The specified plex is a the current system or boot plex. #SoftRaid #Raid

June 24, 2018 Leave a comment


If you want to break a mirrored volume in Disk Management, because you want to resize the partition where your If you want to break a mirrored volume in Disk Management, because you want to resize the partition where your operating system is installed, then you may get the following error:

The specified plex is a the current system or boot plex. [sic]

As per KB 969749, the solution is detailed as follows, I’ve just added the commands required.
From an elevated Command Prompt, type diskpart to start DiskPart.

Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.14393.0
Copyright (C) 1999-2013 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: xxxxxx

Use the list volume command in DiskPart to list the volumes present on the system.

DISKPART> list volume
Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
———-  —  ———–  —–  ———-  ——-  ———  ——–
Volume 0     X   xxxx     NTFS   Spanned     xxxx MB  Healthy
Volume 1     X   xxxxx        NTFS   Mirror       xxx GB  Healthy    Boot
Volume 2         EFI          FAT32  Partition    xxx MB  Healthy    System
Volume 3         EFI          FAT32  Partition    xxx MB  Healthy    Hidden

Type the command select volume x to select the mirror volume, where x is the alphanumeric identifier of the mirror volume.

DISKPART> select volume 1
Volume 1 is the selected volume.

Determine the numeric identifier of the disk containing the plex you are currently booted into (“Boot Disk”) using the list disk, select disk, and detail disk commands.

DISKPART> list disk
Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
——–  ————-  ——-  ——-  —  —
Disk 0    Online          xxx GB  1024 KB   *    *
Disk 1    Online          xxx GB  1024 KB   *    *

DISKPART> select disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> detail disk
INTEL xxxxx
Disk ID: {xxxx}
Type   : xxxx
Status : OnlinePath   : 0
Target : 0LUN ID : 0
Location Path : …..
Current Read-only State : No
Read-only  : No
Boot Disk  : Yes
DISKPART> select disk 1
Disk 1 is now the selected disk.
DISKPART> detail disk
INTEL xxxxx
Disk ID: {xxxxx}
Type   : xxxx
Status : Online
Path   : 0
Target : 0
LUN ID : 0
Location Path : …
Current Read-only State : No
Read-only  : No
Boot Disk  : No
Pagefile Disk  : Yes
Hibernation File Disk  : No
Crashdump Disk  : Yes
Clustered Disk  : No

If you try to break the disk without selecting the volume, then you get the following error:

DISKPART> break disk 1
There is no volume selected to break.Please select a dynamic mirror to break.

Use the command break disk n  to break the mirror, where n is the numeric identifier of the disk containing the mirror plex you are not currently booted from.The mirror will be broken, and both plexes will be converted to Simple volumes.

DISKPART> select volume 1
Volume 1 is the selected volume.
DISKPART> break disk 1
DiskPart successfully broke the mirror volume.

After this is done, you will have two simple volumes, rather than one mirrored volume which will be very similar in content. You can then use Disk Management to resize, the volumes, dealocate one of them, then select the boot volume and press Add Mirror to restore the Raid.


Categories: Uncategorized

Enhance your #MSSQL Security with two keywords in C#

June 21, 2018 Leave a comment

3d database with padlock security concept

If your database server is on a different machine to your webserver, and the SQL queries travel through the network, then they are liable to be sniffed by third parties sharing the same network.

However, if you add the words:

Encrypt=True; TrustServerCertificate=True

To your connection string then the TDS data sent from client to server will be encrypted, and impossible to sniff from the network.

You can verify the connection is secure by running the following query;

SELECT session_id, net_transport, client_net_address, local_net_address,
local_tcp_port, auth_scheme, encrypt_option
FROM sys.dm_exec_connections

According to performance tests, I found no difference between the performance of secure vs plain text secure. over a batch of 200 queries.

Categories: Uncategorized

Car Registration #API available on #Python #PIP

June 20, 2018 Leave a comment



This is an API Wrapper for Python for the API which allows you to get car data from it’s number plate in many countries across the globe, from the USA, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Is is available as a package on PIP and easy_install  

An account username and password is required from

When using the Generic “CarRegistration” function, the fourth parameter is an API endpoint, which can be one of;

  • Check (UK)
  • CheckBelgium
  • CheckCroatia
  • CheckCzechRepublic
  • CheckDenmark
  • CheckEstonia
  • CheckFinland
  • CheckFrance
  • CheckHungary
  • CheckIndia
  • CheckIreland
  • CheckItaly
  • CheckNetherlands
  • CheckNewZealand
  • CheckNigeria
  • CheckNorway
  • CheckPortugal
  • CheckRussia
  • CheckSlovakia
  • CheckSouthAfrica
  • CheckSpain
  • CheckSriLanka
  • CheckSweden
  • CheckUAE

For Australia and USA, you must also pass a state parameter, and therefore you must use the CarRegistrationUSA or CarRegistrationAustralia methods.


pip install CarRegistration

Usage (UK)

 from CarRegistration import *
 CarRegistration("BL64JTZ","***YOUR USERNAME***","***YOUR PASSWORD***","Check")

Usage (France)

 from CarRegistration import *
 CarRegistration("Eg258ma","***YOUR USERNAME***","***YOUR PASSWORD***","CheckFrance")

Usage (USA)

 from CarRegistration import *
 CarRegistrationUSA("H84jae","nj","***YOUR USERNAME***","***YOUR PASSWORD***")

Usage (Australia)

 from CarRegistration import *
 CarRegistrationAustralia("YHC14Y","NSW","***YOUR USERNAME***","***YOUR PASSWORD***")

