Carl's blog

Linksys SPA / PAP ATA firmware upgrade – stack around variable ‘strnc’ was corrupted.

by on Jul.30, 2012, under Computer Stuff

Firmware upgrade fails.

Remove your user & admin passwords from the unit, and try again.

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Linksys / Cisco PAP2 / SPA8000 not recognising UK DTMF sometimes

by on Jul.20, 2012, under Computer Stuff

Linksys SPA8000.
Trouble with DTMF on outgoing calls.
Played with DTMF transit types – AVT is the type we want (RFC2833), but some digits are not being picked up. In particular, the number 2 is very rarely being picked up.

The solution: reduce the FXS input gain (on the System tab at the bottom). It was on -3. I set it to -5 and it looks perfect. The tone signal must have been clipping.

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Exchange 2010 GAL problems. address book service will not start – not compatible with the version of windows you’re running.

by on Jul.18, 2012, under Computer Stuff

How very bizarre.

Migrating from Exchange 2003 to 2010 SP2. Somewhere along the way – after uninstalling Exchange 2003, we started having directory / GAL problems. New Outlook profiles could not be set up, and the GAL could not be downloaded into already-working Outlooks.

After some exploration (and fixing some Public Folder related issues ( ) I noticed that the Microsoft Exchange Address Book service was not started. I tried to start it, and found Event ID 7000 from the service control manager, with description

“The Microsoft Exchange Address Book service failed to start due to the following error:
This version of Microsoft Exchange Address Book is not compatible with the version of Windows you’re running. Check your computer’s system information to see whether you need a x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of the program, and then contact the software publisher.”

I looked at the executable path, and went to check out the properties of the file (“C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\bin\Microsoft.Exchange.AddressBook.Service.exe”), and I noticed there were no PE properties / attributes, and also, that the file was only 2kb in size. Actuallly the same size as the .config file alongside it. Weird. I thought I’d take a look inside.
I opened up Notepad, and drag’n’dropped the EXE file into notepad, and sure enough, the .exe file was actually the same as the .config file.

It seems that one of the updates has incorrectly modified the wrong file. It has overwritten Microsoft.Exchange.AddressBook.Service.exe with what should instead be in Microsoft.Exchange.AddressBook.Service.exe.config.

The server started out as Exchange 2010 RTM, then it had SP1 applied, and then SP2. This problem was noticed shortly after SP2.

I dug out the correct .exe file from the SP2 extracted files, under setup\serverroles\common, and replaced it, then started the service. All is now well again.

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Linksys / Cisco SPA8000 VoIP gateway and multiple channels/lines with a single SIP account.

by on Apr.24, 2012, under Computer Stuff

Linksys / Cisco SPA8000 VoIP gateway. Multiple channels/lines with a single SIP account.
It’s not possible, but here’s a great solution.
The SPA8000 is designed to be fed by a VoIP PBX. It’s not designed to be fed by a multi-channel SIP trunk from an ITSP. The scenario for which the SPA8000 was designed is a corporate environment where you want to support a number of analog devices, but use your SIP PBX. e.g. say you want to have 8 DECT cordless phones on your system, without having lots of ATAs.
The solution: put an Asterisk PBX in between the SPA8000 and your ITSP.
The perfect candidate for this job is the Atcom IP01 Blackfin based device. They’re less than £100.
You should then set each line of the SPA8000 to connect to an extension (701, 702, 703 etc.) of the Asterisk PBX. You can set up the hunt/ring groups from the Asterisk PBX.

Note: firmware 6.1.3 adds support for “Trunks” and “Trunk Groups”. I beleive this should achieve what is desired, however I like the flexibility of the Asterisk box, and the customer is enjoying the voicemail features provided by it.

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O’Grady’s Technical Services.

by on Mar.13, 2012, under Uncategorized

O’Grady’s Technical Services are Gas Safe registered (what was CORGI) gas/heating/plumbing/boiler repair engineers in Eccles, Manchester. My associate just did them a simple website with WordPress and I’m here making this post to try to help promote it on Google.

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SBS 2008 / 2011 automatic backup to RDX / RD1000, without CIFS/SMB/Shared Folders.

by on Dec.01, 2011, under Computer Stuff

The scheduled wbadmin backup to \\server\rd1000 stopped working, so I looked into things a bit more and have now changed my servers to backup to the drive directly. wbadmin behaves as if it’s backing up to a DVD or something, and we have to pipe some input into it.

