Fail Garmin Uncategorized

Updating a Garmin Nuvi? Got "No detailed maps found that support routing. The nuvi cannot be used without them"?

Then you are probably really *(%^ off right now!  And you have probably found that when connected to your computer, the Nuvi does not show as an attached device.

However, I have a solution for you.

The update to your Nuvi failed, and the maps are not on it.

Take your Nuvi, and press on the message (which nearly fills the screen) for about 5-10 seconds.  The message will then disappear.  At this point you (if you have a password on it) will have to unlock the device.

Then attach it to your computer, it should now appear, and the updates (using garmin express probably) will then continue and complete.

Your brick should now be functional again.

Fail ReadyNAS Uncategorized

#NetGear, #ReadyNAS, virtualisation and it\’s support penalties (a draft from a few months ago)

I\’m writing as a technician in the US is fixing a NetGear ReadyNAS. At 2:28 in the morning.

We don\’t yet know what went wrong, but we do know it stopped talking to the LAN for management and the Private SAN about 21 1/2 hours ago.

I got it working again by lunchtime, but then about 90 minutes later it dropped out. Permanently it seemed, so it was time to call out the big guns.

A tech support call later had someone on the phone from Holland to help sort things out, but that introduced some fun.

As the NAS supported the infrastructure at this site, including the gateway server, and email – there was to be no email, and no remote control sessions in the normal course of events,

And, as the ADSL links are in the other building a physical link into the back of the router was not possible.

This is what I needed to have working:
-1. A tablet working and connected to the Internet without using the main LAN
0. An email account ( at the moment) through which I can send and receive emails outside the infrastructure to the support team.
1. A laptop connected to the DMZ directly (which is physical, not virtual) and able to connect to the Internet.
2. A wireless connection to the internal LAN that could attempt to talk to the management interface of the ReadyNAS.
3. A serial cable to plug into the ReadyNAS for telnet connection and direct management.
4. A USB to serial UART converter
5. The drivers for the converter!!!
6. Network cables that would reach from the laptop to the ReadyNAS, from the laptop to the DM\’S Hub, and from the ReadyNAS to the DMZ hub.
7. Patience (there was a nearly 4 hour break in communications with support when they did not answer my updates or emails #fail
8. Access to for instructions on how to reboot the ReadyNAS into different modes (watch out for factory reset!!!)

So, would you be able to get this running in under an hour?
Do you even have a serial cable in the office now?
If you do, do you have a computer (that you can then connect to the Internet) with a serial port on it?

Thankfully I did, but I might easily not have.

.NET Framework Fail Microsoft Uncategorized

#Microsoft, your .NET patching is really beginning to annoy

You know the score, you install or update something within the .NET framework and that friendly mscorsvw.exe kicks off recompiling assemblies for you (a good thing) and takes up nearly all your CPU.

But when you have an occasionally used machine, it might be nice if it did not do it for each of 10-20 patches for the framework.  And not in turn for each one.  It’s bloody annoying, especially when that machine has been turned on especially for an unplanned piece of work.
Is there a good reason it cannot be run once, after the last patch is applied?  Or is that just too sensible…
(added later)

Yes I know you can park the jobs, or run them later, or drop the priority.  But the whole point of the patching is to be done under the covers, and just done seamlessly and easily.  Not to intrude so much!

Fail Uncategorized

London 2012 – a decent app, but wasting valuable screen space for this…

Strewth, what a bad idea. I have the app,why prompt me to get it?

Bank Fail Uncategorized

A bank\’s definition of crime

Last week one of my pieces of plastic was compromised.  More will come out later, but in the meantime I thought you might enjoy this.
During the course of a 2 hours on the phone today trying to sort out issues, I was advised that the bank does not regard a fraud as having taken place if their systems prevent (or their customers prevent) a fraudulent transaction from reaching a transaction on your bank statement.
So that’s it then, a crime is only a crime when it is successful.  We can kiss goodbye to all convictions for conspiracy to rob a bank.
easyJet Fail Uncategorized Verified By Visa

Verified By Visa – a security joke. But, by the way, their normal UK landline is 0247 684 2063

