jueves, 28 de julio de 2011

Yes, I broke my computer with PCLinuxOS

After last week's post and my testing of PCLinuxOS encouraged by this helpful review by Prashanth, I decided to install that distro to my desktop computer, a system that runs Mandriva 2010.2 PowerPack and Pardus 2011. Since the installer is basically the same one that Mandriva and Mageia use, I assumed I would not have any problem carrying out the installation. Well, I forgot that, when you are a newbie, you must keep your eyes open not to damage your system. I broke mine. And the timing could not possibly have been better: I was time pressed because I wanted to finish an academic article on Pinter's Theater of the Absurd for publication...

Let me put this straight: I'm not blaming PCLOS at all. The installer performed the actions I commanded, nothing less, nothing more. Granted, I might be a non-technical Linux user, but I'm also beyond that childish stage in which users blame Linux when something does not go as planned. I should have paid attention to the small voice telling me that it was not a good idea to use a free HD space BEFORE my Mandriva partition and that it was an even worse choice to install the PCLinuxOS GRUB to the main sector of the partition table, but I stubbornly ignored the still small voice of wisdom.

After rebooting, PCLinuxOS was there but I got error messages when I tried to boot the other two systems. "Do not panic," I said to myself. "You can always restore the Mandriva GRUB using the rescue application in the Mandriva PowerPack DVD. Havent' you done it before?"

Yes, I've done it twice. But this time was different. When I ran the application, it told me that there was not a Mandriva system in the GRUB. Aaaaarggggh, it made perfect sense! The partitions had been renumbered and PCLOS' GRUB wiped out Mandriva's...

How do you get out of that mess? Simple. As Eric Layton, the wise Linux guru, says in his Nocturnal Slacker v.1.0 blog, "sometimes, you just have to revert". I booted the Mandriva installer, deleted the PCLOS partition (this is not defeat, but a strategic retreat) so that the partitions could get their usual numbering and then I ran the reinstall-GRUB utility. Flawless. I recovered my system in less than 3 minutes.

That's why I haven't posted anything in more than a week: I've been working diligently with the absurd world of literary criticism. Yes, with a computer that WORKS thanks to Linux.

Oh, my article is almost done, by the way. This means that I'm almost ready to give PCLinuxOS another go. This time, I'll use my Linux sense, I promise.

UPDATE of this post here :-)

9 comentarios:

  1. So, that was why you were so silent lately! When you don't post, I'm sure you're up to something...and that something often involves wiping out systems! :P

  2. Hahaha, you bet! But this time, recovery was simply TOO fast!

  3. I don't know if I've ever posted here before, but I really do enjoy reading the articles here a lot. That said, this article has made it to Tuxmachines, so I will warn you: even though you have made it abundantly clear that this was caused by mistakes on your part, beware of hordes of PCLinuxOS trolls who will come here and ruthlessly savage you in any way possible. I know this, because I recently did a review of PCLinuxOS, and despite the fact that some issues I had weren't PCLinuxOS-related at all while some issues I was able to fix (but concluded that a newbie might have trouble fixing), the first 15 or so comments viciously attacked the review, me as a reviewer, and me as a person. It didn't matter, because I have pretty tough skin when it comes to these things, and anyway, all the comments after that were pretty supportive, but still, BEWARE!
    a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

  4. @PV,

    First, thank you for your positive comment about my humble blog. I feel honored by your visit because actually it was your honest review that gave me the courage to go ahead and install PCLinuxOS. Paradoxical for trolls, hu?

    Speaking of which, thanks for the warning. I got pretty nasty trolls commenting before... the worst kind (MS trolls)!

    I also understand that one loves one's distro...However, I think Linux fanboys should consider not doing their beloved distribution a disservice by discouraging potential users with unjustified and unnecessary attacks of reviews because that taints the reputation of the distro they defend.

  5. @Mechatotoro: It was MY REVIEW? SERIOUSLY? THAT'S AMAZING! (I fixed my Caps Lock key. Hehheh.) But seriously, that's truly an honor to hear that my post prompted you to try PCLinuxOS. Anyway, regarding the trolls, I think it's becoming clearer that while in some places more people are using PCLinuxOS, on the whole the PCLinuxOS userbase is shrinking slightly, and in turn, the remaining userbase is becoming ever more devoted (or, dare I say it, fanatical). Side note: I would also truly appreciate it if you could send your readers to my blog, and I will be more than happy to reciprocate. :D
    a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

  6. @PV,
    This is the story: I posted on PCLOS and a user made a very positive comment on the distro and how good it was. That pushed me toward trying an installation. then I happened to read your review (I didn't see any comments then) and it truly motivated me, so I installed it. I edited my post to comply with your request. Again, it's an honor.

  7. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por un administrador del blog.

  8. There is a guy Old Pollack on the PCLOS forums that is very knowledgeable on partition layouts and fixing them.

  9. @ Anónimo#1,
    I deleted your comment because of its disrespectful nature. The purpose of my blog is sharing knowledge, not bashing anyone. Much less anonymously.

    Thanks for the tip! I'll pay Old Pollack a visit. I hope he will show the courtesy I've found before in my limited interactions with PCLOS users.
    While they revise my registration, i followed some threads about the problem... Yes, that Old Pollack must be a GENIUS! :-)


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