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DNS Dropping / Not Resolving – Draytek 2820 Router

Had an issue the last few weeks where DNS across the network would randomly just drop/timeout for a period of a few minutes to an hour or so.
Across the entire network (at around lunctime) users would suddenly be unable to access certain websites but strangely applications like skype / outlook etc would still function normally.

I quickly diagnosed that it was a DNS issue as normal web browsing would fail but if i entered the domain’s IP address (using my phone and www.ip-lookup.net to find the domain ip) it would load instantly.
I tried bypassing the local DNS server by changing DNS manually to Google DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) but this also didn’t work while the “blackout” was in progress.

Summary of symptoms…

  • Connection not lost – existing connections stay alive (until bounced/rebooted)
  • Pings to 8.8.8.8 (Google DNS) all successful
  • Unable to resolve DNS through any DNS servers (Local DNS Server, Google DNS, Open DNS, ISP DNS etc) on any machine, laptop, server within the network.
  • nslookup fails with Local DNS server, Google DNS, Open DNS and ISP DNS
  • On router reboot DNS goes back to working OK for a period of time.

Restarting the router (a Draytek Vigor 2820 in this case) would fix the issue but usually DNS resolution would just drop off again sometime after (sometimes a few minutes, sometimes an hour or so).

After much frustration, and the realisation that it had to be something to do with the router, I rooted around in the Draytek Vigor 2820 settings to see what could be causing the DNS to drop off.

The penny dropped when looking at the DOS defence firewall settings. (Firewall > DOS Defence) in particular UDP Flood Defence

The threshold value was set to 150 packets/sec. Draytek recommend 2000 packets/sec for a 20mb connection. So roughly 100 packets/sec for each 1mb
For a more specific calculation see here: http://www.draytek.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=5315&Itemid=293&lang=en

This particular connection is at best 8mb to i set this threshold value to 800. (See screengrab below)
dns-dropping-not-resolving-draytek-vigor-2820

I’m guessing everyone on their lunch breaks was hitting the connection hard with youtube, facebook, twitter, random browsing etc triggering the DoS defence filter.

This has now completely solved this incredibly annoying DNS issue.

Hope this helped you. If it did please share on twitter, google plus, facebook etc or donate a little something towards my next caffeine fix by clicking the [Buy me a coffee] PayPal button in the sidebar!)


HP CP2025 misprint and cleaning when printing multiple pages

Been struggling for a while with an HP CP2025 colour laser printer.

Essentially the CP2025 would print single pages perfectly fine.
However, but when trying to print multiple page documents or multiple copies of the same file, the CP2015 would give a “Misprint” Error and then require the user to tap the OK button to continue.

It appears that some HP CP2025 models have some sort of defect in the paper pickup roller for paper tray 2.
This defect causes a slight delay/hesitation when loading the paper which causes it to go slightly out of alignment, the printer responds to this mis-alignment by automatically going through a cleaning cycle.
As this misfeed happens on the first printed side it spits the paper out without printing side 2 and requires the user to press OK to continue.

SOLUTIONS:
If all trays have the problem…

These settings need to be changed only in printers using the webpage (type the printer’s IP address into your browser) ToolboxFX or EWS utility.
(Note: Leave the OS printer driver / printer properties with default settings.)

hp-cp2025-misprint-cleaning-fix

Screenshot of the webpage

In System Tab and Paper Handling:
Default Paper Size: A4 or Letter
Default Paper Type: Plain
Manual Feed: Off
Tray 1 Size: Any Size
Tray 1 Type: Any Type
Tray 2 Size: A4 or Letter
Tray 2 Type: Heavy 111-130g
Tray 3 Size: A4 or Letter
Tray 3 Type: Heavy 111-130g

Remember to click the [Apply] button!

Note: Tray 2 and Tray 3 availability will differ based on Models.