If you use a credit or debit card online you’ll probably have come up against Verified by Visa or MasterCard’s equivalent.  It’s a scheme to have a frame in a browser page managed by the credit card provider (instead of the retail outlet) to do a password check.
I’ve always thought it security theatre.
It pretty much is.
Today a card of mine was compromised.  I performed a legitimate online transaction at easyJet at 12:02, with a card that has not been used online (other than at the Bank’s own banking site, and the DVLA) in over three months, or in an ATM since 25th October – it’s specifically for riskier online transactions which are few and far between for me.  Within a few minutes someone had my card details and the following transactions were attempted
  • 12:04pm (2 minutes later!!!) £5 at a wildlife park – this went through
  • At 12:07 just under £2k to a Barclaycard account (not mine) – this was blocked
  • At 12:20 86p at Experian – this went through
  • At 12:36 a second attempt at the Barclaycard account – still blocked
As this is the second time a card has been compromised so soon after using easyJet I’ll leave it to your imagination what I think of them.  Of course it is conceivable that some other route to compromise may have occurred – but this is the *second* time exactly the same thing has happened with a rarely used card used at easyJet.  So I know where I think it’s happening.
However, whilst this was going on I received an email from Verified By Visa at 12:35 saying my password had been changed – and if not to contact them on a premium rate number (which various internet reports indicate an extension hold time for profit).   See below (a couple of details removed) – would you think this was a genuine email or a scam?  Note especially the unmatched domain name, and the over 2 years old BT call fee statement!
So I binged the number (0870 156 6485) and found a normal landline number to call (and also verified it at Barclays own website).  The double advantage of the 0247 number is that I can use free mobile phone minutes as well.
The net result was that the card was eventually blocked.  But honestly – what is the point of a secondary layer of security on a system that can be completely compromised by someone with only the already used credit card details?
OK, receiving the email did give me a prompt that something was up, but very poorly due to the format, content and address.  But the fraud detection at the bank had already done that in effect by blocking transactions.  Shouldn’t the reset of the password at least require email confirmation or a known fact BEFORE completing?
FWIW the security question at the bank’s call centre were better – they picked a random DD or 2 that I pay and made me confirm details about the recipient/amount.  Now that was sensible.
Hacked off.
Fail Uncategorized

No #Symantec, I don\’t want to find the original ISO file right now #fail

After a somewhat traumatic 24 hours recovering from an unexpected 15 hours power outage at the office (when of course, I wasn’t there). Stuff™ needed to be done.
One of these was catching up with why the Backup Exec 2010 R3 installation wasn’t patching on my last physical server (the one with the tape drive attached).
So I ran LiveUpdate and it just failed.  No meaningful reasons, just failed.
So I ran the update again, but this time checked out the Patch ID’s that were needed.  Then, headed over to Symantec’s site to download them.  Both were there, and took only a short time to download. 
So first the latest Hotfix. About halfway through up popped a dialog box requesting the location of a file to copy.  The bad news is that it didn’t state either the file name or the location.  It was just the usual location dropdown and a browse button (apologies for no screen shot – forgot to do it).  So I browsed around and nowt worked.  So eventually I left the dropdown blank, and then hit OK.
Off it went to try to do some work, and then – hallelujah – came back with an error message that “Symantec Backup Exec for Servers.msi” was not available.
This MSI is, of course, on the original DVD or ISO.  So off I went and grabbed that, and got the fix to work.  Then the service pack rolled just right in.
I understand that at times the some files might be missing or wanted, but, why Symantec – why the hell can you not tell me the file name or the fact that it’s on the original DVD?
And secondly, and much more importantly – what is the use of LiveUpdate if it cannot inform the user of files/DVD/ISO that is required so that this “Automatic Patching” can actually patch, automatically.

Apple Fail Mango Microsoft Succeed Uncategorized WP7

Device upgrade – how #Apple was a #Fail and #Microsoft was a #Success

So yesterday was a bad day with apple.  You can read more – see the links below.  But I think the title of the post says most of it.

Apple upgrade woes
Where do itunes backups go on windows
With Apple it doesn\’t just work, in fact…
Oh and if you independantly download the IPSW
3 hours on tech support phone call
7 hours+ to do upgrade
Upgrade incomplete
Data lost
Result: Misery

Microsoft Upgrade works a treat
Want mango wp7 now but your network connection is not easy to get to?
0 hours on tech support
3 hours to upgrade
Upgrade complete
No data lost
Result: Happiness

Oh, PS I upgrade both of the family Satnav’s last night, Garmin’s upgrade tools worked a treat.
Apple Fail iPad iTunes Uncategorized

With #Apple it doesn\’t "just work", in fact it can fail and they can\’t help you. Don\’t upgrade to iOS5 without reading this.

