Windows 10 Nvidia nForce RAID Update Troubles

So a resent update caused no end of problems with my Windows 10 machine. It would repeatedly fail to install the update, and then when it managed it I couldn’t log into the machine. User profile not accessible. I decided that it was probably time to re-install my machine anyway. However it seems the problem came back. A little different this time.

I reinstalled but chose to leave my Nvidia Soft/Fake RAID partition unchanged as I used it as my user space. The machine re-installed, and everything appeared to be fine. I could get to the RAID array, so I left it as is and went about installing drivers and updates. Updates! This is the problem. It seems I have become one of the many victims of a Windows 10 update that stops Nvidia RAID arrays from working (see here in German). So no sooner had I updated the machine and restarted, the RAID array vanished again. So annoying. This machine is a little old but it is by no means obsolete. Its a dual quad-core opteron with 16GB of ram and a half decent GPU. Plenty of live left in it yet, esp as all I use it for is scanning and printing photographs. The RAID array still reports as healthy at boot. I suppose I should have known not to trust a fake/soft RAID long term. However, wasn’t expecting an update to do it in. So what to do… Buy a cheap RAID card off ebay and use that, turn off Nvidia RAID and use the Windows fake RAID instead? Whatever, they should have warned us of this potential if they knew.

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Gigabyte X79-UP4 Linux Horror

So I am not much of a Windows user, I have one Windows machine that doesn’t get used all the much. I tend to use Linux and have done for about 15 years. One of my work machines has caused a bit of trouble. The system was built around the Gigabyte X79-UP4 motherboard. This is on the face of it a good main-board, nice spec, good components. However I have had a lot of trouble with it. Its all about the USB 3 chipset, Linux hates it. The symptoms are as follows:

  • Anything plugged into the USB 3.0 ports and the machine will not shutdown, it instantly reboots.
  • USB 3.0 devices are unstable, and don’t always function.
  • With anything in the USB 3.0 ports the system can become unstable/unresponsive.

The solution was to deactivate all the USB 3.0 chipsets on the main-board. The the system behaves itself. I didn’t however discover this very quickly. I first tried replacing the PSU as I thought it had become damaged somehow. I then complained to Gigabyte who asked me to send the board back to them. Which I did at cost to me. They checked the board and said it was fine. They however refused to check the board with any Linux install. It is hard to replace a X79 main-board now. I so I have to continue to use it. I have however installed a PCIe USB 3.0 card that is now running the front ports on my system, and 2 on the back. I tried this board with a couple of difference Linux versions, including Ubuntu 14 and Opensuse 13.3/Leap 42.1. So, this means that I will probably never risk a Gigabyte project again, to risky.

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Lightworks 12.6 working on Opensuse 13.2 & Leap 42.1

This might have been covered but I wasn’t able to find it easily so I thought I would post it up.

I have been trying to get Lightworks 12.6 working on Opensuse 13.2 and ran into some problems. It would hang on with the loading banner up and not do anything. So I tried running ntcardvt from the command line and got:

./ntcardvt: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

In Opensuse is provided by the libopenssl package as /lib64/

So its both named incorrectly and also in the wrong place for Lightworks to find.

Easy fix, as root make a sym link:

ln -s /lib64/ /usr/lib64/

Seems to work now, although I haven’t tested extensively. I think this will be the same for Leap 42.1 but my normal machine is waiting on a motherboard replacement so I cannot test that.

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I went to the CCC (32C3) gain this year. As always it was great, a really interesting mixture of people geeking out with LEDs and activists trying to save the world. I always leave with mixed feelings. Glad that there is a community of people that are trying to keep a check on our privacy rights, and the freedom of the press etc, but also depressed about the direction that the world seems to be going in. Anyway, below is a machine that makes Crepes to cheer you up.

32c3 – Crêpe machine

Crêpe making machine at the 32c3. One of the many works of genius at the 32c3.

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Liquid Cooling

So my main home desktop machine needed some TLC. Firstly, it was caught in a power surge before I got a UPS system and that damaged the power supply. The result would be that it would instantly restart after shutdown. I checked everything, from the BIOS upwards. This was definitely a hardware problem. The other issue was the machine would run hot under heavy load. Pushing about 70/80 degrees C.

