Unable to open file folders in Windows 7

March 20th, 2011

In Windows 7 x64, I was unable to double click on file folders and open them. Instead, I had to right click on the folder and select open. The file association was not found for the folders. Symantec technical support indicated I might have a virus, however none were found after an extensive scan of my system with several versions.

I fixed this initially by uninstalling and reinstalling Norton Internet Security. However, the same problem occurred several months later.

The problem was missing registry information. Go into your registry and verify you have field similar to what is listed below (Do NOT copy and paste directly from my site as WordPress changes formatting).










I’d recommend exporting the registry from another PC with the same version of windows and importing the hive as a fix. If you don’t know how to do this, just google registry and exporting.

As always, this is for entertainment purposes only and I’m not responsible if you corrupt your computer/data.

CentOS to Redhat

February 5th, 2010

Before you begin, you will need the following files the Official RedHat CD/DVD/site.

Migrating from CentOS v5.4 to RedHat v5.4
Step 1: Install CentOS
Also verify you have the package pyOpenSSL installed
If not, type “yum install pyOpenSSL” as root without the quotes.

Step 2: Remove CentOS specific files
Next remove the current centos rpms from the database
# rpm -e centos-release –nodeps
# rpm -e centos-release-notes

If this doesn’t work, add the –justdb option.

Clean the yum in case you’ve used it:
# yum clean all

Step 3: Install the RedHat files

Install the files mentioned above from Redhat.
# rpm –ivh redhat-release-5Server- rhnlib-2.2.7-2.el5.noarch.rpm rhel-instnum-1.0.9-1.el5.noarch.rpm rhnsd-4.7.0-4.el5.i386.rpm rhn-check-0.4.20-9.el5.noarch.rpm rhn-setup-0.4.20-9.el5.noarch.rpm rhn-client-tools-0.4.20-9.el5.noarch.rpm yum-rhn-plugin-0.5.4-13.el5.noarch.rpm

Register you system with the rhn_reg or copy the systemid to the Redhat directory (see previous blog entry)

Remove or disable the repositories in the /etc/yum.conf.d directory

Note: If you have other rpm add-ons (such as trixbox repositories) that were originally CentOS centric and you still want to use them, then you’ll have to edit the repos. Change the $releasever to a “5” without the quotes.

Update your system:
# yum update

RedHat Repositories

February 1st, 2010

Situation: You are not the administrator of your server Redhat repository and the administrator takes a couple weeks to get back to you. You have to quickly rebuild your server in case of failure or for a test environment.

Solution: Backup the /etc/sysconfig/rhn/systemid to another location. Restore the file to the same exact server after rebuilding, verify permissions are correct (chmod 644), and you’re back in business.

Native Install of Redhat v5.3 Linux on a MacPro

February 28th, 2009

The simplest way to install RedHat Linux v5.3 natively on a MacPro is to do the following:

Download RedHat EL v5.3 for Server or Desktop…or buy it.  I used the 64bit version for some kick butt performance.

Have a dedicated drive for Linux

Power off the system and unplug it

Unplug powered devices such as Ethernet

Pull out the other drives such as MacOS or Windows

Note: If you leave the drives in, Grub may recognize them and overwrite partition sectors or MBR.  I usually pull the drives out a couple inches, leaving the case lid off.  Grub is smart, perhaps too smart!

Boot up the system with the first Redhat CD or DVD in the drive.

Important Note: All non-MacOS drives and CD’s are recognized as Windows in the Boot Menu!  Weird huh?

Note: If you forget to pop in the CD/DVD, just hold down the ALT key then press the eject button (or F12 if you have a PC keyboard) or just type in eject /dev/sr0 or /dev/sr1 at the command prompt if you’re in redhat.

Install Linux as you normally and partition it as you normally would and remove all partitions.

Check the Review and modify partitioning layout

Check Configure advanced boot loader options

Selection /dev/sda1 First sector of boot partition

Note: Since the BIOS is EFI, it will not recognize MBR’s without a third party program

Carry on and install as you normally would.

After installation, you will get some error messages.  Don’t panic, unless the kernel panics!

