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Old May 12, 2012, 9:54 AM   #21
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I'm currently desperately trying to restore my computer. Last night I put Ubuntu 12 on a thumb drive. I've used Ubuntu 10 this way and liked it. 12 failed to boot which is no great disaster BUT now Windows won't boot either which IS a disaster! For the last 16 hours I've been running chkdsk. I hope I can get my machine back. I back up to an external hard drive frequently but just last week transferred all my Christmas pictures from temp folders to permanent and hadn't backed up. The moral of this story is do not try to run another OS from a thumb drive unless you back up your files first. I never imagined the thumb drive could corrupt the boot files on my machine but we live and learn.
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Old May 12, 2012, 5:37 PM   #22
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Do not panic about windows not booting, it is only because GRUB did not fully get installed. if you need to boot into your windows partition and are using Windows vista or windows 7, then put in your windows repair disc and choose repair startup. It will rebuild the MBR and boot.ini file, computer will restart and windows should load.

If you do not have one of these discs, let me know what version of windows you are using and if it is 32 or 64 bit and I will upload an ISO of the repair disc to my server and provide a download link.

If you require further assistance please let me know, I deal with this on a daily basis and should be able to help resolve it for you

-Travis-
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Old May 13, 2012, 9:29 AM   #23
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I'm currently desperately trying to restore my computer. Last night I put Ubuntu 12 on a thumb drive. I've used Ubuntu 10 this way and liked it. 12 failed to boot which is no great disaster BUT now Windows won't boot either which IS a disaster! For the last 16 hours I've been running chkdsk. I hope I can get my machine back. I back up to an external hard drive frequently but just last week transferred all my Christmas pictures from temp folders to permanent and hadn't backed up. The moral of this story is do not try to run another OS from a thumb drive unless you back up your files first. I never imagined the thumb drive could corrupt the boot files on my machine but we live and learn.
Running Ubuntu from a USB Thumb Drive would not have modified your files.

Now, if you tried to install it and something went wrong, that's something else entirely.

What kind of PC is this (be specific about memory amount, etc.). You'll usually get a warning about the installer may not be able to work properly if you use a Live version of a product like Ubuntu and you don't have enough memory if you try to use it's installer.

But, if you didn't try to load the desktop (i.e., the "Try" choice you see on the Live versions versus the "Install" choice you see), and just went straight to the installer instead, then I don't know if it performs that check or not.

In any event, writing the boot loader to the MBR on your PC doesn't come until well into that process.

Do you remember exactly what you tried to do (using the "Install side by side with another Operating System choice versus trying to partition the drive yourself, etc.)?

If you did complete the install and decided you didn't like it and removed the partition you installed it on, then yes, you're going to end up with an unbootable system, because the boot menu options used by the boot loader would be on that partition. ;-)

If you interrupted partition resizing while it was in progress, you could also have caused yourself some problems.

But, chances are, you have a simple problem.

For one thing, I wouldn't be messing around running chkdsk if you don't want to damage your file system even more, without a better understanding of what went wrong.

chkdsk won't fix boot loader issues anyway. That's only trying to fix any problems on a given partition (sector errors, etc.).

Let us know *exactly* what you did that caused this issue.

What are the specs on your PC (brand/model if you have it, etc.), memory amount installed, and what Operating System you're using (Windows XP, Vista, 7, etc.)?

What tool did you use to write Ubuntu to a USB Flash drive?

Did you use a function key for the boot menu choices so that your PC would boot from USB? Or, did you modify the boot order in your PC's BiOS so that the USB Flash Drive was the first boot choice? Is your primary hard drive still in that Boot Order List in your System's BIOS so that it will attempt to boot from it when the USB flash drive is not plugged in?

Were you able to boot into the USB Flash Drive with Ubuntu on it and start the installer?

I'm a little confused because you said it wouldn't boot anyway. If that's the case, nothing on your PC's drives would have changed.

