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Old 05-30-2013, 10:51 AM   #1
quantlinear
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Ubuntu ,USB flash drive doesn`t mount


Hi to all,

I have had a system crash, I couldnt retrive my data from the hard drive. I read on testdisk and how to follow the instruction but I couldnt worked it out.

2days a go I have finally gave up and decided to wipe the hard drive, moreover the system carsh happened because of lack of space in root partition.

I have been using Live Ubuntu CD for executing the above tasks. I have no previous experience on linux OS and it was recommended by a friend to begin with Ubuntu and build my way up.

so far I have done the work below here:

root@ubuntu:~# dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=32M
dd: writing `/dev/sdb': No space left on device
503+0 records in
502+0 records out
16848519168 bytes (17 GB) copied, 888.678 s, 19.0 MB/s


////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

shred -vfz -n 10 /dev/sda

shred: /dev/sda: pass 8/11 (aaaaaa)...439GiB/932GiB 47%
shred: /dev/sda: pass 8/11 (aaaaaa)...440GiB/932GiB 47%

The wipe is on pass 8 /11 and progressing....

----------------------------------------------------------------

You may ask what are the above lines does to do with USB drive not mounting ? well, I had the USB drive mounted and it was working fine, I was bookmarking the links that i was reading for future reference on Linux OS.

The USB drive began to show error after I was unable to save the links on the office/calc file(suddenly become "ONLY READ") , Then I couldnt access the files on the USB drive and the files name appeared in sign like %$$%& .

Obviously the tasks sush as shred and dd was in motion when the USB failed.

1- Do you think that I am able to retrive the files from the hard drive & USB flash drive ?

I look forward to hearing from you all.

All The Best

H


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Old 05-30-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
stevene
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Sounds like sdb may have been your usb (guessing due to size) and thats been overwritten. shred then destroyed the source disk (sda). So i think not.. Except that first 16gig which now resides on your usb.
what doest mount show on a fresh usb boot? (with a different usb disk)
 
Old 05-30-2013, 02:10 PM   #3
suicidaleggroll
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So, you did a low level dump of the first 16GB of your hard drive onto the USB (completely overwriting anything that was on the USB before that), then wiped the hard drive.

Your hard drive is 1 TB, what could you expect to save by just dumping the first 16 GB to a USB? I'd say that whatever files happened to reside in that first 16 GB should be recoverable from the USB with some low level recovery software, but the other 98.5% of the hard drive drive is gone.

You can't mount the USB because you killed the partition table with your dd command. dd should NEVER be used by amateurs, there's a reason it has the nickname "disk destroyer".

Why you decided to use shred, I have no idea, but if you hadn't done that you could still recover the files from the hard drive. Shred is used to actually wipe the entire drive, so recovery is impossible. It's something you would use before selling the computer or recycling the hard drive if you want to keep the next owner from recovering your files off of it.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 05-30-2013 at 02:14 PM.
 
Old 05-30-2013, 06:14 PM   #4
quantlinear
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Thank you to all of you.

I have mentioned that I used a LIVE CD of Ubuntu to run linux Ubuntu on my machine. previously I had ubuntu installed and crashed as result of root file ran out of space because I didnt allocate a sufficient size to root file partition by mistake.

The first problem and several attempts to use TESTDISK to retrive the files have failed , Therfore I gave up and decided to wipe the hard drive. Furthermore I have mounted a USB drive to save office/calc files of my general research work on linux OS. basically all my bookmarks and links that I was reading was entered on office /calc files and then saved on USB drive.

Obviously I was middle of the dd/shred commands execution and I was still trying to figure out the wiping out the hard drive. Moreover I wasnt sure if the dd/shred commands has begun to carry out the task.

I have realised the shred is wiping out the hard drive once the pass1/11 moved to pass2/11 but by then the USB drive begun to show error and I was unable to access the contents of file.

I have tried to mount the USB drive on 2 other windows machine and both are requesting for format the USB before proceeding to access the files. That means wiping out the files on the USB.

