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Topics - Rich J

Linux Support / Samsung Xpress C410W
June 09, 2014, 11:09:38 PM
Hi All

My old HP All-in-one has now been consigned to the bin and I've just taken delivery of the above.  I'd hoped that it would have been detected automatically on switch-on but no such luck!  The supplied cd-rom seems to be just for Windows and the installation sheets only refer to Samsung's site with reference to 'download' for Linux.  I've had a good look at the site but, frankly, can't make head nor tail of it!  :-[

Could anyone point me in the right direction as to installation, please?

Thanks in advance


Hi All

Having taken in the relevant advice re: fresh installing - from my previous post - (thanks to everyone who contributed), I decided not to wait for the KDE version to come out and install Mint 17 Cinnamon on my main HDD.   I downloaded the ISO, burned it to disk and the MD5 Sum is correct.

Given the mix up I had previously with a slave HDD installed (with Zorin on) - as a precaution - I disconnected the slave and installed Mint 17 to the main HDD, letting Mint use the whole disk (no manual setting of partitions this time).  Installation seemed to go ok with the disk ejecting at the end as per normal.  However.................

On boot I get this error - attempt to read or write outside of disk 'hd0'.  Entering rescue mode.........grub rescue>  then nothing further.

To test, I shutdown, reconnected the slave and restarted with the installation disk in.  I checked with GParted and both HDD's are seen and show the following -

(this is the HDD set as Master )  /dev/sda1  ext4  147.05GiB    6.10GiB used   140.95GiB unused    boot
                                                    /dev/sda2  extended   2.00 GiB
                                                    /dev/sda5  linux-swap  2.00 Gib    4.00KiB     2.00Gib

I won't show the slave (sdb1) as I don't want to boot from it yet anyway.  I'm assuming once Mint 17 is running ok, I  can update Grub and get the choice of o/s at the start, as per normal?

I then opened Terminal and tried to update Grub but got this - 'update: command not found'.

Any ideas, please?  Have I missed something obvious?



Linux Support / Boot-Up Failure
May 20, 2014, 11:31:54 AM
Hi All - I seem to have goosed my system!   :o

Running Mint 13KDE with Zorin on slave HDD.

I found another (very old) HDD while having a clear-out and thought I'd check it out before discarding it.  I disconnected my slave HDD and connected up the old one but Mint didn't see it.  I tried swapping it with my main HDD but the system wouldn't boot - no surprises there.  I swapped it with my DVD but again the system wouldn't boot.  Btw, the old HDD had no jumper for Main/Slave etc.

Removing the old HDD and returning all connections to their previous state, the system still won't boot and gives the error -


I've treble-checked the connections and made sure (as far as possible) that everything else is as it should be in the case.  Do you think Grub has possibly been corrupted?  And if so, can I repair it using the installation disk?  The PC does boot to a live session from the DVD.

Thanks in advance

Linux Support / Updating Zorin OS
May 15, 2014, 08:24:43 AM
Hi All - I'm attempting to configure Update Manager in Zorin but have hit a couple of snags.

1   Update Manager informs there are updates available but doesn't list them (upper section is blank)

2  When using Terminal commands 'sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade' it stalls at this -

E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), is another process using it?

As far as I can see, no other processes are running......... (I think this error usually generates if Synaptic is open, but I could be wrong?) ::)

Any clues?

OOPS!!! Please ignore point #2............. Synaptic was running........!!  Senior moment   :-[ :-[



Double OOPS!!  Update has cured issue #1 too........... :-[ :-[ :-[  I really shouldn't get up so early......

Have a nice day everyone!   ;D

Linux Support / Sound problem on Dell Laptop
May 11, 2014, 10:28:36 AM
Hi All!

I've been gifted a Dell Latitude D520 which had XP Pro on it - now removed and replaced with Zorin O/S.  All seems ok with the installation except I can't get sound from the onboard speakers.  Plugging in external speakers works ok - I don't have headphones available to test but assume they would work, as the jack socket is 'live'.

Looking online, there seems to have been sound issues with this particular model of lappy right from the off.   :(  I've tried a few things but nothing will restore sound.  Any ideas?

Thanks, as ever

Linux Support / Grub2 upgrade
May 08, 2014, 08:32:30 AM
Morning everyone!

I've upgraded from Grub Legacy to Grub2 and now I'm trying to install a Grub config tool but with no success!

