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Author Topic: Upgrade my Win 10 notebook with HDD to Linux with SSD  (Read 117 times)
Jet Cash
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March 29, 2018, 12:00:18 PM
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Following my recent problems caused by the failure of my notebook during an unwanted and unrequested clandestine upgrade by Microsoft, I decided to switch to Linux. The primary cause of the failure was dust on the fan, and I fixed this fairly quickly. Whilst the case was split, I realised that the machine could be upgraded. For a picture of the motherboard, please click the link below.
1000x662 image of my HP notebook motherboard

I use this machine to run a full node and a variety of other applications. These include web site maintenance, and picture editing. I want to expand this to include basic video and audio editing. The plan is to escape from Windows 10, and move to Ubuntu studio. The hardware changes will be the addition of an extra 8Gb of memory ( assuming that the spare slot is enabled), and to replace the existing 2Tb HDD with a 2Tb SSD - probably a Samsung 860 EVO. I will buy an external USB case for the existing HDD so that I can recover the Bitcoin blockchain. Ubuntu will be installed from a memory stick. I have installed Ubuntu, and moved the blockchain before, so I don't anticipate any difficulties there ( what an optimist Smiley ). I synchronise the blockchain via public WiFi, so I expect a reduction in the time this takes.

Can anybody see any problems with this plan, or suggest a better solution? The processor is a core i5, and it looks as if this is hard soldered on the motherboard, so I'll need to live with that. I have two backups of the blockchain and my wallet, so I don't believe my Bitcoins are at risk.

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March 29, 2018, 01:27:30 PM
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Potential problem :
1. If your i5 type is Low/Ultra Low Power or before 2nd generation, i think you might have performance problem if you're running full nodes and video editing at same time.
2. I don't know about your notebook specification/type, but there's chance you couldn't right/optimal driver for your notebook parts.
3. I don't recommend run full nodes 24/7 with notebook, since it's not designed to run 24/7 and could reduce it's lifespan.

Suggestion :
1. If your DVD Drive is removable, you can replaced it with your old HDD with help of tool called "Drive Caddy and use the HDD space for your SSD.

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March 29, 2018, 01:39:07 PM
 #3

I do not see any problems really with this plan, although i'd go with something like Debian or Zorin OS personally, unless you want ubuntu studio exclusively.
However it would probably be alot better for you, if you did attach the HDD into a raspberry PI and run node from there so you would not have to use the resources of your laptop running the node as it can get quite heavy on the hardware if keeping it on 24/7.



You probably won't need more RAM (i suspect that your CPU will slow things down), because Ubuntu does not take that much of a resources, and little to none if you use DE like LXDE or XFCE.

Also remember to make new private keys on GNU/Linux! You never know what kind of Windows Malware might know your keys Tongue

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March 29, 2018, 01:53:31 PM
 #4

3. I don't recommend run full nodes 24/7 with notebook, since it's not designed to run 24/7 and could reduce it's lifespan.
I've been running laptops for many years, and in my experience they break quicker from carrying them around and opening/closing the display, than from just running continuously while standing on a desk. The only thing it requires on a monthly base is cleaning dust out of the fan, but OP has discovered that already Tongue

Quote
1. If your DVD Drive is removable, you can replaced it with your old HDD with help of tool called "Drive Caddy and use the HDD space for your SSD.
They're all removable Cheesy I got a caddy from eBay, and it's running for years now. The hdd was a bit too thick to fit, but I got it in anyway.

If you go for this option, you could get a much smaller (cheaper) SSD. I have my OS and Bitcoin Core's chainstate directory on my ssd, and most of my data on my hdd.

You probably won't need more RAM (i suspect that your CPU will slow things down), because Ubuntu does not take that much of a resources, and little to none if you use DE like LXDE or XFCE.
My Chromium eats (and leaks) memory like crazy.
If at all possible, see if you can run without a swap partition once you have enough RAM. Your ssd will appreciate it.

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March 29, 2018, 02:18:37 PM
 #5

The biggest problem with notebook is everything is compact and the heat can accumulate.
Editing pictures/videos and running full node requires a lot of processing so I recommend you to seriously consider maintaining the temperature.
Moving to Linux is a smart move and increasing RAM will save a lot of time. I do not know the importance of buying external memory to restore the blockchain but it 's your choice.

Suggestions
1. get a notebook cooler.
2. Since the download process will take some time, I suggest you unplug the laptop from A/C  at least twice a week / use the battery up to 20%/ recharging.

