Archive for January 2011

How to Make a Bootable dban USB Thumbdrive to Wipe Hard Drives

The instructions from work almost perfectly for me. There is one bother that makes the instructions from Pendrivelinux not work but I figured out a workaround :-)!

  1. Download the dban-2.2.6_i586.iso
  2. Download and run Universal USB Installer, select DBAN 2.2.6 from the drop down list and follow the onscreen instructions
  3. Once the installation to USB is complete, restart your PC and set your BIOS or Boot Menu to boot from the USB device, save your changes and reboot

If all went well, you should be booting from your DBAN USB.

Notes: The DBAN autonuke feature may also Nuke the Flash Drive (and as usual, any other drive it detects). I am not sure how to prevent this from happening. So if you use the autonuke feature, you might wipe DBAN from the USB Flash Drive as well.

Here is how to prevent autonuke from wiping the thumbdrive: remove the thumbdrive after the dban has loaded but before it has started wiping drives.

Dban has started. I just typed "autonuke" and the dban.bzi system is being loaded.

The dban image finished loading and it is looking for hard drives to wipe. Now is the time to remove the thumbdrive! You have about 10 full seconds to remove the drive.

Apparently, dban fully loads itself in memory because at the end of the wiping session, it shows a message saying that it has completed it’s job. It doesn’t hang or anything nasty.

When I tried to use interactive mode on dban (to avoid autonuke destroying the data on my flash drive), dban crashed :-(. I’ve seen many complaints of this online with no fixes.

Here is another way I use to wipe hard drives. It isn’t as high security, but it’s pretty good.

  1. Use the System Rescue CD bootable thumbdrive image built by my coworker
  2. xinit (xwindows yay)
  3. gparted (see what drives we’ve got and unallocate the partitions)
  4. dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda (and sdb, sdc etc to run other terminal windows) bs=16777216 (a 160 gig drive…) count=10240

How to Recover Files From Your Google Chrome Cache

I lost a bunch of files off of a web server. But I was able to recover some of them by looking in the cache in my browser. Here are some ways to find those files:

type about:cache in the browser. It will show you all the files in your cache. When you click on the links, it gives you info about each file. To see the actual files, strip down the url a little. For example, change


If you have a lot of files to recover, try using chromecacheview, that’s chrome cache view. As their website says,

ChromeCacheView is a small utility that reads the cache folder of Google Chrome Web browser, and displays the list of all files currently stored in the cache. For each cache file, the following information is displayed: URL, Content type, File size, Last accessed time, Expiration time, Server name, Server response, and more.
You can easily select one or more items from the cache list, and then extract the files to another folder, or copy the URLs list to the clipboard.


You can try looking in the google chrome cache database on your computer but it’s all a bunch of crazy gobbly-gook.


You can also try recovering files that have already been deleted from your recycle bin. Recurva does a good job.

Emoticon Registration Authority

Let it be known that on this day and hour, one D-Nice Hill has registered with the Emoticon Registration Authority a new, novel and unique emoticon design. It has been certified to pass each of the tests of this authority and is hereby granted status of “awesome”.

The meaning of this emoticon as registered in this office is:

Rock on

The emoticon appears below

\oo/ x_x \oo/




Secular Homeschooling

My friend Sara has started Secular Schoolhouse, a blog and resource for non-religious homeschooling. It’s also on the Facebook. Rock on!

Your 5 Year Notice

Update 1-27-12: You don’t need to call them every 5 years any more. They have made it a permanent registry.

Every 5 years you should go to to re-register your phone number on the Do Not Call list. This will keep away most telemarketers. It takes 5 minutes and will save you countless dinnertime telephone frustrations.

What to do in Honolulu for a day?

I’m travelling to Honolulu Hawaii in February and I’ll have a spare day. What should I see?

I hear the Pearl Harbor Memorial is powerful. What can I do that will honor the Brady Bunch Hawaii Vacation double episode? What else?