Grub Customizer isn't in Synaptic and attempting to download via Terminal gives this error -

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
[sudo] password for richard:
You are about to add the following PPA to your system:
This PPA contains the latest release of Grub Customizer.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-customizer
More info: https://launchpad.net/~danielrichter2007/+archive/grub-customizer
Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/add-apt-repository", line 160, in <module>
    sp = SoftwareProperties(options=options)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 96, in __init__
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 584, in reload_sourceslist
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/aptsources/distro.py", line 87, in get_sources
    raise NoDistroTemplateException("Error: could not find a "
aptsources.distro.NoDistroTemplateException: Error: could not find a distribution template

Now - I'm running Mint 13 KDE, which can be a bit quirky to say the least  ::) and KDE has it's own tool - kcm-grub2.  For the life of me I can't get this installed!  It's not in Synaptic and Terminal returns this -

$ sudo apt-get install kcm-grub2
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package kcm-grub2

Have I missed something?

It's not critical - I'm just learning about the system but I'd like to tidy up the grub menu and add a few colours etc............ all part of the process?  ;)



Linux Support / Artec Scanner SOLVED
May 03, 2014, 10:55:57 AM
Hi All!

In preparation for my dumping my old HP all-in-one printer for a new laser one (no scanner) I've dug out an old (c 2000) usb Artec flatbed scanner but I can't get it working with Xsane.

scanimage -L returns this

[email protected] ~ $ scanimage -L
device `gt68xx:libusb:005:003' is a Mustek BearPaw 1200 CU flatbed scanner
[email protected] ~ $

so I assume the scanner is recognised but

scanimage returns this

$ scanimage
[gt68xx] Couldn't open firmware file (`/usr/share/sane/gt68xx/PS1fw.usb'): Not a directory
scanimage: open of device gt68xx:libusb:005:003 failed: Invalid argument

Trying with GIMP gives the same result.  Any ideas please? 

Running Mint 13 KDE and ZORIN.  (to get it working in both would be good but either/or would do  ;) )



Linux Support / HPLIP Toolbox
May 01, 2014, 05:37:12 PM
Hi All - for some reason my HP Toolbox has disappeared! 

I can invoke it from the start menu but it doesn't load and reports a system crash.  I tried removal/ reinstall but no different.  Any clues please?

Running Mint 13 KDE


Linux Support / Scanned image conversion
April 17, 2014, 07:48:46 PM
Hi All

Is there a way to copy the information in a scanned image and paste it into a text file?  Or convert a .ppm file to say, a .doc file?

My wife has to send some info via email attachment but isn't sure if the recipient will be able to open/read it.



Edit:  using Mint 13 KDE
Linux Support / Installation on 2nd HDD
April 08, 2014, 03:23:52 PM
Hi guys!  I've got my 2nd HDD installed, mounted and recognised and I've split it into 2 equal partitions of 20Gb each.  (sdb1 - labelled Linux 2 and sdb2 - labelled Linux 3)  Linux 1 is my main HDD (sda) with Mint 13KDE installed.

I downloaded a copy of Zorin and want to install it to the Linux 2 partition.  I tried Zorin in a live session and had a go at installing it but it threw a warning regarding the partition not being set up correctly?  Can anyone point me to a tutorial giving step-by-step instructions?  Or perhaps give said instructions here?

I would prefer to install without disconnecting my main HDD if poss and I've backed up my data from it as a precaution.

Thanks in advance

Linux Support / Snookered!
April 07, 2014, 04:12:36 PM
Hi All - update from my '2nd Hard Drive' thread.................  here's the outcome.

I purchased a SATA to IDE converter as per Mark's recommendation. 

Leaving my set-up as was - IDE cable from mobo to 1st hdd (sda), then to 2nd hdd - (sdb),  I connected the new set up from SATA on mobo to optical drive.  Boot failed and sat at the options screen (post, bios, boot etc.) Hitting DEL to access bios had no effect. 

I then swapped the SATA converter to sdb and IDE cable to sda and optical drive.  Same - no boot.

I then connected SATA converter to sda and IDE cable to sdb and optical drive - bingo!  Boot achieved as normal, BUT - system doesn't 'see' sdb or optical drive!  So no further on............

I suspect this is a motherboard issue as it seems that when a SATA connection is made it 'ignores' the IDE one.  Changing various settings in bios re: SATA/IDE controllers has had no effect.  Anyone shed any light?

Thanks as always


Linux Support / 2nd Hard drive
March 28, 2014, 04:12:12 PM
Hi All - I came across an old 40GB HDD when having a spring clean and thought it might come in useful as extra storage.  2 issues.......

1  The 2nd HDD is fitted but I can't access the files.  The system 'sees' it (/dev/sdb) but I can't find a way to mount it.  Any ideas, please?

2  The ribbon cable can only cope with 2 drives and I have only 1 connection on the motherboard (Foxconn 945 7MC series) so I can connect the 2nd HDD only at the expense of the Optical Drive.  Are there ribbon cables available that will accommodate 3 drives from 1 outlet?  (There is a floppy connector but it is a different size to the HDD connector).

