October 31, 2010

The Ubuntu Experience

Disclaimer – This post will use some technical terms related to operating systems.

Having eyed at Ubuntu for quiet sometime, I finally gave it a shot this weekend. I must admit – If I were given an option to choose an operating system other than the Mac, I would pick Ubuntu. That said, I thought it would be worthwhile documenting some of my experiences trying to install Ubuntu in this post.

I tried installing Ubuntu to co-exist with Windows XP. The laptop was a Compaq nx 7300 and it was Ubuntu 10.10 that I was trying to install. To put things blunt – the co-existence on this laptop was not a peaceful one.

I downloaded the Ubuntu installer from the official download page and burned the image on a CD. I went with the plain vanilla installation of Ubuntu, to reside side-by-side Windows XP SP3. Everything went on successful as expected.

Then came the problem when I rebooted my system with Windows XP. After loading Windows XP, I thought of trying rebooting to start Ubuntu. And…..the monster stepped in – The screen was black, with the following message being displayed –
no module name found
Aborted. Press any key to exit.
This is when my Googling spree began. And, thanks to the Ubuntu CD and this link on Recovering Ubuntu After Installing Windows, I managed to see some color return to the laptop screen. Yes, this helped me find my way back into Windows. But, unfortunately this happiness did not last long – it was only till I restarted my laptop from Windows XP.

Later, on more Googling, I came to read that Ubuntu is best compatible with the Dell and Lenovo makes. I haven’t verified this though. A little more of Googling suggested to uninstall the HP Backup & Recovery and HP Protect tools. I tried doing this, but in vain. After a lot of trying (spent over 3 hours), I had to give up. I ended up uninstalling Ubuntu from the laptop.

To do the uninstall of Ubuntu, I followed the instructions from this link. I preferred this approach as this does not require us to have a Windows bootable CD. For ease of operation, I’m reproducing what was give in this website below –
  1. Download mbfix from here.
  2. Extract all files in mbrfix.zip to C:\.
  3. Open Command Prompt (start->run-> type cmd -> OK).
  4. Type cd \ and press enter.
  5. Then type mbrfix /drive 0 fixmbr /yes and press enter.
  6. Now you can delete Ubuntu partitions (/, swap etc) using Easeus Partition manager or Windows Disk Management or other partition editor.
  7. Restart your PC.
My message for the non-technical readers – If you are planning to try Ubuntu on your laptop, and if its going to run side-by-side Windows, please get someone technical with you. It’s not as simple (“yet”) as its mentioned in the Ubuntu website.

And, my message for the techies out there – Should you have solved this problem (specifically with HP laptops), please do let m (and the world) know…if possible through a comment on this post.

That’s all I had for this post. Till I get back next time, have a great week. Stay Inspired!
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