SSD Instability under Linux

SSD Instability

I was having some serious instability with my new SSD under Linux. Installation with LMDE was not possible and Ubuntu kept on locking up when copying files.

It seems that the HD is too quick and the native queuing of commands can cause instability; disabling this has made my machine more stable and I have not noticed any deterioration in performance.

Add libata.force=noncq somewhere on the Linux line of your currently kernel in the grub config file.

sudo pluma /boot/grub/grub.cfg

menuentry "Ubuntu (on /dev/sda1)" --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
	insmod part_msdos
	insmod ext2
	set root='(/dev/sda,msdos1)'
	search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root xxxxxxx
	linux /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-23-generic root=UUID=xxxxxxxx ro quiet splash libata.force=noncq $vt_handoff
	initrd /boot/initrd.img-3.5.0-23-generic

More information about libata.force-noncq can be found here.

Also you can add this into a live disc or current grub boot prompt but pressing the tab or | key. A screen shot is shown below.




— run to find out the hd location.
df -hT

— as root
init 1
umount /dev/sda4 — change to each of your mapped entries above

fsck -NVr — for a trail run
fsck -Vr to actually fix

if you are presented with warning about unmount drive go to above and unmount.
Without specifying a partition to check all partitions in fstab are checked. Make sure they are all unmounted first. You are warned if a check on a mounted drive is going to be performed.

then either

shutdown -r now

init 6

Reinstall Grub after window install or other guest linux has taken over

I recently installed linux mint. It did not give me the option of installing grub or not and installed its own version / config into the mbr.

To get back to square one

Log into the Linux OS you want to have the grub mastered on and as root run grub-install /dev/sda (this might change depending upon the location of you MBR)

If you are reading this and stating; how can I do this if I can not log into my Linux OS; use a live disc, map / swap and as root run grub-install

Sun VirtualBox USB / Networking in Debian Squeeze

Before we begin

  • Add your user to vboxusers user group


  • Create a folder which you would like to be accessible inside the guest OS
  • In VBox manager; Settings –> Shared Folders –> Add folder
  • In Guest OS you can access the drive through the network. In windows XP; net use: \\Vboxsvr\vboxshare or via windows net work in windows explorer.


  • If you would likst to access usb hard disks then dd the following into /etc/fstab “none /proc/bus/usb usbfs rw,user,devgid=119,devmode=0666 0 0″.
  • Note the devgid needs to be set to the goup id of the vboxusers user group.
  • In VBox manager; Settings –> USB. Enable USB Controller and also enable your actual controller(s).
  • USB device filter; ticked entries are automatically mapped when you start the guestt OS.
  • You can turn them devices on and off inside the guest OS; Devices –> USB devices

How to change Background, GDM 3 and Grub 2 themes in Debian Squeeze

Without going into the rights and wrongs as to whether a space ship should be default theme for Debian Squeeze I for one needed to change it. The only thing I want to say on the matter is that then Debian Lenny was the first and only default Linux theme I have kept. I loved it completely, it was clean, fresh and sexy!

So for a temporary work around I was using the Flow wall paper, the only thing I did not like about it is that there was no beloved Debian symbol.

Step 1:  Create my media:

Of course you can use a range of formats and scales but here is what worked best for me. (BTW you can not upload tga files which is required for Grub; simply save via GIMP as a TGA file.)

For resizing I have  a nifty nautilus extension application which adds a resize and rotate option into the context menu.

The flow image has the background as transparency. I was not convinced that GRUB 2 or GDM 3 would support transparency or whether it was possible to configure a background colour within them. I decided it was easier to work without transparency. The default background colour for Debian (or there abouts ) which I had become accustomed to is:  Hue: 20; Sat: 30; Value: 58 or R 104; G 128; B 147.

I added a Debian logo, Debian text (from logo)and played around with the drop shadow plug-in, transparency, colour etc and came up with the following design.

This suited as my background paper. GDM 3 and Grub 2 require the following formats:

GDM 3:  PNG image with dimension of 1024×640

Grub 2: TGA  image 640 x 400

Their location is not of to much importance but I placed mine in /usr/share/images/.

It might be worthwhile here to note that it might be good to make backup copies of any files before you edit them.

Step 2: Configure GDM 3

This is simply achieved by editing the file


Add in your picture here.

/desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename      /usr/share/images/DebianFlowLogin.png

Step 3:  Configure Grub 3

This is achieved by editing the following file:


Add in your picture here:


Update Grub:


That is pretty much it.

I could not upload a tga file to wordpress but here are the login and wallpaper screens.