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Ok, let's see if i can actually explain this clearly. I run a small pc repair business. A while back i was tasked with fixing a wrecked netbook. The owner was a Windows user, so my first instinct was to just slap XP on and be done with it. When i did, the network manager was missing. So to remedy this problem i resorted to a personal favorite form of Ubuntu called Peppermint ICE. Well after 2 attempts(my nephew unplugged the disk drive mid install) i had ICE running and the network manager functioning. Well today i am tasked with fixing an HP laptop with a corrupted windows system. So i first tried to just put XP on. Now the disk is one i have used to dual boot several other computers before now. Well i get the "Press any key to boot from CD" screen, but it never goes to the installation screen. So my next idea was to grab one of my Linux disks. I grabbed the nearest one to me, which happened to be ICE, and tried installing it. However when installed...the network manager was missing and the "Wireless network detected, click here to connect" box kept phasing out when moused over. So i finally replace it with Peppermint two. However being the inquisitive person i am, i wonder about a few things
SO my two questions are:
1) why didn't the network manager work in ICE
2) why will the laptop boot a Linux disk, but not a Windows disk?
You're not tying things down to a fault, but it sounds like you are throwing software at the problems you see and hoping it sticks. If a feature doesn't work you don't have to reinstall the whole distro. Ditto windows, for that matter; there's rescue cds online.
I did buy a laptop that would run win3.11 but fail to install XP. I did the sensible thing - I returned it!