When I just changed “Tray 2 Size” and “Tray 2 Type” my CP2025 started printing properly again

If this helped you out or even saved you buying a new printer out of frustration tweet me @AlanHart to let me know and click the “Buy me a Coffee” button below to say thanks.

 
A few other thing to try if the above doesn’t work…
(more…)

Stop multiple posts for shared YouTube videos and links appearing on Google Plus posts page

If you share lots of stuff via YouTube or Google Plus you may have noticed that your posts page on your google plus profile shows everything you share, everytime you share it.
This is fine if you only share something once but, if you share the same thing multiple times (on multiple sites/pages for example), then it will appear multiple times in your Google+ posts page, making it look a bit spammy.

Here’s how you can quickly and easily prevent this from happening….

  1. Go to your Google plus page
  2. Click “Home” in the top left
  3. Click “Settings”
  4. Scroll to the “Profile” section near the (bottom)
  5. Untick “Show your Google+ communities posts on the Posts tab of your Google+ profile”


Simple huh?

Hope this helped you. If it did please share on twitter, google plus, facebook etc or give me a little something towards my next caffeine fix by clicking the [Buy me a coffee] PayPal button in the sidebar!)

Virgin Media Tivo Update – My Shows list has changed – how to change it back

You may have noticed your Tivo box software has upgraded and the onscreen menu style has changed (it’s now a more subtle purple instead of bright red).

Along with this change is a feature adding a column to the left of your recorded items list.

The new “categories” view

If you don’t want this you can hide the left column making it look like it used to.

With categories hidden

Here’s how..

  1. Press the Green button
  2. Move down to the menu option “Left column [Show Categories]” and press the OK button
  3. Move down and select “Hide left column”
  4. Press OK or the Green button to confirm changes.

Easy as pie!

Sender’s email says it’s from/via my email address! – Google Apps / Gmail

I have many “Google Apps” accounts on domains.

Lets say one of these domains is “mydomain.com” for example…

There are regular gmail users under the same “Google Apps” account

For a long time I have used the “Google Groups” feature to have a group email address.

What’s  Google Apps Group?
If you don’t know (and let’s face it you probably do if you’re hear reading this) this is a feature which allows people to receive an email sent to a “Group” email address in their own inboxes.

e.g. Any email sent to the Google Apps Group email “appsgroup@mydomain.com” would go to the inboxes of three google accounts: alan@mydomain.com, ben@mydomain.com and carl@mydomain.com

In this scenario a “Google Group” is essentially just an alias address.

Recently (within the last few months) I have noticed that a few emails that have been sent to the appsgroup@mydomain.com group email address successfully arrive in the group members’ inboxes but with a From: header that looks like this:

From: ‘Someones name’ via AppsGroup [mailto:AppsGroup@YourDomain.com]
Reply-to: Real Sender <RealSender@AnotherDomain.com>

In other words, Google Apps/Gmail is making the email look like it’s coming from the appsgroup@mydomain email (i.e. myself!)

In certain versions of outlook you cant actually visually see the senders real email address and on iPhone this may cause the actual name of the sender to show up with your own name, since iPhone Mail pulls the name from it’s address book rather than from the email headers.

Originally I thought that the senders real email address was lost forever but it is actually in the headers.
You should be able to just hit reply and it will reply to the persons email

The problem arose for me because someone forwarded the email to me, thus stripping the original headers and therefore unable to see the original sender’s email address.

Why does this happen?
It turns out that Yahoo and AOL made changes to require mail providers that support the DMARC standard to reject all email from @yahoo.com accounts unless the mail actually originated at AOL and Yahoo’s servers. (Other providers have followed suit.)

If you have a Google Group / Alias address forwarding to a gmail account, it will rewrite the From: header as explained above if the provider sending the email has a strict DMARC policy like AOL and Yahoo. If they didn’t, the email may be rejected, depending on where it’s being delivered. (See the DMARC FAQ, where it looks like Google chose  option number 3).

