Configure Cisco Linksys WRT54G2 V1 wireless router to work with ADSL modem

I had purchased a Cisco Linksys WRT54G2 V1 router nearly two years ago. I gave up trying to set up the wifi router with my DSL modem then, and it has been accumulating dust in my attic ever since. Recently, I tried setting it up again, and presto, this time it worked! Below is a walkthrough, along with problems you may encounter and possible solutions. If you have any doubts or questions, leave them in comments below and I’ll try to help.

The WRT54G2 V1 router that I have is popular, and supports custom firmware like DD-WRT and Tomato well. Sadly, newer versions of this seems to have reduced hardware capabilities, and therefore no support for DD WRT. The reason is the greatly reduced RAM in the router.

You can try the Linksys setup wizard software. If it does not work, follow the steps below to configure the router manually.

Setup Linksys router with cable connection

Connect the modem to your computer directly. Ensure that your net connection is working, by opening any page in a browser.

Alternatively, enter ping google.com
You should get a response of packets sent = 4 received = 4.

If not, your internet is not working properly. Get that fixed first.

Now, connect a cable between your computer and any of the four LAN ports on the router. Check that the respective port number lights up on the top of the router.

Now, connect a cable between your ADSL modem and the “Internet” port of the router. Check that the corresponding light for net also comes on.

Now that the connections between router, modem and computer are set up and tested, we need to tweak the settings from router administration page. Go to http://192.168.1.1 in a browser. When prompted for username and password, leave username blank and type password as admin.

You will be led to a Linksys Setup page.

From the drop down menu on the page, select “Automatic Configuration DHCP”. Hit “Save Settings”.

Back on the admin page, click Mac Address Clone. Hit enable and click “Clone Your Mac-Address Clone”. Click “Save Settings” button.

Now, go to “Status” page, and look for IP address. It will have some value other than 0.0.0.0. If so, you are connected to the internet.

Wifi configuration on Linksys router

Here, you can set up wifi, with necessary encryption etc.

Click “Wireless” tab.

Under Basic Wireless Settings, select the following:

Wireless Network Mode: Mixed

Wireless Network Name(SSID): any name you want to give your wifi network. You see this when searching for wifi on any device.

Wireless Channel: Leave this on the default option, which is 6.
Wireless SSID Broadcast: Leave it enabled.

Hit “Save Settings”.

Configuring wireless security (encryption) – WPA2 or WEP

You can set up encryption on this page. It is advised to use WPA2 Personal, as it is the strongest. Avoid leaving it off (Disabled) or WEP, as they are easy to break in. Enter an 8 character password. Note it down – you will need to enter it in every device you connect to.

Finishing up:
Find out whether yours is a DSL line in bridge mode, or NAT mode.

Open a command prompt (type cmd in Start menu). Type the command ipconfig

If you see IPv4 Address as 192.x.x.x, 172.x.x.x, 10.x.x.x, then you have it in NAT mode. If you see any other address, it is in bridge mode. NAT mode is found on always-on internet connections, while bridge mode is used in connections where you have to connect manually with username / password combo.

If yours is in bridge mode, go to the router admin page, and change internet connection type to PPPOE. Enter the Username and password you use to connect your modem to the network. Hit Save settings.

If your connection is in NAT mode, go to router admin page. Under Network > Router IP, change local IP to 192.168.2.1

From now, you should use this IP to access the router admin page.

Common problems and solutions

Below are a few problems that cause your connection to not work even after following all steps above, and steps to solve them. I can understand how frustrating they are, as it happened to me when setting up my own router!

Problem: You have a NAT mode connection, and you followed all the steps above. Torrents work for you, but browsing does not.
Try ping 4.2.2.1 in command prompt. If you get four replies, then this is an issue with a DNS server. To fix it, go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections. Right Click on Local Area Connection, then hit properties. Switch to Network Tab. Select TCP/IP IPv4 and hit properties. In the window that comes up, select “Use the following DNS server address”. Enter 4.2.2.1 and 4.2.2.2 as the DNS addresses. Hit OK.

Problem: ping 4.2.2.1 does not work.
If you get the “Request Timed Out” error, this could be an issue with your antivirus or firewall. Try disabling them temporarily to see if this is the case.

Problem: You get an IP address, but are still unable to access internet.
Try power-cycling the modem and router to fix this.

To do so, first turn off the power to the router then to the modem. Wait for 30 seconds.
Now, turn on modem, wait for a few seconds.
Next, turn on router and wait a few seconds. You should now see the “data” LED light up on the modem.
You should be online now.

This was a long tutorial, but I hope someone finds this useful. I had to poke around a lot to get this right, as most other tutorials online only advise you to set up using the setup wizard, or directly go to the router admin page, neither of which worked.

