dekaman
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Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Thu May 13, 2021 6:21 pm

Ok, had this issue on 2 different Pi4s and multiple SD cards.

Its not every time but 9 times out of 10.

Basically now and again I may remove large parts of my NAS or add large parts so I do this by connecting to a normal pc and run a defragment after.

I do a safe removal with umount, my pi works until I reboot either with or without the hard drive attached then it just corrupts and I have to reformat and reinstall.

What I have on the sd card.

Pi hole
Samba
Basic Terminal only Rasperry Pi OS which I use putty from Windows pc to access.

Like I say this isn't every time but 9 times out of 10, it can be a nightmare as if I don't realise in time I have to reset my router and spend time changing the settings on my router, downloading and reinstalling Raspberry Pi OS then Pihole and Samba

The hard drives are powered 3.5 drives with USB 3, I have tried 2 different enclosures, different power supplies for the Pi4, plugged into different plug sockets (though all are surge protected so will that cause a issue?)

Theres no common thread here apart from the base os and pi hole

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thagrol
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Thu May 13, 2021 10:19 pm

dekaman wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 6:21 pm
Ok, had this issue on 2 different Pi4s and multiple SD cards.

Its not every time but 9 times out of 10.

Basically now and again I may remove large parts of my NAS or add large parts so I do this by connecting to a normal pc and run a defragment after.
Define "normal PC". That means different things to different people and those different meanings have different implications.
I do a safe removal with umount, my pi works until I reboot either with or without the hard drive attached then it just corrupts and I have to reformat and reinstall.
Unmounting a partition shouldn't cause SD card corruption in and of itself. Neither should a reboot if done correctly (sudo reboot rather than a hard power cycle).

However...
  1. Are the empty mount points writeable?
  2. Do you have processes running (on the 4B or on the samba clients) that expect to write to the partitions?
If the answer to both of the above is "yes", when the partitions are unmounted that can lead to the SD card filling up making the system unstable, and ultimately unbootable.

Even if the empty mount points are not writeable it's possible that a process may be flooding the logs with error messages causing the same effect.
What I have on the sd card.

Pi hole
Samba
Basic Terminal only Rasperry Pi OS which I use putty from Windows pc to access.
I'm not familiar with Pi hole. As for the OS and samba, see above.
Like I say this isn't every time but 9 times out of 10, it can be a nightmare as if I don't realise in time I have to reset my router and spend time changing the settings on my router, downloading and reinstalling Raspberry Pi OS then Pihole and Samba
Next time take an image of the configured SD card so you can reflash it to a known state. Or use one of the many available tools to copy the installed OS to a backup SD card.
The hard drives are powered 3.5 drives with USB 3, I have tried 2 different enclosures, different power supplies for the Pi4, plugged into different plug sockets (though all are surge protected so will that cause a issue?)
Are you remembering to manually mount the partitions when the drives are reconnected to the 4B? WIth no desktop installed and running there is no automatic mounter.
Theres no common thread here apart from the base os and pi hole
There is one: the manual unmount and, presumably, manual remount of the partitions. You don't state whether you're actually remounting things or not.

Without more information on the type and nature of the observed corruption, it's difficult to say more. Though you might want to boot your 4B using a second SD card, connect the corrupted one via a USB card reader then run fsck on it, check whether it's full, and whether any files have been written to the wrong place.
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dekaman
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 12:42 pm

Normal PC as in just ones running Windows, 10 in this case.

I normally reboot the pi rather than power off,

I do have auto mount enabled for when pi reboots so that may be a problem, hence why I reboot after I reattach the usb drive, I'm guessing if its set to auto mount and theres no drive their it may corrupt, the other thing I was thinking was as the usb drive is powered when I attach when powered on and reboot its causing some sort of feedback but I could be far off the mark.

The command I run to unmount is sudo umount /dev/sda1

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thagrol
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 1:03 pm

dekaman wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 12:42 pm
Normal PC as in just ones running Windows, 10 in this case.

I normally reboot the pi rather than power off,
There are several ways to reboot. Which one are you using?
I do have auto mount enabled
Again, how exactly are you doing that?
for when pi reboots so that may be a problem, hence why I reboot after I reattach the usb drive, I'm guessing if its set to auto mount and theres no drive their it may corrupt,
Nope. But it depends on how you're mounting the partition and with what mount options. Without those details I cannot advise.

Worst case: a failure to boot
Best case: boot with the partition unmounted

A previously mentioned the best case can lead to the SD card filling up. This is not corruptiuon.
the other thing I was thinking was as the usb drive is powered when I attach when powered on and reboot its causing some sort of feedback but I could be far off the mark.
I don't believe that's possible. Poorly designed self powered USB device may backfeed power to the USB host but that shouldn't affect the SD card.
The command I run to unmount is sudo umount /dev/sda1
That should work assuming:
  1. That's the correct partition.
  2. It sucessfully completes.
  3. It's the only partition on the drive.
Don't rule out the possibility that it's something unrelated to the drive(s).

