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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Cutting edge » Multi-session live-CD/DVD
Live CD Multisession Problems
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withasong


Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat 16 Dec 2006, 23:31    Post subject:  Live CD Multisession Problems
Subject description: Multisession Remaster & Shut-Down Issues
 

I have reported quite a few multisession problems in the Developer Forum that might fit well within this forum instead; however, I put the problems originally in the Developer's Forum since it seemed the fixes might be more related to the operating system or features that might need to be added to future releases than the how-to's that this forum so wonderfully addresses. However, I may be wrong about that, so I'm in this forum too.

Rather than repeat everything I've said already in the Developer's Forum, I want to provide links to the multisession and other problems I've reported "over there".

Multisession Remastering Problems @ 6 in 2 Postings: http://www.puppyos.net/forum/azbb.php?1165719611

Multisession Multiple-Chance Save-To-Disk Failsafe: http://www.puppyos.net/forum/azbb.php?1165892638

I'd love to get some resolutions to these problems or provide help when I can. I'll keep my eye on both forums in case there's an attempted rescue or if anyone has questions or problems to share!

Last edited by withasong on Tue 02 Jan 2007, 18:26; edited 1 time in total
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withasong


Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan 2007, 18:16    Post subject: Live CD Multisession Problems
Subject description: New fodder for the fire...
 

I have a few more multisession issues to report:

1. About 10%-25% of the time, when I activate reboot to save a multisession, I get a total blackout (what I mean by this is that the screen goes blank and black, and nothing ever happens again). Of course, if I did anything important during that session and wanted to save it, it is totally lost, since only a computer reset will activate things again. Since this happens on an unscheduled basis without any pattern that I've noticed, I've become rather uncertain about the safety of using multisessions for anything really important. If anyone uses multisessions, they should never store their important work within the multisession, as it would be lost if one of these blackout's occurs.

2. A couple of times, I had put a disk into my boot drive that I wanted to use since it had important data on it (which means, of course, I had to take my multisession disk out of the single drive that I have on one of my computers). Since in Linux, you must "mount" a disk in order to use it (especially a data disk), when I forgot that it was still mounted (hours had gone by and my human memory faded), and when I clicked on reboot, I was completely locked out of the drive and could not put my multisession disk back in (for those who may not know, when a CD disk or drive is mounted, it cannot be opened! -- and when you click reboot, you can't unmount the drive since you can only do that before you click reboot). This is a multisession problem if you have one CD/DVD drive! It's easy to say I should remember, but it would be just as easy to have the reboot procedure unmount the drives BEFORE the multisession needs to be saved (especially since everything is unmounted immediately after that -- so why not before as a user convenience or courtesy and failsafe feature?). You may recall that at the beginning of this paragraph I said "A couple of times...", yep, it's happened to me more than once!

3. I sometimes save a session and then it won't boot the last session (why? -- I don't know). If something important was done in the last session, though it seemed to have been saved, it's not going to come back! This is a problem if you save your work within your multisession!

4. I'm sometimes amazed at how large the sessions that are saved become, especially when I've only done something small (well, in my mind). For example, I installed Firefox in one session and rebooted and it came back fine the next time I booted Puppy. I then installed my bookmarks from Windows, which is much smaller than 1 megabyte, but the session file that was saved was 12 megabytes (and I didn't do anything other than load my 1 megabyte bookmark file before I needed to shut down)! On another occasion after I installed OpenOffice and rebooted, I found OpenOffice there fine, and when I first started the OpenOffice wordprocessing program, I had to register it (that's how OpenOffice works right after an installation). I just happened to need to shut down right after registration since I ran out of time, and when I saved that multisession, it saved 18 megabytes -- from a registration that I didn't send to OpenOffice? I probably don't know what's saved, since it seems to have something more to do than just what we've done in that session, but it seems as though it's filling up a multisession disk un-needfully (so, I often say "no save" when I've just been surfing the web or listening to music, because otherwise it'll blindly add megabytes of data that I don't think needs to be saved on our disks -- plus every session that is added to a disk needs to either be checked or loaded on the next boot, which slows down the next bootup a little, because as a-little plus a-little plus a-little begins to add up, it'll add up to an appreciable bit of time at some point). Maybe something important is going on here, but I say "no save" more and more since I don't see any sense to some of these multi-megabytes being added to my bootup disk when I didn't do anything important -- and only we, not Puppy, can determine this! Take heed!

