Upgrade after long absence.

I gave my Raspberry Pi 1 B to my nephew for his birthday because he absolutely adores MineCraft. Pis are perfect for children because they are slow enough to not be as addictive as gaming on his mom’s cell phone while still allowing for good educational fun.

And I gave my Raspberry Pi 1 B to my nephew for his birthday so that I could have an excuse to upgrade to a Pi 3. After Christmas I had a chance to put the micro sd card from my Pi 1 into the new Pi 3 and see if it would accept it. It did! I ran updates of raspi-config and apt-get update and apt-get upgrade and all seems to be working well. New hardware would normally be a good time to start a fresh distro but I just recently completed the update to Raspbian Stretch and don’t feel the urge to do it all again.

I am noticing great improvements with the additional 1/2 gig of RAM in the 3. WordPress updates take moments where before I would let them run in the background and move on to other tasks. Also, my backup program, BackWPup would often time out and fail on the Pi 1. I had almost begun questioning if Apache and WordPress on a Pi were good long term solutions. With the Pi 3 I am back on board. I think they are excellent tools for a hobbyist Linixer like me.

Installing Windows on three hard drives

I now have a greater appreciation of how much of a computer’s cost goes into Microsoft Windows. Buying that program pushed me over the $1000 mark on my build. I need Windows on this box though so that I can download and backup One Drive. I will attempt a Linux boot drive later.

Prepared with my new Windows 10 key I sat down with my laptop to download the iso. Interestingly, my laptop would not boot up. I think now that it was in the middle of a major update. Trying to turn it on caused it to lock up hard. Oh well, I have everything backed up I’ll just restore it to factory. I’ve been needing to do a factory restore ever since I was a TA and loaded quite a few random test programs. But now here i was  with two computers and no operating system and no way to download drivers and the iso.

Have no fear, this was not the worst predicament I had been in. Fortunately I had a Kali distro on a thumb drive. It booted right up and I was able to get my downloads but then I could not save them because as soon as I rebooted Kali I would loose everything because I was not set up for permanent storage on my Kali distro. The other problem was that I could not successfully format a boot disk with the iso using linux. I know there are ways to do it but my google skills failed me that night and I was never able to get it to work. Someday I will learn what I did wrong.

I finally conceded failure and used my husband’s laptop to make the iso bootable. (I try not to touch my husband’s laptop. As a tinkerer I’m bound to mess it up in a way he doesn’t like. He doesn’t want bells and whistles, just a computer that works).

I installed windows finally and then tried to set up my raided d drive. Fail fail fail. Nothing I tried worked. I finally realized that I had to set up the RAID before I installed windows. Even though I was not installing windows on a raid disk it still was going to delete my c drive.

I have very little memory of all the steps that I took in the bios menu to get raid set up. It was complicated and mostly done in the late late hours. But I successfully got the two larger drives raided. Then when I installed Windows I was able to choose the non raided SSD to install on. That worked great. What surprised me was that I didn’t have to install the AMD program for hard drives over 2 terabytes. When they were raided the computer saw the drive automatically.

It is now set up exactly how I want it. This is a successful build!

Built my computer!!

Remember my pcpartpicker build post? Here’s what I ultimately ended up purchasing: complete build. I collected parts for a long time. Finally, I had a long weekend at home in mid September so I used that as a good opportunity to start the build. I’m glad I gave myself a whole weekend because it took me longer than I expected to finish. The first evening I stripped the old case. I did my best to wipe the dust out of the fans and even removed the screen covers and washed those under water. I had to let it all dry overnight so that was the end of that day. The next morning I started putting the new components into the box. Of course it started with the CPU onto the motherboard, then installing the power supply and connecting it to the motherboard. The hardest parts were finding where all the fans connected to the board and fitting the cpu. The cpu screws would push the backing plate off the motherboard.

The next morning I applied power and tried to get POST. Couldn’t even get power! After scratching my head I realized that the power supply is upside down. Down turns it on. I’m usually a visual learner so I’m surprised that the symbols didn’t clue me in but they did not that morning. Once I got power and  post started it would show one pass light. The CPU was showing as failed! Out the motherboard came while I scratched my head some more. Finally after searching online I discovered that this mother board has a separate power cable just for the CPU. It was labeled ATX_12V. How was I supposed to know that was the CPU power? Getting the CPU on the second time was just as tough as the first but I think I’m a pro now.

The next failed Post was VGA. Thank goodness for Facebook friends because after a cry for help on there I was informed that not all CPUs support on-board graphics and that I needed a video card. Fortunately I have one. I just hadn’t installed it yet because I wanted to keep my variables manageable. In that went and voila! POST and BIOS!!!. That again was a full day of effort and my weekend was over.

I spent the next few evenings exploring BIOS options and playing with the led light options on the motherboard and CPU. All this fun and I hadn’t even installed an OS. I will need to write about that next!


How to restore access to WordPress on home network

Recently we switched ISPs at home. I set up port forwarding on the new modem, told dotster what public IP I was then using, and that was it. Everything worked. That is, everything except my own laptop. Pinging the URL timed out consistently. The local IP worked fine so I could access my website locally but most of the WordPress theme components used the fully qualified domain name. The blog, without theme components was so difficult to navigate it was less of a hassle to actually go to my neighbors’ to work on my page.

I tried searching for fixes but was unsuccessful. Well, as usually is the case, looking at it again fresh today did the trick. I found these directions at boutell.com to simply update the hosts file on my laptop. It is fascinating how similar Windows and Linux are for these components. I never knew windows has an etc directory.

There is a risk I will need to manually disable the alpinedaisy.com line in my hosts file if I try to access the page from this laptop while on another network. That is worth it though.

Boutell did a fantastic job of explaining how and why the original problem occurred so I will just summarize what i changed. In the file C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts I added the line:    alpinedaisy.com   # raspberry pi

Where is my local network ip address. Then I restarted. That was it. Now my computer knows that whenever a call for alpinedaisy.com comes up it will instead call and stay on the local network.