It goes something like this:
Make a file called c:\unattend.txt, which contains:


(C on one line, and Y on another). This will be piped into the wbadmin command’s input, because wbadmin prompts us to “press C to continue”, and “press Y if you’re sure”.

Then the backup command looks like this:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:d: -allcritical -quiet <c:\unattend.txt >>”C:\Company Shared Folder\BackupLog.txt”

The -quiet is important because we are relying on very specific behavior/prompts, to which our unattend.txt file responds. i.e. without the -quiet, we’ll not get the “C” and “Y” prompts and so our unattend.txt would not be providing the correct input.

In the above case, the RDX drive is D:

The output, for logging purposes, is appended to C:\Company Shared Folder\BackupLog.txt

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pctrades2011 FAKE COUNTERFEIT SOFTWARE! fake Office 2003 Pro eBay alert! PayPal name Tom Smith from Bromley.

by on Nov.16, 2011, under Computer Stuff

Dirty lying scammer. Sells fakes / counterfeit software and refuses to refund.
See here:

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How to automatically detect removable drive’s assigned letter in backup scripts.

by on Feb.24, 2011, under Computer Stuff

@echo off
if %1.==. goto noparams
goto drvid


for %%a in (d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z) do call %0 %%a

echo Checking if backup drive is mounted as drive %1:
if exist %1:\drvid.txt goto found
goto end

Set DRVID=%1
echo Drive found as %DRVID%:



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Super easy way how to reset secure channel / computer account in Active Directory domain.

by on Jan.07, 2011, under Computer Stuff

I have a 2008 R2 server joined to an SBS 2003 domain. Secure channel has somehow become broken. Netdom gives access denied when run from either DC or member server. I could change to a workgroup, reboot, then re-join domain, and pray that I don’t lose remote access along the way, or I could use this trick:

Are you ready? It’s so simple.. 😉

Go to change the domain, and simply change it from the DNS domain name (e.g. domain.local), to the netbios domain name (e.g. DOMAIN). You will probably need to be on the same broadcast domain (LAN segment), i.e. not over a VPN or WAN, for the netbios domain to be found (unless you have WINS running I suppose).

So, the machine is joined to domain.local, but the secure channel is broken. I just go to the ‘Computer Name’ tab of ‘System Properties’, click Change, and backspace out the .local from the domain name and press OK. It’s like I’m joining a different domain but it’s the same one really. You get the “Welcome to the domain. You must restart this computer for the change to take effect” message. Reboot and it’s all done. As usual the DNS domain name will be shown on the computer name tab after the reboot. Nothing has changed except that the secure channel has been re-established.

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Linux/Unix (X) as an RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) Server?

by on Dec.11, 2010, under Computer Stuff

Wow. This took me totally by surprise, and it seems to work very well. There’s no sound redirection or clipboard, but basically you connect to the Linux machine using an RDP client (Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection, or Terminal Server Client), and instead of getting a Windows logon box, you get an xrdp one. You choose a session and hey presto you have a Gnome or KDE session, through RDP!

It has two ways of working. The first, and easiest to get going, is that it uses vncserver (the VNC X Server) as the actual X server, and the xrdp program grabs the vnc display and RDPs it over to you. So you have the performance of RDP.
The other way is that it uses an RDP X server, so I suppose you could call that native X-RDP rather than VNC served RDP. This is a touch more complicated, and I was unable to get the svn version of the X11rdp Xserver to compile. There is a precompiled binary of what might be an old version at though.

The precompiled binary was the only way I could get X11rdp to work (that is native RDP – I got the vnc/rdp to work almost right away)

Let me clarify some points:

xrdp is the name of the project, and also the name of one of the binary files that deals with RDP and integrates with the VNC server and sends it to you through RDP.
X11rdp is the name of the special RDP Xserver that is another part of the project, which skips out vnc altogether. When you grab the (small) sourcecode off the project website, and do the make/make install, it will not build X11rdp.
X11rdp is also called “Xserver” within the project.
You will see in /usr/local/xrdp/sesman.log something like: “No such file or directory” if you are trying to use X11rdp server (sesman-X11rdp) but don’t have the X11rdp Xserver compiled/installed, or if you are trying to use VNC (sesman-Xvnc) but don’t have vncserver installed. VNC server will be provided by your distribution (Fedora, Ubuntu..) so is very easy to get. X11rdp is made by the xrdp project, so is not so easy, but the precompiled binary seemed to work OK for me.

The project’s website is very low priority, and does not reflect the true activity of the project.

The website is at

I’ve just had a look, and development activity is moving along well! I’m going to have another look at this!

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