Only if you booted into the USB flash drive and ran the installer would it be doing anything to your PC's hard drives, period. So, if you never got to that point, then something else you changed on your PC is causing your problems (boot order in BIOS, etc.).

Let us know a lot more about the steps you took and what you saw.

Then, we can figure out the best way to help you.

Chances are, it's something simple.

You could also boot into a different Linux distro that's "lighter" on resources to see what's on your windows drive (partition layout, etc.) and go from there (making sure the partitions are correctly defined in the partition table, and fixing it with testdisk if they're not because you interrupted a resizing operation in progress, installing another boot loader if you had a problem with the way it installed, or deleted the Ubuntu partition the boot options were located on, etc.

But saying that it wouldn't boot from a USB Flash drive and messed up your Windows install would not be the case. It would not have modified your Windows system files or your boot loader that way.

So, you need to let us know the exact steps you took and what you saw during those steps so we can figure out what happened and how to help you (install a new bootloader in the MBR if that's all that is wrong, help you through any partition table issues you caused if you interrupted a resizing operation while in progress, etc.).

Give us more information (see questions above), and we can go from there.
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Old May 13, 2012, 12:45 PM   #24
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Well my computer is back among the living. Took about 19 hours to run chkdsk/r but when it finished (found and corrected one problem) Windows booted right back up. Jim, I don't know how, but the thumb drive somehow DID modify my files or it's an unimaginable coincidence that my boot files were corrupted by something else at the exact same time that I tried to run Ubuntu from the thumb drive. Beats the heck out of me. No attempt was made to do an install. I am open to any theories! I simply made a bootable Ubuntu 12 thumb drive on pendrivelinux just like I have done in the past for Ubuntu 10. After creating the thumb drive I inserted it, restarted the machine then got a "boot error" message. I removed the thumb drive and restarted the machine only to have it try to start Windows then fail, then repeat, then repeat, then repeat ad infinitum. Never could get past the Windows start/boot screen. I've run Ubuntu successfully on a virtual machine but it was sure handy to have a "computer in your pocket" with Ubuntu on a stick. I'll never trust a pendrivelinux created version of Ubuntu on a stick again. Thanks for all the recommendations, advice and offers of help.
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Old May 13, 2012, 1:58 PM   #25
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Very strange.

The only way I'd see that you'd have that kind of issue is if your USB Thumb Drive was infected by malware and it tried to install on your Windows drive when you booted into it. That is a *very* common way to spread malware (infect any removable drives it comes in contact with), so you may want to check it with some different AV scanners to see if it's setup with an MBR using boot sector malware.

But, if the entire problem was a boot error on your Windows drive that chkdsk /r fixed, then it was probably just a coincidence that it happened when you rebooted your PC to try Ubuntu.

You'd have to run the installer before it actually writes anything to your C Drive, and even then, it's not going to touch your Windows System files unless you open a File Manager Program and write to them directly yourself, or mount a Windows partition and do the same thing via a console.

The Ubuntu installer would just be resizing your Windows partitions for you and creating new partitions for Linux if you told it to install Ubuntu side by side with another Operating System.

Then, it would install a boot loader in the MBR (something that chkdsk/r isn't going to do anything with anyway, as that's only fixing a specific Windows partition on your drive, not trying to do anything with the partition table or MBR, as you'd need to use utilities like fixmbr instead for that).

But, you'd have to run the installer before it did anything like resizing a Windows partition or installing a boot loader in the MBR, and it's going to prompt you along the way to make sure you want it to make the changes presented before it actually does anything to your system drive.

So, something apparently corrupted some of your Windows system files (or you had some disk errors that were not obvious) before you booted into Ubuntu.

