Author Topic: New Purchases 2017  (Read 21370 times)

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #90 on: June 28, 2017, 01:44:54 pm »
Never owned a NAS before.  Thought it was going to be a high-end external drive, but it's soooo much more than that.

Isn't it just :)

Gimme a shout if you have any questions.
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Offline Bigoeuf

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #91 on: July 02, 2017, 07:55:23 am »
Well my new 'Toy' turned up a the beginning of last week:



First impressions - very nice - solid, in pretty good nick & apart from a downgrade in screen 'real estate' (15.6" down to 14") its a step up in 'class' from my  old Inspiron 1501.

Had a play with the installed distro - Fedora Gnome - very stylish & polished but I'm afraid it had to go  :D

Here's the specs (from Pepp 8 Live USB):

Code: [Select]
peppermint@peppermint ~ $ inxi -Fz
System:    Host: peppermint Kernel: 4.8.0-53-generic x86_64 (64 bit)
           Desktop: N/A Distro: Peppermint Eight
Machine:   System: Dell (portable) product: Latitude E6430 v: 01
           Mobo: Dell model: 0H3MT5 v: A00 Bios: Dell v: A18 date: 01/18/2016
CPU:       Quad core Intel Core i7-3720QM (-HT-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB
           clock speeds: max: 3600 MHz 1: 1623 MHz 2: 1200 MHz 3: 1199 MHz
           4: 3400 MHz 5: 2599 MHz 6: 1202 MHz 7: 1199 MHz 8: 1289 MHz
Graphics:  Card-1: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller
           Card-2: NVIDIA GF108GLM [NVS 5200M]
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) FAILED: nouveau
           Resolution: 1600x900@59.99hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Mobile
           GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 17.0.2
Audio:     Card Intel 7 Series/C210 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.8.0-53-generic
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection driver: e1000e
           IF: eno1 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 driver: iwlwifi
           IF: wlp3s0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 872.2GB (0.7% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: Samsung_SSD_840 size: 120.0GB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb model: WDC_WD7500BPKT size: 750.2GB
           ID-3: USB /dev/sdc model: Voyager_GT size: 2.0GB
Partition: ID-1: swap-1 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram0
           ID-2: swap-2 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram1
           ID-3: swap-3 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram2
           ID-4: swap-4 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram3
           ID-5: swap-5 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram4
           ID-6: swap-6 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram5
           ID-7: swap-7 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram6
           ID-8: swap-8 size: 0.52GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/zram7
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 60.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 48.0
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 237 Uptime: 22 min Memory: 595.2/7885.7MB
           Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35
peppermint@peppermint ~ $

Battery's on its way out (poor health - its says 44%) lasts about 30-45 mins from fully charged - it runs pretty warm too (hottish air from the fan vent) and there is an annoying, & somewhat concerning, occasional , but fairly regular,  'clicking' sound (like a camera shutter operating) which I can only assume is the hard drive as its the only thing with moving parts. I contacted the seller who was "unaware" of this issue  :-\

However I now have Pepp 8 installed on the SSD & I have to say it flies  :)
it boots from cold to login screen in 9 secs everything opens very snappily, video playback is nice & smooth too (however more on this later re Nvidia).
I've 'tested' some of the peripherals USB ports, ethernet port, wifi & the webcam works - havent tested Esata, HDMI & SD slot.

Did a few things first prior getting to the installed stage:
1st I upgraded the BIOS from A19 to A21 as recommended on the Dell site.
With no Windblow$ followed this tutorial:

https://askubuntu.com/questions/100945/how-do-i-update-the-bios-of-a-dell-laptop

Specifically this section:

Spoiler (click here to view / hide)
[close]

 I installed SystemRescueCd (FreeDos) from here:
http://www.system-rescue-cd.org/Download/
to a USB (following the instructions on the page) & downloaded the A21 BIOS .exe file putting in a folder in the root of the USB stick.
The BIOS installation went smoothly ;)

I then wanted to format the SSD & HDD with Fedora on it (under LVM which is how Fedora installs apparently ??? - all new to me) & after a bit of reading decided to go with these very similar articles:

https://skrilnetz.net/the-truth-about-how-to-securely-erase-a-solid-state-drive-ssd/

https://tinyapps.org/docs/wipe_drives_hdparm.html

From a Pepp 8 liveUSB I tested to see if both drives supported ATA Secure Erase (see first article), which they did & then I implemented it on both drives.
Fortunately on the 120gb SSD the HPA (Host Protected Area) was disabled so that didn't present any issues & the ATA Secure Erase process only took a few minutes
On the 750gb HDD however it took the best part of a hour though.
Also on completion I opened gparted to format & partition the disks & was somewhat perplexed to see that the SSD was shown as 111gb & the HDD 693gb!  ???

