Fried Computers!

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Kellemora
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Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 26 Dec 2016, 10:33

The main computer I use to do my daily work went belly up.
Although I keep everything backed up, redundantly, haven't lost anything, except some items I had on my desktop which I did not backup yet. However, the hard drive is still OK I think. I haven't had time to pull it apart yet. I'm sure the capacitors swelled up on this MoBo, because it happened to an identical MoBo in another computer.

You about ready for another new one yet Yogi? I'm always in the market for a good used computin' contraption.

I do have a local guy who can slip a new MoBo in this case for me in about a week or so, after he recovers from the holidays.

Had to move my e-mail reader data to the Silver Yogi and copy the backup so it was current. This is a great computer! Glad to have it, else I would be in big trouble, as none of my other computers can handle the work I need to do each day.

Let me know if you have something to move out of your way!

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by yogi » 26 Dec 2016, 17:00

First of all I want to sympathize with you profusely. I know what agony it is to restore a system even though everything is backed up. I don't do a disk image every day, but I do make one at least twice a month; I back up critical files at least once a week or anytime I tinker with the setup.

I have that computer system I build from scratch when I sent the Silver Yogi to its Smokey Mountain Resort. It's nearly two years old now and there has been a time or two that I considered building something more current. To be honest, I thought of asking you about your future needs but I know you are on a tight budget and this system is magnitudes higher performance than that silver Yogi. There are several features my newest tower (let's call it the Black Box for convenience sake) has that I know you would appreciate. The Black Box cabinet itself would wow you. There are at least eight bays for storage media, plus one that is exposed to the top of the cabinet under a sliding door. The socket will take any 2.5" or 3.5" drive you can plug into it. If you had this configuration right now, it would take you about a minute and thirty seconds to remove your suspect drive - and that includes removing the side panels from the Black Box (one of which is see-through) and unplugging the SATA cables. More than once I've had a use for that plug and play drive socket on the top of the machine, and I thought of how you would appreciate it because I know you like to tinker a lot.

The heart of the Black Box is an Intel i7 4790K processor - 4 cores (8 threads) and normally runs at 4GHz but can be overclocked to 4.4GHz. I never got into overclocking because that is pushing things to the limits, but I am told this configuration can take it easily. The cooling fan on the processor would cool your computer room if it were outside the box and on a table somewhere. LOL It's always going but the three build in chasis fans rarely turn on, the PSU fan only comes on when it draws wattage to justify it, and the two fans on the nVidia card likewise adjust to their needs. Most of the time it's only the processor fan that's on, and you can't hear it. Well, I can't hear it, perhaps you can. The motherboard is an ASUS. Look it over and be prepared to be shocked. It's not the kind of thing you or I would normally want or need. But hey! I was looking for performance at the time and this mobo was hard to beat. ASUS does not support Linux for this board, but I have three drives and as many Linux OS's along with Windows 7 multi-booting to my heart's content. It's UEFI and has a legacy BIOS emulator which is what I use for Microsoft's OS.

Anyway, I would be happy to detail the specs on the machine and take a few pictures for you. I'd advise you not to make any decisions before you see the full specs and hardware list. I don't know what you would pay if you bought this thing new from a shop, but I'm guessing a few grand would be about right. My price to you would be the cost of the parts, plus I'm not real inclined to ship anything this exotic to you. We probably should meet halfway between your place and mine to do a swap if it comes down to that. I'd make you come here to pick it up, but I know how you feel about the area. You might not go back to your sweetheart. :mrgreen:

Let me know if you are interested in the details. I'll put something together for you so that you can make a better decision, but I don't want to go that route if you know already that this is not what you are looking for. I do have a Synology NAS (DS109) I'd be willing to part with immediately, but I know how you feel about NAS too. It's just something laying around collecting dust now that I have a replacement for it. Also, if you are enamored with my building skills, I'd be more than happy to try and build something to your specifications.

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Kellemora
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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 27 Dec 2016, 11:22

Looks Beautiful Yogi, but I'm afraid it is way overkill for my needs.

When my computer fried, it also took out the hard drive. No big deal really since everything was backed up.
I slipped it in another computer and tried the Boot Repair Disk, it couldn't fix it, said the SuperBlock was bad. I have no idea what a SuperBlock is, so tried it on G-Parted and was able to fix the SuperBlock, I think. Because I was able to boot from it in the other computer. Put it back in the fried computer and it partially booted up then went dead again. Pulled the drive and checked, and now the SuperBlock shows bad again, and even G-Parted can't make it work.