I have tried to mount the USB back on The Ubuntu Linux machine that was running from the live CD, but it didn`t recognise it.

PLease note the shred is near the final stage of wiping the hardrive.

I am not a Linux guru by any means, but I learned a lot after setting up my own linux machine . Lost a little hair over recovering the data, but couldnt got it up running.

My question remain the same , Could it be possible to retrive the data from the USB and the Hard drive?

I look forward to hearing from you all.

All the best

H
 
Old 05-30-2013, 06:22 PM   #5
stevene
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This data is gone.
Shred ensured this after the first pass
A tiny subset of data from the 1tb drive was copied to the 16g usb disk.. that will be recoverable.
That is also why neither work.
 
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
suicidaleggroll
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First, dd does not copy files, dd copies EVERYTHING. Low level filesystem accounting information, partition table information, boot sector information...everything. It's doing a bit for bit copy of everything on the raw disk, even deleted files that haven't yet been overwritten will be copied over. It's running through the disk at the lowest level, and every time it finds a 1, it writes a 1 to the destination, every time it finds a 0, it writes a 0 to the destination.

For this reason, dd should NEVER be run the way you ran it while either of the two drives are mounted. Your I/O to the USB drive failed while you were working on it because dd went through and wiped the paritition table and filesystem out from under your nose (along with everything else on the drive).

Everything you had written to the USB is gone, the only thing that's left is a bit for bit copy of the first 16 GB of your hard drive. This may contain useful data, it may contain nothing at all. You will not be able to mount the USB drive though, because the partition table and filesystem information have been thoroughly destroyed by dd. You will, however, be able to run a low level scan of the USB drive using testdisk to recover what, if any files are there.

The hard drive itself, and the other 1008 GB that it can hold, has been permanently wiped, there is nothing left.



For future reference, never run dd with the output set to a raw device unless it is your intention to do a low level bit for bit copy onto that device, destroying anything and everything that used to be there (including partition setup, etc). Also, never run shred unless you're about to sell the computer or the hard drive and want to permanently erase everything that used to be on the drive. There is absolutely no reason to ever run shred on your own disk that you intend to re-use in your own machine.



Also, was your hard drive even corrupted? It just sounds like Ubuntu wouldn't boot because the root filesystem was full, in which case why were you even trying to use testdisk? You could have just booted to the live CD, mounted the drive, removed some files to free up space on the root filesystem, and then booted back into Ubuntu like normal.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 05-30-2013 at 06:55 PM.
 
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:11 PM   #7
quantlinear
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@suicidaleggroll

THank you for clearing the issues regarding the problems that has been leading me to apply unnecessary methodes. After I submited datas and crash report on Ubantuforum.org I was advised by a senior member to use testdisk to recover my data. It was only later when I read about Linux commands and then I have found that the root file has caused the crash and all I needed to delete some of the files ,but I didnt know which one.

Majority of basic terms on linux OS still doesnt make sense to me,I am trying to find a general tutorials on Linux to know difference between differnt type. sometimes I dont know what way i am heading. very very confused and finding myself in the dark with by reading differnt bits on Linux OS on line. But that also make me more willing and thirsty to learn about Linux OS.

Actually I have learned something about Linux OS after facing these problems , Perhaps this is not the best way to learn but I was stuck with a crashed system for weeks and that forced my hand to just wipe out the data from the Harddrive.

PLease advice what Linux OS should I learn . I am trying to learn Linux OS. I was advised to choose Ubuntu for beginner and then build up my skills on other Linux distru .There are various Distru out there and I barley know much about any of them apart from what I have learned by my failure on Ubantu.

At the heart of struggle to learn Linux OS is I dont know anything about Linux and I read on line a lot of opinions of what distru is good for beginner`s and like anything in life that may be just a point of view of someone .Furthermore I have embarked to learn linux because I am studying Cisco network security and I was told that Linux is a powerful machine and I should learn it.

PLease advice.

All the best

H
 
Old 05-30-2013, 08:51 PM   #8
padeen
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Ubuntu is fine for beginners.

