‘Nuf Said…

Never Underestimage an Old Man

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Meanwhile at the Wayback Machine…

Every blue moon I take a trip back on the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive to look at what www.pelleys.com looked like. Looking through the information from www. pelleys.com on December 3, 2001, I found this information on the web server:

The HP NetServer LD Pro runs Red Hat Linux 7.0. It uses Apache with PHP and Perl as the web server. FTP services are handled by ProFTPD. The NetServer also provides primary internal dynamic DNS services with BIND 9. Live Web Cam services are procided by RealServer 8. Of course, it is constantly updated with security patches!

The NetServer was configured with:

  • Intel Pentium Pro 180 MHz CPU
  • 96 MB ECC RAM
  • One fixed 9 GB Ultra SCSI disk
  • Two hot swap 9 GB Ultra SCSI disks
  • Intel EtherExpress Pro/100 Plus network adaptor

www.pelleys.com is now hosted out of a co-lo in Montreal, Quebec now but there still is an internal server. It has been upgraded a little bit from 2001…

HP Proliant DL360 G7 configured with:

  • Intel Xeon X5670  2.93Ghz 6-core CPU
  • 72 GB RAM
  • 3 x 300GB 10K SAS disks
  • P410 Raid controller
  • Dual Power Supplies
  • VMware ESXi 6.0
  • Storage on a Qnap NAS using NFS

Just a little faster, little more storage and much, much smaller and lighter….

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New SSD for Lenovo; Drive Cloning

Another Christmas Day is over (and Boxing Day, and the day after boxing day) and I have finally gotten a chance to install a new SSD in my Lenovo Y50-70. I spent Christmas Day installing a new Samsung Evo 850 and a new motherboard with and Intel i7-4970K. For some reason it seems to run really, really fast. 🙂

Now, he has over 65 Steam games – he insists that he plays them all and doesn’t want to lose his progress. The original drive is a 3TB WD so I couldn’t just clone the drive as the Samsung is only 500GB. He wanted Just Cause 3 and Fallout 4 to load fast; so I had to split the Steam locations between the two drives. Everyone else likely knows this but you just have to backup the Steam games, move the install locations where you want to be and add their locations to steam. Then just “restore” the games. The Steam application is smart enough to realize nothing needs to be restored and seems to fix the pointers and/or reinstall the Windows Visual C++, etc. libraries and all is well. This took a long time for me since I had to back up to one of my NASes since I was messing with the original drive and doing a Windows 10 installation on the new Samsung. Even at gigabit Ethernet speeds 800GB takes a long time. Anyway, this does work and progress remains.

Next I had a chance to install my Samsung Evo 850 (1TB) in my Lenovo. The original drive, a Western Digital 1TB + 8GB hybrid drive – which I was never much of a fan as it did not seem as fast as the 500 GB 7,200 RPM drive in my old Dell XPS 15 – reported to be the same size as the new Samsung. My first thought was that I should clone the drive. However, on reflection I thought I would reinstall Linux Mint 17.3 and Windows 10. The reason was simple: both were upgrades. While I had already (first thing actually) reinstalled Windows 8.1 that had come with the Lenovo to remove the crapware bloatware (not to mention other issues – last one here) the fact was that the current operating systems were upgrades. Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 (current addiction is Arma 3 and multiplayer really does not work with the Linux port – nice port though!) and Linux Mint 17.2 to 17.3 so there was likely some cleanup benefits to be had by reinstalling. And besides, I could simply copy my Mint /home directory to the new drive and use Windows Easy Transfer to move my profile.

Wait now… I cannot find Windows Easy Transfer… Hmmm… Googling… Googling…  It seems that Windows East Transfer worked so good that Microsoft removed it. Oh yes, there is a tool to move to a new computer but there has to be two computers.

This ain’t gonna work.

What to do??? What to do???

More Google… And I found Macrium Reflect. (Yes, *nix hard cores, I did try dd but it did not work correctly. It could be me but frankly I didn’t want to take the time to find out what broke.) The free version works just fine for cloning a drive. Another nice option – and Macrium offers it up as soon as you start – is to make a recovery CD/DVD, ISO or write to a USB thumb drive. Use this option. Macrium will clone your original drive quickly and correctly (about 1.5 hours for 1TB). However, I had two things that needed to be done:

  1. The BIOS had to be changed to use the GRUB bootloader. For some reason my BIOS set Windows to be the bootloader.
  2. Once that is fixed when I tried to boot to Windows I received the error 0x0000225. The is where the recovery image comes to play. It finds the Windows partition and fixes it. It does not break GRUB either!
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CNN – 30 Second Ad for a 40 Second Video…

WTF??? I was on cnn.com when I saw an article “See U.S. Navy combat ship at top speed” (http://goo.gl/2xK32I) that seemed interesting. I find it impressive for a combat ship going all out. This one is a new “Littoral combat ship” the USS MilwaukeeI am always a big fan of 3,800 tons going at 45 knots. Anyway…

I needed to watch at 30 second ad for a 40 second video… Advertising gone mad…

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Some people are more elegant in their quotes…

It has been some time (again) since I posted and I have a few things to write about. Until then… I saw at the end of a Chuck Lorre show:

Chuck Lorre Productions, #401
“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
— Mark Twain

“Do you believe this $#*!?”
— Chuck Lorre


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That Ain’t Sunshine…

It is moonshine!