Still thinking it may just be the hard drive, I placed the hard drive with Linux Mint, and Ubuntu on it in the fried computer.
Now that hard drive is fried also. Same error, and putting it another computer to use Disk Repair showed bad SuperBlock, and G-Parted couldn't fix it either.
So, I figure whatever is wrong with the fried computer, it is also damaging the hard drives.

I already know it will only cost me about 85 bucks for a MoBo and around 150 for a CPU to fit it and probably 100 bucks in labor. If I bring in the original case and power supply. My computer guy used to only charge me 300 bucks for a new computer, with low-end boards, but the last couple of times I opted for a better board, which also upped the price to around 400 bucks.

OK, on the computer you have. You said it won't run Linux natively, but you have tried it with hard drives with Linux already installed on the hard drives and it worked. I think I would be getting in over my head if I went that route.

You spoiled me with that 16 megs of RAM, so that is how much I would want in a new or rebuilt computer.

I have three computers here with the video out, and one with the LAN out, and slot loaded LAN cards worked for a short time then quit also. I think what I will do is load them all into my car and take them to my computer guy and see if he can fix those cheaply, without going to a new MoBo and CPU. I have several CPUs, but he won't use used ones, said they often go bad along with the MoBo and it could fry a new MoBo. He may be correct, because when I tried to install one myself, I ruined a brand new MoBo when I powered it up. I'll see what it will cost for me to get a better grade computer and/or MoBo and CPU. installed in one of the old boxes.
By the way, we do know the GTX graphics card works, only the slot was dead, and the Silver Yogi only had one slot.
So I will have him put that and the necessary power supply in one of my old cabinets. Unless he has a new cabinet with the right size power supply for it. He's never overcharged me for anything, which is why I drive out there.

I would have to rent a car to meet you half way, as I totaled mine and it is sitting at a repair shop hoping to find cheap parts for it.
It would be nice to have another one of your fancy computers, but I do only get 760 bucks a month from Social Security. Not much left after taxes, insurance, and meds. But I do save up a little each month so have some cash on hand.
I'll get back with you after I talk to my computer guy.

Thanks!

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by yogi » 27 Dec 2016, 13:54

Gary

When I researched components for the Black Box I was totally overwhelmed. Too many choices even for a geek. I then met a fellow who builds gaming computers and he came up with a list of components that he frequently used. It was a great help and all I had to do was verify that the components I picked out would play well together. The ASUS ROG series is known for it's superb performance as a gaming machine, and for whatever reason my board was designed specifically for Windows. This made me a bit nervous, of course, and ASUS clearly said that they can't offer tech support for Linux on this motherboard. However, the ASUS forums were full of fellow geeks who reported on their success with Linux. This left me in a quandary because I liked what ASUS was telling me about the mobo - cutting edge state of the art chip set, for example. I build the machine fearlessly and plugged in my hard drive from the Silver Yogi. Windows booted flawlessly, but could not access the Internet. Intel apparently has some fancy drivers that need to be loaded and they came with the install CD for the motherboard. With the Ethernet drivers installed Windows 7 was happy as a clam. I had no problems attaching my NAS and wireless printer either. Many of the supplied utilities are things that only gamers and overclocking dudes would understand so that I didn't even bother to load them.

Once I was happy that Windows 7, and all the games I play therein, was working well I decided it was time to test out the Linux theory. I added a hard drive from another Windows computer and used a Windows based partition editor to format the disk with swap and enough room for whatever version Ubuntu I had laying around. The live CD booted and it installed Ubuntu to the hard drive without a hitch. It also replaced the Windows bootloader which is a pet peeve of mine about GRUB, but that's another story for another time. I left GRUB in and tested out the booting sequence. No problem. Then I added two more partitions plus a third hard drive partitioned in two parts for Windows data storage. You get the idea. That's a lot of partitions and four operating systems all booting from legacy BIOS. The next step was to reinstall the Windows MBR on the main hard drive (an SSD, by the way) and to move Grub over to the disk with all the Linux on it. Hitting the F8 key at the right time in the boot sequence brings me to BIOS where I can select which of the storage devices I care to boot from. When I select the Linux drive, Grub gives me the standard menu to pick one of the three OS's I have installed there. It couldn't be any more complex. LOL But, it all works without me having to beg ASUS for help nor go to their forums. A lot of what I knew was taught to me by our dearly departed friend Glenn - he was pretty good at partition management. I just pulled out my notes and made things work.

