Tag Archives: tech

Best of the Worst #4: Eircom – Blocking Access to the Pirate Bay

eircomI just went to visit the pirate bay website and found a message from eircom telling me that they are blocking access the pirate bay as of july.This is the first time i heard of this so i was a little surprised.



On the 24 July 2009, an Order was made by the High Court requiring eircom to block or otherwise disable access by its subscribers to the website thePirateBay.org, its related domain names, IP addresses and URLs. The Court was satisfied that on the basis of the evidence presented by the record companies that the PirateBay website is a website that facilitates the exchange of copyrighted sound recordings without the consent of the copyright owners.eircom recognises the legitimate rights of the owners of copyrighted material and believes that individuals who share or download copyrighted material without the authorisation or the permission of the copyright owner are acting illegally.

The Order further provides that should the PirateBay website content be legitimatised in the future, then eircom has liberty to apply to the Court to have the Order vacated and access to the PirateBay website enabled.

eircom in compliance with the Order has agreed that access to the website the PirateBay.org, its related domain names, IP addresses and URLs from the eircom network will be blocked indefinitely from the 1st September 2009.

eircom would like to reassure customers that:

  • eircom will not monitor customer’s activities at any stage, nor will it place any monitoring equipment or software on its network in order to facilitate this block.

Of course there are ways around it and one of them i found from mulley.net which also mentions that other ISP’s in ireland are not as yet going to be restricting access to the torrent bay.

There are a few ways around it by using a proxy or you can use a website such as;


Taken from mulley.net

“Excerpt from UPC press release:

UPC can confirm it has received a request from solicitors acting on behalf of the Irish divisions of EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony music companies that UPC blocks access to the Pirate Bay website.

This request is separate to ongoing court proceedings between these same companies and UPC with respect to their demand that UPC take certain actions in relation to subscribers allegedly involved in illegal music downloads.

This latest request is apparently further to an unopposed court action between these companies and eircom whereby eircom was ordered to block access to Pirate Bay as of September 1, 2009.

UPC has informed the rightsholders that there is no basis under Irish law requiring an ISP to block access to certain websites and that it will not agree to a request that goes beyond what is currently provided for under Irish law.

See Adrian Weckler’s blog for more details. Eircom have confirmed it to him.”

A quick google got me news that this was announced back in February this year;

Is this the start of eircom stopping people from accessing the internet? It seems that this whole idea is the brainchild of the music industry who seem to have eircom “by the balls”.

Acer Aspire One – Fixing No Boot Problem

acer-aspire-one-blueA friend of mine has one of these very cool looking notebooks running Windows XP. However it developed a problem in that when you turned it on, nothing happened, you could however hear the hard-drive working away like it was loading up windows and then stopping.

After trying out the notebook on a PC monitor and trying to find a USB or network cable to use to connect to another working Laptop nothing seemed to work. So i said id take it home and mess around with it, messing around meant id try to get it to work even though i had no idea.

The first thing i did and always do when there is a problem with anything is i Google it. So off i went to google and typed in;

“acer aspire one wont turn on”

Simple really i typed in the exact name and model of the notebook and what was wrong and the first result lead me to a site which had a fix;

Acer Aspire One BIOS Recovery

And by following the intructions it brought the notebook back to life amazingly and it only took about 5 mins, amazign what you find when you google it.

Windows Vista & Windows 7 Setup Problems -“unable to create new system partition or locate a existing system partition”

windows_vista_logo.pngI came home from college yesterday and decided for some reason to install windows 7 64bit that i had downloaded.  Having already tried out the BETA and RC1 (Release Candidate 1) i thought sure i may as well.  Already having Two versions of vista running 64bit and 32bit and well used to dual-booting windows what should have talking 40 mins ended up being a complete disaster and took much of the afternoon.

Having my main Vista installation installed on one of the many partitions on my hard drive, the drive letter being “F:”. I delete the C: drive partition and had planned to install Windows 7 over the C Drive.

For some unknown reason my PC was not letting me install Windows 7 or Vista. So when i rebooted back i got the message;

“BOOTMGR is missing
Press CTRL ALT DELETE to restart”

I kept getting the same setup error during the install process. “unable to create new system partition or locate a exsisting system partition”.

I tried everything to get windows back up and running, i still had a full working Vista isntallation sitting on one of the partition drives but i could not get to it for reasons i cant figure out.  Installation my main OS on a drive letter other than the C Drive was not good idea and this probably caused some of the problems. But the fact that i couldnt get any new Windows OS to install made things very difficult. Ive had this problem before and its got something to with the motherboard i have or the combination of SATA/IDE drives.