The error message “PCI:BIOS Bug:MCFG area at e0000000 is not E820-reserved
 PCI:NOT Using MMCONFIG” according to Redhat article ID 2199 is informational only.  Redhat will fix this in future releases so users won’t freak out.
If you receive the error message “i8042.c : no controller found”, then you likely have an Nvidia video card.  Nvidia has some driver issues and you can download a driver from Nvidia after you update the kernel.

If you receive the error Kernel panic, you been screwing around haven’t you?

Error is : Kernel panic –  not syncing: Attempted to kill init!

To fix the kernel panic:
Boot off of the Linux installer CD/DVD:
Type “linux rescue” without the quotes
Click Ok to English
Click Ok to us
Click No to network interfaces
Click Continue to /mnt/sysimage
Click OK
At the command line type the following:
device (hd0) /dev/sda
Note: Don’t worry if you’re hard drive is not the first one, hd0 is the only drive the system will see since you pulled the others out.
find /grub/stage1
Note: the output should be find /grub/stage1 (hd0,0)
root (hd0,0)
Note: The output should be root (hd0,0) Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83
setup (hd0)
Note: there’s a lot of output here.
Next hold down the alt key
Remove the Linux CD/DVD.
Everything should work, if not…..Well, that sucks doesn’t it??
Ok, if that doesn’t work done then it’s probably picking up the last configuration (Linux is too smart..or maybe too stupid?).  Download a utility called Gparted and wipe out the partition table.
Note: Gparted will work but when you boot off the CD, load it into RAM.  Otherwise you will be able to erase, but not create partitions on the MacPro.  Yeah, it’s a bug.  I like to create an NTFS partition just to make sure I wiped out the old one.
Unplug everything and put the drives back in.

In order to go to the Linux partition, just hold down the ALT key and select the RedHat drive.  

MacPro ESATA card for everthing

February 23rd, 2009

This post is in regards to adding an ESATA card to a MacPro.  You’re probably thinking, why add an ESATA card when you have 2 SATA ports that can be converted to ESATA with a simple cable.  The SATA ports onboard are only supported in AHCI mode.  Whenever you boot into Linux or Windows you’re automatically put into legacy mode which does not see the extra ports aka your drives.
My best candidate for an ESATA card was the Adaptec 1225SA.  This card has support for Linux RPMS and Windows drivers out the wazoo. (I’m not a fan a recompiling the kernel for drivers that should already be there and I like the official support)  However, Adaptec has no support for MacOS.
I received a 1225SA revision 3 which had a Silicon Image chipset and a Silicon Storage Technology chip.

The chipsets were:

Silicon Image

Silicon Storage Technology

The highest drivers that are supported from the Silicon Image website are 10.5.1…Boo!  I installed several variants, but alas it was for naught.  My search continues….

Install XP on a Dell Studio Hybrid (140G)

December 11th, 2008

Get a USB Key or blank CD for transferring files

Go to Dell’s website and do a search to download the following files:

R183806.exe  (Will work on XP)

Go to Intel’s Website
Download the “INF Update Utility” for the Intel 965 Express Chipset family

Go to Microsoft’s Website (Optional Download-Installed by default on Vista)
Download the Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator

Go into the Bios of the Studio by pressing F2 and change the Hard Disk from AHCI to IDE
Load Windows
Install drivers from USB or CD


I didn’t put direct links since the sites tend to change URLs.

Mac Security Software

July 15th, 2008

I like Intego more than Mcafee on the Mac side.  I’m running a triple boot MacPro and a MacBook Pro.  Since I’m a staff member/student I purchased a couple licenses from a company called CreationEngine.  It was half the price of the retail version of Internet Security Barrier X5 Personal Antispam Edition DP.  The software comes with a license for BitDefender Internet Security 2008 for Windows and a link to a 32 bit download of the software. 
I’m not crazy about running 32 bit software with a 64 bit OS.  So I downloaded a trial version of the Bitdefender from Bitdefenders website, which has 64 bit drivers, and plugged in the serial #.  Hey it worked!  I didn’t see anything in the license agreement preventing this, so it seems kosher.
I contacted Bitdefender support and asked if I could run the same serial # for two Windows partitions on the same hardware/PC.  Amazingly they said it was Ok.  Woo hoo!

