Wednesday, July 20, 2022

No Joy in Raspberry Pi Land

Back at the end of April, I decided to upgrade my Raspberry Pi 4's operating system to the 64-bit version (it's a 64-bit machine, but when it was released there was only a 32-bit version of the OS).

It didn't work out. While the OS did seem to do things faster, it also kept freezing up, requiring hard restart. The freezing didn't seem to be tied to any particular application. I suspect that it had to do with the medium -- I had installed the new OS on a USB flash drive rather than on the SD card that a Pi normally runs off of. So I just pulled the flash drive, reinserted the SD card, and was back where I started.

Over the weekend, I came in to a shiny new 128Gb SD card and decided to try installing the 64-bit OS on that. Which I did last night and, once I was at a stopping point with my normal work flow this morning, I booted that bad boy up, went through the usual settings screens, then started installing my preferred software, copying key files that I had saved to a flash drive, etc.

About half an hour into that, the machine froze up again. So it's obviously not the flash drive vs. SD card that's the problem. And like I said, it doesn't seem to be the applications I'm running. Which leaves, I guess, two possibilities:

  1. The 64-bit OS just isn't up to snuff yet in general. That wouldn't be surprising, since it only came out in, I think, February or March; or
  2. Some particular piece of hardware I'm using is giving the new OS problems. One of my two monitors. My USB hub. My keyboard or mouse. I'm not really using any bizarre gear. I mean, my mouse is ergonomically shaped, but I don't think it has proprietary drivers or anything.
If I had to bet on a hardware problem, I'd bet on that USB hub. I don't even remember who made it, probably some cheap import, and I seem to recall an incident in the distant past where I finally fixed a (non-Raspberry Pi) computer problem by unplugging a USB hub.

In theory, I could do without the hub. It would just make plugging in e.g. flash drives, card readers, headsets, etc. a pain in the ass. Maybe I'll try ditching it and see what happens.

But if so, that will be later. I've already blown an hour on this experiment and have other things to do, so I am back on 32-bit Raspbian for now.

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