5. I sometimes make changes to things like video drivers or upgrade programs, and when I reboot (which is required in some of these cases), the old driver is there instead of the new, or the old version of the program is there instead of the upgrade, and though a session was saved and I even see it "seem" to load during the next bootup, I have to reinstall whatever I did before again (which means I have two sessions that I see during bootup for one install or one upgrade). Grrr...!

Since I only operate multisession, I'm probably extraordinarily concerned about my CDs and DVDs, ESPECIALLY since I've lost SO many of them. How? With (1) failed bootups (which means the disk gets discarded and everything needs to be done again and all my work is lost if I put it within the multisession); or (2) program upgrades and test runs which I do on new disks rather than take the chance of messing up a disk which is working well; and if I keep the new disk, the old gets discarded, or if the test went poorly, it gets discarded; or (3) my CDs get filled up (I install both Firefox and OpenOffice, which alone add up to about 400MB at the end of the session), which means I'm done with the old disk, and if I try to make a new disk with the procedure that pops up, it often fails as as procedure (what happens is that I put the disk in, press OK, which closes the drawer and THEN the drawer immediately opens up and I get a notice that I have a new disk; however, nothing was recorded on the new disk, since it won't bootup and/or Windows says it's actually an unrecorded disk) -- and all this means the old disk gets discarded since it's filled up and I start again; or (4) I bump the CD/DVD drawer while I'm putting in or taking a disk out of it and the drawer closes with the disk half into it, which scratches it, and now (guess what?), it won't work; or (5) you know, there's lots more (but I'll stop here)...

Please don't get me wrong. I'm a great fan of multisession. I think it's one of the best things going for Puppy. If I needed to install Linux, I'm not certain Puppy is the best there is (I don't know that it isn't, but I also don't know that it is, either). If it wasn't for multimession, I'd have tried a free copy of other distributions on my hard disk instead of 'cute' Puppy; but I love Puppy on a multisession disk format and I'm showing it to all my friends and family (I'm really a great fan!). I'm getting people to try Linux who would not otherwise have tried it. I do show-and-tell's and bring bootable multisession CDs with Firefox and OpenOffice already installed (well, when the remastering works, which is seldom for me -- but it's worked few enough times to give me copies which I can duplicate in Windows).

I'm a great critic BECAUSE I'm a great fan (much like nobody but someone in our family or someone we love will make us really mad IF we get mad infrequently)! I think Puppy has a great potential to make in-roads into Windows territory, but it's got to be as good as, if not better, in order to do that (and I firmly believe it can be)! I'm totally pleased to be working with Puppy and struggling to get it to work well with all 3 of my computers (otherwise I would simply not devote SO much time and effort to these forums and problem solving with Puppy)!

Multisessions are a work in progress, and if the problems can be worked out, it'll be awesome. Until then, people should be aware of their vulnerabilities if they use multisessions and take heed to keep important work NOT on the multisession disk (not because Puppy is bad, but because computers and multisessions and Puppy, like all things and all people, sometimes don't work as expected -- AND you have to plan on this!).

I love my Puppy! And just like a "real" puppy, sometimes things get soiled, or chewed up, or screwed up...but we go on loving them!

PS: If you have problems other than those I've mentioned, please do report them, because that's our only chance to improve things!
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Flash
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan 2007, 10:08    Post subject:  

That's a long one! Smile

I'll come back later and read it again, but there is something you can do right now which will help: if a disk won't boot, you can still mount it (with MUT, for instance,) find the files you want to save, and transfer them to the new disk. There are some other tricks having to do with saving to a multisession disk, that you might want to play around with and see if they are useful. I will describe them later when I have time,

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withasong


Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan 2007, 14:11    Post subject: Live-CD Multisession and Remastering Problems
Subject description: Goodness, the calvary's on the way...
 

Thanks, Flash, for letting me know I could mount the failed disk, scavenge around in it, and maybe get what I want (I didn't know this was possible, but now that you said it, it makes sense). I had assumed that everything was compressed and would not be accessible.

