TideLog Archive for March, 2012

I needed to repair a VirtualBox Linux Mint install because I updated VirtualBox and suddenly LM decided it didn’t want to start, it just kernel panicked its butt off! Kassie walked me through how to do a repair install type of installation. This works like the Windows XP, Vista & Win 7 “Repair/Upgrade install”. I’ve made notes here as she did it with me, so it’s here for my and my readers’ use in the future!

Before you start, make a backup of the virtual machine itself by making a copy of the machine in VirtualBox by clicking “File”-“Export Appliance”

To repair an installation use the Live CD of the version you have installed, and if you want to upgrade an installation use the LiveCD of the newest version.

Step 1. Load the “live CD” by attaching the ISO of it to the VM on the Storage settings page, or using a real disc version.
Step 2. Open the installer, pick your localization, then go forward.
Step 3. Pick the same timezone you had on first install.  Go Forward. Pick the same keyboard layout that you had previously, and click Forward.
Step 4. To do a “Repair Install” pick the “specify partitions manually (advanced)” option. Go forward.
Step 5. This next step MUST be the SAME as you had previously.

I have 4 Partitions:
Partition one is my home partition.
Partition two is my Linux Mint boot partition.
Partition 3 is my windows partition, I know this because it is NTFS.
Partition 4 is my swap.

For me to do “Repair/Uprade Install” I have to click on partition one and then click Change. I change partition one to the SAME file system it had before crashing (Ext4) and the SAME Mount point it had (/home), then I click OK. DO NOT  FORMAT!
Then I change partition two to the SAME file system it had previously (Ext4) and the SAME Mount point it had (/) then click OK. DO NOT FORMAT!

I don’t change and DO NOT FORMAT partitions 3 and 4. NOTE: You need to setup the partitioner the SAME way you did in the first install.  DO NOT FORMAT!  DO NOT FORMAT!  DO NOT FORMAT!  DO NOT FORMAT!

Step 6. Now it’s safe to click Forward. The following message will appear with different sda numbers etc depending on your setup:

“Do you want to return to the partitioner? The file system on “/dev/sda2” assigned to / has NOT been marked for formatting. Directories containing system files (/etc, /lib, /usr, /var, …) that already exist under any defined mountpoint will be deleted during the install. Please ensure that you have backed up any critical data before installing”

IF YOU DO NOT SEE THIS GO BACK TO THE PARTITIONER! You clicked format  on something. Again DO NOT FORMAT!

If you see the message just Continue to do “Repair/Uprade install”.

Step 7: When you see the parts asking “What is your name?  What name do you want to use to log in? Choose a password to keep your account safe. What is the name of this computer?”

All MUST BE THE SAME as when Mint was first installed! Especially if like me you originallychecked the option to encrypt your Home dir. If you don’t get your credentials the same your Home folder will be inaccessible, you will LOSE ALL DATA in there!   Then click Forward.

Step 8: Ready to install (“Repair/Upgrade install”)? Are you? You are only ready if swap is the only partition to be formatted.  If you see other partitions to be formatted, go back to the  partitioner (step 5). If swap is the only partition to be formatted, you can click “Install” to do “Repair/Upgrade install”

Step 9. Restart PC, then install updates and proprietary drivers. Reinstall software as needed. NOTE: Most software configurations should NOT have been deleted as they are saved in your home folder. Once you reinstall software using the Software Manager or Package Manager things will work as they did

Step 10. Finished!! These steps will work for both Virtualized installs, and native installs on a PC HDD. Thankyou to Kass for helping me, I thought my encrypted Home folder was lost forever!

Comments 2 Comments »

I’m seeing a massive trend on the Internet, and I don’t like it. People are taking free service manuals available on the internet, collecting them, and then selling them on. I feel this is illegal, because:

  1. They don’t own the copyright to the service literature.
  2. They don’t have the rights, nor permission to SELL for profit, or a license from manufacturers.
  3. They often charge extortionate prices!

All for stuff that isn’t theirs! Tradebit, eBay, and all the other sites that charge on a per-manual basis, I don’t agree with, and detest them hugely. Add to that they often slap their own watermarks on, secure the documents with passwords (tampering with stolen goods) so that no-one can edit them. Service manuals are only public because they’re ILLEGALLY LEAKED, so all these arseholes are committing a criminal offence, by selling stuff that isn’t theirs.

Sites that offer unlimited downloads for a tiny monthly fee I agree with, as these aren’t extortionate, and they host the files on a server they pay for, so you’re not actually paying for the material, just the right to access the website. The ones I use even have permission, and pay royalties to manufacturers.

So, eBay sellers like “servicemanualseu”, and all those Tradebit cowboys selling a single 3 – 30MB file for $19.99, AVOID them. I often find that a quick Google reveals the stuff is available free elsewhere anyway. I’ve reported people like these to manufacturers, and a few have actually been disciplined, good riddance to ’em and all! These cowboys’ excuse is “we charge so much to stop DIY’ers”, but it isn’t your place or right of decision to say who can have them and not.

I have links with people in the electrical repair industry, being a qualified technician. I pay far less for a bunch of manuals from a manufacturer that wouldn’t even buy me a Tradebit cowboy’s single manual!

 

Comments 3 Comments »

Many Vestel TV’s are often rebadged with another company’s branding, and their own model number. This makes finding service literature for engineers like me really difficult. I have a tip that works on many rebadged Vestels to bring up a service menu that will reveal its true chassis number.

My Linsar 16LVD4 16″ HDTV is one example. There are Alba and Goodmans branded versions of it, with and without Freeview & DVD player, all with different model numbers, so putting “Linsar 16LVD4” into Google never reveals service literature, only replacement parts that are used in other TV’s.

I service a lot of Vestel TV’s, and their main method of getting into service mode is as below:

  1. Enter the TV’s main menu, by pressing either a Menu button, or an M button as it is on my Linsar.
  2. When the user menu appears, press the digits 4-7-2-5. This code works across almost all their LCD chassis, and a lot of older CRT chassis from Vestel.
  3. The user menu disappears, and a service menu appears.

It works for most of their chassis, and depending on the chassis model and S/W version, your menu may look different:

Down in the lower right is the TV’s true chassis number. As you can see, my Linsar is actually a Vestel 17MB25 chassis. CAUTION: This menu IS NOT intended for USERS, only engineers. Using features such as NVM Edit or the Programming function will DAMAGE the EEPROM settings, resulting in a dead TV that will need rescuing by a guy like me. The EEPROM chip will need to be desoldered and reprogrammed, or a new chip soldered.

The MB25 motherboard does not need the EEPROM to be preprogrammed before soldering, as the software is automatically flashed by a control chip on the board. This board is used in variants with a DVD module and USB port.

A few rebadged Vestel makes I’m aware of are Goodmans, Techwood (Morrisons stores), Alba, Grundig, Hitachi and Technika from Tesco. Just look for shiny glossy black plastic, as this is what most Vestels are made of! Note that not all models of the above makes are Vestel, it’d take up too much space in this article for me to list all makes and models that are rebadged Vestels!

 

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