Posts Tagged EEE BOX

A Solution for PXE-E60 error at boot time

A couple of weeks ago, my EEE BOX refused to boot. There was an error message said
“PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM”

I did not know what happened for the machine. Simply thinking that the machine is dead. Something is broken. But I did not totally gave up. Today I search the internet and see what I can get. Luckily, one article said the following:

1. Enter the BIOS setup screen at the beginning of the boot time
2. Reset to default setting

I did what it said and my machine is alive again. So it was not caused by physical damage instead the some bad settings in BIOS CMOS memory.

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Experiencing Samba sharing in O!Play Air HDP-R3

I bought a ASUS O!Play Air for $104 from buy.com with this coupon in the other day. I was amazed about the little box. I always like ASUS products. I started to play with it and upgrade it firmware to the latest release v1.17N. One thing I tried today is to enable its Samba sharing function.

I read a nice post at http://durao.net/2010/06/01/oplay-hdp-r1-nas-with-firmware-1-27/. It provides simple command to enable the Samba sharing function as the following:

cd /tmp/package/script
./configsamba
./samba start

To do this, you have to telnet to the box first.

First find out the IP address the little box has from its user interface. In your Windows box, use telnet or PuTTY to telnet to box by this IP address. Log in with root and no password. Then, all you need to do is to type the above Linux command to enable Samba sharing. That will allow you to access the external storage attached to the device.

Once this is done, you can use your windows explorer to find and browser files and folders on O!Play. Type \\192.168.2.15 (replace with your real IP addrss) to the address bar. I got the shared drive. I selected a folder on O!Play (wlan) and copied entirely over the net to my Windows box (wlan). Figure 1 show some detail information related file coping.


Figure 1

One thing make me bad is that there connection error message pop up frequently. Figure 2 is one of the error message.


Fgiure 2

After I saw this errors, I tested copy function through my wired machine. The windows box (wlan) is same, select and copy file and folder from a wired Linux machine (lan). The speed is much fast 1.86 MB/second instead ot 700-800 KB/second in the above O!Play case. I also connect the O!Play air with ethernet cable to the LAN, the speed bumped up to 2.0MB/second (15 Mbps). That makes me thinking the the Wireless Card (N category) is a very cheap one and does show a lot of errors, just like the ones on EEE BOX machines. My other machines have much better wireless card or wireless usb adapter than those in EEE Boxes. I do not expect I got great hardware at this low price. So I recommend that you always connect your O!Play to your network through wired cable whenever it is possible.

Visit a collection of links and files related to O!Play Media Player at http://bookmark.sunfinedata.com/index.php?id_category=478.

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Restore Windows on EEE BOX without CD/DVD drive (boot from USB falsh drive)

ASUS provides your a DVD recovery disk for your EEE BOX machine, which does not have CD/DVD drive. When something of your OS goes wrong, you have to plug in a CD/DVD drive to run the recovery DVD to get Windows recovered. It happened that I do not have a portable CD/DVD drive available. How can I install the Windows OS without pluging in a Cd/DVD drive? The answer is it is not easy but you can do it. A step by step instruction is given here.

1 Software needed

– Ultra ISO Creator Version 9 Trial  from  http://www.ezbsystems.com/ultraiso/download.htm
– A USB flash drive with at least 2 GB free space
– a XP computer with DVD drive and USB 2.0  port
– Asus EEE Recovery DVD
– Optional  (to avoid working with original DVD) : a program to create the bootable ISO of your Recovery DVD. I used  LCIsoCreator.exe  from http://www.lucersoft.com/freeware.php
– PeToUSB

2 Create an ISO file from the ASUS original Recovery DVD

a ) Unzip  the  file LcIsoCreator.zip in a folder of your choice
b) Insert Asus EEE Recovery DVD into the drive
c) Launch LcIsoCreator.exe, select the DVD unit and click on  Create ISO. Type the file for your iso image , for example : EEE.iso