I wanted to use UEFI with GPT so ensured the BIOS was set correctly & partitioned the drives with GPT, with an empty 25gb partition on the SSD formatted in Ext4 ready for the OS & a 250gb 'DATA'  & 8gb 'Swap' partition on the HDD.
Then went to install Pepp 8 to the SSD partition from the liveUSB - all going well till Grub install then a pop-up appeared "'grub-efi-amd64-signed' failed into /target/" & the install crashed.
I read up & rechecked the the BIOS, re-formatted the SSD partition & tried again - same result. I did try one more time - again with same result.
Taking heed of Einstine's famous statement:
 " The definition of insanity is doing the same thing & expecting a different result"
I reformatted the drives to msdos, set the BIOS to legacy preferences - bingo install first time - would of liked UEFI/GPT but maybe some other time ey?? ::)

Next was to update the firmware of the SSD which is a Samsung 840 EVO. After a bit research I decided the best course of action was base on this article:

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/2nrwu9/updating_samsung_evo_840_ssd_firmware_from_linux/

I've cleaned up the process & posted it below hopefully to make it easier:

Latest Firmware:
http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/software/Samsung_SSD_840_EVO_EXT0DB6Q.zip

NOTE: It is important that the firmware (the DSRD.enc & EXT0DB6Q.enc files)  is extracted & set up this structure (I have placed the files in this example in the correct structure in my home directory):
~/dsrdenc/DSRD.enc & ~/dsrdenc/FW/EXT0DB6Q/EXT0DB6Q.enc

You need to use Samsung Magician DC (v1.0):
Samsung still hosts the original file:
http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/downloads/software/samsung_magician_dc-v1.0_rtm_p2.tar.gz
Right click on the link & 'save as' to download the file
(DO NOT use the latest (v2.0) because that does not recognise the 840)

I extracted the magician program file
then moved it to usr/share/bin directory:
Code: [Select]
sudo mv magician usr/share/bin
open the terminal in the directory in which the file is (or write the path to it)

then make it executable:
Code: [Select]
sudo chmod +x magician
launch by:
Code: [Select]
sudo magician -L          (L option to find the SSD number)

Once you have the number of the SSD:

Code: [Select]
sudo magician --disk X --firmware-update --fwpackage-path /path/dsrdencto launch the firmware update process (pointing to where the firmware files are in the correct structure, see above, which is necessary for the update to work.

Sorry its a long post  but I hope this is of use to someone.
Any comments welcome - especially about the 'clicking' sound.
Also thinking about 'upgrades' @VinDSL - Backlit keyboard (£12-£14 eBay) & maybe wifi card - although looking at my dual-band one seems reasonably capable?  ;D

Offline murraymint

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #92 on: July 02, 2017, 10:28:03 am »
It looks like you didn't have an EFI boot partition when you tried it the UEFI way.

Offline VinDSL

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #93 on: July 02, 2017, 02:50:58 pm »
Well my new 'Toy' turned up a the beginning of last week

Nice !  Looks just like mine, right down to the badges.

I'm dual-booting my lappy in UEFI mode with Secure Boot enabled, so it IS possible with enough tweaking.

Here are a few screenies that may help, or not (2 - Peppermint 7  &  1 -'10' Insiders) ...   ;)









Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #94 on: July 02, 2017, 03:57:09 pm »
I like that wallpaper just as much now as when we used it .. it's weird because I normally go off them quite quickly.

I'm not saying I change wallpapers a lot, I don't, but I normally stop thinking "that's nice" pretty quickly.

Sorry - A bit off topic I know :-[
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 04:00:10 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline VinDSL

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #95 on: July 02, 2017, 05:03:58 pm »
I like that wallpaper just as much now as when we used it .. it's weird because I normally go off them quite quickly.