After about 6 hours of madness and throwing DVD’s into the PC including;

  • An atempt to recover the c drive with Norton ghost 14
  • Windows vista reinstall
    windows Vista Repair (which was the solution that is for the BOOTMGR is missing problem, which didnt work as Vista could not the see the Vista installtion i had).
  • windows 7 install
  • windows 7 Repair

Nothing worked, Vista Repair let me down big time and even my norton ghost which is usually very good at restoring backups wouldnt work.

So i picked up the motherboard manual and looked at the back of it to see if i had written down anything t hat might help and of course i did. “Disable the IDE Drives”. I did this and i got things working again.

There is something wrong with either the motherboard (The motherboard i have is a Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H), BIOS (latest version) or combination of SATA drives and IDE drives i have. I dont know what that problem is but im guessing its got something to with some settings in the BIOS. Im running my SATA Drives in IDE Native mode rather than i expect the better “AHCI Mode”.

eircom problems reveal eircom possably hacked

eircomIrelands largest ISP Eircom have been having some serious problems over the last few days resulting in users been sent to bogus/fake sites where possable spyware or malware could have been installed. It all started for me on sunday evening when it looked like my broadband connection had gone down as all webpages failed to load.  However i found out that it was only the webpage part of the broadband connection that had gone down and not the entire line or network by noticed that i could games online with Valves Steam.

After some frustrating few says i searched for a possable cause as it seemed very strange that the web had gone down but not the connection. It turns out that it Was a DNS (the computers that transalte www.bbc.co.uk into an IP Address) problem eith eircoms servers and further searching revealed that they had been hacked with loads of people posting the same problems on the boards.ie messageboards;

Eircom DSL – DNS Lookups Slow

The solution was to change the DNS server settings in your router configuration menu to those provided by opendns.org which are;

Sources for the Article:

Possible DNS Hack at Ireland’s Largest ISP

Eircom DNS Servers Compromised?

Eircoms response;

Update: Eircom has released an official announcement confirming the DNS problems. “Customers may have recently experienced delays in web browsing and may have been unable to access the Internet. In some cases, customers may have been redirected to incorrect websites,” it reads.

As far as details go, they remain scarce, the ISP only noting that, “This issue has been caused by an unusual and irregular volume of internet traffic being directed onto our network, and this impacted the systems and servers that provide access to the Internet for our customers.” It is yet unclear if this refers to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, or something else.

How To Fix: Windows Installer Hangs in Vista 64

windows_vista_logo.pngIve been using Windows Vista 64 since Vista came out and despite the reports of problems with hardware drivers ive found it to be quite stable. Well that was until When i went to install or Uninstall software that uses Vista’s “Windows Installer” where yesterday my PC keep Crashing or hanging. No matter which software it was, if it used “windows installer” it would just hang for over 10 mins.  So then i tryed out various registry repair tools such as Uniblues “Registry Booster” which i must say is quite good.

It also turned out that not only could i not install or uninstall some applications but windows “System Restore” kept failing so i couldnt revert windows back to an earlier time when everything worked. I also was unable to use my backup software “Norton Ghost 14” (which depsite some problems is a lifesaver for PC Problems) and i couldnt even run “chkdsk” (which can fix a corrupted windows drive).

Things we looking bad and i was looking a reinstall which is a nightmare in most cases. So i searched for a solution and most of them didnt as i couldnt do them due to the state of windows. Hard to fix a PC that wont let you;

  • System Restore
  • Run “Check Disk/chkdsk”
  • Restore a backup copy with “Norton Ghost”

This is where a “Multi-Boot” PC comes in handy, as a last ditch attempt i booted my PC into Windows Vista 32bit (which i keep in case hardware doest work, for example TV Cards) and Right clicked on the C: Drive (The drive with the problems i.e Vista 64) and Selected “Properties” then “Tools” and then “Error-Checking”. And Rebooted and hoped for the best.

Windows Ran the Error-Checking Utility “Check Disk chkdsk” and after about 20 mins all was well. So the lesson there is always keep trying. Just posted this in case it helps anyone else in future.

I should add that along the way i foudn a great website for Windows Vista 64 problems and discussion called www.vistax64.com which is a must for anyone using Windows Vista 64.

