Home of the Squeezebox™ & Transporter® network music players.
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10

    Connection to Vortexbox Microappliance

    I rip my cd's on a Windows XP laptop, edit the tags with MediaMonkey,
    and then copy them to my Vortexbox Microappliance which runs
    Squeezeserver. This all works fine, except the copying part.

    Quite often while transferring files, my VB Microappliance crashes,
    in such a way that I can't reboot it except with the power switch.
    For a while, I gave up on Samba since that seemed to crash more
    often. Sftp is more of a pain to use, since I end up making a big
    tar file on the Windows machine, moving the file across and then
    detarring it on the vortexbox machine. This would be OK, except
    that sftp crashes too. Both lock up the VB machine when they
    crash, although the Windows machine is fine.
    Samba is worse, because when I reboot the VB machine the
    files *look* as if they have the correct sizes and have transferred
    correctly, and I can only detect the problem when I try to play the
    music and it suddenly stops. At least if I use sftp I can tell
    which files have arrived and which have not.

    The only way that I can be sure to transfer a large number of files
    is by copying them from my Windows machine to an external drive and
    then mounting the external drive on the VB microappliance. I don't
    want to have to do this every time that I buy a new cd.

    My laptop connects wirelessly to my router. My router is a BT homehub.
    I had the same problem in my previous house (in the US) where I used to
    use a Netgear router. I tried connecting my laptop via an ethernet
    cable, which seemed to reduce the problem (i.e., increase the number
    of files I could transfer before the VB would crash), but it didn't
    stop the problem altogether.

    Any suggestions for what could be the problem and how to solve it
    would be gratefully received.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10

    Another experiment

    While I was writing the above post, I tried to
    send one cd (279Mb worth of flac files) to the
    Vortexbox Microappliance via Samba. It was on
    track 5 of 12 when it stopped working. Windows
    told me that the system was no longer available.
    The ssh window that I had opened to the VB
    microappliance went dead, and the web interface
    went dead too. (I had been looking at the page
    that gives the temperature; when last I looked
    at it it seemed to be OK.)

    I've just turned my VB microappliance off with
    the power button, and will try again when I've
    rebooted it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member maggior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    nj
    Posts
    2,125
    You might want to run memtest on it to make sure there isn't a bad memory module.

    You can run this from any Linux installation CD, or maybe Vortex box includes it in its boot menu.

    Does it crash under any other circumstances, like playing music?
    Rich
    ---------
    Setup: 2 SB3s, 4 Booms, 1 Duet, 1 Receiver, 1 Touch, iPeng on iPod Touch, SqueezeCommander, OrangeSqueeze, and SqueezePlayer on Xoom and Galaxy Player 4.2. CentOS 6.3 Server running LogitechMediaServer 7.7.2 and SqueezeSlave.
    Current library stats: 40,810 songs, 3,153 albums, 582 artists.
    http://www.last.fm/user/maggior

  4. #4
    Senior Member aubuti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    8,836
    +1 to maggior's suggestions, and a different tack to try. I agree it sounds like the Vortexbox Microappliance is the problem, but I suggest that you do at least one more check to rule out the router. Next time things appear to lock up, try rebooting the router instead of the Vortexbox appliance. It wouldn't be the first time that moving large audio files exposed weaknesses in a consumer-grade router.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10

    Memtest? Temperature?

    Thank you for your speedy suggestions.

    After posting, I became optimistic that the VB machine
    might be overheating. In the last hour or so, I put
    it on top of an upside-down cast iron frying pan.
    This dropped the working temperature by about 5C,
    whereas I have never seen the temperature rise by
    more than 1C while the machine is working hard, so
    I figured that this would be enough to rule out
    a temperature rise causing the crash.

    While copying four cds across via Samba, something
    went wrong again. Following Aubuti's suggestion,
    I tried rebooting the router. This did not change
    anything; I still couldn't contact the VB microappliance,
    either via its web page, or via Samba, or via ssh. THis
    probably rules out a problem with the router, which is
    useful information.

    I have now rebooted the BVma, and successfully ssh'ed
    to it, and successfully used the web interface. I
    think that memtest is not on the machine (when I
    typed memtest to a command prompt it said
    `command not found'. From 10 minutes spent Googling
    memtest I think I probably don't have the expertise
    to run it, although if you can point me at a detailed
    explanation of how I could get hold of it, I could give
    it a try.

