RackNerd KVM VPS Black Friday 2021 Promos

These are the promo deals for KVM VPS instances through RackNerd for Black Friday 2021.

  • 768MB KVM VPS — $10.88/year
    • 1 vCPU Core
    • 12GB SSD Storage
    • 768MB RAM
    • 1000GB Monthly Transfer
    • 1Gbps Network Port
    • Full Root Admin Access
    • 1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
    • KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
    • Multiple Locations: Los Angeles; San Jose; Dallas; Chicago; New York; Seattle
  • 1GB KVM VPS — $14.88/year
    • 1 vCPU Core
    • 25GB SSD Storage
    • 1GB RAM
    • 4000GB Monthly Transfer
    • 1Gbps Network Port
    • Full Root Admin Access
    • 1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
    • KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
    • Multiple Locations: Los Angeles; San Jose; Dallas; Chicago; New York; Seattle
  • 2.5GB KVM VPS — $27.88/year
    • 2 vCPU Core
    • 50GB SSD Storage
    • 2.5GB RAM
    • 6000GB Monthly Transfer
    • 1Gbps Network Port
    • Full Root Admin Access
    • 1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
    • KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
    • Multiple Locations: Los Angeles; San Jose; Dallas; Chicago; New York; Seattle
  • 3GB KVM VPS — $34.88/year
    • 2 vCPU Core
    • 60GB SSD Storage
    • 3GB RAM
    • 8000GB Monthly Transfer
    • 1Gbps Network Port
    • Full Root Admin Access
    • 1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
    • KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
    • Multiple Locations: Los Angeles; San Jose; Dallas; Chicago; New York; Seattle
  • 4GB KVM VPS — $43.39/year
    • 3 vCPU Core
    • 75GB SSD Storage
    • 4GB RAM
    • 10,000GB Monthly Transfer
    • 1Gbps Network Port
    • Full Root Admin Access
    • 1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
    • KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
    • Multiple Locations: Los Angeles; San Jose; Dallas; Chicago; New York; Seattle

RackNerd Web Hosting Specials

The following are some active RackNerd web hosting specials, in case anyone is interested.

I’ve emboldened the most obvious difference between the various packages, based on the listed features for each one.

Shared Hosting (cPanel)

  • 50GB Shared – $9.98/year
    • 50GB SSD Storage
    • 2TB Monthly Transfer
    • Unlimited Databases
    • Host 4 Domains
    • Free SSL Certificates
    • CloudLinux
    • Softaculous
    • LiteSpeed Web Server w/ LSCache
    • Free Daily Offsite Backups (JetBackup)
    • KernelCare Enabled
    • MailChannels Hybrid – Premium Email Delivery
    • FREE Clientexec License
    • cPanel Control Panel
    • Available in: Multiple Locations (appears to be Los Angeles; Frankfurt, Germany; Strasburg, France; Singapore; Miami)
  • 85GB Shared – $15.79/year
    • 85GB SSD Storage
    • 5TB Monthly Transfer
    • Unlimited Databases
    • Host 7 Domains
    • Free SSL Certificates
    • CloudLinux
    • Softaculous
    • LiteSpeed Web Server w/ LSCache
    • Free Daily Offsite Backups (JetBackup)
    • KernelCare Enabled
    • MailChannels Hybrid – Premium Email Delivery
    • FREE Clientexec License
    • cPanel Control Panel
    • Available in: Multiple Locations (appears to be Los Angeles; Frankfurt, Germany; Strasburg, France; Singapore; Miami)
  • 150GB Shared – $29.88/year
    • 150GB SSD Storage
    • 10TB Monthly Transfer
    • Unlimited Databases
    • Host Unlimited Domains
    • Free SSL Certificates
    • CloudLinux
    • Softaculous
    • LiteSpeed Web Server w/ LSCache
    • Free Daily Offsite Backups (JetBackup)
    • KernelCare Enabled
    • MailChannels Hybrid – Premium Email Delivery
    • FREE Clientexec License
    • cPanel Control Panel
    • Available in: Multiple Locations (appears to be Los Angeles; Frankfurt, Germany; Strasburg, France; Singapore; Miami)

Reseller Hosting (cPanel & WHM)

