Tuesday, 27 January 2015

How to load windows 7 from network

Have you ever been in a situation where you need to install Windows on a laptop or machine and you don’t have a flash disk, USB cd rom or the CD rom doesn’t work? This is what I experienced lately but I stretched my limits and decided to try loading the OS using the network boot option.
So today am going to explain to you how you can load your windows installation over the network. This can be achieved if you computers are on the same network i.e. if you are using a router or using a cross over cable like in my case. Ever wondered how Windows is deployed in big companies with over 50 computers. This is how it’s done.
You need software called SERVA.  Head over to their website and download the NON-Supporter version which is free.
We will refer to the computer that has the OS as the SOURCE and the one we want to install the OS as the CLIENT. Most of the work will happen on the SOURCE computer.

Requirements before starting:

  1. Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows XP whole installation files the way they appear on a DVD.
  2. Source computer must have a username and password
  3. Computers on same network or IP address set with the same range
  4. Network drivers for the client computer extracted. Check for ".inf" and ".cat".
  5. Network cable cross over or straight through cable if using a router
Now that we have ensured all pre-requisites are set we need to extract the SERVA software to a folder on one of our local partitions on the SOURCE computer. D:\Serva
Next thing you do is create another folder named D:\Servaroot remember the folders should not contain spaces or long names. This is the folder where you will store Windows installation files

Step 1

a)Start serva from the D:\serva folder and run it for the first time on the source computer.  Go to settings to configure the settings for DHCP and TFTP. If you are using a router enable Proxy DHCP, BINL and Bind DHCP. In my case I used a cross over to connect my two computers, so I enabled DHCP server and BINL and also enabled Bind DHCP to this address options. This is how I set up my configuration refer to this image
b)Go to the TFTP tab and enable TFTP server also make sure bind TFTP to this address is selected don’t change anything here except the TFTP server root directory which you will set to the folder you created D:\Servaroot\
c)Close serva program and it will configure some folders on D:\servaroot ready for you to copy windows files.

Step 2

Copy your windows installation files on the folder that has been created automatically on D:\Servarot\WIA_WDS\Windows7. If you are installing earlier versions like win XP use WIA_RIS folder or NWA_PXE for Linux installation
The next thing you need to do is make sure you share the WIA_WDS. The exact name for the share name should be WIA_WDS_SHARE.
Also very important copy the Network drivers you extracted for the client computer on the following folder D:\servaroot\WIA_WDS\WINDOWS7\$OEM$\$1\Drivers\NIC.

Step 3

Start serva program on the source computer and don’t close it.
Boot the client computer and select the Network boot option, Boot from LAN or PXE boot. Remember you can set it as first priority clients BIOS.    

Step 4

If everything goes successfully you will see some activity on the Serva program as it binds the Clients IP address and starts communicating with it. You will be prompted to choose the Operating system you set i.e. Windows 7 and press Enter. After successful network drivers installation you will be prompted to enter the source computer log in details and the installation will run just like a normal windows installation.



If you encounter any problems you can always comment and i will try my best to assist. Most errors occur if you don't configure the IP address correctly or if you the clients Network drivers are not detected.Make sure you have the correct NIC drivers for you network card.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

How to Unbrick or restore a Samsung Galaxy Ace stuck on Samsung Logo

Many newbies brick or corrupt their Android phones when trying to update out of curiosity. This may end up badly sometimes with the phones getting stuck on the Samsung logo on start up. I normally don’t like to work on phones that are stuck on startup but when my friends experience this kind of problems I always assist when I can.
So today I will show you how to unbrick your Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830i which is bricked. By following these simple instructions you will be able to restore your phone to its factory settings just like when you bought it.
You will need to download ODIN which is the basic software used to flash Samsung phones. I used the following specific version which worked well. You can use other versions it doesn’t matter.
Second download the Firmware files needed. For this specific model I used the files packaged by a member from xdaforum. The firmware is Australian phone based but will work well with any Samsung Galaxy ace S5830i model.You will need this  password: mod2xtreme.com to extract the zip file
The last thing you will need is to have Samsung drivers installed on you PC. I have them pre-installed since I have the latest Kies. But you can Google and find the Samsung USB drivers easily.
Now we are all set to begin the procedure.
  1. First thing is to open ODIN by right clicking and running it as Administrator.
  2. Now the next thing you will do is to put your Samsung ace to download mode by pressing Volume UP + Volume Down + Power button the same time. The phone should display the prompt for getting into download mode which you accept by pressing Volume UP. Some phone may not be able to display anything on the screen but make sure you follow the sequence and ODIN should now detect the phone by displaying the COM port connected via USB.
  3. The next step is to add the files needed to flash to ODIN. Start with the PIT file downloaded together with ODIN version I gave earlier.
  4. Then add the Bootloader file found on the extracted zip, add the PDA file, Phone which is named as MODEMxxxx.tar and finally the CSCxxx.tar file.Make sure you don’t skip any file; also they should indicate success on the left side when they get added successfully on ODIN.
  5. Now you just need to hit start and you Samsung Galaxy ace S5830i firmware will be flashed in about 3 minutes.You should get a message indicating the process has run successfully and you can now unplug your USB cable from you phone. Then phone may restart or you can manually restart the phone. 
  6. Now you may need to change the language and time to complete the Set up.
I hope this will help anybody out there with a Samsung galaxy ace S5830i that’s bricked or unable to boot.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