And try manually mounting the partition(s) before/without the reboot.
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ejolson
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 2:35 pm

dekaman wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 6:21 pm
Ok, had this issue on 2 different Pi4s and multiple SD cards.

Its not every time but 9 times out of 10.
That sounds irritating for hot plugging a USB drive to cause corruption to the SD card. It's possible power transients are responsible but also possible the USB drive is, in fact, not properly unmounted and this later causes system shut down to fail or take much longer than expected.

Are you waiting for the green flashing light after starting the shutdown to make sure it is finished before powering off?

dekaman
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 8:13 pm

I reboot either through terminal or piholes web interface for rebooting which never has issues until I at least once remove the usb.

This is the guide I used to setup NAS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH6P6v3lxsE

I can leave it more than a hour and still not booting.

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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 8:19 pm

how is the HDD mounted?
1. manually via mount command?
2. automatically via /etc/fstab?
3. automatically via other method (please specify)

for any of the above 3 please post the exact full command(s) used to mount the external drive.

is the HDD (or parts of it) shared to the network via samba?

if no replies to the queries (not just mine)..... we'll just consider this topic as closed and ask the mods to lock this....
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dekaman
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 9:37 pm

The answers are in the video I linked. Its ahrd to answer at moment as I am not at home and on bad phone internet so takes ages to write.

As far as I remember yes I edited fstab.

First time I mounted via sudo mount /External

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

[RaspberryPi NAS]
comment = Pi Server
public = yes
writeable = yes
browsable = yes
path = /External
create mask = 0777
directory mask = 0777

sudo nano /etc/fstab

add at bottom

/dev/sda1/External auto noatime 0 0

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thagrol
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 9:54 pm

dekaman wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 8:13 pm
I reboot either through terminal or piholes web interface for rebooting which never has issues until I at least once remove the usb.
I need specifics. When you go through the terminal what command do you use?
This is the guide I used to setup NAS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH6P6v3lxsE
I'm afraid I'm not going to sit through that. Even if I did it would only tell me what you should have done not what you've actually done.

To help further, I need specific details of what you have actually done. Which files you have modified and in what ways.
I can leave it more than a hour and still not booting.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and speculate. Something I try to avoid.
  • Would it be correct that you do not have a monitor connected to your 3B?
  • Would it also be correct that you haven't thought to connect one and observe the boot process?
  • Nor have you tried to observer the boot proccess via the serial console?
  • Are you trying to mount the partition(s) via having them is /etc/fstab?
  • If so did you include "nofail" in the mount options?
Now for the guess work...
  • You do not have a monitor connected.
  • You have used /etc/fstab to mount the partition(s) but have not included "nofail" in your mount options.
  • During boot the mount fails.
  • The system drops to single user mode and waits for root to login. (root can't. No monitor, no keyboard, but mainly because root doesn't have a password configured)
  • Networking is not active at this point so the system is not reachable.
  • You have assumed SD card corruption but have not actually checked for it.
If it is a broken fstab the fix is to boot from a clean OS on a different SD card, mount the broken card via USB card reader then fix the broken fstab.

Lastly, I agree with LTolledo. If you can't produce some detailed, solid answers there is little point in continuing this thread.
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thagrol
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 10:02 pm

Didn't see your post until after my last one.
dekaman wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 9:37 pm
/dev/sda1/External auto noatime 0 0
Just as I suspected. If that mount fails during boot, the system will stop as I've already described. However it may not be attempted as the only mount option you have used is "noatime". You've not included "defaults", "auto", or "noauto" so I'm not sure what the system will do.

Rather than cover old ground (again) I'll just refer you to my guide on using fstab: viewtopic.php?f=91&t=302752&p=1815316#p1815316 or see the URL in my sig.
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dekaman
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 10:10 pm

thagrol wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 9:54 pm
dekaman wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 8:13 pm
I reboot either through terminal or piholes web interface for rebooting which never has issues until I at least once remove the usb.
I need specifics. When you go through the terminal what command do you use?
This is the guide I used to setup NAS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH6P6v3lxsE
I'm afraid I'm not going to sit through that. Even if I did it would only tell me what you should have done not what you've actually done.

