04 February 2011

Micro$oft software does love farting around in others' territory

Situation: a Vista user has clicked on an attachment in a "friend's" email, now the machine won't do anything networkily sensible, so is evidently virussed to the eyeballs & beyond. There was no obvious hope of getting something working enough to copy their documents & image off, so...

Response: boot a Kubuntu LiveCD, investigate system without hearing the opinion of any viruses. Install Kubuntu over the "Recovery" partition (/dev/sda2). Plug in another hard drive (machine has only 2x SATA power cables, so need to unplug the DVD drive to do this). Boot Kubuntu, Copy docs/images onto temp hard drive (tar.bz2 as the drive is kinda small).

Boot into Kubuntu, DHCP picks up an address from the ADSL router, can now browse & do banking. Good!

Fetch Windows 7 Eternity disc, Install that, no worries but Kubuntu now invisible.

Boot Kubuntu LiveCD, in recovery mode, re-run GRUB. Kubuntu is now visible.

To avoid the risk of trashing the man MS-Windows partition, shrink it using Windows7 Control Panel, create another partition in the gap, reboot into Kubuntu to copy data files into new partition.

Nope.

Windows7 conveniently moved the /dev/sda2 definition to /dev/sda3 while creating the new partition. What a bunch of interfering azaleas!

Boot Kubuntu DVD into Recovery mode again, re-run GRUB, create a swap partition, mkswap it. Reboot into hard-disk Kubuntu, unpack files onto new NTFS drive (known as J: for reasons best left unexplored).

Boot into Windows 7, agree to check J:'s integrity, documents all present... now to recover Windows Mail (AKA LookOut Express) config & emails... easiest way seems to be installing ThunderBird.

User now has a Kubuntu boot option so that next time MS-Windows twists its knickers into a knot, they have a real alternative.

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