How to unlock an iPhone locked to international networks in Kenya

How to unlock an iPhone locked to international networks in Kenya
If you live in Kenya like me then you know that iPhones are sold quite expensive by the few authorized apple dealers. These include telecommunication companies such as orange and Airtel who got authorized recently to start selling apple devices. IPhones bought directly from the shop are quite expensive and that’s why most people opt to import Locked phones then later unlock them to use any Sim card in Kenya. The price of an iPhone 5 bought directly from the shop cost around 70,000/= 16GB, 75,000/= 32GB and around 80,000/= for 64GB. Remember this is just a rough estimate. According to apple only orange appears on their website as an authorized dealers and distributors. But other companies like Elitedigital also have some kind of dealership with apple. At the end of the day most Kenyans cannot afford this kind of overrated kind of phones. But I have seen incredible cheap prices for the same device on OLX and jumia website for guys selling their iPhones at a cheap price.
This post is not exactly aimed at people who want to buy brand a brand new iPhone in Kenya but rather those whose iPhones are lying idle locked to international networks such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Verizon, Orange and the list goes on. What happens abroad is when you buy a phone its tied to a contract by the mobile service providers since you get into some kind of contract unlike in Kenya where most us buy phones directly from shops on cash basis. If you purchase directly from apple you will get the device at higher price since its unlocked but if you want to get it cheaper you can buy under a contract which makes it cheaper around $100 – 150 but provided you stick to the contract of using that specific network i.e. AT&T or Verizon.

Locked iPhones get their way to Kenya through people who have relocated to Kenya from abroad and the device are still locked to their original carrier and therefore cannot work with simcards in Kenya. What you need to know before you unlock this kind of phones is the carrier will not unlock them freely unless you have been a loyal customer on their network and have spent quite some money on their pricing plans that they offer both prepaid and postpaid. So how can you unlock them if they are still locked by their original carrier? Different companies have different rules for unlocking; I will try to cover AT&T because I have dealt with iPhones locked to this network frequently.
Since most people don’t meet the requirements of getting the phone unlocked at no cost you need to use a third party unlock solutions to get the device unlocked. The most important thing with your phone is it needs to be “CLEAN” that means it has not been reported lost, stolen or barred by the carrier due to unpaid bills. Once you provide us with the IMEI of the device its checked against carrier database to confirm its clean. Most devices that land in Kenya sometimes are either reported lost or the owner had some unpaid bills with previous carrier abroad.
This kind of iPhones can be unlocked by either normal cheap service or premium service if blacklisted or barred. A couple of websites run paid services to check if the device is Blacklisted or what network its locked too if you can’t tell or access the device to see. Once the status is confirmed you can go ahead and order the service. If the device is clean you can try to use the cheap option (70-80% success rate) or you can go for the premium service which is guaranteed to unlock it (100% success rate).
This is where I come in if you want to unlock your device I can assist you confirm if its blacklisted, or what network its locked to. This is very important for new buyers who have never used iPhones. Before you buy always confirm the device is not blacklisted or iCloud locked (refer to my previous post). I have seen naïve people buy devices that are as good as a Toy. Especially iCloud locked iPhones in Kenya. Also blacklisted iPhones are a bit expensive to unlock.
What the unlock is in simple language is your IMEI is submitted to apple servers by your carrier as unlocked that means it can connect to iTunes and apple servers deem it unlocked. Remember this is a joint effort between apple and carriers. Once the device IMEI is unlocked you can connect the phone to iTunes and the device communicates with apple servers and will give you a status unlocked if successful. If unsuccessful you will get a message "the sim card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported. Please contact original carrier”.

If somebody tells you he is going to unlock your iPhone using some kind of software don’t fall that lie. It used to be done but apple have sealed all loopholes and starting from iPhone 4s and above only solutions is factory unlocking or by use a Sim interposer the likes of GEVEY or RSIM or XSIM…don’t mind the jargon/lingo used here.
I cannot be able to explain everything on a single post. But if you own an iPhone, iPod or iPad that’s locked I can help you get it unlocked at a good deal. If you need my help feel free to contact me.
Adios

Sunday, 24 August 2014

How to unlock bootlader and root a HTC phone

Today am going to show you how to unlock and root a HTC phone.I found out HTC phones to be a bit different from you normal Samsung phone in that they come locked from changing their firmwares and modifying apps. But that’s not to worry because the guys at HTC are kind enough to give you a free option to unlock the boot loader of your device. I got to say am new to HTC phones but I have come to like their sleek look and awesome feel.
So today am going to teach you a very basic method of unlocking the boot loader or your HTC model. In my case I used a HTC 6160. This phone looks exactly like a HTC 601 only difference is it’s a dual SIM with one SIM card usable with CDMA network. It also packs a Quad core processor and an internal memory of 8GB.

