Ubuntu 10.10 – “The Experience”

Maverick Meerkat. Thats the latest Ubuntu version that was just released.

My main PC at home has had Ubuntu on it since v08.x, and I have upgraded all along. I figured with this release I would reinstall everything from scratch. I was feeling like there was things I was missing out on because for the most part all, or most of the current settings I had for things have been mich-mashed along with the different OS versions. I felt like I wanted to clean everything out and start fresh.

I downloaded some backup and restore programs and ran a backup. I backed up my main drive, or rather my Home directory located on my main drive. I backed it all up to a second drive I had in this PC. I have a total of three drives in it right now. One was partitioned in half, I had Vista on one partition, Ubuntu on the other. The second drive was newly formated (thats another story) so thats where I put my backups. The second thing I did was execute a script I found that logs all of the apps thatg you currently have installed, parses them into a text file that once execute will download and re-install everything. I knew I didn’t necessarily want everything back and app versions hgave changed but I figured I could edit it before I execute it and have most of the apps that I normally like to have installed back easily. Again I stored that on my second drive. The first drive and the second one are identical drives, same make model capacity, everything, but they were on different bus channels.

Unfortunately for me my main boot drive, dual boot drive was on the second bus. Not bus [0].

I downloaded the 64-bit ISO, burned it then booted from it. I was a little surprised that it did not work. I tossed the CD and decided I better check the ISO file. I ran an MD% checksum on it then compared it to what it should be according to the Ubuntu website. It was fine. I burned a second CD then booted from it. It didn’t work either. I burned a third CD using a different app. Tried to boot from that and was successful. While I was running live, which again was very very slow, it crashed. Upon rebooting it wouldn’t work. I just so happened to have my work XP laptop home with me, I downloaded the ISO, checksum’d it then burned it to yet another CD. I booted from that and everything seemed fine, though it was still noticeably slow. I fired up the installer. When it came to choose where I wanted it installed I chose, and could see it, the old Ubuntu 10.04 partition. The installer carried on through several dialogs then started to install the software. At about 70% complete it crashed and the installer stopped. DAMN.

I thought I would see how bad it was and tried to boot the partition to see what was there and then find out if I could finish it. GRUB was gone, or rather it was giving me an error. I figured well it just didn’t finish and GRUB was likely one of the last things it would do. I will install it again and hope that it finishes then GRUB will all be ok. I booted the CD and started the installer. When i got to the point of choosing the partition, it was gone, along with my Vista partition. I thought oh well, I can just install Vista in a VM once I get Ubuntu going again so I told it to use the entire drive. It completed this time! I rebooted, GRUB was still giving me an error.

Foolishly I tried installing once again. Chose the same newly formatted drive. It completed. Rebooted…same GRUB error. When I finally looked up what this error was telling me, it was indicating that the drive containing the MBR wasn’t available. I couldn’t understand this…I had just completed a successfull install, it should have taken care of all of that. I tried several time to reboot, still nothing. Then for whatever reason I opened up the PC. I disconnected the third drive and tried to boot. It worked! GRUB came up, I chose the first Ubuntu option and as I hit enter, thats when I noticed a second Ubuntu boot option….Uh Oh!

So Ubuntu v10.10 was finally up and running. It was kinda nice. I was checking out some new features when I decided, I would look into that file containing all of my apps that I wanted to re-install. I choose that drive from the Places menu…Hmmm, it had a different name on it now. It used to be called NEPTUNE, now it was 2993884663883Drive or something like that. I opened it up. It was identical to my “/” root directory structure on my boot drive. UH OH! Where’s my backups? Somwhere during one of the many installs that I performed that day I chose the wrong drive and over wrote my backup drive. All of it gone. All my documents, configuration files, some pictures. Gone.

Well I formatted that drive yet again, I didn’t want another Ubuntu on the system. I rebooted and reconnected the third drive. It all booted just fine. I checked it and everything that was previously on it was still there WHEW! That one was my son’s old external drive whose external case decided to stop working so I put it into the machine. If I had lost that one, he would be upset.

So I got my fresh install of Ubuntu 10.10, finally! It took and entire day but it is up and running.

I am slowing reinstalling software as I require them or think of them. I will beautify it later as well. One of the things I have done that I am totally impressed with is that I did reinstall Vista. I am only interested in maintaining Vista just because its the Ultimate Edition and it was paid for with the purchase of this PC so I have a valid license for it and I want to retain it just in case. So I installed VirtualBox, setup a 60Gb virtual drive and installed Vista. I couldn’t believe how cleanly that process was. VirtualBox is an amazing app. The raw Vista install was very pleasant to use in a VM. It was the best Windows experience I have ever had. Then I started to install the updates. DOOOH! Hours and hours later I was finally able to check out Vista running in a Virtual machine. It wasn’t too horrible. After playing around with it for awhile I discovered some addons you can install. Oh my god they make things even more easier to use. It was then that I realized that I created all of this Vista stuff in my Home directory and I was noticing some heavy disk thrashing going on while running Vista and a Chrome browser in Ubuntu. Everyone I talked to about this said that I could just copy and move the files representing Vista. I exported and then imported the image as per the instructions but I guess I didn’t release the virtual drive first so when I brought up the new one and deleted the old one it was still referencing the virtual drives in my Home folder which I didn’t want. I figured out you had to release them, then move them, then re-add them to the image. Once I finally got all of that done everything was finally up and running and the disk thrashing didn’t seem as bad.

So here I sit, in front of my PC that still is having issues. Occasionally it will not see my boot drive, but if I unplug my third drive everything is much better. Obviously I need a more powerful power supply. With 3 drives and a DVD drive in the machine, along with a video board and USB/memory stick hub, etc it is just way under powered and this is the power supply from my server box. So now I’m in need of not only one new power supply for my main PC but another one for my server.

One Response to “Ubuntu 10.10 – “The Experience””

  1. Cara Cervenka Says:

    Super-Duper site! I’m loving it!! Will arrive back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.
    Hello. Terrific occupation. I didn’t anticipate this on the Wednesday. This is a terrific story. Thanks!


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