One criticism of it is that it is continually being updated to handle the latest hardware (probably a good thing) and the latest versions of software (not always a good thing if that version has not been tested thoroughly). The developers like to keep it on the leading edge of the latest and greatest and some people feel that they take this a bit too far sometimes. The update process itself is very easy and not something to worry about.

If you want something not quite so extreme, Debian would be a good choice. The Debian developers take a much more conservative approach to when they update software. Ubuntu is based on Debian and many software packages and concepts are identical between the two. Debian is possibly not quite as easy to install, but it has been around for a very long time and there are a lot of useful install guides available.

One thing to be aware of when you google is to limit the time search to only the last few years. There is a lot of information out there about Linux in general, and anything older than than a few years will definitely be out of date and possibly wrong. Best to stick to current, correct information.

Last edited by padeen; 05-30-2013 at 08:52 PM.
 
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:04 AM   #9
Kallaste
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If you want to learn, I recommend the RUTE Tutorial and Exposition. You can buy the print book from Amazon, or you can read it online for free:

http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz

If you read this book from beginning to end and do all of the examples as though they were all lessons (they are, really), then you will learn Linux. I would bet that this book is as good or better a replacement for whatever research you had on your flash drive about Linux, no matter what it was. It is an older book and therefore will not go into detail about some of the newer concepts, but for foundational knowledge (which is the most important), I believe it is easily the best resource there is. And once you master that part of it, reading and understanding the obscure documentation you've been seeing online will no longer seem unnatural to you.

There is divided opinion here, but I also recommend a less "beginner-friendly" distro if you really want to learn. I know a lot of people advise newcomers to use Ubuntu for fear of scaring them off, and in fact users coming from Windows usually DO find it easier, but in my opinion it is this preoccupation with newcomer-friendliness that actually prevents the user from learning. Pointing and clicking at little GUI tools may be easy, but it doesn't teach you a bit about how your system works. If you truly want to learn and understand Linux as an operating system--and not just as a way to play video files and get your word processing done--then I would suggest you use a distribution that encourages you to get your hands dirty and see what's going on under the hood.

Three of the most hands-on distributions are Arch, Gentoo, and Slackware. Of these, my personal favorite is easily Slackware, since I find it the most approachable, logical, and quintessentially "Linux" of any distribution. There is huge emphasis on using the terminal instead of a GUI, and you typically configure your system by editing text files. You learn about the Linux file system and soon become familiar with the names and functions of the various important files in it. It seems complicated at first, but when you do it for a while you start to realize that everything is laid out in such a way that it just makes sense. Also, the Slackware community in the Slackware subforum here at LQ is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

I sometimes tell people that I learned more during my first month using Slackware than I did in a year of Ubuntu. Well, it's true.

Anyway, that's just my two cents. Do what you want, and have fun with Linux.

Last edited by Kallaste; 05-31-2013 at 12:27 AM. Reason: typographical error
 
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:06 AM   #10
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quantlinear View Post
@suicidaleggroll

...trimmed...

H
No worries. There are three ways to learn in my experience:
1) Read guides which tell you what to do step by step
2) Read posts by people who have experienced various horrors and tell you about how to avoid them
3) Experience those horrors for yourself and deal with the consequences

#3 is obviously the most powerful way to learn, but it also has the biggest consequences. #1 and 2 are clearly preferable, but they just don't have the same impact, which means they don't leave the same impression on your soul. Once you experience #3, you never forget it for the rest of your life...it sticks with you. I highly doubt you will find an experienced Linux administrator on this forum or anywhere else that has not done something like what you've done. Many years ago I was doing some kind of maintenance...don't remember what, but I ended up running "rm -fr *" as root, while located in "/". I thought I was somewhere else in the filesystem, but I wasn't. A few seconds into the execution I realized what I had done and Ctrl+C'd it, but it was too late. "/bin" was gone, "/etc" was gone...I spent about 4 hours trying to recover, and eventually just threw in the towel and reinstalled the OS from scratch.

