Reset ownCloud Passwords For Admin And Users Using phpMyAdmin

Warning:  Following the instruction below at your own risks, because bad things happen!  Don’t blame me for your bravery in destroying ownCloud’s database if something goes wrong and beyond one’s expectation.  Nonetheless, I’ve used the exact directives to successfully change the admin and users passwords for ownCloud.

Forgetting your ownCloud’s password?  Whether your ownCloud’s admin or regular user password is lost, you can always restore or change the password for the admin or user.  Perhaps, you forgot to enter the email address into user’s settings to receive lost password reset email, to think that you’re stuck is being crazy.  Of course, unless you forgot your MySQL database’s root password too, then you really are stuck and won’t be able to access your data that reside within ownCloud.  Nonetheless, let’s hope you aren’t yet out of options, then you can totally use your MySQL’s root password to edit your ownCloud’s admin or user password.  I won’t talk about how to access and edit any other database as I can barely get around MySQL.  Nonetheless, read on and the trick is here to treat you well.

I don’t even bother with MySQL command lines, and so I sure hope you have installed phpMyAdmin.  We will use phpMyAdmin to edit out the oc_users table’s passwords.

  1. So, first of all, log into your ownCloud MySQL’s database as a root user or the owner of ownCloud database through phpMyAdmin.
  2. Secondly, expand the left panel and expand the ownCloud database.  You should see bunch of ownCloud tables underneath ownCloud’s database, and these tables should begin with oc_ extension.  Try to find oc_users!
  3. Click on oc_users to access the oc_users table.  Before you even think aboud editing a user entry within this table, you must know that once you edit a user’s password there is no going back to the original password.  Of course, if you already know the original password, you wouldn’t do this in the first place!
  4. Click on the edit link next to the user to access the oc_users’ user entry.  In here you can change the password for a user.  Don’t do anything yet though, because the passwords store within oc_users table are encrypted with whatever.  If you delete the encrypted passphrase, you basically delete the password.  Nonetheless, you can’t enter a password of your own, because your password isn’t encrypted.  If you try to enter a plain password, your user account won’t see the password change.  Furthermore, if you try to empty out the password, ownCloud’s login page won’t allow you to access ownCloud service even though you had emptied out the password.
  5. If you read my instruction carefully, it means you haven’t done anything yet.  Good, because now you need to open up a web browser’s tab or a new web browser so you can go to http://pajhome.org.uk/crypt/md5/ (link).  If this webpage is still the same and has yet to be changed, under the Demonstration section you should see MD5/SHA-1 boxes.  Instead of entering a real password that can be read by the owner of this website, you need to enter a weak password (that you plan to change it later) into the Input Calculate Result’s top box.  When done entering a temporary password that is easy to remember, hit the SHA-1 button to allow the webpage to generate the SHA-1 hash.  Make sure you copy the SHA-1 hash result in the bottom box.
  6. We need to paste the SHA-1 hash passphrase into the password’s value field (box) of a user you want to change the password for within the database.  So, back in phpMyAdmin, within a user’s entry which resides within the oc_users table, you need to enter the SHA-1 hash into the password’s value field (box).  Hit the Go button which situates right underneath the password’s value field (box).  This should do it.
  7. Now, you can try log into ownCloud service with a new password that you had created for the ownCloud user.  Of course, the password isn’t the SHA-1 hash passphrase, because the ownCloud’s login page expects the regular plain password that you encrypted with SHA-1 hash earlier.  If everything goes as plan, you should be able logging into the ownCloud’s admin or user account.  From, here you can change the password in Personal page, and so you should change the password you just changed for your ownCloud admin or user into a really strong password.

Now, you can chuck down a beer and congratulate yourself a job well done.

Manage Multiple Cloud Services With Jolicloud Drive Google Chrome Extension

Do you use online cloud storage service?  Do you have multiple accounts with multiple cloud storage services?  Do you use Google Chrome browser?  If you say yes to all of these questions, then Jolicloud Drive Extension for Google Chrome can help you manage multiple online cloud storage services at once with ease.  In the video right after the break, I briefly introduce you to Jolicloud Drive Chrome Extension.  Enjoy!!!

