Moving to a new computer (2)

17/04/2011 at 8:32 am Plaats een reactie

cont. from previous post: Moving to a new computer (1)

In the posts “Moving to a new computer” , I describe situations that I encountered, while reconfiguring a brand new Toshiba laptop from Windows 7 to Ubuntu 10.10 x64.

Because Windows 7 is almost  worthless for me, and because of the fact that it made my wireless box hang after five minutes, I decided to do the reconfiguration of the machine to Ubuntu x64 as soon as possible, but making it dual-boot, should the installation of Ubuntu not be successful . However, before starting the installation of Ubuntu 10.10, I needed to be sure that  I could revert to the original situation, should anything happen during the installation. So I wanted to make some images of the C and the D drive. Well fortunately (I thought), there was a copy of Nero preinstalled on the machine, with the ability to make images of a drive…at least, the program had that feature, I saw it…clicking on it, a popup told me that that feature was only available after really buying the program (which I didn’t). So much for Nero. Fortunately, free software  Clonezilla has exactly the same possibilities as any other commercial cloning program, it just comes with no warranty. If you can live with the fact that Clonezilla has no gui (it’s text screens based), then you can do with Clonezilla anything you want. Just burn your Clonezilla iso file to CD, start your computer with the CD, and follow the guide. Attach e.g. a big USB drive during usage of Clonezilla for you images. It will be recognized immediately, and you will be able to make a clone of your hard drive without any commercial hardware.
During this phase, however, Clonezilla found one bad sector on the D drive, and I got a warning that the cloning of the D drive would fail. I did not want to take the risk, so in the end, I just made some basic copies on two DVD’s through a Toshiba program that came with Windows. I tested the DVD’s, they seemed to do their job…so I started the installation of Ubuntu 10.10.

I had already downloaded the Ubuntu CD from the Ubuntu download site, and burned the ISO on CD. Well, what a progress in the installation method ever since previous Ubuntu  installation procedures (which were already very easy). Some very fine features that I really liked:

– the installation software does some prerequisite checks, amongst which: is there enough space on the hard drive? are we on AC power? Do we have a connection to the Internet?
– the installation CD already allows you to choose whether or not you want to install some extra, non-free packages (flash, etc. etc.) during the installation.
– for time adjustment during installation, the system auto-detects the country where you live..and thus, your time zone settings are automatically set up correctly.

During installation, I decided to remove the (worthless) D partition, and to leave the C partition but to shrink it to 25 GB; the Windows partition would be at the starting point of the disk, leaving the rest of the disk free for Ubuntu.  I created a /boot mount point as a small ext2 partition, a swap partition of 2 GB; the rest was allocated to the root (/) partition as ext3.

Installation of Ubuntu 10.10 with the CD worked without a flaw….until I rebooted the computer at the end. After restarting the computer in Ubuntu, the only thing I saw on a black screen was a kernel message, complaining about a Realtek wifi driver. Ubuntu just did not start well at first. Well if you’re ever in that situation: just don’t panic. The only thing that I needed to do, was to start Ubuntu just once in Rescue mode. Since I had configured the machine as dual boot…I had a boot menu where I could easily choose this option. With a network cable plugged in, in a fine, text based rescue menu, I just had to choose the option: “fix broken packages”. With this action, all packages were updated to the newest, and also to a new kernel. After that was done…my Ubuntu x64 machine was just ready to roll. And really no, my Wifi box never ever complained once.

On this dual boot machine, my Windows installation still needed to be tested. Well, it was not bad at all. Just one blue screen because of the resizing of the hard disk. Then booting once into rescue mode F8), and Windows discovering all by itself that the partition had been reduced to 10% of the original size. Working just fine as well. Will I ever use Windows on this machine? I guess not.

Time to check whether all peripherals (which worked fine in Windows, except the Realtek wifi controller) would also work in Ubuntu 10.10 x64. To be continued.

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Moving to a new computer (1) Moving to a new computer (3)

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