Tuesday, September 12, 2006

(Re-)Learning IT, the hard way

So, I bought a new 160 GB hard disk for my PC last Sunday. My original plan for it was very simple, as detailed by this list:

  • Install new hard drive as either a primary slave or a secondary master.
  • Create an 80 GB NTFS partition for Windows use (i.e. for when my dad, brother, or sister needs to use the PC).
  • Install Ubuntu Linux, w/ 1 GB swap partition and a relatively small root partition, leaving the rest for a FAT32 /home.
Pretty simple, eh? Well, it took me around three hours of clumsy pulling, pushing, screwing (haha, innuendo) and hardware voodoo until I finally got Windows XP to boot with the new hard drive, because weirdly enough BSOD kept on appearing until I removed the floppy disk drive... Probably just a coincidence, though. I'm no good with hardware, and sadly, I'm not finished.

It took me another four and a half hours, well into midnight, to figure out just which partitions to create so Ubuntu would install correctly on the new disk (primary slave). There always seemed to be some error about wrong file systems no matter how I partitioned the disk. By some stroke of luck, I accidentally did the right thing (I didn't know it at the time) by mindlessly selecting the primary master (the old disk) as the location where the boot-loader should be installed (I've been stubbornly and stupidly choosing the new disk prior to the lucky accident). It had nothing to do with the new partitions, after all!

Good thing the actual installation of the OS went rather quickly (less than fifteen minutes, I think). I did a quick reboot to see if GRUB was working fine and checked if the new partitions could be seen by Windows XP, and then promptly dived to my bed at around 2 o'clock in the morning.

Update: Okay, moving the home directory to a FAT32 partition won't work. Another lesson learned.