There is a slight glitch that shows up from time to time. When I keep rebooting Linux, the F8 key will sometimes be ignored. The system will reboot in the default Windows mode in that case. I need to shut down from Windows (not restart) in order to fix the problem. I'm not sure where I read about it, but I did run across mention of having to use the power switch instead of the restart button to fix certain problems. I'm not certain if it's the keyboard I am using or a tweak that needs to be made in BIOS. Also, I never upgraded the firmware and am about 12 versions behind the latest release. So, the "glitch" can be rooted anywhere.

What I'm getting at here is that I feel very confident that the Black Box can be dedicated to Linux and work exceptionally well. You don't have to use all the power toys associated with the overclocking, and in that sense I feel the motherboard is over priced for what I want to do with it. The only additional thing I will say is that there is 16GB of memory taking up two of the four slots. You can easily double that and run an entire Linux OS from RAM (I think it's called xRAM in Linux). Talk about blazing fast! There is also an M.2 slot for an SSD drive. This runs off the PCIE bus and boots like nobody's business. It beats the pants off SATA but is not quite as fast as the xRAM.

I don't think I can build anything for you for a price less than what you can get at the shop you go to now. Then again, I only have experience in high end machines. Unless you have a justifiable need for speed and performance, the Black Box probably would be too ostentatious for your situation. It can do the work of three or four of your vintage computers, but alas, it can only be one of them at a time. LOL

~ Dennis

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Kellemora
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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 28 Dec 2016, 10:49

Thank Yogi - I still may consider it.

Tell me about the NAS you have.
I looked it up on-line, but get confused by the terminology.
For example it says it is diskless. Does this mean it comes without a disk drive, or that it has internal storage built in?
I don't have any of the little SATA disk drives.
I figure since you were using it, and just set it aside, it may be complete and ready to use.
If it uses SD storage, doesn't SD wear out after so many writes?

As you know, Debi's Windows 10 machine cannot access the named LAN, and still doesn't after I renamed the LAN to Workgroup as Windows default uses. It can access things on the LAN, like printers and the like.

For this reason I do not have my off-site backup on-line. I did take an old computer and hooked an external drive to it down at the house for off-site backup.
But the NAS sounds like it would be great for my purposes. A redundant off-site backup.
The way the specs for it read, it sounds like nothing more than an external drive with LAN connection.
That would work for me! I think it said the SATA drive is an optional attachment.

I assume since it is a single drive, it is not RAID or anything like that. Diskless?

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yogi
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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by yogi » 28 Dec 2016, 14:40

Image
Image
Image

Gary ~ above are some shots of the DS109. As you can see, there are three USB ports; two in back, and one in front. There is also an eSATA port on the front panel. While there is no room internally for RAID, it can be configured externally.

You will also note that a 750GB hard drive is installed. Some old backup data is on there now and it is configured for Windows shares. I'll be erasing all that should you buy it. It can be configured with an SSD instead of the mechanical drive. That would make the system considerably quicker. SSD's will deteriorate after a certain amount of use, but I don't think you need worry about it. I've read some recent reviews suggesting with today's technology you will be able to go several years before you start losing storage cells.

A new DS109 is diskless, i.e. there is no hard drive supplied. That is an accessory you need to supply on your own. The drive in the picture will come with this package.

Image

Above is the Admin control panel. Look familiar? :mrgreen: The NAS is basically a Linux server and has the ability to act as a print server, photo server, video server, and of course file serving. You can FTP into it if you care to and thus accomplish your backups from a remote location. I'm pretty sure this one has a mail server too. The GUI in the screenshot has been updated by Synology. The one you see is the one installed, but you can download a newer version should you care to.

Image

And, being a server, and Linux, you can telnet into it. I have looked around just to see what is there but never tried to run programs outside the admin GUI. It's possible, I'm sure, but I didn't want to risk destroying anything. I'm not sure anymore about the distro, but it's running something called busybox for the NAS functions. I don't think you want to get into it at this level, but I'm showing you all this just because I know you are comfortable with Linux.

The Black Box is a BIG box that would require some serious thinking for you to justify. I am certain you can speed up operations there, but I'm not certain you can earn back the cost in 12 months. I haven't totaled up what I paid for the parts, but it's at least $1000. Maybe that will help you decide. :grin:

I'm not sure if Debbie will be able to see the NAS Windows share, but it can be mapped as a drive on her WIndows 10 machine. My wife uses Windows 10 sometimes and she can access the NAS via the Network sharing, but I have mapped it there as well.

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 28 Dec 2016, 20:08

Hi Yogi
I wouldn't be able to swing the black box.
The last NAS I had just plugged into the Router and was visible on all the computers.
In the case of my last NAS, I made it my main file storage system, and backed up everything on it.
This one, I would use as an off-site (in the house) storage device, with the main backup in my garage office.
I don't know why a NAS would have USB ports on it, since it is technically not connected to a computer.
My KVM Switch has USB ports and I make good use of them, because I can connect to any of four computers.
I really don't want RAID, just a way to store my data easily, and a NAS fills that bill.

