DBAN notes

In case  blogspot disappears into the ether, here are some notes if you’re using Unetbootin and a USB key for DBAN in OS X or just happen to run into the “Could not find ramdisk image:/ubninit” error.

  1. If your machine is old you’ll likely need to turn off UEFI/EFI boot and put the BIOS into legacy USB Boot mode.
  2. In OS X using Disk Utility or Terminal wipe your USB key and reformat into a single partition with FAT32/MBR.
  3. Download DBAN’s latest .iso.
  4. Open Unetbootin on the Mac, choose the above .iso and hopefully your USB has mounted as /dev/disk2 or 3 or 4 or whatever to be set as the target destination.
  5. As taken from Stephen Greenhalgh’s DBAN USB Unetbootin Fix Post:

To fix this insert the USB drive back into a computer and open up “syslinux.cfg” in a text editor. Find and replace all occurrences “ubninit” with “ISOLINUX.BIN” and do the same with “ubnkern” with “DBAN.BZI”. Make sure that you match the case.

This worked for me using DBAN 2.3.0.

Increase an NTFS partition while decreasing & moving EXT4

About one year ago I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on a friend’s machine that came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit pre-loaded.  It is a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T430s to be precise.  I decreased the NTFS partition to about 40GB and gave the rest of the 500GB drive to  dual boot Ubuntu (leaving the Lenovo Recovery and Win7 recovery partitions intact).  Long story short (and no fault of 12.04 LTS which has been running very well) the friend and spouse needed more space on the NTFS Windows 7 partition (because everyone loves a bloated Win7 install).

Here are some steps to make this work.  The best piece of advice I found was this, “Use Linux tools to resize Linux partitions and Windows’ tools to resize Windows’ partitions” (gparted’s support for NTFS resizing is/was deemed experimental which is why I decided to use PWHE 8.11) and of course it goes without saying but I’ll say it, “backup your $***”:

  1. backup the EXT4 ‘home’ folder of the Ubuntu user.
  2. boot gparted live to backup/copy the 3 NTFS partitions (MS recovery / Win7 “C:” / Lenovo recovery) onto an external drive.
  3. gparted resize and move EXT4 partition to give an equal split for NTFS and EXT4.
  4. Unallocated space must now be “to the right” of the nearly full NTFS partition.
  5. Burn Partition Wizard Home Edition (8.11) via Ubuntu & Unetbootin to a USB key.
  6. Boot into PWHE 8.11 and “extend” the NTFS partition to reclaim about 100GB for Win 7.
  7. Test both OSes. It is now an even split between NTFS & EXT4 ~230GB each.

Godspeed.

EMU 0404 USB driver finally updates….

I’ve never been displeased with the price performance of the Creative/E-MU 0404 USB 2.0 [DAC] MIDI audio interface, but seeing as how I mostly use it for music listening I’m not super reliant on the latest and greatest drivers, it’s worked fine with OS X.

From past experience, I know configuring just about any USB audio interface in Windows XP was a headache, and I am told Vista/Win7 fixes some of the audio path issues. But I don’t run Windows 7. I have 10.6.8 on my systems now, the Mini is the main playback hub. The E-MU drivers for it were old, think Rosetta, possibly PowerPC binaries, as in old, but they worked. And despite being capable, Creative/E-MU has never enabled 24 bit 192KHz playback with the 0404 USB under OS X. I’m sure it’s possible. This is all to say, when I updated to the latest drivers for 32/64 bit Snow Leopard / Lion compatibility I just wanted to make sure it didn’t break anything, if it sounds better, great, so long as it doesn’t break functionality.

Here’s a link to the October 14, 2011 64 bit Lion driver download page: http://support.creative.com/downloads/download.aspx?nDownloadId=12115

I can’t hear any difference but it didn’t seem to break anything. Still no 192KHz up-sampling option.

On a side note, C says it’s not worth it yet to sync all the songs to the cloud, too much lag, in which case I need to upgrade to a 1TB 9.5mm 2.5″ SATA drive in the Mini, as I’m running low on space. I like having most albums at 16bit/44.1KHz lossless audio, and I occasionally buy CD’s and rip it to such. For streaming over the cloud 320kbps .mp3/aac seems to be standard. At $5/mo Spotify doesn’t sound very good, comparatively, $10/mo apparently bumps the streaming quality. At home FLAC/Apple Lossless sounds better, for sure.

And more…

Another project we knocked off the list this week was soldering the correct DC coaxial tip onto an old Iomega Zip Drive (120AC to 5VDC) linear power supply. From what I read online this was the best value to upgrade the cheap switching mode power supply that comes with the E-MU 0404 USB sound card; I found one in NJ on eBay for $8 shipped.

Another fix was for the 8 AWG stranded copper speaker wire I bought a few years ago (which never fit my amp or speaker inputs) but last week I found some banana plugs that fit just fine. And now there appears to be more bass going on.

Iomega Zip Drive 5VDC

Iomega Zip Drive 5VDC (upgrad3!)

Dayton Audio BAGS-G

Dayton Audio BAGS-G (8 AWG!)