3a Create your bootable Asus EEE USB flash drive (using Ultra ISO)

a) Install Ultra ISO with default settings
b) Launch UltraISO, click on Continue to Try ..
c) If you decided to work using an iso image instead of the physical DVD mount the iso image on a virtual DVD (Tools / Mount to drive  (F6)). You can  also mount it using another tool such Daemon tool if you prefer it.
d) From menu select  File / Open CD/DVD e select the DVD drive of the Asus EEE Recovery DVD (physical or virtual depending on your previous choices)
e) Insert your USB pen into an USB port
f) From menu select Bootable  / Write Disk Image. on Disk Drive select the USB pen drive, on Image File you should have already the DVD drive, on Write Method select USB-HDD.
g) Click on Xpress Boot and wait the image creation. It will take about 30 minutes

3b Create your bootable Asus EEE USB flash drive (using PeToUSB)

a) Unzip PeToUSB to a folder
b) Connect a USB Flash Drive with at least 2GB of storage to your PC and start PeToUSB
c) The USB flash drive should show up under Destination Drive. Check USB Removable, Enable Disk Format and Enable File Copy
d) Finally browse to the Source Path of the EEE.iso created in the second step
e) Click “Start” button and answer the following two questions “Continue?” with “Yes”. All existing volumes and data will be lost!
Depending on the write speed of your USB Flash drive it may take a while to copy all EEE.iso files.
f) If everything goes well, the message “Operation Completed Successfully!” should appear. Click “OK” and close PeToUSB.

4 Modify WINPE.ISO to Choose Symantec Ghost as start application

a) Use Ultra ISO open WINPE.ISO on the USB falsh drive
b) Navigate to I386\SYSTEM32\ and find WINPESHL.INI
c) Extract this file to your hard drive
d) Open the file WINPESHL.INI and change …

[launchApp]
AppPath=x:\EPCRecover.exe

… to …

[launchApp]
AppPath=x:\GHOST32.EXE

… and save the changes

e) Copy this file back to I386\SYSTEM32\ in UltraISO
f) Save your modification to the USB flash drive
In addition, please also copy all content in the ASUS drive CD to the USB flash drive. You need it once the Widnows is installed.

5 Recovery process

a) Connect the USB Flash Drive to your Eee PC and turn on the Eee
b) Press “Delete” at the boot screen and you will be able to open BIOS setup page
c) Go to Boot tab and set the Hard Drive to USB flash and set it to first priority drive
d) After booting from USB Flash Drive, WinPE (Windows Preinstallation Environment) should start and finally Symantec Ghost
e) Click “OK” and then “Local > Disk > From Image”. From the pulldown menu on the top choose your USB Flash Drive. It should be drive X:, because Windows assigned this drive letter during boot up. From here you can choose the image file ASUS.GHO.
f) Now you have to select the destination drive. Of course this should be the Eee BOX hard drive
g) The next window will show you the destination drive details. Here you can change the partition layout or just click “OK” to keep the default settings.
h) The ghost image ASUS.GHO was password protected. You have to use the password “mbrcd” to proceed. There will be one last question “Proceed with disk restore?”. If you click “Yes”, the process will be started

6 Install and setting your Windows

It was a big pain to install Windows and set up all things. It took hours to complete. After Windows installation is done, you can navigate the ASUS drive folder on your USB flash drive and start the setup program. It will automatically install all drivers for you.

Now it is time to enjoy your brand new EEE BOX.

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Hands-on Instruction for Installing Ubuntu Server Edition to EEE Box

Introduction

EEE Box (buy a new one with HDMI output only $219.99 at buy.com with this coupon) is a nice min desktop machine, quiet and fast enough for a home file and web server. Since there is a need to create a web server and mysql server, I bought a coupple of EEE Box recently. One has Windows XP as OS and the other with Linux as OS. I want to install Debian or Ubuntu Linux Server to the machines. First thing I did was to search how to install Ubuntu to the machines. After I read articles in several forums, I had rough idea how to do it. In one weekend, I started to follow information in one of the forum articles and ended up no success.