When I do my show-and-tell and take my multisession Puppy out for a walk with friends who are not adept at working with computers, I'll probably shy away from solutions which might overwhelm them, like mounting failed boot disks (too scary), searching for and copying files from here to there (too many steps), etc., and I will probably just tell them to put their files on their hard disk where they usually put them in Windows (and I know I'll need to show them how to do that first, but it'll be an "old familiar" place to them, kind of like "going home"). People who are just trying something like Linux or Puppy for the first time need for things to "appear" simple in order for them to embrace the Puppy I want to leave in their care.

I'm really, REALLY glad you might have some solutions to the problems I've listed though, since these problems really bug and plague me! I love multisessions and remasters, but, oh, the woe they've created and the number of hours I've spent with failed results is totally frustrating.

Thanks for your kind offer to help. I'm really eager...
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marksouth2000

Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 620

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan 2007, 15:30    Post subject:  

Withasong, my eyes started bleeding before I finished reading your post, but I did notice one thing. You complain about the size of saved sessions, and mention 12MB for something trivial. Well, 12MB is the minimum size of a session on CD. Not Barry's fault, not Puppy's fault, just a fact about CDs. You can avoid the overhead by using multisession DVD, which seems to work much better, basically because the DVD spec learned a lot from the mistakes made with CDs.

Cheers,
Mark
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Flash
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan 2007, 16:04    Post subject:  

Withasong, what I said in my reply to your post in the Howto section is pretty much everything I was going to add to my post above. It was tricky to put into words what I was trying to say, so I'm sure it will need clarification. Smile

It never occurred to me that you were using a CD, not a DVD, for multisession. I scanned through your post above, and with the exception of the subject line didn't see where you specified, CD or DVD. If you go back in this (multisession) forum you will find several threads that all lead to the same conclusion: if you switch to DVD your problems with multisession will be over.

I've tried at least 5 different brands of DVD burner. They all work fine with multisession. The early Sony (DRU-500A) failed soon after the warranty expired. Other than that, one seems as good as another. You can find DVD burners online for less than $50, about the same as you'd pay for a CD burner, and DVD disks cost less per megabyte than cheap CDs, so there's good economic reason to switch to DVD for multisession. Don't worry about the writing speed because even at 1x it doesn't take long to save an average session.
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withasong


Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan 2007, 18:52    Post subject: Live-CD Multisession and Remastering Problems
Subject description: Oops, the calvary may have passed by now (where'd the help go?)...
 

Hi, Flash. You said
Quote:
Withasong, what I said in my reply to your post in the Howto section

Oops...but I don't know what you said, since I can't find that I've posted anything in the HowTo section to which you've responded (though I posted something in the Advanced Topics, Multi-session live-CD/DVD, but you have not responded to it, since I am the last post there).

I think I've missed something (since previously you said you'd get back to me in this thread), but I will be happy if you give me a link or the other topic number (so I can search for it).

BTW, It's hard to understand how DVDs would cure ALL the problems I've mentioned except for the filling-up-the-disk sort of problem I mentioned, plus some of the people with whom I wish to share Puppy do not have DVD burners (so it's not a solution for them definitely if they have problems similar to mine). I have mostly been using CDs as you and Mark in the posting above have guessed, since I fried quite a few DVD-R's trying to get things to work (and while DVDs may be the cheapest per megabyte, they are not the cheapest per disk, which is what I count when I look at fried disks I can no longer use). I stopped using DVDs because of the failed boots, etc. (as in my postings above), and especially since I was sometimes just testing video drivers and versions of Puppy on 3 different computers in my home (I need 3 different video drivers and none of them work fully yet, but a difference of versions of Puppy makes a difference about which version of video driver works, too -- and I'm working with Mark, who is aka MU, about this in another thread). When these problems and other tests subside, I will probably switch back to DVDs, but until then, it's simply not practical.

HOWEVER, when I look back at my January 2nd post, I don't see DVDs curing multisession problems #1, #2, #3 and probably #5 (since #5 speaks of changing drivers, and I've had multisessions revert again and again to a previous driver, though I installed and reinstalled another driver and I see the sessions repeatedly getting saved -- but it reverts again and again, so on to another disk seems the only solution!). Maybe, Flash, you've addressed these things in the posting I can't find yet. I do see DVDs helping with issue #4 definitely. Then there's the remastering and failsafe issues from my December 12th post that I'm afraid DVDs probably can't and won't solve. I do not think DVDs are the magic cure here, Mark and Flash, but I really, REALLY want to be wrong (I don't want to be right)!

