How to use ZTE MF627 USB modem on linux


I just bought a ZTE MF627 USB modem (it supports GPRS/EDGE/3G/HSDPA) to serve as my internet highway, the stuff works great with little configuration on Windows. Actually it came with MTN Nigeria internet settings but I could use it with other networks via Windows Dial-up.
The major problem was that in my Ubuntu and Fedora linux, I just could not use it. When I enter dmesg at the Commandline terminal, it detects it as a CD drive.
So after seeking lots of help online I finally got a way to go round the issue.
In my windows XP, the device manager alloted COM19 to the modem. I went straight to hyperterminal and connected to COM19 using the usual "8-N-1 None" settings, you can put the baudrate at any value. In the terminal I simply entered
This will change the default mode of the modem from the CD drive to the modem mode. But you will not be able to install the software that came preloaded into the device, so if you want to use it on a new windows system, you might have to run AT+ZCDRUN=9 to enable you install the MTN or any other proprietary software that came with the modem.
After that your Linux system will now identify the modem and make it available as /dev/ttyUSB2 or /dev/ttyUSB3 ( I think /dev/ttyUSB2 if you do not have 3G or HSDPA and /dev/ttyUSB3 if you have the service on the network). You can now use your preferred Point-to-Point Protocol connection tool.
If you are using Fedora 11 or 12, you can go to System, Preference and Network connection for very easy configuration of the modem.

Just click on Mobile Broadband and Add.

 Enter the internet settings as given you by the network provider, in the PPP setting untick all the compression methods, and the allowed authentication method should be PAP alone (except if your provider specifies any additional one).
With this done, you are ready to go, just click on the network icon on the task bar and choose the network you just configured.
For Ubuntu, mandriva and other distros including fedora, you can use any PPP tool -- gnome-ppp, kppp and wvdial. Just specify the right device address.

How to use dial up point-to-point protocol to connect to the internet via a GPRS mobile phone


I am sorry the title looks clumsily long, but that is to show that I am going to very much explain how you can access the internet using dial up on a Linux OS through an application called KPPP.
I assume that you already have the application installed, if you don't have you can view my previous post on installing software in linux.
Launch the kppp software, a user inteface like the one below will come up

Don't mind the entries in the login ID and password, in this tutorial I will create a new account.
Click on the configuration button below, a pop up dialogue box will come up as show below.

Click on the new button at the middle right side, a popup box like the one shown below.

Click on Manual Setup, another popup will replace this current one, as shown below

Enter the name you want to give this connection. Click on Add button, put *#99# as the phone number. Leave the other settings at the default.
Click on Modems right beside Accounts on the top menu bar, click on new .

In the new dialogue box shown below, enter the access point name as the modem name, enter the port of the phone connection and leave the other settings as they are.

If you want to use a bluetooth connection, plug the bluetooth dongle to the computer, go to the Konsole commandline tool and enter the folloswing commands
$ sudo su
# hcitool scan
(copy the device hardware address of the phone)
#rfcomm connect 2 (replace with the copied address)
Make sure you speciy /dev/rfcomm2 in the Modem device setting, actually you can use rfcomm1 or rfcomm3 just by replacing the 2 in “rfcomm connect 2” with the appropraite number.

Now go back to the kppp, after saving the settings by selecting ok, in the main kppp dialogue box enter the login ID or username and password. If you conncetion doesn't need one just put “wap” for both as kppp will not connect without them since you will be connecting using PAP (Don't worry about understanding, just do it and you'll be alright).

Click on connect and you will be prompted to enter bluetooth passkey, then the connection will be made.

How to install Windows XP on new Laptops that come with SATA harddisk and overcome the 'No harddisk detected' problem


My Sony Vaio laptop came with Windows Vista, but in less than 1 year I was sick of using only Windows Vista, Kubuntu and Mandriva (the other two are Linux OS). I needed Windows XP badly, especially because of Windows Vista compatibility issues and XP had fewer problems connecting with most wireless hotspots. So in a nutshell, I got Windows XP SP3 from Microsoft and tried installing it. But something strange occurred during the installation process, I got a "No hard disk detected" complaint, this is because the SATA hard disk is a recent technology and they are not naturally detected by Windows XP. So, I have taken time to explain below in easy to follow steps, the procedure to install Windows XP on a SATA hard disk overcoming the no hard detected complaint. But, I must let you know that you need a Windows XP CD, an empty CD, nlite software and the SATA hard disk drive. We will later use the nlite to integrate the SATA hard disk drivers into the Windows XP installation files and reburn them on the empty CD using the same nlite software.

