D-Link SharePort Update

Update: D-Link has released a new firmware for the DIR-655 here, it contains a version of SharePort that is newer than SX Virtual Link.

I haven’t been following D-Link’s SharePort fiasco since the first few months of my previous blog posting about it here. This is due to the fact that as many users have experienced since the original release it appears to have gained more and more bugs in each new version and we only occasionally see them being fixed.

A forum post in the official D-Link forums about the Apple OSX users of the software pointed me to the fact that the drivers and software used to connect to the router appears to have been made by a company called Silex Technology.

I searched around and found SX-Virtual Link, the original name of the D-Link SharePort Utility, upon downloading and installing the latest version 3.2.3 I found that the application was the same as the SharePort Utility except for the branding and the version. D-Link’s latest SharePort Utility has the date 2009/01/06 and theirs is 2009/02/02, there is also a major version difference, the specific version number for the utility/drivers with SharePort is version 4.9.5 and SX-Virtual Link is up to version 5.3.0.

Upon using the utility I had no problems at all connecting to my D-Link DIR-655’s device, I used a wireless mouse to test the functionality and it worked flawlessly for some time, so I am encouraging users who currently have issues with SharePort to uninstall it and install SX-Virtual Link and see if it fixes any of the issues you are currently having with your devices.

For OSX users I have not been able to test out the OSX version and I am unaware of any changes you might need to make to get it working but I will provide a link below for those users to test if they so wish.

You can get the latest version of SX-Virtual Link just below:

These are updated versions (3.4.0) 31/12/2009

SX Virtual Link 3.4.0 Windows
SX Virtual Link 3.3.0 Mac OSX

Please comment below with your experiences.

Windows 7 – Can’t delete exe files on Desktop

During my testing of Windows 7 I have had almost no issues to report, the only things that have been of notice have been third party or driver related. Then there’s the permissions bug, this bug is so elusive that hardly anybody has reported it and nobody has a solution, not even me.

Update 1: It appears that as of build 7068 this bug may have been fixed, see comments below for details.

Update 2: There are reports the bug has reappeared in the RTM build, it can also occur in Windows Vista but slightly less often.

Update, September 2 2009: It has been mentioned below that this website has a possible fix and that it can fix both Windows Vista and Windows 7. I don’t get this bug any more on any of my machines so I am unable to verify it however.

Continue reading Windows 7 – Can’t delete exe files on Desktop

Dicing with death (of a Laptop Hard Drive)

We all make stupid mistakes once in a while

Late last month I backed up all my important data to a laptop hard drive that I had put in my external usb case so that I could format and install Windows again, this was to do with upgrading to a new core i7 based system, replacing the Motherboard/CPU/RAM, unfortunately I was running a RAID 0 array with my 2 new hard drives and the i7 motherboard’s raid chips were both different from the one I was using before, this requires a recreating the RAID and destroying the data.

Everything went smoothly and I was up and running quite quickly, however I noticed a symptom that I had experienced with my previous system, a pausing when browsing the hard drives and sometimes windows not booting (not passing past the BIOS screens), I noticed it was getting stuck on the external hard drive I was using so I removed it and all was well, I realised straight away however that there was something wrong with the hard drive.

I was able to copy over some of my files when I realised it was simply getting stuck on some, causing explorer to lock up etc and making the task very tedious, I was worried about taking the data off as if the drive has suffered a head crash I may be in trouble as hard drives can destroy what’s left of the data in the area when you attempt to read it, however that was not the case this time luckily.

I was able to run chkdsk once, it took forever but it was able to recover some files which made things better for me until I had the most important stuff such as precious photos etc off the hard drive and safe. I was skeptical that my problem was the hard drive, after all it didn’t make any odd noises or anything that would normally indicate a drive failure, so I took it out of the enclosure and put it in my laptop, immediately I got my answer, the BIOS POST halted on first boot up explaining that S.M.A.R.T is reporting a generic error (the most generic error possible I might add) that basically means the drive is failing and I should get the data off it.

It has taken me a few weeks and through using programs such as TeraCopy and an OSX program that I can’t quite remember now (it was no help anyway) I was able to get most off, about 20 files of no importance were corrupted beyond repair.

I now have all my backups on my main drive and also on another external drive that has proven itself to be quite reliable, if one goes I still have the other, lesson learned.

PS. Another lesson learned is that through much searching that hardly anybody experiences the issue that I did and most software is tailored to people making mistakes and formatting a perfectly good hard drive.

5 underrated Applications that I insist you try

This is more of a list than a review of each product, there is plenty of information out there on them for you to find.

1. AntiVir
Everybody loves their favourite anti virus program and many refuse to use any others, this creates a scenario where someone is using 1 anti virus application for years, the problem with this is no anti virus application stays on top for more than a year, you can bitch about how yours has been the best for years but those are the facts, many people are caught out when a virus gets through their anti virus defenses simply because they refused to change and keep up to date with current trends.

One high flier this year is AntiVir by Avira, AntiVir is similar to AVG in it’s simplistic nature and like AVG has a free version and several paid versions, it shines in scan times and detection rates, however you must watch out for those false positives as it does have a high false positive rate, this can be fairly easy to detect as those usually have no information in the virus database. I have not been able to try out their Firewall that is included in the Premium Security Suite however I have experience with the web filter and have found it incredibly effective, say goodbye to Antivirus 2008 trying to install itself because AnviVir won’t even let the page open and will instead put up it’s own page explaining the situation.

2. ImgBurn
I feel that this burning program doesn’t get the credit it deserves, it’s simple, fast and has the advanced features that you would not normally find in a free product, it’s the perfect application for burning a slipstreamed Windows installation yet can also burn the latest Linux ISO with only a few clicks.

3. FileZilla
FileZilla is an FTP application, again, simple, fast, highly customisable.

4. FoxIt Reader
This application has come a long way in a short time, it is a free alternative to Adobe’s PDF reader and works very well, I have not come across a PDF document that has not displayed properly. The speed has to be experienced to be believed, it absolutely flies, not only that but it works perfectly on fairly old computers as well. PS. Watch out for their sneaky install program in version 3, it tries to install toolbars and shortcuts, just uncheck them when you see them.

5. DownThemAll!
A simple download accelerator add-on for Firefox, some of us with high speed broadband connections need to utilise multiple download streams at once, the selections of software can be quite daunting, ranging from spyware/adware infested to down right intrusive and buggy. DownThemAll! is donationware, this means that on the main window, their is a link to donate to the application’s developer, it works great for multiple stream downloads with no fuss.

WordPress 2.6.1 and 2.6.2 are out

A little late on the news here but I have upgraded to 2.6.2. Grab it here. View their blogs here for 2.6.1 and here for 2.6.2.

Both upgrades are not too necessary, but don’t break anything if you do intend to get them, it’s always good to check to see if you really need any upgrades anyway, just in case something does break.

The admin styling has been improved for people with right-to-left writing languages.
A gettext pug with certain PHP configurations was fixed.
Fixed a few issues with permalinks for IIS hosted blogs.
Image insertion problems for IE users using ‘Press This’ were fixed.
Small performance improvements with blogs that have many plugins in the admin section.
There’s over 60 more, check them out here.

The main fix in this one is due to a vulnerability in MySQL that can allow someone to reset passwords on websites (WordPress based websites included) and reset passwords provided they have an open registration system.
There’s a few more fixes, check them out here.