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Friday, December 19, 2008


So I completely garbaged up my computer today. Here's what happened, I warn you that this is going to be computer-oriented and boring:

When I first bought my computer, I didn't realize it was 64 bit. It didn't say so in the advertisement or on any of those annoying stickers that they put all over new laptops. You really have to look to find the information, and I simply didn't look. I've never had a 64-bit computer before, so I just assumed it was 32. I was wrong.

So the first weekend I had it, I set up a dual-boot situation with Ubuntu. I downloaded the ISO image, burned it to CD, and installed it on a new partition. What I didn't know at the time was that the default download for Ubuntu was 32 bit, and the installer didn't give any kind of notice or warning that I was trying to install it on 64-bit hardware. I realized the problem a little while later, but stuck with it, no sense going through some kind of messy upgrade if I didn't have to.

But then I had an epiphany: Let's crank this baby up to a triple-boot system, and add a new 64-bit OS on yet another partition. So I download the new ISO, write a new CD, and install the system. I test it out a little bit, but there isn't much difference from my 32-bit partition but all my settings were missing and I couldn't mount the other Ubuntu partition for some reason. I looked on google and the prevailing wisdom was that to uninstall the new OS the best and easiest way was just to delete the partition it was on and reallocate it for something new. GRUB existed in the MBR I was assured, so I didn't have to worry that it would get ruined.

But it did. I deleted the partition and restarted the computer. GRUB Error 22. Great. Deleting that partition did ruin my MBR so it wouldn't boot. I had my Ubuntu install CD so I booted into the Live version, and followed some instuctions I found on the internet. It wouldn't work, GRUB couldn't find my HDD, and so I couldn't repair it without reinstalling it. I found a tutorial online that said I could reinstall Ubuntu, but instead of reformatting the drive I could mount my old partitions instead, so I decided to do that. But when I got to the partition menu, it said that there were no existing partitions to be mounted: my old Ubuntu install was gone forever. Good.

I took the opportunity to convert over to the 64-bit version for good. Most of the afternoon so far has been spent trying to get all my settings back in place and all the necessary software installed (and trying to get hiveminder to stop sending me reminders to write more blog posts!)

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