Sample output

{u'RegistrationYear': u'2015', u'CarModel': {u'CurrentTextValue': u'208'}, u'NumberOfDoors': {u'CurrentTextValue': u'3'}, u'EngineSize': {u'CurrentTextValue': u'1397

And here’s the source code for those interested:

import urllib2, base64, json

def CarRegistration(registrationNumber, username, password):
request = urllib2.Request(“” + registrationNumber)
base64string = base64.encodestring(‘%s:%s’ % (username, password)).replace(‘\n’, ”)
request.add_header(“Authorization”, “Basic %s” % base64string)
result = urllib2.urlopen(request)
data = json.load(result)

Categories: Uncategorized

Detect #Phising links in user submitted urls in C#

June 19, 2018 Leave a comment


If your website displays urls which are user-submitted, then you can use a free API by google called Safe Browsing (key required), to detect if these are phishing / malware urls – here is the code, with the Google API Key removed;

static bool IsMalware(string url)
var strRequestJson = File.ReadAllText(“requestjson.json”);
strRequestJson = strRequestJson.Replace(“*PLACEHOLDER*”, url);
WebClient wc = new WebClient();
var strurl = “”;
wc.Headers[HttpRequestHeader.ContentType] = “application/json”;
var strResult = wc.UploadString(strurl, strRequestJson);
if (strResult.Trim() == “{}”) return false;
return true;

You will also need the file requestjson.json set to copy always in the build options, with the following content;

“client”: {
“clientId”: “yourcompanyname”,
“clientVersion”: “1.5.2”
“threatInfo”: {
“platformTypes”: [ “WINDOWS” ],
“threatEntryTypes”: [ “URL” ],
“threatEntries”: [
{ “url”: “*PLACEHOLDER*” }

Categories: Uncategorized

Get automated notifications on #WindowsUpdate using C# and #WUApiLib

June 18, 2018 Leave a comment


If you wanted to be notified as soon as a windows update is available on your server, but you don’t want it to be installed automatically, here is a script in C# that allows you to know when an update is ready.

It requires a COM library called WUApiLib which you can add via project > References

var updateSession = new UpdateSession();
var updateSearcher = updateSession.CreateUpdateSearcher();
updateSearcher.Online = false; //set to true if you want to search online
var searchResult = updateSearcher.Search(“IsInstalled=0 And IsHidden=0 And BrowseOnly=0”);
if (searchResult.Updates.Count > 0)
Console.WriteLine(“There are updates available for installation”);
foreach (IUpdate update in searchResult.Updates)
foreach (string kbaid in update.KBArticleIDs)
Console.WriteLine(“” + kbaid);
catch (Exception ex)
Console.WriteLine(ex.Message, “Error”);


Categories: Uncategorized

Cloud Answering Machine services now available in 33 new countries

June 15, 2018 Leave a comment

71TFmNzL5UL is a service that allows you to have a virtual answering machine attached to a real phone number practically anywhere in the world. This means that if you want to have a number that you can publish freely, without being bombarded with spam callers.

Having a virtual answering machine allows you to separate your high-priority calls from your low-priority calls, so that someone who is not in urgent need of reply, can leave a message, and you can get back to them – where your friends , family and important business partners can still contact you on your main phone line.

You can also receive text messages on your answering machine, so it can be used to activate services without disclosing your real phone number.

Up to now, we’ve had a simple pricing structure of  $15 (USD), £ 15 (GBP) or € 12 (EUR) per month, but we’ve known that certain countries have higher setup costs to provision phone lines, so we haven’t been able to offer them.

So, we’ve decided, that although most countries will still remain on the simple $15 pricing, we’ve now opened up the possibility of 33 new countries – albeit at a higher monthly cost. These premium numbers are only bookable through the website at present, but this may change in future.

Here’s the pricing table;

Country iso monthly price (USD)
United Arab Emirates AE 50
Bosnia and Herzegovina BA 84
Barbados BB 54
Benin BJ 54
Bolivia BO 50
Botswana BW 100
Belarus BY 50
Colombia CO 50
Algeria DZ 66
Ecuador EC 68
Grenada GD 54
Georgia GE 28
Ghana GH 54
Guinea GN 54
Guatemala GT 62
Jamaica JM 54
Kenya KE 32
Cayman Islands KY 58
Mali ML 76
Macau MO 140
Mauritius MU 86
Namibia NA 66
Philippines PH 50
Serbia RS 210
Singapore SG 150
Thailand TH 50
Tunisia TN 70
Trinidad and Tobago TT 54
Tanzania TZ 54
Uganda UG 56
Vietnam VN 72
Categories: Uncategorized

#Car Registration #API available for Singapore vehicles

June 12, 2018 1 comment


Singapore is a country with 5.6 million people, and is one of the most affluent city states in the world. It has a cap on the amount of new vehicles being registered in the city, but with an affluent population, and 45% car ownership, there are millions of registered vehicles in the city. If you offer a website or service to these users, then you may be interested in a car registration api for singapore at

Singapore support

Car registration plates in Singapore use the /CheckSingapore endpoint and return the following information:

  • Make & Model
  • Age
  • Representative image

Sample Registration Number:


Sample Json:

“Description”: “TOYOTA LEXUS IS250 AUTO STD FL”,
“RegistrationYear”: “2009”,
“CarMake”: {
“CurrentTextValue”: “TOYOTA”
“CarModel”: {
“CurrentTextValue”: “LEXUS IS250 AUTO STD FL”
“MakeDescription”: {
“CurrentTextValue”: “TOYOTA”
“ModelDescription”: {
“CurrentTextValue”: “LEXUS IS250 AUTO STD FL”
“TaxExpiry”: “05 Nov 2018”,
“ImageUrl”: “”

Categories: Uncategorized