Category Archives: Technology

Firefox 34.0.5 uses Yahoo search – simple fix back to Google!

So I let Firefox upgrade to 34.0.5 and expected no changes, per their usual releases.  However, the first time I typed something into my address bar I was annoyed – ew,

ff_search1So, if you click the magnifying glass in the “Search” field at the top of the window you’ll get a drop-down, from that there is “Change Search Settings”


Once you’ve clicked that, its blatantly obvious how to change from Yahoo back to Google, etc.

ff_search3That’s it!  Back to Google.  Pretty simple, but confusing to find at first.  When I was searching for this fix I was coming up with people adjusting the about:config portion of Firefox which lead to nothing as the item they were saying to edit doesn’t exist in 34.0.5.  Anyway, that’s that!



Create custom ESXi ISO from latest patch

Hey guys I followed a tutorial (and don’t remember which) regarding building your own VMware ESXi ISO from the latest patch.  VMware only releases ISO’s of Update versions (i.e., ESXi 5.5.0-U2).  However, each patch is cumulative so you’ll be able to roll an ISO from the downloaded zip file after you create a depot from the zip.  Here’s how:

  1.  Download and install VMware PowerCLI
  2.  Download the latest patch by going to the VMware Patch Portal and viewing all patches for ESXi 5.5.0 and grab the latest patch (this one is for the patch with the date ID of 20141204001).
  3.  Save the patch to an easy path, like C:\ESXi\
  4.  Launch PowerCLI and perform the following commands in the shot below:esxbuild1
  5.  Next determine the actual profile name by running:esxbuild2
  6.  We can see the image we want is called ESXi-5.5.0-20141204001-standard.  So, next we’ll run the following command to build an ISO from it:
    Export-EsxImageProfile –ImageProfile ESXi-5.5.0-20141204001-standard –ExportToISO –FilePath ESXi-5.5.0-Patched20141204001.iso
  7.  We now have an ISO built from the latest ESXi 5.5.0 Build which, since it’s built from an incremental patch dated 12-04-2014, is newer than even the current 5.5.0 Update 2 image!esxbuild4Obviously this is just a Vanilla ESXi image and is not customized for any specific server make or model.  So, if you must have the latest patched version of ESXi but do not require customization (such as the custom ISO for Dell, etc.) then this is your ticket so that you don’t have to run Update Manager and patch the host after the fact!

Hope you guys find this useful!

Quiet down your homelab!

Hey all – some of you following my blog might already know that I have a few different Dell PowerConnect switches I use for communication on my home network.  I’ve been using a Dell PowerConnect 5424 that replaced my PowerConnect 2724 (the 2724 didn’t support 802.3ad or SNMP, amongst other things).  While the 5424 performed great and supported LAGs for my NAS, it had only a couple open ports remaining and was quite noisy.  I scored a Dell PowerConnect 5448 from eBay for only $40 and although it satisfied my having only a couple remaining open ports, it definitely did not help on the noise front as the 5448 has three fans while the 5424 has only two.  On top of that, the 5448 I purchased was especially noisy.  So, I sought out to solve that issue as well!

In the video below you can hear me ramble on about how to replace the fans in the PowerConnect 5448 – I apologize in advance if the video is especially rambly:

So, that definitely helped!  But while I was replacing the three fans in the 5448, I also replaced the two fans in the 5424 and as you can imagine, two quiet fans are more silent than three.

So, it’s pretty easy to do this modification.  As a disclaimer, I wouldn’t recommend doing this to a switch that is going to have all its ports packed and under heavy load.  The CPU under the (small) black heatsink gets pretty warm even under moderate use.  That said, I don’t feel that running these slower, lower cfm, quieter fans will jeopardize the operation.

When you first open your switch you’ll identify the fan ports easily as the fans are clearly plugged into them:

Dell PowerConnect 5424 shown
Dell PowerConnect 5424 shown

The only caveat is that the 24-port model (5424) will have pretty long cabling on the stock Delta fans.  So, if you’re using the Sunon KDE1204PKV3 fans like I am using, you’ll have to extend the wires.  The 48-port versions do not have this issue as the mainboard spans the entire 19″ enclosure.

Fan wires extended
Fan wires extended

When extending the wires just cut off the old fan wiring long enough to reach and tie the wires together as needed.  You’ll connect the red wire to the red wire, the black wire to the black wire, and the blue wire to the yellow wire.  Make sure you use some heatshrink before soldering and fasten the wiring place using the stock wire post as show above.

Dell 5424 no fan error
Dell 5424 no fan error

If done properly, you’ll be able to power up the switch with the new fans, barely hear them run, and will have a green power and fan status light.  That’s all there is to it!  Now you can put either switch in the same room as where you might work with minimal noise.  It will still move adequate air as demonstrated in the second video above, but will make it much more pleasant to work near.

Hope everyone finds this useful!  Here is a link to where I bought my fans from – for the 5448 you will need to re-pin the connector (easy with a small pick).  Don’t bother buy the fans pre-configured for Cisco, etc.  They Cisco-specific fans are just the normal ones re-pinned for almost double the price!