FWIW: I have external drives down at the house, but cannot connect to the frau's windows computer to use them.
I recently got an old small size computer with 512k memory, slow as molasses. I was going to put LInux on it, and put it down at the house to connect the external backup drive to. But if you are going to part with the NAS, I won't have to do that.
Hopefully, I just need to connect it to the LAN, set the security, and it will be up and running.

I can send the money by PayPal like last time. Oh, you didn't say how much, and don't forget to add shipping costs to the amount.

CU Tomorrow, I have a Honey-Do list to do tonight for the frau.

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by yogi » 29 Dec 2016, 08:24

Gary

If I don't break something in the sanitation process, you should be able to simply connect the NAS to your router and have it visible on your LAN. I will be deleting all the shares I currently have on there so that you will need to reconfigure things to suit your needs.

The DS109 is a computer. it's a server in fact; one of them there Linux servers you find everywhere. The version of Linux (which I still haven't looked up the name) is watered down and dedicated to NAS service. There are a ton of other services available such as audio and video streaming, but I think all you will be using is the file server part. Because the box is in reality a fully fledged computer, the USB ports (and eSATA) make sense. You might want to hook up a camera or a printer for example. If you need more storage, you can use the USB/SATA ports to add some of those old HDD's you have laying around. It's quite versatile. I found the install CD and will be sending that with the package. There are manuals on the CD so that you can get some idea of the power behind the DS109. I'd venture to guess it's more capable than some of those boxes you have not recycled yet. :mrgreen:

I have your contact information, and thank you for that. The transaction can be carried out as we did the last time.

Dennis

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Kellemora
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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 29 Dec 2016, 11:26

Thanks Yogi!

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 04 Jan 2017, 12:19

Some days are just lucky days!
Took 3 boxes to my computer guy, including the one I wanted to have all new guts put in.
I was right, a few capacitors had swelled.
This makes the second computer with an Asus M2N68-AM mobo that died from swollen capacitors.
A computer I thought was older was in fact newer, and had an Asus F2A85-M2 mobo.
The video was out on this computer, and I had removed the HD.
He stuck a HD in it and plugged a monitor into the white style monitor plug. (DVI-D?)
It worked just fine. He told me to give him an hour and go have breakfast, then come back.
He ran some type of test on it that checked everything.
Both the DVI-D and HDMI ports work just fine.
The normal video monitor port VGA? is out, which means I can't use it with the KVM.
But this is OK, as I didn't use that computer on the KVM anyhow.
He also upped the memory from 3 gigs to 7 gigs, using faster sticks.
He only charged me 45 dollars mainly for the used sticks he used.
I brought this computer home and put the HD in it for my main computer and used a monitor with the DVI-D port.
I had the cables because I bought them for the GTX card in the Silver Yogi.

Of the other two boxes, he will use my best box, turns out it has a 450 watt power supply.
I decided to go with the DDR3 mobo and 4 core AMD FX Black but with 16 gigs of memory for 225 bucks.
The computer guy talked me down from the more expensive computer.
I don't play any on-line virtual games, and probably never will. He said 16 gigs of memory is overkill for what I do, but I said that's OK, I still want 16 gigs, hi hi... 16 gigs for the DDR3 board was only 75 bucks, 21 dollars cheaper than for the DDR4 board. He can't use the GTX video card without going to the high end computer and new 700 watt power supply.

He offered to knock 75 bucks off my computer rebuild if I gave him the GTX board.
But I thought I might ask if you want it back first, since I don't know how much you paid for it.
I checked Amazon and eBay and they look like they are going for 90 to 100 bucks used.
Which is probably what he would resell it for to another customer.

Have a great day Yogi!

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by yogi » 04 Jan 2017, 14:46

You have quite a good resource there with that fellow who refurbishes computers for you. He works for reasonable prices too. I think you did the right thing to downgrade, but I have this theory that has not failed me yet: You can never have too much speed nor too much memory in your computer. He gave you the standard advice. Then again, if you followed what is generally accepted as right, you would still have a slow computer with 4GB of RAM on a motherboard with swollen capacitors. My advice is to buy the best you can afford and error in the direction of too much speed and memory capacity. :mrgreen:

To this day I regret the fact that the Silver Yogi PCI socket was damaged in transit. You were very gracious to accept the system in that condition. As far as I'm concerned you own the Silver Yogi and all its components. What you do with it all is your choice. I thank you for thinking of me, but I cannot see having a use for an extra video card. As a side note, I currently am using a 900 series nVidia card that has been replaced by a 1000 series of cards. I have a feeling I'll be upgrading and looking to dispose of the GTX960 card (if not the entire system). I'm not sure when all this will be done, but I'll keep you posted.