Linux Mint 13 KDE  2GB RAM 

Thanks in advance


General Discussion / HP Compaq Mini
March 04, 2014, 10:02:43 PM
Evening All

My wife has been given one of the above loaded with XP home and I'm looking to wipe it and replace with a Linux distro. 

It's got a 160GB hdd and 1Gb Ram.  She's familiar with Mint 13KDE, Ffox and Tbird.  She only does a bit of surfing, emailing and the odd text document.

What would you recommend I install, for lightness and speed and for general all-round use?

Ta in advance


Linux Support / HP all-in-one
February 19, 2014, 08:53:38 AM
Hi Everyone!  Advice requested!

My ageing HP PSC 1215 inkjet has started to give problems when printing from Mint 13kde and I'm unsure whether it is a printer issue or an o/s issue.  The set-up is a carry-over from my old Vista days where the printer worked normally.

When I print a document, the printer will sometimes print at its 'normal' output rate, other times will print at about half the 'normal' output rate.  By this I don't mean that it is working more slowly, rather that the paper is coming through more slowly - as if the print head is printing in one direction only - rather than 'back and forth' and consequently taking twice the time to print.

If I run a print job directly within the printer (i.e. scan and print off a copy), the printer runs normally, so I infer from that, that a print request from the computer is somehow being handled differently.  Is it possible that one application (say, Libre Office) will deliver information in a different way than another application (say printing a pdf) or could it possibly be a driver conflict (can an application choose it's own method, as it were)? 

How can I find the information on which driver the printer is using and, if a conflict exists, can I 'force' the printer to use the faster method?

Thanks in advance


Linux Support / Yet more update manager woes!
February 12, 2014, 02:46:35 PM
Hi - I'm running Mint 13kde on my pc and am in the process of setting the same up on a friend's Toshiba lappy - (ex-XP).  I'm attempting to replicate my setup - as near as possible - as he is a complete beginner with Linux so if he hits a snag I should be able to walk him through the processes a little bit easier.

On my rig the update manager appears in the taskbar and is working normally i.e. shows blue when updates are available, green tick when up to date.  Clicking on the icon opens the manager screen ok.  On the lappy, the icon sometimes appears on startup (not every time) and when clicked, opens the password box.  Everything then disappears and the manager box fails to open.  I can run updates from the command line on both machines, no problem.

How can I fix this?   1/ where can I find the info in my pc referring to the config of the update manager?
                             2/ what do I do to replicate this in the lappy's config?

It's not too much of an issue for me but he is a long-time Windows user who hadn't even heard of Linux a month ago so needs his pointy/clicky things!  (I'm trying to persuade him to the dark side (or should that be 'into the light'?)....................................... ;D)

Thanks in advance

Linux Tips & Tricks / New beginnings!
October 20, 2011, 04:30:06 PM
Good afternoon everyone from a complete Linux beginner!  I'm looking for some help and advice please - if you can!

My current set up is a PC running Vista SP2, 2Mb Ram, 3.2 Gigahertz Intel Pentium 4, 150Gb HDD - partitioned 110GB Vista, 40GB unallocated

I've been considering Linux for a while but, like many others, am too lazy/scared/ignorant to leave the familiar haven of Windows!  However - and I am not a Windows basher by any means - I have become increasingly frustrated by the endless need to update my system with security patches, bug fixes, work-arounds etc - ditto anti-virus, malware and firewall - to the extent that I seem to spend more time doing that than working!    Also, I gather that Vista support is to end sometime next year and I have no desire to upgrade yet again and render an otherwise excellent computer redundant!

My preference was to have a separate, dedicated Linux machine but alas a new roof on our house has put paid to that idea!  From past experience I know that Windows can be mighty finicky when messed with so I'm concerned about dual-booting but have no other option at present.  I ran an older, live cd version of Ubuntu as a trial and liked the look of it and have downloaded Ubuntu v 11.10 with a view to dual-booting alongside Vista until I'm comfortable with it and can affect a complete changeover.  Now to the nub............

I have burned a cd and created a memory stick and checked both for errors (1 error found on the cd and 2 on the stick).  When I boot from either of these I get to the Ubuntu logo, hit spacebar for the install screen and choose install.  After a short while a lot of script appears (very similar to the command screen in Windows) and the last entry states 'stopping system V runlevel compatibility'.  Nothing further happens and I have to manually power-off.

Am I doing something wrong?  Have I got a corrupted installation file?  Is there something within Vista that is preventing installation?  I've done a good deal of reading up on this and other forums but haven't come across this particular issue.

Any assistance on the above would be most welcome!

Thanks in advance