Posts tagged Troubleshooting

Unexpected Changes

E-mail is one of those things that you take for granted. Once you have set-up an address and a client you can reliably receive mail for many years until something changes.

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HDMI Monitor Problem & Fix

The recent warm weather had made using my 3 monitor configuration a little uncomfortable. To make things a little more bearable I decided to turn off two of the monitors to reduce the amount of heat output into the room. I disabled the monitors using the display settings in Gnome 3.28. All was working well.

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Fixing the Printer

I finally reached the point where I needed to fix my Laser Printer. My Kyocera FS-1030DN has been serving me well for years and whilst the print quality is as good as they day I bought it I have had a problem with the page alignment. I have been loosing the top and bottom of pages which has been irritating.

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Stable System?

I think I can finally say I have a stable system once again. After the Ryzen RMA replacement of my Ryzen CPU to fix the “Performance Marginality Problem” I noticed that I was still getting some regular system lockups/freezes when it was left idle.

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Fedora 24

This week I have been updating my machines to run Fedora 24. Two out of 3 updated without any issues and continue to run normally. One machine however has decided to cause me some issues.

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The Rodent Battle – It’s Not Over Yet

In my previous post at the end of July I had resorted to calling in the Rat Man to assist me in my struggle. When that failed to show results I detailed my nuclear option of removing all of my loft insulation and denying the rodents access.

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Damn You ISR!

I am sat here on a Sunday evening trying to debug embedded C/C++. For the most part all has been going well and the code has been behaving as expected. I have however run into one of my least favourite problems, the interrupt service routine (ISR). I have a couple of ISR’s and they are presenting an unexpected start-up condition. The flow of the main body of the code is fine. I just can’t understand why I am getting the current output.

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The Rodent Battle

This month I finally called in the Rat Man to rid me of the menace in the loft. He managed to attend 2 out of the 3 scheduled visits. Having time off work and his no show did not go down well. In any case the traps are being avoided but they do like the additional bait they are being provided with. So after 2 visits and not hearing any movement above me I was a little happier. This evening however, following yesterdays no show, I hear scurrying once again. So in summary I have had 3 afternoons off work for no improvement in the situation whatsoever.

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6/7

RatBag A six pack of rats.

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SPI Bus Problem Solved

SPI_Protocol_Decode SPI_Protocol_Decode

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Cooling Things Down

Summer is approaching and the weather is getting slowly warmer. This brings with it the annual problem of having a computer in the bedroom kicking out heat and making it too warm. Another issue that had been causing me some bother for a few years is the power settings on my graphics card, a Radeon HD6850, when running Linux. I use the open source radeon driver as keeps improving overtime and has enough of the performance of the closed source official driver for my needs. The one thing that has been lacking in my particular case has been the dynamic adjustment (radeon.dpm) of the card to keep it running cool. I have been forced to manually set the card to a low power state each time I reboot the machine. Failing to do this means the card boots up running full speed and quite happy to warm the place up. The downside is that I am always in the low power state and any tasks that might make use of a bit of extra power never get it unless its specifically enabled.

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Tmux - Solving The Problem Of Window Names

I was lucky enough to get a book on using tmux for Christmas. Following through the examples I noticed that I was not getting the expected behaviour when attempting to set window names.

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Return Of The Rat

The sound of something reminding me of a cat scratching could be heard in the loft. I don’t have a cat in the loft, only insulation and a trap.

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Bang!, Jug Time

I awoke this morning not looking forward to the busy day that was waiting for me at work. Imagine how I felt when upon pushing the button to start the electric shower I was greeted with a Bang rather than the cascade of hot water. I was less than impressed at the lack of water, especially as I was already behind schedule. I grabbed the measuring jug from the kitchen and scooped water out of the sink and dumped it over my head whilst standing in the bath. I reached work less than ready to start the day.