So I eventually got round to fixing the two issues. I got a new 850Watt PSU and installed that. This solved the restarting problem. I also got a refurbished Corsair H90 Hydro cheaply for the replacement cooling solution. The CPU is a Intel i7 3930K, which has a TDP of 130Watts so a air cooling solution wasn’t really up to the job. The H90 is very easy to install, there was plenty of room in my case for an extra fan/radiator at the top. So it was a simple matter of installing the fan at the top, and then screwing the retaining bolts for the cooler on to the CPU socket. There is then a fixing ring for the pump/heatsink assembly that attaches to the bolts. I think it took me longer to unplug all the wires from the back of the motherboard than it did to install the cooler. Result, it has knocked about 8+ degrees of the idle temperature and about 15+ degrees off the load temperature. Which is a big improvement. Now I should really do something about the cooling in my old dual quad core Opteron system… Pictures below.

Liquid cooler for the CPU.

Cooler, GPU and Tesla Card.

Slightly closer on the cooler.

Slightly closer on the cooler.


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DV and Hi8 Video Decks

I think I already said, I have an interest in video and audio. I enjoy recording and filming things. My interest in all things capturing sound an image extends back to my childhood. Where I loved cameras, and not just what they could do but the physical objects themselves. So now an adult with a bit more money and access to eBay i can feed this obcession. Last week I bought a Sony DV deck, which accepts both DVCAM and miniDV tapes. The unit is great, old school with lights button and knobs. Also an LCD screen that shows the video and a menu. Its a boadcast deck, so well made and solid. I have just bought, but not yet receive, a Hi8 editing deck also a Sony. This also looks awesome, it plays Hi8 tapes but has basic editing fercilaties. My intention is to connect them both to my (one of my) computers. The DV deck has firewire, not sure if my computer does anymore… the Hi8 doesn’t. I will have to connect that either via s-video or component connectors. I am not sure yet, I will need to get hold of some sort capture card. Back to eBay, i will have to get a VCR too.

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I have decided to admit that i am addicted to technology. I love it. I like the way it looks, i like the way it smells, and i like messing about with it. This is a fact brought home by my resent eBay activity. I have just bought a Sony digital video deck. Why? I like playing around with video. I am planning to buy a Hi8 deck too. My interest in technology centres around audio and video. These are my favourite things. I have got into film making for my job, and i have always been into photography. This obcession costs me a fair amount of money, but i am running out of things to buy. So thats good. Plus, it’s a hobby and it makes me happy so why worry. I will post some pictures of my expanding kit soon. Maybe both the sound and video kit…

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Remapping Mouse Buttons

I have recently bought a vertical mouse for work. This is to help combat a bit of RSI in my arm. Its great, make things much better. So good that I got another one for my other office. Then I hit a snag, the two mice are slightly different versions, one is a Evoluent 4 and the other a 3. This means that mouse buttons mapped differently to functions, and neither of them mapped how I wanted them to map. So… remapping mouse buttons.

First find out which button maps to which number. Easy with a little problem called ‘xev’.

xev | grep button

The command above pops up a window which you can click in, and then filters the output to the command line.

Next look at the output from xinput

xinput -list

This will tell you the ID number of the device you want to remap.

xinput –get-button-map Device_ID

Outputs the button map, you will get something like this:

> xinput –get-button-map 9
1 3 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Then you just remap the buttons that wrong by switch them over, in my case 2 and 3.

xinput –set-button-map 9 1 3 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Finally to make this happen every time you log in put the following in your ‘.bashrc. file in your home directory.

MOUSE_ID=`xinput list | grep -i Evoluent | awk -F= ‘{ print $2}’ | awk ‘{print $1}’`
xinput set-button-map $MOUSE_ID 1 3 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

The first line finds the ID of the device, just in case it changes. The second line maps the keys using the ID.


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Private VPNs

I travel a lot with my job, and therefore I use a range of different wifi networks. These are often secured in different ways and to different standards. Or they aren’t secured at all. I recently suffered a fairly major credit card fraud, and I don’t really know how they got the details. This has made me think that I need to be able to secure my internet activity on my own terms at times.

I have therefore set up my own cloud hosted VPN that I am currently testing. This allows me to encrypt my internet traffic between a cloud server and my laptop even if the network isn’t secure. Once tested I will post up how I have done it. My plan is to have three private VPNs, one in the UK (my home server), one in the US on a Rackspace cloud server, and one in Iceland.

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Opensuse 12.3 KDE login/nvidia issues

I updated Opensuse 12.3 the other day. Caused a few issues, one was repeated crashes on login to KDE. I seem to have fixed it by adding my user to the ‘video’ group. These is also a fix for the following error.

GL applications report that they can’t operate /dev/nvidiactl.

I have had this error with certain applications trying to use the binary Nvidia drivers. Not sure if the fix is complete yet as the system seems to be a little bit sluggish and if I try to open nvidia-settings it doesn’t work. I will update when I have more info. I might re-install the nvidia drivers and see if that helps.

Update: So nvidia-settings does work, it just takes ages to open.

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