    Once again, thanks for your suggestions, and thanks in
    advance for any further comments.

  6. #6
    Senior Member aubuti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    8,836
    In my limited experience, memtest is usually a boot-time option, rather than a program that is run once you are in the OS. But I don't know enough about the Vortexbox distro to say if it is available on a boot menu or not. If so, you could only get to it if you attached a keyboard and monitor to the VBma. On the other hand, memtest could be one of the standard Linux "complexities" that Vortexbox hides from the user.

    If you haven't done so already, try asking on the Vortexbox forums. Good luck -- the VBma looks like a great device, so I hope you get it working well.

  7. #7
    Senior Member maggior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    nj
    Posts
    2,125
    Yes, it's a program you run at boot time. I doesn't actually run under linux. As Aubuti suggests, your best bet at this point is to head over to the vortex box forums for assistance.

    Good luck.
    Rich
    ---------
    Setup: 2 SB3s, 4 Booms, 1 Duet, 1 Receiver, 1 Touch, iPeng on iPod Touch, SqueezeCommander, OrangeSqueeze, and SqueezePlayer on Xoom and Galaxy Player 4.2. CentOS 6.3 Server running LogitechMediaServer 7.7.2 and SqueezeSlave.
    Current library stats: 40,810 songs, 3,153 albums, 582 artists.
    http://www.last.fm/user/maggior

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10

    VBma again

    I chose the VBma specifically because it would
    run `headless'. I don't have an HDMI monitor
    at home, although I do have a few USB keyboards.
    So even if the VBma does have memtest pre-installed
    I would have to borrow a monitor from somewhere.
    The monitors in work probably have HDMI sockets,
    so I could maybe take it in to work to have a look.
    The VBma does not have a cd drive. It can probably
    be made to boot from an sd card and maybe from a
    USB flashdrive, but I have never done anything like
    that, so it might be tricky.

    If the memory modules are easy to replace, then
    maybe I should try to swap a new one in and see
    whether it fixes anything, without trying to use
    memtest first. But the small size of the VBma
    suggests that the memory might be put in in a
    way that is not easily removable.

    Anyway, thanks for your suggestions. I haven't
    posted yet on the Vortexbox forums, but I will
    do so.

  9. #9
    Senior Member aubuti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    8,836
    I forgot that it only had HDMI for video out. But on the plus side that means that most HD TVs should work. Even if you don't have one, that should greatly expand your pool of possible monitors to borrow. Especially if you take the VBma to where the monitor/tv is.

    There are several Linux distros that boot easily from a USB flash drive or SD card, but Vortexbox isn't one of them. That's ok, because you can run those distros (Ubuntu, CentOS, others) from the flash drive or SD card without having to disrupt the VB installation on the hard drive. What I don't know is whether memtest is routinely included in the removable-drive versions of those distros.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,690
    I have vortexbox software running on a fitpc2 which is exactly the same thing as he VBma and don't have any of these problems so I don't think its a generic issue.

    If temperature is the issue you can get a heatsink designed just for this hardware, its available from amazon for $15. It just press fits onto the top and drops the internal temperature significantly.

    Just go to amazon and search on fit-pc2, it will be in the list.

    If you do have bad memory you can't do anything about it, its soldered onto the board, it would take a $50,000 rework station to change that memory!

    It sounds like the whole OS is crashing which is not good.

    The suggestion to try another live linux distribution is a good one. I personally use puppy linux, its designed to be easy to boot from a USB stick, it works great on a fitpc2. On a regular windows computer I download the ISO from the puppy site, burn a cd and boot the CD on the win computer. Then from the puppy menu chose to install to a USB stick. Plug in a USB stick (it destroys everything on the stick, so make sure you don't want to keep anything on it) and isnstall puppy on the stick.

    When your VBma crashes, unplug it. For the next its MUCH easier to have a monitor plugged in (HDMI or DVI or a TV etc.) Plug in the stick and it should boot off the stick without touching the hard drive at all. From that you can mount the hard drive and go looking at the log files and see if there is any information about what happened.

    If you can't get a monitor attached it CAN be done but its much harder.

    I hope this helps.

    John S.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •