Archive for September, 2009

Updating Intel SSD (X18-M in my case) using USB Flash Drive

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

problem: updating an Intel SSD (e.g. X18-M) using an USB Flash Drive

solution: download the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool and the latest update from intel.
Now make your flash drive bootable with the HP tool and select the content of the Intel update (e.g. mount it using Daemon Tools or similar) as boot content. Then copy the rest of the content of the Intel update to the flash drive (iSSDFUT.exe,...).
Finally change (if not already in that mode) the SATA mode to AHCI in the BIOS. Now boot the flash drive. Run


After reboot change the SATA mode back to the original one.

notes: I installed the HP tool on Windows 7. After starting the HP tool using "Run as Administrator" everything worked fine.

During investigation I often forgot to change the SATA mode back to IRRT (in my case). Interestingly Windows 7 still booted, but prompted me to perform system recovery - which of course failed :). After changing the SATA mode back to IRRT everything worked fine again.

External Closure for my 1.8” SATA Disk

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

problem/environment: I bought a Latitude XT2 with the standard 80gb 5400 RPM disk (SATA) and got the Intel X18-M (80gb SSD) as a replacement. Since the controller supports IRRT (Intel Rapid Recovery Technology) I want to connect the original disk using eSATA and backup my main disk. All this has to work on Windows 7.

solution: At least in Austria I couldn't get/find a hard drive closure for 1.8'' SATA disks providing an eSATA port. Thus I reverted to buy a 2.5'' closure (closure from delock). This one has the advantage to provide a Power Over eSATA connector. The Latitude XT2 has this connector on the right side. The downside is that it has a different internal SATA connector and I had to buy an adapter (make sure you get the Buchse. I originally bought this one... and it's the wrong way around).
To actually fit the adapter inside the closure I removed the soft plastic.
At first the disk was not detected using the Power Over eSATA cable, but using a standard eSATA cable and providing power using USB worked. Then I installed Intel Matrix Storage Manager for Windows 7. In difference to the Intel BIOS, the Storage Manager supports RAID creation without destroying existing data (at least the BIOS didn't state it different, so I didn't dare to create it there). It took a couple of hours to build the RAID, but sync on demand seems to be very fast.
After the reboot the Power Over eSATA cable worked too (I don't understand why).

As it seems you can also buy a Media Slice. First of all my dell contact stated that it doesn't have a hard drive slot (check the web site which states it does). Second the cost is 346,80 (euros) compared to 20,- for the closure plus 10,- for the adapter (30,- in total).

oleaut32.dll and crashing some services and explorer on Windows 7

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

For whatever reason my oleaut32.dll got broken on my Windows 7 installation. The final fix (after approx. 4h investigation) is

sfc /scannow

Three Mobile Broadband in UK (England) without using the Dongle/Modem on Windows 7 with Dell built-in HSDPA Modem

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Username: guest
Password: guest

Get the voucher at one of their stores - you can pay with a non-uk credit card.

SNAT + DNAT = router as source address for port mapping

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

problem: In got multiple routes to the internet and port mapping from different public ips to internal services. If the port mapping origins from the default gateway of the destination server, everything is straight forward. If a public ip other than the default gateway is used, one option is to change the source ip of incoming packets for the port mapped service on the router. Thus all requests arriving at the destination server appear to origin from router and the server knows how to route back.

environment: router is running openwrt, but I'm using standard iptables stuff. In the below samples is the router and is the destination server (http). is the public ip.


iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -d -p tcp --dport 80 -j DNAT --to-destination
iptables -t nat -I POSTROUTING 1 -s -d -j SNAT --to