  • 40GB Reseller – $27.99/year
    • 40GB SSD Storage
    • 2TB Monthly Transfer
    • 10 cPanel Accounts
    • Free SSL Certificates
    • CloudLinux
    • Softaculous
    • LiteSpeed Web Server w/ LSCache
    • Free Daily Offsite Backups (JetBackup)
    • KernelCare Enabled
    • MailChannels Hybrid – Premium Mail Delivery
    • Free Clientexec License
    • cPanel & WHM Control Panel
    • Available in: Multiple Locations (appears to be Los Angeles; Frankfurt, Germany; Strasburg, France; Singapore; Miami)
  • 100GB Reseller – $55/year
    • 100GB SSD Storage
    • 6TB Monthly Transfer
    • 25 cPanel Accounts
    • Free SSL Certificates
    • CloudLinux
    • Softaculous
    • LiteSpeed Web Server w/ LSCache
    • Free Daily Offsite Backups (JetBackup)
    • KernelCare Enabled
    • MailChannels Hybrid – Premium Mail Delivery
    • Free Clientexec License
    • cPanel & WHM Control Panel
    • Available in: Multiple Locations (appears to be Los Angeles; Frankfurt, Germany; Strasburg, France; Singapore; Miami)

Let me know if any of these are noticed to be out-of-stock or expired, and I will update the post accordingly. Otherwise, good luck finding a hosting package that fits your needs!

RackNerd Ryzen NVME Promotions

Here are the latest promotions from RackNerd for their KVM VPS’s. These are promoting setups configured with 3900X AMD Ryzen CPUs and RAID-1 NVME storage.

You can also check some of the older promotion posts using the RackNerd tag, to see if any of those are still available – in case they are more preferable over these.

1GB Ryzen KVM VPS — $18.18/year
1x AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU Core
24 GB NVMe SSD Storage
1 GB DDR4 RAM
2500GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Available in MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

2GB Ryzen KVM VPS — $31.88/year
2x AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU Cores
38 GB NVMe SSD Storage
2 GB DDR4 RAM
4000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Available in MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

3GB Ryzen KVM VPS — $48.79/yea
2x AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU Cores
55 GB NVMe SSD Storage
3 GB DDR4 RAM
5000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Available in MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

Updating Mac OS X Mavericks to Recent macOS Versions

After finally re-setting up our iMac that we haven’t used for quite a while, it unsurprisingly had a lot of updates to run. The actual OS was the most notable one, which was still Mavericks version 10.9.5.

Doing some research, I found that Big Sur version 11.x is the most up-to-date version, and you can update to the latest version from at least as far back as Mavericks. However, a change to the file systems used by the OS happened between the Sierra and High Sierra versions, and so online discussions about OS updates seeming to snag when trying to update from versions older than High Sierra to versions newer than High Sierra drew suggestions that it was best to update to High Sierra first among the versions that use the new file systems.

Fortunately, Apple does have a website with links and information for updating to versions that aren’t the most current macOS at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211683. The problem is that every macOS version from High Sierra through Catalina that I tried to download would return a “500 Internal Server Error” in the App Store.

I took to the internet with this error and found several different suggestions ranging from booting in Safe Mode – which I did try – to doing a complete factory reset with hard drive deletion – which I didn’t do. I did, however, reinstall Mavericks from the Recovery menu at system boot, which I thought was actually going to delete all files in the process, but didn’t. Whether this really helped anything, I can’t say, because I never could get any macOS handled through the App Store to download using Mavericks without getting the error, including after doing this OS reinstall process via the Recovery menu.

In the end, I went below High Sierra to just Sierra, which is listed as the first macOS titled version (previous versions were referred to as OS X), but which is still upgraded to via a traditional image file download. This actually solved my problem. I was able to update Mavericks to Sierra following the prior methods of OS upgrade. Once Sierra was installed, I still followed the suggestion of updating to High Sierra first before going to the latest available version.

I hope this helps someone else in this situation, because I literally spent several hours doing file backups and trying various suggested remedies before finally doing the manual upgrade using the Sierra image file as I explained, and I never once saw that suggested by anyone. Once that was done, I never received any other errors trying to update/upgrade any software from the App Store.