To help further, I need specific details of what you have actually done. Which files you have modified and in what ways.
I can leave it more than a hour and still not booting.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and speculate. Something I try to avoid.
  • Would it be correct that you do not have a monitor connected to your 3B?
  • Would it also be correct that you haven't thought to connect one and observe the boot process?
  • Nor have you tried to observer the boot proccess via the serial console?
  • Are you trying to mount the partition(s) via having them is /etc/fstab?
  • If so did you include "nofail" in the mount options?
Now for the guess work...
  • You do not have a monitor connected.
  • You have used /etc/fstab to mount the partition(s) but have not included "nofail" in your mount options.
  • During boot the mount fails.
  • The system drops to single user mode and waits for root to login. (root can't. No monitor, no keyboard, but mainly because root doesn't have a password configured)
  • Networking is not active at this point so the system is not reachable.
  • You have assumed SD card corruption but have not actually checked for it.
If it is a broken fstab the fix is to boot from a clean OS on a different SD card, mount the broken card via USB card reader then fix the broken fstab.

Lastly, I agree with LTolledo. If you can't produce some detailed, solid answers there is little point in continuing this thread.
I made a follow up post that lists what I did but if yiu did click on the video it shows the process in text below it I knew someone wouldn't watch video.

I cant see nofail in the guide so I can add that.

Its not connected to a tv/monitor

I assumed SD corruption as theres no led activity and not seen on network.

Automount is by fstab

reboot I type sudo reboot

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thagrol
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 10:33 pm

dekaman wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 10:10 pm
thagrol wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 9:54 pm
dekaman wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 8:13 pm
I reboot either through terminal or piholes web interface for rebooting which never has issues until I at least once remove the usb.
I need specifics. When you go through the terminal what command do you use?
This is the guide I used to setup NAS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH6P6v3lxsE
I'm afraid I'm not going to sit through that. Even if I did it would only tell me what you should have done not what you've actually done.

To help further, I need specific details of what you have actually done. Which files you have modified and in what ways.
I can leave it more than a hour and still not booting.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and speculate. Something I try to avoid.
  • Would it be correct that you do not have a monitor connected to your 3B?
  • Would it also be correct that you haven't thought to connect one and observe the boot process?
  • Nor have you tried to observer the boot proccess via the serial console?
  • Are you trying to mount the partition(s) via having them is /etc/fstab?
  • If so did you include "nofail" in the mount options?
Now for the guess work...
  • You do not have a monitor connected.
  • You have used /etc/fstab to mount the partition(s) but have not included "nofail" in your mount options.
  • During boot the mount fails.
  • The system drops to single user mode and waits for root to login. (root can't. No monitor, no keyboard, but mainly because root doesn't have a password configured)
  • Networking is not active at this point so the system is not reachable.
  • You have assumed SD card corruption but have not actually checked for it.
If it is a broken fstab the fix is to boot from a clean OS on a different SD card, mount the broken card via USB card reader then fix the broken fstab.

Lastly, I agree with LTolledo. If you can't produce some detailed, solid answers there is little point in continuing this thread.
I made a follow up post that lists what I did but if yiu did click on the video it shows the process in text below it I knew someone wouldn't watch video.
I saw your follow up post but after I had replied. As for watching the video, you should assume that no-one will. And, as I've already said, watching it doesn't tell us anything about what you actually did.
I cant see nofail in the guide so I can add that.
I assume you mean the video. It's in mine.
Its not connected to a tv/monitor
The first thing you should have done before assuming anything was to connect it to a monitor and watch the boot process. You'd have saved your self a lot of grief by doing so.
I assumed SD corruption as theres no led activity and not seen on network.
Never assume. There any many things that could cause those symptoms.
Automount is by fstab
Go read my guide but if that's TL;DR try changing your fstab entry to

Code: Select all

/dev/sda1 /External auto defaults,nofail,noatime 0 0
If it's alread broken and won't boot, you'll need to use another linux computer (which can be the same 3B booting from a different SD card) and a USB carder reader to change it.

That change won't fix things but will allow boot to continue, assuming it is the fstab entry that's causing things to fail. You can then login via ssh and see what's actually going on. There's a trouble shooting section in my guide.

Be aware that with the partition unmounted, subject to permissions, samba clients will be able to write to the SD card.

There's also one further gotcha with your samba setup:
As you're sharing the root of the partition, samba will report the wrong drive size to clients. They'll be limited to the maximum size and availabel free space of teh SD card when writing not to that of the partition.

I've no idea why samba works like that. The quick fix is to share a directory on the partition not the partition itself. /External/some-directory instead of /External.

Edit: fixed missing field seperator in suggested fstab entry.
Last edited by thagrol on Fri May 14, 2021 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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thagrol
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Fri May 14, 2021 10:36 pm

And I think I've found the problem:
Your fstab entry as copied and pasted from your post is missing a space or tab between "/dev/sda1" and "/External". That will cause the mount to fail and the boot to halt.

Asuming the missing space isn't a transcription error of course.
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LTolledo
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Sat May 15, 2021 3:33 am

the video guide is a "guide", not the actual setup by the OP...
we'll just have to wait for the OP to go home and get the data direct from the "faulty setup"

and paste the required actual info using the code tags...

