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Jan 7 14

Flash plugin crashing in Firefox on Windows 8 with StackHash_fa66 error

by dave

As of today, 2014-01-07, I am running Firefox 26.0 on Windows 8 with the Adobe Flash Plugin 11,9,900,170.

For the past few weeks, whenever I attempted to load a site that utilizes the flash plugin, I would receive an application crash error with the following details:

Problem signature:

  Problem Event Name:                        APPCRASH

  Application Name:                             FlashPlayerPlugin_11_9_900_170.exe

  Application Version:                           11.9.900.170

  Application Timestamp:                    529b79bf

  Fault Module Name:                          StackHash_fa66

  Fault Module Version:                        0.0.0.0

  Fault Module Timestamp:                 00000000

  Exception Code:                                  c00001a5

  Exception Offset:                                PCH_1C_FROM_ntdll+0x0002DC34

  OS Version:                                          6.2.9200.2.0.0.256.48

  Locale ID:                                             1033

  Additional Information 1:                  fa66

  Additional Information 2:                  fa6696398de2b9f98383d7a3bf5c3ea1

  Additional Information 3:                  fa66

  Additional Information 4:                  fa6696398de2b9f98383d7a3bf5c3ea1

 

Read our privacy statement online:

  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=190175

 

If the online privacy statement is not available, please read our privacy statement offline:

  C:\Windows\system32\en-US\erofflps.txt

And I found tips all over the ‘Net for how to resolve it, but most of them advised to reinstall the Flash plugin, which I had done many times to no avail, or to perform an application repair from the Control Panel, which was also not helpful in my case. I finally found the answer, via a mention of mms.cfg in this Mozilla support forum post: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/969522?esab=a&s=uac&r=3&as=s, and then the details via this forum page from Adobe: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1018071?tstart=0

The fix for me was to simply disable Adobe Flash’s Protected Mode via editing C:\Windows\SYSWOW64\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg and adding the line:
ProtectedMode=0
then saving & closing the file, restarting Firefox, and reloading the Flash plugin (via visiting a site that uses Flash and activating the plugin.)

I don’t believe this to be the “Correct” fix, and this will need to be revisited in the near future, but there is definitely some type of incompatibility with Firefox 26.0, Windows 8, and Flash 11.9 (and according to the first forum post I linked up, Flash 11.8, as well. Users of other operating systems appear to have this problem at times, too, including Windows Vista, Mac OS X (not sure which version), and at least one Linux user (not sure which distro, version, or any other details.) — This informs me (anecdotally) that this may be inherent in some part of the Flash libraries, not the host OS.)

Regardless, that is how I solved it, and it took my considerable time to find the correct fix for me, so I am posting this here to help with Google searches for either the StackHash error code “StackHash_fa66″ or “fa6696398de2b9f98383d7a3bf5c3ea1″ or for searches on the DLL error code “PCH_1C_FROM_ntdll+0x0002DC34″

Best of luck to you!

Oct 5 12

AutoMySQLBackup authentication error

by dave

Note: If using automysqlbackup to backup all your MySQL databases on a Linux host, and you are getting the error:

ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for user ‘automysqlbackup’@'localhost’ (using password: YES)

even though you test it on the command line and can successfully login as the automysqlbackup user (or whichever user you are using for backups), make certain that the password for that user (‘automysqlbackup’ in my case) does not have any shell metacharacters, such as # or $, etc., or find the proper way to quote the password in the configuration file for automysqlbackup. (perhaps it is single quotes, perhaps double quotes…I did not test it, as I was “on the clock”, per se, and just removed the shell metacharacters from my password.)

See these two posts for more information:

http://www.baselogic.com/blog/system-administration/error-1045-28000-access-denied-for-user-userlocalhost-using-password-yes/

http://bytes.com/topic/mysql/answers/141960-strange-authentication-trouble-about-mysqldump-error-1045-a

Sep 26 12

Serving static content through the ASP.NET handler on Windows 2003 / IIS 6.0

by dave

I recently had the need to process static file types (particularly *.html and *.pdf files) through the .NET processor/Framework on a Windows 2003 / IIS 6.0 server for the purpose of redirecting certain URLs. Having done this in the past, I knew I simply needed to add an application mapping for each file extension to the .NET processor. (Read more about that at Microsoft’s page for How to: Configure an HTTP Handler Extension in IIS – in this case, for the last step, we want to make certain that “Verify that file exists” is NOT checked, because we want to redirect URLs for files that do not exist on the filesystem, therefore, you don’t want to check for the existence of those files.)