The lesson to be learned from this experience is that you need to know what every command you're about to run is going to do, what that means, and what the consequences are. It doesn't matter if you're coming up with this command on your own using man pages, or if you're following some guide online. Learn what it's going to do, and whether or not that's what you want, before running it.
 
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:56 AM   #11
bobc4012
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Padeen gave you some excellent advice in my opinion. Bloomnutria's suggestion was good if you have sufficient experience to wade through the tons of on-line literature on Linux. As well as the others.

First, learning Linux - it depends on how extensive your computing knowledge and background is. If you have been an "average" PC user, using Microsoft Windows (or Apple's system) and never got into the "nuts and bolts" of them, then your best bet is to take "SuicidalEggroll's advice no.1 - read beginner's guides. There are two that would give you a decent start and are not overwhelming like the "rute" site tutorial. There is a site called "MakeUseOf", which has a number of guides on many topics. Two that I would suggest are:

a. MakeUseOf - Absolute Beginner's Guide to Ubuntu - Unity based and
b. MakeUseOf - Ubuntu Karmic Koala - Gnome 2 based.

Go to the site http://www.makeuseof.com/tags/ubuntu/ and you will see a list and at the end to select more free PDFs for download.

The reason I include "b. Karmic Koala - Ubuntu 9.10" is because it has a decent discussion of Gnome 2 - which is very Windows-like and a good way for a Windows user to transition themselves to Linux (Ubuntu in this case). Ubuntu moved to a Unity desktop in version 11.04. Ubuntu version 10.10 was the last Ubuntu version to support Gnome 2 (and while still usable, it is not supported by Canonical updates (to those parts that are/were supported by Canonical - I still have Ubuntu 10.04 installed on an old lap-top) although updates to other packages (e.g., Firefox) still seem to work - so far). Also, there are other Linux distros that support desktops similar to Gnome 2. In addition, the "KK guide" gives deeper insight to the structure of Ubuntu. without being overwhelming.

The "Unity Guide" (a.), gives an idea on how to use Unity, the new Ubuntu desktop. It is also decent, but not as comprehensive as the other guide as it is more oriented toward working with Unity. Unity created quite an uproar within the Ubuntu community and many Ubuntu users left Ubuntu. They have arguments similar to those of Windows users have with Windows 8. A desktop/laptop is not a tablet. A tablet I/F doesn't "fly" to well on a desktop/laptop. For the average user familiar with Windows XP (and, to an extent Windows 7) and earlier, the transition to Windows 8 is NOT straight forward. Likewise the transition from Ubuntu 10.10 to Ubuntu Unity has its share of naysayers. Keep in mind, one of the reasons for Ubuntu's popularity was an easy transition from Windows plus you could also do a WUBI install (install like any Windows app and run it in a Windows directory - at boot time, you would be able to choose booting directly into Windows or Ubuntu). If you didn't like Ubuntu, you would uninstall it like any other Windows app.

There is also another Ubuntu desktop, Gnome 3, which also has caused an uproar - I have not tried it, so I can't comment on it. I hear the Gnome people are reconsidering bringing back the Gnome 2 desktop.

One thing to keep in mind, are the number of distros that use (or used) Ubuntu as a base, which in turn uses Debian as its base. I found Debian to be a lot more work to bring it to the level of Ubuntu or the other Ubuntu-based distros. Some of the other Ubuntu-based distros are Linux Mint (very popular), Kubuntu (also popular), Lubuntu, Xubuntu, ZorinOS, SolusOS, ZevenOS and others. However, since they are Ubuntu/Debian based, they pick up some of Ubuntu's idiosyncrasies in the switch to Unity.

There are other Linux distros, of course. One mentioned was Slackware. It was the first Linux I installed back in the mid-90s. It has come a long way since, but still requires more work to get it to the level of most of the Ubuntu-based distros. I also had a good background back then - a S/W developer who developed operating systems, databases, I/O and other related S/W. I had a 486 DX2 with a 250MB HD with PCDOS (MSDOS), Win. 95, OS/2 and Slackware with multiple-booting. For me, Slackware was a fun experience, but for someone with a much lesser background, it would have been a killer. Today, I don't care to be digging into things anymore and did install Slackware on a jump drive, but found it too basic for what I wanted and wasn't up to installing and digging anymore. Besides, I have been spending more time checking out other distros, looking for a suitable Ubuntu replacement (Gnome 2 with 2 panels, easily customized).

