full randomness, mostly IT stuff, but not 100% guaranteed

Adobe Reader DC uploads your files to Amazon AWS without consent

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on April 28, 2015

not sure if any of you have noticed but it seems you do not need to have an adobe document cloud account to open PDFs you may have opened on another computer so long as you are signed into the Acrobat Reader DC. It seems that once you sign into the program the files are available on other devices.

what concerns me is that for this to be possible i would imagine the file has to be uploaded somewhere so the other computer with Adobe Reader DC can open it… right?

take for example on the screenshots. i am trying this out on 2 computers. one of my computers is for work, and the second computer is for personal use. lets say i open the the file ‘From Work Computer.pdf’ on my work computer and after i am done reading it i close it. On my other computer which is my personal (non-work) computer i open the file’ From Home PC.pdf’ and then close it. if i go to recent files i can see the ‘From Work Computer.pdf’ on my home computer with a little cloud symbol next to it. if i click on it, it says ‘downloading from adobe document cloud’ and then it shows the file which does not reside on that computer.

so i went to the creative cloud section in Adobe Reader DC and says there are no files.. BUT the screenshot shows it ‘downloaded’ from the cloud. so i got curious and opened the resources in windows and as soon as i opened a new file the process AdobeCollabSync.exe sent network data to *.amazonaws.com which is a cloud service provider. I’m making an educated guess that is why i can see it on other computers where the file isnt save as well as my mobile phone.

what i gathered is that without the users consent it sent a copy up to the cloud. Now, i know for the current quasi-goverment company i am doing work for this would be a violation of their regulatory compliance so i guess i have to sign out of Adobe Reader DC and see if that stops this.

i would wonder what Adobe has to say about the uploading of files without the users content, as someone who works with intellectual property and has to abide by compliance this is not a good thing. furthermore, if amazon ever gets hacked, id be worried about my files or my client’s files getting breached as well.

furthermore, from an enterprise side of things i would like to know what can be done on the enterprise firewall side to block this.

screenshots related to this blog post below
On Work PC opening file not on pc network adobesync no dc adobe iphone

Downgrading iOmega ix2-200 drives challenges (part 2)

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on January 6, 2015

this is a part 2 of my last post “Downgrading iOmega ix2-200 drives challenges” and resumes from that

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so after all my iscsi data was copied over to my machine, i  decided to plug the drive back in and do an offline scan…

offline

eventually that failed, so there is no repairing the drive.

on bay 1 i inserted a new 1tb SATA drive and left the existing 2tb SATA drive in there. i tried to rebuild the array but of course the smaller drive is smaller and it was not possible.

however i was determined to do this so what i did was SSH into the NAS using WinSCP and copied the ISCSI files to my computer (just in case).

what i did after i had a copied the files was stop the SCSI service.

disable

from then i broke the RAID array – this told me it needs to delete existing data to change drive configuration which is what i expected (on the below picture you can sort of see the different drive sizes behind the message box)

breaking raid

eventually this completes and i have no data on a non RAID drive. then i powered off the NAS and proceeded to remove the existing 2tb drive to replace with a new 1tb drive (so both drives will be new and 1tb in size each). i powered on NAS expecting to possibly see a WLoD (White Light of Death) which is what happens when neither drive has the boot files/partition. to my suprise it came back up.

again i went to drive management and proceeded to change from protection none to protection mirror (RAID 1) – again, i have to confirm all data will be erased.

create raid

once that is clicked RAID will build. youll end up with an empty RAID 1 (mirror) NAS. after this was done, i went and created a ‘fake’ ISCI drive, named it the same name as the previous one, fired up WinSCP and went back to /mnt/pools/A/A0/iSCSI found the new ISCSI there. then i re-stopped the ISCSI service, renamed the file (in case what im trying to do doesnt work) and proceeded to upload my old ISCI file back to the same place as the new file

iscsi move back

after this is done, i now have a fake ISCSI file and the real ISCSI file i need. went back and turned on iSCSI service on NAS and proceeded to try and configure my ISCI initiator on my Windows computer to point to NAS.

low and behold, the old file is accepted and im prompted with a BitLocker encryption challenge (my ISCSI was BitLocker encrypted). i authenticated and now can see the file system again.

it took about 3 days since copying the ISCSI files up and down takes a really long time but i have the NAS on RAID 1 with 2 new drives and the ISCSI files still intact.

now i have a big ISCSI container which is 500gb in size. since i dont have this much space, the approach to take is create the fake iSCSI target file, stop the ISCI service in nas, delete the file, upload the intended one, turn on ISCI service and continue as if nothing happened.

i hope that helps who ever stumbles into this. important to note that after the RAID is broken it seems to place the boot files in both drives which allowed me to remove the 2nd drive and end up with all new drives, unless the latest FW somehow puts the boot sector/files NAS RAM and not drives. either way its good to know that you can do a two drive swap and still use the NAS.

