I Has a Linux

No, don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into one of those “Mirco$oft SUXXX! Open sores 4-EVAR!!” people like you see on Slashdot who thinks that the solution to everything is “Get some Linux, it cures cancer.” In fact, I’m not even going to install it anywhere. Let me explain.

Yesterday I went to my parents’ house to help them swap out their 8-year-old computer for a shiny new one my dad had gotten for Christmas. This was a two-part process:

  1. Get rid of the data on the old one.
  2. Set up the new one with the “standard equipment”–Firefox, AVG Antivirus, OpenOffice, etc.

As it turned out, the second task was a lot easier than the first.

My plan was to move the old computer downstairs for the day to let it do its thing while I set up the new one. As it turned out, this was a good move, but not quite for the reasons I thought. You see, trying to format the hard drive of the old computer didn’t work from directly in Windows (Makes sense, you can’t format a drive from the drive you’re trying to format from, if you get my meaning). Okay, no big deal, format from the Windows CD, right? Problem: To do that requires the administrator password into Windows, which I had long since forgotten.

Needing a way around that, my solution was Knoppix, essentially a “Boot CD” of Linux. Using this, I could bypass the windows password and format the drive that way. The only thing was that I should’ve paid more attention to the filename of what I downloaded–apparently that “DE” on the end meant that I had downloaded a “Deutsch”, or “German”, version of Knoppix. As it turned out, that viewing of Link’s Awakening in German I did during the SDA Marathon did not make me as fluent in German as I thought it did.

After more time lost, I manage to re-download Knoppix in a language I can actually read, and with that, manage to find out part of why I was having trouble. Besides the language issue, for whatever reason, Knoppix didn’t recognize the hard drive as an IDE drive, but as a SCSI drive (This necessitated a slightly different syntax for the “Hey wipe this hard drive thanks” command. And yes, I had to input a command–apparently the computer was old enough that it couldn’t even open the GUI program that would let me do this easily.). Nonetheless, I succeed in wiping the data (“No Boot Device Detected, System Halted” was the exact message when I tried to start it up without the Knoppix CD), and the new computer is also up and running. Plus, I now have an emergency boot CD should I ever need it.

Next time: A More Exciting Update!


    • James on January 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Actually, this is a pretty interesting update. Of course, I’m a big nerd so I would find it neat. Linux fanboys are annoying but you do have to give some props to Linux. What it lacks in user friendly features it makes up for in sheer versatility.

    Either way nice jaaoooorrrbb!

    • emptyeye on January 21, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    There are many, many Linux builds out there, including forks of forks from what I can tell. Though I’ve never used it myself outside of this “emergency boot disc creation”, I will say this much: If you have an interest, there is probably a Linux distro tailored to it (Ubuntu Studio for creative types being but one example). That, I have to admit, it’s pretty neat. If only Linux users didn’t rival Tool fans for the “Tainted by the Fanbase” crown…

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