feature set is diverse with the M.2 and SATA Express options, and the layout is clean and usable. Plus, the capacitors on the Z97-UD3H are painted black. It’s a very slick look. Since I built this machine today we’ll have to see how stable the system is, but I’m not worried about it.

Always Trouble

Windows took a while to install. I ran into some issues with it recognizing my SSD. At first, it saw the drive, but I couldn’t delete the existing partitions. The motherboard manual said to add storage drivers during a Windows 8 install. I tried that, but then Windows setup wouldn’t see my drive at all. After fiddling with the new UEFI options in the BIOS and doing a BIOS upgrade (from F4 to F7), Windows saw the drive and I was able to delete the existing partitions and install to a blank drive. Gigabyte’s Q-Flash utility made it very simple to update the bios. I used a laptop to copy the BIOS image to a flash drive and from inside the Q-Flash utility I could browse to the flash drive and perform the update. I’ve been out of the loop for a while using the same machine for six years, but that’s the way it should be. Kudos, Gigabyte.


Cinebench 10              Q9450 i7-4790K
Rendering (Single CPU):   3189  8561  (2.68x)
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 11562 32857 (2.84x)
Multiprocessor Speedup:   3.63  3.84

Handbrake 9.9 v6227 x64 (same quality settings)
(fps measurements are approximate)
Q9450    x264 (4 cores):    40fps
i7-4790K x264 (8 threads): 175fps
i7-4790K x264 (QuickSync): 400fps


Simple Name Change

I’ve been becoming an Apple guy for a while. I have a iPhone, I bought my parents a Mac mini for Christmas, and if anyone asks what tablet they should buy I always say, iPad (and maybe one or two Kindle Fire recommendations). I think one of the major benefits of Apple is the unified look and feel. Windows and Android seem very disjointed in their user experience. Many Linux distributions have tried to copy the OS X motif, but I think elementary OS is the best one. I found elementary OS last year and it immediately became my favorite Linux distribution. elementary OS is built off of Ubuntu, performs very well, and I’m a big fan of its OS X inspired look and feel. I find it very welcome in light of the other noisy and cluttered looks I find in other distributions. The built in apps are a bit sparse, but there has only been two releases so far and what has been released are showing a lot of promise. The third release is in development, and almost as if taking a cue from Blizzard Entertainment, the release date is when it’s ready.

Being a fan of elementary OS I was quite annoyed to find that on June 22nd, the upcoming release of elementary OS, code named Isis, was changed to Freya. Here was the reason given by the developers:

While Isis worked well, there is currently an active militant group in Iraq and Syria commonly known as “ISIS” (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). elementary obviously has no ties to that group—and we don’t think people will get us confused—but we want to both recognize the ongoing turmoil and choose a less controversial name.

I am disappointed, but not surprised.

Here is what annoys me:

elementary obviously has no ties to that group—and we don’t think people will get us confused—but we want to both recognize the ongoing turmoil and choose a less controversial name.

This is just more wannabe social justice, politically correct, feelgood bullshit that I come to expect from people. “…obviously has no ties…,” No shit, Sherlock. Any outside visitor to your site employing the logical reasoning that an eight year old is capable of would conclude that the name Isis and the acronym ISIS are not the same. “…recognize the ongoing turmoil…,” There is some perpetual need that floats across leftoids making them believe in the nobility of drawing attention to their concerns for others. In reality, that perpetual need is narcissism cloaked in altruism. “…less controversial…,” There is no controversy. There is no controversy because there are no ties to the ISIS group. I doubt very much ISIS was complaining about it, and if they were, shouldn’t they been told to shove it.

What happens when some terrorist group crops up with the name Elementary. Does the whole project change its name? What if there is a child molester named Freya? Will the code name be changed a second time? Should the elementary OS project try to accommodate the world to lessen controversy?

In the end, it really doesn’t matter. ISIS will continue to fight the Iraqi government and Isis Freya will eventually be released. I will install Freya, I will tinker with it, I will enjoy it, and I will wonder how much time and effort will be wasted because someone wanted to stare at themselves in a mirror and avoid some imaginary controversy.