Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Rest of the Story

Back on Sunday (March 14), I reported to you my difficulties with trying to perform a repair install with Windows XP. Once I f-i-n-a-l-l-y got it to work, I thought there would be smoother sailing ahead. Of course, this false sense of security was a certain indication that a calamity was lurking around the next corner!

I continued to suffer from freeze ups and this led me to listen to the advice of several of you -- I decided to reformat my main hard drive and then reinstall the operating system. I backed up all my crucial data to my second hard drive (what I call my backup hard drive) and then proceeded to erase everything from my main drive.

Once it was reformatted, I began to reload Windows XP. Unfortunately, about halfway through the process, my computer AGAIN froze up. I was forced to reboot it and that's when the calamity struck. I had forgotten that my XP CD was an upgrade and, now that the main drive had been wiped clean, the installation program was unable to find a previous version of the Windows operating system (OS)!!

In other words, it wouldn't load!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I sat there for several minutes -- maybe an hour -- staring at my blank monitor. I had a clean hard drive with no OS. Needless to say, I became very depressed (for a short time) because my daily routine had been altered in a serious way.

A great deal of the time having obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is not a positive thing. In this situation, however, it proved to be beneficial. I spent the better part of the next 9 days trying to figure out an alternative. I tried numerous strategies; most of which failed to meet my needs. Each time one strategy didn't work, I immediately set off to try a different one.

I realized that, if I couldn't use Windows as my OS, I needed to find a different one and there are lots of open source systems available for download. So, I hooked up our DSL modem to my wife's dinosaur of a computer and started surfing.

I downloaded and tried out Ubuntu, React, and Haiku. I was unable to get ANY of these three systems to recognize my modem! While each had its pluses and minuses, my inability to connect to the internet doomed all three. In addition, since I've been wedded to Windows for over a decade, I often couldn't make heads or tails out of their meager help files.

I was about ready to throw up my hands to admit defeat when I ran across an OS that looked promising. I was able to boot up my computer with this OS by creating a Live CD. The first time I used it, it recognized my modem and I was back on the internet in short order. This convinced me to install it and it is running on my computer right now.

It's called Puppy Linux.

I still have a long way to go in understanding how it works since Linux is an OS I've never successfully used before. Still, I'm happy to be back writing on this blog and, in all honesty, I kind of like the idea of breaking my addiction to Microsoft (the evil empire).

Even better, since I performed a major cleaning of my motherboard, my computer has not frozen up. So, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that I can slowly learn the Linux system and that some of my hardware issues are behind me.

Of course, such confidence probably means a new catastrophe awaits around the next corner... ;>)


  1. try this version of Linux. Linux Mint. I am a bit of a Linux nerd and I started out on Mint. It is very friendly and my wife, who is very illiterate with computers, loves it.

    One of its many good points is that it is very compatible with most hardware and is very nice to use.

    Welcome back to blogging.

  2. PS don't be confused or swayed by all the options, if you do try Mint, choose the Main Edition, no other.

  3. Well done!! I've been running linux almost exclusively for several years.

    I think puppy is a pretty minimalist distro. If you would appreciate something a little more full-featured, it may be worth getting your modem to work on Ubuntu, which is very slick and full-featured. Doing a search of their community support will probably find you a simple solution.

    Congratulations :)

  4. I'm thrilled that you took my suggestion to heart to install Ubuntu - Puppy is just as good. A less shackled life is always more joyous.

    Using Linux is abit like being a mechanic, it will break and you will have problems, but those problems will expand your horizons and help you to grow.

    Only recently subscribed to your blog. I thought about leaving may name here, but that's not very Daoist, so best stay anonymous!

    All the best


  5. ah ha, and the mystery of the new puppy is solved!

    welcome back TRT :)

  6. Ta Wan,
    I'll keep Mint in mind. For now, it's enough just to try to get the hang of one Linux distro. Once I'm able to add some more RAM to my computer, maybe I'll create a separate partition and try it out.

    C & M,
    When I was trying to get Ubuntu and my modem to interact, I searched quite a few forums. There were lots of good suggestions that I tried, but none of them worked. Of course, I full well admit that my inexperience with Linux may have been the cause.

    Since I'm not particularly mechanically-minded, I hope I can get enough of a hang of this!

    It was a pretty good lead in, don't ya think? :)

    To all,
    If those of you familiar with Linux would drop me an email (I lost my entire email address file), I might use you as a resource when I become stumped.

  7. Trey,

    So sorry for your troubles.

    Computers make mindfulness quite impossible sometimes.

    I am considered an expert when it comes to computers but I still have those moments where all I want to do is put all of the computers in the yard and set them on fire. Very frustrating.

    Hope it all works out for you!


  8. Hi,

    I experienced similar problems a couple of months back. I too have got installed Linux. All the best!!

    This is Nancy from Israeli Uncensored News


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