Here I have listed some work carried out to by me ( Draysonic ) to give you an idea as to my experience, and some of the diverse problems that I have encountered and solved for clients in my work as an IT Technician. These jobs are listed here to be informative and a brief overview and in no way should be used as a technical reference.

Tauranga YMCA 2013

From January 2013 to April i did volunteer work for the YMCA in Tauranga New Zealand. During my period of employment there i participated in the deployment of 20 new desktops for student use as well as the maintenance of existing equipment involving both staff and student laptops and desktops.

Also included was the deployment of new staff computers and joining them to existing network infrastructure with Servers being located at Head Office in Auckland.

This was very satisfying work where i was able to use my training and skills to their potential. i was sorry to leave the friendly environment and workplace i experienced there.


Forum Administration after Hack .....Update

After so many attacks on the site and due to these attacks slowing down other clients sites on the virtual server, the hosting company TMD discontinued service to host the forum

This was disappointing as we the Admin's took as many steps as possible to stop spammer and hacker attacking the site with two step authentication involving a secret question and authentication of all email accounts. Also enacted was some honey pot software and a mod that entailed a spper trap linked to a black list .Unfortunately the owner of the site who had handed the reigns over to other Admins decided it was to difficult to continue and had lost interest due to other career pursuits that took precedence and it was decided to end the forum.

Forum Administration after Hack

As a Technical Admin for an International Forum, i was recently confronted with the after effects of a site hack where the index page and index.php where  not working correctly and the home page was just a log of errors

what to do?, well the forum is based on Simple Machines Forum software  [SMF 2.0] and as a member i visited the SMF forum with the query "forum crash error index.php line 46'. What eventuated was extremely interesting to me as this was not the underlying problem even though this was what was presenting itself as the problem

Apparently it was a problem with the Settings.php

So  after backing   up  the  offending  files , I downloaded  a backup  of the forum and extracted  the backup of Settings.php and re-uploaded it  overwriting  the existing file  which   had a value of  0bytes, no wonder it didn't work

Empty the browser cache and revisit the forum and its now  back up and running. All  together  this process  took around an  hour

Remote Support via Teamviever

Using a product called Teamviever i was able to repair a friends computer in New Zealand and update the operating system and programs while sitting at my computer here in Australia. Also i was able to backup data from a pre -existing computer [including data and email,accounts and address book],and re-instate them to the new touch screen Acer computer that had been purchased

Teamviever is an exceptional program that allows remote access to a clients computer.all the other party has to do is download it and run it [it can be run without installing] and either email or text message the user ID and password to the operator who wishes to gain access. there are no special skills required by the recipient, in that there is no configuring of firewalls, it just works.

Compatibility Issues

Recently the issue of mainboard problems presented itself once again. A client had purchased a new i7 2.4Ghz Quad core CPU along with a Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3  mainboard and 4 Gigabytes of DDR2 RAM to upgrade an existing computer.
Originally the client advised me to install Windows XP Professional onto the Hardware, but the results were in my opinion extremely unsatisfactory with the machine seeming to run slowly against its high performance hardware...I advised the client that older operating systems cannot take advantage of the full potential of newer technologies and that it would be advisable to install Windows 7 Professional, due to its compatibility with legacy applications he may wish to install.
This was duly done and the client went away for months and was not heard from,
until recently when they rang me saying the system was crashing giving a BSOD,O,D . [blue screen of death] in 70% of system shutdowns, with the message UNCLEAN_SHUTDOWN. They were advised after ringing Microsoft to update the BIOS to a newer version...they  did not feel proficient enough to carry out this task.
I then carried out the following work: after running system file checker to verify system integrity of protected windows file system, checking the windows action centre for any issues and making sure the correct updates had been installed , the BIOS was flashed from REV F3 to F7 via the Gigabyte flash utility .
Then the system was restarted and shutdown and logged 10 times {the system was shutdown more than the number of logged times} and logged with no resulting  BSOD,
No programs were opened during this test, as it was purely to test mainboard functionality not application functionality. What clients do not realize is that there exists software layers or API's between software and the operating systems. If incompatible programs exist, it is not the onus of the installer to make these 3rd party software's work.
The client has also been advised to plug one piece of hardware at a time on reinstalling back in situ, as I have had a case where an older Epson printer was causing USB problems on a new computer. This problem was isolated when a diagnostic test was carried out with all the client's peripherals, plugging them in one at a time to find the offending piece of hardware.

