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Trying to help out some folks lately, and noticed the impatience with some. Seems like a lot will reinstall rather than spend some time troubleshooting. I have done my share of re-installs (of course mostly when I was starting out) but I did try and hang in there for 24-72 hours of headbanging before giving in
I mean, when you have a fresh install, make one change and something goes belly up, okay you don't have a lot invested in it yet. But how does one learn if they don't try to fix it?
I've noticed that behaviour a lot, particularly from people who have just recently migrated from Windows. I guess its a mentality thats inherited from using Windows, because most problems in Windows are "fixed" by reinstalling.
Lots of problems a newbie like me would have to reinstall to be able to get online to get help with the problem with the puter. Especially if it were a lilo farkup and system would not boot. luckily for me i have more than one system cause till i figure out how to get slackware to do exactly everything i want it to do reinstalls will prolly be the norm lol. although reinstallation from hd complete with patches and changes i have made make reinstalling quite painless.
There are certain factors that affect whether or not I exercise patience and persistence to learn a solution during the troubleshooting process. I completely agree that patience, persistence, and learning are important processes and should be observed, but if the functionality that is being impaired is very crucial to something that I absolutely have to do now or very soon, I will reinstall if that is the most efficient method of getting my current work completed. I see it as a cross section problem resolution time vs. level of productivity impairment during that time. While I would love to sit down and spend the time to learn how to fix every problem that arises, I relastically do not have that kind of time for every problem that presents itself.
i did a reinstall or two when i was trying to get slackware 8 working, nogo after that either, i was using win98, i wasn't in a hurry. last year i installed 10.2, no reinstalls, fecked the system up several times, minor fixes really, but without being able to boot from a spare linux disk i'd have been really messed up(slack disk 1, or knoppix). nice thing about the slack1 disk is that you can set the hard disk as root, really really useful when you have a bootloader problem, might even work for other distros, but i haven't checked.
I have 2 copys of the same distro on this computer and another computer
so I can always get on the net and find info to help me fix something
the 2ed distro lets me just logon matter how mucked up the main system is
it also removes alot of pressure to fix it right now
so I can go for weeks with something like X not working I can also copy from the working system to the mucked one to fix alot of things
So I guess I kind of cheat when it comes to trouble shooting
with hard drives being so big now and a everthing installs at around 4 gig I don't see why every body dosn't do this
It depends on how old the system is. If I just installed linux and ran into a problem I don't quite know the answer to I would reinstall and try not to repeat my mistake again. Usually it is just something as stupid as me forgetting a command that would fix the problem easily. If the system is about a month old, I try hard to figure out what is wrong. If the problem is very complex I would just do a reinstall because I am not going to sit around all day trying to fix things.