Anyway, let me know, Flash, where your other post to me is (that isn't in this thread), since I'm looking forward to the "clarifying" information. Thanks, marksouth2000 and Flash, for your help!
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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan 2007, 19:18    Post subject:  

WAS

FWIW - I concur
A - DVD may be (arguably supperior to older CD standards) better - but end cost and practicality is the issue NOT bang for buck !
B - DVD use is not the end-all/cure all - solving underlying causes IS

C - Until all glitches get ironed out it may be advisable to save to hard drive - (or without saved sessions)
vs to keep burning & booting/accessing/referring to optical discs.

D - That will separate logical trouble shooting methodolgy - not confuse issues of present Puppy software
versus own hardware requirements - or eventual desires/need.

E - When up to your a- - - in alligators > gets hard to 'member a guy only Razz wanted to drain the swamp !

F - All history has proven -
AVOID engaging overwhelming foes on multiple fronts
PICK your battle grounds
ACKNOWLEDGE need to retreat when faced with underestimated threats

For lack of nail - the shoe was lost - for lack of a shoe the horse was lost
For lack of a (suitable mount) horse - . the battle was ...........

For lack of practicality ALL is lost
= K.I.S.S. the problems one at a time - make sure the bullets FIT the gun.
Take careful considered Aim - don't rely on a shotgun to hit the target

Quote:
Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them
.
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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 2298
Location: Heart of Texas

PostPosted: Sat 06 Jan 2007, 04:27    Post subject:  

withasong,
You raised a number of valid issues, sometime I forget about the possiblities and usefullness that this technology could provide.
Being an orginator and understanding the history of the multisession has blinded me. Fresh eyes are a G__dsend.
I have been out-of-touch with puppylinux & internet for a month or so, but I have been thinking about future multisession & main stream linux distros not jumping on the DVD multisession bandwagon. I do not use CD multisession since the hardware issues are not going to change. I am not suprised that a multisession of open-office causes problems. The reload memory division of a multisession will not support it ( tested with 786M ram) I wrote down on another thread ways of fixing this, ( based on the division of RAM ) that is an underpinning of the whole unionfs/squashfs root level setup.
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withasong


Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Sat 06 Jan 2007, 14:15    Post subject: Live-CD Multisession and Remastering Problems
Subject description: Problemmatical, but AWESOME, Procedures (and thank goodness we have them!)
 

Ted Dog, what you said about OpenOffice is apparently true, since if I save a multisession with both Firefox and OpenOffice newly installed, I often can't reboot that session (however, if I install Firefox in one session, then OpenOffice in the next, this seems to work). However, consider the following (which I wrote in another thread) as a way to do it with CDs:
Quote:
I think multisessions is one of the neatest features of Puppy, but remastering also has some really neat features too, like taking the installation of almost 400 MB of Firefox and OpenOffice with slightly less than 100 MB of Puppy bootup stuff (which is about 500 MB added together) and putting all that onto a 212 MB remastered CD! -- wow, that's REALLY cool!. Remasters work very seldom for me, but when it does, it's VERY rewarding, as everything's there (Puppy works, Firefox works, and all components of OpenOffice work too) -- and there's about 500 MB left on the remastered CD for future multisessions (otherwise, it ends up being less than 200 MB on the original multisession disk, and less if you've installed other stuff). Remastering also combines the results of ALL multisessions into a single new session...
I made the remaster that I mentioned above and then I immediately ISO'd it before I used it and I still have the ISO on my harddisk (and it's only 212 MB with Puppy 2.12, Firefox 2 and OpenOffice 2 fully installed and bootable!). Alas, if only the remaster procedure didn't end up being something that doesn't write at the end of the procedure SO frequently, that would be great (and the remaster "variation" that is supposed to make ISO's at the end of the procedure instead of writing a disk always seems to leave me with no file with an ISO extension, but it does leave me the same 7 files that you see on the Puppy boot disk in the finishing folder, which is certainly NOT the desired ISO result). In the above quoted case, I made the remaster right after installing Firefox and OpenOffice BEFORE I tried to save the session (and though I had to go through the remaster procedure several times, it finally made a disk on the last whack, and why it didn't before the last time is something I've written about in these forums, because I don't see any pattern, and I've tried both CDs and DVDs at the end of the remaster and I've tried it on all 3 of my computers too, all with different burner drives, but the remaster session usually doesn't end up with a disk being written for me VERY frequently). When the remaster finally works, what a TOTALLY neat procedure though! AWESOME and maybe worth the frustration! Again, the remastering procedure could be a possible resolution to many CD multisession problems for people with no DVD burners (and a lot of "good" people just don't have DVD burners and they should be able to carry on their affairs "as they are" and have a "good" Puppy too).

