I’m typing this post on my new laptop. Yee-haw! On Ubuntu! And the wireless internet is working!
Actually it was quite an adventure to get both Vista and Ubuntu working cleanly and playing nice with each other on my new G1. This is going to be long and boring post, but it might serve as a blueprint for anyone wanting to install Linux onto on of these behemoths. The laptop ships with Windows Vista and a hard drive prepartitioned into OS and data partitions (plus a recovery partition), but the data partition was too small for my purposes with Ubuntu, so I decided to resize the partitions. That’s when the fun started. See, the recovery DVD that came with the laptop gives you the option of either a) installing Vista to the first artition, b) installing it to the entire hard drive, or c) installing it to the first partition on the hard rive and create a second one as well. Which meant I had to install Ubuntu on the second partition (no problem) and resize to the size wanted (slight problem). The installer for Ubuntu provides gparted, which ostensibly is able to resize whole partitions but in practice ended up borking the Vista partition (and, somehow, the recovery partition, which I didn’t actually touch). I know this because when I restarted and booted into Vista with grub, the Windows loading screen came on and then nothing happened. So either resizing the partitions lost data, or Vista gets confused when the partiton table is altered and pouts. Stupid Windows.
Well, at this point I need to find out if Vista really needs the partitions the laptop came with or if the recovery DVD only installs to whatever the first partition is, no matter the size … because if it’s the latter, then i can resize in parted first and then install Vista, but if it’s the former then I’ll have to resize partitions after installing Vista using something like PartitionMagic. So I started by deallocating the entire partition table in parted, and then tried reinstalling Vista. The recovery DVD goes in, I decide to install on the first partition only (which remember should be the entire HD), and it proceeds to install…along with all the Asus bloatware (grrr!)…then I restart…then I wait…then I restart again, then I wait again, then I restart again, then I wait a really long time, then it shuts down, now at the state in which it shipped. I turn it on, it wants me to configure regional options…and it restarts again. Stupid Windows. Now i’m finally able to check the hard drive usage…and it installed to entire hard drive. Good. (In retrospect, I should not have had to do all this, but someone has to do it to find out what happens so other people don’t have to..right?) This means I can install Ubuntu while prepartitioning the drive as I like and then install Windows.
At this point I had lunch. Leftover balti. Very tasty.
Then I proceeded to install Ubuntu again, this time partitoning the drive exactly as I wanted, with the first third for Vista (as fat32 for the moment) and the remainder for Linux. (No recovery partition.) Restarting brings up the grub menu. Good. Now, to reinstall Windows. Recovery DVD goes in, I choose to install to the first partiton, image unpacks, bloatware (grrr) follows. Restart…into Ubuntu. At least Vista doesn’t appear to hijack the HD like previous versions of Windows. But I do need to edit the grub configuration file with an entry for Vista. After restarting, it boots into Vista’s endless install process when I select that entry in grub. Good. After 378 more restarts (each time being sure to go into grub and boot vista instead of Ubuntu), Vista is finally installed (using ntfs). Good.
Bottom line: I now have both Ubuntu and Vista dual-booting and working cleanly on my sexy new laptop. And for the past four days, I’ve only used Ubuntu.
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