How to build a Uber UPS Backup Sytstem

Here is how to build my Uber UPS Backup System on the cheap. First you will need to obtain a suitable UPS unit to start with,  I recommend at least a 350 watt unit.  I picked up mine at the Goodwill store for $6.00. After that it’s quite simple. Remove the stock battery, that is usually bad if you get one at a 2nd hand store like I did, and crimp on two quick release connectors to the red (+) and black (-) battery connection wires. Then do the same with the wires going to your new batteries. The wire size for the battery connection should be no smaller than 12 gauge for this project.  I suggest that you always go male/female to the UPS unit and also on the battery cables so you won’t be able to accidentally reverse polarity.  If you are using more than one battery like I am it’s also a good idea to put a in-line 10 amp fuse between the batteries for overload protection.  For the batteries I use two AGM 35 amp sealed lead acid batteries.  You should be able to get these from your local battery speciality store or if you live in the St. Petersburg, FL area go to Electro Battery  where you can pick up a refurbished battery for around $25.00.  I also recommend that you use your soldering iron and tin all of the wire connections for circuit reliability.  When you are finished, put a load on the system and test it by unplugging the UPS unit from its electrical source. As always if you have any questions on this build you can contact me for assistance.

PiShrink

Making backups of your Pi images is essential but restoring them to a new SD card can sometimes be problematic when the image is the same size or larger than the target SD card. You will get the message that the image is too large for the target device when the image won’t fit.  The solution is a simple bash script called pishrink.sh.

The first step is to backup the image that you want to shrink.

Step 1:
Startup the “Win32DiskImager” program, Here’s the opening screen:
Notice you will need to select which drive is your SD card. in this case my SD card is H:\ then click the NAVIGATE icon just next to the H:\ pull down box, this will open a file-explorer window.

Step 2:
Select a folder on your hard-drive where you want to SAVE the image file of your SD card. In my example, i have a folder named “rpi_backups”.
Also type in a filename of the image you’re about to create, and click SAVE to continue to next step.

Step 3:
Confirm the folder/filename are correct, and now you can click the READ button to start reading your SD card into your (about-to-be-created) image file.

Step 4:
Here’s my image file being written, almost complete at 90% .

Step 5:
It will indicate “Read Successful” and  “Done” when the image has finished writing.

Step 6:

The next step is to shrink the image you just backed up.

PiShrink is a bash script that automatically shrink a pi image that will then resize to the max size of the SD card on boot. This will make putting the image back onto the SD card faster and the shrunk images will compress better.

Usage: ./pishrink [-s] imagefile.img [newimagefile.img]

If the -s option is given the script will skip the autoexpanding part of the process. If you specify the newimagefile.img parameter, the script will make a copy of imagefile.img and work off that. You will need enough space to make a full copy of the image to use that option.

Prerequisites

If using Ubuntu, you will likely see an error about e2fsck being out of date and metadata_csum. The simplest fix for this is to use Ubuntu 16.10 and up, as it will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

Example

[user@localhost PiShrink]$ sudo ./shrink.sh pi.img
e2fsck 1.42.9 (28-Dec-2013)
Pass 1: Checking inodes, blocks, and sizes
Pass 2: Checking directory structure
Pass 3: Checking directory connectivity
Pass 4: Checking reference counts
Pass 5: Checking group summary information
/dev/loop1: 88262/1929536 files (0.2% non-contiguous), 842728/7717632 blocks
resize2fs 1.42.9 (28-Dec-2013)
resize2fs 1.42.9 (28-Dec-2013)
Resizing the filesystem on /dev/loop1 to 773603 (4k) blocks.
Begin pass 2 (max = 100387)
Relocating blocks             XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Begin pass 3 (max = 236)
Scanning inode table          XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Begin pass 4 (max = 7348)
Updating inode references     XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
The filesystem on /dev/loop1 is now 773603 blocks long.

Shrunk pi.img from 30G to 3.1G

Download pishrink.sh

 

How to Convert FAT32 to NTFS in Windows 10

I recently purchased a 5TB external hard drive to archive some important media files. After I copied around 2TB of data over to the new drive I realized that it came formatted out of the box in FAT32 and not NTFS. Since I had files that were larger than 4GB leaving the drive in FAT32 was not an option.  I had already spent a considerable amount of time archiving files to the new drive and did not want to reformat the drive and start over.  Since doing a non-destructive partition change in Ubuntu Linux is not possible I booted into Windows 10 and used the convert J: /fs:ntfs  command to change the file system.  For some reason this command did not work so I searched for a 3rd party utility software to accomplish the change. I found a neat little utility called EaseUS partition software that worked like a charm. EaseUS is free for home users.

Convert FAT32 to NTFS in Windows 10 with EaseUS partition software

2. The pop-up dialog box will show the source and destination file system, click “OK” to continue.

3. Click “Apply” to execute the operation.