I ran into a minor crisis with my Black Box this morning. For a while it looked like the BIOS was hosed, but the problem was a defective web cam attached to a USB port. That camera has been attached for a long time and suddenly decide to fail, which was a surprise to me. I didn't realize the BIOS pre-boot routine looked at every freaking USB port and stops in it's tracks if it doesn't like what it sees. Sadly, BIOS never told me what it didn't like, but Windows gave me a hint ... a very small hint. Anyway, I was distracted by that and didn't have a chance to reply to your e-mail in the time frame I intended to do it in. Most of what I wanted to say is moot now, given that you solved the RDP problem and committed to a replacement computer. It's odd how a small thing like an erroneous IP address will mess up something that should be simple. When I fixed computers for a living about half the time a reboot would fix the problem. 45% of the time I spent looking over what I did to make sure I did it exactly right. I generally found the error and fixed it after a lot of hair pulling. The remaining 5% of the time was spent fixing actual problems with hardware or software. I am sure you would have resolved the problem on your own eventually, but it's a good thing you had some reliable outside help.

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 05 Jan 2017, 12:28

Oh No, I just lost my message to you, and can't seem to get it back.
Sad because I covered a lot of things.
It usually reappears as a draft, but not this time.

I don't know what happened, the screen just jumped back to the posts screen. It's done this before to me, and leaves me with no way to recover. Sometimes it does when I go to write a new post, but not this time.

I'll just say here, your package came, and after a few trials and errors, I got it set up.

Hoping my draft comes back.

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by yogi » 05 Jan 2017, 16:04

First of all, I'm happy to know the NAS arrived in one piece. Secondly, I'm even more glad you were able to get it to work. It should have been as simple as plug and play. But, that is only the theory. Realities often are different from my expectations. I've rarely lost an edit. The draft function here is not automatic. You must click the [ Save draft ] button in order to preserve your work. Your browser (Firefox?), however, should be a little smarter than our web site editor. As long as you don't close the browser app, your editing session should be in history somewhere. I've recovered more than a few lost messages that way. But, alas, even that is not foolproof. Regardless, I will be glad to field any questions about the NAS should they come up. In the mean time, enjoy. :mrgreen:

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 06 Jan 2017, 12:27

Hi Yogi
I can usually get back to where I left off after it disappears, simply by opening the reply box. Only this time, there was no reply box to go back to. No biggie, it was way to long a dissertation anyhow, almost an epistle, hi hi...

Most of it was just telling you about my older computer guy retiring and two of his employees taking over and moving to a larger building across the road.
I think one reason they don't charge much to us oldsters, is they make most of their money handling large corporate accounts. They have IT guys on the road almost 24/7...

On the NAS, although when I plugged it in, it was ready to go. I couldn't get the Manager to work to set it up. So I did a full-reset, the double button push to completely start from scratch. The original disk, although nothing wrong with it, wouldn't let me install the OS from it, which I know is why you sent me the Restore disk you burned.
I did the install on a windows XP Pro MCE machine first. Then did it on a Windows XP Pro machine. The assistant did not work on either machine. So I downloaded a new Assistant program from their website. Still no go. When I tried to open webman/index.cgi the first page opened, then I got a blank page where the set-up buttons should be.

The NAS appeared on all of my Linux boxes, but not on the Windows boxes. And of course was not fully set up yet.
I jumped over to the SilverYogi and typed in the URL for webman/index.cgi and it popped up and worked perfectly from Linux. Wonderful. I got it all set up and humming like a Swiss Watch. After creating the folders and putting a test file in each, plus copying some data folder over to the NAS, I started checking each of my Linux boxes. The NAS was there, but I had to adjust some permissions. Finally went to the Windows machines and NADA, no NAS, hi hi...

On the Linux machines, at first the NAS appeared outside of the Windows Network folder, as it should have.
I had changed my Workgroup name back to Workgroup when I was trying to get the Win10 machine to work on the LAN.
Went through and changed the Workgroup back to my named LAN name, and all of my shares came back, but no NAS.
Double checked the Linux boxes and it was there. Finally I found a place on the NAS to set the Workgroup, and changed it from some strange name, like Workstation to my named LAN and it finally appeared on the Windows boxes.
However, I got a permission denied when I tried to open it. Took me forever to figure out how to get Windows to allow me permissions.
BUT, I Finally Succeeded. The NAS is accessible from all but one of the Windows computers, and all of my Linux boxes that have LAN capability. The only hold out is Debi's Win10 machine, which has no named LAN unless you upgrade to Pro.

