Saturday, September 5, 2015

Asus T100 Transformer Windows 10 upgrade quick notes


I didn't really plan on making any input on this, but there has been so much written and spoken about the upgrade to 10, how to do it and security I had to comment.

I do not have the reference, but apparently the free Windows 10 upgrade for selected OSs requires an install over an existing that is how I did mine.


Background is I have a bone stock T100.  I moved files around and deleted some programs to give myself 7 gigs of space on the C: drive.  (I have a large microSD card for the D: drive)

It was running Win8/8.1 (I think it might have been 8 and I upgraded to 8.1...don't remember) preinstalled, and no OS key on the machine or on the kind of hard to type one in (I won't get into software that gets those keys)


I did not like the 'metro' of 8.1...although as a tablet it was handy at times...depending on what apps you had. 


So I used the toolbar prompt to upgrade to 10.  It downloaded some files, and started installing.   During the install it said I can always roll back to 8 and it did not ask if I wanted to migrate data.

Took maybe half hour to an hour to do the install, rebooted a few times during the install.

Now here is the part where you need to pay attention. 


After the install is complete, it goes through the setup process, and asks a ton of questions (If you don't select default install).   The good news is you appear to have a lot of control over privacy and security...the bad news is it defaults to sharing everything, using all open wifi spots, sharing your location and browsing history with whoever, and probably some others I don't remember.  

The better news is you can say no to everything, and later on in the settings can easily turn some back on if you feel lucky.

The big news about sharing your wifi settings to your contacts has changed...the settings are different,  I did not see the same options that I read about.


I already much prefer 10 to 8.  The tablet interface is similar but a bit different...and BTW the 'metro' screen is not the default, but you can pull it up by selecting 'Tablet mode' on the right swipe menu.  (for those used to the 8 interface).

Overall feel is much tighter...I felt 8.1 still was a bit flakey...this one feels like it has a strong regular desktop mode, and the tablet mode (metro) also feels much tighter.


All my previously installed software, either desktop programs, or metro apps still work just fine...and they haven't moved.  (although the metro screen is a bit different).


If you are running 8/8.1 hurry and do this upgrade!   I haven't upgraded 7 yet...I will probably do my 7 laptop first...but I don't yet see any downsides to upgrading it either...however if you like your 7, you might as well wait...but if you are on a tablet...upgrade.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ReadyNAS NV+ failure to update firmware fix and some notes.

In the world of NAS devices there are now a ton to choose from with a lot of features...not so back in 2007.

Back then I bought the Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ and added 4 500GB drives. in RAID5.   Now back then 500GB drives were pretty big, so a RAID 5 system was a pretty good amount of  redundant storage.

Some time later, Netgear bought out Infrant and all further ReadyNAS devices had the Netgear label on them.

I actually have two of these.  One a brand new Infrant, the other a used Netgear off ebay (a few years newer) (with 2GB drives in X-RAID).   Since I bought them I haven't have any trouble other than a couple of dead drives, and one blown power supply (magic smoke and all).

In my network, the older Infrant device holds all documents/pictures.   The newer Netgear holds all media files.

BTW, the RAID 5 system shares redundancy across the disk array, so if you lose only one drive, you can replace that drive and the RAID will rebuild it self.   You lose some storage, but the speed is pretty good.

X-RAID is a Netgear technology which has redundancy across the drives, but also allows for different sized drives and expandability by putting larger drives into the array.

These are older NAS devices, and there are better newer ones...but these still work, and are still supported with firmware updates from Netgear.

Which brings us to the point of this post.

The Netgear one I have has sucessfully accepted firmware updates, up to and including the latest.  4.1.14 as of 13 Oct 2014.

However the Infrant has balked on firmware updates since 4.1.12 from 2013.   By balked I mean I got the following message "invalid image" and other vague unable to update messages.   I attempted the update through both the web interface direct download, and by downloading to my computer and letting the web interface find it there.

No dice.   To add a bit more pain, the Infrant seemed to run a bit erratically when it came to network access, i.e. disconnects, slow connections etc.

I was really getting close to doing a wipe on the whole machine and starting over.   I had done backups to an external USB drive (that funny enough could hold the entire RAID.)  But I didn't really want to start over.

 A lot of websites mentioned that the log file on the OS partition might be full...well I didn't have SSH access, so I couldn't manually clear them.

Quite by accident I noticed an unrelated problem solution...the solution was to do an OS reinstall.  An OS reinstall would not touch any of the file structure or data, simply reload the last firmware installed as if it was new...only the admin password would change to default.   (admin netgear1 for this version of firmware).

I had nothing to lose, and this shouldn't damage anything...and I had a backup...

So, to do the OS reload on the Netgear (or Infrant) NV+ with a 4.xx firmware-

1. power off device.
2. use paperclip to press and hold reset button on back of case near USB ports.
3. power on device and release reset button when drive lights first come on.   (if you wait till second flash it will completely wipe the system.)

4. profit

After the normal long boot process (I watched using the Netgear RAIDar software)  the NAS booted up with 4.1.13.  (before I did this, it did not display a firmware version).

Once it was up, I changed the admin password back to the one I was using, and had the web interface to an update...the update went just fine, and it rebooted to 4.1.14 (the latest firmware)

There are plenty of websites with some pictures of this process...but it wasn't difficult, just for whatever reason the previous update or the one before that jammed the system.

It works fine now, and works better than it has in a few years.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Kenwood TM-D710 reboots at transmit/deaf possible fix!

The D710 was the radio I bought when I got my Tech license in the fall of ' it is about 6 years old.

I haven't really had any trouble with it, but starting a year or two ago on VHF at High power the radio would reset/reboot when I keyed up.  If I lowered the power to Medium then it would not reboot (I assumed some sort of low voltage condition).  More recently I noticed that it was getting deafer, unable to hear repeaters that should be in range.

I probably wouldn't have done anything, but I found a couple of websites describing a design flaw of this radio (and maybe it's sister the D700) having to do with some filters.

Here are the links I found.

I ordered mine from PacParts for $25 with shipping.

I followed the directions on the previous links on how to disassemble the radio but I didn't feel comfortable attempting to disconnect the center antenna pin from the main board...luckily all I had to do was rotate it 90deg and I could access both sides of the board to remove and replace the filters.

Note, my mainboard had the filter name silkscreened to the board to make it harder to put the wrong filter in.  Also note, the actual filter name is only the 50G, 50E, 55G, and 55E...the part number on the replacement makes it a bit more confusing than it needs to be, but not difficult.  I have the vacuum powered desoldering system, so removing the filters (5 tiny pins) was not difficult.

Fast forward.  I got it all back together and tested a local VHF repeater using High power, worked fine and radio did not reboot.  I did not get a chance to test the UHF part until I drove home from a radio meeting last night.  I had the radio scanning the 'local' repeaters for my drive and I picked one up that sounded clear so I joined in the middle of a net checking...oops I had not heard the net part.  But they kindly gave me a signal check and said audio was clear but a bit scratchy...then after I told them my position they told me I was 65 miles from the repeater, and due to the terrain, not line of sight...So apparently the UHF is fine, and also the propagation was good last night.

If you have an older radio, and any symptoms like I listed, I would swap out those filters.