Researching Canon BCI-1431 cartridges

I’m getting a new plotter – a Canon W8400 which is a large format inkjet printer. It has no ready available CISS kit, so if you wish to use non-original ink you have two routes: 1) disable ink check in the printer, that will cause the printer no to track ink usage (at least to the users knowledge), but will generate an annoying warning every time you print (and you need to confirm it on the printer), 2) buy one-time usage chips from china and swap chips every time you refill the ink tanks.

That looks like a challenge if I ever saw one. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Thinkpad 24RF08 SVP unlocking

I just got a donated Lenovo R500 notebook. Fortunately it works, and also includes a puzzle before I can actually use it. It has the SVP password enabled (supervisor password). This password is stored in a 24RF08 i2c EEPROM, and is NOT clearable by removing batteries, shorting stuff etc. Also the EEPROM includes two CRC fields, and can not just be patched.

I am possibly going to get pounded on for publishing this. The Lenovo support forums clearly forbid even talking about this. This is to prevent theft of notebooks they state. But there are multiple websites out there, that wants to take your hard earned cash and sell you a small device which can talk to the i2c bus on the notebook, and either display the password or reset it. If someone steals a notebook, they can unlock it with such a device.

But paying for the solution is unsportly behaviour, and not a part of this solution. I already have the Dangerous Prototypes Bus Pirate v3, which talks i2c natively, via a terminal emulator interface.

Read on for this adventure … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Unauthorized Latitude E5500 upgrades

… or how to upgrade it beyond recognition 🙂 I found an abandoned Latitude E5500 notebook on a shelf while visiting a customer. Being in good relations with them, I asked about the notebooks status and why it was lying there in a stack of other notebooks. “They’re just junk” I was told. Hmm, one mans junk is another mans gold. Read on for a great upgrade adventure. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Upgrading Sony Vaio VPC F11S1E with SSD …. and HDD!

I just got my hands on an used Sony Vaio VPC F11S1E. It’s a really nice 16.4″ true HD model, with BluRay and Nvidia 330M graphics card. I got it, because it got really really hot, the noise levels were unbearable and also the HDD turned out to be defective.

On my never ending quest to do some fun upgrades, I disassembled it completely and cleaned out the dust and grime in the radiator and fans inside. Also I gave it some new thermal paste, which got the noise level somewhat down.

The HDD had to be replaced with a SSD drive, ofcourse, and I had just bought a Force 3 120GB drive. It’s SATA3 6.0Gb/s and should perform around 500MB/sec. The Sony only runs SATA2, but hey, but then at least the drive won’t be the bottleneck. Also I had a nice 1TB drive lying around, and thought the 120GB for both Windows XP, Windows 7 and Ubuntu might be a bit small if I also needed somewhere to place some data.

So why not try to fit both?

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 25 Comments

RAID 1E recovery the hard way

Manual IBM ServeRAID recovery of a broken RAID1E setup – using Linux, hexedit, custom scripts – and coffee!

Yesterday I was called to a customer with a broken down IBM xSeries 232 server. The powersupply was gone, and the machine was rebooting every two minutes. Also it had 6 drives in a RAID setup with one marked as faulty (id 2). Oh – and did I mention the last backup was sometime last year?

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment