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How To: Unlock a Locked iPod

My friend recently locked her iPod, and forgot her passcode. After searching the internet, she came up with this link telling her that there is effectively no way to unlock a locked iPod. Wrong!

After doing some digging around inside the iPod, I couldn't find anything. However, enabling hidden folders brought up a new folder: iPod_Control. Inside this folder was another named Device, and inside this was a file named _locked. Opening up this file in Notepad, I found a bunch of symbols, I assume this was an encrypted password. I simply deleted the file, and the iPod was unlocked! This worked for me, but after further research, I found out that the fix for this problem depends on what type of iPod you have. However, the following set of steps should work for everyone.

1) First rename the _locked file to _unlocked. Disconnect the iPod and reset it.

2) If that did not solve the problem, delete all the text inside the aforementioned file. Save it, and then disconnect the iPod and reset it.

3) If that still did not work, delete the file and then disconnect the iPod and reset it.

Keep in mind that this is not an Apple-sanctioned guide, so use caution when trying this, and if you are not sure of what you are doing, backup any files before you alter or delete them.
Posted by PU on Saturday, July 28, 2007 at 2:28 PM Comments (444)

XBOX Live: Network Problems

I got tons of emails after my last post about a specific error people were having on XBOX Live (especially on Halo 2). Whenever they try to join a party, it says they are having network problems. The exact error message is ""You aren't able to join this party since we're having network problems. Sorry about that." This problem only occurs when joining parties of particular people.

So what could cause such a problem? I called Microsoft, XBOX Live, Road Runner, Linksys, and a few other companies that I thought might be able to fix the problem, but nobody knew what to do. However, after talking to my friend in computer networking, we found the problem, and came up with a solution:

The problem is caused by something called NAT settings. NAT can be set to Strict, Moderate, or Open. XBOX Live network problems are caused when a person with strict or moderate NAT settings tries to join another person with strict or moderate settings. In order to fix this, you have to enable a few ports on your computer, namely ports 3074, 80, and 88:

Go to your router control panel. Depending on what router you have, you will access your router control panel differently. If you have a Linksys WRT4G (which causes the majority of these problems), you will type (called the IP address) into the address bar, and hit enter. You will need a user name and password. The defaults are admin/admin for the Linksys WRT4G.

If you have a different router, the default passwords can be found on the internet. Different routers also require different IP addresses. Your router's IP address can be found by doing the following: Go to Start, then click Run. Type cmd and when the box comes up, type ipconfig. Look for the IP address listed under "Default Gateway" and use that in place of the IP address I provided above.

Once you have accessed your router's control panel, you need to open up some ports. Look for something (usually under the Applications and Gaming tab) called "Port Range Forward." On the first line, type 3074 for Start and End, select "Both" for the protocol, and check "Enable." Also, for the IP address listed, you will need to find your XBOX's IP address and enter it there (you may need to enter manual settings in this step. If you are not sure how to do this, call XBOX Live and ask them to help with this.) Repeat these steps two more times on the lines below, replacing 3074 with 80 and 88. Make sure you save these settings.

Lastly, go to Administration in your router control panel and disable UPnP. That's it!

Everything should work fine now!

This was sort of an outline, and wasn't a very detailed tutorial. The reason is that depending on your router and whether you have an XBOX or XBOX 360, the steps will be slightly different. Hopefully, after reading this, you can fix the problem. If not, I do NOT recommend calling XBOX Live. Instead, contact your router company and tell them the problem. Tell them that you know how to fix it, (by enabling ports 3074, 80, and 88 for your XBOX) and they should be able to help with that. Good luck!
Posted by PU on Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 10:53 PM Comments (178)