And it should Just Work™. (Provided you set up your redirect module properly, etc.)

 

IT. DOES. NOT. WORK.

 

Well, let me clarify: It worked in the case that I had a redirect setup for a file that did not exist on the filesystem. So, the actual redirect worked great. (yay!) However,

HOWEVER . . .

If there was a file on the filesystem with extension .html or .pdf that DID exist and I DID want to serve up to the client, it did NOT work. All I got was the error “The connection was reset”

Upon examination of the problem, IIS just drops/resets the connection without sending any content to the client web browser, which is what causes this error. (Now, this worked just fine in Windows 2000 / IIS 5, so I was perplexed at this behavior.)

 

On Win2K3, IIS 6, in the master web.config file (usually “C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\CONFIG\web.config“), under the section “<system.web><httpHandlers>” the next to last handler is “<add path="*" verb="GET,HEAD,POST" type="System.Web.DefaultHttpHandler" validate="true" />

That handler is what is supposed to serve up any content that is not handled by some other predefined .NET handler, such as the Page Builder handler for .aspx pages, for instance. IIS should use this “System.Web.DefaultHttpHander” to basically dump the content of the file to the IO Stream feeding your web browser’s connection to the server.

Unfortunately, this does not work properly on my default installs of Windows 2003 Web Edition.

 

To work around this problem, you need to redefine the http handler for your specific file types, or for the wildcard type. You can do this in a site specific web.config, or you can modify the system web.config to be what I consider to be “correct.”

In your site web.config, use the following:

  <system.web>
    <httpHandlers>
      <add path="*.html" verb="*" type="System.Web.StaticFileHandler" validate="true" />
      <add path="*.pdf" verb="*" type="System.Web.StaticFileHandler" validate="true" />
    </httpHandlers>
  </system.web>

Or to cover the wildcard extension (all files, with, or without, extensions):

  <system.web>
    <httpHandlers>
      <add path="*" verb="*" type="System.Web.StaticFileHandler" validate="true" />
    </httpHandlers>
  </system.web>

And that will solve the problem for your site.

To solve it for your entire web server, though, AT YOUR OWN RISK (there may be unknown repercussions!!!), just change that “next to last” httpHandler in the system “C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\CONFIG\web.config” to use “System.Web.StaticFileHandler” instead of “System.Web.DefaultHttpHandler”.

Thanks very much to this resource at Microsoft.com: You receive a “Page cannot be displayed” error message when you use an ASP.NET application to open an .htm file or another static file that is hosted in IIS 6.0

Jun 15 12

What’s the worst that could happen?

by dave

Watch this. Regardless of how you feel about global climate change, this video could help you choose a path of action to the future. Watch it and decide for yourself how you should live.

Greg Craven’s website

For people citing the whole “Climategate” issue where it was thought that data was falsified by scientists, read the Wikipedia article on the whole thing, as there is tons of data there, including the fact that several organizations took a good look at the data and methods used by those scientists and found that there was no misconduct.

Aug 15 10

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

by dave

I made these cookies as travel food for a long car trip we made recently.  They are high in protein, and relatively low in simple carbs, at least compared to many other cookies and car snacks.  They were tasty and provided great energy in the car without causing that dreaded sleepiness that comes from snacking on too many simple carbohydrates.

These cookies had a wonderful peanut butter flavor as well as a great crunch, and they were super easy to make! I didn’t use the optional nuts or chocolate chips; I plan to try using crunchy peanut butter at some point to add some crunch in a quick & easy way.

I found this Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe at the Food & Wine Magazine site:

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

TOTAL TIME: 25 MIN
SERVINGS: Makes 2 dozen cookies (or so…)

Ingredients

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts (optional)

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and position 2 racks in the upper and lower thirds.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter with the sugar, baking soda and egg.
  3. (optional) Stir in the peanuts and/or chocolate chips.
  4. Roll tablespoons of the dough into 24 balls. Set the balls on 2 baking sheets, and using a fork, make a crosshatch pattern on each cookie.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, shifting the baking sheets from front to back and bottom to top, until the cookies are lightly browned and set.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack.
Dec 11 09

Almond Biscotti

by dave

Original recipe is in normal text, with my adjustments and notes in italics between the curly braces after each line.

