21 March 2008

Adventures in disk formatting

Nothing is as cool as formatting your hard drives and installing operating systems. I decided that there was no better way to start my Easter break.

I decide to do so because after installing and uninstalling Linuxes, my partitions got pretty messy, with 24 GB of unusable disk space (not that I nedded them bad, but recovering them meant formatting disks anyway and who wouldn't want 24 GB). My Windows got messy after a year and a half of using it, my Ubuntu was unconfigured and I needed it, so it was a great time to clean everything up.

So, I copied all my files, of course, and tried a Windows recovery CD. Failed with "free space not found". How stupid is that?

Reloaded Windows, removed all partitions but "recovery" and C, and that was as stupid of me as the M-corporation is for not giving normal install CDs but some kinda working recoveries.

Retried the recovery, failed again.

Retried loading Windows, but removing the drives damaged Grub, so it failed.

Tried Super Fdisk. Didn't boot.

Tried Partition Logic. Wanted me to click on "OK" without any mouse. I failed.

Looked for Ubuntu 7.10 CD. It turned out a brother lent it to a friend a few months ago.

Added "downloading Ubuntu 7.10" to my to-do list. At least this one didn't fail.

Tried Suse 10.1 Install CD. Failed, or I didn't wait long enough. I'm usually patient, but not when it comes to watching black computer screens in hope for a change.

Tried Ubuntu 5.10 Install CD. Failed. Don't even remember how.

[EDIT] Linux has some problems with my graphic card. To run Ubuntu on an Asus A6RP-A069 or some similar stuff, add "hpet=disable" to the boot options.

Read the instructions again.

"Take your notebook PC to an authorized ASUS service center if you have problems with the recovery process."

Asked myself where the nearest authorized ASUS service center could be. There had to be one in Warsaw, so it was not that bad, but what if I didn't make it before closing time? A notebook-less Easter? Nightmare.

"Daddy, do you have a Win XP CD?
-Let me check... no.
-Do you have anything that installs something?"
He had a Windows 2000 Professional Install CD. Boyfriend told me to give it a try, remove all the partitions except for "recovery". Listened to Boyfriend and retried the recovery CD. Worked. I got those 24 GB I wanted back. Now just gotta install and configure my applications.

By the way, here's an article on how to fix your Windows MBR with an Ubuntu liveCD, looks interesting. Thumbs up for Ubuntu for having such functions.

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