Net killing RPi – Getting Somewhere…

In my last post I was a confussled mess, failing to get my head around how a network device (The Raspberry Pi) could cripple an exclusive function of my router.

I decided to troubleshoot the issue further, I set up a basic ping to help me pinpoint when the internet was going down

Ping results before Pi was switched on.
Ping results before Pi was switched on.

After performing some basic troubleshooting, it transpired that the fault was happening whenever the HDMI cable was connected to the Pi and my Television (Sony Bravia EX4-32).

Ping results after HDMI cable connected.
Ping results after HDMI cable connected.

Thinking it was a bad HDMI cable, I bought another, but to no avail. My next brainwave was that the Pi was emitting EMI (or RFI) which drove me to buy a 10 metre HDMI cable to get the Pi as far away from my router and other networking equipment, alas this didn’t work either.

Troubleshooting further, it turned out that the HDMI cable didn’t need to be properly connected, mealy touching the Pi on any metallic part will cause the internet to cease.

All it takes to knock me offline.
All it takes to knock me offline.

So in essence I am still no closer to solving my Pi/Internet mystery, if you can help me please comment!

All other HDMI works fine as I am now using the 10m HDMI cable as a screen extender on my laptop.


In my previous post I signed off by stating that that the Pi and my internet were working in harmony. However it turned out that my modem had dialled back my downstream internet speed to 1.5Mbps instead of the usual 3Mbps, normally a result of the modem trying to obtain a more stable internet connection due to, lets say, interference on the line!

RPi kills my internet

It was all going so well, got my Raspberry Pi and after the initial fiddle with Debian Squeeze I got another SD card and put Raspbmc on it, things were great!

Only niggle in my head was that the card I put Raspbmc on was 8GB, and that bigger card would be put to better use in my camera that was using a 4GB card. I thought it would be no problem to reformat cards and swap them over?


The 8GB in the camera was fine, and I used the Raspbmc installer as before to load it on the new SD card. The trouble was that when first booted up the Pi, it seemed to freeze on the

Sending HTTP request to server

No problem I thought, hop on my laptop and find out if other users experienced the same. But low and behold the internet on my laptop ceased to to work, with strange requests for proxy passwords to sites like Facebook and even the Weather gadget on Win 7!

First thoughts were that I cooked my router, as I been downloading a lot and on a warm day to (yes there was a warm day … I think!). But after it was off for as long as I could stand, powered it back on and normal service was resumed.

After rebooting all network equipment it finally dawned that the internet would go down for everything connected to my network when the Pi was powered up! I had never experienced this before and could not for the life of me fathom it out. I thought that it had a defect in the Pi meant that some sort of power surge was knocking out the system? This was quickly dismissed as local traffic was unaffected, meaning the network hardware was operating normally.

A quick glance at my Sky broadband supplied Sagem [email protected] 2504 modem showed the internet connection had failed, with the internet indicator glowing orange with a red pulse every second. Stranger still, upon unplugging the Raspberry Pi, connection to the net restored within  seconds!


So how can a network device have the ability to target and destroy an internet connection? Its my understanding that a Pi has no ability to retain settings other than whats stored on a SD card, but this issue continued when using two different memory cards.

Drilling down to an extreme form of troubleshooting, all network devices, including my second switch/access point was disconnected from the Sagem router. leaving just the Pi connected. Then from Midori on Debian Squeeze (remembering that the internal network was unaffected) rebooted the router using the web interface.

Suddenly the Pi could connect, attaching my whole network back together I found that everything was back to normal,

Laptop, Pi, iPhone, everything!

And this is the worst thing, I don’t know what caused this, and what I specifically did in the reboot process that solved it?

So I would love to hear if this has happened to you, and if there was something you can pinpoint as the issue? This one has got me completely stumped!

Its Alive!

Finally, 4 days after delivery I finally get my Raspberry Pi powered up and functioning!


First off, Debian Squeeze was installed, Samba added and worked out what is could, or could not do. Then it was about deciding what to do with it, first thoughts were a web server to host this Blog, but that was quickly solved by my other purchase of 4GB RAM for my Server.

The second choice was a media server, initially this looked dubious considering its performance when running Debian. But a bit of research yielded a program called xbmc, which in essence is a Linux version of Windows Media Centre. Further searching revelled a new project called Raspbmc, I thought I’d share this:

Xbmc running on a Raspberry Pi

Raspbmc is built on a custom Linux platform that boots straight into xbmc and so acts as a purpose media player exclusively for the Raspberry Pi, and is tailored to new users not up to scratch with *nix. So much so it installs to a SD card via a single click of a program running in Windows or Mac OS X.

So far it is in Beta stage but stable, it is clear that the xbmc software on which it is based is designed for more powerful hardware than a RPi, the menus can slow and seem jerky if requesting menus in quick succession, but video playback is unaffected and is just as smooth as my Intel Core i7 laptop.

For now it suits me fine, the Pi as a media player is excellent for my needs. The fact that a quick swap of the SD card changes it from media player to desktop means I still explore Linux through Debian without messing with my current setup.

Increasing Maximum Upload File Size in WordPress

When installing WordPress on a fresh new server, you may notice that all uploading is limited to 2MB. A search online reveals that this gripe is well discussed. However most solutions are tailored for users who rent dedicated WordPress hosting from companies.

For those of you who are using your own server, navigate to the file php.ini located where the core php installation is, normally in the Program Files/PHP folder in Windows.


From there, edit php.ini using Notepad or similar, changing the following values:

“Upload_max_filesize” from “2M” to 64M (or as desired)
post_max_size” from 8M to your favoured size

Check back on your WordPress site to see if the change has applied:


Got my slice of Pi

Last night after months of waiting if finally got my hands on my own Raspberry Pi.


After the initial jumping on the bandwagon I needed to turn my attention to figuring out what I will do with it. Initial thoughts (After playing and seeing what it can do, of course) was to use it as a media player for my TV, since my thirst for high definition mkv files outstrip not only my TV but my XBox for playback.

Second thoughts is to use it to power this WordPress blog, quick reading online speculates that it may be a challenge but is achievable. Something to think about, but only after I get bored of it, no point having a web server that I’m going to fiddle with (brick!) constantly.

Shall keep you posted on my relationship with the Pi!


This website has received yet another update, and now I am happy with it.

The biggest change was to change the blogging software to WordPress. Although my previous software ( was built on ASP.Net and SQL Server, my current choice of language and database that I am most familiar with, I felt that BE was way to bloated and it felt unrefined for my needs.

So I went with WordPress, it seems most blogs I read use this and they look slick, to I wanted a piece of the action. This meant installing PHP and MySQL on IIS, something I really did not want to do due to the resource hog on my server, but I bit the bullet and ordered more RAM for the server.

So far, so good!


Welcome to the blog of James Batchelor!

This blog is here mainly to accompany my other website over at There you have a guide to building, setting up and enjoying your own personal home server, while any updates and new tricks I learn from the net will appear here.

Apart from that, this blog will also house my usual ramblings about the world and just what I find absolutely absurd about it.

Feel free to check in, maybe you will find something interesting and new, but probably, you will work out how different we really are.