I do hope that thagrol has pinpointed out the actual cause of the problem.... thru the "sparse" info given in small installments...
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swampdog
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Sat May 15, 2021 6:25 am

The description for the youtube link mentions..
NTFS Package :
sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g
..which agrees with OP mentioning..
connecting to a normal (win10) pc and run a defragment after.
I can envisage what @thagol mentions.. the sdcard is getting filled via smb writing to an unmounted mountpoint.

I've always considered ntfs write operations under linux to be unreliable (ntfs is proprietary). OP should use a linux (ext4) filesystem. It won't need a defrag and properly configured will not allow the sdcard to be filled when unmounted.

Usb devices can be flakey so I'd have "noauto" in /etc/fstab and use a script to fire up samba once its sure the device is up.

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thagrol
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Sat May 15, 2021 11:27 am

swampdog wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 6:25 am
The description for the youtube link mentions..
NTFS Package :
sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g
..which agrees with OP mentioning..
connecting to a normal (win10) pc and run a defragment after.
It does, but we don't actually know if the partition has been formatted with NTFS. It could be FAT or exFAT. All of which have the drivers installed by default on recent releases of RPiOS.
I can envisage what @thagol mentions.. the sdcard is getting filled via smb writing to an unmounted mountpoint.

I've always considered ntfs write operations under linux to be unreliable (ntfs is proprietary). OP should use a linux (ext4) filesystem. It won't need a defrag and properly configured will not allow the sdcard to be filled when unmounted.
Nope. That's a property of the file system on the SD card. The permissions/properties of the USB drive's partitions have no effect whne unmounted.
Usb devices can be flakey so I'd have "noauto" in /etc/fstab and use a script to fire up samba once its sure the device is up.
I prefere to make my empty mount point read only for everyone (including root). Though, at least on RPiOS, samba is started by systemd so it should be possible to tweak the service fiel and add dependencies on the mounts/mount units.

Not something I've tried though.
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swampdog
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Sat May 15, 2021 12:28 pm

thagrol wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 11:27 am
swampdog wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 6:25 am
The description for the youtube link mentions..
NTFS Package :
sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g
..which agrees with OP mentioning..
connecting to a normal (win10) pc and run a defragment after.
It does, but we don't actually know if the partition has been formatted with NTFS. It could be FAT or exFAT. All of which have the drivers installed by default on recent releases of RPiOS.
I can envisage what @thagol mentions.. the sdcard is getting filled via smb writing to an unmounted mountpoint.

I've always considered ntfs write operations under linux to be unreliable (ntfs is proprietary). OP should use a linux (ext4) filesystem. It won't need a defrag and properly configured will not allow the sdcard to be filled when unmounted.
Nope. That's a property of the file system on the SD card. The permissions/properties of the USB drive's partitions have no effect whne unmounted.
My bad. I should have been clearer. Today has turned into one of those "bus station"(*) days!
Some people erroneously set ownership/permissions prior to mounting. I've even seen chmod 01777 /mnt/ in a commercial environment.
Usb devices can be flakey so I'd have "noauto" in /etc/fstab and use a script to fire up samba once its sure the device is up.
I prefere to make my empty mount point read only for everyone (including root). Though, at least on RPiOS, samba is started by systemd so it should be possible to tweak the service fiel and add dependencies on the mounts/mount units.

Not something I've tried though.
Me neither - usb devices can be tricky like my three identical caddies which are prone to disappear unless handled in a certain way: can't automate that: a fat finger might be required.

(*) List of computer jobs I've put off. Start doing them & constant interruptions.

dekaman
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Mon May 17, 2021 9:08 am

Sorry for late response, I got back yesterday but was too tired to respond and my handheld pc hinge broke so I couldn't use that to respond.

Looks like I misplaced the SD card when checking it last so doing a fresh install with the additions mentioned, I was aware of the missing space on the previous automount so that wasn't the issue but will add the extra code.

And hard drive is a NTFS drive as its a 14tb, I did have same issues on a 6tb drive last year, and its a Pi 4 I'm using.

Will update with information either way.

ejolson
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Re: Rpi 4 NAS - even when umounting powered external hard drive it corrupts sd cards.

Mon May 17, 2021 2:30 pm

dekaman wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:08 am
Sorry for late response, I got back yesterday but was too tired to respond and my handheld pc hinge broke so I couldn't use that to respond.

Looks like I misplaced the SD card when checking it last so doing a fresh install with the additions mentioned, I was aware of the missing space on the previous automount so that wasn't the issue but will add the extra code.

And hard drive is a NTFS drive as its a 14tb, I did have same issues on a 6tb drive last year, and its a Pi 4 I'm using.

Will update with information either way.
My suspicion is that using a 14 TB NTFS partition with a 32-bit ARM-based operating system is not a common or well-tested configuration. If you are reinstalling anyway and just want NAS operation, maybe installing the 64-bit beta test of Raspberry Pi OS would lead to better results.

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