Looks great on a laptop -- with both Peppermint OS & '10'.

Opera has matching dark theming now, and so does '10'.  Matter of fact, '10' picks the colors out of the Peppermint wall and automagically adjusts the window and text colors to match it.  Run Cantarell Regular fonts on both installs, and you can't hardly tell the difference.

I've been thinking about changing the border to blue, on focused windows in winders, like Peppermint does, but the similarities are already shockingly similar.  I don't want to blow my mind and/or get too comfortable with the enemy, you know ?  >:(

Seriously, it's a marriage made in heaven - Peppermint, winders, and Dell - as hard as that is to fathom.

Offline Bigoeuf

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #96 on: July 06, 2017, 04:24:05 am »
Morning Chaps

It looks like you didn't have an EFI boot partition when you tried it the UEFI way.


Yes your probably right Murraymint - I thought on installation it was only necessary for me to choose the Drive (as I did with the legacy install) but it seems I have to create/specify EFI boot partition.  ??? Don't know if I'm gonna do a re-install on UEFI/GPT now that I'm up & running on legacy - we'll see - may be for the re-spin  ;)

@VinDSL
Thanks for the graphics - see you have got a separate EFI boot partition (albeit a share one with win10 - hence the FAT32 file system?)
See you use seperate home partition too - not thought of using a DATA one as per Slims tutorial?
 I really like it & can use it with other OS's - I currently have Miyolinux - Devuan based -systemd free  :) (a route I would like Peppermint to go down - if its possible - as Mark said in his interview http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/an-interview-with-peppermint-ceo-mark-greaves he's thinking of leaving Lubuntu due to the arrival of lx-qt)

Also @VinDSL (as your a 'proud owner of a E6430  ;) ) - any thoughts on:
Quote
Battery's on its way out (poor health - its says 44%) lasts about 30-45 mins from fully charged - it runs pretty warm too (hottish air from the fan vent) and there is an annoying, & somewhat concerning, occasional , but fairly regular,  'clicking' sound (like a camera shutter operating) which I can only assume is the hard drive as its the only thing with moving parts. I contacted the seller who was "unaware" of this issue  :-\

Quote
Also thinking about 'upgrades' @VinDSL - Backlit keyboard (£12-£14 eBay) & maybe wifi card - although looking at my dual-band one seems reasonably capable?  ;D

My wifi card is: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300  - as I say its dual-band (although my broadband is poxy 2.4ghz) but apart from that I don't know much about wifi cards but it seems to work OK  :)

Offline Bigoeuf

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #97 on: July 06, 2017, 04:46:36 am »
I like that wallpaper just as much now as when we used it .. it's weird because I normally go off them quite quickly.

I'm not saying I change wallpapers a lot, I don't, but I normally stop thinking "that's nice" pretty quickly.

Sorry - A bit off topic I know :-[

I like the original Pepp 7 one 'Dawn':

 reminds me of the groynes on Hayling Island where I spent some good happy times  :)

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #98 on: July 06, 2017, 04:47:08 am »
Quote
see you have got a separate EFI boot partition (albeit a share one with win10 - hence the FAT32 file system?)

AFAIK all EFI partitions must be FAT32, it's part of the standard.

And there's only ever a single shared one .. again part of the standard .. it's where UEFI looks for the bootloaders for all installed OS's

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/EFI_System_Partition

[EDIT]

Yeah that wallpaper also isn't diminishing with time .. probably for the same "warm natural beauty" reason :)
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 04:50:00 am by PCNetSpec »
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Offline Bigoeuf

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #99 on: July 06, 2017, 05:17:24 am »
Quote
AFAIK all EFI partitions must be FAT32, it's part of the standard.

And there's only ever a single shared one .. again part of the standard .. it's where UEFI looks for the bootloaders for all installed OS's

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/EFI_System_Partition

Cheers for the link Mark  :) I should be a bit more thorough really  :-X

Offline VinDSL

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #100 on: July 06, 2017, 04:37:25 pm »
Also @VinDSL (as your a 'proud owner of a E6430  ;) ) - any thoughts on:

Quote
Battery's on its way out (poor health - its says 44%) lasts about 30-45 mins from fully charged - it runs pretty warm too (hottish air from the fan vent) and there is an annoying, & somewhat concerning, occasional , but fairly regular,  'clicking' sound (like a camera shutter operating) which I can only assume is the hard drive as its the only thing with moving parts. I contacted the seller who was "unaware" of this issue  :-\

On batteries:  The standard Dell battery, that shipped with my  laptop, is in pretty good shape, but it only lasts 3-4 hours in real world conditions. So, by lunchtime, I found myself fighting 'smart' phone users for electrical wall outlets.  I went with a Dell BYD04 slice battery.  I've run it for 12 hours, several times, with juice to spare.  That would be my suggestion. 

