All this while I’ve been using Ubuntu on my Thinkpad and have been very happy with only a few minor complaints such as the non-functional multi-monitor utility and compiz fusion not working until 8.10. Now I decided to give KDE a try so I installed Kubuntu-desktop and logged into KDE 4.1!!! Oooh drool!!! The unreleased Windows 7 (scroll down to milestone 3) is already behind. See my new desktop after a few minor tweaks and adding a few plasmoids (screen widgets).
Here is a screenshot of my Ubuntu Desktop at work. Check out the vista menu and the Mac Dock (install awn-manager from Synaptic)
I inserted my XP CD again and selected Setup instead of Repair. It didn’t even recognize the Windows partition as NTFS. So basically Windows update destroyed more than just a few files. I formatted the partition, ran XP setup again. Ofcourse now XP destroyed my MBR and I couldn’t get to Ubuntu. So I fire up the other computer, google is my friend, find a way to restore the ubuntu MBR, boot into linux. Copy all the downloaded drivers to another NTFS partition (not the Windows one in case I lose it again). Finally I have internet going. This time around, I skip doing all the Windows updates together, install Zone Alarm and AVG and turn on automatic updates. I can wait a week while the updates can go on in the background.
If Windows XP fails again this time, I’ll just have to live with not doing any VS.NET development on the laptop – like I have been for a long time now. I do have some other options like the Mono VB.NET Support but that remains a task for the future.
Finally I replaced the dying hard drive on my Thinkpad and went on to install both XP and Ubuntu. First I installed XP because I’ve had trouble installing it second before. I couldn’t use the XP that came with the Thinkpad because that was on a corrupt partition on the old HDD that was dying. So I found another XP CD and installed. It didn’t have the drivers for either the wired or the wireless ethernet so I couldn’t go online to download the rest of the drivers (video, audio, touchpad etc.)
Next I installed Ubuntu. It found drivers for everything and was working right out of the box. This new 7.10 version finally fixed all the problems I had with 6.06 (such as crappy wireless settings, no hibernation etc.) and nearly everything just worked right out of the box. Once Ubuntu was installed I managed to download all the windows drivers for the laptop. I got the wired lan working on the thinkpad. XP refused to accept that the wireless drivers were correct so I had to force it to use the drivers that I gave it. Finally the wireless was working and I started Windows Update after activating the copy of Windows.
At some point during the Windows Update, a power failure made the internet connection go away and Windows Update stopped downloading further updates and started installing all the downloaded updates, then asked me to reboot. So I reboot and now Windows will not start saying it cannot find ntoskrnl.exe. I boot in Ubuntu and look for the file. The file exists but it is of unknown size and of unknown type (other exes are all labelled as DOS/Windows executable) which means that Windows update put in a corrupt file.
Back goes in my XP CD and I select Repair this time which puts me at a command prompt. I type “dir” and I get an error telling me it cannot show me the directory. So my Windows is completely busted. I have been living without Windows on the laptop for over a year now because my previous Windows installation also died thaks to HD corruption but Ubuntu lived on and was able to atleast boot in command prompt and I could run fsck and fix hard drive errors and reboot with a gui.
The only reason I need Windows is to run Visual Studio.NET so I will give it another try, maybe I’ll just give VMware a try and install Windows in a virtual environment and do away with a separate install.