Aug 25, 2008

Beetel 220BX1 - New Firmware Disables USB

Focus of the post :- Updating the firmware of Beetel 220BX1 and Beetel 220BX will disable the USB connection port .

The new firmware for BX1 disables the USB port of the modem.The software version in FW3(Beetel 220BX1) and FW4(Beetel 110BX1) pics is exactly the same.This means the new firmware is meant for the newer model Beetel 110BX1 which has no USB port.

During service,the airtel engineer updated the firmware without my consent.When i asked him about the changes in the new firmware he replied that there is nothing new except the USB will be disabled.On asking further,he explained the USB caused frequent corruption of the modem settings.I told him to replace the modem with a new one.I destroyed my modem while downgrading the firmware.You wont be able to downgrade from v3.12L.The USB port is useful in connecting two systems to the internet without any hassles.

The firmware has minor changes and wont really effect the preformance.The logins and has been integrated into one.Connect/Disconnect option in the modem page and a few other features.

  • v3.00L (Oldest Firmware,Available for Download on the Beetel site)
Filename : T28-0q-003
Size : 1.79 MB
  • v3.04L (Beetel 220BX)
Filename : T2H-0Q-001
Size : 1.79 MB
Changes :  Bug Fix and Enhancement History (From Release Notes)
This release contains the following enhancements and bug fixes since the previous release.
1. Blocked PPPoE Discover packet from WAN as the modem is in PPPoE mode. 
2.Don’t allow to create same PVC. 
3. Change the DSL firmware to A2pB021c. 
4. Can’t modify wan configuration via telnet menu.
  • v3.06L (Default FW for Beetel 220BX1 - Recommended) 
  • v3.12L (Default FW for Beetel 110BX1,Compatible with BX and BX1 also but disables the USB port on both of them)
Filename : T2HQ007
Size : 1.80 MB

Beetel 220BX USB Disconnection problem

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Aug 20, 2008

1 INDIAN iPhone ≈ 4 US iPhones [Courtesy:Vodafone,Airtel]

Focus of the post:- Neither Twice as Fast.Twice Half the Prise*
After registering for the iphone on 30th June,here is a copy of the vodafone email i received on 20th August,1.21am.

Hello Haider,
Thank you for registering for your Apple iPhone 3GTM with us.
We are delighted to announce that the iPhone 3G will be available in India from August 22, 2008.It will be available in 8GB & 16GB models, priced at Rs 31,000($721) and Rs 36,100 respectively.
Be the first to get the iPhone
We have received a large number of registrations. As there are limited stocks, make sure that you get yours first, by paying an advance of Rs 10,000 to confirm your booking.
Where can you make this advance payment?
The iPhone 3G will be available at select Vodafone Stores. All you need to do is drop in at any select Vodafone Store between August 20 and 21 and make the advance payment by cash or credit card. Don´t forget to show the iPhone booking SMS, which you would have received from us, when you visit the Vodafone Store to pay the advance. To find a Vodafone Store near you, click here
Get an appointment now. No queues for you.
Once you pay the advance, we will immediately give you an appointment date and time, starting
August 22 when you can come and experience a full demonstration and collect your iPhone, all ready to use with your contacts and settings, by paying the balance amount.
Hurry! Limited stocks.
Remember, the sooner you confirm your booking, the earlier you´ll get your iPhone. We have limited stocks and it will be on first come, first serve basis.
Buy a Vodafone connection now!
As you are not a Vodafone customer, you will need a Vodafone connection for your iPhone 3G.
We recommend that when you come to confirm your booking, please do get yourself a Vodafone connection too. Remember to carry a passport sized picture, photo ID proof and address proof as these are required for activating your Vodafone SIM card.
Happy to help
If you have any queries, log on to or call us on 9839098390 and we´ll be happy to help.
Hurry and be one of the first to make the iPhone 3G your own.
Vivek Gangwar
General Manager - Customer Service
This is an auto–mailer. Please do not reply to this mail.
Select features and services are currently available in India.
3G features can be used on 3G networks while roaming abroad.
TM & © 2008 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
Brought to you by Hutchison Max Paging Private Ltd.
End of Mail
*Comparisons between iPhone 3G (8GB) and first-generation iPhone (8GB) running on EDGE

The price of the iphone in india is equivalent to contract-free iphones sold abroad.

