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Running Windows 8 Consumer Preview on VMWare ESXI Host

ESXI 5 Host Windows 8 Error

Due to the release of Windows 8 consumer preview and the final releases imminent release I have needed to do some testing of custom tools under my development at my place of work. I figured instead of going through the hassel of installing on a physical machine and tying up that machine for a while I may as well put it on one of our IBM Blade servers running VMWare virtual hosting.

I was keen to try this and loaded up the installation in a new virtual machine but it seemed to error on the installer booting, under both 32 bit and 64 bit installations. After some research on VMWares website it seems that a solution is available for running it on a VSphere / ESXI 5 host.

To resolve the error:

  1. Install VMWare hotfix ESXi500-201112001 (Patch 02) which can be found here (I believe it can be installed through VSphere update manager or manually on the host itself. Full instructions are included on the patch release page.)
  2. Create a new Virtual Machine on the host, with the operating system listed as Window 7 or Server 2008 R2. Make sure to use the E1000 network adapter, as the others malfunction.
  3. Install Windows 8 by attaching the DVD image like normal.
  4. Just a note VMWare tools within the guest operating system should function normally with Windows 8, but installation needs to be initiated manually.

ZoneMinder + Foscam FI8918W. WAR Corrupt JPEG data: extraneous bytes before marker 0xd9

Foscam Extranenous bytes before marker error.

From my experiences the Foscam FI8918W does seem like a very solid, capable remote PTZ IP camera. The issues with it arose once it was linked in to a ZoneMinder system. It seemed for every frame that ZoneMinder received / analysed from the Foscam camera, it would produce an error message in the system log, quickly giving me thousands of entries all repeating the same exact warning.

zmc_m1[14935]: WAR [Corrupt JPEG data: 1 extraneous bytes before marker 0xd9]

After a quick search online I have found that it is a commonly occuring issue with many users online, all with ZoneMinder and the Foscam cameras. It seems that 'libjpeg' that is utilized for processing by ZoneMinder believes that the frames received are errorness / the structure is wrong and warns about it. It is only a warning and should not affect the actual workings of ZoneMinder. A thread about it on the Foscam forum can be found for information:

It seems the way most people have dealth with the issue is to totally block ZoneMinder logs, or to custom script to remove the mountainous error messages. Dennis Matveyev suggested a different method, where by modifying libjpeg to stop creating the warning messages in the source code and recompiling, effectively stopping the warning from ever being produced. His information is linked below, but is not ZoneMinder specific.

I thought I would give this method a go, as I did not simply want to block ZoneMinder from generating log messages, as this would be detrimental for debugging at later times. Stopping this warning message should be fine, as this computer is only used for ZoneMinder and as it states, its only a warning, it should not stop any functions. I first removed the associated libjpeg installations through apt-get, as a warning this will also remove ZoneMinder as it is dependent. This will delete all your monitors and settings! A work around would be to just force the removal of the one package. The following command should remove the package although depending on the revision it may have a different name:

sudo apt-get remove libjpeg8

It is then time to download the source for libjpeg, which can be found below:

Extract the files after the download. Before configuring or making the installation, the line which is creating the errornous warning needs to be commented out (or removed if you are a person who likes to live of the edge). The file for modification is jdmarker.c which needs the following line commented out:

WARNMS2(cinfo, JWRN_EXTRANEOUS_DATA, cinfo->marker->discarded_bytes, c);


Once that line is commented out, the usual ./configure / make / make install can be processed to install the library again. The next obvious step would be to install ZoneMinder again, unfortunately I found when the command apt-get install Zoneminder is processed, it wants to install libjpeg again, even though we just installed it, I still don't know many things about linux so I am not sure why. Luckily there is an easy way around this, forcing apt-get to download Zoneminder and then force the installation without worrying about the dependency with the following two commands:

apt-get download zoneminder
dpkg --force-all -i /var/cache/apt/archives/zoneminder_1.25.0-1_i386.deb  (Depending on where apt-get downloads the file).

If all has gone to plan, you should now have a warning free ZoneMinder log when using Foscam cameras. It seems to have been working hassel free for a while now for myself.

Filed under: ZoneMinder 8 Comments

ZoneMinder: Can’t symlink to Monitor- : Permission Denied.

ZoneMinder Permission Error

Can't symlink '1' to 'Monitor-1': Permission denied has been one of the easiest errors fix while setting up several ZoneMinder installations I have found. It seems ZoneMinders' user that it is running under has the incorrect permissions to the event / image folders. A simple chown will easily fix this issue.

The event images and diagnostic files are usually stored under /usr/share/zoneminder/events which is symbolic link to /var/cache/zoneminder/events. Use the following command to change the owner:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/cache/zoneminder/events

chown -R www-data:www-data/var/cache/zoneminder/images

ZoneMinder under a standard install will run under the same user as apache, which is www-data, setting the owner of the ZoneMinder folders will give full permission to the correct user.

Filed under: ZoneMinder 9 Comments

ZoneMinder does not start automatically.

ZoneMinder on some computers will have an issue where it does not seem to start automatically, this is usually due to ZoneMinder starting before MySQL which it uses as a store, therefore will fail to start without it. This is mentioned in the ZoneMinder FAQ

A simple fix is the sleep the start up of ZoneMinder for a couple of seconds to allow MySQL enough time to boot first. In /etc/init.d/zoneminder add sleep 15 before zmfix -a will fix the issue. An example screenshot is below.