Virus Removal – And Free Online Virus Scans

My Avast! found “Win32:Tibia-BU [Trj]” in the lsass.exe which is a Trojan Horse virus while today i was using my PC and i started up my Anti-Virus “Avast 4.8 Home Edition” which is a great Free Anti-Virus package. Anyway when it started up it informed me that i had a virus which was surprising to me because i keep my PC Updated and im careful with what i download. Anyway alarms bells went off and i let the Anti-Virus Program delete the file that was infected.

So of course i had to run a full scan which took over 4 hours to finish. No other serious viruses were found however most of the reported viruses were from “Dodgy Software” i downloaded.

Online Virus Scans:
I wanted to be 200% sure that were no viruses so i went looking for an online virus scan website that would tell me if i had more nasty viruses.

Trend Micro:
Was the first online scan i tried and getting it to work was difficult and when it did work it gave strange results im going to run the scan again as im not sure if said i had more viruses or just that used it incorrectly.

Norton Online Virus Scan:
The Most popular anti-virus i would guess and so downloaded the installtion file and after 2 mins the viruses definitions were updated. I did a full scan so everyfile on my PC would be scanned and its very slow and seems to be slowing down my PC a good bit as it works away. However it has found a lot of viruses but most again are from “Dodgy Software” “Cracks,Keygens” etc.

Other Online Virus Scan Sites:

Jottis Malware Scan
ESET Online Scanner

Fallout 3 Crashes all the Time – Solution

Fallout 3 is a great game but it can suffer very badly from crashes if you installed any codec packs. I recently bought the DLC pack “Operation Anchorage” and the game crashed all the time on me and was unplayable. This happened in the Orignal game as well but it wasnt as bad. Anyway after some searching i found this tip on a forum that has solved the problem for me;

Fallout 3 does seem to have a conflict with FFDShow codecs. You have to
either uninstall them from your system or add fallout3.exe to FFDShow
audio and video decoders exceptions list. Although you may not know it,
FFDShow codecs may be present on your system if you have installed
codec packs such as CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack).

How to add Fallout 3 to FFDShow decoder exceptions list

1. Launch the ffdshow video decoder configuration window. You may
access this through the start menu. If you have installed any codec
packs, check the start menu entries of those. If you can�t find it on
the start menu, right click the ffdshow video decoder (red) icon that
appears on the taskbar when a supported video file is playing, and
select �ffdshow video decoder� option from the menu. ffdshow_icon

2. Tick the �Dont use ffdshow in� checkbox if not already checked

3. Press the edit button that is next to the text field. A new dialog
box will pop up. Press the Add button. The �Add incompatible executable
file� dialog box will be displayed. Browse to the Fallout 3
installation directory and locate fallout3.exe file. Select it and
press open. Close all dialog boxes currently open by pressing ok.

(OR you can simply type fallout3.exe at the end of the text field next to �Dont use ffdshow in� checkbox)

4. Repeat steps 2-3 in ffdshow audio decoder configuration (the blue
icon in taskbar) window as well. It is important that you add
fallout3.exe to both ffdshow audio and video decoder�s expections list.


ATI Radeon 9.1 – Drivers Hugely Improves Performance in GTAIV and Saints Row 2

I had some serious problems with both the PC Versions of GTAIV and Saints Row 2 and ATI have released a new Graphics card drivers that solve most of the slow downs. Both games run very well now on my PC where as before they would hardly hit 15fps and were unplayable.

GTA IV looks incredable in high-resolutions like 1680*1050 plus of course you need a very good PC but its good to see that it was a Graphics card problem that sorted it all out in the end.

I might add that i run Windows Vista 64 bit as my main O.S and i was getting huge problems with both games until i also ran a Windows Update and installed every single Windows Update that i was missing.  It seems the combination of these sorted out the huge slow-down problems i was having.

Saints Row 2 now is playable at last but still makes we wonder if the Xbox 360 version is better.

Eircom And Record Labels go after Mp3 Downloaders

Well the news yesterday that Eircom and 4 major record labels are on the attack against illegal Mp3 downloaders came a bit out of the blue tbh.

Basically its a 3-strikes/warnings and you get disconnected. This is going to cause such a storm and how eircom are going to police it will remain to be see. I stopped downloading Mp3’s at least 2 years ago and joined the I-Tunes bandwagon as much i hate I-Tunes at least now there are going “DRM-Free” so you can play your “legally purchased music” on other Mp3 Players.

From what ive read on various forums it seems folks are going to be using there neighbours un-secured Wifi connection to download Mp3’s which is probably gonna end up with innocent folks getting wanring letters and maybe even disconnected.
It looks like its going to be a free-for-all so if you have a WiFi (Wireless Net Connection) make sure its secured.

Some links on the story;