3141592
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Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:45 am

Raspberry Pi: A Rampage.

I bought 3 of them. new.

Pi 3 directly back to supplier, it could not hold a microcard. Nu push in to hold and push again te release. Was already visible through the holes in the header that something was wrong. Just sliding in, but no boot.

Few years ago, when I bought the 2B+ I checked somewhere for empty card brands/types that are tested. Bought 2 of those empty 16 GB cards, and according to directions formatted and filled them with NOOBS. Also I erronuously bought an official NOOBS 8GB Raspberrycard.

Now recently bought a book Python in 24 hours, so I started to use them with that book as hands on experience.

a) Sometimes the equipment keeps hanging in the multicolored starting screen that is displayed before boot.
Independent of card, inserted microSD ,or official powersupply.

b) Sometimes (pretty often) things go wrong during boot, a lot of error messages a lot of repetitions, Independent of used microSD and card combination

c) When it happens that I can login I change the password raspberry in pi with raspi-config selection 2.
With one setup combination of card microSD that was possible, with another not. The procedure was OK, but after sudo reboot
the new password was not present, the old one was still valid. The procedure is OK and performed on command line level. Some line "password changed sucsesful" finalizing the procedure, confirms that.

d) When I give the command startx one of the GUI's is started, but the mouse becomes slower and slower pretty fast, and I can't just do nothing to escape except a forced power down. That is what I hate because I can't check the integrity of the NOOBS card.

e) Often after booting I reach the login prompt but the keyboard turns out to be dead.. Reboot helps after a forced power down.by pulling the mains connector.. This all is independent of used SCcard, used Pi and used powerconnector..
I have (only) one USB mouse and one USB keyboard, they both work errorfree on my windows lap top.

f) Last time I wanted to reformat a NOOBS-card and put a SHA-1 checked recent version of NOOBS on it.. In fact the original NOOBS 8GB card, because possibly due to the forced power switchoff ,that would not boot anymore.
There is an instruction how to format empty never used cards but not for used cards that are indicated as 817 MB or something on a Windows PC..
Must you format-erase of format-overwrite, or light and what about the size that is indicated as 817 MB of formatted and NOOB filled cards in windows? (So do the 16GB types) And what about a volume title.

g) The book (Python in 24 hours) says: connect wired your Pi wuth Internet through an ethernet cable. Update your software. When it finalised with 0 downloaded 0 changed you are up to date,
No deal, when I boot without ethernet connector the same message, NOT the in the book named error massage that there is no Internet-connection, appears. The Pi software hence reacts as if there is an Internet connection.

h) The book says You must download xscreensaver via the ethernet connector., with a supplied command line Result a lot of error messages that http://URL's can not be reached, No instruction how to debug this, no instruction how to find the IP and MAC op the Pi, and a DHSC server function. I connected direct to the ADSL modem, via a cable that is normally connected to my router.

i) In the mean time the second card his cardholder will not hold the card anymore due to overuse and or bad construction

Is this all meant for unexperienced children for education?
Last edited by 3141592 on Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gkaiseril
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:13 pm

The pace of change for computers has far outstripped the ability of books being printed to keep up with the changes. Since Pi 3 has both wired network and wireless network connections built-in one should be able to use either for updating the system and applications. Just because an old book says to use the wired network connection on a system that only has a wired network connection is short sighted by the authors.

Since the original Pi and Pi 2 did not have the built-in wireless ability many books have not been updated for the Pi 3 with the wireless capability. I have downloaded both apps and system updates using the wireless connection and installed Xscreen saver as part of the Cambridge screen saver and theme. I have even updated the OS by downloading the image and using apt-get dist-upgrade without problems and no apparent difference. I am always using the wireless connection on a public network.

I have found that the on-line documentation on the Raspberry Pi Org site is the best source for current information.

Also many components on the Pi circuit board may have a substitute part for some runs for various reasons that might not be disclosed by the vendor, so some flexibility will be needed when using the hardware.