One last point (and I apologize for such a lengthy reply), you probably realize that Linux is a freeware clone of Unix (actually, the kernel). Most all the Unix instruction set works pretty much the same on the Linux distros. So if you have a good Unix book, it will help you in understanding Linux better - commands such as "chown", "chmod", "pwd", "ps", etc. Also, many of them get into the file system, the directory structure, and so on. I know this doesn't help you recover your data and I can sympathize (Windows 7 messed up 2 HDs on me, my 1.5TB backup external drive and a SATA HD, which even testdisk can't reconstruct - claims it does, but the 160GB HD still shows up as 2TB (one head/cylinder).

Anyway, good luck.

Last edited by bobc4012; 06-02-2013 at 12:24 AM.
 
Old 06-01-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
Kallaste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobc4012 View Post
Padeen gave you some excellent advice in my opinion. Bloomnutria's suggestion was good if you have sufficient experience to wade through the tons of on-line literature on Linux. As well as the others.
My suggestion did not require that he "wade through tons of literature on Linux." All the literature I recommended was RUTE. And I still recommend it, regardless of what distribution he chooses. It's a fantastic book, and a classic for a reason. Have you read it?

Certainly after he reads that he will have to inform himself on various aspects of the operating system and his distribution, but that would be so with ANY Linux distribution. He says he wants to learn and understand Linux, and the price of knowledge is taking the time to assimilate information.

Another reason I recommended what I did rather than, say, a beginners guide to Ubuntu, is that the OP is studying Cisco network security, so he is hardly an "average PC user." He wants a little bit more than what point and click beginners guides can give him.

In my opinion, if you don't want or expect to read literature, then you shouldn't make it your goal to learn an operating system.

Last edited by Kallaste; 06-01-2013 at 10:37 AM.
 
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:42 AM   #13
bobc4012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BloomingNutria View Post
My suggestion did not require that he "wade through tons of literature on Linux." All the literature I recommended was RUTE. And I still recommend it, regardless of what distribution he chooses. It's a fantastic book, and a classic for a reason. Have you read it?

Certainly after he reads that he will have to inform himself on various aspects of the operating system and his distribution, but that would be so with ANY Linux distribution. He says he wants to learn and understand Linux, and the price of knowledge is taking the time to assimilate information.

Another reason I recommended what I did rather than, say, a beginners guide to Ubuntu, is that the OP is studying Cisco network security, so he is hardly an "average PC user." He wants a little bit more than what point and click beginners guides can give him.

In my opinion, if you don't want or expect to read literature, then you shouldn't make it your goal to learn an operating system.
I wasn't trying to put down your recommendation as I said it was good one and apologize for not being clearer. I did try to qualify by the amount of Linux material, in general, there is to wade through - much of it free. I do agree with you on wading through a lot of it to really learn the "nuts and bolts" of Linux. One reason, are the man pages often come up short or can be misinterpreted.

I have looked at rute and it could be somewhat overwhelming for a "newbie" - maybe in the way it is initially presented - "browse on-line". I also tried to download the PDF and it sent me to an IIS7 screen and from there to the IIS home page. A search of the site did not turn up that particular PDF. The download of the HTML file did work, but I did not unpack it to go that route. While an HTML file will work, I (and others) prefer a PDF as it is quicker to navigate IMO.

As for quantlinear's level of experience, we are both making assumptions. It seems you may be assuming he is a reasonably experienced IT type person who probably understands OSes (but not Linux) because he is studying Cisco Network Security. I made a different assumption based on how much trouble he got in trying to recover from a crash. To me, his initial post was one of a person who had a decent grasp of the PC (Windows?) environment and was transitioning to Ubuntu in particular - "easy for a beginner to learn" as he was told and "build his way up".