Aug 15, 2008

Some Useful Data Recovery Tips

Focus of the post:- Share my data recovery experience

  • Case I - Software Fault
One fine day i was just reading about NTFS partition in the OS Dinasaur book by Galvin[out of the 3 writers this is the easiest name to pronounce] for my endsem exams.I just read the line the cluster size[allocation unit] is configured when an NTFS partiton is formatted.I remembered the default cluster size was 4096 bytes,reading the book i decided to test what other cluster sizes are available."NTFS does not deal with individual sectors of a disk but instead uses clusters as the unit of disk allocation.A cluster is number of disk sectors that is a power of 2.The cluster size is configured when an NTFS file system is formatted.The default cluster size is the sector size for voulmes upto 512MB[that is 512bytes],1KB for volumes upto 1GB,2KB for voulmes upto 2GB, and 4KB for larger volumes.This cluster size is much smaller than that for the 16-bit FAT file system,and the small size reduces the amount of internal fragmentation."[OS Principles,find more here and here].Before you make some opinion about me i must tell you that i am 100% adept with partitions and partitioning.I had 3 primary partitions and 9 logical drives in the extended partition.The last two logical drives were empty for linux distros so i deleted the last drive.As soon as i clicked on "delete logical drive" the system just restarted.After the reboot i found that i had lost 3 logical drives,one of the lost logical drives had 213GB of data.The berserk WDM utility  showed 1348GB of unallocated space more than the harddisk itself!!!.I cursed the Windows Disk Management utility, it reminded one of my friends talks,he used acronis disk director for partitioning and he lost one of his paritions in a similar way.I figured out the cause for this erratic behaviour - Never mix partitioning process with different utilites.This is a rare case and the whole data recovery process costed me at least 15marks but fortunately i got a short note question on NTFS in exams for 5 marks.I tested many data reovery utilites to recover 100% (213 GB of data).This isnt a detailed review of recovery softwares but contains a important word about each one of them.

Data recovery softwares have different modes depending on how you lost your data:-Format Recovery,Deleted Reovery(accidental file deletion),RAW Recovery(last resort),etc.Make sure you choose the correct one.

Ontrack Easy Recovery
I trusted this software the most.Initially the soft didnt recognize the filenames and folder structure.But after i converted the unallocated space into NTFS volume it recognized the data and folder structure(i didnt format it).Formatting the unallocated space would have made the data recovery more difficult.After going to Advanced Data Recovery>>Select Partition>>Advanced Options:-Select partition type(NTFS),Advanced Scan,>>Select Use MFT if you havent formatted the partition.Specifying this info the software immediately recognized my old NTFS volume.The software reovered 80% of my data.The software failed to recover saved web pages that were recoverd by file scavenger.

PC-Inspector file Recovery
Good old freeware with dirty Interface.Few audio and video files were corrupted while recovering!!.But the same files were recovered correctly by File Scavenger.The software did recover gigs of webpages but most of them were corrupted.Dont forget to spend a little time with the software interface.

File Scavenger v3.2
File Scavenger is an expert with NTFS partitions.It recovered 5gigs of documents and web pages which Ontrack and PC Inspector failed to recover.Except file scavenger no other utility was able to recover 100% of my data.It can recover data from even RAID arrays.

Lost file names and folder structure.Poor performance.

Acronis Recovery Expert bundled with Disk Director Suite
Initially i was looking for a utility that could undelete a partition but Active@ Partition Recovery just failed to work.I tested Acronis at last and laughed on myself.One click and everything was restored back to normal!!!.The partition was undeleted in just one click.I verified the integrity of files and everything was untouched.What a fool i have been all this time testing the capabilites of the recovery softwares.

Here are few utilites that failed to recover a single BIT of data
Active @ Partition Recovery
0&0 Disk Recovery v4.1 and bunch of other lesser known utils downloaded from the internet

Lessons learnt:-
Backup your data regularly.
NeverAvoid mixing partitioning process with different utilites like Acronis Disk Director,Partiton Magic and Windows Disk Management.
Pack your PC during exams.

