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X1 Set-Top Box Issues RDK-03004 & RDK-03033

Excellent Comment from one of my previous post:
http://jermsmit.com/x1-error-code-rdk-03004-unable-to-connect-to-xfinity/

Sharing the information below.  Thanks dude for sharing.

 

Equipment List:

1. Cable Modem -> Xfinity TG1682G internet cable modem (https://tinyurl.com/y7vmfwr9)
2. Main DVR Unit -> Xfinity PX0113ANM main cable box (https://tinyurl.com/ybqa3m6y)
3. Remote Units -> 2 Xfinity PXD01ANI receivers (https://tinyurl.com/y97fawjj)
4. Amplifier -> Commscope CSAPDU5VP 5 port Subscriber Amplifier (https://tinyurl.com/y6vdnuhn)
5. MoCa Filter -> PPC MoCA Ground Block PoE Filter, Combo Wave (https://tinyurl.com/ybhb496l)

Situation:

Xfinity internet was disconnecting frequently, and the main Xfinity cable box (PX013ANM) was rebooting. Basically, service was going in and out.  Neighbors were not having any issues.  Called Comcast a number of times.  Sometimes they customer service representative could ping (i.e. see) the devices, other times they could not.

Complicating Factors

Internet was consistently dropping.  Great performance, then nothing. Reboot the modem, work for a period, then same issue would repeat.

All of a sudden main cable DVR unit would reboot multiple times per day.

Cable would begin randomly freezing on remote units.  I would reboot the remote units, and they would time out, not connect, and display the error: rdk-03036.

I’ll jump to the solution so I don’t bore you to sleep….

Solution:

After hours (possibly days) of internet research, hair pulling, and deep, deep soul searching, I figured out the issue and now (knock on wood) have a speed demon, high-performance Xfinity network.

1.  Make sure your cable line is GROUNDED.  This is important.  My cable line is grounded using the MoCa filter which is explained in #2 below.  Grounding the line really important.  Proper grounding reduces noise/static in the cable line which allows the data to perform better.  Here is a link explaining the situation: https://tinyurl.com/6k3hqb.  Safety note: You also want to ground the line in the rare situation that the cable line outside gets hit by lightning, sending that dangerous current into your house destroying everything in its path (all electronics and possible your home)

2. Make sure you have a MoCa filter (see equipment list above) installed on your cable line BEFORE any amplifier or splitter.  This is very important – also, make sure the directional arrow on the filter points into the house as if data were flowing into your home.  NOTE: My MoCa filter is also the ground point.  I’ll explain this MoCa pain in the a$$ down below.

3. If you are using the Commscope amplifier, it is really important on where you connect your devices.  On my Commscope 5 port, there are four active ports (Out 1 -> Out 4), and one passive port (-4dB VoIP Out).   There is also the line IN port (this is where you connect the cable line coming into the house {assuming the MoCa filter is on the other end connect to the main line from the outside cable}), and the Power In port.

– The cable modem MUST be connect to the VoIP Out passive port.  This is defined as “passive”  since the amplifier does not send any power to it (i.e. amplification).  The main purpose is that if your power goes out, and your cable modem has a backup-battery, the phones will still work (i.e. land lines).
– The rest of your cable devices (main DVR, and remote boxes) should be connected to 1, 2, 3, and 4.  I’m only using 1, 2, 3.  My Main DVR is connected to Port number 1.  Also, if you have an open port, you should cap it with an F-Type terminator -> (aka dummy load) https://tinyurl.com/ydxybeog

4. Make sure the MoCa communications settings on the Cable Modem/Router is DISABLED!.  Using a browser on your home network, go to 10.0.0.1 and login as the Admin.  (Note: the default password is “password”).  Select Communications, find MoCa and disable it.

5. Unplug all your devices, wait a few minutes and plug them back in.  Once they are all up and running, use the Xfinity My Account app on your mobile device, and send a REFRESH single to your system.