RackNerd 6.18 Promotions

Here are the latest promotional offers on RackNerd’s KVM VPS services, for anyone who is in the market. The promo prices do rollover for every year you maintain the services, just in case you’re wondering.

1.8GB KVM VPS Special — $17.88/year
2x vCPU Cores
18GB Pure SSD RAID-10 Storage
1.8GB RAM
5000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, etc.
Multiple Locations

2.8GB KVM VPS Special — $21.88/year
2x vCPU Cores
38GB Pure SSD RAID-10 Storage
2.8GB RAM
6000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, etc.
Multiple Locations

3.8GB KVM VPS Special — $38.88/year
3x vCPU Cores
55GB Pure SSD RAID-10 Storage
3.8GB RAM
8000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, etc.
Multiple Locations

You can refer to my past posts about RackNerd to view my opinions of RackNerd, if interested.

RackNerd March Madness Specials

The following are the March Madness specials that RackNerd have posted for various KVM VPS services.

As always, I welcome anyone to post comments providing their experiences with RackNerd. As of this time, I’ve had no issues with them and have maintained several VPS services that have performed well for what I need.

Intel VPS Plans

768MB KVM VPS — $9.49/year
1x vCPU Core
12 GB Pure SSD RAID-10 Storage [Intel SSD]
768MB RAM
2000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS and more
Locations: San Jose, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Amsterdam

2.5GB KVM VPS — $21.50/year
2x vCPU Core
45 GB Pure SSD RAID-10 Storage [Intel SSD]
2.5GB RAM
5000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS and more
Locations: San Jose, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Amsterdam

3GB KVM VPS — $35.49/year
3x vCPU Core
80 GB Pure SSD RAID-10 Storage [Intel SSD]
3GB RAM
10,000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS and more
Locations: San Jose, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Amsterdam

AMD Ryzen VPS Plans

1.5GB Ryzen KVM VPS — $27.49/year
1x AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU Core
20 GB Pure SSD RAID-10 Storage [Ryzen NVMe]
1.5GB RAM
3000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS and more
Locations: New York

2.5GB Ryzen KVM VPS — $39.95/year
2x AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU Core
40 GB Pure SSD RAID-10 Storage [Ryzen NVMe]
2.5GB RAM
5000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS and more
Locations: New York

4GB Ryzen KVM VPS — $64.00/year
2x AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU Core
55 GB Pure SSD RAID-10 Storage [Ryzen NVMe]
4GB RAM
8000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS and more
Locations: New York

RackNerd Black Friday 2020 Specials

The following are Black Friday specials available through RackNerd hosting. Everyone is encouraged to share any opinions or experiences they have with RackNerd in comments here, but my personal experience has been one of no issues.

KVM Linux VPS

512MB KVM VPS — $8.89/year
1x vCPU Core
15 GB SSD Cached Storage
512MB RAM
1000GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

1GB KVM VPS — $15.25/year
1x vCPU Core
30 GB SSD Cached Storage
1GB RAM
3500GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

2GB KVM VPS — $21.79/year
2x vCPU Core
45 GB SSD Cached Storage
2GB RAM
6000GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

2.5GB KVM VPS — $27.50/year
3x vCPU Core
55 GB SSD Cached Storage
2.5GB RAM
7000GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

4.5GB KVM VPS — $46.89/year
3x vCPU Core
83 GB SSD Cached Storage
4.5GB RAM
9500GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

Windows VPS

2GB Windows VPS — $60/year
1x AMD Ryzen CPU Core
35GB NVMe SSD Storage
2GB RAM
200GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Administrator Access
Remote Desktop (RDP Access)
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Windows Server 2012 or 2016 OS
Locations: Los Angeles Datacenter

3.5GB Windows VPS — $99/year
2x AMD Ryzen CPU Core
60GB NVMe SSD Storage
3.5GB RAM
200GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Administrator Access
Remote Desktop (RDP Access)
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Windows Server 2012 or 2016 OS
Locations: Los Angeles Datacenter

8GB Windows VPS — $219/year
3x AMD Ryzen CPU Core
150GB NVMe SSD Storage
8GB RAM
10,000GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Administrator Access
Remote Desktop (RDP Access)
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Windows Server 2012 or 2016 OS
Locations: Los Angeles Datacenter