In case you don’t recall, Safari doesn’t have much in the line of antiphishing technology.  That’s why I purchased the software.

MacPro- Extra SATA ports

July 8th, 2008

There’s a company called NewerTech that’s selling ESATA cables that will take advantage of the SATA ports on the motherboard.  This will allow you to hook up an external ESATA hard drive to your Apple.


Things you should be aware of:

If you use the extra SATA ports on the motherboard (located near the fan) and have a dual/triple/etc boot with another OS, the additional OS’s will not recognize the drives.  The Apple EFI BIOS will automatically set the other OS’s to go into Legacy mode instead of AHCI.  You can use a grub bootloader to tweak the settings for Windows/Linux and trick it into going to AHCI mode, but then you will have to reinstall the OS with a driver disk (along with Intel AHCI drivers…See “RAID” drivers on Intel’s website).

If you use the extra ports for an Optical drive (Blueray), then be aware utilities like Toast will not work with Blueray.  Roxio Toast does not recognize SATA buses in viewing Blueray and there are reported problems with burning (Of course Windows won’t see the drive at all).  If you want Blueray for burning/viewing get a drive that’s EIDE/IDE/PATA or buy an IDE/SATA converter. If you use the SATA ports for extra drives only seen by Apple (ESATA), then everything should work fine.  I’m testing a LG GGW-H20L Blueray/HD-DVD/DVD/Lightscribe (SATA drive) player now.  I’ve ordered a SATA/IDE from http://www.cooldrives.com/sahadradtoid.html since it seems to fit inside of the MacPro’s confined space.   I’ll let you know how it turns out.


I’m not 100% sure that Fusion or Parallels will see the ESATA drives.

*** Update ***
I received the IDE/SATA converter.  It’s an easy install *IF* you’re planning on only 1 drive in the bay.  If you have two drives, get a power splitter or an short 3 inch power extender cable.  Then try to work that blasted thing in.  You’ll know what I mean when you try it.  Geez.
Anyway, everything seems to work in Windows and the Mac side now.  I even ran a firmware update on the drive from inside Windows Vista64.

CrossOver Office and Office 2007

June 25th, 2008

So I downloaded CrossOver v7.01 and tested it on an iMac with MacOS 10.5.3. 

Office updates will not run (Security updates please!!!).
Desktop search will not install.
Initial issues printing (I can probably fix this, but I’m lazy). 

Some of these are known issues in the forums and are being worked on….I’m waiting!!

Other than that, everything works great!  Looks like I’m still stuck with VMWare Fusion 🙁

BootCamp with Vista Upgrade- Clean Installation

June 23rd, 2008

You’re a legitimate owner of Windows and you’ve purchased the upgrade, but you can’t get Bootcamp to work.  Why?  Because Windows doesn’t have the correct drivers installed to eject the disk.  If you can’t eject the disk, how the heck are you supposed to prove you’re a legitimate owner?!?!    I suppose you can install Windows XP via bootcamp, face some fun driver cleanup issues, and do a lot of extra work to clean up the disk.  Wow, did you ever get screwed! 


Here’s the solution:

Your Windows DVD has all the various versions of the Windows installation files on the DVD.  They judge your installation based on your product key.  Leave the product key blank, uncheck the “Automatically activate Windows when I’m online”, click Next.  Click No, when you are prompted to enter the product key before continuing.  On the setup screen select the correct version of Windows that you purchased (minus the upgrade option of course).  Remember we’re doing a full installation, not an upgrade……Well at the moment anyway. 

Note: Do not run any updates!!!

After the installation and you’ve booted into Vista, pop in your upgrade DVD and choose Vista Upgrade Media.  Enter your legitimate product key through the prompts and choose the Upgrade options.  After the installation has finished, run your updates, activation, etc, etc.

Let me know how this goes.  I’m just recalling this from memory and didn’t do a step by step like I usually do.  Guess I’m getting lazy.


Make sure you do the upgrade from within Windows.  If you boot from the installation disk to do the upgrade, it will not work.