GNU wget missing libeay32.dll on new install on Windows

When you use the command line wget for the first time on a Windows XP machine (and probably others – Vista and 7 ) you might get an error message,

Unable To Locate Component
This application has failed to start because LIBEAY32.DLL
was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.

On a new Windows installation you may have installed wget but the problem is that wget32 needs other library files (libeay32.dll, libintl3.dll, libiconv2.dll and libssl32.dll) and these are not usually on a new Windows machine.

What you probably forgot to do with installing wget is install the dependencies !

Go to the GNU Wget binary download site for Windows and get the “Dependencies” ZIP file. Unpack the 4 DLLs from that /bin/ directory in the ZIP file into the same /bin/ directory where you have the wget.exe.

Wget will now work.

I use wget to download large ISO files from places that don’t have obvious bittorrent links e.g. Sourceforge. I do this because wget is more reliable than the browser in handling partial downloads i.e. where the Internet link has been closed and you have received only part of the file. Wget allows you to restart the download where it last finished.


SLIB 1.8 build problem with GNUCASH

The Ubuntu repository for software lags the new versions for programs. This is a good thing because it would be a nightmare if it was updated for every nightly build for the  tens of thousands of packages !

But sometimes you want the latest version of an application and I wanted the latest version of GNUCash so I wanted to build from source.

I got some odd GUILE issues which are easily fixed as below for an Ubuntu 10.10 platform.

Assuming you have all your other GNUCash make dependencies correct you will probably still get a configure failure with the error,

checking for guile - 1.6.7 <= version < 99.99.99... yes: 1.8.7
checking for guile - 1.8.0 <= version < 99.99.99... yes: 1.8.7
checking for SLIB support... configure: error: 

Cannot find SLIB.  Are you sure you have it installed?

…because there is no Guile 1.8-slib package (there is a 1.6 package). The package does two things,

1) Adds a soft link in the Guile 1.X to SLIB

cd  /usr/share/guile/1.8/
 sudo ln -s ../../slib slib

2) Builds a slibcat file which can be done with this command,

sudo guile -c "(use-modules (ice-9 slib)) (require 'printf)"

Thus do those two steps and you’ll fix this SLIB issue and can proceed with your make.

Note that after building GNUCash you will probably get the error,

gnucash: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open  shared object file: No such file or directory

…which is because the ldconfig cache is not updated.
You must run,

sudo ldconfig -v

after you have done the make install to fix this issue.

Getting Plesk default domain page and not your WordPress install ?

If you have uploaded the WordPress files to a new site and are still getting the Plesk Default domain display then you have probably forgotten to delete the old Plesk skeleton site especially the index.html file. By default a site will pick the index.html before index.php and so the WordPress index.php file is never read.

You should ideally delete all of the files in this httpdocs location before uploading and installing a new site.

Using WP-Mail-SMTP if host provider has disabled PHP Mail

One of our hosting companies that we have a reseller account on has disabled PHP Mail function for security reasons. This causes the WordPress sites that use Contact Form 7 (with Really Simple CAPTCHA) to fail with,

“Failed to send your message. Please try later or contact administrator by other way.”

To fix this you need to enable the WP-Mail-SMTP  plugin. To install this download the plugin and upload to your site as normal and then activate this on a per-site basis (not Network activate).

You will now have new options in the Settings -> Email on your site dashboard of which the most important is “Send all WordPress emails via SMTP.”  (checked by default).

Set these parameters as per your hosting provider recommendation though you usually can just specify one of your own email addresses on your domain as the From Email and set it to localhost and no authentication and it should work.

It is usually only when the from email domain is not a local domain on that server that you will have problems and need to authenticate your connection or if the SMTP server is not “localhost”.

If you have it right then you will get the message “Your message was sent successfully. Thanks.”



Swapping Windows product keys.

When you re-install a Windows XP based laptop then the licensing is easy as just about every laptop that is sold will have a legitimate Windows sticker on its bottom. Trouble is that you might not have the right install CD.

To use that laptop sticker you need the OEM install disk. If you use a retail disk then the key will be rejected.

However you get the Windows XP installed you can get the correct OEM laptop key into Windows by running the program provided by Microsoft from,

This program will update the product key and correctly set your product ID to match the key i.e. if it is a big-name brand then your key (and probably the BIOS) is decoded by Microsoft and the MPC (Microsoft product code) will be set to (probably) “76477” i.e. the Royalty OEM and the Channel ID will be set to “OEM” if you add a legitimate OEM key from the base of the laptop.

This also seem to correctly validate Windows.




Old Acer 1360 Laptop hot hot hot….

Reinstalling a very old laptop (Aspire 1360) with its Windows XP Home and it halts just like a power shutdown. Trouble was that when trying an Ubuntu install then that worked. Odd.

