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 :-)