Also, I use 'Standard'charging in my Dell E6430 BIOS settings, not 'ExpressCharge' --  in both my 'primary battery' and 'battery slice' configs. 

Supposedly, fast charging does not create more wear and tear on a battery than conventional charging.  They say that magic charging algorithms ensure safe and effective battery recharging, and the total amp hour life of the battery remains unchanged, but I don't believe in electrical fairies and dragons.  'ExpressCharge' overcooks the batteries IMHO.  Up to you ...

On the clicking noise:  What you're describing might be 'the click of death' (video picked at random):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMhdEp3SM_w

If that's the case, I would burn the HDD and buy a Sammy SSD.  ;)

« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 05:12:23 pm by VinDSL »

Offline cavy

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #101 on: July 06, 2017, 05:26:00 pm »
@ VinDSL. Thanks for sharing, how to recognise a dead hdd,  Useful.

Not to be left out of this Dell i7 fan club, my refurbished Dell E6420 i7 arrived today from Season Domestics. Very reasonable priced £170.00 (for the UK) via Amazon.

Bonus point, it came with back-lite-keyboard (handy in low light as of now), the casing, especially the alloy middle section looks tatty or well used. Overall in good shape and have treated it to 8Gb of ram, a SSD (sammy 250Gb liberated from my spare desktop) tomorrow.

Currently have determined windoze 10 is slower to start up and slower to shut down in Legacy than my pre installed PMOS8 disk which is fully encrypted . From my Lenovo T410i lappy.

Can swapped out both hard drives, as in plug and go. Windoze is a Toshiba 500Gb/5400rpm whereas Peppermint is a Hitachi 500Gb/7200rpm. That has to have its BIOS, crypt lock and password enterd to boot. Mmmmmm windoze/bill honsetly, that be slow. Both i3 then i7 machnes.

SSD.. is there a "systemd analyze time" test for windoze and linux, as in a fair play and comparsion test...? Windies, have CLI now?   

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Offline VinDSL

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #102 on: July 06, 2017, 05:44:27 pm »
SSD.. is there a "systemd analyze time" test for windoze and linux, as in a fair play and comparsion test...? Windies, have CLI now?

Not that I know of, but I haven't searched for one, soooo ...

I boot Peppermint 7 and '10', both in UEFI/Secure Boot mode, and truthfully, I can't tell an ounce of difference in boot times. They're both boot/shutdown incredibly fast !

Disclaimer:  I don't install a bunch of cruft on my '10' install, like most winders users do.  It more or less is setup with the same functionality as my Peppermint install.  Only apps I've added is Crap Cleaner, Avast!, Opera, and a few diagnostic utilities.

Offline cavy

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #103 on: July 06, 2017, 06:04:38 pm »
For windies, I add CCleaner, Ad -Blocker Pro, Clementine, VLC and now FastStone Image Viewer. For basic functionality. Then no-Scripts, to hopefully keep all mutha-foka out.

With all the recent scares, I'm loathed to even use M$ for basic use, i.e email/web browse etc.
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Offline cavy

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Re: New Purchases 2017
« Reply #104 on: July 07, 2017, 04:14:50 pm »
Sorted the Dell lappy earlier today.

Found a HyperX 120Gb SSD I'd forgotten about. Swapped out the HDD and installed PM8, after the usual tweaks, its as fast as my rig....Impressed.....! Kernel 3.7 and Userspace of 12.8 = 16.55 was the best.   ;)

Keep reading urban myths or urban fact...? A Dell 6420 will take 16Gb of ram...!  Its tempting, but that's a lot dosh to be wrong....mmmm....?

I'm happy with start up, its quick, I'm assuming userspace is me reacting and entering password....?

I can now make a judgement call and most importantly VinDSL comprehend what you writing about, with first hand knowledge/observations.  :D

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