Monday, November 21, 2011

Upgrading Ubuntu 10.04 to 11.10.

Due to the Kernel of my current Ubuntu Linux being incompatible with the new squashfs, I wanted to update my Ubuntu desktop to the newest version, 11.10. The old version I was using was 10.04 LTS (long-term support).

The process had to be done in three parts, and took a quite long time (~3 hours). If you have a slow internet it could take much more. But at least the process was straightforward.

First, I upgraded from 10.04 to 10.10 with this guide (quoted below).

Upgrade from 10.04 LTS to 10.10 - Network Upgrade for Ubuntu Desktops (Recommended)


You can easily upgrade over the network with the following procedure.
  1. Open the Software Sources application from the System -> Administration menu
  2. Select the sub menu Updates from the Software Sources application
  3. Change the Release Upgrade drop down to "Normal Releases" and close the application
  4. Press Alt-F2 and type update-manager 
  5. Click the Check button to check for new updates.
  6. If there are any updates to install, use the Install Updates button to install them, and press Check again after that is complete.
  7. A message will appear informing you of the availability of the new release.
  8. Click Upgrade.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions.


The process took about 40 minutes. I still had to upgrade from 10.10 to 11.04 and from 11.04 to 11.10, so at this point I realized it will take a while.

After the upgrade was ready, I rebooted the computer and once again opened the update-manager and clicked on the "Upgrade" button. The upgrade from 10.10 to 11.04 took about 50 minutes for me.

And then at 11.04, after the reboot, I did the same thing again. Again, the process took about 50 minutes.

So finally I had arrived  at 11.10. Things look a lot different now, but it didn't take too long to get used to. And finally the squashfs-tools work!

Hint:
If you don't know how to see the version of your Ubuntu installation, type cat /etc/issue in a terminal window.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Asus K8n bios update

I was bummed to find out that there was no USB boot option on my K8N motherboard BIOS. Hoping that a BIOS update would give me that option, I started to figure out what to do.

I downloaded the latest BIOS version from the ASUS K8N pages. (download -> select your OS -> BIOS -> Bios version 1011). The version 1011 was released in 2006, so I figure that will be the last version they will release.

Then I got the Asus Update program for Win XP, from softpedia.

First, I saved the current BIOS for backup reasons. I selected "Save current BIOS to file" and clicked Next, chose a folder and saved it as "oldBIOS.rom".

Then I updated the BIOS with "Update BIOS from file". I chose the new BIOS rom file "1011.rom" I downloaded earlier.

The BIOS Flash window.

After a short while the BIOS flashing window appeared, with info on my current BIOS version and the one I was updating into. I figured it would be safer to clear the CMOS checksum to get the default settings, in case the old settings would be somehow incompatible with the new BIOS version.

I clicked flash and crossed my fingers.

Flashing complete.

Then to reboot the computer, hoping it would boot without problems... (If a BIOS update fails and you're left with a crippled BIOS, you can say goodbye to your mainboard unless you have 1337 skillz. So be warned!)

...and it worked! I was able to boot to USB from the boot menu (press F8 at boot time to get there). However, there is no option to set USB in the BIOS setup utility boot order settings. It seems I can only boot to USB by manually going to the boot options menu every time. But that's OK with me as long as I can boot from USB!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comments!