Gn2, thanks for your very supportive remarks. I think especially your items "F" and downward are good advice and judicious, but where "wise men fear to tread" -- well, I'm not exclusively a wise one; I just want to see if we can resolve some issues (and sometimes you've got to turn up the heat to get the water to boil, 'cause otherwise, it'll just evaporate!). BTW, I'm just so curious: I've seen you use "WAS" very frequently, and I looked in Google, I looked in acronym and abbreviation finders, and I've looked in very MANY other places, and I'm still not at all sure what "WAS" indicates, and I'd just love to know (someday, someplace) since it's important to you (and I also tried to decipher your Latin location, but got "nowhere", unless that's it! -- a kind of Zen virtual equivalent, meant to be undecipherable). Do you have a handy reference URL you might be willing to share?

Again, for anyone interested in a shorter-form version of the problem statements, some of the issues I think are important in the current thread are these (and these are numbered as I listed them in my second post here, plus some from the first post's references):
    1. Multisession Reboot Blackout's with No Session-Save Possible
    2. Drive Lockout's (getting locked out the Save-Session drive because you're still mounted)
    3. Multisession Reboot Failures (not just disk failures, but session failures too)
    4. CD Multisession Issues (reported by others as not a DVD issue though)
    5. Installation Reversions (installation updates save but don't come up on reboot)
    6. Remastering Problems (more details here)
    7. Rebooting Multiple-Chance "Save"-Failsafe (more details here)
...and I trust that it's acceptable that I bring up these issues so we can all grapple with them to help solve them for ourselves and others!
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10952
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Sat 06 Jan 2007, 15:37    Post subject:  

Withasong,
I confused you with someone else. Embarassed
This is the post in the Howto section I was referring to.

Ted Dog,
Did you know about what I tried to describe in that post? Laughing
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Gn2


Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 936
Location: virtual - Veni vidi, nihil est adpulerit

PostPosted: Sun 07 Jan 2007, 02:43    Post subject:  

Code:
A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be the main problem.

***************************************************************
Tan'sisiyihkasoyan : W.A.S.

Tagging your sonorous Non-De "Nit'sîyihkason" > WAS posted with a (recurring) Tune ?

Any recurring theme that most can emotionally relate to.
I.E. ~ Well known H. Bogart movie line when he tells the pianist to > " Play it again, Sam"

Itwestamawin : Run any translation through Google
Taniwe anima > Ahpo etokwe:
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withasong


Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jan 2007, 13:08    Post subject: Live CD Multisession and Remastering Problems
Subject description: Slow, but I finally got it...
 

Gn2, I finally got it Embarassed !

WAS = me Laughing

BTW, do you think I put too many issues in one place (like the "...eggs in one basket" thing)? While I just thought I was being efficient and organized, I may have actually made it indigestible! These are important problems, and I'll almost feel embarrassed if I encounter them while spreading the good news to others about Puppy's multisession and remastering features! In spite of a lot of "seeding" commotion, the nigh ground appears somewhat fallow still! Alas!
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Dougal


Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 2505
Location: Hell more grotesque than any medieval woodcut

PostPosted: Wed 10 Jan 2007, 11:50    Post subject: Re: Live CD Multisession and Remastering Problems
Subject description: Slow, but I finally got it...
 

withasong wrote:
BTW, do you think I put too many issues in one place (like the "...eggs in one basket" thing)? While I just thought I was being efficient and organized, I may have actually made it indigestible!


Yes... I have never used multisession, so I can't help with most things, but I can with the remaster script. I never heard of the problems you mention.
It is best to report the relevant details in the remaster-script thread, where we can work things out and I can post there a fixed version.

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Some say your toes
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