2 sticks butter, room temp
1 3/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond flavoring
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sliced almonds
6 cups flour

  • Cream butter and gradually add sugar.  Mix well.
  • Add one egg at a time; cream well until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and almond flavorings.
  • Add sliced almonds.  {I once forgot to add them at this point, and added them after the flour, just before kneading…it worked pretty well that way, too!}
  • Add baking powder and flour gradually and mix well.
  • Turn dough out onto floured surface.  Knead briefly {I found that I liked them better if I kneaded the dough a bit more than “briefly” – something like ten minutes.} like you would with bread dough, adding flour a little bit at a time until you can form loaves (use as little flour as you can).
  • Shape dough into two loaves (or four if you want smaller biscotti).
  • Put loaves on foil-lined cookie sheets.  Flatten loaves a little bit with your hands.  {Pat the loaves down wide and flat, as the dough will mostly retain the shape you give it here. I also don’t use foil, I just put them directly onto my stainless air-bake cookie sheets.}
  • {I also use a little milk or water (VERY LITTLE) to moisten the top of the loaves and sprinkles some sliced almonds on top for effect.  I like it, anyway.}
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. {Don’t want to overbake at this point, as you’ll toast them more below.}
  • Cut into slices. {Looks nicest if you cut on an angle.}
  • Lay slices flat on cookie sheets and put back in oven at 400 degrees to toast for 5 minutes on each side. {I found that they were more “biscotti-like” if you toasted them for longer, more like 12-15 minutes per side, especially since the loaves were sometimes still pretty moist in the center, but brown enough on the outside that you wouldn’t have wanted to bake them any longer as a whole loaf. Keep an eye on them if you extend the time – you definitely don’t want them to burn!}
  • Let cool, and enjoy!
Sep 9 09

QuickBooks Pro 2008 Unrecoverable Error upon start

by dave

I just rebuilt a computer at work due to a motherboard failure, and upon reinstallation, had a problem with QuickBooks Pro 2008.  When I tried to run the program, all I got was:
“QuickBooks unrecoverable error” as the title of a message box, with contents indicating that the program couldn’t start and asking if I would like to send an error report.

Other key info related to this error was the error code “00585 53668″ at the bottom of the message box, and the error code “0xc0000005″ in the one of the error report’s XML contents.  I searched the usual search engines with a variety of terms and most of the solutions I came across related to uninstalling and reinstalling the .NET Framework (version 2.0) – Of course I did this, to no avail.  Other potential solutions involved reinstalling QuickBooks (which I did, but as expected, resolved nothing, as I had just freshly installed the app in the first place.)

Then, I ran across one post on fixya.com titled “Went to open Quickbooks pro” where another user was also having problems opening QB due to a DLL error.  The recommended solution in this case was to run the “reboot.bat” file in the QB program directory.  I checked the contents of this batch file, and it appeared to re-register a bunch of DLLs.  I ran it, and viola! Instant success.

Relevant to this, but unmentioned above, was the fact that I had reinstalled WinXP Pro onto my user’s existing hard drive from the failed computer, so Windows was automatically reinstalled into “C:\WINDOWS.0″ instead of the usual “C:\WINDOWS” – this was made relevant to this error due to fact that all throughout the reboot.bat file, the commands were registering DLLs in the new windows.0 folder…

So, if you have any QuickBooks Pro 2008 startup problems after reinstalling Windows and QuickBooks, especially if you are using a non-standard install directory for Windows, try running the reboot.bat file in the QuickBooks program directory (typically “C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks 2008″)

Good Luck!

(This post created to grab search results for QuickBooks Pro 2008 error code 00585 53668 related to an unrecoverable error when starting the program, especially directly after a reinstall onto a used hard drive where Windows is installed into a different directory than “C:\WINDOWS”.)

Aug 13 09

su: invalid script: /usr/libexec/auth/login_passwd (OpenBSD)

by dave

I had to replace a host-based firewall, based on OpenBSD, that had some failing hardware this week.  I managed to get the failing system up and running and made a full back up of the system using tar over SSH to a remote computer.  (Thanks to Trinity Rescue Kit for the help! I ran TRK on a Windows laptop I had borrowed from a co-worker to run a temporary SSH server.)  Upon restoration, I just had to tweak one file, /etc/fstab, to adjust for the different disk layout of the replacement system.