Step 1

Copy the content of the Windows XP bootable CD into a folder on your computer, download the SATA hard disk drivers (usually named Intel_ICH7R_ICH8R_Floppy zip file), extract them and nlite software (both are freewares).

Step 2

Install the nlite and run the software, click next, then browse to the Windows XP folder (do not bother about the name you saved it with, the software is quite intelligent and will detect it). Click next, do not import anything here (it is for loading formally used or saved settings), just click next again. Under the Integrate section, choose drivers and click next. Click insert, choose multiple drivers, browse to the SATA drivers folder you extracted, add the folder, select all the drivers in the textmode and add . Click next, next and then finish.

Step 3

In the step 2, you have already created a new version of Windows XP that has the drivers for the SATA hard disk. Here you will now make the Windows XP folder back into a bootable CD. Rerun the nlite, choose the Windows Xp folder as before, click next (the last session changes are already added for you), click next again. Now under the create section, choose Bootable ISO, then next, insert the empty CD, set the burn speed to 10x and give it a label. Don't click next yet, just click on the Make ISO button. After this, click next and finish.

Step 4

Boot from the CD on the computer you want to install the Windows XP on and do the normal installation procedure. It will now no longer complaint of no hard disk found.

For any extra help, feel free to ask through the comment.

How to reinstall a faulty windows XP, Vista or even windows 7 without losing your valuable documents


If for any reason (maybe the windows would not boot, it complains too much of lost or corrupted system files, it takes too much time to boot or like me, you need a fresh start) you want to reinstall Windows and not lose your vital documents, just follow me.

If you are able to boot into your computer, first back up your vital documents and insert the Windows bootable into your DVD drive, and when the setup screen comes on, choose upgrade. This option is always there as long as the version you want to install is the same as the one you are currently using or higher.

If you have been unable to boot into your windows to manually make a backup of those documents, do not worry. Insert the bootable windows XP, Vista or 7 into the DVD drive and boot from the disc, the computer will load the required system files first before prompting you on the type of installation. For Vista and 7, choose Upgrade, but if this option is unavailable then choose Custom and specify that it should leave your documents and folders untouched (you will see fresh installation and this option). For Windows XP, press Enter to install, choose the partition you want to install the Windows in and press Enter. In the next screen, you will see Leave the partition's folders and files (not exact words but very similar) and Format this partition. Choose the former and continue.

After installation your documents and files will be intact, but you might need to claim ownership of the former user's folder to be able to access the documents in the Deskop, Music, Documents, Downloads and Video folders (this will happen if you have passworded your former user account, if you need special assistance in doing this ask in the comment).

Now, if you were not allowed to install a fresh Windows without formatting and you need to get out your valuable documents, do not worry. Just boot from a linux CD ( ) and copy out all your valuable documents or even your entire hard disk. Then you can do the fresh Windows installation.

For any extra help, feel free to comment.

How to repair your Windows Vista if it would not stop configuring update stage 3 of 3 0% complete...


Personally, I have experienced so many things that happen during and after installing Windows update that I prefer to switch automatic updates off. There was a time a friend installed Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 and the audio went mute, many a time on Windows XP the computer will for any random reason show bluescreen and reboot. But on Windows Vista the most annoying is probably when you try shutting down and the computer installs automatic updates only to hang at "Configuring Update stage 3 of 3 0% complete..." and believe me it will remain at that stage forever! And when you power the computer down (cold boot) and power it up again, it would try to install the update again and go forever at the stage 3.

To repair this problem you will need to delete a pending.xml file in C:\Windows\winsxs folder. The major work is how to get there and delete it since you are unable to boot completely. There are probably more than 3 ways to do this.

1. You can slave your hard disk on another system, access your hard disk and perform the deletion.

2. You can use the command prompt (System Console) in the repair tools after booting from the vista DVD to repair. Some laptops have this repair option availble without having to boot from the DVD, just press F8 as soon as you power on the laptop. When you are in the command prompt, change directory to the C:\Windows\winsxs folder and rename pending.xml to pending.xml.bad or simply delete it. The problem I have with this option is that the prompt refuses to change from the default X:\ (boot partition) to the C:\ partition. I got several tips online as to how to make the partition accessible but none worked.

3. The surest and easiest means of carrying out this operation is to boot (hyperlink 'how to boot linux from CD or USB flash) from linux CD, browse to C:\Windows\winsxs folder using the lovely ever reliable Linux GUI folder browser and delete the culprit, pending.xml. Then restart the computer, remove the CD and boot straight into your Windows Vista.

It is just as easy as that, I have done it before and if you would like to know more about the pending.xml file you can google it.

