Problems with Adaptec 52445 (5 series) and Western Digital 2 TB (WD20EADS) / 1.5 TB (WD15EADS)

June 21st, 2009

Adaptec does not appear to recognize these disks and their support did not even test it until May claiming disks were not on sale, this will cost them any future controller buys from us, but in the meantime if anyone who came to this page figured out how to get this overpriced card to do simple job of seeing those disks (Areca sees them, and all cheap controllers too), then please reply to this post.

Universal trick to disable Apache/IIS/ASP.NET chunked transfer encoding in responses

June 14th, 2009

Just use HTTP/1.0 request header – this would prevent (good) web servers from using chunked transfer encoding, very handy when you have your own code dealing with the response :)

NTFS junction points and permission (ACL) inheritance do not play along (Windows 2003 Server / XP 64 bit)

May 29th, 2009

Not a nice thing to have when number of disks exceeds number of letters in Latin alphabet :(

It also seems that setting up permissions for the root of the disk at the junction point fails miserably – the only solution seems to be creation of a folder at the root of that disk and give it permissions. Potentially relevant Microsoft KB article: You cannot apply permissions to the root directory of an NTFS file system volume in Windows Server 2003

Solution to Excel 2003 and CSV with unicode (UTF-8) problem

May 26th, 2009

It was real pain to make Excel 2003 correctly show Unicode characters in generated CSV, giving charset=UTF-8 hint did not work and it seemed like nobody knew the solution online – the salvation is here however (PHP here):

// echo UTF-8 file format sign: otherwise Excel won’t convert UTF data
echo chr(0xEF);
echo chr(0xBB);
echo chr(0xBF);

// actual CSV here

Excel 2003 (with SP3 – maybe older versions won’t work, Excel 97 certainly doesn’t) suddenly became Unicode aware: please comment on your experience if this fix worked for you.

Areca ARC-1261 and WD20EADS (Western Digital 2 TB disk) compability issue?

May 18th, 2009

There appears to be a very odd compatibility issue that makes Windows Server 2003 64-bit to hang (freeze). If you have come across with something like this please respond to this blog post.

Woktastic – great sushi Birmingham!

May 2nd, 2009

Could not resist not to blog about it – there is a superb sushi Birmingham place called Woktastic, they are located right in the City Center at the start of the Broad Street: there is a nice Coucil run car parking place that charges only £1.60 for an hour of parking (enough to eat plenty of sushi!). Best of all – they have all you can eat buffet for £10 during lunch hours!

.NET Fatal Execution Engine Error

March 23rd, 2009

Avoid using Uri.PathAndQuery because it contains a bug that may crash whole application on some Uris. This crash appears to happen at a later stage, review your code to see if PathAndQuery was used and in any case keep an eye on Uri exceptions.

Microsoft Outlook 2003: Unknown Error 0x8007007E

February 23rd, 2009

All of a sudden appeared after new disk was added and office files copied from another one (not boot): solution is to run Repair option from Installation (Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programe menu).

Fragmented SSE4

February 11th, 2009

Whoever made the decision to fragment SSE4 support into SSE4.1 and SSE4.2 should be asked politely to think twice next time.

Seagate 1.5 TB (ST31500341AS) disk is recognised as BIOS 500 GB plus firmware (SD1A) upgrade quirk

December 19th, 2008

Just had one of the two new 1.5 TB disks bought for testing show up as 500 GB disk in BIOS and Windows – motherboard was GigaByte, which seems to have had same issue with Hitachi disks before.

The solution is to try to use Seagate Tools (DOS) to set new native Max setting. This action actually failed (or so the tool reported) however after short test was run it became clear it treated the disk as 1.5 TB. After reboot the disk was correctly recognised by BIOS.

If you buy one of those disks make sure you upgrade your firmware (SD17 to SD19, and some other CC1H – you need get the right one for your disk as they use different platters) – you can do that by going to chat with Seagate support, they answered pretty quickly however it then gone to hell as the ISO file they gave me was shown as broken and burning it only resulted in README.txt file shown. One hour later they cut me off as they claimed it was all fine – it turns out they were right and booting that disk worked! However they had no clue that this was non-standard ISO, probably intentional to avoid people copying the firmware data.

Don’t use quick format on those disks – there are serious questions on their quality (that’s why they must be so cheap), don’t trust anywhere near important data to those – I know I wouldn’t, but they might be okay for temporary files usage where failure can be tolerated (barely). Seagate really deserves to be seriously slapped for terrible customer experience (you can’t easily upgrade firmware) and having such serious quality issues in the first place with top of the line hard drives.