Starting Ubuntu from a USB Stick to run it without using the installer would not have done anything with your Windows partition (and even if you used the installer to install it, it wouldn't have modified any of your Windows files, or even touched your system drive at all without prompting you along the way to make sure you wanted to make changes to the partition layout, which is not something chkdsk is looking at anyway, since it looks for problems on a specific partition (a.k.a., Windows Volume like C: ), not the drive's partition table or MBR, where different tools are needed to fix problems.
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Old May 19, 2012, 10:12 AM   #26
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Jim - While pottering about with Zorin over the past few days, I got more and more frustrated and disappointed with it.
It looks like they've just announced a new release candidate (Zorin OS 6 RC) using an up to date version of Ubuntu (12.04 LTS) as a base using a new "Zorin Desktop" as the User Interface. So, it may be worth a look.

How long it will take them to launch the final release is anyone's guess (and the number of "show stopper" bugs found would influence that kind of thing).

The release candidate is 32 bit only, but the final release should have both 32 bit and 64 bit versions available. See more about it in this announcement (and you'll also see links to screen captures):

http://zoringroup.com/blog/2012/05/1...te-has-landed/
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Old May 20, 2012, 1:02 PM   #27
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Jim - Yes, the Zorin news is encouraging. But I've tried it & sorry to say though that (to me) it didn't seem much different from the earlier version.

I picked up an old PC a couple of weeks ago (a KT333 Dragon Plus) for $30 along with a CT-723 CMV monitor & am using them to try out whatever Linux versions seem interesting. The seller told me that it had Windows 7 installed, but warned me that it was struggling to run it. He was right. It was really sluggish. However, I saw it also contained several programs that I felt no interest in, so I checked them out. One was called ARO 2012 - about which I read nothing good - so I began by deleting it. The computer immediately stopped being sluggish.

The first thing I've been doing with any Linux program is to try to use Wine to make Photoshop & Faststone Image viewer workable. I guess I'm a really long way from being Linux-savvy because I've had only limited success.

However, despite warnings that gOS 3.1 Gadgets is out of date, I still find it (for my purposes) by far the easiest Linux to install and use - and especially so as respects making use of Wine. It makes me really disappointed that David Liu seems to have lost interest in improving it still further.
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Old May 20, 2012, 2:10 PM   #28
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Just install Wine yourself if the distro you want to use doesn't already have it preinstalled. ;-)

I'm using the latest Wine 1.5.4 Development Build in Mepis 11, because it's updated on a regular basis in the community repositories. But, you can get it using the Software Manager in most Linux distros (it's normally in their repositories) with a mouse click or two.

Or, just go to http://www.winehq.org and you'll see a download page with links to sites that have it for a variety of different linux distros. Here's that Download Page:

http://www.winehq.org/download/

I haven't tried Photoshop lately in Wine but the latest version of FastStone Image Viewer works fine under Wine 1.5.4.

Another thing you can do is install "helper" applications if you don't like tweaking it yourself using the winecfg program (which lets you tell wine what version of Windows to emulate for a given program you're installing, what graphics options to use, etc.).

Here's one example called Play On Linux:

http://www.playonlinux.com/en/

Again, just go to their Downloads page and you'll find prebuilt binaries available for lots of popular linux distros if you don't want to compile it from source. They also show you how to add their repositories so that your software manager will use them. Or, you can just click on the package for the distro you're using and install it.

http://www.playonlinux.com/en/download.html

It also has a section in it's options when you run it that lets you install different versions of Wine if desired, then lets you go to categories and pick popular programs that it helps to install for you.

But, for programs like FastStone, you don't even need those types of helper programs (it works fine just by running it's installer if you have Wine 1.5.4 installed).

I would make sure to install Microsoft Truetype fonts after you install Wine in a given Linux distro, as fonts can look strange without them installed. Just search for Microsoft TrueType fonts using a given distro's software manager (synaptic, etc.), and you'll find the package with them. For example, in Debian based distros you'll see a package named ttf-mscorefonts-installer (with a description of Installer for Microsoft TrueType Core fonts).

As for Google Gadgets, you'll find lots of similar applets and widgets in most newer Linux distros. For example, in KDE 4.x based distros, you can right click on a desktop (or panel), select "Add Widgets" and see loads of them (news feeds, picture frames, various types of clocks, weather feeds, music lists, pagers, notifications for mail, app launchers, facebook widgets, etc. etc. etc.).