If all goes to plan, everything should come back to life.  If you still have issues, check the following:

1. Make sure you limit splitters on your cable network.  If you have any, and require splitting, please make sure they are high-quality.  Also, if you have a one to four, or one to two splitter, and you are not using all the connectors, the ports need to be capped with an f-type male terminator.  Otherwise, you lose signal.

2. If you are having internet issues and are using a downstream router, make sure all your Ethernet cables are high quality.  I had some old cables where the ends did not fit well, and that was causing internet problems.

3.  If you are still having cable issues on the remote boxes, go to the main DVR, grab the remote and perform the following procedure:

– Press and hold the EXIT button for five seconds
– Click the down arrow twice
– Hit the number 2 button

You should be presented with the diagnostics menu. Arrow to the MoCa Diagnostics section and confirm that the MoCa Link Status is set to LinkOn (not NoLink).  If this is set to NoLink, then your cable will not work on the remote boxes. Check to make sure the MoCa filter is installed correctly. Also, make sure MoCa is disabled on the cable modem router page.

*** MoCa PITA (Pain in the A$$) ***

So, I learned a lot about MoCa during this exercise.  Multimedia Over Coax Alliance (“MoCa”) is the data communications method used by the Xfinity devices to communicate.  The remote devices do nothing more than connect to the main DVR for processing. When you are watching cable on a TV connect to a remote PXD unit, all the interaction (guides, internet apps, DVR viewing) is being served by the main DVR unit in the home. All the data is being controlled by MoCa.  If you don’t have the MoCa filter connected to your cable line coming into the house, you can get MoCa traffic into your home network which causes congestion and conflict.  Hence, there is so much traffic that the devices can’t connect to the right host – your main DVR.  By installing the filter, outside MoCa traffic is left outside.

In theory, the MoCa configuration on your Comcast router should not impact the performance of your cable devices.  However, when I had it on, I had internet and cable problems.  By making sure the filter was installed correctly, and MoCa was OFF on the router, the system worked perfectly.

I hope this helps and saves at least one person some time and headaches.

submitted by frustrated xfinity (comcast) customer

Some say…

Some say there are two great days in a person’s life: the day you were born and the day you discover why. I want to encourage you to seek what you were put on this earth to do. Then pursue it.  – #jermsmit #jermfit

Largest FREE Microsoft eBook Giveaway! 

FREE MICROSOFT EBOOK GIVEAWAY extravaganza!

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/mssmallbiz/2017/07/11/largest-free-microsoft-ebook-giveaway-im-giving-away-millions-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-again-including-windows-10-office-365-office-2016-power-bi-azure-windows-8-1-office-2013-sharepo/

Ubuntu Linux for Windows 10 Released On Windows App Store

We can now get Ubuntu Linux for Windows 10 from the Windows App Store. Hows that for an amazing new feature. Simply open the Windows store and search for “Ubuntu”. I would be remiss if i didn’t mention that Windows Insiders Members get first go at this new application.

Also to note that this is not a full version of the Linux Operating System “Ubuntu”. This application is mainly utilizing terminal via bash with included gui-less utilities such as  ssh, git, apt, etc…

  • Navigate to Control Panel > Program and Features
  • Select Turn Windows features on or off
  • Select Windows Subsystems for Linux and Click OK
  • Reboot

 

 

 

New Phishing Scam Using Microsoft Office 365

*** Attention Required ***

It seems that the bad guys are at it once again with an attempt to collect information by phishing credentials from those of us using Office 365 for corporate emails.  The characteristics of this particular attack the hackers intention is to deceive Office 365 users into providing their login credentials”.

The user sees a fake Office 365 login page, which requests their credentials. Once the Office 365 usernames and passwords have been compromised, the hackers can:

  • Send emails to other users in the victim’s address book, asking them for anything, sending fake invoices, sending more phishing emails, etc.
  • Access the user’s OneDrive account, to download files, install more malware, infect files with malware, etc.
  • Access the users SharePoint account, to download files, install more malware, etc.
  • Steal company intellectual property or other customer information such as customer SSNs, credit card numbers, email addresses, etc.

One of the characteristic of this recent attack is an email being sent with an embedded image which resembles an Microsoft Office Word document containing a link back to a site with a fake Office 365 logon page.  In addition to this the site URL ends in php?userid= syntax.

I have provided the following YouTube video to illustrate the interaction of the fake Office 365 logon page.

Link: https://youtu.be/wHxkzxGF4JY

 

Advice:

It’s an important part of your responsibility to be cautious when accessing emails even from known senders to ensure its legitimate by reviewing the email to ensure that its legitimate.

If in doubt do not open the email and reach out to the sender to ensure they sent you the email.  If you self-determine an email to be suspicious immediately report incidents as soon as they happen.

 

Here are a few guidelines below that could be followed.  Please review:

 

Check the sender.

Sometimes, cybercriminals and hackers will fake (or “spoof”) the sender of an email. If the “from” address doesn’t match the alleged sender of the email, or if it doesn’t make sense in the context of the email, something may be suspicious.

Check for (in)sanity.

Many typical phishing emails are mass-produced by hackers using templates or generic messages. While sophisticated attacks may use more convincing fake emails, scammers looking to hit as many different inboxes as possible may send out large numbers of mismatched and badly written emails. If the email’s content is nonsensical or doesn’t match the subject, something may be suspicious.

Check the salutation.

Many business and commercial emails from legitimate organizations will be addressed to you by name. If an email claims to come from an organization you know but has a generic salutation, something may be suspicious.

Check the links.

A large number of phishing emails try to get victims to click on links to malicious websites in order to steal data or download malware. Always verify that link addresses are spelled correctly, and hover your mouse over a link to check its true destination. Beware of shortened links like http://bit.ly, http://goog.le, and http://tinyurl.com. If an email links to a suspicious website, something may be suspicious.

Don’t let them scare you.

Cyber criminals may use threats or a false sense of urgency to trick you into acting without thinking. If an email threatens you with consequences for not doing something immediately, something may be suspicious.

Don’t open suspicious attachments.

Some phishing emails try to get you to open an attached file. These attachments often contain malware that will infect your device; if you open them, you could be giving hackers access to your data or control of your device. If you get an unexpected or suspicious attachment in an email, something may be suspicious.

Don’t believe names and logos alone.

With the rise in spear phishing, cybercriminals may include real names, logos, and other information in their emails to more convincingly impersonate an individual or group that you trust. Just because an email contains a name or logo you recognize doesn’t mean that it’s trustworthy. If an email misuses logos or names, or contains made-up names, something may be suspicious.

If you still aren’t sure, verify!

If you think a message could be legitimate, but you aren’t sure, try verifying it. Contact the alleged sender separately (e.g., by phone) to ask about the message. If you received an email instructing you to check your account settings or perform some similar action, go to your account page separately to check for notices or settings.

 

 

Darrell’s Flashback Ugly 90s Fashion Show! – #DoubleFML FatDarrellPalooza!

Really cool that I got the honorable mention in this post. Brings back good memories.  

https://doublefml.com/2017/07/11/darrells-flashback-ugly-90s-fashion-show/

‘WannaCry’ Malware Attack

By now many of you have read reports on various news channels, blog posts, etc… This flaw was patched in Microsoft’s March 2017 update cycle (MS17-10).

The ‘WannaCry’ (‘WannaCrypt’, ‘WCRY’) was reported worldwide on May 12th 2017 as a ransomeware worm targeting out-of-date systems.  WannaCry is leveraging vulnerabilities that were previously fixed on systems that have been updated.  Unfortunately many computers in enterprises have not been updated due to delay in deployments of new patches.  This is a common theme for many companies as they apply the IIABDEF (if it ain’t broke don’t ever fix) rule.

Microsoft issued critical security bulletin MS17-010 listing patches for the various affected operating systems.