In many cases just trying some simple tasks like using the wireless vs the wired network connection could only result in success or failure with no damage to the hardware. If all fails one can reimage the OS onto an SD card and start over. One could even keep older images of the OS to go back to a previous version.
f u cn rd ths, u cn gt a gd jb n cmptr prgrmmng.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:00 pm

3141592 wrote: Pi 3 directly back to supplier, it could not hold a microcard. Nu push in to hold and push again te release. Was already visible through the holes in the header that something was wrong. Just sliding in, but no boot.
That's a feature, not a bug. Some people had trouble with the push-to-latch uSD holders found in the Pi2B so the RPT swithed to a simple friction hold in the Pi3B.

Heater
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:57 pm

3141592,

That is a long rant you have there.
Pi 3 directly back to supplier, it could not hold a microcard. Nu push in to hold and push again te release.
Did it not occur to you that is the way it should be?
Is this all meant for unexperienced children for education?
Well, yeah. Seems they have no problem with it.

Question is why do you?

If you could restrict your post to a single problem perhaps an answer would be forth coming.

As for books, well, they are often out of date before they are published.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

stderr
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:27 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:That's a feature, not a bug. Some people had trouble with the push-to-latch uSD holders found in the Pi2B so the RPT swithed to a simple friction hold in the Pi3B.
I sometimes mix up the two schemes because I forget that this is a pi2 or is it a pi3? It's not a good idea to be ripping the card out of the slot that you are supposed to use the push in spring on. But it's not as bad as the Acer notebook that I have that uses both methods in different sdcard holders in the same machine!

3141592
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:46 pm

Thanks for the reply.

The received P3 has a friction card holder OK, still it did not boot with a good card that works in a P2.
I suspect it was distributed by the supplier, while he got it already returned from an earlier customer, because I missed documentation in the box.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:47 pm

Heater wrote:
Is this all meant for unexperienced children for education?
Well, yeah. Seems they have no problem with it.
Kids in either a formal or informal educational setting are very likely to have a knowledgeable adult right there. If not...some other kid that who has worked through the issue already and/or is just more ept with these things than others in the room. There is really no call to be snarky about it. (Though if you just having a bad day, I can sympathize.)

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:57 pm

3141592 wrote:Thanks for the reply.

The received P3 has a friction card holder OK, still it did not boot with a good card that works in a P2.
I suspect it was distributed by the supplier, while he got it already returned from an earlier customer, because I missed documentation in the box.
Fairly likely that is the case. Companies do try to clear old inventory and if there is a new board release that requires a current build, it's going to be a problem. That's a big part of the reason why, when someone can't get a pre-built SD card to boot, the most common advice is "download the current image and and put that on the card". However, in your case, where you have working Pi2Bs, you could take a card like that, use it to boot a Pi2B, and bring it up to date. At that point it should work in a Pi3B.

I can understand your frustration, even if I don't directly share it (I do get frustrations of my own, but they tend to be a bit more abstruse). My wife is very much not a techie and I have to solve her computer problems for her. Even so, she has less trouble with a Pi (to the minimal extent she uses one) than she does with a full Windows desktop. Her early, direct work done on computers was as an end user with PDP 11/70s running bsd 2.9 unix.

3141592
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:40 pm

Many thanks for the replies.

Because one of the 3 micro SD's that I obtained in the time I bought the Pi 2 B and pI 2 b+ was not working anymore, (the 8GB with the raspberry print)
I did the reformatting in 2 different ways

1 .
With ''overwrite'' and ''format size adjustment on.'' selection in SDformatter V4.0
A downloaded (last month) version of NOOBS with Raspbian included was already available, with checked SHA-1 bytes
Unpacked that in a separate PC-directory, and the whole bunch of un-zipped files inside that directory copied to the formatted SC card.(not the unzip_directory but the contents of that directory)
All under windows on a PC. No problems encountered.

Card pushed in Pi 2B, USB mouse and USB keyboard attached. poweron. After the multicolor screen A NOOBS window appeared. It turns out that it is nearly impossible to select raspbian and completely impossible to start installation.

