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Tomorrow's World was a show on BBC TV about innovations and tech stuff and I thought a good name for our computing and tech section.
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Martin
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Post: #78491 Martin
Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:40 am

In my quest for an operating system that is a viable substitute for Vista, I've had great success with running Ubuntu, as installed using Wubi.........silly me! - tried updating it from 7.04 to 7.10.........(then read afterwards that you shouldn't update a Wubi install).........the upshot is that yesterday lunchtime, the whole bally thing
gave up with several "blue screens of death" - couldn't boot into Windoze or Ubuntu - totally stuffed! :(
It's a bios problem that I can hopefully sort with the help of a geek friend, but probably not until after the weekend...... :roll:
SO I was left with a totally stuffed laptop, and a long wet and windy weekend in front of me..........had a rootle through my cds, and found a copy of "Puppy Linux" that I'd downloaded and burnt ages ago - good old Linux - boots direct off cd, so I'm at the moment using Puppy with the Sea Monkey browser - it even "finds" drives and sound cards - got internet radio booming out of the speakers, and am surfing with no problems............and its VERY quick! :dave:
If you have the facility to burn cds, I'd recommend downloading it and burning a copy, and putting it on the mantelpiece "for emergencies" :cheers:
I'm going to go a step further, and obtain a 2gb usb flash drive, and install it on that - you can then plug it into virtually any computer, and run your own system! :wink:
http://solarwind.org.uk - a small company in Sussex sourcing, supplying, and fitting alternative energy products.
Amateurs encouraged - very keen prices and friendly helpful service!

baldowrie
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Post: #78511 baldowrie
Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:38 pm

That's interesting to hear as I have just purchased 2 old laptops, cheap. One boots up ok to windows 98 (fine for what I want to use it for) and one switches on and won't boot to windows. Haven't got them yet but I have purchased a disk, cheaply I might add, that says it will do just what you are saying.

I am a little sceptical about the disk, but thought it will be worth at try for the money. If not I have another method to try before robbing out the memory to one machine...thanks!

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Post: #78611 Muddypause
Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:12 pm

As it happens, I too am currently accessing the internet via a 'live CD' (actually, the OS is cached to RAM, so the whole thing is completely virtual, requiring neither CD nor HDD).

The reason for this is that 6 months ago I suffered a disaster which required a complete reformat and reinstallation of both Winders and Ubuntu. I decided that was going to be the last time I would have to go through such agony, and I came across SystemRecueCD. This is a tiny Linux (Gentoo) system on a disk, which also contains a program called PartImage. This little gem can take a snapshot of a diskdrive or partition, compress it, and save it - you are saving a snapshot of your installed OS. Then, in the event of such a disaster, you restore the image and the OS is back to exactly how it was when the snapshot was taken, fully installed and configured. Has to be said it's not the most intuitive of programs to use, and some knowledge of Linux filesystems is needed, but it does the job.

I've decided to make an image every six months, and that's happening as I write, which is why I'm only here virtually ATM. While it's doing its thing, I thought I'd try and get this virtual OS connected to the internet. If you can read this I suppose I must have succeeded.

Now, Martin, I'm thinking that it may not be a BIOS problem that you have, but a Master Boot Record problem. The MBR is a very small partition hidden away right at the start of your boot drive. It tells the BIOS where to look for the OS that it boots into. If you dual boot, then it points to where GRUB is kept (the little program that gives you the choice of which OS you want to use). If the MBR becomes corrupt, or GRUB gets messed up, the computer simply doesn't know where to look for an OS. This is the sort of thing that can happen if an update goes wrong.

But there are a couple more 'live CDs' that may help: Super Grub Disk and GAG Graphical Boot Manager. You will need to find a way to download and burn them to disk, but they may be able to restore your MBR (for Windows or Linux), or at least give you a way of finding the OS again.

If it turns out that you have to reinstall Ubuntu from scratch, then it might be a good idea to consider dividing you HDD into partitions, and keep at least your /home directory in a separate partition. By doing this, it should be possible to reinstall any Linux flavour without overwritting all your important data.
Stew

Ignorance is essential

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Martin
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Post: #78619 Martin
Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:45 pm

many thanks for that, I'll download them both now - I've taken a pragmatic course - handed the wounded machine to a geek friend, and said "fix it"
(politely!). Hopefully he'll sort it, but if he fails, I'll have a bash myself!
I've managed to revive a laptop from the Ark (win 98, 300 processor), and am at present using Win 98 - if I can persuade it to connect to my external cdburner, I'll be able to burn them to cd! :mrgreen:
My brief acquaintance with Puppy has been very positive - it's tiny and quick, and kept me running and on the net.
Having recently had a delve into the delights of Vista, I'm even more convinced that linux is the way to go - I'm tempted to strip windoze right off the computer when it revives, and just run Ubuntu - I've got to really like it -certainly it's different, but I would estimate it as being FAR easier to get to grips with than Vista, both for existing windoze users, and those new to computing.......... :cooldude:
http://solarwind.org.uk - a small company in Sussex sourcing, supplying, and fitting alternative energy products.

Amateurs encouraged - very keen prices and friendly helpful service!

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Martin
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Post: #78687 Martin
Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:00 pm

sitting here heaving a great sigh of relief! - Ubuntu now fully reloaded, bios repaired (thanks to my geek buddy), and now I'm back in the real word again :cheers:
Nice clean desktop, programmes that fly up instantly........wahey! I'm sitting here smug in the knowledge that my present setup on a relatively aged laptop will wipe the floor with top of the range jobs sporting Vista........ :mrgreen:
(and not a secret policeman in sight!) :geek:
http://solarwind.org.uk - a small company in Sussex sourcing, supplying, and fitting alternative energy products.

Amateurs encouraged - very keen prices and friendly helpful service!

Magpie
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Post: #79305 Magpie
Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:28 pm

Hey, me too... my computer crashed a week ago, just back on now. The tech used Puppy, which I recognised from your post, so I was able to sound slightly knowlegeable when talking to him.

I didn't know I could download it myself, off to find it now, thanks Martin!


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