Recovering data from a failed 3TB seagate ST3000DM001

My Seagate ST3000DM001 failed me, it was no longer detected by the BIOS, when the PC starts, you can feel the disk spinning, and the head moving in the usual way, but after spending a minute waiting for it to be detected on the post screen, the computer simply ignores it (Does not detect it) and boots without it. meaning the operating system does not detect it !

Before i blame Seagate (I prefer western digital in general), this drives is more than 5 years old, was only used for storage, and never ran any software, but still, more than 5 years old.

2- Diagnosis

the most likely cause seems to be the PCB board as the BIOS does not detect the disk altogether, nonetheless, I have had excellent results with the freezer trick before (Even though the freezer trick is not something that is suitable for this type of malfunction, the freezer helps with mechanical issues often denoted by unhealthy sounds coming from the drive). so I froze it (Within a bag to avoid condensation), and tried it a day later, but absolutely nothing was different, no surprise there.

I also, for no reason whatsoever, removed the LID and took a look inside, no idea what i was expecting to find, but i did anyways, everything looks normal inside, and hopefully no significant dust went in there.

So i decided it was most likely the board, considered this my diagnosis, and will now act accordingly

3- Work

3.1 – Find a donor board

Before looking online for a board, I took a look at the drives I had at home, turned out I do not have two of the same drive, but i do have a 2TB ST2000DM001 which had the exact board (100687658 Rev: C) ! obviously, the BIOS on the board is different between the two boards, so that has to be flipped from one board to the other (Basic soldering skills required), but otherwise, the boards are identical between the 2TB and the 3TB, I might end up losing both in this operation, but getting the data out is certainly worth the try

3.2 – Copy the data from the donor 2TB drive to a third drive (western digital 2TB drive)

To begin with, I started by finding a similarly sized hard drive to copy the data that resides on the donor disks before i take its board out, luckily, I found a western digital green drive of identical size and sector size, namely a (Western Digital Green WD20EARX), this third disk is to make sure i don’t lose any data from the 2TB donor drive, so here is how it is done

After connecting both disks to a Linux PC, I identified which disk is which using the fdisk command

fdisk -l

Now that i know which one is the source and which the destination, I started the process of copying the data from the donor (2TB), to third disk (The western digital).

by moving the data on the 2TB drive (The healthy one) to a similarly sized drive , this copy procedure is the simplest task, with both connected to a Linux machine I used my favorite cloning tool (Nop, not DD, I switched to PV the moment i first tried it).

pv < /dev/sdd > /dev/sdf

Data moved (Backed up) from the donor drive (Donating it’s controller board) to an empty drive to hold the data

Now, All i can do is wait for 4:30 hours (According to PV), then come back, take the drives out, and start the surgery. it is copying at 115MB/s probably because the WD is a green drive that uses SMR recording.

Now that it is done copying, I took out the boards (Few screws), de-soldered the bios chip as you can see in the video, and soldered the one from the 3TB board onto the donor board and the one from the 2TB board onto the presumably malfunctioning board

the disk BIOS chip is the one branded winbond and has 8 pins (usually the only chip with 8 pins).

out of curiosity, I connected the 2TB drive (Now With the bad board after the swap), and it worked ! this is defiantly bad news, the problem was not the board after all ! connecting the 3TB disk yielded the same old problem exactly !

redis for Laravel on Debian

If you are like me, running only your own projects on a server, you might want to skip authentication

the changes I generally make to the file /etc/redis/redis.conf are

1- At the very beginning, limit the RAM redis can use with the line

maxmemory 2gb

2- Change the supervisor to systemd by modifying the line

supervised no


supervised systemd

Now, to test the new config, from the command line, run the following commands

systemctl restart redis-server
config get maxmemory

You have just configured redis and tested your new settings.

Nested virtualization in KVM

The reason I am enabling this in my virtual machine is to develop with android studio under windows or Linux in a dedicated development machine (Let us call it an android development virtual machine), you will need to enable nested virtualization for the virtual android phone that comes with Android studio, there are many occasions where you need nested virtualization, so let us see what we need to do.

1- Check if our system allows nested virtualization with the following line

cat /sys/module/kvm_intel/parameters/nested 

If this returns a Y or a 1, then we are good to go to the next step, if not, then execute the following to enable the feature on the host system

echo 'options kvm_intel nested=1' >> /etc/modprobe.d/qemu-system-x86.conf 

Now, with that out of the way, we can move to the next step

2- Enable nested virtualization in the config of the virtual machine, either with virsh edit or edit the file manually and reload it, whatever you are used to doing should work

virsh edit androiddev

Now, specify either host-model OR host-passthrough, host model is more compatible when moving the virtual machine to a new CPU, while host-passthrough will deliver absolutly all CPU features to the guest os, but is very unfriendly to moving the machine to a different KVM host

<cpu mode='host-model'> 

miniDLNA on my WD mybook live NAS box

The original firmware based on debian did come with a DLNA server, in this post, I am only dealing with openWRT (You need to change the firmware due to a serious security issue on the NAS drive as shown here)

In openWRT, i recommend you install libffmpeg-full before miniDLNA, since miniDLNA will install libffmpeg-mini which will conflict

opkg update
opkg install libffmpeg-full
opkg install minidlna luci-app-minidlna

Once the above are done, you can setup your DLNA server from the web interface of openWRT