I ran into one issue after restoration, though: when I logged in as an unprivileged user, and attempted to su to another user, I got the error: su: invalid script: /usr/libexec/auth/login_passwd

Well, it turns out that I forgot the -p option to tar when I unpacked the tarball onto the new system…this option is used to preserve uid, gid, and file mode, as well as the setuid and setgid bits if the user is the superuser/root.  Well, /usr/bin/su is owned by root, and needs the setuid bit set in order to work properly.  The proper fix for this would be to unpack the tarball again with the proper settings, but in a pinch, you could just apply the setuid bit to /usr/bin/su.  (Please realize that in this case, you may have missed other files where the setuid/setgid bits should be set, so this is not the best solution, but can definitely help in a pinch.)

I found this information via this post in the Kernel Trap archives.  Thanks to “Walt” for posting this info to be archived and indexed by the search engines!  It certainly helped me this week!

EDIT: Definitely go through and use tar with the appropriate options to preserve permissions and special bits on files!  All files will be owned by the user that unpacked the tar archive (root:wheel in my case) if you don’t specify the “-p” option to tar to preserve permissions, ownership, and etc.

Nov 23 08

Major WordPress blog performance problem solved

by dave

In a previous post, WordPress woes, I went through the procedure I used to solve some performance problems related to how the IP address on this server is NATed.  Well, there was another problem somewhere that caused the WordPress admin to be incredibly slow most of the time, caused Akismet to not work at all, and a variety of other symptoms.

I went through a bit of diagnosis, and I came across this in my /var/log/php-errors.log (I enabled this logging in /etc/php.ini to track what was happening):

php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Temporary failure in name resolution in /var/www/sitename/scriptname.php on line 20

I checked my /etc/hosts and /etc/resolve.conf and /etc/host.conf files, and everything was fine there.  In addition, DNS resolution worked fine from the command-line via dig and ping.  I tried running my simple test script through the php command-line client, and it worked fine from there.  I checked the script in a browser, and no luck.  It was loading in the browser until the DNS lookup in the script timed out, then it finished loading.

So, I did that again, but this time, I ran

netstat -an

on the command line while the script was attempting its DNS lookup.  It turns out that Apache was looking at an old DNS server, which is not accessible via this network.  Oiy!

This makes a little bit of sense to me, as this server was originally setup in a convenient location on a different network, and then physically moved the server to the colocation data center.

Well, I don’t know why Apache still thought it should look at the old DNS server (the one from the other network) but I made sure there was no reference to it in old /var/lib/dhclient.leases files and then ran

apachectl stop
apachectl start

And, viola! The problem went away!  All the other times, I just ran

apachectl graceful

which apparently wasn’t clearing out it’s memory of the old DNS server, or it was still looking at the (not currently relevant) dhclient lease file, which is silly, since I now have the server setup on networks with dedicated IPs, and I am not using dhcp on any interface.

Weird.  But, solved!

Nov 17 08

Crawl Rate Tracker plugin missing chart on CentOS 4.x

by dave

Well, as part of my WordPress install, I am using the Crawl Rate Tracker plugin. It shows the hits on your blog from various spiders and so on. In it’s dashboard (in your WordPress admin) there is a nifty chart that visualizes the info. Or, at least, there should be. In my case, I got a text link that just output the URL of the php script that should have generated the chart.

By looking into sbtracking-chart-data.php, I found that as it incremented a value to track the date, it hit the number 1225684800, which is apparently the max integer value in PHP 4.3.9, which is the version that was included in CentOS 4.x, with security patches backported. This value corresponds to some point during November 2, 2008. Well, as you well know, we are past that point in history, causing this PHP script to loop infinitely, since it never errored out upon incrementing that variable, it just stuck at the value 1225684800, and it was using the date as a means of breaking the loop.

To resolve this, I upgraded to PHP 5.1.6, which also required a MySQL upgrade. (The way I did it, anyway, which was the fast & easy, CentOS “semi-supported” way to do it.) I edited the file /etc/yum.repos.d/CentOS-Base.repo to make the centosplus repository available by changing enabled=0 to enabled=1 and then adding this line under the same repository:

includepkgs=php* mysql*

which restricts the upgrades and installs from this repository to the php and mysql packages.

I ran yum update and let it download and install all the necessary packages. This put me at PHP 5.1.6 with some extra security patches and MySQL 5.0.68 with the same.

Upon an Apache restart (apachectl graceful) I tested the Crawl Rate Tracker plugin, and AHA! The chart is there, and as nifty as ever.
Goodnight.