It seems that the only way to fix this (i.e. prevent Google rewriting the header), is to remove your Google Group alias address, and replace it with an actual Google Apps user account you create with the same email address that you had for your Google Group alias. Then login to that new user account and set it up to forward mail  to your email address.

Of course this does mean if you pay for Google Apps users that you will need to pay for another user!

I had to explain this all the the friend in question and get them to reveal the original sender’s email address.

To see the email headers in Outlook:

Right-click on the email in question, and choose “Message options”
Scroll through the “Internet heaers” text box at the bottom and you will see the original sent from address:

Reply-To: Persons Name <person@email.com> or
X-Original-Sender: person@email.com
or
X-Original-From: Persons Name <person@email.com>

McAfee Total Protection: As a service virus scan won’t update – McAfee Un-Install Cleanup

The other day I came across a problem while when installing  McAfee Total Protection “as-a-service”  (mcafeeasap.com) on a laptop which had a free trial version of McAfee pre-installed.

Once installed, the Virus scan part of McAfee as a service would say it was  downloading  the latest definitions but would never complete.

The taskbar status icon was grey and would stay greyed out (it’s supposed to be red if all is ok).

After much digging and google searching I came across quite a few methods to try and fix this but none seemed to work.

Here are the steps I took to fix this issue…

McAfee Total Protection Clean Install Procedure…

Follow all of the steps below to fix the issue.

NOTE: Ignore if ANY of the trouble shooting steps below end in failure and continue to proceed with them all in order…

Uninstallation / Cleanup:

1. Log on to your security center at www.mcafeeasap.com

2. Click on the “Utilities” tab-> select the sub tab “Migration & Optimization“.

3. Under the Cleanup Utility –> select the Download option.

4. Download and save it to the desktop then run the downloaded .exe file to uninstall.

5. Delete all entries from Start->Run->temp (usually “C:\windows\temp” depending on how your OS was installed)  – Select all the files and folders and delete them (Ignore any files that you can’t delete)

6. Delete all entries from start->Run->%temp% (This is the user’s temp folder e.g. “C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp”) – Select all the files and folder under that and delete. (Ignore any files that you can’t delete)

7. Reboot the computer.

BEFORE YOU CONTINUE…  Reset the Windows firewall to default and then disable the windows firewall before you start the installation.

Installation :

To install the updates for the Total Protection Service, use the Silent installation method.

1. Open the webpage www.mcafeeasap.com and login with your details.

2. Click on “Utilities” at the top

3. Under the “Installation” tab, select the second option “Silent installation” to download.

4. save the vssetup.exe file to your c: drive.

5. Now click Start –> type cmd.exe into the search field.

6. Then right-click on cmd.exe and click “Run as administrator” to open the command prompt in admin mode.

7. Type cd\ (and hit the enter key)

6.Type or copy this command and paste

VSSETUP.EXE /CK=012345678901234567890123 /P=VFB

You must put YOUR company key in the above command (replace the numbers after CK=) and then run the command (hit enter).

The letter after the “P” parameter, V is the virus scan, F is the firewall and B the browser protection. If you want to install all these features leave the command as it is. if you don’t want a particualr feature installed you need to remove the letter (V, F or B) from the above command.

Run a complete update from the M shield icon (right click) after the install is done with the above method.

I hope this helps you out.
If it works for you tweet me to say thanks or

 

VBS Option Box – Simple VBScript MsgBox / Dialog Box with Options

I needed to create a basic script to execute a user selected routine but needed a simple way to capture the users choice. Like a MsgBox but with multiple options.
Here’s some nice simple code for a VBScript Option Box in case you want to do the same.