I would recommend that the database and log files be on the data partition to save space, something you can manually set from within the web interface

to rebuild that database (re-index the files), you will need to stop miniDLNA, run the update and then start the server again

service minidlna stop
minidlnad -R
service minidlna start

Blank page running PhpMyAdmin on nginx with PHP 8.1 pfm

After an apt-get upgrade, phpmyadmin stopped working, I would see a blank page that sets a session cookie but does not show a login screen , just a blank page and the source of the page is also blank

So, i added the following line to my

$cfg['environment'] = 'development';

An right after, the following appeared

Array ( [type] => 1 [message] => Uncaught TypeError: PhpMyAdmin\ConfigStorage\Relation::__construct(): Argument #1 ($dbi) must be of type PhpMyAdmin\DatabaseInterface, null given, called in /var/www/html/pma2/libraries/classes/Twig/RelationExtension.php on line 22 and defined in /var/www/html/pma2/libraries/classes/ConfigStorage/Relation.php:62 Stack trace: #0 /var/www/html/pma2/libraries/classes/Twig/RelationExtension.php(22): PhpMyAdmin\ConfigStorage\Relation->__construct() #1 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/ExtensionSet.php(426): PhpMyAdmin\Twig\RelationExtension->getFunctions() #2 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/ExtensionSet.php(411): Twig\ExtensionSet->initExtension() #3 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/ExtensionSet.php(385): Twig\ExtensionSet->initExtensions() #4 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/Environment.php(810): Twig\ExtensionSet->getUnaryOperators() #5 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/Lexer.php(457): Twig\Environment->getUnaryOperators() #6 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/Lexer.php(108): Twig\Lexer->getOperatorRegex() #7 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/Environment.php(466): Twig\Lexer->__construct() #8 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/Environment.php(516): Twig\Environment->tokenize() #9 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/Environment.php(348): Twig\Environment->compileSource() #10 /var/www/html/pma2/vendor/twig/twig/src/Environment.php(309): Twig\Environment->loadTemplate() #11 /var/www/html/pma2/libraries/classes/Template.php(123): Twig\Environment->load() #12 /var/www/html/pma2/libraries/classes/Template.php(156): PhpMyAdmin\Template->load() #13 /var/www/html/pma2/libraries/classes/Core.php(145): PhpMyAdmin\Template->render() #14 /var/www/html/pma2/libraries/classes/Config.php(684): PhpMyAdmin\Core::fatalError() #15 /var/www/html/pma2/libraries/classes/Common.php(169): PhpMyAdmin\Config->checkPermissions() #16 /var/www/html/pma2/index.php(48): PhpMyAdmin\Common::run() #17 {main} thrown [file] => /var/www/html/pma2/libraries/classes/ConfigStorage/Relation.php [line] => 62 ) 

Turns out, this is an incompatibility (related to session storage) that has only been fixed in the 5.2 snapshot, download that version of phpmyadmin and everything should be fine

Microsoft VS code plugins for the Laravel Developer

The following is a list of plugins I have installed to help with Laravel Development, I will add to them as I go, I will also remove the ones i don’t think were worth it from the list as well

PluginWhat forPublisher
PHP IntelliSenseAdvanced Autocompletion and Refactoring support for PHP
Felix Becker

PHP Namespace Resolver
Import and expand php namespaces
Mehedi Hassan

Laravel blade syntax highlighting
Christian Howe
Laravel Blade Snippets
Laravel blade snippets and syntax highlight support
Winnie Lin

Laravel goto view
Quick jump to view
Better Align
Align code without selecting them first

Fixing my android SD card (exFat) on linux

This is probably very easy to use on windows, but i could not find a windows machine,

A quick solution that was not very clear at first was as follows, before you do this, make sure you have unmounted the SD card !

apt-get install exfat-utils

And then run the command

sudo exfatfsck /dev/mmcblk0p1

Got a few of the following error, and answered yes to all

ERROR: unknown entry type 0xc1.
Fix (Y/N)? y

And that was that

Varnish would not listen on port 80 on debian 11

This is a somewhat old problem, since Debian moved to systemD, instead of editing the file in /etc/default/varnish, you will need to create a file in /etc/systemd/system/ named varnish.service, the contents of such a file should look like this, is the IP varnish is listening on, one of the IPs of your varnish server

So to run the following command

systemctl edit varnish.service
Description=Varnish HTTP accelerator
Documentation= man:varnishd

ExecStart=/usr/sbin/varnishd -j unix,user=vcache -F -a -T localhost:6082 -f /etc/varnish/default.vcl -S /etc/varnish/secret -s malloc,256m


Once you have added the file execute the following

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart varnish

ffmpeg cheat sheet

First of all, after using yt-dlp to download 2 webm files for a video, you can combine them without reencoding using the following command (See here), Just make sure both files are VP8 or VP9

ffmpeg -i ao.webm -i vo.webm -c:v copy -c:a copy output.webm

To extract the section from the file resulting from the first command above

ffmpeg -ss 00:02:39.000 -i output.webm -t 00:00:05.000 -c copy out.mp4

Converting a file you have downloaded using 1 or any other file into MP4 (H264), since some windows computers will not play a webm file !

ffmpeg -i source264.mp4 -c:v libx265 -crf 28 -preset fast -c:a aac -b:a 128k  -filter:v fps=25 out265.mp4