Linux @ Home - What a botch up

By Michael Marneros, in , posted: 17-Dec-2007 11:38

OK, so after some positive use of Suse Gnome @ work on Virtual Machine, I decided to try it out at home.  Had my Vista do a complete backup not too long ago, and figured, hey it should be ok.

But NO, it was not.

Firstly, Linux started the install, and I noticed it was going to redo my partitions, & I could not change the partition configuration to suit myself.  Not happy, ok, not a problem, have not gone too far, restart computer.

Please insert Disk,?  What the!  Ohhh no, restart PC, noticed that my Raid system had FAILED.  Ohh no, what have I done.  Okay, so go and delete raid and recreate.  Hopefully it will be ok.

Restart PC, with Vista dvd in, boot from that and go to Complete PC Restore.  Hmm, seems to be OK.  I almost cannot beleice my eyes, it starts restoring Disk1.  Stoked with this endevour I start watching a movie while this continues, Disk2 has started, nearly the end of the movie.  Disk3 starts, looking great, need another movie.  Disk4, Whoo, this ones huge.  Well it does have all my crap on it.  2nd movie finishes, hmm, is it still going, looks about 80% done.  Cannot move mouse, NOOOOOOOoooooo.  Damn computer crashed.  I was almost home free.

Restart PC, some motherboard thing loads, damn left CD in drive.  Take it out, restart again, Raid Failed!  OMG, there are two raid setups.  What in the heck is going on?  Let it continue, please let Vista start.  Nope.

Okay, so I decide to cut my losses.  Try and install Suse, get about half way through the install, this crashes also.  OK, im not entirely sure whats going on, but im pretty certain its hardware.  My head goes into over drive (nuclear meltdown of computer).  Calm down.  There must be a way out of this situation.

I try installing Vista again, get a bright idea, recreate all the partitions.  Ok, this is kinda working, try restoring just system drive from PC backup.  Success!  Restart computer, OMG it booted vista, okay still missing my other drives.  Small loss for now.  Not entirely sure what to do without my data.  Restart and try and finish my restore.  Raid Failed!

OK, take off Raid-0.  Install Linux onto 1 drive.  Crashed twice, but got there in the end.  Okay, looking good.  No internet.  No fair, this worked perfectly when I tested it.  Then it crashed. 
Not Happy.

OK, install Vista onto other drive, try and restore system backup, nope, does not like this.  Not sure why.  Okay, just install Vista, starts to copy files onto partition.  Crashed.

Yes, this is my worst nightmare.  Better to find out now instead of later.  Now have a forward replacement motherboard (figured I'd start here) and another HDD, will see if I can get a stable system for 1 week.


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Comment by taniwha, on 17-Dec-2007 15:32

What distro did you choose that didn't let you custom partition?

Author's note by kinsten, on 17-Dec-2007 15:53

I just used the standard install downloaded from, it was the cd-gnome base install cd.

The thing was, when I got to the confirm installation options, i selected Partition to choose the partition I wanted (my friend had already warned me about a seperate boot partition that would get created)
Anyway, after selecting this, panic hit me as I realised it was showing me 2 partitions of disk0 out of disk0 & disk1.
Instead of showing me the partitions available on the combined raid-0 combination.

Author's note by kinsten, on 17-Dec-2007 15:59

Just an update on the situation.

Received a refurbished motherboard from the supplier (thank you very much guys) which seems to be more stable.  So I think my suspitions of the mobo being stuffed may have been accurate *fingers crossed*

Found more info on how to do a Vista backup (which is not exactly on their website, but required some use of a program called DiskPart to clear the partition information.  This seems to be working for now, and the restore is in progress.  *toes crossed*

If my restore works properly (and I certainly hope it does) I will be purchasing a seperate HDD to install nix onto.  Then new fun can begin.

Comment by David Legg, on 18-Dec-2007 03:00

If you're going to use Suse, you might as well have the benefit of using KDE.

Author's note by kinsten, on 18-Dec-2007 08:50

Thanks, will try that version out also.  Will be easier to manage on a seperate HDD.

Comment by Caleb, on 18-Dec-2007 11:29

Suse SUCKS. Try Ubuntu I'd recommend, it will let you be very flexible with your partitioning.

It is directly based on Debian, one of the most solid and trusted distributions among Linux fans, and uses the same package management system. But it is also much more intuitive and user-friendly out of the box than is Debian.

Also, I don't know how much you know or don't know about partitioning, but before you go into an install, it's generally REQUIRED to have some sort of FREE SPACE on your hard drive....and by free space I mean unpartitioned space. Not free space like Windows tells you that you have free space to store files. Unless of course, you want to wipe out the already-existing partition, then you're good to go and Ubuntu's partition manager will do that for you automatically if you so specify.

Author's note by kinsten, on 18-Dec-2007 13:21

Yes, I expected to be able to view the existing partitions and then delete /recreate 1 of them.  Because I knew that i needed a boot partition as well as an install partition.

kinsten's profile

Michael Marneros
New Zealand

What do I do?
I work for a Software Development company teaching people how to use our amazingly simple & yet complex software.  I also test the software for bugs, and help come up with ideas for improving our software for our customers.

What do I do when i'm not working?
Usually at home enjoying my wife's company or enjoying time with friends, & playing games or watching tv/movies. I love most kinds of movies.

I love computer games and music. I have taught myself Piano, and created my own style and sorta tinker from there. Compose my own music & currently working on some Electronica projects. You can download and listen to some of my works for free from here.  Or check out my soundcloud here.

Yes, they are terrible inventions, sent to make peoples lives supposedly easier. So far I get enjoyment out of the ease of communication (I hate hand writing letters) & how close it has made the world. Constantly called upon by friends to help with somewhat simple tasks (removing viruses, installing applications, hiding the material they want hidden from their partners).

Web design & Hosting:
I dabble in web design, getting the occasional contract via friends or through word of mouth.  Here are some of my projects. 

Trott's Garden - Internationally recognised garden design, Alan & Catherine Trott are my first customers

Container Waste - Recent project presented to me by their graphic designer

The Cheshire Cats Grin - My wife was diagnosed with cancer & she REALLY needed an outlet.  So I setup this wordpress blog to express herself.  We also decided to trial those Penguin Cold Caps to help prevent her from losing hair during the Chemo.

Darjon Vineyard - A venue for weddings or events.