Do's and Donts in case you loose a partition
  • Try to recover the partition with data recovery softwares that can undelete a partiton.Most of the data recovery softwares lack this mode so go for a dedicated one like Acronis Recovery Expert or DiskInternals Partition Recovery.This will save you the pain of scanning the whole file system and saving individual files.
  • Never format the partiton with a different or same file system in case you have a damaged file system or corrupt partition table
  • If the data recovery software doesnt pick up your lost drive then try to allocate the unallocated space and dont forget to check the "Do not format this partition" tab.
  • Case II - Some HDD fault
If you broke your IDE HDD's pin or managed to burn your HDD's DMA chip then HDD will be detected in BIOS but Windows wont load(you wont be able to reinstall either).I came across two hard disks of such fault.One of which was my own Seagate 7200.7 80GB IDE HDD[3 years ago] with broken pin and another was a SATA WD 250GB disk given to me by bro's friend  for data reovery[20 days back].Initially it looked to me some OS DMA fault or virus work but the problem was with HDD itself. I tried Acronis bootable DD CD,Hitachi's DFT,Seagate SeaTool,reinstalling windows but you will get an error everywhere.I wasnt surprised on the Linux Boot as i recovered by data three years back with a KNOPPIX Live CD.This time i used Ubuntu.If you have the faulty drive installed,Windows wont even load from a working drive with the working HDD installed as primary!.Linux will take a long time to boot and even a 1GB file will take hours to copy.
Lesson learnt:- Never loose hope.

  • Case III - Human Fault
I remember i was  struck with a data disaster 6 years ago when i was new with computers.At that time i was resizing my 12Gb partition to 15GB[secnodary partition] with Partition Magic,frustated by the long process i just pressed the reset button.Windows ME on the primary partition worked fine.Each bit of data was precious to me in the dialup age.I  used a utility called Drive Rescue by Alexander Grau to to recover the data .Its discontinued and it had the same interface as the new PC Inspector File Recovery by Convar.
Lessons learnt:-Always be patient.

Data Recovery using Linux

Recover data from Windows partitions using Linux [Download here]

The pdf "Recovering Data from Windows Systems by Using Linux" is short and precise, teaches the stuff quickly published by the Open Source Software Lab at Microsoft..Basically it teaches how to create images of partitions.Dont forget to read the comments at the original page.There are specialized linux distro's for forensic analysis and data recovery too like F.I.R.E.

HowtoGeek:Use Ubuntu Live CD to Backup Files from Your Dead Windows Computer
Darknet:Complete list of linux distro's for forensic analysis,data recovery and security

Dont forget to post your comments,questions and suggestions.

Aug 3, 2008

PNY 9600GT - GOD,Good,Bad or Ugly??

Place of buy:-Some place in America
Date of buy:-Some time in July 

I had a $150 budget for a mid-range graphics card.In India i was getting XFX 8600GT for $139(Rs 6000) so i told my friend to get a XFX 9600GT through his uncle in America.8800GT was out of budget for me and 9600GT filled the gap between 8800GT and 8600GTS so i emailed the newegg link for XFX 9600GT Extreme Edition which had the same price as standard edition.XFX gone mad with over 14 9600GT's in the lineup with Standard(650,1800)Extreme XT(680,1900),XXX(700,2000),XXX Alpha dog(740) Editions.Each of the models has its variants with difference in game bundle(Call of duty 4 or Company of Heroes),RAM and accessories.