Shared Hosting with cPanel Control Panel

50GB Shared Hosting — $8.50/year
50GB SSD Disk Space
3TB Monthly Transfer
Unlimited Databases
Host 3 Domains
Free SSL Certificates
cPanel Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

80GB Shared Hosting — $12.99/year
80GB SSD Disk Space
5TB Monthly Transfer
Unlimited Databases
Host 5 Domains
Free SSL Certificates
cPanel Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

150GB Shared Hosting — $24.99/year
150GB SSD Disk Space
10TB Monthly Transfer
Unlimited Databases
Host Unlimited Domains
Free SSL Certificates
cPanel Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

Reseller Hosting with cPanel/WHM

50GB Reseller Hosting — $24.99/year
50GB SSD Disk Space
2TB Monthly Transfer
10 cPanel Accounts
Free SSL Certificates
CloudLinux Powered
cPanel & WHM Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

120GB Reseller Hosting — $39/year
120GB SSD Disk Space
3.5TB Monthly Transfer
15 cPanel Accounts
Free SSL Certificates
CloudLinux Powered
cPanel & WHM Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

200GB Reseller Hosting — $59/year
200GB SSD Disk Space
6TB Monthly Transfer
25 cPanel Accounts
Free SSL Certificates
CloudLinux Powered
cPanel & WHM Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

RackNerd 11.11 KVM/Windows Promotional Offers

Note: The 11.11 promo specials listed in this post have now expired and are no longer available. However, the LEB specials listed at the bottom of the post are still available.

RackNerd have the following promotional offers on KVM servers, so you might want to give these a look if you’re in the market and looking for KVM options on a budget. They also appear to have expanded to many more locations than when I signed up with them a while back, as well (which was only L.A. at that time).

1GB KVM VPS Special (11.11 Promo) — $9.98/year
1x vCPU Core
17 GB PURE SSD RAID-10 Storage
1 GB RAM
3000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

2GB KVM VPS Special (11.11 Promo) — $15.58/year
2x vCPU Cores
35 GB PURE SSD RAID-10 Storage
2 GB RAM
5000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

3GB KVM VPS Special (11.11 Promo) — $27.98/year
3x vCPU Cores
55 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
3 GB RAM
8000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

4GB KVM VPS Special (11.11 Promo) — $35.98/year
3x vCPU Cores
80 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
4 GB RAM
9000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

Windows 3GB VPS (11.11 Promo) — $78.88/year
2x AMD Ryzen CPU Cores
35 GB NVMe SSD Storage
3 GB DDR4 RAM
3000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Administrator Access
Remote Desktop (RDP) Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Location: Los Angeles DC-02

As a note, I’ve been using RackNerd for a while now for KVM servers that I needed. They’ve not only been one of the more affordable options for VPS in general (especially KVM), but have also had great performance for what I use them for (primarily running old game servers with Wine emulation).

They’re not the first provider that I’ve used, nor are they the only provider I find worth doing business with. I’ve also suggested HostUS, and still do – especially as a provider with top-notch support, but HostUS is not quite as affordable in terms of specials on these types of services. I can’t say everyone shares the same experience with a given host, but I am being honest about RackNerd being good from my personal experience. While I haven’t had a lot of experience with their support and wouldn’t be surprised if they wouldn’t impress me on the same level as HostUS in that specific area, I can say that the few times I’ve contacted their support resulted in them providing me with at least an acceptable solution to my problem – even if it may not have always been the specific one I was hoping for.

Either way, for the price, you really aren’t taking a huge risk in trying them out for these types of services. If in a year from now you’re unhappy, let your wallet speak for you. I, on the other hand, expect to be renewing with them for the foreseeable future. Anyone who has their own experiences to share are certainly welcome to comment and do so. I’d much rather know what others think of the services so that I also have a better idea outside of how I specifically use them.

Update

Some previous promos that were offered and that appear to still be active (these were the ones I personally bought into myself earlier this year), can be found below. Again, they’ve expanded to include quite a few additional locations as opposed to just the L.A. location that was available when I first signed up with them. You can use the provided test IPs in the drop-down list with the locations to ping from your location to see the difference in latency times. I’ve also requested a relocation for my existing services and they appear to be willing to do that for me without any mention of a charge to do so.

