Thursday, 4 November 2010

Linux Lumps...

I've been thinking about moving from Windows XP to a Linux distribution for a while now; I don't really want to have to pay Microsoft oodles of hard earned just to operate a computer anymore, and the Open Source movement is gathering quite a bit of pace - just look at Android phones, for example: That operating system is based on Linux (an open source, and therefore free, operating system), after all.

Anyhow, I did a bit of homework (don't tell my old school teachers, they'd probably die of shock!), and decided to see what all the hype was about; I therefore downloaded both the latest ISO release of Ubuntu, version 10.10 (or "distribution", as they call versions), and the recommended Infra Recorder that would burn the ISO image to the CD ROM. And that's where the problems began, of course.

While it reported that it had successfully burnt the ISO to the disc in the CD/RW drive, in fact, it had not. In fact, nothing meaningful made it to the blasted disc: it was unreadable. Shrugging, I put that down to a four-year-old CD/RW drive that was probably knackered. So I proceeded to try to make a bootable USB Pen Drive version, instead. That, at least, copied across OK using the recommended Universal USB installer, but, you guessed it, I got an error message, instead, when I tried to boot off the resulting USB pen drive:

No DEFAULT or UI configuration directive found

So, I guessed that it was a problem with the most recent distribution, went back and downloaded distribution 10.04.1 (the previous version), and repeated the Pen Drive process. Same result, and the very same error message.

By now, this was, as you might imagine for a neophyte 46 year old non-technical twit, beginning to grate just a tad (read: steam slowly building from the ears), so I had a look on the Ubuntu help forums, and found to my dismay that there may be problems with the Universal USB installer on recent distributions. Luckily, an alternative package was suggested, Unetbootin, to create the bootable USB pen drive, so I downloaded that as well...

Yep, you can see where this is going, can't you?

I repeated the process using Unetbootin, and got the self same bloody error message. Confused and frustrated? You bet I was. Still am, in fact. Read on.

I could only assume that something had gone a tad, shall we say, fubar, in creating the bootable bits on my machine. Question was, how the heck could this be fixed?

Well, there being no such thing as a stupid question (I was taught this in the T.A., so it must be right!) I asked. And lo and behold, within half an hour, I was recomended to another page on the ubuntu site, describing how to create a bootable USB pen drive, and, well, you guessed it. Stuffed again.

I extracted the file usb-creator.exe from the USB pen drive, which was at least, readable, if not bootable. That went well enough.

I tried the process suggested in the article, but again, fell at the first hurdle, in that usb-creator.exe was not allowing either ISO selection I downloaded. It's recognising the pen drive, but not the ISOs.

By now, I'd spent an entire morning on the damn thing, and frankly, I've just about had it up to here (waving at a point just above my head). I'm going to try again, once the folks on the forum have had a chance to get back to me with any more suggestions, but from the current showing, I'm either destined to pay macroshaft more sodding money, or launch the entire kit and kaboodle out the blasted window (which given the name of the current OS, is kind of ironic).

More later, once I've calmed down a tad.

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