[Techtalk] Prodigal daughter and dual boot woes

Rudy Zijlstra rudy at grumpydevil.homelinux.org
Fri Apr 17 10:43:07 UTC 2009

Op donderdag 16-04-2009 om 22:11 uur [tijdzone -0700], schreef Amanda
> Good evening everyone!

Hello to you, and welcome back

> 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.

sounds familiar ;)

> 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.

No need, if it works for you, it is fine

> 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.

Most likely it is. Problem is almost certainly that this is not HW
RAID1, but in reality SW RAID1. The motherboard supports RAID1, and
needs support from the OS to actually do it. Problem with this kind of
- often motherboard (BIOS) specific
- if not motherboard specific, then silicon (BIOS) specific
- no good support in Linux available (to much variety, and no
performance improvement compared with linux SW Raid. 

There is some work done to change this situation, for interoperability
reasons. Windows based SW RAID is, i think, now supported. This means
that SW RAID configured within Windows, can be mounted and used as RAID
within Linux. I've never done anything with this myself though, simple
remember having seen emails about it.

I am not aware of linux support for BIOS solutions, though i might be
wrong there.

> 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.

See Conor his reaction :)
> 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.

KVM works quit nice. I am running XP in a KVM on my laptop. You need a
recent HW though. 
I have tried vista that way, but vista apparently needs special
handling. It was using 100% CPU while idle in the virtual machiine :(

> 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?

i am using rdiff-backup, and quit happy with it. 



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