Downgrading iOmega ix2-200 drives challenges

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on January 3, 2015

well folks, its been 3 years since my ‘upgrading iOmega ix2-200 drives’ post and then this happened.BadDrive

so after 3 years of the NAS being turned on 100% of the time, one of the drives decided to quit on me. so im at a point where im still trying to recover from a successful Christmas and didnt want to spend money on this.

Given the circumstances and of course me trying to be frugal, i looked at my hdd drawer and found two 1tb drives.

2015-01-03 08.16.00

at first i thought why downgrade, but after looking at the space i’m actually using after 3 years (575gb) i decided to go with spending 0 money and downgrade to two equal 1tb drives

2015-01-03 08.16.00

so here is what im going to try and do…

  1. turn off nas
  2. remove bad drive and replace with 1tb drive
  3. power on nas
  4. wait what will probably seem like eternity to rebuild
  5. profit

powered on device, sad drive, went to rebuild, authorized the drive to be used and wiped (forgot i had data written to it)

Capture

immediately it complained that the drive is too small to use

Capture

so i guess i need a drive of the same size.

wait a minute i thought, all the space i have is in 3 separate iSCSI luns. so what if i

  1. ssh into the device using its diagnostics page http://xx.xx.xx.xx/diagnostics.html to get port number etc,
  2. copy the iSCSi stores to my local computer
  3. break the raid
  4. initialize the drives separately
  5. after step $4 is done, power off NAS
  6. remove 2tb drive
  7. power on to see if it boots with just new drive
  8. if step 7 is successful, power off NAS again
  9. add secondary 1tb drive
  10. power on device
  11. create a raid mirror
  12. ssh into machine again
  13. copy 3 iscsi files back (change permissionsif needed)
  14. restart nas
  15. see if iscsi volumes are again shown

permissions

i am currently trying this approach and will post what happens after my iscsi stores copy which may be a while

Microsoft DaRT 8.1 Recovery Image (MDOP 2013)

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on September 17, 2013

The last few days I’ve been busy creating a portable lab on a USB 3.0 drive i can bring with me when i travel for work. One of the things i finally got a change to open was the DaRT Recovery Image Tool/Utility. 

Ive used the older versions but unless my memory is failing or foggy (which is quite possible) i noticed that the new DaRT lets you create a BOOTABLE USB

Image

 

one of the things i did notice though, was that this new version will only create Windows 8 DaRT images, when i tried to point it to a Windows 7 i got the below message

Image

 

so it is still pretty cool but lets forget about Windows 7 for a moment. I documented some of the screens the Wizard generates for both future reference to myself or anyone else who stumbles on this who may have been looking for something like this.

Image

 

Image

Image

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in terms of options that can be toggled/selected in the WinPE tab… see below

Image

Image

Image

 

happy DaRT’ing!

Synology DS1512+ Woes

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on September 1, 2013

A few days ago I started getting the message that 1 of the drives that makes up my RAID 1 configuration (Mirrored) has failed and performance was degraded. I figured I could wait it out and gradually migrate data off of the disk group AFTER Memorial Day.

My DS1512+ had other plans. So late last night (and I mean really  late – the wife woke up and called me a spaz for being awake on my MacBook Air at like 3am queuing up the contents of my drive while doing my work expenses) I had my spidey sense go off and I started moving stuff out of the bad disk group. low and behold this morning I woke up and the target space I was moving data to was filled with no free space and the disk group had entirely crashed.

now im thinking OMG I just lost data…
Crash

Dead

but I rebooted the NAS and even though I cannot browse the contents of it using the web based interface I can still FTP to it and move files. I noticed it got frozen on an ISO (made note of it) twice when I started to resume that so I skipped it.

Seems to be transferring just fine so far, sans the corrupted ISO file. my biggest annoyance right now is that from the DS1512+ to my local drive its transferring at speeds that would make baby Jesus cry 773MB to a SATA 6G drive and im moving data from that drive to a USB drive.. and that’s where my bottleneck is. My USB drive is happily churning along 29MB/s while the FTP transfer is happening SO much faster that I have to hit pause on FTP so it doesn’t fill up the drive faster then the data is being moved out of it

773Mbps

FTP

Thanks to the financial magic the wife has I went ahead and just purchased 5 of these. http://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/nas-drives/nas-hdd/?sku=ST4000VN000 I was thinking id RAID 5 them since its supposed to give you a slightly higher performance as opposed to the Synology SHR but I was reading that with the SHR I wouldn’t have to wait until the raid is rebuilt everytime a drive needs replacement or if I upgrade one of the drives. Originally I had 5 drives, disk 1-2 were mirrored and shared as CIFS/SMB/NFS/FTP, disk 3-4 were mirrored shared via iSCSI for my VMware Lab. now im thinking I may just SHR all 5 drives as a massive unit and carve out 1tb in 2 iSCSI targets.