These specials were posted on Low End Box‘s website when I found them. Note that the product page at RackNerd still has only L.A. listed for location of these specials, but you will see all of the additional location options in the drop-down menu when setting up the service.

LEB Special 1.5GB KVM — $16.55/year
2x vCPU Core
20 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
1.5 GB RAM
4000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

LEB Special 2.5GB KVM — $23.49/year
3x vCPU Core
40 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
2.5 GB RAM
6500GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

LEB Special 3.5GB KVM — $28.99/year
3x vCPU Core
45 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
3.5 GB RAM
7000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

Reseller LEB 80GB — $39/year
80 GB SSD Disk Space
1.5 TB Monthly Transfer
20 cPanel Accounts
Free SSL Certificates
CloudLinux Powered
Softaculous Script Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Daily Backups Included
cPanel & WHM Control Panel

How I Passed the US History II CLEP

So, I’ll just open with an explanation: I waited until nearly the end of my undergraduate studies to fulfill the requirements of my lower-level general education. As a result, I was taking Literature and Music Appreciation while I was wrapping up Probability and Statistics and my Senior Project, and it certainly took away time I could have used toward those more major core classes. But, it was my own fault. I could have knocked those lower-level gen-ed requirements out sooner if I hadn’t put them off.

In the end, however, I was left with my Interpreting the Past requirement as the last standing thing for my entire catalog of studies. I didn’t want to take a history course if I didn’t have to, as that would mean dedicating another two to three months in a class. So, I took a co-worker’s advice and looked into CLEP. After verifying with my advisor and the person overseeing credit transfers at my university, I decided on US History II due to the expectation that living through some of what it would cover (from 1980’s on) might help me out.

For the sake of establishing proper context, I must clarify that I have not studied any American History beyond what is gained from watching main-stream movies and television series since my pre-2003 high school years.

I originally planned to take the test around March and purchased the official CLEP study companion, 2020 version, around January or February. After COVID-19 happened, all of the testing facilities for CLEP in my area were closed until further notice, which left me unsure of when I would actually be able to test for it. Focusing on keeping up with other priorities, I let studying for the CLEP go to the wayside. So, testing facilities reopened unexpectedly in June and I found myself totally unprepared. I immediately started searching online for ways to study quickly.

My main efforts led to Modern States, which is a site that offers free study materials (courses) for preparing to take AP and CLEP exams. I was mainly looking for a good source of study to simply prepare, but Modern States also provides a voucher to pay for the test fee at https://clep.collegeboard.org/ if you complete their course and provide them with a screenshot of your course progress showing you passed their practice exams successfully. This alone saved me $89 when I went to take the test, and so I highly recommend you do this even if you also plan to use another source for a lot of your study and preparation. In addition to providing a voucher to cover the CLEP exam cost (for which you pay nothing out-of-pocket), they also provide instructions on how you can submit proof of payment and completion of your exam at the testing location, and they will then mail you a check to reimburse for that cost, as well. Utilizing this essentially makes taking the exam free.

Modern States also offers links to other resources to help you study, which can be found under the Resources tab at the top of the US History II course section. I will say that purchasing the official CLEP study companion compiled by College Board is a toss-up, given that a lot of the questions in the practice test of the companion were also provided in the Modern States tests. At least this was the case for US History II.

I must admit that I don’t believe Modern States alone will get you where you need to be, and I certainly don’t believe I would have passed the US History II CLEP if I’d relied on it exclusively. I watched all of the A Biography of America videos and regularly visited USHistory.org, both of which are included in the Resources section of Modern States. I took all of the Khan Academy modules and section tests that were related to the period of US History covered for the US History II CLEP (1865 and forward – starting with Reconstruction), though I didn’t actually read or watch videos on Khan Academy for study. I also searched online and came across several good practice testing locations like USHistoryQuiz.com, HistoryTeacher.net and a faculy member’s website hosted at a southern California independent polytechnic school. I would regularly come back over several weeks to attempt these quizzes and practice tests, and I would make sure I read any summary that was provided against each question after it was answered – whether correct or incorrect. Another good place to look, which likely includes some of the places I’ve already mentioned, is the Free study resources section on this page at Free-CLEP-Prep.com. I’m pretty sure this is how I originally found the HistoryTeacher.net website.