First we create a very basic HTML file which will act as the dialog box. (the options and buttons)…

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Make a selection</TITLE>
<SCRIPT language="VBScript">

Sub OKClick
If MenuOption(0).Checked Then
ChosenOption.Value = "Option 1"
End If
If MenuOption(1).Checked Then
ChosenOption.Value = "Option 2"
End If
If MenuOption(2).Checked Then
ChosenOption.Value = "Option 3"
End If
End Sub

Sub CancelClick
ChosenOption.Value = "Cancelled"
End Sub

</SCRIPT>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<CENTER>
<BR>
<B>Please select an option:</B><P>
<input type="radio" name="MenuOption" checked="true">Option 1<BR>
<input type="radio" name="MenuOption">Option 2<BR>
<input type="radio" name="MenuOption">Option 3
<P>
<input type="Button" value="OK" onClick="OKClick()">
<input type="Button" value="Cancel" onClick="CancelClick()">
<input type="hidden" name="ChosenOption">

</CENTER>
</BODY>
</HTML>

The hidden input above is used to store the users chosen option.
The VBScript below, opens the HTML file and loops while waiting for this chosen option value to change.
When this chosen option value changes the VBScript captures this chosen option in a variable so it knows what the user selected.

Set objExplorer = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application")

objExplorer.Navigate "file:///C:\Script\option.htm"
objExplorer.ToolBar = 0
objExplorer.StatusBar = 0
objExplorer.Width = 400
objExplorer.Height = 230
objExplorer.Visible = 1

Do While (objExplorer.Document.All.ChosenOption.Value = "")
Wscript.Sleep 250
Loop

strSelection = objExplorer.Document.All.ChosenOption.Value

objExplorer.Quit

Wscript.Sleep 250

Select Case strSelection
Case "Option 1"
Wscript.Echo "You selected Option 1."
Case "Option 2"
Wscript.Echo "You selected Option 2."
Case "Option 3"
Wscript.Echo "You selected Option 3."
Case "Cancelled"
Wscript.Quit
End Select

Of course, instead of echoing the selected option you would put the code you want to run under each case.

This is a nice flexible solution allowing you to easily add/remove options.

You can do away with the OK button and, in the HTML, add onClick="OKClick()" to the radio button elements, so the user only needs to click once on the option they want.


If this info helps you out, tweet me to say thanks or

Because I’m so nice you can download the VBS and HTML files in this handy VBS Option Box Script Zip(851 bytes)
Note: make sure to put the HTML file in "C:\Script\" to test. (Or change the line in the .VBS file pointing to the location of the HTML file.

Dreamweaver CS3 won’t start in Windows 7

I’m still using Dreamweaver CS3 for some web stuff. It does all I need it to do, or at least it did until it suddenly just decided to not load anymore!

I tried rebooting, tried running as admin, tried running in compatibility mode etc.
Finally I found that there now appears to be a some kind of issue with Windows Aero, on my laptop at least.
So, after much frustration I finally got it to work.

If your Dreamweaver CS3 has stopped loading in Windows 7 you can get it to work by just changing these settings …

1. Right click the Dreamweaver shortcut and then click “Properties”.
2. Click the “Compatability” tab.
3. Under the “Settings” section:
Tick “Disable visual themes” and “Disable desktop composition”
(It does seem to work without ticking “Disable visual themes”, but a couple of times it didn’t start so I left mine ticked just in case.)

You’ll notice that you lose your nice aero transparency / colours etc but at least you can now use Dreamweaver CS3 on Windows 7 again!

You could disable Windows Aero completely, or just the Aero Peek feature, but seems overkill to change the entire OS appearance just for the sake of one misbehaving application.

If this helped you please tweet me (@alanhart) or comment below to let me know!

Netflix move display to second monitor – Windows 8 Metro UI

Move the Netflix Windows 8 App (and any other MetroUI application) to your second monitor.

You can use these basic Win 8 keyboard shortcuts to toggle which monitor Netflix appears on…

Windows Key + PgUp (Move Tiles to the Left)
Windows Key + PgDown (Move Tiles to the Right)

Easy as pie!

If this little tip has helped you, please share\tweet this and mention me (@alanhart)

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