The first things you will need is to fully charge your phone to make sure you don’t brick or crash the phones firmware. Then register a free account on HTCdev website. You will receive a username and password to create your account.
Next make sure you enable USB debugging on your phone, Settings>>Developer options>> usb debugging.On the HTC 6160 its can be found on Settings>> About >> Software information >>More >>  Build number then you press it 7 times and a message will pop saying” your are 3 steps from becoming a developer”. Then next Disable Fastboot by going to Battery manager(Power)>>Fastboot and disable it. You will then need ADB and fastboot installed on you computer. Just search on Google for SDK tools and download and unzip the file on your computer c: drive. Make sure you have installed the correct drivers for your phone model. If you have HTC sync installed then you are ready to go.
Put you device on fastboot mode by pressing the power button and the Volume down button the same time. Make sure you select Fastboot>> select it by pressing the power button. Connect you phone USB to your pc. Type Fastboot oem  get_identifier_token . You will get message with your boot loader that should be copied to the HTC unlock boot loader website on step 5. Copy from where <<identifier Token Start to Identifier Token End >>. After submitting you will receive the Unlock_code.bin file on  your email. Go back to command prompt and make sure you are on the SDK>>Platform tools folder and type fastboot flash unlocktoken unlock_code.bin.Use CD command to change directory. Also copy the bin file you received o the folder Android\SDK\platform-tools I renamed the folder to android for easy navigation.

 If successful the phone screen will change and you will get and option to choose yes. Confirm by pressing the power button. Wait as your phone reboots, and you can confirm if it’s unlocked by booting to recovery again. I will write the next post on how to root the phone. If you need any help comment and I will respond.

Monday, 18 August 2014

How to use Find My iPhone to locate and lock your device


This iPhone is currently linked to an Apple ID , sign in with Apple  ID that was used to set up  this iPhone or iPad” sounds familiar, I know most of you have come across the message and that’s why I  have decided to write this post to inform anyone that has hopes on ever using that iDevice. I have seen numerous remarks and comments on blogs and Facebook pages by users who have such kind of devices locked to apple activation screen. Apple is known to be pioneers of great and unique technology. Now the find my iPhone feature is a very hard to crack feature that comes with devices that run apples IOS 7 and above. This feature when enabled on your iPhone or iPad or any I device will link that device to your iCloud account and will only allow one user to activate the device anytime you wish to use it after its activated.  This is a major breakthrough to deter thieves who steal in the case of android phones and change the IMEI of your devices and sell it later making it difficult to track it or recover it. When find my iPhone is activated it’s very hard for anyone to ever use the device unless they have the Email address and password that is linked to that device. Remember apple devices have to be activated via ITunes for them to register with the network for locked devices and those that have been reported stolen via iCloud. Activating this handy feature is very simple just go to your device Settings>> iCloud>> sign in with your Apple ID>> Turn on Find My iPhone.

Now that you have done that remember if you forget that password and may be you need to restore your device it will be very hard reset it. My advice is using your email address i.e. Gmail or yahoo so that you can reset your password anytime via email. Anytime you want to turn off the feature you will be required to provide the password. Now anybody that comes across your phone and wish to turn the feature off will have to provide the password.

In case you lose or misplace your phone, you can log in via the web on iCloud and track the iPhone, for lost devices you can activate the lost mode and lock it with a four digit passcode to display your phone number in case someone comes across the phone. Next time someone sells to you a sleek iPhone always check that find my iPhone is de-activated on that device. If they are the legit owner of the device they should be able to turn it off. Also I have found a useful website that you can check if that iPhone’s IMEI find my iPhone is activated iphoneimei.info. Some people have come up with unethical ways of trying to bypass the iCloud activation but very few can be able to use their iDevice after exploiting this security feature. And sincerely speaking unless you have a stolen or misplaced phone it will be very hard to get the phone activated; that means registering with a network and iTunes. Just like android users use the Google play. Apple devices require you to sign in with your Apple ID and password to download any application from the Apple Apps store.  Next time someone tries to sell to you a cheap iPhone or iPad think twice before making the purchase. That device could end up being used like a toy or iPod since you may never get past the activation screen. With IOS getting updated each and every time it will get harder to crack this feature especially for people who own devices running devices with A5 and above chips/processor.
Before buying a second hand iPhone or iPad
•Always check find my iPhone is not activated. Check physically or using iphoneimei.info
•Always buy from reliable sources, if you making payments use websites such as EBay or amazon since they offer buyer protection services and payments is made via PayPal. That means you can always claim for a refund if goods delivered are not satisfactory
•Also check if the phone has been reported lost or the IMEI is blacklisted. You can use free services such as Swappa.com/esn
•Finally check if the phone is carrier locked. Don’t be fooled by the price the device costs. It might be locked to international networks such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Vodafone etc.