Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

VirtualBox: Guest OSes not booting (black screen) after updating the host machine

On 90% of the cases, this is due to a bad (either corrupt or mismatched) expansion pack (both on Linux and Windows).
Follow the steps below to reload the expansion pack:

Start VirtualBox and click on File and then on Preferences, as shown on the image below:

How to reach the preferences menu in VirtualBox in order to uninstall the expansion pack.

How to reach the preferences menu in VirtualBox in order to uninstall the expansion pack.

Navigate to “Extensions” and select/highlight “Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack X” where X represents the version of the pack (irrelevant for now).

VirtualBox extensions page within the preferences menu.

VirtualBox extensions page within the preferences menu.

Then click on the REMOVE button and confirm your action when asked to:

VirtualBox Removal Confirmation Dialog

VirtualBox Removal Confirmation Dialog

If you’re using Linux, it’s certain that you’ll need to authenticate as root in order to proceed (absolutely no harm in this):

VirtualBox (Linux) - Authentication

VirtualBox (Linux) – Authentication

Once you’ve successfully removed the Extension Pack, simply reinstall it again by downloading the latest version of it through the official website.
Extension packs are usually delivered on the “vbox-extpack” format, which allows you to install them by simply executing them on a system where VirtualBox is installed (that would obviously be the HOST machine).

If that fails to work, you can alternatively download the extension pack (Right-Click, Save As) and installing it manually through the Preferences menu (pretty much the same procedure, but in lieu of removing it, you’ll be installing it).

Fedora Core: Installing Viber on your Fedora-based system

As many of you probably know, Viber has recently launched its official version for Linux systems.
Unfortunately it was released with a few limitations — not only there’s no 32-bit version (so forget about it for now if you’re on an i386 arch), but it was also developed for Ubuntu and its derivatives, such as Linux Mint, Zorin and other popular ones.

With that said, if you’re using one of the supported distros, there’s not much to it, just download the .deb and install it.
(click here for a full list of the distros where you should be able to install Viber without any tweaks)

If you’re using something else (like me — Fedora 20), a few commands will be necessary to make it work.
To install it on your Fedora (or Fedora-Derivative system), just run the following one-liner as root:

yum -y install icu libfdt libicu qt5-qtbase qt5-qtsvg qt5-gstreamer; mkdir /tmp/viberinstall; cd /tmp/viberinstall; wget; ar -x viber.deb data.tar.gz; tar -xzf data.tar.gz; /usr/bin/cp -f ./usr/share/applications/viber.desktop /usr/share/applications/viber.desktop; /usr/bin/cp -f ./usr/share/pixmaps/viber.png /usr/share/pixmaps/viber.png; /usr/bin/cp -fR ./usr/share/viber /usr/share/viber; rm -f /usr/bin/viber; echo > /usr/bin/viber; echo -e ‘#!/bin/sh\nexport VIBER_HOME=”/usr/share/viber”\n\$VIBER_HOME/Viber –resources=$VIBER_HOME \$*’ > /usr/bin/viber; chmod 755 /usr/bin/viber; chmod 777 /usr/share/viber; cd /usr/share/viber; rm -fR /tmp/viberinstall

To run Viber, just type “viber” on a console (as your username, not as root of course).
Or, just look for it under “Applications” –> “Internet” from your application launcher as it should be there as well.

Oh, and before you ask — It will be installed to /usr/share/viber because that’s where it gets installed on Ubuntu derivatives by default. If you prefer to have it installed somewhere else, just modify the one-liner paths accordingly and edit your /usr/bin/viber file to make sure it points to the correct binary’s location.

Remember: This will only work on 64-bit systems!

Sony Xperia U (ST25i): Performance issues after updating to Android ICS (4.0.4) using the official method

I have noticed my household’s Xperia U (ST25i) slowed down quite a lot after upgrading to ICS (6.1.1.B.1.54-Stock Version), using the official method provided by Sony.

I do not want to have the phone rooted at the moment, so wanted to ensure I would find a solution without requiring such thing. And I just did.

Here’s how to bring your Xperia U up to speed again:

WARNING: I am not responsible for any problems that may occur after you follow the instructions below. Do not proceed unless you’re absolutely sure that you know what you’re doing. Proceed at your own risk. You have been warned.