Redid the WinXP install and it failed – retried the Ubuntu install and finally got an error message that shot off the screen but it was useful – overtemperature (80 Deg C) shutting down. The ACER BIOS (v1.09) doesn’t actually show the hardware sensors – gee that’s useful.

Interestingly I had also tried to start a Window Vista install and I got a “STOP: c000021a (Fatal System Error)” Error

I’d already cleaned out a whole ecosystem of colonies of “dust bunnies” from this machine but looks like something else has a problem. So took off the plastic cover with the feature buttons on on the top of the laptop to see if there was anything else and then tried the heatsink screws – one seemed looser than the others.

So far vacuum, tighten heatsink screws, remove dust and cat hair and swapped around memory chip positions seems to have done the trick on the install. I now have it back as a Windows XP with dual-boot to Ubuntu 11.04.



ACER 1360 BIOS 1.15 Model ID check error

I’m recovering a heat-damaged Acer Aspire 1360 and I wanted to update the BIOS. I went to the Acer web site and found the 1.15 version. This didn’t install but failed with a “Model ID check error”.

I re-downloaded the file from a different Acer site (UK and US) but same problem. I then tried the Acer FTP site,

and sure enough I found the problem.

The old BIOS files had two models in them, the 1520 and the 1360 but the version 1.15 only has the Acer Aspire 1520 files.

So AFAIKS you can only flash to version 1.11 of the BIOS (this gives 64 bit support).


Using host file changes to migrate a site

The simplest way of migrating a web site from one IP to another and testing it before changing your DNS is to just change a local test PC host file.

It varies by operating system but if you change the host file and make the new IP address point at e.g. then you can install your new content management system and add the content at your leisure by just referring to it by its normal URL.  Everyone else in the Internet gets the old site on the old IP but you (and only you) gets the new site on the new IP.

Upload your content, edit and test it as usual.

You can also test POP3 and SMTP in this same way by editing your test PC hosts file to point at the new IP address for the POP3 and SMTP addresses e.g. or even

When you are ready then simply change the DNS (@) A (and AAAA) records to the new IP addresses.

Do this in two steps,

1) switch the www and similar Web site related IP addresses but keep the webmail and MX records on the OLD IP address. If the web site works as expected (remember to remove any “test” entries in your test PC hosts files) then…

2) at a suitably idle time change the Webmail and MX records. Now test the incoming and outgoing email works. On any test machines make sure that a ping to the relevant record e.g. or returns the expected IP address.

If it is fine then after a suitably long delay you can decommission the old web site. Do this as follows,

a) backup all databases – mark them as the OLD SITE
b) backup all web site content (media etc) – mark them as the OLD SITE
c) backup any other OS specific configuration files – mark them as the OLD SITE
d) delete the old site. How you do this will vary (delete containers on VPS or reformat a server disk on standalone machines or delete the files via FTP or ssh) but never leave it hanging around.


Install stuck at “setup is preparing your computer for first use”…

I found an odd fix to a problem on a new client PC. I was re-Installing Windows 7 SP1 on a new Acer laptop so as to change the install language (why aren’t OEMs in the EU mandated that they must offer all available Eurozone languages for their retail products if they already have that language as a first-time selection ?)  and I got the forever hung at “setup is preparing your computer for first use” problem.

If you search the Internet for an answer to this then there is nothing that is very clear as to what you can do when you are sitting in front of  a machine that works perfectly, will install but for the last few steps of the installation, fails to complete.

AFAIKS the cause is slipstreamed installers either stalling or failing and the Windows first use program is just spinning its wheels waiting for them to exit.

What I did at the “setup is preparing your computer for first use” screen was twofold:

1) I clicked SHIFT+F10 to get a command prompt, then typed in devmgmt.msc to get the device manager. It will have the unknown or devices without drivers expanded. I disabled some but I also found that you can install drivers too. If you have all your manufacturer drivers on a USB stick then just right-mouse and select update driver and then browse to the root of your USB stick e.g. E:\ and have it search subdirectories and it should find the right driver for that device.

—-and at the same time I..

2)   typed in taskmgr.exe to get the Task Manager and in  the processes list I killed any running msiexec.exe processes and cmd.exe command prompts if they looked like they were hung i.e. no CPU and the disk light on the Laptop wasn’t really running. This step 2) is the most important step as it seemed to allow the first use setup to step on.

The install then quickly finished the “setup is preparing your computer for first use” stage and I got the username, hostname and so-on questions.

The SHIFT+F10 trick and using the devmgmr.msc and taskmgr.exe works at any stage from the “setup is preparing your computer for first use” display onwards because Windows is actually running only services haven’t started and the hostname and account details haven’t been created.

Hope this helps – it worked for me.