Some distros have Google Gadgets in their repositories, too. For example, I've noticed that the Google Gadgets back end piece is preinstalled in Debian Stable when using the Live CD to install it (and it's in the Debian repositories if using Debian based distros that don't have it preinstalled, so you can install it and use Google Gadgets that were designed for Windows if desired).

If you mean the menu system that distro used, there are lots of different ones around. For example, if you like a Docky style UI that looks more like OS X, you may want to look at something like Luninux OS 12 Beta 2 that I noticed announced on Distrowatch.

It's using an Ubuntu 12.04 base with what appears to be a Gnome 3 shell with Cairo Dock installed. IOW, it's designed to look and feel more like Mac OS X 10.

Here's a video review of the current stable release that I found linked to from the distro's blog:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=31UhVksyr7M

Here's their web site:

http://luninuxos.com/

If you click on the Download Menu, you'll see a link to download the new Beta version (Luninux OS 12 Beta 2), that's using an Ubuntu 12.04 LTS base.

I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like an interesting alternative from a UI perspective, and I suspect they'll have the final release finished soon.

Or, just start with a base version of a modern linux distro with the desktop you like best (KDE 4, Gnome 3, Mate, XFCE, IceWM, etc.) and tweak it yourself to taste (different theme choices, colors, fonts, etc.). Then, you can add things like Cairo Dock yourself if you like an OS X style dock for a launcher (Cairo Dock is already in the software repositories for most Linux distros). They also have a site with lots of helpful info about customizing it:

http://www.glx-dock.org/index.php
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Old May 20, 2012, 7:02 PM   #29
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The first thing I've been doing with any Linux program is to try to use Wine to make Photoshop & Faststone Image viewer workable. I guess I'm a really long way from being Linux-savvy because I've had only limited success.
Again, as mentioned in my last post, Faststone products work fine in my system under Wine 1.5.4.

But, sometimes you'll find that more sophisticated products need more complex settings and/or extra libraries, because they're not yet incorporated into Wine.

CS4 is better supported in the "helper" type apps. For example, if you install Play On Linux, you'll find a choice to install CS4 in Wine for you with the needed settings and libraries under the Graphics apps menus in it.

Get it here (and it will be added to the "Games" menu in most distros when you install it, which is just a matter of clicking on the .deb package for debian and ubuntu based distros and letting the software manager install it for you with the needed dependencies).

http://www.playonlinux.com/en/

CS5 is probably more trouble, and it looks like there may have been some regressions with some newer Wine builds. But, it looks like you can get CS5 to run now under Wine 1.5.2 and later *if* you install some extra libraries. A product named winetricks can do that for you using this command to get the libraries it needs for you.

Code:
winetricks allfonts gdiplus msxml3 vcrun2005 vcrun2008 vcrun2010 atmlib
More about winetricks here (you'd need to download it before running that command).

http://wiki.winehq.org/winetricks

Quote:
...However, despite warnings that gOS 3.1 Gadgets is out of date, I still find it (for my purposes) by far the easiest Linux to install and use - and especially so as respects making use of Wine. It makes me really disappointed that David Liu seems to have lost interest in improving it still further.
Well.. I haven't looked at it in years. But, on the surface, it's just using an Ubuntu base and adding a dock style launcher at the bottom called wbar, then adding some Google Gadgets to the Desktop.

There may be more distros using wbar. But, the only current distro I'm aware of using that wbar dock is DreamLinux 5. Personally, I don't like wbar, as the other docks around have more features and are easier to keep updated, with better "mouse over" support, etc. IOW, if you really want a dock, I'd go with Cairo Dock instead (and it's in the repos for most linux distros so you could install it with a mouse click or two).