Because Windows (and Apple's too) is a closed environment, one needs to do more digging to learn the underlying structure of the OS. Linux, being open, is easier to find material explaining the underlying structure - but is also more complex, IMO. After all, Linux derives its structure from Unix. Unix has been around for 40+ years and was built by a group of people (ATT's Bell Labs) who had some idea of how an OS should be constructed. Where, Windows was initially a "hobbyist's" quick and dirty OS, IMO, to run Z80 and other 8080 type machines. Without going into history, Windows original base was not as sound as Unix's base and not as complex.

BTW, I did have a "typo" in my first post. I wrote "the transition to Windows 8 is to straight forward" and it should have read "the transition to Windows 8 is NOT straight forward". The same holds true for Ubuntu in going from Gnome 2 to Unity, IMO and others. While maybe not quite as drastic as Metro, but still different to generate a lot of negative reviews.
 
Old 06-04-2013, 01:55 PM   #14
quantlinear
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I must say that I am very impressed with all of the replies and suggestion and guidance that this community has provided me so far.

I sincerely enjoyed reading through all of your replies and exchange of ideas , also I very much liked how some of you defended your opinion by explaining the reasons behind your initial thoughts in regard of choice on Linux distro.

To clarify my level of IT experience, Generally I am a self learner, and curious to go deep and learn the bits and bolts,In the past, I have learned a lot about windows OS in an unorthodox way. I looked up for ways in some of unusual places that mainly used by those who don't like the idea of obeying CITIZEN in regard of Microsoft products and how to utilize the windows OS environment to install and make a use of other applications for free.

I have mentioned that I am studying Cisco networking (Passed certificates for CCNA & Routing for CCNP but Switch and TB in progress). The idea of using linux came to me when I was attending the networking courses at an IT college in London. I was listening to few other students conversation about Linux OS, who already had years of IT experience,particularly few were Linux administrator.

I was persuaded to look in to Linux Ubuntu after my curiosity directed my in that direction, from there I went to install Ubuntu and I was reading and watching videos on Youtube. Basically I was seeking to learn Linux environment. Long story short I came to know by the Cisco instructor that Linux is the way for Network security professionals. I was told briefly that Linux OS is flexible and customizable.

Honestly Reading through all of your advice made me some how concerned. Meanwhile I have borrowed a book from library on Linux (Complete Guide to Linux/Peter Norton`s). While there are many distro available, finding out which one is the best for you can be little tricky.

Obviously The story of the loss of the memory is aggravating but I have moved on .I am going to take all of your suggestion in to my research and look at the links that some of you have forward it on here.Please share your thoughts or narrow down your last thoughts by concluding of what distro should I go for.

I look forward to hearing from you all

All The Best

H
 
Old 06-05-2013, 06:50 AM   #15
bobc4012
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Thank you Quantlinear for the update. I have been a longtime Ubuntu advocate. However, like many others, I was not happy when they switched to Unity in 11.04. I have been pleased with Linux Mint and the MATE desktop. It is an Ubuntu/Debian based distro. I just downloaded Mint/MATE 13 (LTS - Long Term Release until 2017) and Mint/MATE 15. I played with Mint 15 some last night and was quite impressed with the improvements. What I like about the MATE desktop is I can set up a desktop that looks like Ubuntu 10.04/10.10. I use the panels (top and bottom). If you try it, you will see what looks like a task bar at the bottom of the screen. Right clicking opens a menu and you can create another panel - place it at the top and also select the colors, the applications you want to invoke, etc.

I'm sure you will get a number of opinions on other distros. What I would suggest if you have a Windows machine is to download and install VirtualBox (free) - it also runs on Linux. You can install an ISO from your hard drive without having to burn it to a CD/DVD. After setting up your virtual machine. select "Devices" from the VirtualBox tool bar and the first entry is "CD/DVD", selecting that will take you to the next menu and you can then choose an ISO fie where you saved it. A convenient way of trying out different distros until you find one you like.

Good luck.
 
  


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