Moonshine - August 29

Moonshine – August 29

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Lenovo Energy Manager, Windows 10 Upgrade and Conservation Mode

I realized on Friday that the Lenovo Energy Manager on my Y50 was no longer working.

First, some words of clarification: I spend a few hours with my dear friend Google trying to find out haw to fix “battery saver.”  (Well, actually I was watching the Back to the Future trilogy on AMC, but I digress.)

Battery saver to me is how you keep the lifespan and capacity of your laptop’s batter in as good shape as possible. You know, not keeping the battery charged to 100% and overheating when plugged in.

I learned two things about this: (1) “Battery Saver” does not mean how to keep your laptop’s battery in good shape – it is how to keep you laptop going as long as possible and (2) I have no idea what others call my version of battery saver.

Anyway, after going through countless search results I found someone (and I cannot remember who to give credit, unfortunately) defined battery saver the same as I do.

The solution: Uninstall Lenovo’s Energy Manager and reinstall it! Simple, what?


If you upgrade a Lenovo Y50 from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 you likely will need to uninstall Lenovo Energy Manager and reinstall it to have  “Conservation Mode” (which is what Lenovo calls my version of “battery saver”) actually work.

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Arrrgggg! BIOS Update Wipes GRUB…

This might be the “new normal” with UEFI BIOSes but when I updated the BIOS of my IdeaPad Y50 the GRUB2 boot manager was gone and replaced by Windows 10’s boot loader.

Even the upgrade from Windows 8.1 to 10 didn’t mess with GRUB. (Kudo’s Microsoft – Credit where credit is due!)

Don’t have a cow, man!

It was, of course fixed by booting to Linux Mint 17.2 LiveCD. Unfortunately, I still cannot get the “normal” GRUB fix to work. You know:

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
sudo chroot /mnt
sudo update-grub2

Which gives the error:

/usr/sbin/grub-probe:error:failed to get canonical path of /cow.


Much Googling… Many hits on “I have the same problem…”

The easy fix? Use Boot-Repair. It isn’t included in the LiveCD so you have to download it with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair

I ended up having to clean up GRUB – how many different entries CAN it find? All of them, apparently. But, this is better than having to do a re-install….


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More Thoughts on Windows 10

By now two of four of the other Windows 7 machines that are turned on have not yet gotten the update for Windows 10. Yesterday I manually updated my main machine (Lenovo Y50) by going to Microsoft and downloading the upgrade tool. I was too impatient to wait for Windows Update to do its thing.  The upgrade tool is available in Windows 10 32-bit Upgrade and Windows 10 64-bit Upgrade versions. You can also download the Windows 10 ISO.

Of course, you need to have a valid copy of Windows 🙂

As I started to say, two of the four as the old HP G62 (a Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200 – you know, the Penryn generation Core 2 Duo that they renamed) has received its “reservation.” That upgrade has started.

I finally got a chance to more fully try out Diablo III and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.

Future Soldier worked just fine – I couldn’t see any difference between running it under Windows 8.0/8.1 and 10.

Diablo III also worked fine with one strange anomaly – If I use the Windows key to jump out of the game I can’t get back into the game. Well, sort of. I can get back into the game but I keep seeing the desktop. Weird.

Once I get the old HP upgraded I’ll post what Windows 10 works like on some lesser hardware…

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GRUB2 and Windows 10 Upgrade

I just finished upgrading my Lenovo Y50-70 install from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Of course, I run Linux Mint 17.2 as my primary OS but need Windows for VMware ESXi administration and, of course, running some games. Diablo III and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier are my current favourites.

Anyway, unlike other  Windows upgrades this one did NOT blow away GRUB! Of course, I had to keep an eye on things as the upgrade was underway – multiple reboots – which would have left me booting into Mint – making the upgrade even longer. They weren’t kidding when they said multiple reboots and it would take a while.

I still have to see if everything is working – so far WiFi, Ethernet Sound, nVidia drivers, touchpad, etc. all seem fine. Still need to see if Diablo and Ghost Recon work, though…

I also found out that my VMware Workstation installation worked just fine as well after the upgrade as well!

Not bad, Microsoft!

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