Saturday, November 18, 2017

Had to nuke my Win 10 machine

This is why I don't like forced updates.  The latest version from MS caused my Win 10 box to go into a endless reboot.  I would turn it on, get to the logon screen and15 seconds or so the screen will go black, then blue, then reboots.  I went to the DELL tools when it started up and did a hardware check and it was all good.  Safe mode wouldn't tell me what the problem was, all it showed was 'hardware' failed according to the software.  Rather than working on what driver (if I could even find what was causing the issue) was at fault it was faster for me to restore the machine to its original state.  One of the normal tasks I had was backing up my data so that wasn't going to be a major issue for me (I thought).

I forced the system to go back to the original Win 8.1 installation and then went through the process of updating that.  I have made the decision that going Win 10 isn't happening on that machine.  It took me a few days to get things up-to-date and patched.  Removing McAfee was a bit of a pain as even when I said to remove it I was told I didn't have the authority (I was using the admin account).  McAfee did have a tool to do a complete removal and that worked.  So far the machine is running very well, no reboots!

The only issue I had was restoring my email (Thunderbird).  My latest backup of the mail folder didn't work, but, as I had multiple backups I could go back to an older backup.  All my other documents, videos and pictures restored without a problem.

Lesson learned is that I will now have checkpoints to restore back to in the case a future update messes up the system.  I turned it off thinking I wouldn't ever use it and I could use the disk space for other things.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Lubuntu 17.10 upgrade and Synaptic issue

I did the upgrade to Lubuntu 17.10 and for the most part it went smoothly.  The only time I had a problem was when I tried to run Synaptic.  It kept complaining about 'zesty' and the latest is 'artful'.  I surfed a lot of user groups and did find one reference to /root/.synaptic and to change the line in synaptic.conf to the release you want to use.  Rather dangerous, but, I made the change for DefaultDistro as root, saved the change and Synaptic is working!



 Once Synaptic launched I did a refresh and it appears to work.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Upgraded PCLINUXOS and a new mouse

A few things that I had to do for the Linux box.  For the last couple of weeks I have noticed at times I would get a double click on the mouse when I pressed only once.  I am not surprised there as the machine is used for a MMORPG (Runescape)for at least one hour a day.  Reading online forums it is somewhat common and if you are brave you can disassemble the mouse and fix the issue.  I am not willing to do that so I checked out the stores and the Logitech mouse was on sale and I picked up a new one.  The old one still works and I will take the batteries out and store it as an emergency mouse.

The other thing is PCLINUXOS has stopped upgrading KDE 4 and a couple of packages I use are not being upgraded.  This is not a huge deal as it has been a few years so I am overdue for a system upgrade.  I used the backup software to create a TAR, but, I didn't notice I clicked the option to compress every file.  I made two copies, one to a USB hard drive and a second to a USB stick.  I then verified that the files were readable on another system before I started to reformat and rebuild this machine.  Like before it didn't take very long to install and reboot.  That is when I noticed that all the files I backed up were compressed with the BZ2 extension.

I did a lot of online reading and found a number of forums with fancy scripts that could do the work, but, rather than me taking a few hours of setting up a script and then run I would do it all manual.  It isn't as bad as you might think.  The major directory was all of my files on Google and I just reinstalled GRIVE2 and re-synced in about 30 minutes.  The other files I used midnight commander, navigated to each directory and manually typed 'bzip2 -d *.bz2'.  Midnight commander has a nice feature, if you press [ALT]-P it will bring up the prior command(s).  I used that for the Thunderbird, Firefox, documents and photo folders and in about 1 hour I was done.  I had to do each folder and sub-folder as bzip2 didn't have an option I could see that would allow me to automatically unpack recursively the folders.

KDE5 does look somewhat similar to KDE4 so the change isn't that jarring.  The theme that was the default I wasn't thrilled with, but, that is also easy to change.  So far it seems to be running smoothly and it feels faster (I haven't done any timings there).

There are still a few more things like configuring my network printer, reinstall the XSANE scanner software, but, just about everything else is there by default.  I also have to get accustomed to the new mouse as it is a bit smaller and I am accidentally right-clicking the mouse.