How to enable/disable Windows hibernate with a single command

Here is a one-line command to enable and disable hibernation in Windows 7, for all you command-line users. By default, hibernation should be enabled in Windows.

To Disable Hibernate

  • Open an elevated command prompt, ie. one with admin previlages (Start > cmd > right-click and “Run as administrator”).
  • In command prompt, key in powercfg -h off and hit Enter.
  • Close the elevated command prompt.

To enable Hibernate

To turn on hibernate again, just use on instead of off in the command that you type in at the command prompt.

Clear Facebook of spam with FB Purity

FB Purity is a popular tool to clean up Facebook of all the crap borderline spam that has been increasingly accumulating – app messages, pesky notifications, quiz questions etc.

F.B. Purity is compatible with the following web browsers: Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera on all operating systems – Windows, Mac OS X, Linux.

F B Purity cleans up all the unwanted fluff (hence the name FluffBusting Purity), allowing you to read through only the important message types – statuses, links, notes, photos. Facebook now provides options to hide specific apps and notifications, but FB Purity can also hide Suggestions box, sponsored box, and Get Connected box, all in the right sidebar of Facebook.

As with any decent script, the types of content hidden can be tweaked according to your needs. Hiding and showing message types is simple and intuitive.

FB Purity is great at uncluttering Facebook – particularly if you are tired of navigating through all the crap to read just the messages that matter to you – your friends’ statuses and updates.

Nokia N95 volume button not working

Nokia N95, the smartphone that brought in a lot of features and the ‘fully-loaded’ concept, sometimes has a bug with its volume button: it just stops working, in every application, home screen, and even in calls.

This problem occured to me some time in the past. Searching online turned up many quick fixes and solutions, but here’s the unfortunate part: not one of them worked. It seemed that the bug I had was perhaps undiscovered, and hence, had no solution.

I tried rebooting the phone, to no avail. Then, I tried Factory Settings (which reverts all the settings that you changed). That did not work either. A firmware update for the phone did not fix the issue either.

I went back to the most rudimentary bug-fixing method: reverting recent changes to the phone – any settings changed, new software installed etc. I traced my own bug down to a change in the equalizer setting – from Default to Bass booster. I changed it back to Default, switched the phone on and off, and the volume button started working.

There are a dozen other reasons for the volume rocker not working: firmware fault, software installs, changes in settings etc.

If none of these DIY methods to fix the bug works, it might well be a hardware issue. Take your N95 to your nearby store for repairs.

Windows detects but does not show external USB hard drive (in My Computer)

Due to OS upgrades, sometimes, a hard drive that worked fine previously fails to show up in (My) Computer.

This happened to me once when I upgraded a computer from Windows Vista to Windows 7. The external hard drive was powered up, and detected by the system (proven by the fact that it shows up as disk drive in Device Manager), but it did not show up in My Computer.

The hard drive was a relatively new model and perfectly supported by both Windows Vista and 7.

The fix

  1. This might be caused by driver issues, so with the external USB hard drive plugged in, go to Device Manager (right-click My Computer > Manage > Device Manager).
  2. Expand the USB list if it is a portable hard drive, or Disk Drive if it is a 3.5″ hard drive.
  3. Find the device, and right-click > Uninstall it.
  4. Turn off and on the hard drive, and let Windows install the required drivers.

That should fix the issue.

Batch-delete empty folders in Windows and Mac OS X

After using Windows for several months, chances are, that parts of your hard drive will contain many empty folders nested several levels deep. One of the reasons for this is frequent installation and uninstallation of software – some poorly-designed installers are the culprits here and leave empty folders after uninstall.

Needless to say, it is impossible to delete such empty folders by hand. We need an automated way to do this – use a tool like Remove Empty Directories. It is freeware and comes in two versions – one requires admin rights (and removes empty folders more effectively) and a normal version.

Steps to remove empty folders

On Windows

:

  1. Download RED and install it. Choose the “Windows installer (Admin edition)”.
  2. Open RED. Under Scan, choose a folder and hit Scan Folders.
  3. After scan is done, the list of folders to be deleted is shown. Review a few folders to ensure that the program is not picking any non-empty folders. You can do this by right-clicking and opening them in Windows Explorer.
  4. Hit Delete Folders button.
  5. Now, empty Recycle Bin, as it contains all the deleted folders.

On Mac OS X

:
Method #1: Download and run the Delete Empty Folders AppleScript based tool. Delete Empty Folders is a tiny utility that searches a selected folder in Finder, deletes .DS_Store files, then trashes empty directories. It uses the find command in a shell.

Note that this might not work properly with OS X Lion, seeing as how the app has not been updated since 2009. Lion users can try method #2 or #3 instead.