    1. First and foremost, check your android version and build number (go to “Settings” -> “About Phone”). They must be “4.0.4” and “6.1.1.B.1.54”, as that is the package being distributed by Sony in Europe, at least at the moment. So if you have upgraded your phone to ICS through the official method, those versions should match.
    2. Download Flashtool, it’s available here.
    3. Download the World-Unlocked Kernel Firmware File, it’s available here.
    4. Install FlashTools (install to C:\Flashtool).
    5. Install the Flashtool drivers. To do this, execute the file”Flashtool-drivers.exe”, which should be located at “C:\Flashtool\drivers” in your computer.
      Under “Components to install”, check the following items:

      • Xperia P, Xperia U and Xperia sola drivers
      • Flashmode drivers
      • Fastboot drivers

      Click the “Install” button and let it run. The installer will execute “dpinst32.exe” (Windows Driver Package Installer) on the final stage. Make sure you complete the process there, and do not freak out once you see the “Untrusted/Unsigned” driver installation warning – make sure you allow it, as you do need the drivers for the process to work, and they’re harmless anyway. Once you complete the installation of the drivers on the “Driver Package Installer” window, the Flashtool driver’s setup will resume and tell you that the installation process is complete.

    6. Extract the file “xperia u_6.1.1.B.1.54_World kernel.ftf” from the archive you downloaded ( to the folder “C:\Flashtool\firmwares”.
    7. Enable “USB Debugging” on your phone by going to “Settings -> “Developer Options”. It should be the very first option of that screen. Once “USB Debugging” is enabled, you should see a new icon on your phone’s task bar (the top one), reminding you of that fact.
    8. Connect your Xperia U to the computer and give it time to install its drivers (Windows should notify you during the process or show an icon in your taskbar)
    9. Start Flashtool as an administrator (just to make sure). You can do this through the start menu or by browsing the “C:\Flashtool” folder, then right-clicking “FlashTool.exe” (or just “FlashTool” if your Windows is not setup to show file extensions) and selecting “Run as Administrator”.
    10. Click on the very first button in the Flashtool interface (“Flash”) and then select “Flashmode” on the mode selector.
    11. You should now have the “Firmware Selection” window in front of you. Unless you did not copy the firmware file to the “firmwares” folder, you should see it listed under “Select a Firmware”. The version you need to select is “6.1.1.B.1.54“. Once the version is selected, click on “OK” button.
    12. Flashtool will now shutdown your phone and ask you to connect it in “Flash Mode”. To do so, just press and hold the “Volume -” key, and while holding it, press the power button. Flashtool will recognize that the phone is in flash mode, and will carry on with the rest of the process.
    13. Flashtool will now show the message “Please unplug and start your phone”. This means exactly that, disconnect the phone from your computer, and power it on. Your phone’s performance should now be back to what you were used to, while still running Android 4.0.4 (ICS)!

The Flashtool log should look like this (or similar):

07/038/2013 18:38:42 - INFO  - Device connected with USB debugging on
07/038/2013 18:38:45 - INFO  - Connected device : ST25
07/038/2013 18:38:45 - INFO  - Installed version of busybox : N/A
07/038/2013 18:38:45 - INFO  - Android version : 4.0.4 / kernel version : 3.0.8+ / Build number : 6.1.1.B.1.54
07/046/2013 18:46:50 - INFO  - Device connected in flash mode
07/046/2013 18:46:52 - INFO  - Device disconnected
07/049/2013 18:49:04 - INFO  - Selected xperia u_6.1.1.B.1.54_World kernel.ftf
07/049/2013 18:49:04 - INFO  - Preparing files for flashing
07/049/2013 18:49:04 - INFO  - Please connect your device into flashmode.
07/049/2013 18:49:15 - INFO  - Device connected in flash mode
07/049/2013 18:49:15 - INFO  - Opening device for R/W
07/049/2013 18:49:16 - INFO  - Reading device information
07/049/2013 18:49:16 - INFO  - Phone ready for flashmode operations.
07/049/2013 18:49:16 - INFO  - Current device : ST25i - 6.1.1.B.1.54 - WORLD_6.1.1.B.1.54
07/049/2013 18:49:16 - INFO  - Start Flashing
07/049/2013 18:49:16 - INFO  - Processing loader
07/049/2013 18:49:16 - INFO  -     Checking header
07/049/2013 18:49:16 - INFO  -     Flashing data
07/049/2013 18:49:17 - INFO  - Loader : S1_Root_3065 - Version : R5E006 / Bootloader status : NOT_ROOTABLE
07/049/2013 18:49:17 - INFO  - Processing kernel.sin
07/049/2013 18:49:17 - INFO  -     Checking header
07/049/2013 18:49:17 - INFO  -     Flashing data
07/049/2013 18:49:20 - INFO  - Ending flash session
07/049/2013 18:49:20 - INFO  - Flashing finished.
07/049/2013 18:49:20 - INFO  - Please unplug and start your phone


NOTE: This procedure will NOT root your phone.
It will just correct the performance issues (slowness) that everyone is talking about. 🙂