***
I have a question to ask. Associated with both NAS usage, and external drive usage. Either of which I'll call file server here.

When I'm doing my work, I normally copy a folder from my file server to the desktop, rather than open it from the file server. This folder will stay on my desktop the entire time I'm working on a project, whether it be a day, a week, or a month, etc. I use Rsync to copy the changed files back to the file server, while keeping the folder on my desktop.

With the crash of my daily working computer, rather than move the folder from the file server to the desktop, I simply opened the folders and documents on my desktop. When I do it this way, the folder is Mounted on my desktop. The good thing is, when I change a document and save it, I know from checking from another computer the file changes were saved on the file server too. But I may have several documents from that same folder open and working on them.
I do make sure and close the documents, and unmount the folder before I go do something else.

I prefer to keep certain documents open 24/7 because I use them several times each day. And what I worry about if I did this by loading them directly from the file server. I also use a couple of those same documents on other computers.
Let's say one of those documents is my record of time worked on a particular project.
If I left the document open on computer one, and was on computer two and opened that same document and made a change to it. Although I hit Save after each entry. If I go back to computer one to do something, will I see the change on the document already open on my desk, or if I make a change to that document and hit Save, will it delete the change I made on the other computer?
Maybe when I go back to computer one, I should reload the document to make sure they are in sync with each other.
Heck, maybe it won't let me open the document, saying it is in use on another machine?
I don't know because I've not tried it. Afraid to, hi hi...

Oh, I love this Remote Desktop you told me about too!
It works on all of my computers in the office, but I've not tried it on Debi's Win10 machine yet.
I'm thinking it would save me from running down to the house every time she messes something up, hi hi...

Have a great day Yogi!

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by yogi » 06 Jan 2017, 14:15

Hi Gary

I've only used Windows 10 Home edition once, and that was when I was helping a friend with some problems they had. The problems were not network related, but I did have to do some research into the differences between what I have (Pro) and what the friend was using. I would not bet the house on it, but I'm reasonably sure that Win 10 Home will work on a named network as along as the name is the Windows default: WORKGROUP. Also, all the devices on your LAN must have the same domain name in order to be visible to one another. If everything you need for that Win 10 Home computer uses WORKGROUP for it's domain name, I believe you will not have problems mounting. It is also required to have Network Discovery enabled. I don't know if that service is available to Windows XP, but they can connect to a LAN somehow. Ever since Vista, Network Discovery was a Control Panel app.

Your use of file servers should be restricted to using the computer for what it intended: to serve files. The file you access 24/7 from several different machines should remain on the server. It would be prudent to make that file Read Only. When you want to modify the file make a copy of the original and give it world (or group) R/W permissions, i.e., 764 or 766. Anyone should be able to access the copy file and make changes from their local machine. The trick is to have only one machine at a time making changes. Otherwise it will be impossible to synchronize, say, three different sets of changes from three different machines. There is collaboration software (Google Docs, e.g.) that will allow you to have several editors working on a single document located on a server. I'm not familiar with how to do it on your local LAN, but I'm guessing there is software for a server that will allow such a thing. Lacking that software your best bet is to make the changes one at a time. At the end of the day you would rename the copy file to be the master. The next time you need to edit you would make a copy of that new master and edit from there. If you really want to be paranoid about it, don't delete old master copies so that you have a record of all the changes that were made across time. All you need do is append (or prepend) the date to the name of the master file.
  • To Wit:
    Master.doc = current master R/O
    Master.working.doc = working copy of the current master R/W
    master_01Jan17.doc = dated master archive file R/O
    master_02Jan17.doc = dated master archive file R/O
    master_03Jan17.doc = dated master archive file R/O
Last edited by yogi on 10 Jan 2017, 10:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Kellemora
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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 07 Jan 2017, 12:58

Hi Yogi

I think Debi's Win10 machine uses Homegroup as the default, it's been a while since I messed with it.
I did change ALL of my machines to whatever name it was, and could still not get it up and running.
Did a lot of on-line research and pulled most of my hair out before I finally gave up.
Almost every place I looked said you had to upgrade to the pro version to get LAN.

I must say though, I LOVE this NAS! Been reading up and testing different options.
You probably already knew this, but it can have independent or linked external drives.
Not that I would do this, but if you link the external drives, you could build a RAID system.
I've added an external drive as a separate backup drive for manual backup routine.
This would save carrying my manual backup drive back and forth between the house and the office.
Right now I'm just testing out what all it can do, before dedicating it to a permanent usage.