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Fan Repair

Since moving into my house I have been suffering the noisy bathroom extractor fan. It has been on the to do list of DIY jobs but never seemed to reach the top. Yesterday however the sound of the fan changed slightly during spin down and I decided it was time to investigate. What you should do is turn off the mains power to make it safe before you start opening it up. I had the washing machine on at the time and not knowing which circuit it was on decided to take my chances. Upon removing the cover and getting covered in what can only be assumed to be 20 years worth of bathroom dust I noticed the problem. The centrifugal fan had far too much movement on its motor mount or rather the motor itself was loose on its mountings. Removing the fan from the ceiling and peering in through the non-return flaps I found the motor mounting screws. A good few turns to each screw indicated how loose the motor had shaken over time. Reassembling and activating I was greeted by less low frequency vibration/rumble and more of a quieter humming fan. It’s not as quiet as a new fan unit would be but its much much better than it has been. I have probably saved myself about £40-50 on not having to buy a new fan just yet. Not getting an electric shock whilst repairing it I class as an added bonus.

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Neighbours Wifi

I had noticed the odd wifi dropout on my laptop over the past week. It seems I have now found the cause. I have new neighbours and they have set their router up to broadcast at high power on the adjacent channel to me. I have had to move to another channel to restore my signal. I am not happy about this, experiments may need to be conducted.

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An Experiment In Web Fonts

DeltaNova might look a little different from today. I have changed the font of the site to something I think is a little easier to read. I am using one of Google’s Web Fonts, meaning a font downloaded during the page loading, rather than using the font on your hard disk. Why do this? The main reason is that not all fonts are available on all devices. This was easy to cater for when most people accessed the web with a desktop or laptop with known default fonts, but more people are accessing from varying mobile devices. Using a Web Font will allow me to style the site as I intend it to look without caring what fonts the end user has access to.

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Fedora 17 - Sluggish Firefox

The upgrade to Fedora 17 on my main system had gone well with no significant issues aside from one. When trying to start Firefox with multiple tabs loading it would hang locking the browser up. After trying the DNS problem route to upgrade problems etc. I finally traced the problem. The Flash plugin was out of date and the older version was being caught by the system as the log files outline. Upgrading the Flash plugin solved the problem and everything is back to normal.

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Too Cold To Freeze

Last night I made the unwelcome discovery that my garage has been reaching the low low temperature at which my freezer stops cooling and starts warming. What made the discovery more unwelcome was my arrival back from the supermarket with a selection of goods to freeze. Rearranging a few items and consuming half a crispy duck; most of my provisions had been relocated. Tonight however was the big pizza bake. Three frozen pizzas (or thawed in this case) went in the oven. Stuffing my face I was still left with a remainder to go into the fridge. Tomorrow I have the option of 2 more pizzas or a pork dish for 4 people. It now appears that the freezer in the kitchen isn’t too happy either. I wasn’t planning on it but it’s a weekend of Man V. Food.

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The Rat Saga Continues

My recent posts have been detailing my war with the local rodent population. The battle has moved from the kitchen into the loft in recent weeks. During the loft insulation project several large holes were sealed trapping the enemy in the loft, numbers unknown. A clean kill and subsequent silence on the front lead me to believe a victory had been achieved. A scouting mission today showed the bait had been taken and my foe had gone to ground avoiding detection. Cut off from its usual supply line it had taken the tainted food cache. I can’t see my enemy but they are there. The signs of droppings not present before are an indicator of the restriction in their movements. The trap has been set, it is only a matter of time before their desperation leads to their downfall.

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One Less Rat

The rat from the kitchen had decided to move up the cavity wall into the loft. This was not acceptable, its scratching was keeping me awake at night and its movements moving my insulation. Yesterday the problem was…..resolved (unless there are more).

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“Oh No, Not Again”

It happened before , it is happening again. The rat is back!!

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Fixed: Fedora 16 Printing

During my upgrade from Fedora 15 to 16 several things broke, this is nothing new there were alot of major graphical components updated. Those issues were resolved in the week following the F16 release. What I had not expected to break was my network printing setup. In all the years I used Gentoo and upgraded over and over I never had many issues and when I did it was usually my fault.

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There’s A Rat In My Kitchen What Am I Gonna Do?