In fact, when I tested the latest version of DreamLinux using it, I uninstalled wbar as one of my first steps, because I just didn't like it and thought it was terrible as a dock (at least the way DreamLinux had it installed by default, since you didn't get the app names with mouse overs).. LOL

The next thing I did was install the latest KDE desktop from the Debian repos, because I'm just not a big XFCE fan either. IOW, I was just using DreamLinux as a "starting point" since it has a Debian base with some interesting apps installed, and changing it to use an entirely different desktop and user interface (since I prefer the KDE 4.x desktop).

Here's a brief review of it (and the author seemed to like it, so we'll have to differ in opinion, as I'm not a fan of that dock or XFCE).

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/d...nux-ver-5.html

But, to each their own, so you may want to give it a try. Get it here:

http://www.dreamlinux.info/

After I tweaked it more to taste (getting rid of that wbar dock, installing KDE to use as my primary desktop instead of XFCE), I also found some quirks with the way they installed Synaptic that I didn't like. So, I personally decided it would be easier to start with a "plain jane" Debian install and just tweak it to taste myself.

DreamLinux is using a Debian base. So, Google Gadgets should be in it's software repositories. I haven't installed it in a while. But, from what I can see, if you use their software manager (synaptic, apt, etc.) and install this package, then it should install of the other dependencies needed:

google-gadgets-gtk

There is also a qt version. But, since DreamLinux is using XFCE for it's desktop, you'll want the gtk version of Google Gadgets. Then, it should let you use any of the Google Gadgets for Windows in Linux. Here's their project page:

http://code.google.com/p/google-gadgets-for-linux/

BTW, a vanilla Debian KDE Live CD .iso already has Google Gadgets installed. But, you'd have to install a lot of other software that many distros already include. It can make a good starting point for a leaner system though (just using Debian as is, versus using Distros that have already made lots of mods to it with too much junk in the way of services and software on top).

One more comment... I'd consider using Native Linux applications instead of worrying about trying to run programs in Wine, unless it's something you just can't live without.

There are many nice applications that have Linux versions now.

For example, I like Gwenview for fast image browsing. Or, I'll sometimes use ShowFoto instead. Just make sure to install the latest kipi plugins package, as that gives you loads of features. digiKam is a really good open source program for image management, too. See more about it here (and it also uses the kipi plugins, so make sure to install that package to get a lot more editing features):

http://www.digikam.org

In a commercial package, Corel AfterShot Pro is really nice and very fast. Basically, Corel bought Bibble Labs and relaunched Bibble Pro as AfterShot Pro. It's a real steal at it's current sale price (as Bibble Pro was selling for $199, and Corel has AfterShot Pro on sale for only $59.99 right this minute):

http://www.corel.com/corel/product/i...anguageCode=en

It's got versions available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X; and you can use the same license key on multiple operating systems if you're the only user.

I'd download a trial version and see how you like it. Just go to this page and download one for the OS you want to try it in (and the .deb packages should work in both Debian and Ubuntu based distros). These downloads will install the full version and work as a trial (they're not just updates and work as new installs, too):

http://apps.corel.com/lp/aftershot/download/index.html

After you install it (and you'll have 30 days before deciding if you want to buy it or not), I'd spend the time to watch this Webinar to get a better idea of how some of it's features work (it can do a lot more than meets the eye, and it will take a little while before you're more comfortable with setting up the page layouts, catalog features, etc. to optimize your work flow.. So, this Webinar makes it easier to understand how to get the most out of it (it's a super product from a workflow perspective).

Or, watch the webinar first to get an idea of what it can do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i633ZBya9Fc

Note that the latest version of the GIMP also has lots of new features:

http://www.gimp.org/release-notes/gimp-2.8.html
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Old May 20, 2012, 11:03 PM   #30
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JimC -

After reading your 7:10 post mentioning Luninux I downloaded it & and have been trying it out for the last few hours.

So far it seems to be operating Faststone Image Viewer and Photoshop Elements2 quite well and that's on the old Dragon computer.

I suspect that I'm going to find it even more to my liking than gOS 3.1.

It may even persuade me to use it instead of Windows 7 on my main computer. The thought of finally getting out of the clutches of Microsoft adds to the feeling of optimism.....
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