That is because the mouse is not working, and the keyboard arrow keys or enter key after a long waiting time (minutes) was marking the raspbian field, with a fast on/off cross changing, resulting in a stable cross. It is not possible to select the installation field. An empty mousepointer (only contour not filled in black) is unmovable in the middle of the NOOB window. tab key does nothing.

Power on/off/on does not help.

2. Whole procedure again but now with SCFormatter selected on ''Erase'' and ''format size adjustment on.''
Did not help me. No install selection possible with a mouse or keyboard arrow keys. Also not with only a mouse of only a keyboard. on the Pi.

The Pi still works with the old 2 16GB cards that I filled in the time those boards were the most recent products.
It starts up in Linux command mode.

Heater
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:58 pm

Just install Raspbian. That NOOBS thing seems to cause more trouble than it is worth judging by the problems people have with it that come up around here.

Get the Raspian image from here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/

Follow the simple installation instructions here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... /README.md

Job done. Over the years I have never known this to fail.

I have no idea about your mouse problems. Except that I have one wireless mouse, with the typical USB/wireless dongle, that works very slowly in Raspbian for some odd reason.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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mahjongg
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:32 pm

since the invention of Pibakery and other safe sd-card imagers like Etcher the need for noobs to use NOOBS has become much less, (Pibakery and Etcher are much safer and more convenient than the old DD or Win32diskimager methods) and so especially if you are having trouble with formatting I would recommend directly imaging your card with these programs, as it totally removes the need to (correctly) format the card. read the sticky:
viewtopic.php?p=437084#p437084

3141592
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:55 pm

Gentlemen Heater others and moderator mahjongg(obviously also, just as I, possibly Dutch speaking) Many thanks for your reply and help.

@Heater: I obviously did not notice that the P3 has another SD card type of connector. Shame on me.
It's like you date 3 girls. named P2B P2B+ and the third one P3B turns out te be a transgender and a look alike of the earlier P2 types, handsome, sexy, friendly and nice. The methaphore however is not completely my thing as I am aged 80+ and still alive, so be it, but it gives you an idea of my blooper.

Above that the P3 card did not start with each of the three SD cards I inserted. that were (at least 2 of them) working in P 2B and P2 B+. But afterwards I find out that the old cards are not compatible with the P3. Again shame on me. As usual in evolution I learn obviously walking by falling down and standing up.

Not compatible, in my humble opinion , is not very good to stimulate children as being the the main target goal/group of RaspberryPi, I understood, in developing countries.

I downloaded and checked SHA-1 the card image of Raspian, and also downloaded Etcher as adviced
Etcher gave two choices about which I could not decide "Installer" and "Portable" and hence I selected one of them, forgot which one, at good luck in order to proceed:..

I understood that Etcher is able to write a card-image that is zipped, so they have to make that true.

The 8GB raspberry card was now for this purpose only quick formatted with size adjustment on, because it was already formatted FAT32 and the partitions may became wrong by using the card in the P2 B after that,. This quick format was done, before I started the procedure described here.

I am not really lucky with the adviced image writing, because a card formatted fat32 may have bad clusters or sectors, with a disk check and blocked clusters in de fat, it is perfectly usable; but when you write an image, (hence including the fat) you suppose that every part of the card is 100% R/W. I am a pessimist "tot in de kist".

Etcher is verifying the written image, so I conclude a lot of cards that are FAT32 formattable are wasted in garbage cans due to some bad cluster(s)
OK : written card verified OK by Etcher, I put it in the Pi 2 dated 2014 according to the silk-screen on the print. Switch the power on (with PC checked USB mouse and keyboard already connected), and after some time a traffic road to infinity showed up on the hdmi display, in obviously worthless land leading to nothing, so obviously suggesting I am wasting my time.

Mouse and keyboard dead. Nothing I can do.

Any suggestions, except: "throw away that Raspberries and drink a good glass of wine instead?"