ZoneMinder init.d file

Filed under: ZoneMinder 2 Comments

Links to Foscam IP Camera Firmware Updates


I have noticed that Foscam seems to force registrations to gain access to the firmware upgrades. This link is to bypass the forced registration.

In the menu bar the latest software, manuals and setup guides can also be accessed. These firmware upgrades can also be used on unbranded Foscam cameras.


ZoneMinder: Shared data size conflict in shared_data for monitor

ZoneMinder shared data size conflict error

I am currently setting up a new ZoneMinder and came across this strange error showing in the syslog and therefore ZoneMinder log on the web interface:

Shared data size conflict in shared_data for monitor Monitor-1, expected 328, got 316.

I traced this error back to /usr/share/perl5/ZoneMinder/ with the cause sourcing at line 130 in the perl script.

To hopefully fix this issue, change the line at 130 from

our $arch = int(3.2*length(~0));

To the following (It's advisable to comment out the old line and leave it there).

our $arch = 32;

ZoneMinder Share Memory Fix

I am not sure if this is the best fix, but it does seem to cease the error in ZoneMinder. I believe is due to the script incorrectly identifying the computers architecture between 32 and 64-bit.

Filed under: ZoneMinder 20 Comments

localhost/zm can not be found. Error 404.


After a fresh install of ZoneMinder on a clean Ubuntu 12.04 server install the zoneminder web interface was not found.

The requested URL /zm/ was not found on this server. Error 404.

After a tiny bit of poking around it was a simple case of the ZoneMinder configuration file not being linked / included in the Apache configuration.

The following two steps fix the issue:

  1. sudo ln -s /etc/zm/apache.conf /etc/apache2/conf.d/zoneminder.conf
  2. sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 force-reload
Filed under: ZoneMinder 12 Comments

How To Get The Apple Thunderbolt Ethernet Adapter Working In Windows

Thunderbolt Adapter

Recently I purchased the new Apple Thunderbold to Gigabit Ethernet adpater for my fairly new Mac Book Air.

Apple has released an update in OSX to include support for the new adapter, but be warned this has caused issues for many users.

Unfortunatly I use Windows 7 instead of OSX constantly, so I was displeased that the new adapter did not auto-discover the required drivers on Windows.

Fortuntantly this is an easy fix by installing drivers from Broadcoms website.

Steps to get the Thunderbold Adatper functioning in Windows:

  1. Search for "Broadcom Driver Windows Netxtreme" or visit this page 
  2. Download the "Nextreme 1 Desktop/Mobile" driver.
  3. Manually install the drivers through device manager.

An interesting side note, the PCI ID (14e4:1682) is not listed as supported on Broadcoms website, however the driver files will still work.

Filed under: Software 18 Comments

Remove VisionDrive Startup Sounds

Vision Drive System

From my limited experience with the VisionDrive system, it seems that there is a minority of noises / sounds that can not be turned off in the configuration through the Windows application. Noises such as the Audio Recording on / off are very annoying and activate on every boot.

A quick solution around this is to create zero byte files (empty files) and replace the sound files, such as "soundoff.raw" and "soundon.raw". In the case of the sound recording on / off options, I would leave one of them, in case you do need to change the setting so you can tell when the mode is changed.

Now I have a non-invasive monitoring system, that will only make noises if there is an issue, such as the SD Card becoming faulty. Watch this space regarding more VisionDrive projects.

Filed under: Vision Drive 1 Comment

BlackBerry PlayBook Setup Issues

The dreaded failed update....

I recently received a BlackBerry Playbook and had a hell of time time getting the initial setup to function.

The PlayBook forces updates on the first boot and setup, which seemed to work fine initally in Australia, but the estimated time was over 5 hours. After about 2 hours, it stated a connection error and tried to restart. From then on, it would show connection to update server failed, with multiple error codes such as 2011, 3001.

After some research online, I found a manual update method through the BlackBerry Desktop software, which makes the computer think there is an issue with the device and needs to be reloaded (Warning, this will wipe the device if It has previously been used):

  1. Install the BlackBerry Desktop Manager Software found here
  2. With the PlayBook powered on, plug it in to the computer to allow drivers to be installed.
  3. After they are done, power off the PlayBook (Holding down the power button on the top).
  4. Make sure the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software is open
  5. You will have to be quick for this, power on the device and watch for an option to update, this will only show for a few seconds.
  6. Follow the prompts to update and let it download and install, this took about 4 hours on an ADSL2+ connection, I figure there are no update servers in Australia.

This method partially completed the first time I tried, but must have lost the connection. When I retried this method it stated there were no updates found, even after trying this on several computers.

This left me no option then to call BlackBerry Support, which were very good and I would recommend if anyone else has issues.

Support stated that with the older OS versions, such as 1.0, there are issues connecting to the update servers so the method above was recommended. There was a bit of back and forth about this method stating there were no updates available and I was told in rare cases a file had to be removed from the program files.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Research In Motion\AppLoader\Vendor.xml

After this file was removed the update through the computer was successful and I could finally start using the PlayBook, which seems to be a nice device so far from my experiences, but lacking on software somewhat.

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