Allowing Specific IP Addresses To Access QNAP’s Web Apps Using .htaccess File And Preventing All Other IP Addresses From Meddling With QNAP’s Web Apps

If you’re using QNAP as a NAS, you probably know that QNAP allows you to install web apps onto QNAP server.  Web apps are cool, but these web apps can be a security nightmare.  This is why you often have to upgrade these web apps.  One example of a popular web app that you can install on QNAP server is WordPress.  Anyhow, whether a web app might carry a computer vulnerability or not, you want to secure your QNAP’s web apps with .htaccess file.  By adding .htaccess file to /share/Web directory in QNAP server, you add one more hoop (security layer) for hackers to have dealt with.  In the video right after the break, I’m going to show you how to add a very simple .htaccess file to QNAP’s /share/Web directory to thwart a possible malicious user which might be able to bypass the router’s firewall and hack your QNAP server using web apps’ vulnerabilities.  Enjoy!!!

Adding .htaccess File To QNAP’s /share/Web/ To Secure All Web Applications Within

Legal Disclaimer:  Following the tip within this blog post at your own risk.  You have been warned, thus you know that you are going to do something dangerous here to your web server or QNAP server.  With this knowledge of yours and by having reading this warning or skipping this clear warning, you cannot hold me for your stupidity or dangerous action against your very own QNAP server or web server or against anyone’s web server that you’re responsible for its administrative duties and procurements.

Are you running a web server on QNAP NAS?  NAS stands for Network Attached Storage server.  If you are for whatever purpose, whether this web server is for production purpose or testing purpose, you might want to know that .htaccess file can help secure QNAP’s web applications such as WordPress, Drupal, and the rest.  Here’s how to create proper .htaccess file that controls all web applications at once on your QNAP server.

  1. You need to change into directory of /share/Web by using this Linux command [cd /share/Web].  Of course, please do ignore the square brackets as these are only for clarifying the command line.
  2. Quickly do [ls -la] to figure out if you have an .htaccess file already.  If you do, please make a backup of this file in case you need this original file again for whatever purpose.  To make a backup of this .htaccess file that you already have had in the QNAP’s /share/Web directory, use this command [cp -p -a /share/Web/.htaccess /share/Web/.htaccess-old].
  3. Once you had followed the step #2 herein, then you can try to remove the original .htaccess file (Not the backup one you just made OK?) by using this command [rm -rf /share/Web/.htaccess].  Be very careful with [rm -rf] command line, because if you misspell a file or a directory you’re trying to remove, you will definitely lose such directory or file forever and won’t be able to recover it.
  4. Now let us create the .htaccess file again, but this time we’re creating it the way we like it.  Of course, .htaccess is a complex file, thus regular Joe like us needs not to worry about making this file too complex.  Instead, let a regular Joe like us to just create simple .htaccess file that denies all IP addresses but only allows a specific IP addresses.  This means, if you want to allow one or two specific IP addresses to access QNAP’s web applications, this .htaccess file should satisfy your command.  So here we go…
    1. Creating .htaccess file by using this command [touch /share/Web/.htaccess].
    2. Now, let’s edit the .htaccess file we just created by using this command [vim /share/Web/.htaccess].
    3. Let’s enter the lines below for our new .htaccess file shall we?  These lines must be in the order as follow…
      1. order deny,allow
      2. allow from 192.168.0.x (please use your very own IP address here)
      3. allow from 192.168.0.x (please use your very own IP address here)
      4. deny from all
    4. What we had done was adding 2 IP addresses to the allow list in .htaccess file so these 2 IP addresses will be able to interact/access the web applications that reside in QNAP’s /share/Web directory.  You can add more IP addresses or remove most IP addresses but allowing only one according to your desire by simply adding more [allow from…] or remove [allow from…] lines.  Of course all [allow from…] lines must be written or typed out above the line which said [deny from all] and below the line which said [order deny,allow].  Now, we must save our newly edited .htaccess file by doing this while you’re still in the vim editor.
      1. Hit escape key on the keyboard to exit the editing mode.
      2. Type in [:wq] and hit enter key on the keyboard.  Of course, please do ignore the square brackets as these are only for clarifying the command line.
  5. The last step is to secure our new .htaccess file by doing two things.
    1. First thing to secure is to make sure the owner and the group owner of the .htaccess file are indeed the right owner and group owner.  For me personally, I prefer to not use admin user and administrators group for any web application files and directories, because I don’t want the evil doers to be able to use one of these files with high privilege access to escalate the privilege and execute malicious commands.  This is why on my QNAP server I rather make most of my web applications’ files and directories in the name of user httpdusr and group owner everyone.  So let’s do this command to make this happens OK?  Type in [chown httpdusr:everyone /share/Web/.htaccess].  Afterward, just do [ls -la /share/Web/.htaccess] to see if .htaccess file indeed is using user httpdusr and group owner everyone.
    2. Second thing to secure is to make sure the .htaccess file has the right permission.  So we need to use this command [chmod 400 /share/Web/.htaccess].  What this command does is change the permission of .htaccess file in /share/Web directory to read only for user (owner of the .htaccess file) and no other permission is allowable for anyone else, hint the two zeros after #4.  These two zeros stand for no permission for group user (whoever has the group authorization of whichever group) and no permission for everyone else (this is the last 0 for).  Finally, you can do [ls -la /share/Web/.htaccess] to confirm that the permission for .htaccess file is indeed 400 or not.  If it’s so, it means only the QNAP web server user httpdusr will be able to read the file, but even this user cannot write to or execute whatever within this .htaccess file.