In the end, I felt the test was a bit harder than what I was expecting going into it, but I managed to pass with a 65, which I presume puts me right in the middle of the passing ground that was between 50 and 80 (the test score ranges from 20 to 80, and 50 was needed for credit at my university). In reality, I used what I knew from studying to make an educated guess by ruling out answers I felt didn’t apply to questions I was unsure of. Whether or not I got those particular questions correct, I can’t say, given that a simple score is all that you get without knowing which particular questions were missed. Still, the only thing I actually purchased to prepare was the 2020 CLEP study companion, which just had a 120-question practice test. I took the practice test once two days before my actual exam. I would say, without question, that the Modern States web course and other online resources that I used either to study or take practice tests were the most beneficial part of my preparation. If I had the advantage of hindsight, I’d have saved my money on the study companion.

If you have the time, reading the provided textbook on Modern States (which appears to be provided by https://openstax.org/) is definitely helpful, and it provides a lot more information on each topic than you will get by just watching the short videos that the professor lectures in.

With that, best of luck!

eCryptFS – Accessing Encrypted Drive from LiveUSB Linux with Known User Password

Thanks to another imperiled user at LinuxMint.com’s community forums (credit given below), I’ve discovered an easy method to access encrypted drives/partitions using a Linux Mint LiveUSB when the actual system is not able to be used to boot and access the drive for data recovery. This method assumes that the ecryptfs-utils package was used to encrypt the drive, and that the wrapped-passphrase was stored on the drive.

In the past, encrypted drives or partitions using eCryptFS required you to note a lengthy passphrase in order to recover the files – or, at least, this was displayed upon installation of Mint, Ubuntu and other distros after installing and encrypted the home directory.

However, simply knowing the user’s login passphrase is all that is needed for newer encrypted setups, as it appears eCryptFS now automatically stores the wrapped-passphrase on the drive where the data is encrypted to allow for recovery using just the user’s login credentials. Below are some rather simple and straight-forward steps for accessing an encrypted drive from a LiveUSB boot in these conditions:

  1. Simply mount the partition/drive from inside the graphical file manager. This was Nemo in my case, using Linux Mint.
  2. Open a terminal from inside the /home directory of the drive/partition that contains the encrypted home directory and enter the following command:
    sudo ecryptfs-recover-private .ecryptfs/<USERNAME>/.Private/
    Note: You must use elevated super-user privileges for this command.
  3. If it finds the location provided, enter Y (or simply press Enter, if it is the default option) when presented with Try to recover this directory? [Y/n].
  4. If you’re fortunate, it will find the wrapped-passphrase and then ask Do you know your LOGIN passphrase? [Y/n]. As long as you do (and there’s no reason you shouldn’t if you’re trying to recover your own data), then simply hit Enter or submit Y to reach a prompt to enter the login password for the user of the encrypted home directory.
  5. If all goes well (correct password, included), you’ll be met with INFO: Success! Private data mounted at [/tmp/ecryptfs.dIWKskOD].
    Note: This location is mounted in the /tmp/ directory of the USB drive’s file system and not in the /tmp/ directory of the mounted Linux Mint drive/partition of the system being accessed on the PC.
  6. The last thing you need to note is where it has mounted the encrypted data, as it won’t be in the /media/ directory where your drive/partition is initially mounted using Nemo. For me, it was placed inside of the /tmp/ directory somewhere like /tmp/ecryptfs.dIWKskOD/. It doesn’t hurt anything to keep the terminal window open in case you need to reference it again, though I imagine it will be the only directory starting with ecryptfs. in its name.
  7. Simply navigate to the provided location and you’ll find the files from the drive/partition unencrypted to access and/or copy to a backup location.

I hope this helps. Also, note that you may also want to use something like ddrescue, or even CloneZilla, to attempt salvaging as much data as possible if you’re drive is failing. Attempting to copy/backup files through the usual means when the drive is failing can either cause more damage or at least cost you valuable time that could be given toward the more capable methods.

Best of luck!

Credit: Thanks to fabien85’s post at the LinuxMint.com forums.