Something has eaten the plastic lid on the mustard powder.

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Lack Of Bins & Placement

In my previous post I outlined in a somewhat comic fashion the note I had found in my bin with regards to its placement on a pavement. The note had been placed there for good reason as a number of bins mine included had been strewn about. Now that was some weeks back and ever since the bin has been moved back and neatly positioned to allow for clear passage. Due to the bins location and the sloped bank and steps at the rear of my property it has not been practical to bring them inside the property boundary for health and safety reasons. I don’t want to fall down steps with a heavy bin on me. So they have been sitting there happily until today.

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A Shrill Cry

In a follow up to yesterdays post Under Pressure I am in a position to report on the situation. Since my last post there was a period of worry which developed into a state of concern as the hours passed. The only hope of a morning shower was looking like standing outside under the nearest cloud.

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Under Pressure

It would seem that this evening Severn Trent have decided to remove the pressure in my water supply. I find myself being able to run a tap in the kitchen at somewhat less than the usual torrent; possibly due to the fact the tap is below the level of the water supply. On the upper floor however things have taken a turn for the worst; No water at all. This leaves me with a toilet I can’t flush and a sink, bath/shower I can’t use. I could use the hot water but that presents another issue. Using the hot tap would drain the hot water tank and with the header tank unable to fill it the potential of burning out the immersion heater element.

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Fedora 15 - Initial Thoughts

I took the plunge a few days ago and updated my machines to Fedora 15. The results have been mixed. My netbook and laptop were the first to be upgrades with Intel and Nvidia graphics respectively. Both upgraded fine and the Gnome 3 experience was ok, if a little strange. The problems started with my server with an AMD/ATI graphics. The screen was tearing in places and the smooth experience I was getting on the netbook and laptop had been lost. I still have not fully resolved this problem and it proving difficult to use gnome 3 without it.

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Experiences With Windows 7 & SSD

This week I took delivery of a 40GB Solid State Drive (SSD) an a copy of Windows 7 Professional to give a boost to my quad core box. Windows XP has had a good run and it is getting to the point where an OS upgrade is needed to get the best out of the underlying hardware. The system has 8GB RAM but the 32bit nature of XP meant that only 4GB of memory could be addressed. In addition Windows 7 supports newer versions of DirectX. There are games on the horizon which I plan on getting which will require a newer graphics card which will use the newer DirectX. So that is the reason for the upgrade, now onto the installation itself.

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Arduino + Ethernet Shield + Linux 64 Bit = Headache

I have been trying for the past few hours to get the simple web server sketch working with an arduino board and my recently acquired ethernet shield. All seemed to be going well the sketches were uploading to the board and I was able to ping the ip address over the network. Why then could I not connect to the device to see the generated output? Much time has been spent looking at different libraries and other peoples sketches looking for alternative ways of doing the same thing. Each time my sketch would stall whilst trying to read the client data. A single line of code which for some reason would stall the program execution.

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The Rodent Confusion

For the past few weeks I have been having some performance glitches with the way my mouse interacts with my Linux machine. The mouse would move and the buttons operate normally except for when trying to press and hold the left button for example. The action would appear to terminate after a few seconds and reinitialise. This behaviour was making it impossible to move windowed applications around the desktop. Today however I have solved the problem, which is good from the point of view that it solves the issue and also it means I don’t have to spend the next 48hrs recompiling Gentoo and all my applications.

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Thunderbird 3 Bug: A Workaround

I recently upgraded from Mozilla Thunderbird 2 to the new Thunderbird 3 release. For a few days everything was working fine with the new default settings. I have a few email accounts which Thunderbird fetches mail for and I didn’t want to use the new Smart Folder mode. So I changed back to not using it. Everything appeared ok, until the next day. I returned home from work to find no new email. This is highly unusual as there is usually some for of advert for an online store showing me the latest offers, especially around christmas time. This lack of email continued for a few days, to begin with I attributed this to my ISP who were reporting problems with the email system. Today after 4 days with no new mail it was time to explore more options within Thunderbird and try to find a solution to the problem.

