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Puppy Linux variants; and Acer Aspire E360 service guide PDF
2/25/2011

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2/25/2011 - Puppy Linux variants; and Acer Aspire E360 service guide PDF (Journal)

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Puppy Linux variants; and Acer Aspire E360 service guide PDF
Friday, February 25th, 2011
04:53:28 GMT

Journal

It occurred to me that it might be a good idea for me to post things to this blog even just for the sake of my own convenience, so I don't possibly lose track of important, useful links or other notes while I'm going through the tediously disruptive process of preparing to temporarily abandon my current hard drive.

Below, I've made some notes to myself bold, so they'll more easily catch my eye whenever I browse this again later. Italicized notes are notes which were previously bold that I no longer need.


Happily, I found that there are some variants of Puppy Linux which actually have TrueCrypt installed in them already. Puppy Cielo Wary 5 and Puppy Crypt 4.3. So, maybe I won't lose access to a ton of my files after all.

Of those two, I'm only going to try Puppy Crypt 4.3, because I don't know how, in Windows, I would join together the 4 separate parts of Puppy Cielo Wary 5. Also, Wary seems to be a type of Puppy Linux which is intended for older hardware, according to Announcement and release notes for Wary Puppy 5.1.1, and I think my computer is quite capable of handling non-Wary Puppy Linuxes.

I didn't realize before that there are so many variants of Puppy Linux, but I'm pretty sure the variant I burned to a CD-RW several weeks ago wasn't a Wary Puppy, and it worked just fine.


I'm also going to try Lucid Puppy 5.2, released Jan. 5, 2011. That appeals to me because it's compatible with Ubuntu software packages, and Ubuntu seems to be one of the most popular varieties of Linux, so there are probably lots of packages available.

I'm going to put each Puppy on a DVD-RW for each one. I wonder if they'll run faster or slower on a DVD-RW versus a CD-RW? Or maybe there will be no difference.


On the Acer website, I found a 164-page service guide PDF for my Acer Aspire E360: Aspire T160/E360 AcerPower M6 Service Guide I wish I had known about that years ago. I'm glad I finally stumbled across it.

The table of contents of that guide is on pages 8 and 9 (as numbered by the PDF reader software; the printed page numbers differ).

Page 71 (PDF numbering) or page 62 (printed on the page) has a picture of the fan that I think I'm having trouble with.

Although it's slightly reassuring to have a whole guide about how to do things to the insides of my computer, the instructions seem scarily brief, and I still think I'm too nervous to actually attempt to replace the fan.

I'm not even sure the CPU Cooler part it talks about includes the fan, or if the fan just happens to be in that picture with the CPU Cooler. I guess it would make sense for the fan to be part of the CPU Cooler. But is that fan only a part of something bigger called the CPU Cooler, or, is the entire CPU Cooler in fact just that little fan? I guess sometime I should search the web for more details.


I didn't even realize there was another fan built into my computer - the "system fan" of page 76 (PDF numbering) or page 67 (printed on the page).

I guess the system fan is hidden in the metal box at the top, in the back, on the left side (or, in case that's ambiguous, the side of the computer case which can be removed). When I hold my hand behind that box, I feel a slight, weak, warm draft.

I hope that's not the fan with the problem - it looks like it would be more expensive to replace, and maybe more difficult to replace than the other fan. To try to figure out which fan has the problem, I should listen carefully next time I boot my computer after it has been off for a while. (After my computer has been on for a while, the fan doesn't make weird noises, even if I restart).


Edit, 11:40 AM, 2/25/2011: Today, I listened carefully to my computer's fans at start-up. (And, at one point, I stupidly leaned too close to the computer, and for a few seconds, some of my hair got sucked into something - arrgh! Fortunately, my computer seems fine, and hopefully none of my hair got lost in the machine.)

Anyhow, to my surprise, when I listened carefully, it sounded like the typical little rattly noises I always hear at start-up were coming from the lower right, near the hard drive. I'm not absolutely certain that's where the noise is from, but it really sounded like it.

Fortunately, that isn't as alarming as you might think, because sometime in the past year and a half, I had installed a hard drive cooling fan - which I soon regretted, because it seemed like it wasn't doing much (or really anything) to cool my hard drive, and I couldn't hear it, nor feel much of a breeze that I could definitely attribute to it rather than the CPU fan. So, I actually had thought that hard drive fan was probably just not working at all.

Soon after arriving at that possibly incorrect conclusion, I had tried to remove the "useless" fan, but then I found that it was stuck on my hard drive. I just couldn't unscrew it, and I was afraid to try very hard to remove it in case I might accidentally damage my hard drive. So, after a while, I gave up and just left it on there. I also had a hard time unplugging the fan's very poorly-made power plug (which was very wobbly, requiring you to hold the wires to it in exactly the right positions to even make it possible to plug in), so I just left that plugged in.

I'm not sure when it(?) first started making noises - maybe November 2010. I originally wondered if the noises were due to the fact that I always leave the side off of my computer while it's running to minimize how much my hard drive overheats. I thought maybe that allowed more dust, etc. to fly in, and I thought maybe some hair or something had gotten caught in the CPU fan. But, since the noise only happened at start-up and went away after my computer had been on for a while, and it happened every single time I turned on my computer after it had been off for a while, I figured that probably wasn't the explanation.

I probably should have suspected it was that hard drive cooling fan earlier on, but I really thought the only working fan in there was the CPU fan, so I never bothered to listen to try to figure out more precisely where the rattling noise was coming from.

So, it's quite possible that I've been freaked out about something much more minor than I feared. Hope so.

I still don't know for sure what made the horrid low noise (like a fan which is struggling a lot) that happened either once or twice some days ago, but, it hasn't done that again - it's back to just rattling at start-up.


Too bad the occasional odd noises (little squeaky noises and taps) of my hard drive itself probably can't also be blamed on the hard drive cooling fan. Those noises sometimes happen when my hard drive is very busy with something, but not at all when my hard drive is inactive.

I still haven't disconnected my hard drive yet (in case I forgot to get something important from it). I've been using Puppy Crypt 4.3 Linux for about an hour and a half now (mostly without accessing anything on my hard drive), and I don't think I've heard those noises at all yet.

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