Android superuser not coming up

June 17, 2013

I ran into a weird problem on an Android 2.2 (Froyo) phone that I had. Although it was rooted, and Superuser was installed, su wouldn’t come up. Trying to root it again with SuperOneClick didn’t seem to work either. Starting Titanium Backup (which worked in the past) yielded “asking for root rights”, and trying to run Terminal Emulator and su just hung.

Finally, I stumbled my way to something working. I ran SuperOneClick 2.3.1 first. I turned off the “automatically start” option of LBE Privacy Guard. I rebooted, then ran ADB shell and was able to get root from there:

C:\super1click\adb\adb shell
$ su
#

From there, I figured out what device /system was:

# cat /proc/mounts

From this I determined that /system was mounted on /dev/block/stl9, so:

# mount -ro remount,rw /dev/block/stl9 /system
# chown root.root /system/bin/su
# chmod 6777 /system/bin/su

At this point, I was able to start su and do the “check for update”. su determined that it was out of date, and downloaded a new version, fixing the permissions as it did so. (6777 is a little lax, but I couldn’t remember what su was supposed to be.)

I have no explanation as to why su would break. I have no explanation why this would fix it, but it did for me. Maybe it will for you as well.

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Solving Firefox “window sent to back” when opening new window

June 2, 2013

Since I’ve had Firefox on my Windows 7 machine, I’ve noticed that with certain websites when you open a new window, it will be opened, but then moved behind the current window. Not life-threatening, but an annoying quirk. Tonight I finally was annoyed enough to find the solution.

I found an answer on this post at the support forum for Mozilla – which in turn pointed me to this article from Adobe.

Short answer: disable “protected mode” on Flash to prevent this behaviour. It’s frustrating to have to make Flash less secure to solve this, but I rationalize it by saying it’s no less secure than Flash on XP.

How to do this? From the Explorer, navigate to c:\windows\system32\notepad.exe and select “Run as Administrator”, then open:

C:\windows\system32\macromed\flash\mms.cfg

(or c:\windows\system64\flash\mms.cfg if you’re on Windows 64 bit).
Add the following to the end of the file:

ProtectedMode=0

Save the file and you’re done.