I also have a iOMEGA NAS (my other post) that I was debating allocating 1TB into another iSCSI target, thus giving me the ability to migrate VMs and ISOs across different hosted datastores.

I want to setup Hyper-V in my lab also and have a few VMs hosted on there as well to get some hands on on the new stuff Hyper-V is offering in the improvements of Server 2012 R2. Once I move data out of this I may start doing some performance testing on the iOMEGA as well since ive never used it the iSCSI features from it.

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Dual Booting OSX and Windows 7 on Apple Hardware

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on January 16, 2013

I am a fan of both Apple OSX and Microsoft Windows. As a technology advocate i find myself pushing my limits and getting myself in situations that most people don’t. 

That being said, all Apple computers (that i know of) come with a feature called Boot Camp which is a multi boot utility that allows the partitioning/sizing of an existing OSX to also boot up Windows 7. Its great since it lets you have the best of both worlds, its limitation is that you can only in theory boot to one operating system at a time (true dual-boot).

Now, add VMware Fusion to the mix — Fusion has a feature that will essentially let you import an existing Bootcamp partition and … get ready for this… run BOTH OSX and Windows simultaneously.

Whats even more exciting is that, even after imported and giving you the ability to simultaneously booth booth, you can power off the VM, reboot OSX – boot to Windows and vice versa flawlessly… or so i thought.

what i started seeing was… when Windows 7 booted into its own OS (sand Fusion) it would be activated, but when booting from Fusion it would not be. Eventually i started seeing an activation failed message.

the solution (pretty stupid) is to log into the Windows 7 physical OS, let it activate and shut down, boot into OSX then open Windows 7 from Fusion.

Odd behavior… but it works. Perhaps its because when its Fusion loaded some of the components change (perhaps VMware Fusion presents the hw components differently, which is more likely the case).

 

hope that solves someone a headache but i am certain most of you would have eventually figured it out.

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on January 3, 2013

i havent posted anything in a while, mainly because i haven’t found anything worthwhile sharing – however for a good part of the year in 2012 i was trying to figure out good way to sync files & folders across all my computers. that being said, i have 2 OSX devices and 3 Windows devices. the journey into self evaluation and their pros and cons was interesting and a pain in the rear at times. i will sometime this month write up something on that experience… suffice to say though, there is no silverbullet when trying to sync from Windows <–> OSX. expect something here in the next few weeks.

Windows 8 Customer Preview on VMware

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on March 3, 2012

A few days ago, Microsoft released Windows 8 Customer Preview. Having a Windows Phone and being a technology advocate and a big fan of the Metro UI, I was really excited to get this in my home lab for testing, which usually means building a virtual machine on vSphere 5 so i can attempt to use it for evaluation purposes.

apparently, being lazy and not having updated vSphere 5 since i installed it meant that the newly released OS would just give me the sad face

windows on vSphere without host patching makes sad.

so i went and installed the required update for Windows 8 to work o my vSphere 5 environment https://hostupdate.vmware.com/software/VUM/OFFLINE/release-325-20111212-924952/ESXi500-201112001.zip

fast forward a bit and now i have a windows 8 virtual machine working… so what does someone like me do after its working… well since i enjoy the benefits of VMware View based VDI, its only natural in my mind that I try and make this vm part of my virtual VDI pool. So i did what any curious geek would do. added it to domain, and installed VMware View 5 agent, rebooted the vm and waited eagerly for it to come online so i can try this with my iPad 2 (courtesy of Harvey Nash..thanks guys)… checked on the View console for it… noticed something odd

i see the Windows 8 desktop shown but the agent version is ‘unknown’ and the status message is ‘waiting for agent’ … so i wait and wait and wait… nod off while waiting.. eventually i said.. lets just try it on the view ipad app… as expected i see the message

that’s what i expected since the status on the console says waiting..so i logged into the vm using the vSphere console, works.., i make sure remote desktop is enabled and my local and domain accounts are added to the remote desktop groups, all seems fine. i go back into my windows 7 vDesktop and decide to create a RDP shortcut to connect to the Windows 8 vm and set the display to full screen. i open the Windows 8 session from the windows 7 session from my vmware view ipad endpoint… WORKS…

granted this isnt how i wanted to come in i suppose if i really wanted to test it from ipad and while on the road i would just have to deal..metro UI looks nice, lets go ahead and open (my previously configured mail tile)…

son of a !@#$%, i see the error below

so after all that (which was exciting nonetheless) no reward? that is very frustrating.