If you are confused about anything, feel free to comment.

Live Booting Linux from CD-ROM, DVD-ROM and USB Flash


Step 1
Download or copy from someone who has, the Linux OS image (always in .iso format)
Step 2
If you do not have a software that can burn CD or DVD image, then download active@ ISO Burner, it is free. (Most CD burning utilities can burn images, I know of Nero and Roxio)
To make USB flash images, dowload liveusb-creator-3.7 free utility.
Step 3
Install these softwares and run them. The liveusb-creator-3.7 does not need installation, just extract the zip file and run the application
From Drop Box

Step 4
Insert the empty CDor DVD into your drive and set the parameters on the active ISO burner to that shown below

But if your CD or DVD drive is not very strong, set the Speed to 10x for CD and 4x for DVD. In fact, those settings are recommended even if your drive is new. This prevents error in the data burned since you will end up burning till the edge of the CD or DVD considering the size of the images which nearly equals the total capacity of the CD or DVD.
Then browse to the directory of the Linux OS image file and select it in the source box below.
From Drop Box

For the USB flash image,

click the browse button and select the image file. Indicate the Target Device and create live USB.
Step 5
Reboot your computer and set the boot sequence to use DVD/CD drive and USB drive before Hard Disk.
Voila! Your computer will boot into the Linux OS, just make sure you do not install the Linux yet, and choose 'Boot without installing' or 'Run without any changes to your computer'. Now you can tryout the Linux OS without installing it on your hard disk.



Installing software on most linux distributions (K/Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora Core, OpenSuse etc.) is most times easier than for windows. It is just that we are so accustomed to windows that we expect things should be done in the same manner in linux.
Linux comes with an automatic software finder and installer utility. In (K)Ubuntu, it could be Adept or Synaptic, in Mandriva it is simply named 'Install and Remove Software'. Whatever it is called in your linux distribution, they all function the same way
From Drop Box

Just run the utility, locate where the 'update from repositories' or something similar is and click it (you might be asked to select media sources, choose/tick all). This will through your internet connection download the most recent lists of available softwares for your linux and their descriptions. So you must be connected to the internet, but if you have no access to the internet there is an alternative. After the update is done, you will go through the list of softwares and check/tick the box beside the softwares you want to install, the click on 'Apply' to install them. (If you have a slow internet connection, do not check too many softwares).
If you have no internet connection on the system running the linux, you will have to use another computer system with internet connection to download the software you want to install. Just google out the linux version of the software (e.g type in google search box 'download linux version of Opera 10). Most times you will end up downloading the source code (Opera10.tar.gz) or an executable bin file (Opera10.bin). You might also be a able to see a version that is specific for your linux distribution (e.g. .deb for K/Ubuntu or .rpm for Fedora/OpenSuse/Mandriva). You can install this by just double clicking on the file.
For the Opera10.tar.gz -
1. Copy it into a folder in your target system maybe the /home/download folder or any other of your choice.
2. Right click on the file and choose extract here (an Opera folder will be created in the /home/download folder.
3. Enter the new folder and copy the address location (maybe /home/download/Opera10).
4. Goto the Terminal or Konsole bash commandline.
From Drop Box

5. Change to the folder directory by typing cd and pressing Shift + Insert (to paste the already copied location) then Enter.
6. Type sudo ./configure
sudo make install

From Drop Box

These will compile and install the software.
For Opera10.bin -
1. Copy the Opera10.bin to say /home/download.
Goto the Terminal or Konsole bash commandline and change to the directory by typing cd /home/download
2. Type sudo chmod a+x Opera10.bin to make the bin file executable
From Drop Box

3. Type ./Opera10.bin to install the software.
For further clarifications or any questions, feel free to enter them as a comment.



1. MICROSOFT WORD - writer is a perfect alternative, it oftens come pre-installed on the Linux OS. I use it both on my Windows OS and Linux, there is both the linux and windows executable. I even used it for my technical reports in the University, it can read and write Microsoft word file format (.doc) but can only read word 2007 format (.docx).
2. MICROSOFT VISIO - Dia can to some extent be an alternative to visio, just that you might have to save/export the page as an image for you to insert/import into another application like the writer, Kwrite etc.
3. MICROSOFT WORDPAD - Kwrite is a very good alternative and it comes pre-installed on most kde linux version.
4. MICROSOFT NOTEPAD - Gedit, Kedit and Kate are better alternatives to notepad, they allow you to save as a any file format you desire without putting a " " quote. This makes them easily used as a programmer's notepad.
5. INTERNET EXPLORER - There is Opera, Firefox and Konqueror which work just as well or even better that the latest Internet Explorer.
6. WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER - VLC player is a very perfect and better alternative and can play nearly all known popular music and video format. There is also Amarok and Kaffeine.
7. ADOBE ACROBAT READER - There is Okular, Xpdf and linux version of acrobat reader.
8. NERO BURNER - There is k3b and brasero on linux and in my opinion, k3b has been the most reliable burner I have ever used, especially for burning images.
9. HYPERTERMINAL - CuteCom and Minicom works just as well.

