Installation Tips and Troubleshooting
How do I create a EFI boot stick?
There are two methods for creating a boot stick to install LAD on your hardware. The primary way to do this is to generate and download an EFI file image from the configurator page for the installation module on lateralaccessdevice.com and place it on a USB stick (this is the same process you would use to create any other EFI-type bootable stick for most modern operating systems):
- Download the installation module and save it as "bootx64.efi".
- On a blank USB stick with FAT formatting (most USB sticks have FAT formatting), create the following file structure: EFI/BOOT/.
- Please note that if you are re-using a USB stick you must remove all pre-existing files from it.
Most modern operating systems recognize EFI/UEFI files, but if yours does not, you can create a boot stick using an alternative method. Please see below.
My system doesn't work with EFI / UEFI. What can I do?
If your hardware system does not correctly boot EFI or UEFI, you will need to use an alternate process to generate a boot file image and "burn" it to a USB stick. For this you will need to download a differently formatted installation module from lateralaccessdevice.com.
For more information on how to burn a file image to a USB stick, go to http://www.lateralaccessdevice.com/win32_disk_imager.htm.
My hardware won't boot up from the USB stick.
Check whether the computer you are using for LAD is set to boot up from the USB stick. Most systems have that as their default boot setting, however, there are always exceptions. To check your boot order you need to access the boot order in the BIOS (aka CMOS, Setup Utility or similar). To do this you will need to connect both a monitor and a keyboard to the computer.
- With most machines you access the BIOS/CMOS by pressing either DEL, F1, F9 or ESC keys when it is booting up, though it is possible your particular computer may use a different key (check the documentation that came with your hardware).
- Navigate to the Boot Order or Boot Preferences (may be named slightly differently, depending on your system)
- Set the primary boot selection to USB.
- Save settings and restart the machine.
When you restart the machine, in order to proceed with installation you must have the boot USB stick inserted in one of the computer's USB ports and a live connection to the Internet.
I can't access the BIOS.
First check your hardware's documentation for the correct way to access the BIOS (aka CMOS, Setup Utility and other similar names). If you still are unable to access the BIOS and you are comfortable opening up computers and working with the hardware, you can try temporarily removing the motherboard's coin cell battery to reset the BIOS to the factory default settings (and most modern systems' factory defaults have USB as the primary boot option).
I set my primary boot source to USB, but the installer isn't launching.
- It is possible for USB ports to go bad or malfunction, so the first thing to try is connecting the boot stick to a different USB port.
- We have also come across some systems that do not always preserve changes to the boot order, particularly if the system is started up without a USB stick present. In fact we have come across some systems in our testing that would change the primary boot selection to the hard drive if you booted up without the USB stick inserted, even if you had previously changed the boot order.
How do I know which port on the computer is the first, so I can connect it to the Internet?
- There is no hard and fast rule, but motherboards with built-in Ethernet ports often have them labeled numerically. If no separate NICs are connected, the sequence of the ports will typically follow the numerical labelling on the motherboard or the outside of the chassis itself.
- If you have separate network interface cards connected to the motherboard, it varies from motherboard to motherboard whether the motherboard's built-in ports take numbering precedence or the NICs do. Probably more often the motherboard gives precedence to its own ports, but not always.
- You may simply have to go through some trial and error to find the correct port to which to connect the Internet. If you connect a monitor to the chassis on which you are installing LAD, the installer module will instruct you to connect the Internet source if it is not correctly connected. If you do not get this message and installation proceeds, then you have connected to the correct port.
- After you have completed installation, you can discover the numbering of the rest of your ports, if you wish, using the NET logs (under Sys Info). Simply plug a cable into one of the ports and see what number it reports as connecting in the NET logs.
How can I tell if installation was successful?
- The easiest way to monitor the progress and success of the installation module is to watch its progress by connecting a monitor to the computer chassis during installation. This would allow you to see if there were any incompatibility or other error messages, as well as see when installation is complete.
- You may attempt to access LAD using the web-based user interface. Attempts to access the web-based user interface prior to completion of installation will fail, so if it doesn't work at first, try again in a few minutes. See Logging Into LAD.
What do I do if I get a "Fail!" message?
The "Fail!" message indicates that the installer module ran into some sort of error (other than an issue with incompatible hardware). This is a rare occurrence and is only of concern if you get the fail message at the end of the installation process repeatedly. If it gets a FAIL error during the installation process, the LAD installer will attempt to correct it by restarting the installation process.
If it happens to you, we would appreciate the feedback but may not be able to address it right away. Make note of the error code given and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to connect LAD to my Internet source. What do I keep? What do I replace?
Whether or not you have the modem at your location or just an Ethernet cable coming out of the wall, there is modem somewhere from which the Ethernet cable that is your Ethernet sources connects from. Most likely you already have a router in place behind the modem, between the modem and the rest of your equipment. It is this router that LAD would replace, if you wish it to connect directly to your Internet connection.
- In some cases you may have a modem/router combination. If you wish to use LAD instead of the routing features of the modem/router and to improve, you can switch the modem into bridge mode and put the internet connectivity settings (if other than DHCP) into LAD.
You do not have to replace your current router (or router/firewall as it may be) with LAD, but there are advantages to be gained in speed, functionality and security.
The graphic at right illustrates a configuration where the modem is on site. LAD would be placed where the router is pictured.
The graphic at left illustrates a configuration where the modem is located outside the premises and on-site an Ethernet cable comes out of the wall (or maybe plugged into the wall) for Internet connectivity.