The first strange thing I found is the boot sequence of EEE box. I changed the sequence of bootable drives in “Boot Setup” -> “Boot Device Priority”. It did not have any effect when I rebooted the machine with a USB memory stick. Then I went back to the Boot Setup menu again. I saw there is one more choice – “Hard Disk Drivers”. In this menu, I could change the 1st drive to USB memory stick. Once the change was saved and the machine is rebooted, it actually used the USB memory stick to boot the machine. But there is no valid OS or boot information in the memory stick. I had to search internet again and to find more information to prepare USB memory stick. That ended up the following successful story, a hands-on step by step instruction to install Ubuntu Server Edition to EEE Box machines.

Prepare a USB memory stick

First things first, we need download UNetbootin. This is handy software working both in Windows and Linux envrionments. Here is its offical description: “UNetbootin you to create bootable Live USB drives for a variety of Linux distributions from Windows or Linux, without requiring you to burn a CD. You can either let it download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you’ve already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn’t on the list.” It can handle all kinds of Linux system, such as Ubuntu, Debian, Gento and so on. To visit the website to learn more about it.

Second, we need download Ubuntu Server Edition, the iso file for installation. Be sure to click the server edition icon in the page and download the right iso file. I personnally prefer to bring everything locally and mke sure the installation go flawlessly and smoothly.

Once you download both files to your computer, you can start UNetbootin program and select install from ISO file and choose your USB memory stick. Installing the system the memory stick is a piece of cake.

Handle BIOS setup

EEE Box boot setting is little bit different from other machines. Be sure to follow the instruction here to change the boot device priority correctly.

  1. Please insert the USB memory stick you prepared in the first step before you reboot your system
  2. Press [DEL] key after EEE Box splash screen, it brings you to BIOS setup program
  3. Use you cursor to navigate to “Boot” menu. “Boot Settings” is under this menu
  4. Select “Hard Disk Drivers” to progress to next screen, which lists all available “hard drivers” for selection
  5. Highlight “1st Drive” and change the selection to “USB:Kingston DataT” (in my situation, yours will be different)
  6. Press [Esc] key back to the parent menu and then press [F10] key to save the changes you just did and rebout the system

Install Ubuntu Server Edition to EEE BOX

After your system reboots from the USB memory stick, a menu will pop up. There are a number of choices available. Select “Install” in the startup menu to start install Ubuntu system to your hard drive. Here I will not expalin the detail installation. You should follow the screen prompts to choose appropriate options to install your server OS or refer to proper sections in Ubuntu website.

Install GRUB to hard drive

If your system had Windows XP running before you installed the Ubuntu system, you need complete the following stem, otherwise you will get error message during reboot. The stupid installation program did not know writing GRUB bootloader to the hard drive you were working with. In stead, it wrote GRUB to your USB memory stick and left your hard drive unbootable.

  1. Boot your system with the USB stick in one USB port
  2. Make your hard driver bootable by the following command# fdisk /dev/sda
    type “a” to change the first partition (1) to bootable
    type “w” to write change to hard drive
  3. Install GRUB to your hard drive# cd /usr/sbin/
    # ./grub-install /dev/sdc

“/dev/sdc” in the above command is your hard drive. You might need change it based on your machine. Once these steps are completed, you can reboot your computer without USB stick normally.

First reboot

If you did not choose installing GUI interface, you will see a lot of information in text mode, which tells you what devices are started correctly, what modules are started and so on. Shortly the log in prompt will show up. You can use the admin user and password you created during installation process to log in the brand new Ubuntu system. Congratulations!

Based on Ubuntu description, the root accout is disabled at default since the admin account has full power to work with the system. By any reason you want to enable root account, please following the simple step below to do it.

# sudo passwd root

Enter your admin user password
Enter new root password
Reenter new root password

Once you finish the above command successfully, your root account is enabled. To log in root account you can use the su command.

# su
Entry root password

Sweet. We are in root account. Remember that you have unlimited power to change anything in the system. So be careful when you do anything for the system. From now on, you can enjoy the robust Linux server serving for you quietly and efficiently. The can run months without any maintenance.

This page you are reading is served by the lovely machine with Ubuntu Server Edition OS.

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