The safest and most beneficial way to install Linux


You would probably have heard that installing linux as an apllication in windows or on a virtual system is the safest (no doubt about that), but if you really want to enjoy the linux operating software you will need to install it on another partition or disk and have it run as a real operating system.

In this post I will teach you how to do this without endangering your windows partition and operating system in anyway. I must let you know that I have done this a couple of times with Kubuntu 8.04 , Ubuntu 8.04, Mandriva 2009 and Kubuntu 9.04, but I am very sure it will work same way for Fedora core 10 and later, OpenSuse 11 and later.

For Vista: If you do not have a partition you will like to install the linux in yet, you can shrink an already existing partition by right clicking on Computer, choose Manage, choose disk and volume management and right click on the partition you want to shrink, choose shrink, and indicate the size of the new partition you want. Now do not format the unallocated space, it is better to leave it this way. And if you already have a formatted partition that you want to use, do not bother doing.
For XP: I really do not know a safe way to create a new partition from an already existing one, so I will assume you already have a partition ready for the linux installation (I was told that Norton Partion magic works hassle free but I have no first-hand experience with it). A great workaround this is to let the linux resize the windows partition and use some of the free space, I have done this using Mandriva 2009 before and it worked hassle free. Just make sure you shutdown the Windows OS properly.

Insert the linux bootable CD/DVD into the DVD drive (I will advice you to use live CD/DVD, it is more user friendly and very straight forward), then restart your computer, make sure it boots from the CD/DVD drive, choose 'Start the Linux OS without making any change to your system', though the exact text might differ from that, it always mean boot from the cd/dvd without installing the linux operating system on your computer, it will only use your RAM without touching your hard disk.

After the linux has finished starting up, click Install on the Desktop (you can explore the Linux OS before doing this). Answer the general step by step questions it asks you, but when it gets to the installation proper, choose the 'free space' ( if you have created an unallocated space in the step 1) or the free partition you prepared for the Linux. Enter ' / ' for the mount point ( where your root/default admin folder will be located), choose the ext3 filesystem and format. Complete the installation, if you see grub bootloader configuration, accept the default (except the time delay before it will automatically boot into linux, this is usually 10 seconds, change it to 30 preferably). The computer will automatically restart, remove the linux bootable and let the computer boot from hard disk. Do not be scared to see that there are three linux options and one windows option, the grub bootloader that came with the new release of linux automatically detects the windows, shows a normal mode linux, a safe mode linux and memory test linux boot mode. If you want to boot into Windows select Windows and press Enter.

Voila! You now have linux installed on your computer. If in anyway confused, reply through the comment.

Linux can access your windows partition but windows cannot access linux partition, this is very useful in case you have problem with your Windows, you can still access and copy your documents in the windows partition
Linux is resistant to most viruses (in fact I do not know of any virus that affect linux, so I prefer browsing and collecting data from external storage devices via my linux OS)
Linux oftentimes recognize and interact with most external devices like USB flash drive, bluetooth, serial devices etc without any addition drivers installation.
If you have a Sony laptop, I will recommend Mandriva 2009 or Kubuntu 9.04 as it has the drivers for your wireless and screen brightness control (I had to install the drivers for my wireless from a source code on my Sony running Kubuntu 8.04, OpenSuse 11 also has the same problem).
If you use HP or Dell (especially Dell, HP can still use mandriva with its wireless detected and screen brightness control), I will recommend (K)Ubuntu 8.04 or later.
Never install linux before windows because windows bootloader cannot detect linux. But if you have no choice you can reinstall the grub bootloader.

If you want any further clarification, you can ask via the comment.

How to manually unlock the urpmi


I got this solution from a forum and it worked.
All you need do is to just save this as a script and call it in the bash terminal

echo "";
echo "Only root can unlock the URPMI database.";
echo "Starting with the removal of URPMI locks:";

rm -f "/var/lib/urpmi/.LOCK";
echo " rm -f '/var/lib/urpmi/.LOCK'...";
rm -f "/var/lib/urpmi/.RPMLOCK";
echo " rm -f '/var/lib/urpmi/.RPMLOCK'..."

echo "Happy installing!"
echo ""

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