-Standard model(4 variants) is available in plain 512MB,plain 512MB with CoH,with 1024MB DDR3 with either CoD4 or CoH;
-Extreme XT(2 variants) is available with CoH standard accessories,or with CoH better accessories bundle.
-XXX Edition(2 variants) is available with CoH,with CoD4
-XXX Alpha dog is available with either CoD4,CoH or Assasin's Creed...XFX confuses more with different model numbers for each

...but for my some reason my friend couldnt get a card through newegg and i ended up with a PNY 9600GT.So lets take a look at it......and i got lucky

Specs and chipset comparison table here and here

The package and accessories


The card is protected in a plastic enclosure and includes basic/standard accessories.Verto sounds a overclocking range but its plain vanilla 9600GT with stock speeds.The package includes:- an installation CD,quick installation guide,2 DVI->D-SUB/VGA convertors,S-Video Cable,Molex->PCI-E convertor,HDTV cable

Ripping it apart

SAMSUNG K4J52324QE-BJ1A rated for 1000Mhz

The cooling is just average when compared to other 9600GT's.Its all aluminium and uses a Chiefly Choice fanCC6010S12H(Chiefly Choice+W*L*H+S for sleeve bearing+12V+H for HighSpeed) with 4000RPM speed and 15.15CFM air flow.The card uses a reference cooler and its idle temp is around 44C.

Memory Chips

The Samsung chips are rated for 1Ghz and easily overclocks to the rated frequencies.There is no cooling on the memory chips so dont expect it to overclock further .

Warranty for America:XFX offers the best warranty options while PNY offers one year warranty which can be extended to three years if you register on their site.In India i wont be getting any warranty so i wont lend it to anyone

  • Conclusion:Good
  • The USP of this card is its price.This card is one of the cheapest 9600GT's.
  • Average overclocking.Overclocked Speeds :- 725/1000 (Not final,if you want you can bring this to cons).Its completely idiotic to pay more for factory overclocked pay more for what you can do the card's been already overclocked so it wont overclock that much.
  •  There is no point in complaining the accessories bundle or the cooling part since its one of the most affordable 9600GTs.Entry level cards in this range from other brands offer the same bundle.
  • Attractive SLI option.
  • Limited warranty options when compared to XFX and game bundle.
EVGA 9600GTs and Palit 9600GT Sonic with HDMI and Displayport will be an attractive option too.

      9600GT around the Web
      AnandTech  Bringing Competition to Midrange  The GeForce 9600 GT Raises NVIDIA's Sub $200 Bar
      Toms: Nvidia's GeForce 9600 GT Tested Conclusion
      Ars Technica: reviews the NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT
      LegitReviews:EVGA, Palit and XFX GeForce 9600 GT Video Card Review
      EVGA e-GeForce 9600 GT SSC Review
      LegitReviews:PNY Verto GeForce 9600 GT Video Card Review (June 5.2008)
      Tweaktown:PNY Verto GeForce 9600GT Graphics Card
      LegitReviews:Albatron GeForce 9600GT-512X Video Card Review
      PCPER: BFG GeForce 9600 GT 512MB Review - NVIDIA G94 Tested
      Fudzilla:XFX does three 9600GT's.htm 
      Fudzilla:Zotac officially launches DisplayPort 9600GT 
      Fudzilla:Zotac 9600GT has six outputs
      Fudzilla:9600GT shrunk to 55nm
      Fudzilla:Galaxy's low-profile 9600GT is available
      Fudzilla:Sparkle 9600 GT with a dual-fly cooler 
      Fudzilla:Asus OC Gear also with 9600GT
      Fudzilla:MSI N9600GT Diamond has 2GB of GDDR3 with Turbo button, Hybrid Freezer and Dr Mos
      Fudzilla:MSI's 9600GT Hybrid Freezer is overclocked
      Fudzilla:Vvikoo has 9600GT Turbo in copper
      Fudzilla:Gainward 9600GT 1024MB likes overclocking 
      Fudzilla:Sparkle puts 1GB on 9600GT 
      Fudzilla:XFX 9600 GT 700M XXX play hard tested
      Tweaktown:XFX GeForce 9600GT XXX Alpha Dog Edition
      Techtree:XFX 9600GT XXX Edition
      GeForce 9600 GT Triplet
      Shader Clock Overclocking Tutorial 
      Update 31st August: Amdzone: 24 XFX PVT96GYDF4 GeForce 9600GTs Overclocked

      About the card

      This card sucks . It is dead within 8 months. Never overclocked.Cabinet always open. Looks like it died of overheating after dust buildup in the heatsink.
      I dared to ignore this