After my old NAS fried, I bought a 4 terra external as a backup for everything in the office and home.
So for once I have all of my second backups in one place. Don't know why, but this drive is faster than any other I've ever had. Maybe it is Sata inside? While all the rest of my externals are IDE inside.

I'll be able to simplify my entire system even more now that I have the NAS.

Currently, I have an external drive connected to the main computer I call my main file server.
On a second computer I have an external drive I use as a file server also, but it only contains the things I do on the second computer.
On each computer, I copy the files I'm working on to the internal HD, and displayed on my desktop.
I use RSync after each project's work to save the file back to the external.
At the end of day, I RSync the external drives to the 4 terra external.
Plus, right now, since Win10 messed me up. I hand carry two drives from the house to the office and mirror both of the externals up here to those two drives. This way I have all of my data on the externals in the office, a backup on the 4 terra, and an off-site backup down at the house. I no longer have an outstate backup.

What I plan on doing NOW with the NAS, is using it as the only File Server.
It will replace using the two old external drives, one on each computer in my office previously used as file servers.
I will backup the NAS to the 4 terra external up here in the office.
The two old externals will stay connected to the computers as they are now, but be used for manual backup of my daily work I did on the files stored on the NAS, until the NAS backs up to the 4 terra.
I'll use an external drive connected to the NAS to store a backup from my accounting computer that has no LAN.
I don't do daily accounting, normally I only handle this once a week, so it's no problem to use a USB Stick, copy the files to it, then plug it into another computer to copy to the external connected to the NAS.

My old NAS that fried was 2 terra RAID so only held 1 terra of data, and it wasn't nearly full.
The 4 terra external has things on it I don't normally place on a file server, like ISO's and copies of my /home directories. Programs from my old 5-1/4 floppies that no longer have a use, put there to waste space of course, hi hi...
I may not put my family photo files on the NAS, since they are already backed up redundantly several places.

I have a 1 terra internal Sata drive that was pitching IO errors in the computer I had it in, so removed it.
Put it in the Silver Yogi and it tests A-OK on the long bank of tests, but will just be used for combining all the old IDE drives and see which files are the same, so I can finally get rid of them all.
I bought an IDE to USB box so they act like externals, but then the power supply went south before I got the first four loaded. Then with the drive acting up, I just reformatted it to get a clean start.
As old computers died, although I kept redundant backups of the data, I did not backup the stuff I stuck on the desktop I may have downloaded and stuck in a folder there. If I backed up the /home directory, then I still have it. But I only did that a couple of times on the older machines, long before I loaded up the desktop, hi hi...

One last thing. On Linux, when you access a folder on the NAS, it MOUNTS the folder on your desktop. If I have four or five documents I take out of that folder and stick them on my desktop, I have to close each one, then unmount the mounted folder.
I did a little test last night, and I can have the same folder Mounted on different computers, BUT if I try to open the same document, there is a failsafe, it will open the document in Read Only giving the warning the document is in use on another machine. I can rename the document on my desktop, which makes a writable copy of the document, but it is no longer on the server (NAS) unless I purposely save it to the folder under the new name.
It is rare I'm working on the same thing on two different computers anyhow, so it's a mute point.

My concern was opening a folder on a computer, and opening documents without copying them to the desktop, but using them directly from the server, and leaving them open 24/7 on the computer.
This way any changes are saved on the NAS right away.
But I'm wondering if it is wise to leave certain documents open and usable all the time.
For example: I keep my time worked folder open 24/7, but back it up each time I make an entry.
If I have it live from the NAS and simply save it each time I make an entry, will it keep the NAS from doing it's backup?
I'll run a couple of tests to see. I'm just leery about leaving it open, if it causes the NAS to stay on and not go to sleep.
Don't want to wear it out the week I get it, hi hi...

Have a great day Yogi!

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yogi
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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by yogi » 10 Jan 2017, 10:19

Windows invented something called Homegroups. It's made for peer to peer sharing on the same network. I guess you could consider a homegroup to be a subdomain on your LAN. There is also domain level sharing. By default all the Windows machines I've seen come out of the box with a domain labeled WORKGROUP. Thus, in order to see anything external to your computer it too must be in the WORKGROUP domain. Network discovery has to be enabled in order to find those things via a WORKGROUP, but I don't think it's necessary with a homegroup. I found it to be so confusing to set up that I disabled homegroups and share via network discovery and the NAS on my LAN.