3141592
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:43 am

Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:12 am

A very little progress to report:

When I move the mouse during boot, the pointer turns out not to be frozen and I can select terminal in the menu. I click on the terminal window, but the keyboard refuses to accept characters and during moving it is harder and harder to move the mouse pointer over the screen. Shut off is not reachable, so I have to force the powersupply down.

QUESTION: Is it normal that scrollock, caps lock and Numlock LEDS on the keyboard do nothing?

As said keyboard and pointer work normal on a PC USB input.
Different powersupplies and SDcards and Pi2 cards used. Also tried only a mouse and only a keyboard and booting. No relief.

Booted without HDMI monitor and switched it in after boot. That keeps the monitor sleeping.

Heater
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:41 am

I'd certainly go with the idea of taking time out with a glass of wine. Or two...

But don't throw out the Pi.

What OS are you actually booting there. Is it the Raspian image from the raspberrypi downloads page?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

3141592
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:26 am

Many thanks for your reply, Heater.

I just followed your instructions, including drinking a few glasses wine and I read the sticky on advice of the moderator.

1. Downloading Raspbian image from the download page on this website, only one version - the last one - available
2. Downloading Etcher, from etcher.io with the unsolved selection question for windows
Never put a donkey between two hay berries because he can't select and dies from hungry.
3. Formatting the card with SD-formatter,V4 which is not required for image writing;
options quick, and size adjustment on, in order not to be limited to one partition
4, Checked the integrity of the raspbian download with the published SHA-1
5. Used Etcher without unzipping the download
6, First part of SDcard is readable under windows, as expected.
7. Inserted SDcard. Power on, raspbian boots and displays a picture of a road to infinity
mouse pointer frozen unless I move the mouse during booting. I was able to open a terminal window. Impossible to type in the window, keyboard is dead, also on other USB's of Pi.

Old cards from the time I bought the Pi2 B and Pi2B+ are just booting iin debian linux, I can login, but often the keyboard got frozen, or the keyboard just keeps repeating the last typed in character.
However the working is unreliable ; command startx starts the GUI but the mouse is slower and slower and freezes after a short time. However I managed to change the keyboard layout and programmed a small C program that produced a.out that works as to be expected.

I now suspect the monitor. It is an type HPcompaq la1951g. It has anVGA and a DMI connector and I obtained a cable one side DMI and the other side male HDMI.
I am now in the proces of swapping with another monitor that has a (VGA and ) a HDMI connector.
The HPcompaq is moved and installed and works fine on VGA, but for the swapped HDMI monitor that is now on the table with the Raspberries, I need a HDMI-HDMI cable that I have to purchase.
The up to now used monitor is OK working, but I suspect some backworking via the cable to the raspberry.

hippy
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:11 am

3141592 wrote:I now suspect the monitor.
Not sure why and careering off in all directions looking for blame but not reflecting on what the actual problems are will not likely get you anywhere.

You had problems when the NOOBS menu came up. Figure those out and resolve them first because it's pretty much guaranteed that if things didn't work there then things are likely to also go wrong later. Get to the root of the problem. All that 'what goes wrong later' doesn't help in resolving the problem, it just adds to the confusion.

So take a step back, take a deep breath, have a glass of wine, relax and forget all that has gone before. Start again and then stop when something doesn't work. Fix that first.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:24 am

3141592 wrote:HPcompaq la1951g
The monitor has both DVi and VGA connections, a straightforward "HDMi to DVi Cable" would suffice, no need for adaptors, therefore would suspect a dodgy cable or one which is wired DVi to HDMi. Though having come across this type of monitor they default to VGA and must use the menu buttons to change input source:

https://support.hp.com/us-en/product/hp ... 77/manuals
Retired disgracefully.....

3141592
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:52 pm

Thanks for replies,

Yes,

The most unusual idea is to suspect the monitor and because the most unusual suspect it is the last one to tackle..

HOWEVER:

mouse, keyboard, 2 Pi's boards, 3 SD cards and the 2 power supplies are al interchanged and changed out and (mouse keyboard and monitor) tested separately on a lap top PC and/or a desk top PC with windows operating systems.. They work as aspected, not a single problem.

