[Techtalk] Prodigal daughter and dual boot woes

Amanda Haynes haynesaj1 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 05:11:20 UTC 2009

Good evening everyone!

Just a quick intro since I'm newish - I am returning to Linuxchix after a
decade long absence :(  Once upon a time, when I had endless free time, I
ran RedHat exclusively in my dorm room... then freshman year ended and there
went all my free time (I actually started doing my homework and stuff like
that).  Anyway, fast forward to now, and I just got a brand new shiny Dell
with Vista Business on it.  I've been running XP Pro forever and have been
very anti-Vista - but I thought as an IT professional working in a Windows
shop I better get with the times.  Anyhoo, I haven't been impressed with the
performance, especially after trading up from my old PC that was 6 years
old.  Should have been smoking fast, right?  Wrong.

So I thought hey, maybe it's time to check out Linux again.  Then as fate
would have it, at Easter brunch I overheard my cousin in law talking up
Ubuntu and how great it was and yadda yadda.  I did my research on the
various distributions, burned Live CDs of Fedora, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and
Mandriva, briefly tried them all and settled on Kubuntu for reasons I can't
explain.  It just felt right.

To make a long story longer, after a week of trying, and googling, and
trying again, and reading forums, and reinstalling both OSs, multiple times
I still have failed to successfully dual boot Kubuntu 8.1 and Vista.  After
more forum surfing I have come to the conclusion that my shiny Dell with
"hardware" RAID 1 is the issue.  Furthermore, it "sounds" to me like it can
be done, but it might not be worth the effort.

My thought going forward - and I guess I'm just looking for someone who
knows more than me to agree with me, or make another suggestion, or
something (I'm totally alone here) - is disable RAID.  I know, duh, right?
But this is after nearly a month of dealing with my OLD computer, and not
having proper backups, and one hard drive failure, and almost heart failure
(years of digital pics including from my wedding and honeymoon) and that is
why I ordered the thing with RAID in the first place.  So, disable RAID, and
hopefully get the dual boot going fairly easily (right?  *buntu is supposed
to "just work").  Then I can still back stuff up to the second hard drive.
And to DVDs.  And to an external drive.  And to a 3rd party online
storage... you get the idea.

Ultimately I'd like to virtualize Windows within my Linux install (and no, I
don't want to install Ubuntu inside Windows as an app, that seems like
cheating), but I really need to get my feet wet first.  It's sloooooowly
coming back to me but I gotta get the basics down.  Like listing the
contents of a directory (ls?) and installing apps.

Thoughts?  Ideas on how to automate my backups?  I'm sure there's some
software out there that will do it for me :)  Good virtualization software?

Thanks in advance, I look forward to the outpouring of wisdom!


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