How to install Raspian for Raspberry Pi from Windows

I am currently in the process of setting up a SETI@Home cluster running on Raspberry PI boxes. Currently i am working with three nodes, and i will expand it if is a success.

For OS, i use Raspian (Debian clone), combined with some cheap 8GB SDCards from a random cheap vendor.

In order to install the Raspian ISO image to a SD card, i use the application win32 disk imager, which simply takes a ISO image, and writes it to a designaded SD card.

It is worth noticing that this will cause the partition(s) on the SD card to not be any larger than the image itself. But you can fix this upon your first Raspberry PI boot, as the application “raspi-config” will be auto-started. (if not, start it)

Adding custom shortcuts to the Windows 8 start page

It is rather simple to add items to the metro home screen, by searching them up and then pinning them. But it is also possible to pin custom shortcuts to the same screen. Simply right-click the shortcut you want to pin, and select “pin to start”. It will then appear together with the other pinned content 🙂

Outdated entry in the DNS cache error when using Remote Desktop

You may sometimes get error messages about outdated entries in the DNS cache, when you are using remote desktop. (The connection cannot be completed because the remote computer that was reached is not the one you specified. This could be caused by an outdated entry in the DNS cache. Try using the IP address of the computer instead of the name.)

The first thing you should do, is to make sure that the clock is correct on these nodes:
1: The client machine
2: The remote machine you are connecting to
3: And if used, the domain controller(s).

And of course, make sure that you don’t have any invalid dns cache. clear the dns cache by doing this in cmd: ipconfig /flushdns.

If it is still an issue, another work around can be found here: http://extremeengineers.net/?p=126 (although, you should fix the problem and not the symptom)

 

KVM: Optimizing performance on virtual machines (VM`s)

After having set up quite a few VM`s in my career, i have picked up a couple of tips on how to get the most power out of your VM`s:

Get new/correct drivers for your VM`s
Remember to make sure that you have all the correct drivers, this is at least important for IO(Disk) and Network devices. Windows has many devices that will work with basic Microsoft drivers, but that does not mean that the performance magically gets awesome. After making sure that the correct drivers were in place, i managed to go from ~900Mbit to 9.9Gbit on a 10gbit-network between a Linux (Red Hat) and Windows 2k8 server. (tested with iperf which exists for both Windows and Linux)

Turn off Power saving options in BIOS / Hardware
More or less all servers, either they being brick servers, home servers or blade servers, have BIOS settings that enables or disables power saving mode. I know from experience that at least all HP blades comes with power saving enabled per default. Turn off this to make sure that your VM`s gets the performance they expect to get. (I have had VM`s simply be sluggish with this feature turned on, turning it off made CPU-performance get normal)

Turn off CPU throttling on the VM host machine
I have also had issues with slow VM`s even when the power options was fixed in BIOS. I then realized that some Linux distributions (Ubuntu) have a default CPU scheduler that throttles down the CPU when it is not needed. After making sure that the host did NOT do this, the VM`s finally started acting as they should. Check out your Linux distributions guides on how to change this.

 

Any other tips i should add to the list? Feel free to add a comment below! 🙂

Windows is unable to install to the selected location. Error 0x80300001

After installing drivers during a Windows-installation you might get this error message when you select a drive to install it on “windows is unable to install to the selected location. Error 0x80300001”

This is another (strange) way for Windows to say that you have not inserted the Windows CD/DVD again. Put it back in again, wait a second and then the error message should disappear. (If it does not, try to hit refresh after putting the CD in)

Two Crucial C300 in RAID0 on a M4A87TD motherboard causes BSOD`s, hangs in Win7

So i have tried to use Two Crucial C300 in RAID0 on a M4A87TD motherboard for a while now. After a while i started experiencing BSOD`s, hangs, crashes, freezes etc. I tried to debug -everything- until i came over multiple complaints about the same on the Crucial forums. (Not exactly the same, but enough to check it out)

I decided to simply remove the RAID and only use one drive for Windows 7. So far it appears to be very stable again, so hopefully the issues was related to the combination of two SSD`s in RAID0 on a AMD-RAID controller.

Time will tell.

Acer machine with Windows XP giving reboot after booting

Today i had a problem with a Acer machine that kept rebooting just after the machine had started up Windows, typically a couple of seconds after everything was loaded. After managing to disable auto-reboot upon crash, i got a hold of the error message 0x00000050 (aka PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA ). After testing a “crash report analyzer” i noticed that the cupit was ”elock2fsctldriver.sys”, which comes from Acer`s eLock software.

So i booted into Windows Safe Mode, uninstalled the program, and then the machine rebooted without any issues. 🙂

(This was of course after testing all the hardware and drivers, which is normally the problem…)

Fix: Windows won`t download Windows Update updates

I have noticed some Windows machines refusing to download Windows Update packages and simply failing the download with little to no information about why.

I tricks i found that works for me is to first stop WuAuServ:

net stop WuAuServ

Then delete the folder:

%windir%SoftwareDistribution

Start up again the WuAuServ service:

net start WuAuServ

And running Windows Update again.

Windows 7 installation gives 0x80300001 error

This error appears when you need to install extra drivers during Windows installation, and that “very logic error” simply says that you must re-insert the Windows CD/DVD before installing it to disk.

I managed to digg up the following how-to:

  1. Insert the install DVD
  2. Boot into the setup process
  3. Get to the point where you need to select a partition and click Load Driver
  4. Insert driver DVD
  5. Locate the storage driver (AHCI/RAID)
  6. Notice the message “Windows cannot be installed on this disk.” at the bottom
  7. Insert the install DVD back into the drive
  8. Expand the advanced drive options
  9. Create a New partition consuming some amount of space, in my case all of it
  10. Windows says it had to do some stuff, OK
  11. Notice that there is a 100MB system partition and a new primary partition
  12. Continue!

6 ways to speed up Windows 7

Is your Windows 7 installation slow? Here are some tips on how to improve the performance easily!

1) Make sure you have enough RAM on your machine, at least 2 GB
Windows and all applications you use each need their dose of RAM,  and if you need more than you have, Windows will swap.
You should also consider even more RAM if you do a lot of photo or video editing.

2) Disable the Search Indexing Feature in Windows 7
Unless you search a lot on your computer, keeping this feature active just causes a lot of work for the operating system.

  • Right click on My Computer, select Manage
  • Click “Services and Applications”
  • Choose Services
  • Locate the “Windows Search” service
  • Change “Startup type” to Disabled

3) Disable “the fancy GUI”
The standard GUI for Windows 7 does take a lot of resources. You can disable it quickly by:

  • Right click on My Computer, select properties
  • Select “Advanced system settings” in the left menu
  • Select the Advanced tab
  • Choose settings under Performance
  • Select “Adjust for best performance”
  • And click “Ok”

4) Get a USB Stick or a SD card
If you do not have a SSD drive for your computer, Windows can use USB drives or SD cards to speed up itself automatically.

  • Plug in either a USB stick or a SD Card
  • Right click the device in “My Computer”
  • Select ReadyBoost
  • Select how much of the device you want to dedicate for it
  • And click Ok

5) Disable unwanted programs from starting up at boot
If you have many programs starting up at boot, they will hog up a lot of resources. You can stop programs from starting at boot by:

  • Run msconfig
  • Go to startup
  • Unhook the programs you don’t want starting up at boot

6) Get a quick SSD disk
SSD disks have no moving parts and therefore is both quieter and in many cases also quicker than normal hard drives.  Windows 7 is also optimized for SSD disks.