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Battery Failure Season

Let me start by outlining the recent issues I have been having with electronic devices. Usually they behave as expected and under normal circumstances and change in this normal behaviour is easily recognisable. Problems occur however when multiple events coincide and reveal a change in behaviour or problem. Such an event recently occured; my previous post explained the issues I was having with Xorg Server. When updating my sever and power desktop I ran into an intermittant issue with sporadic keyboard lag. I initially attributed this to the usage of Synergy to share the keyboard and mouse between the server and desktop. The synergy setup used the linux server as the host sharing it’s keyboard and mouse with the Windows/Linux Dual boot desktop.

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Xorg-Server Upgrade Nightmare

Recently when applying the updates to my Gentoo Linux machines a new version of Xorg-Server was presented. Normally package updates are straight forward, this one on the other hand needed a big change in drivers and config files. My main issue with the upgrade is the poor upgrade documentation, there is a lack of detail surrounding the conversion of the old config file into the new config file. Now I can see the reasoning behind the change in config file syntax, it now provides fine grained control of options on a per device basis whilst allowing for common options to be applied to mutiple devices.

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Another One Bites The Dust

It’s that time again when another peice of my IT equipment has died. When I say died it’s more akin to requiring the replacement of several major organs at the same time. Thurday night I was going about my usual activities of checking email and surfing the web with my windows desktop and 24/7 linux server.

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Project Zombie: Update #3

It’s dead again, I went out of the house only to find it had shut itself off whilst I was out. The best bit is it didn’t just shutdown, it fucked the new powersupply too. So I am having to RMA the powersupply back to DABS.com where they will take 4-6 weeks!!! to resolve the matter and give me a refund.

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Project Zombie: Update #2

Well the new powersupply seems to have done the trick as I am writing this on the resurrected machine. I’m still not 100% happy with it though. When powered down the IDE status LED on the front of the case stays dimly lit, as does the LED on the CDRW. My investigations lead me to believe this to be a fault on the Secondary IDE channel and/or problems with one or both of the CD/DVD drives. The IDE LED is related to the actual IDE cable, where the drive LED seems to be related to the molex power connector. I suspect some damage to the drive from the old power supply or degrading capacitors leaking a little. I am going to monitor the situation, hopefully it will not be an issue and the system will run for another few years.

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Project Zombie: Update #1

Well the new motherboard arrived this week, so it got installed and improved the situation. It failed to solve it though. The new motherboard enabled the system to post info on each reboot, even though it proved not to be the solution it enabled testing of the other possible causes much much easier.

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Project Zombie

Well an interesting development has taken place on the dead computer front. Whilst browsing for some new case fans I located clearance motherboard nearly identical to the one that I belive has failed on me. When I say nearly identical I mean a slightly better model than the current one. The best bit is the price, about £23 including delivery. It’s an ammount I can afford to lose on a chance like this. If it works however it could keep the system running for another 3 years or longer. The item isn’t due to arrive until next friday so I wont have any news before then.

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The Computer Saga

Well after the death of the computer and yet more attempts to fix it I finally gave up on it. On the plus side I now have a case free to build a new system in. I removed all the components and cleaned it all out. It’s almost like new again.

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Lack Of Net Access

Its been a troubling Sunday. Problems with the Netgear DG814 ADSL Modem Router have resulted in a loss of conection to the net. I was suffering withdrawel symptoms. Not because I sit on the net allday, but because I coulnt use it for things when I wanted to.

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Solved?

Last night I spent a few hours repairing my receive data partition on one of my hard drives. This drive is on my problem machine. The faulty partition structure, I hope, was my problem causing the blue screens. If I can maintain 2 weeks of up time without any blue screens I will assume my problem is solved. Until then the clock is counting.

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NTL Cable

NTL have been prating about with the cables again. Today I was left without net access for several hours. During this time I became quite distressed at my lack communication with the outside world and had to engage in face to face conversation with another person. This was distressing in itself and I spent the next few hours crouched in a corner hiding my face from the chaos around me.

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