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Archive for May 2009

BitDefender and the Vista SP2 Update

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I hate reimaging my PC. It can take the best part of an unproductive day to reinstall Vista and all of the apps I use. So today when BitDefender rendered my PC unbootable, I was not happy at all.

While upgrading to Vista SP2, BitDefender decided that one of the files in the update was a Trojan and promptly quarantined the file. This caused Vista to chuck a wobbly (that’s the technical term), hanging during the install and refusing to boot any further. It wouldn’t even boot into safe mode – never a good sign. I was able to get it into repair mode, but it couldn’t detect any restore points. Crap.

After going through all 5 Kübler-Ross stages of grief, and trying out lots of different things, I managed to push my PC through the update without having to reimage my hard drive. If you were unlucky enough to have the same problem, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Remove the drive from your computer.
  2. Connect drive to another machine using a USB enclosure or similar device. This is so that you can view the contents of the drive.
  3. Browse to the ProgramData\BitDefender\Desktop\Quarantine folder. You should see a bunch of .bdq and .xml files.

  1. Look through the .xml files until you find one that contains the following text in the Find the XML file that contains the following in the <file name> tag: 5458b6349bdec901622f00003401280f.x86_microsoft-windows-s..ive-blackbox-driver_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6002.18005_none_0b5dfb3fa4f88147_spsys.sys_95b9c9e3. Make a copy of the string and note the file’s name.

  1. Rename the associated .bdq file to the big long string above. In my case, the original .bdq file was BDQF_1243172517_0.bdq.
    • If there are more than one .xml files that contain the same name, then rename the .bdq file that has a size of 699KB.
  2. <Open up a new Windows Explorer window and browse to \Windows\winsxs\Temp\PendingRenames\ on your connected drive.
  3. Change the owner of the PendingRenames directory to yourself:
    • Right-click on PendingRenames directory -> Properties -> Security tab -> advanced button -> Owner tab -> Edit button.
  4. Copy the renamed file in step 5 to \Windows\winsxs\Temp\PendingRenames\.
  5. Power down your drive and put it back into your original computer.
  6. Start up your computer. The install should now go through properly.
And optional steps:

  1. Uninstall BitDefender; and
  2. Buy a Mac.

That’s it! For the record, I was using BitDefender Antivirus 2009.

If you have a RAID system, then this might not work for you. Blah1234 on this BitDefender thread was able to do the same thing using a Vista Install DVD to browse through the files and copy them across. This is possibly a better way than pulling your drive out even if you don’t have a RAID, but not as much fun J


Written by Richard

28 May, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Posted in tech

Tagged with , ,

Psst! Wanna buy a cheap thumbdrive?

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If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.    

On a recent trip overseas, a friend bought a 500GB USB thumb drive for only AU$20! That’s only 4c per gigabyte – bargain!

Could that “500G” just be the model number? Nope, definitely 500 gigs, it says so on the back:

Even Vista says it has half a terabyte!

When he tried copying files across to it, it started to report I/O errors after around 200 megabytes (surprise surprise). A deep format revealed that it was in fact really only a 256MB thumb drive.

Given that:

  1. There is no 500GB thumb drive on Sony’s official site;
  2. 32GB is the highest capacity thumb drive available in Australia;
  3. The ridiculously low dollar-to-gigabyte ratio; and
  4. It doesn’t actually work;

this is very obviously a fake. What’s interesting is that they’ve hacked the firmware to report a higher capacity than the drive actually is. Fake or not, that’s pretty clever.

Now if my friend had a web-enabled phone, he could have done a quick search on the net and found that these were most likely fakes.  In fact, he could have bought a  3G iPhone for only AU$100 from another vendor down the street … 🙂

Written by Richard

7 May, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Posted in tech