Raspberry Pi Lab


Troubleshooting My First Install

by on Dec.26, 2013, under Installation, Troubleshooting

debugging-computer-transparent-tightWell, the instructions I detailed in my previous post were correct and worked as intended.  The procedure I followed was NOT the problem.

To trouble shoot, I first verified the image was flashed to the SD card correctly by re-flashing the same card.  But when that didn’t produce a different result, I decided to test the micro-SD card adpater by trying the flashed mico-SD with all four of my adapters.  But no luck there either.

Next I decided to try a different micro-SD card.  I have a couple of 8Gb micro-SDs to I grabbed one of them and flashed it with the same procedure I detailed in my previous post.  When I tested that SD on the RPi, I could see a different result on the board.  In addition to the solid red LED that was there in the previous tests, I could now see a flashing green LED.  I’ve been around computers long enough to recognize the flashing of the green LED as boot up activity.

However, there was still no result on the monitor.  The next step was to test the monitor.  The monitor and VGA cable tested ok by connecting to my iPad.  So I took the RPi over to the TV and pulled the composite video from the VHS.  With the composite video connected to the RPi it booted into Occidentalis.

Conclusion…  My initial install had a bad 4Gb micro-SD card AND a bad HDMI to VGA converter.   How’s that for bad luck?  Hmmm?

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Installing Occidentalis

by on Dec.26, 2013, under Installation

First step is to download the latest version of Occidentalis here.

The download page states that an SD Card of at least 4Gb will be necessary to install the Occidentalis image.  No problem.  I have a couple of 8gb SD cards and a 4Gb card.  Since this is my first install and I don’t know how much additional space I’ll need.  I’m going to go ahead a chose the smaller, 4Gb card.

tux-transparentNext, I’ll follow the install instructions found here.  These are  instructions for Raspbian Wheezy, but they should work to get my Occidentalis up and running.

Ok, so the “instructions” on that page are a bit, shall we say, wordy.  Here is what I did to get the SD card imaged.  I’ve already downloaded Occidentalis and extracted the archive to the HDD on my laptop.

1.  Mount the SD card on my laptop.

2. Determine the disk. NOT the partition.  Using the ‘sudo fdisk -l’ command I was able to determine that my 4Gb SD card is ‘/dev/mmcblk0’.  This will be different on your computer.

3. Next I’ll write the image to the disk using the ‘dd’ command.  Like this…’sudo dd bs=1M if=<your image file>.img of=/dev/<disk# from step 2>’.

Note… You will see that my dd command had a capital M in the ‘bs-1M’ parameter. There is no lower case m as a byte multiplier in dd.  See ‘man dd’ for more details.

Also note… The dd command gives absolutely no indication of it’s progress and can appear frozen.  Be patient.  This process could take several minutes.  Fortunately, my SD card reader has an activity LED, so I knew it was working.  Like I said… patience.

4.  Run the command ‘sudo sync’.  This will flush the write cache and unmount the SD card.  It is now safe to remove the card.

5.  I re-inserted the SD card.  Two partitions were mounted and appeared healthy  Of course, I issued the ‘sudo sync’ again before removeing the card.

6.  Put the card in the Rpi and it should work.  That is according to all the instructions.  It didn’t work for me and that will be the topic of my next article.






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