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March 29, 2018, 02:19:25 PM
 #6

Thanks for the replies - and here is a bit more info. The notebook is one of a custom run manufactured for a major UK retail chain, and it was good value at the full price. I bought the shop demo model, and saved £200 if I remember correctly, but it may have been a bit less. That was well over a year ago. The processor is a Core i5-4210U @ 1.70 GHz with 8Gb of RAM. The processor spec is on this page
https://ark.intel.com/products/81016/Intel-Core-i5-4210U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_70-GHz

I need a notebook to support my mobile projects, but I don't run the node full time, just enough to keep it sync'd. I want to move to an SSD because I have noticed that running videos from the hard drive can lose 2 hours of battery life. The Ubuntu node on my netbook, which uses an external SSD, seems to be able to sync 4 days of data in less time than Windows takes to sync one day with an internal HDD.

I really like the idea of replacing the DVD. I've got a DVD player in the TV, so I don't ever use it on the computer.

I decided on the Samsung 860 because it has a much lower power requirement. Speed is about the same as the older 850 I believe, but it has a much longer expected life.

The extra memory is for the video processing. The Ubuntu netbook only has 2Gb of ram, and that runs a node without any problems. I chose Ubuntu studio because it includes a lot of things I like - Audacity, Gimp, Brackets and some others that I want to try. I haven't done any video editing, so it's handy to have a range of products to play with.

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March 29, 2018, 02:42:20 PM
 #7

The only thing it requires on a monthly base is cleaning dust out of the fan, but OP has discovered that already Tongue
It also requires you to stamp on Windows. I was quietly looking through Bitcoin Talk and a few other boards whilst I was tethered through my mobile, only to discover that Windows had run out my data bundle, and spent £5 of my balance, while it intalled "enhancements" that I would need to spend time trying to remove.

Quote
The hdd was a bit too thick to fit, but I got it in anyway.
The SSDs are much thinner, in fact I could probably get two in the space. Smiley
I'm removing the HDD, and replacing it with an SSD for extra speed, and to reduce the power consumption


[quote ]
If at all possible, see if you can run without a swap partition once you have enough RAM. Your ssd will appreciate it.
[/quote]

That's another idea I like. If the extra memory is recognised, then I'll try that.

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March 29, 2018, 02:49:10 PM
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Quote
The hdd was a bit too thick to fit, but I got it in anyway.
The SSDs are much thinner, in fact I could probably get two in the space. Smiley
I'm removing the HDD, and replacing it with an SSD for extra speed, and to reduce the power consumption
If you install the HDD instead of the SSD, your power savings are indeed gone. You can set it to power down on it's own, but that defeats the purpose of having most of your data on it.

Just a note: chances are your DVD-connection has a lower speed than your HDD, so don't try to replace the DVD by a SSD.

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March 29, 2018, 03:17:57 PM
 #9

I think the DVD is SATA-2, so it will be slower. Also, I realised that an extra SSD will probably use a bit of electricity, and I want to keep power consumtion down. If I need extra memory, I can use an SD card, or a USB stick.

I suspect that my suggested changes are about as far as I should go. Any further, and I might as well buy a new machine. Smiley

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April 06, 2018, 09:16:28 AM
 #10

Sorry for the delay instarting this project. I've blown the turbo on my second van, and I've been a bit distracted by that. Hopefully I'll pick up the SSD next week, and get moving on the "upgrade".

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April 07, 2018, 06:04:34 PM
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Imo if you can afford it you should get a laptop exclusively dedicated for your node and coins where you don't do much at all, ideally one that you can Coreboot/Libreboot so it would need to be for instance the old t400 Thinkpad which does the job fine with an SSD, and you get a free bios, unlike the i series (unfortunately can't remove IME crap yet from there..). Install Lubuntu if you want mega minimalism or Xubuntu if you want minimalism but still some kind of nice GUI to look at, and you are set.

Then get a proper machine for video editing in which you don't need to worry about performance. Video editing with slow computers is insanely annoying. But if you are only going to do some cuts and not much more edition I guess a simple i5 notebook should do. I just wouldn't mix Bitcoin stuff with other stuff at all.

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April 07, 2018, 09:43:40 PM
 #12

Normally I'd build myself a box, and do as you say, but at the moment I'm majoring on off-grid living and computing. I want t spend more time on content production, and the i5 is a start as I already own it. If things work out, then I'll try to fit a studio into a van so that I can work in the nature parks and places like that.

For me, Bitcoin is really an alternative  store of wealth, but I would like to use it as a payment mechanism for domain sales. So far all my customers seem reluctant to use it.

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