Now, with this .htaccess file configuration for your QNAP’s /share/Web directory, the web applications that are residing within this specific Web directory will not be accessible to anyone with any IP address unless somebody is using the IP address that is being allowed by this very .htaccess file.

Do you know that by following the tip herein, you can also use this very tip for non-QNAP web server?  Just create a similar .htaccess file within whatever web server’s directory to prevent snooping to most IP addresses and allow only the IP addresses that are being allowed within.

How To Use CrashPlan To Backup Data To QNAP And Backup QNAP’s Data To CrashPlan Central

Normally, CrashPlan won’t allow you to backup computer data to network share/drive.  Nonetheless, you can get around this if you’re using iSCSI.  In the video right after the break, I show you how to create iSCSI with QNAP (Network Attached Storage) server,  connect to QNAP’s iSCSI target, and format iSCSI share as NTFS share for Windows 7/8.  This way, you can use CrashPlan software (free or paid) to backup data from a local computer to QNAP’s iSCSI share, and you can go one step further by backing up the data of iSCSI share (on QNAP or whatever NAS that may be) to CrashPlan Central (cloud service for hosting backup data).  Enjoy!!!

Got Windows 8.1’s Wi-Fi Connection Drop Issue? Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB Adapter Is Here To Fix It!

It’s surprisingly so surprising that even three months after Windows 8.1 got released, Wi-Fi connection drop is still a recurrent occurrence for desktop and laptop users alike.  I don’t know how large is this specific problem in exact number, but I had read many complaints of how Windows 8.1 would not work well with PC users’ Wi-Fi network interface card (NIC), both internal and external.  So, it’s not a surprise to see myself in the same boat as these folks.  I found out that my Asus desktop too had experienced Wi-Fi connection drop quite frequently.  Furthermore, couple times my Wi-Fi NIC actually had caused Blue Screen of Death and crashed Windows 8.1 completely.  Such problems had not really occurred when I was using Windows 8 (not 8.1).

To fix this specific problem, the obvious answer would be installing a Wi-Fi NIC’s driver that would cooperate with and would not crash Windows 8.1.  Unfortunately, my Wi-Fi NIC’s brand has yet to release any driver which would be compatible to Windows 8.1.  With all typical tricks to help soothe the situation such as disabling desktop from automatically powering off Wi-Fi NIC to save power and so forth, but none of these tricks has had any luck so far.  I can’t use the ethernet connection for my Asus since it’s (Asus) not sitting near a router at all, and this very router has to be situated far away (from my Asus) as it also hosts ethernet connections for my other electronic devices.