Leaving aside the links they send you to fixes that will probably fix things, but they won’t support…
The iOS upgrade process is fundamentatally flawed.  At the beginning it wants to backup your device – good idea.  However (as I have discovered) it makes some pretty weird decisions about how much disk space is required – in my case it claims 20GB is required, but in fact only used about 500MB.  What I didn’t know it would do is do the backup, not verify it, and then perform the upgrade anyway.  So despite knowing the backup was smaller than expected my iPad was being upgraded anyway…
Because of the situation I was in, I was on the phone to Apple support when the upgrade process was finally made to start – so the backup happened and then the upgrade took place under their guidance, and then I got my iPad back.  But it was somewhat stark – no applications at all.  And no documents of in application data either.  Then the automatic restore of the iPad post upgrade failed.
So I got back onto Apple support.  The long and short of it is:
  • Backups are hidden away in your application data folders on Windows machines.
  • Backups may demand 20GB, but then only consume a few MB, but even if they only need a few MB you need that 20GB free first.
  • The backup before an iOS upgrade may remove all previous backups so that you have no fall back to iOS 4.x
  • The backup before an iOS upgrade is necessary (and if you cannot do it – you get a warning that it is a risk), however it is not verified, may fail, and you’ll not be told that the backup is bad before the Upgrade continues anywa, overwriting your setup.
  • Whilst Apple completely control the environemtn (hardware, software, app admission) their Tech Support says that inapp data or settings may corrupt a backup and make recovery impossible. And that’s not their fault, or their problem to fix.  Apparantly it’s mine.
If you have any in application content on your apple device then you need to make sure you have alternative arrangements for its protection:
  • some (like iA Writer, PhatPad etc) backup into the cloud with DropBox
  • some (like Pages etc) can backup through the File Sharing in iTunes (although in my experience not all your documents are exposed and therefore available to backup under iOS 4.x)
  • some will have iCloud backup after you get to iOS 5
  • some have the means to email yourself settings or data (and I do this)
  • some apps will store your settings in the cloud at their own services (Echofon, Feeddler using Google Reader for instance…)
In the end I have to accept that my iPad is little more than a factory reset, and I have to start again.  Many of my apps have settings in the cloud, or docs in the cloud so I should be OK, any that are not – I probably won’t miss (as I had been anticipating this issue and had been creating content defensively).
So my fix is to force App sync from iTunes to the iPad, overwriting anything there, and potentially any app data.  Once that is done, I then have the horror of rebuilding all my app group icons so that instead of 10 or more screens, I have 2 sensibly organised windows of apps that I can easily find, with the occasional exception where I use search instead.
I’m not stupid enough to believe that a backup should never fail and that Apple should be entirely responsible for the security and protection of my device.  But I am clever enough to know that that when a backup is a required step in an upgrade then a) the backup should be verified, b) the user should be advised of backup or verification failure and c) the user should be allowed to make an informed decision to go ahead without such a backup.
So – you should regard an Apple device as something that even the Apple tools may not protect, and in their own words, do not rely on a courtesy tool and instead make alternative arrangements for backup of app content and settings.  In the main, look for apps that allow you to use tools like DropBox et al for content, and apps like Feeddler or Echofon that can synchronise settings around the devices.
Finally?  I reckon if this story had been a Microsoft story instead of an Apple story…  imagine:
  • Paid for Microsoft support
  • An upgrade to an OS that fails
  • Microsoft support talk you through using Microsoft supplied tools to backup the system and implement the upgrade
  • The upgrade fails and you cannot restore your computer
  • Microsoft say that the failure is no longer their responsibility and that you are on your own, and wish you good luck with it.
I think some of the media and Microsoft ecosystem might have something to say.

Apple Fail iPad iTunes Uncategorized

Where do iTunes backups go on a Windows PC with redirected folders? After 70 minutes with #apple support iTunes for Windows #fail again. #Mobius

Time for the iOS 5 update to hit the iPad and wanting to have the vanilla user experience I elected to wait until Apple’s servers and my middle of the rural blackout zone ISP connection to hold up long enough for iTunes to complete the download of the iOS update.
So, backup the pad, transfer the purchases, sync up and hit the magic Update button.
Despite having ½TB of free disk space the pre-upgrade backup would not proceed because there was insufficient disk space.
Turns out that despite Apple support\’s certainty that the backups should be on the C: drive, if you have redirected AppData and home folders (an entirely reasonable business decision), then iTunes insists on backups to the redirected folder.  Apple support then suggested that as iTunes and the device is more of a domestic device that this is sensible.
So then it turns out that iTunes does not have the capability to redirect the backups anywhere.  So they send me a link to a fudge.  Thus:
Dear P J,
Thank you for contacting Apple.
Your support Advisor, , has a follow-up message for you:
Based on the details you provided, we think you might find the following information helpful:
We want to help you get the best service and support for your Apple product. Please visit our award-winning Support website to find product information, tutorials, troubleshooting steps, and much more.
One catch – this is not supported by Apple.  So should I take a backup, and redirect it this way, then Apple cannot help me sort things out.  How to turn an iPad into an expensive paperweight.
Not acceptable.
We discuss it further.
Apple Support suggest I do my backup to iCloud (assuming I have purchased enough capacity there).  I (not so gently) observe that he is suggested I upgrade to iOS 5 to do a backup to iCloud so that I can then upgrade to iOS 5.  I am now fully on the Apple Support Mobius Strip
So, where does the backup go? I ask.  Some scurrying around on their information systems and eventually we discover it is not the home drive as previously stated (I knew that because I’d already looked), but the redirect Application Data folder.  There I find the backups.
Eventually, after further discussion we come to the conclusion that after backup I can move the folders (\\Apple Computer\\MobileSync\\Backup) to my local disk.  This will save my server from having an extra 20GB or so to backup each night.
Apple support then went on to suggest that the obfuscated location is good for security and this is why the location of the backups cannot be changed within the iTunes interface.  A red rag to a bull, we discuss.  Apple support eventually come to the conclusion that password protection of the backup might be a better security approach.  But maybe I could make a suggestion at their website.  I do, the webpage does not exist…
When the page works, enchantingly the only OS I can report problems on is OSX.  It seems for feedback purposes, Windows does not exist to Apple.