Only difference: the keyboard works on a PC with Capslock, Numlock, and Scrollllock LEDS active, I never saw them lit on a Pi.
IS THIS NORMAL??

ONLY the monitor plus DVI-HDMI cable is the same AND above that problems with NOOBS (freezing mouse and keyboard) are the same as with transfering an Raspbian image on an SDcard . They are all the same: Keyboard and mouse problems. freezing, slowing fast down or stopping to work. Only a mouse connected or only a keyboard connected on any Pi_USB connector; doesn't matter SAME PROBLEMS ALWAYS with NOOBS and with Image Raspbian transferred with Etcher.

Of course all changes are tested after a power down and boot.

So finallly the ONLY suspect can be the monitor including the HDMI--> DVI cable. BECAUSE that is the only stable present component in ALL the tests. Unbelievable. because it is working fine, and now works fine on a VGA input on another place, not on a Pi but a desktop PC,

The monitor did never give me any reason for suspection, and is now swapped working on another computer on his VGA connector,

So as far I can decide now, it MUST be the monitor with HDMI-DVI cable because it was the only stable present component in all the setups that all gave the same problems with keyboard and or mouse,..

It can't be the keyboard when I connect only a mouse
It can't be the mouse when I only connect a keyboard

Keyboard and mouse just work fine errorfree on a USB of a PC

So I am NOT focussing on NOOBS because Raspbian image transfer to a SDcard yields the same mouse and or keyboard problems. Also the old SD cards with Debian starting up in control line mode have heavy keyboard problems and after startx command heavy mouse problems with the GUI.

Thank you for thinking about my problem. It does me thinking about old rules created by previous generations that every man is loaded with problems he just can or cannot handle.

I am really missing beginners luck.
The monitor has both DVi and VGA connections, a straightforward "HDMi to DVi Cable" would suffice, no need for adaptors, therefore would suspect a dodgy cable or one which is wired DVi to HDMi. Though having come across this type of monitor they default to VGA and must use the menu buttons to change input source:
fruitoftheloom: I obtained such a cable. New, so I had no suspect with the monitor, after set up according to manual worked fine.
The monitor including the cable did not give any reason for suspect up to now, because it just displays what it had to display in command line mode and in GUI mode of the PI boards. However it is the only present system component in ALL the tests that fail up to present a normal operating Pi. What do you mean with "or one which is wired DVi to HDMi." I used a cable DMI on one side connected to the monitor and HDMI male on the other side, connected to the Pi. Are there two different kind of cables with these specs?

Heater
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:30 am

Do you have another keyboard and mouse? Do they work nicely with the Pi? Under Raspbian?

I ask because I have one wireless keyboard/mouse combo with a USB dongle that works fine with my PC and Surface Pro machines but not at all well with my Pi 3. The mouse movements are very slow and laggy.

Meanwhile other wireless keyboards and mice, or even wired ones, work fine with the Pi 3.

Aside: As for monitors causing problems, if I plug my big Samsung monitor into the display port of my Surface Pro's dock then the WIFI on the Surface stops working. Connect that monitor directly ti the Surface and all works fine. Strange things happen. Still that is another story.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

3141592
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Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:02 pm

error
Last edited by 3141592 on Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

3141592
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:43 am

Re: Problems of an absolute beginner

Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:02 pm

FRUITOFTHELOOM was right.!

I swapped monitors purchased a required HDMI=HDMI cable for the swapped monitor and all problems are solved.
The HP LA1951g monitor is 100% OK and working now with VGA interface on another computer. The HP did never give any problem, so I suspect the HDMI-DVI cable originated the problem just like Fruitoftheloom suggested,

So learning moment for hippy: IT WAS THE MONITOR CABLE COMBINATION.

Probably that there are two connections for mass: signal ground and device ground. Possibly one of the two is not OK, hence there was back working of the monitor to the Pi dusturbing mouse and keyboard inputs and often freezing. Not booting ok and so on.

Thanks for thinking and reacting about my experienced problems.

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