Daily Musings

Archive for August 2009

After my earlier rants about my usage pattern of OS’s, I tried to remove the bad sectors of my hard drive (80GB capacity). This required my taking bakup of some 60 GB of data. This created a new problem as I had never thought of a backup plan for myself. But then I got the timely help from one of my friends who agreed to lend me her HDD.

The HDD’s capacity was 40 GB which required me to plan my backup accordingly. I have another HDD of 20GB (courtesy my old PC 😉 ). After a few rounds of calculations I had planned the backup procedure. Then I went on to copy my data to my friends disk and then the rest of the data to the other 20GB that I have (NOTE: OS was installed on the 20 GB drive..and it still is). After that I formatted my 80 GB HDD (This was the second time in 4 years; first one being when I bought it) and then repartitioned the drive as per my choice which involved a 65 GB partition and another partition with the rest of the space left. Then the last step included copying the data back to the HDD. Everything went with the breeze as I did everything using my Linux OS of choice (which happens to be Ubuntu at present). The only thing that bugged me was finding a disk for backing up my data to.

So, now I am (finally) using Ubuntu 9.04 and won’t be using a dual boot (for the time being) as I had planned earlier. From this incident, I decided upon two things; first one: I should keep my data on a seperate physical drive from that used for OS, secondly, I should always be prepared for an eventuality (which involves a robust backup plan or a spare HDD in layman’s terms).

I learnt another thing a few days later (when I had to return the friend’s HDD in the same condition that I brought it). The thing was that I formatted the HDD into 2 NTFS partitions using GParted in Ubuntu. But when I tried to install Windows XP on this drive, the windows setup could not detect the partitions and displayed a single unpartitioned space. Then I ran the Ubuntu Live CD which showed the partitions in place and eventually I had to partition the drive using Windows CD. From this I learnt that there is some problem in using Linux to partition a drive as NTFS, as it won’t be recognized under Windows. I will have to study a bit more to get to the root-cause of this problem. But as of now I am happily using Ubuntu as it has helped me a lot in doing various tasks which required me to install various paid softwares in Windows. YES!! I am a happy Linux user.

For the past few days, I have been busy trying out different Linux Distros. As a matter of fact, I have been using Linux since early 2006, my first fav. being Kubuntu. Then, I switched to Ubuntu later that year.

Although I liked the overall experience very much (Ubuntu is a very friendly OS for newbies), I could not use Ubuntu as my primary OS (for daily use) and kept it as an alternative to Windows XP. I used to log into Ubuntu just for the fun of it and didn’t use it seriously for quite some time. But still, I managed to learn a trick or two during this period which helped me getting to the next step of computing using Linux.

Then, sometime around last year, I started using Ubuntu as my primary (and only) OS. I was astonished to find that I could do anything and everything that I wanted to do and used to do using XP. The fun part is always that one gets to learn a lot of stuff.

After using it for some time and trying each and every new version of Ubuntu, I felt the need for more which led me to install Kubuntu once again. This time around Kubuntu was very sleek (with the new KDE 4). Look-wise its a good distro, but, problems crop up soon enough to drop it off the shelf (for me, atleast). Now I wanted a distro which could things done and that too without hogging the system resources. After clouting for long hours, I decided to use Zenwalk (some people claimed it to be the fastest around). It was a very good experience as the distro was really fast. I removed it only because it looked aged at times (just looks-wise).

I wanted to try Arch-Linux after that but could not as I was not patient enough to learn the process of installing a Desktop Manager from command line. Actually I was able to install the Desktop manager, but I was not able to run it :P.

Then I thought of trying OpenSuse, but, I was not able to install it properly..I kept getting errors which frustrated me and I switched back to Ubuntu (for a little while). Then I installed Windows 7 as its RC was available for general public and I had read about it alot which was enough for me to give it a shot.

Then I installed Kubuntu again. This time around I found it much better. I used it for quite a while and installed Fedora as my secondary OS. Fedora deserves a mention here as I found it to be rock-solid as is promised on various web-forums. Very useful, easy as Ubuntu and stable too. My problem with it was that it had too many softwares which I didn’t require (and never may). At a point of time I thought of removing the softwares I didn’t require, but then gave it a harder thought (how many softwares will I remove?) and decided not to use Fedora. By this time, Kubuntu had started acting up and crashed often (Partly due to the fact that I had installed KDE 4.3 on it).

Hence, arose the need of a complete over-haul and so I did. This time I thought of dual booting Windows XP with Ubuntu (my tried and tested config). Installed XP without any glitches, but, when I hooked up the other HDD (to install Ubuntu on it), I started facing a strange problem. When the PC started to boot into XP, the system restarted. After trying and testing various ways to sort it out, I was left with a restarting system. This problem propped-up only when I plugged in the other disk and not when only the XP disk was connected. As most of my data is present on ‘THE OTHER’ disk, I decided to install and keep only Ubuntu, giving XP a miss. Since then I have tried many ways to install and use the two OS, but haven’t succeeded in it and so now I use Ubuntu (only) and have formatted the disk containing XP as an additional drive.

So here I am, back to square-one..using Ubuntu after getting my hands wet with various ‘TASTY’ flavors of Linux and still searching for ways to boot both of them together (which I have successfully done in the past without any hitch).

I know that I would keep trying other flavors and I may like some and may dislike some. One thing is for sure..Linux has come a long way baby!

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