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Kill a headache - EasyBCD

Posted 12-20-2009 at 05:18 PM by Indymaynard

Having just purchased a Sager NP9850 (18.4" Display, Dual nVidia GeForce 280m, 2.53GHz Quad Core Extreme, RAID0) notebook (read; monster), I ran into some difficulties installing Ubuntu. I had a horrible time figuring out the problem, so I decided that it was to the benefit of all mankind that I explain how to work this. My toils involved Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10.

Normally, I would totally condone destroying the plague on my hard drive, but I have family that needs help with Windows, so I keep it around for instructional purposes. This didn't mean that I didn't want Linux, either. And I didn't want to cheat the capabilities of Linux by running it in a virtual machine, so I knew that I was going to at least dual-boot. This proved to be an adventure.

After trying to install Ubuntu 9.10, I found that I had bitten off more than I could chew. I had resized my Windows partition successfully, but grub wouldn't install as my bootloader, and I didn't know why except that Ubuntu told me that grub didn't install successfully. It took me a couple of days to figure out that the x64 CD didn't have grub on it. May I ask, WTF?

So, I did the logical thing and installed grub while on the Live CD portion. At least grub installed this way. Standby for the wrench: it wouldn't install as my primary bootloader. This wasn't the worst thing that could have happened, but it was frustrating.

Google led me to EasyBCD (because Windows has changed many things that we were beginning to get comfortable with). This sounded awesome because of my frustrations. So I installed and thought I had everything set up properly. I used NeoGrub as the bootloader. This sounded great. Then I rebooted and selected Ubuntu to start into. Grub told me that the file type was incorrect for the boot image. I was totally baffled.

By sheer chance, my mind happened upon a great question; could this be a problem caused by trying to use ext4 which is the default for Ubuntu, now? I Googled it. Sure enough, EasyBCD is not compatible with ext4. This is compounded by the fact that EasyBCD also wasn't setting itself up properly. The "Drive" specification was pointing to a directory, not a drive. I fixed that by copying the NST folder directly to C: (as administrator, of course).

I then reinstalled Ubuntu using ext3. I'm sad that I don't get to test ext4 using this phenomenal powerhouse that is my new computer, but I would rather get Linux running natively than hinder it under a hypervisor.

Sadly, my bluetooth is not recognized, my volume touch-sensor doesn't work (as well as the rest of the touch-sensor array), my game keys don't work, my fingerprint reader is useless, and my camera has yet to be tested. But I'm still happy to at least have Linux running on this monster. I'm sure that the community will be slaving away to get some of this working when the manufacturers have failed the consumers yet again.

And while Windows 7 averages about 2GB RAM usage during idle, I'm happy to report that Linux is under 1GB of usage while installing all of the important applications that I want to use (Nexuiz, SuperTux, etc.) and with better 3D effects than Windows' silly super-tab effect.

Developers: In you I trust.
Users: Don't give up.
Sager: Use open vendors.
Vendors: Open up.
nVidia: You freakin' rock.
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  1. Old Comment
    I have heard that you can get an ext 4 partition to chainload from grub legacy. I personally have not taken that step yet.
    Posted 12-21-2009 at 06:05 AM by Larry Webb Larry Webb is offline


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