The NAS you have is a pretty good stand alone computer. The processor and memory are equivalent to a single core µP which is how things used to run before the multi-core processors came into style. I'm guessing that you can do away with the native OS and install Debian in its place, but then you would lose all those fancy server features for which the NAS was designed. Yes, as I recall, the DS109 can be configured as RAID. If you did that, you could eliminate the need for a lot of those redundant backups you keep. However, your business still should have an off site backup if you want to minimize any interruptions.

I'm glad to learn that you are able to find a use for NAS in general. In the past I've read a few disparaging comments from you regarding them, but I think it all had to do with speed. What you have now is more capable than what you had in the past. It's not just the hardware. I am certain the NAS software in the DS109 might also be more efficient than what you are used to using. Regarding leaving documents open and unattended, my instincts say it's not a great idea. The longer a document is open and active, the greater the chance is for it to become corrupt and unusable. I still think that keeping a master copy on the server is the best way to go. You might want to look into some collaboration software if you need to work on a single document from several different workstations.

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Kellemora
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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 10 Jan 2017, 12:06

Hi Yogi
I won't be going with RAID. I've just about got everything set up the way I like it now.
I'm using the NAS as my file server, and it is plenty fast. Faster than an IDE external drive, and about equivalent to an external Sata drive accessed over the LAN.
As you pointed out, I think it is best that I make a copy of a document from the NAS on my desktop, and manually save it back each time I make changes. Then at night remember to unmount the folder from the NAS that appears on my desktop.
It has an internal program that will perform a backup of the NAS to the 2 terra external, but I've not set it up to do that yet. Nor have I set up RSync to backup the NAS either. Right now I have a double copy of everything I'm putting on the NAS. I was also thinking about changed the HD up to a 1 terra drive, but then I would have to reinstall everything again. I don't think it's worth it to pick up only 250 more gigs of storage. I don't need to keep my archives on the NAS.
Have a great day Yogi!

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by yogi » 16 Feb 2017, 18:42

Unless your business is so critical that you need 100% up time, you really don't need the protection RAID offers. It's a natural for NAS applications, but not a requirement.

When you pick a file off the server and save it to your workstation, you are not doing an actual mount. The file on your desktop isn't tethered to the server once you download it. I'm presuming the NAS is connected to your router so that data transfers are done at Ethernet speeds, not USB, PCIe, Sata, or anything else. If you are using the wireless ports instead you are slowing down your data transfers. When I looked into building a PC for you I noticed that some of the ASUS motherboards support USB 3.5. If you ever upgrade that seems like the way to go given the gigabyte speeds involved. But then, as you know, the system is only as fast as your slowest component. By the way, I think the Silver Yogi is happy to see your NAS. They were a pair when they powered my Command and Control Center. :mrgreen:

Synology provides a lot of functionality in these single bay NAS devices. I was amazed at all it can do if you want to do it. It's not just a spare hard drive. You have a whole Linux operating system at your disposal. It's not as sophisticated as Debian because it's dedicated to a single set of tasks. The downside of it was that I never found a safe way to install new software. It seems that all the functions are customized just for that hardware. Never did find an installer.

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Re: Fried Computers!

Post by Kellemora » 17 Feb 2017, 14:22

The NAS is great Yogi, it has valuable features I finally studied up on and implemented.
I don't work directly from the NAS, which would cause it to be on and spinning all the time.
But everything remains current on the NAS now, so if I need a file, I can go straight to it.

Because I keep several folders on my desktop to do my work, I used to copy them back to an external, which I backed up.
With the NAS's built in programs, it takes care of all of this for me.
Sorta like the way Rsync works, except in reverse. The NAS checks to see if I made a change in a remote folder, and if so it copies those changes back to itself, and then makes a backup on an external drive.

Yes it is connected directly to the Router. I had a little bit of a problem setting it up the way I now have it, since I use Gigabyte Switch in my office to connect all the computers up here.
Rather than worry about IP addresses that can change since they are not static IP addresses, the NAS goes by the name of the computer, regardless of what the current IP address is.
If the folders it needs get unmounted, it remounts them automatically.
So I'm very pleased with this NAS and how I'm using it.

If I want to take a folder from the NAS and make a copy on my desk, there is a way to tell it to keep it mounted, but I forgot how to do this right now, and would have to look it back up again when I need to have a folder from the NAS that it keeps track of for me.

I know it can do a whole lot more than I'm using it for, and if I find a need for one of those features, I'll study up on how to use it.

I had to cancel the order for my new computer, due to some medical expenses and drugs during the transition from one company to another. Also the warehouse he was getting the parts from would have to reorder as they got a backorder notice from their supplier.

Have a great day Yogi!

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