Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Ubuntu FTW!

What a frustrating day! We've been having a string of things breaking. Our car's tensioner rod broke (as if I know what that is, it has to do with the belt and costs way too much!) One of my kids broke the stair railing, I fixed that already. And I suspect it was also one of the kids that has broken the back of one of our dining room chairs??? This is all on top of Sharon's mom still not healing properly from her hip operation. I wee bit stressful here. Oh and my parents are coming tomorrow so we've been cleaning up a storm - you should see how tidy my office is!

With all of that I was not prepared for today. Actually it started last night. Sharon called me in because the computer would boot just so far into WinXP and then the whole machine would reboot. In safe mode it kept dying on the same .sys file - so I thought I'd just kill that file and see if that helped. Of course I can't find a way to get onto the computer because it will not boot. I found a bootable disk image with all kinds of rescue tools - $10US. An hour or so later I am ready to get the machine up. Only problem is that the files I want to save are all on an NTFS partition. OK so NTFS4DOS to the rescue and I manage to move them to the partition that I know is good. But I still cant get anything off the computer??? I think it was 1:30 when Sharon came down not able to sleep - I was a zombie so I shuffled off to bed.

Soon as I get the kids off I go to work. I have a few IDE drives around, but again NTFS and I realize the xcopy is not doing more than one file at a time - even with wildcards. Thus my backup? Who knows how effective it was. This is when my friend Becky tells me she has a SATA/IDE to USB device I can borrow. It is a pretty cool tool. Too bad neither WinXP nor Win 7 would mount the drives properly. So I need more options.

I was looking at Ubuntu the night before, but thought this could be a lot of time for nothing. I downloaded the .iso for a bootable CD and what do you know - I waste my only 700MB CD-R and about 8 DVD-Rs before giving up. I couldn't get the faulty machine to boot off a USB key, so I formatted an SD card. It was an option. But it wouldn't actually boot from it??? In fact after the first failure the machine refused to boot at all! So I brought the thumb drive into the office, loaded Ubuntu onto my netbook. Plugged in the hard drive with Becky's gadget and managed to copy the church financial records and music database. I even snag mine and Sharon's doc folders! But then the drives crashed and I couldn't remount them??? Oh well, at least I had the most important stuff.

Relieved to get that much I packed everything up and went to make supper. That was my whole day. So much for getting work done on my thesis.

After supper I tried the evil machine again and managed to get Ubuntu up and running. I even have full access to the hard drive! I am letting people check their mail.


balibog said...



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