Here is a following list of hotfixes you may wan ensure you have installed

 

# List Host by OS Version
# KB4012212 – Windows Server 2008
# KB4012217 KB4015551 KB4019216 – Windows Server 2012
# KB4012216 KB4015550 KB4019215 – Windows Server 2012 R2
# KB4013429 KB4019472 KB4015217 KB4015438 KB4016635 – Windows Server 2016

If any or all of these are missing you should apply the MS17-010 fix

What can you do to help prevent the spread of such ?

  • Keep software up-to-date, including operating systems
  • Avoid dangerous web locations
  • Educate users on how detect potential cyberattacks delivered via phishing emails, infected banners, spam emails, social engineering attempts, etc.

 

 

The Ten Immutable Laws Of Security: Version 2

You can’t patch these, but you can take steps to be more aware of these law’s.

 

Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not solely your computer anymore.

Law #2: If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.

Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.

Law #4: If you allow a bad guy to run active content in your website, it’s not your website any more.

Law #5: Weak passwords trump strong security.

Law #6: A computer is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy.

Law #7: Encrypted data is only as secure as its decryption key.

Law #8: An out-of-date anti-malware scanner is only marginally better than no scanner at all.

Law #9: Absolute anonymity isn’t practically achievable, online or offline.

Law #10: Technology is not a panacea.

 

Ref: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh278941.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

Introducing Power BI Report Server for on-premises Power BI report publishing | SQL Server Reporting Services Team Blog

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlrsteamblog/2017/05/03/introducing-power-bi-report-server-for-on-premises-power-bi-report-publishing/

Maintaining Professionalism At Work

Summary: Few qualities are as key as professionalism. The consummate business professional combines the right attitude, competence, and awareness of image and etiquette. Moreover, professionalism does not stop when you leave the office. Professionals lead by example whether they are at a meeting or a business social event. Upholding business professionalism is fundamental to making others feel comfortable doing business with you.

 

Tips To Maintaining Business Professionalism:

1. Portray A Professional Image – The majority of companies in the U.S. enforce a mandatory dress code; therefore, it is your responsibility to adhere to these requirements, even if it is not discussed during orientation. Although dress codes will vary from organization to organization, most corporate dress codes prohibit shorts or excessively tight clothing.

Always be aware of what is appropriate for the industry and situation. For example, a construction supervisor might meet with a client while wearing jeans and a flannel shirt; however, an entry-level office worker who wears the same clothing would not be considered appropriate. To get an idea of what is acceptable, observe the leaders at your company and follow their example.

2. Embody Professional Qualities ¬- Much like a dress code, standards of business professionalism can vary by industry and company. Nevertheless, the core values of professionalism exist in every industry. Companies are always in search of employees that embody the following qualities: integrity, credibility, pride, promptness, accountability, and competence. Additionally, lauded professionals are excellent communicators who are eager to learn and elevate the work of others.

3. Remember: You Are Always “On” ¬- Never forget that when
you interact with others in and out of the office, you are always on “camera”. Your reactions to challenges, pressure, and stressful situations are always being judged. Regardless of the setting, always consider the consequences of your actions. Remain aware of your behavior even in casual venues, such as holiday parties (especially those involving alcohol) and networking events.

4. The Three Aspects of Professionalism – Numerous variables come together to define “professionalism.” We have distilled the many facets of professionalism into three key areas that you and your team should always reflect on.

Interpersonal Skills – Your interaction with contacts, coworkers, clients, vendors, supervisors, and subordinates sets the tone. Treating these people with respect and consideration is crucial.
Attitude – Always maintain a positive and forward-thinking attitude. Be friendly to others and avoid getting too low when things don’t work out how you expected. Remember, your body language reveals a lot and should radiate confidence and openness, without hostility or aggression.
Leadership – A strong leader is one that unites a team and creates synergy between staff. Leaders that instill value, quality and integrity in their employees are responsible for setting the bar on what is considered professional. Additionally, you want to help your team bring solutions to the table; not complaints. Take the initiative by being a leader.

*Credit* – Dale Carnegie