For posterity, I will now record my actions that resulted in the installation of Windows 7 to my hard drive. Listen closely, for it is a sad, sad tale.
Maybe not so sad: the XP install I had was showing it’s age as boots took minutes and things were just generally slow. And since Windows 7 was discounted to 30-ish dollars for students, I figured I might as well get a modern OS and refresh everything in one kick (I figured trying to wrangle a copy of Windows from MSNDNAA through my university would be a pain, and more trouble than it was worth. Probably should’ve found out).
So, here’s the first hurdle: it was quite unclear what I was buying. There is an option to ship some disks out to you in addition to the access to download the update, and the site was not making it clear whether or not I was getting an iso, and upgrade executable, or both. If there was no iso, then having the disks would be extremely handy. If there was an iso, then the disks would be a redundant waste of money. To be safe, I got the disks, and discovered a few seconds later that they did give you an iso. It’s not *that* big a deal, but it still irks me that they need to assume their users are idiots so that you ultimately don’t know what you’re getting (probably should’ve googled it, but… yeah, probably should have. Feel free to heap shame on me for failing to do so).
So, anyways, I shuffle some data off the windows partition (although not all of it, so I lost some music. I think), wipe, and try installing. Hangs on expanding files (0%). Hmm… One night down, burn it slower, and install it successfully. Then I find out I shouldn’t have wiped my windows partition, since it’s only an upgrade key, and it needs to install over an old windows. Bust out the xp disc, reinstall, then install windows 7, key works, and the birds are singing. Now it’s time to stick grub back into the MBR (master boot record) so I can dual boot Windows and Ubuntu again.
Ominous drum roll…
So I boot up my Ubuntu live disc, and fire up gparted. And it appears that my Ubuntu partition has disappeared. Strange. Since I burned the second Windows disc from Ubuntu, the XP or Windows 7 installation must have done *something* to the partition scheme. Looking up how to recover damaged partition tables, I installed testdisk, learned how to use it, and took a look around. Apparently, the partition was there in the partition table, but it had somehow become a primary partition (when it was originally a logical) and hence dropped off the face of the earth as far as gparted was concerned.
Since I was using a full complement of partitions, I knocked off my swap (having 4Gb is good for something other than huge fluid sims) and put the lost partition on as a primary. Then I `cp -R`’d all the contents to my /home partition, and then rebuilt the extended partition. Since I also had to shuffle my data around, it took a while, until I finally got my partition scheme back the way I liked it. So, I `cp -R`’d the contents of the Ubuntu partition back, installed grub to the MBR, and rebooted.
Since grub didn’t have a menu.lst to go off of, I learned very quickly how to boot from grub with
linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sdaY
It gets old after doing it 2 times.
The boot failed: it turned out that sudo was owned by someone else. Fixed that with a livecd, tried to boot again. After the 3rd or 4th boot, it dawned on me that everything was owned by root. That happens when you do `sudo cp -R /media/ubuntu-partition /media/somewhere-else`. So, I gave up, figured I’d screwed myself, and reinstalled Ubuntu. Verily, I tell thee that having a separate /home was a very good idea. You should do it too.
So, I learned somethings, and I’m much less restrained with partition editors than I used to be. Now it’s time to actually finish something so that I have other stuff to write about.