Without a proper driver for Wi-Fi NIC, there aren’t that many solutions for going around this problem.  Of course, one can always downgrade a PC’s OS from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8, but I hate the idea of downgrading for various reasons.  One notable reason would be reinstalling software.  I went online and looked for an external Wi-Fi adapter which could be compatible to 802.11ac router and 802.11ac speed… and it must be USB 3.0 type of Wi-Fi adapter… and I found out that not that many of these external Wi-Fi USB 3.0 802.11ac adapters had good reputation with Windows 8.1 at all.  These newer Wi-Fi USB 3.0 802.11ac adapters are experiencing the Wi-Fi connection drop issue in Windows 8.1, too.  Thus I thought I would not be able to find a solution to my Asus’s Windows 8.1 Wi-Fi connection drop (a driver problem really).

I was wrong!  As I went about my business in Walmart the other day, I checked out their electronic section.  I saw the last Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-F USB Adapter on one of the Walmart’s shelves, and I boldly bought it to see if this would solve my Asus’s Windows 8.1 Wi-Fi connection drop issue.  Of course, I thought to myself that I could always return the Belkin Wi-Fi adapter to Walmart if the darn thing wouldn’t work.  It was a right move, because Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB (3.0) Adapter (for 802.11ac) is working very well with my Asus.  I noticed that when I used this adapter in Windows 8 compatible mode, it would crash Windows 8.1 (as in Blue Screen of Death).  Nonetheless, it works quite well when you just use this adapter without applying Windows 8 compatible mode for this adapter’s driver even though this adapter’s driver is meant to be working with Windows 8 (and not with Windows 8.1).  How weird, right?  I’ve also noticed that this adapter does drop connection randomly (although quite infrequently), but it automatically reconnects to the router again.  The Asus’s original internal Wi-Fi NIC would not reconnect to the router under Windows 8.1 unless you had restarted the PC.

Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB (3.0) Adapter (for 802.11ac) is being advertised with the speed of up to 867 Megabits per second with 802.11ac router’s dual-band connection.  I guess this advertising up to 867 Mbps speed is for the download speed.  Personally, I think it’s fast, but I haven’t truly tested the download speed of this adapter out, therefore I cannot confirm how fast it’s.  Nonetheless, I have done a lot of uploading such as uploading large files to my own Network Attached Storage server (locally), and I’ve noticed that the upload speed I’ve experienced with this adapter is roughly around 168 Megabits per second (21 Megabytes per second) with 802.11ac router’s dual-band connection (i.e., 5.0 GHz).

One thing I know clearly though, this adapter does solve my Windows 8.1’s Wi-Fi constant connection drop issue and it does reconnect with the router if its infrequent Wi-Fi connection drop does ever occur.  I’m happy with it!  I’m hoping that Belkin will release a newer driver for this Wi-Fi adapter so it will be even more compatible with Windows 8.1, because the current latest driver for this adapter is meant to be working with Windows 8 (not 8.1).

In summary, if you have Windows 8.1’s Wi-Fi connection drop issue with a Wi-Fi NIC when using desktop or laptop, you might want to give Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB adapter a try.  The model for this adapter is F9L1109 version 1.  You can find the adapter’s driver on Belkin’s official website.  When you open the adapter’s box for the first time, you see that it got a CD which carries the firmware/driver for the adapter, don’t use it.  Just go to Belkin’s official website and download the latest driver for F9L1109 version 1.  Alternatively, you can use DriverMax to upgrade this adapter’s driver to the latest driver.  DriverMax’s latest Belkin USB Adapter driver isn’t working at all for Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB Adapter.  So, don’t use DriverMax for upgrading this adapter’s latest driver.  Stick with going to Belkin’s official website and download the latest driver for F9L1109 version 1 model.  It’s odd though, usually DriverMax does have the best and correct drivers for many computer hardware components and gadgets.