Method #2: Alternativly, you can run the find command manually. Open up a Terminal window in OS X, then run the command below:

find path -type d -empty -delete

where /Users/Sumesh/Documents/ is the folder to be searched. Modify the path and type according to your needs and execute the command. It searches and deletes empty folders in one step.

Method #3: You can also search for empty folders from Spotlight. To do so, go to the folder you want to search. For search criterion, apply Kind: Folders, and also pick “Other..”. Then, select “Number of items” and set it to “Less than: 1″.

On Linux

Linux users can download a freeware called FSLint. It is a system cleaner app designed to clear out useless files and folders, including empty folders.

A command on the shell can also be used, as below:
find -depth -type d -empty -exec rmdir {} \;

Schedule startup applications with Startup Delayer

Unless you are an uber-minimalist who installs the bare minimum number of programs required to get your job done, chances are that your Windows boot time is being slowed down by a large number of programs that launch at startup simultaneously.

However, many such applications, like your antivirus, Google Talk and other messengers, Skype etc. are regularly required, so stopping their “Start at Windows startup” setting will not help matters.

To prevent Windows startup being bogged down like that, you can use Startup Delayer, an app that schedules software to be started up at a pre-specified time.

To get started, download Startup Delayer.

Before you schedule a delay for opening of any application, ensure that the “Start automatically when Windows starts” setting in the app’s settings is disabled. Not doing so will result in an error.

Then, open Startup Delayer and choose the app you want to delay. Double click it and set time to be started at. You can also set the state of app: minimalized, maximized or normal. For all the background apps like antivirus, set it as minimalized, and for others like Google Talk, set it as normal.

After you set up all apps, hit “Activate Startup Delayer” and choose Invisible mode.

Clear Android web browsing history

One of Android’s best parts is its web browser, that seems to get a unanimous “it works” from everyone who uses it.

To alleviate concerns about privacy, most internet users clear up their web browsing history periodically. All modern web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc.) have menu options devoted to this.

You might want to do the same on your Android powered smartphone. Here are the steps to clear your history on Android.

Download HistoryEraser. It is a handy app that cleans history of web browsing, call logs, contacts, searches, activity across Market, Google Maps, Google Earth, YouTube and GMail etc.

It has a simple interface with nice and large buttons for choosing what history to delete. There is also a ‘bomb’ option, which allows you to choose specifically what to delete – making it a single step process to remove multiple histories.

WP error: “Uploaded file could not be moved to wp-content/uploads”

I have been using an FTP client to upload article images for this site by hand for years now. Recently, my FTP client started giving me some error, and I wanted to upload a few images urgently. I turned to WordPress’ built-in uploader.

It showed “Crunching…” for a few seconds and then gave the following error:

“unblock-facebook-apps-wall-stream.png” has failed to upload due to an error
The uploaded file could not be moved to /home/wp-content/uploads.

As you can observe, the file was successfully uploaded by the Flash-based WP uploader, so an error on its part is ruled out. Moving the uploaded file to uploads fails. This upload file failed error is due to insufficient permissions on your uploads folder.

To fix this WordPress upload error, change the permission on your upload folder to 777 using an FTP client. The steps may vary, but on most FTP clients, it would be

  • Browse to your wp-content folder
  • Right click uploads folder, click Preferences or Settings or Permissoins
  • Enter 777 in the permissions field and hit OK. If you do not find a numerical field, tick each of the permission boxes – making it read, write and execute by admin, group and world.

Please note that giving uploads folder 777 permission is actually a bit of a security vulnerability (I realized this after doing this modification, and reverted as soon as I could), so consider using alternate forms of upload instead of leaving this vulnerability open.

Prevent Google Chrome auto update

Google Chrome has rocketed to popularity quickly, thanks to its speed, minimalistic design that allows you to focus on webpages to the maximum, and of course Google’s backing.

Chrome is being developed at a furious pace, going through version numbers very quickly. They introduced silent automatic updates to the browser. This is a welcome feature for most users, as they might typically forget to manually update the browser or provide permission etc.

However, there are cases where automatic upgrade of Chrome may not be welcome – including users with low speed internet connections or limited monthly usage quotas. For such users, here is how to disable automatic updates. Note that turning off auto updates is not recommended at all, do so only if you have no other option.

Turn off Chrome auto updates

Type about:plugins in URL bar/omnibar.
In the list of plugins that come up, disable “Google updater”.

Alternate ways to turn off auto updates include going to Start > Run (type run in search box) > msconfig, switch to Services tab, then uncheck Google Update Service and hit OK.

Note that turning off automatic updates do not prevent manual updates, so you should do manual updates whenever possible.