Afterthoughts

  • would be cool to get a working VMware View Agent that connects to View without issues.
  • would also be cool if Microsoft didn’t require higher resolution that my iPad for apps to work… I wonder if the iPad 2 hindrance was deliberate.

i think if the view agent would have worked, i may have replaced my VDI vm of choice in the long run to Windows 8. I know its not retail so it may be a while before the view agent works on W8 but if anyone figures a way to get it working… DO LET ME KNOW

hope that was helpful

Upgrading IOmega ix2-200 to bigger hard drives.

Posted in Uncategorized by alfredomarchena on January 31, 2012

I purchased an iomega ix2-200 around a year and a half ago, wonderful device. however since then, the data i have in my household has grown. So i thought, i would replace the 2 x 1tb drives it came bundled with and upgrade them to 2 x 2tb drives with future planning in mind…. clearly not an easy feat as you will find out why.

first things first, i love learning and trying new things, but one thing about me is that as much as i love learning, i no longer have the time or luxury to try and do extensive research and properly understand things. This gives me two valid lessons; 1- i should just save headaches and RTFM since it often goes this way.  2- being a hands-on person, this is undoubtedly the best way for me to learn something.

Nonetheless, it became clear that iomega had intended to continue their monetary gain by simplifying the process and taking the complexity of such activity while at the same time having you return to them and shell out more money in their direction. Now if i didnt have 7 hard drives loitering & littering the space i refer to as my hybrid desk-home office space it would make sense. however i have all these drives and i wanted to use 2 of the 2tb size i already own.

first attempt

removed BOTH 1tb OEM drives and replaced with 2tb drives… powered on, get what after googling around discovered is called a WLoD (white light of death) – how so if these drives were working fine when i tested them prior to putting them on.

research revealed that the partition and files required for the device to start up are in fact NOT in some sort of onboard memory, but in fact in drive(s). The boot partition is created on both drives to ensure if one drive fails it can still boot from the other one and once a faulty drive is replaced that it is able to start up properly.

there are some page hits when researching ‘upgrading’ drives on this device but some required booting into linux and partitioning and copying files and dl an older unencrypted bios from the web.

if youre like me and embrace a KISS way of life, then you damn well want to avoid all those extra steps. having ALL the data previously moved to my DNS-321 gives me the ability to not give a damn about the data, in fact i never trust upgrades to go smoothly, so i always copy all the data and delete it from the device i am tinkering with so i can manually queue it all back and manually copy it myself.

heres what i did and it worked (note that there is probably a step(s) there that can be skipped, however its working so feel free to skip the step(s) if you figure it out and let me know (via comment) if it works with it removed)

1- left original iomega drive (1tb) in bay 1 and replaced bay 2 with my own 2tb drive

2- booted and went into drive management and added drive and rebuild raid 1 array – took a while (but not FOREVER)

3- after that completed, and it booted up, successfully.. powered back off and replaced bay #1 with my 2nd 2tb drive while leaving my 1st 2tb drive (mentioned in step 1) in there

4- powered on and once again went into drive management and rebuilt drive 1 array

5- after that completed, it saw both drives but the available space was only the size of the smaller original 1tb drive, so i had to set protection level to raid 0, it gave me the schpeel about it earasing all data.

6- once that finished it saw an a striped capacity of 3.64tb

7- set protection to level 1 (raid 1) and applyed changes to rebuild the arraid in a mirrored mode.

Now i have the intended capacity of 3.64TB in a mirrored (RAID 1) mode

i realized i could have probably just set it to raid 0 and saved me time then re-raid them to raid 1 but as i recalled the boot partition one only 1 drive i got paranoid and took the extra step, it may be possible to skip this extra precaution but i didnt do it. again, i am interested if any one tries it the shortened way and it works, please let me know.

so there you have it. i dont recall the temperature of the old drives but this one when i replaced the drives was running a little hot, do tell if you notice temperature changes. the device has an internal built-in fan but i guess it hasnt reached its threshold to go off. this temperature may also be affected by the fact that its accessing both drives while it was rebuilding arraid.

thats a simple way to get this done without having to do some crazy linux commands, however if you want to know those ways here are the links

http://tentacles.posterous.com/upgrading-the-disks-in-an-iomega-storcenter-i

http://zepman.tweakblogs.net/blog/3552/iomega-ix2-200-bad-flash-recovery-and-hdd-replacement.html

one thing i must mention, is DO NOT reformat your original drives. iomega considers this a way to void warranty, so you may want to hang on to that in case you ever require warranty (as long as your still within the warranty period) and them to recognize it, else you are SOOL.

 update January 6. 2015:
so after 3 years of my NAS being on 24/7 one of the drives died on me. as a result i posted these 2 posts
part 1: https://alfredomarchena.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/downgrading-iomega-ix2-200-drives-challenges/
part 2: https://alfredomarchena.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/downgrading-iomega-ix2-200-drives-challenges-part-2/