QNAP RAID rebuild way too slow, resolved

In an 8-drive Qnap TS 879 Pro, we had a drive fail. After replacing the drive, the rebuild started automatically. A couple hours later, the status showed only 1% rebuilt. At this rate, it will take a week to rebuild – that’s no good, what if another drive fails in the meanwhile?

Searching brought me to this page that explains how to improve this. We logged into the unit as user admin and executed the following command:
echo 40000 > /proc/sys/dev/raid/speed_limit_min

Then monitoring with cat /proc/mdstat I saw the “finish” value drop from over 8800 minutes to less than 1400. Now the rebuild should be done in one day instead of one week.

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Endicia Dazzle not working because connections to symcb.com and symcd.com blocked

We had an application (Dazzle) on a firewalled Windows 7 computer that was failing due to an unknown error. We’d already whitelisted the domains as suggested by Endicia here . Analyzing the problem, we found connections to se.symcb.com/se.crl and se.symcd.com being blocked.

Investigating this we determined that the domains are owned by Symantec Corporation and are used in the process of verifying secure certificates, more specifically, the ‘Certificate Revocation List’. We found that whenever the program starts, it tries to make this connection. After whitelisting the domains in our local proxy, the program worked normally.

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Postscript file not printing / duplexing- Resolved

I’m working with an old vb program that produces and outputs a postscript file to a printer. With the old printer, the file always printed on both sides of the paper. We tested some new printers and some models printed on both sides whereas others would print two single-sided pages. Tracking down the cause was a challenge so I’m noting it here in case this ever comes up again, or might be of help to anyone.

First it wouldn’t print at all, so we turned on the printer’s postscript debugging option and that output a page with the following note:

ERROR: configurationerror
OFFENDING COMMAND: setpagedevice
ERRORINFO: Key= /PageSize Value = arraytype

I found the paper size hard coded in our program and I updated it to the new paper size. Then it started printing single-sided two sheets.

In our program that generates the postscript, for each side of the page was something like this:

"%%BeginPageSetup" & vbCrLf & _
"<< /Duplex true >> setpagedevice" & vbCrLf & _
"<< /Tumble true >> setpagedevice" & vbCrLf & _
"90 rotate" & vbCrLf & _
"/pagelevel save def" & vbCrLf & _
"%%EndPageSetup" & vbCrLf & _

I found the solution to getting the duplexing to work is to remove the “Duplex true” call from the second page. Changed the front page to:

"%%BeginPageSetup" & vbCrLf & _
"<< /Duplex true /Tumble true >> setpagedevice" & vbCrLf & _
"90 rotate" & vbCrLf & _
"/pagelevel save def" & vbCrLf & _
"%%EndPageSetup" & vbCrLf & _

and removed the Duplex / Tumble line from the back page and it worked, the program now prints on both sides of the paper, yes!!

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Where is busybox on vmware ESXi 5.1?

On ESXi 5.0, busybox is in /usr/bin but on ESXi 5.1 it’s a bit deeper,

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Call to undefined method WooCommerce::mfunc_wrapper() in header.php

After updating a wordpress site using the WooCommerce plugin, the site would no longer load. Searching the web showed that many others have had the same error. Tried a variety of solutions, nothing other than restoring the downgraded site worked; but since I didn’t want to downgrade to potentially unsecure plugins, I took matters into my own hands.

I commented out the function “WooCommerce::mfunc_wrapper” in header.php on line 58

## $woocommerce->mfunc_wrapper( ‘superstore_mini_cart()’, ‘superstore_mini_cart’, $woocommerce );

and now the site loads with no errors!

Apparently this is due to an outdated ‘wootique’ theme or some other related outdated plugin or theme that doesn’t tell wordpress it needs an update. At least commenting it out restores site functionality.

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Copy an Amazon EC2 instance to a new region

I thought this would be easier than it turned out to be. Documenting my steps here in case I need to do this again someday.

I had a running Amazon EC2 instance and I want to copy it for possible migration to a different Amazon region.

I created the snapshot of the boot drive, and copied that over to the desired destination region. Then I created an image from the snapshot and tried to launch that image with the default kernel option. The system starts running but fails 1/2 checks and is not reachable. I looked around and found some similar cases:

These posts clued me in to the kernel. I found which Amazon kernel image the source is running, but that kernel can’t be found in the destination region. At first I thought maybe it’s obsolete, or region-specific, but then I figured out how to find the correct kernel in the new region.

Look at the source instance in the source region, and find the AMI ID in the instance description. In my case it is
ubuntu-lucid-10.04-i386-server-20101020 (ami-8c0c5cc9)

Switch to the destination region and view the AMIs, switch to public AMIs and search based on the description (ubuntu-lucid-10.04-i386-server-20101020)
This brings up 2 results, I’m looking for the ‘ebs’ result.

Click on it and in the Details look for the Kernel ID, in my case it is aki-6603f70f

Now I can launch my snapshot-sourced AMI and choose this kernel ID under Advanced. My server comes up and passes 2/2 checks now, but I still can’t connect. I’m getting “Connection refused” even though the same security group allows me to connect to a neighboring instance.

This explained it for me: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/14026148/running-ec2-instance-suddenly-refuses-ssh-connection

I had to temporarily attach the volume to a different running instance in the same region & zone so that I could modify /etc/fstab to remove the defunct entries. After doing this, I re-attached the volume to the new instance as /dev/sda1 and then it booted with 2/2 checks passing and I am able to connect using SSH.

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argument list too long – one possible solution

Sometimes when trying to do stuff with lots of files, I see the subject error. I’ve found that you can sometimes have better results if you are in the directory so that there is no path in your argument, i.e.

# mv /media/old_raw/back/* /media/raw/back/
bash: /bin/mv: Argument list too long

# cd /media/old_raw/back/
# mv * /media/raw/back/


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rtorrent stopped uploading: “Could not lock session directory”

We noticed our torrents stopped uploading. When I try to run rtorrent via /etc/init.d it just seems like it restarts, but it’s still not listening on the designated port. I enter the command manually, something like

rtorrent -n -o bind=,port_range=44443-44443,directory=/home/user,session=/home/user/.rtorrent-session,peer_exchange=yes,scgi_port=

Then I get back the error:
rtorrent: Could not lock session directory: "/home/user/.rtorrent-session/", held by "xyzpdq".

Turns out there is a lock file that needs to be removed; apparently the previous run crashed without removing it, so,

rm /home/user/.rtorrent-session/rtorrent.lock

And now the rtorrent program starts normally from /etc/init.d

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The end of (free) Dyn

Dyn is no longer offering their free dynamic dns service, as of a few days from now!

… with mixed emotions we are notifying you that in 30 days, we will be ending our free hostname program. This change in the business will allow us to invest in our customer support teams, Internet infrastructure, and platform security so that we can continue to strive to deliver an exceptional customer experience for our paying customers.

We would like to invite you to upgrade to VIP status for a 25% discounted rate …

Good thing there are several other alternatives.
I’m trying noip.com and freedns.afraid.org and both seem to work quite well so far! Goodbye Dyn, and thanks for all the free DNS!

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Omniweb Blocks All “.in” Email

Due to a steady stream of spam and a complete lack of legitimate Email from domains ending with “.in”, Omniweb, Inc. has made the decision to reject all Email ending with “.in”. We apologize to our legitimate users in the nation of India and request that you contact us using third party email systems such as yahoo or gmail.

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