Monday, October 18, 2010

Dies Irae

Because Monday is Chant Day

Whining- With Computers!

My main computer is a powerful homebrew that dual boots Linux and Windows. I do most of my work in Linux, but all my games run on Windows.

Yesterday, I took a break from Dragon Age (elves rule, werewolves drool!) to try an upgrade. I've had a copy of Windows 7 for a while so I though it might be a good idea to make the move from XP. Sally was planning to go to her cult meeting (Atlanta Beading Society). The afternoon would be free for geeky goodness.

Sidenote: Initially I was go to also make the jump from Ubuntu 9.10 to Ubuntu 10.10. But I found out that the folks at Canonical had switched from the user unfriendly, but powerful xsane to the very user friendly but buggy Simple Scan. I live and die by the scanner in my job so the Ubuntu upgrade died a merciful death.

Back to the main story: I wanted to do the GRUB update before Windows so I could see and recover from any boot manager errors. That took a lot longer than expected due to user error (I goofed). That it was a common error is small consolation. Error 15 has its own entry in the FAQ!

I finally recovered from my goof and did the Windows install. What took for ever was the misnamed 'easy transfer' which generated a huge file in two parts. THe actual install went smoothly after I bought and used an external hard drive for the easy transfer.

The second part of easy transfer also took forever. Then came reloading all the games. Which actually took less time than I had expected. Re-setting up Firefox went smoothly. Re-establishing the dual boot was a nightmare.

Turns out Windows will never recognize a non-Microsoft OS (I expected that). What I didn't expect was that Grub2 couldn't do the job. I wasted hours trying to get it to jump through hoops and do party tricks. I came across a reference to a third party boot manager easyBCD. That did the trick within a minute of installation.

I love free software.

Day of rest- not this past Sunday.