Wi Fi Setup

Client brought to me a Dell Inspiron notebook which they had purchased in the USA, from Walmart to set up a wireless network along with the D-Link modem and Dell Wireless card/antennae. Setup the modem with the username and password/encrypted the connection using WPA2 and connected the notebook. client picked all the hardware up and took it home, plugged it in and it all just worked for them no hassles and no drama, Needless to say client was very happy

Mainboard issues

i had to reload an operating system onto an Optima PC tower recently as the client brought it to me in an un bootable condition with the machine just looping at startup --- got to the XP screen and then fell over and restarted. Obviously it had been hit with a virus. So used a linux version to access the hard drive and backed up clients data and then used the recovery disc to reload the operating system.

On reload back to factory shipped condition it was found that there where faults with the USB ports on the front of the unit where they would stop the machine from booting if anything was plugged in at startup, after startup everything was fine and you could use them at will. What users fail to realise is that viruses can do damage to the mainboard and program the chips on the board that control different functions.

Even after re-flashing the BIOS it did not resolve the problem. As the machine is an Optima and the company is now no longer trading, i advised the client that a new board would have to be purchased as well as an operating system disk as the recovery disk was tied to the old mainboard. also advised client that in cases such as these it is often better to purchase a new computer as when all the costs are taken into account to fix/refurbish the old one the cost difference can be negligible.

Buying a computer with a preloaded system or with a recovery disk maybe cheaper at time of purchase but if the mainboard dies then you will have to purchase both a new mainboard and a valid operating system disk. This is because the drivers to suit that mainboard and that mainboard only are embedded into the recovery disk and will not work with the new mainboard and may even damage it.

Web site Upgrade

Updated www.ottra.com site for client with rebuild of site template to clean up HTML, as it was starting to become a little messy after lots of modifcatons and additions etc.

Also built Flash banner and pop up menu to add a better feel to the web site and to aid in site navigation.

To top it off, also embedded a flash movie promoting the business into the site --- this was given to me in DVD format (MYOB) which was around 1.2 Gigabytes but was recoded into Flash format by me (.flv) and is now 9.0 Mb and set to progressive download/play, and as such is more web user friendly

Wi Fi Setup

Set up a Wi Fi network at a local quarry so that internet access could be attained in laboratory and batch plant for weather updates and software maintenance/patching

this was accomplished using D-Link DWL3200 access points and high gain antennae. the major problem was to get the signal over the stockpile of excavated material in the centre of the quarry. this wa overcome by setting up a relay access point on the silo of the batch plant with the outbuildings hooked into this for internet access.

the Wi Fi network currently spans a distance of around 500m.

Data Migration & RAID

Doing some maintenance to a clients file server, showed that they where fast running out of disk space ( 500Mb on a 120Gbyte HDD RAID0 ) and that the server was "falling over" every night. research into the system event viewer showed this was due to the backup program trying to fit too much data into too small a partition ---- this was rectified with the purchase of a larger backup drive, partitioned into the days of the week for backup job previous configured and the problem was solved

The other problem of disk space shortage was solved by imaging the drive onto a larger volume and the setting it back up for RAID0 to ensure against hardware failure

Server Setup & Remote Desktop

I had an interesting job this month instead of the usual virus removal--etc, that entailed the setup of a file server with remote administration via a workstation. this saved the client a considerable amount of money in that no monitor or other peripherals were required to administer it. Full lockdown procedures were employed, with ALL users password protected. The scenario also involved the sharing of an accounting program from the server back to the three workstations, plus the moving of all data files and spreadsheets to the one location on the server so that they could be accessed by all without creating a network bottleneck on the prime workstation where they were previously located.

The file server was a custom built machine supplied by me with an Intel core 2 duo 2.66GHZ CPU, 2048MB of DDR2 RAM and a 160 Gigabyte hard drive with a FSB of 1066Mhz. The accounting program (MYOB), all five versions of it, was dutifully installed on the server on the C: partition of the main drive and shared, the .exe files were then mapped to the workstations to enable all three users to use the same data set. finally all data was transferred from the originating computer to the file server. the Excel spreadsheets were then transferred to the D: partition and again shared over the network with all users able to read and modify the files. All in all a straightforward job that has now created a more equal workload for the users.


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