The next step of my Linux experiment

The next step of my Linux experiment is an ambitious one. I’ve briefly read about how to put multiple versions of Linux on one thumb drive. I’m going to read up on this and make sure I understand how to do it this week.

I want to do this so I can experiment with different distros before I commit myself to one for an old computer I’m hoping to get running again soon. I have two, really, an old low powered one that I’m going to end up searching for an OS with low enough system requirements to run. My other computer is a much faster one, but I need to find some more memory for it before I bother working on it.

I’m hoping to make a few minor decisions regarding which versions of Linux I’m going to try within the next week. I’m planning to dedicate a post to the versions of Linux and why I chose them, hopefully that will be within the next week.

I’m open to suggestions if anyone has one.

How to easily repair an XP desktop computer

To easily repair a Windows XP desktop computer, all you need is to follow these easy steps:

For this example, we’ll take an XP desktop computer that was working fine until a webpage froze up, the browser quit and the user was stuck staring at the desktop. Restarting didn’t succeed as a black screen appeared saying that a file, lets say it was the PCI.SYS file in the System32\DRIVERS folder, was missing or corrupt. To make things uniform, we’ll assume this was a used computer that didn’t come with the original XP installation disk.

Step 1: Attempt to boot into Safe Mode, when you get the same message, attempt Safe Mode Command Prompt, you’ll receive the same message. Proceed to step two.

Step 2: Using the Live USB boot drive with an out of date version of Linux that you’ve been playing with before you try a better version, attempt to boot the damaged computer. You should see what key you need to hit for the boot menu after one or two tries, another try or three and you’ll manage to hit it at the right second. Boot into Live Linux. Proceed to step three.

Step 3: Having thought ahead to copy the right file from another XP desktop computer that you have, realize that the way you have your Live USB drive setup won’t let you access the file, or any files on the USB thumb drive, it should tell you that you don’t own it. Proceed to step four.

Step 4: After chuckling about not owning your own thumb drive and wondering who it really belongs to,  look online for instructions to take ownership of said thumb drive, (hint: consider stealing it from yourself). When you give up and decide to try another way. Proceed to step five.

Step 5: A quick search for the file in question online will alert you to the fact that Windows XP has a number of copies of said file. Take note of location of copy. Proceed to find and copy file to where the original one still is. Reboot the computer (keeping fingers crossed). Proceed to step six.

Step 6: Once you see that the same error message appears, turn off computer in annoyance, suggest to owner of said computer that they get a Mac. Proceed to spend the rest of the day thinking about how to repair computer. Proceed to step seven.

Step 7: remember other discs you created to boot another junk computer you’ve been playing when off and on for over a year. Bring disk to computer you are currently working on and boot from it. Keep calm when you realize that what you thought was your DOS boot CD really is a Linux recovery disc you burned years ago that won’t help you now. Proceed to step eight.

Step 8: Download and burn another Linux LiveCD that sounds like it might have tools you can use. Insert disc into computer you are working on and wait for it to load. Wait for over a half hour thinking that it’s loading because the CDROM’s light is blinking. Restart the computer, watch as the progress bar instantly hits the spot it was before and refuses to budge. Remove CD and discard, reinsert USB drive and restart. Proceed to Step nine.

Step 9: Miss hitting the key for the boot menu and watch in amazement as the computer starts windows and freezes at the desktop. You are not getting anywhere yet, but give yourself the false sense of hope. Reboot twice to see if you can get it up without doing anything else. Proceed to step ten.

Step 10: Play around trying other boot options, see that the error messages aren’t appearing as the computer appears to freeze whenever you touch  a keyboard arrow twice. Decide that the keyboard is bad. Unplug computer. Replace keyboard with old one lying around. Plug computer back in and switch on. Quickly unplug when loud beeping noise occurs, repeat twice. Press keys on keyboard to ensure none are stuck. Now computer should boot up to a screen where it will tell you that there is a keyboard failure. Proceed to step eleven.

Step 11: Replace with old keyboard. Open computer and check for loose connection. Take deep breath and blow out dust while making a mental note to clean dust out better if you get it working again. Reverse the memory sticks while you’re there. Close up computer, remove all cables connected to computer besides mouse and keyboard. Proceed to step twelve.

Step 12: restart computer and watch as it boots into windows without a hitch. You will wonder if the speakers were the problem. Shut down and reconnect speakers. When you try to turn computer on, you will not be able to, the light will come on for a second and fade away, this is expected. You will wonder what you did, you will unplug speakers and try to start it, it will do the same thing. After several minutes wondering what you did, proceed to step thirteen.

Step 13: Open case, look at memory sticks, somehow one is loose, remove it and put it back in. The computer will start now without any problems. After restarting between two and five times to make sure everything is working, run CHKDSK  (error checking) to be safe. If anyone asks, brag about fixing computer, do not tell anyone you don’t know how you did it.

Those are the simple steps to repairing an XP desktop computer. It worked for me!

I’m starting on an experiment!

I’m going to try a LiveUSB Linux on my desktop computer this coming week.
I’m going to work on getting it ready to go tonight, the next time I write in here (if everything goes right!) I’ll be using Linux from my USB thumb drive.
I’m excited about it, I’ve been thinking about doing this for several month, but I haven’t really looked into it until today. Now I know what I’m going for, I know what I’m doing (I hope!) and I think that I can really experience something new.
I’m doing this because I really don’t think that my next computer will have Windows on it, I’m still using a Windows XP computer to write this, it’s a wonderful computer, but I know that I’m going to need to upgrade in a year or so. I’ll most likely go to a Mac, but I want to try Linux just so I can say I have.
I’ll keep you informed on how my experiment goes.I’ll also post about other things.