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Re: Problem w/ P.O.S. Dell Vostro (or my distro)

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  • dbneeley
    The DVD unit on my old HP laptop went out. Its replacement does not have one built in--I bought a top-loading external LiteOn unit which connects via USB,
    Message 1 of 30 , Oct 8, 2010
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      The DVD unit on my old HP laptop went out. Its replacement does not have one built in--I bought a top-loading external LiteOn unit which connects via USB, which works surprisingly well.

      No more than I use one these days, I simply didn't want to carry a DVD around any more, especially something that would not only add to the weight but also be more complex to replace if and when it broke.

      Now, I simply leave it on the shelf when not being used.

      I like the top loading unit better than the trays--you can't get the "CD stuck in the drive" malady to begin with, and because it doesn't have a motorized tray it only takes a single USB connection.

      Neither Linux nor Windows have any trouble recognizing the drive or booting off it when necessary.

      David
    • Darksyde
      ... Unfortunately you were right...it didn t. Why would MS have stolen any good ideas from Mac when designing their PC? lol
      Message 2 of 30 , Oct 9, 2010
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        --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, Scott <scottro@...> wrote:
        >

        > Yuppers, that usually helps. :)
        > I now understand that you have one of those wonderful, let's nail 'em
        > when it breaks CDROMs. Hrrm, actually, on a Mac, in theory, at least
        > (my co-workers and I always laugh at that, becuase it often means, "This
        > isn't gonna work," you can eject by holding down the mouse button.
        >
        > I wonder if that would work on a Dell. (This is, hold down the button
        > as the machine is turned on--Mac did it with their single button mouse,
        > with a two button, shucks, as there's nothing to lose anymore, I'd try
        > first with the left, then the right, then both.)
        >
        > If this *does* actually work, I'll be surprised though.
        >
        >
        > --
        > Scott Robbins

        Unfortunately you were right...it didn't. Why would MS have stolen any good ideas from Mac when designing their PC? lol
      • Darksyde
        ... Thanks, David, I m moments away from checking out LiteOn. Mark
        Message 3 of 30 , Oct 9, 2010
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          --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, "dbneeley" <dbneeley@...> wrote:
          >
          > The DVD unit on my old HP laptop went out. Its replacement does not have one built in--I bought a top-loading external LiteOn unit which connects via USB, which works surprisingly well.
          >
          ><snip>
          > Neither Linux nor Windows have any trouble recognizing the drive or booting off it when necessary.
          >
          > David
          >
          Thanks, David, I'm moments away from checking out LiteOn.
          Mark
        • J
          ... In keeping with Scott s line of stupid questions ;-) I have my own... does your Dell have the eject hotbutton at the top of the keyboard? The Alienware I
          Message 4 of 30 , Oct 9, 2010
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            On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 13:31, Darksyde <m_alexander61@...> wrote:
            >  Unfortunately you were right...it didn't.  Why would MS have stolen any good ideas from Mac > when designing their PC?  lol

            In keeping with Scott's line of stupid questions ;-) I have my own...
            does your Dell have the eject hotbutton at the top of the keyboard?
            The Alienware I mentioned before that has the same kind of drive setup
            (the slot load deal) had an eject button next to all the hot buttons
            at the top (where the media play, wireless on/off, etc are) and the
            only time I've run into where the OS eject command or the eject disk
            option from context menus failed, holding pressure on that eject
            button worked.

            It even works during startup (the POST phase) once things start coming online.

            Probably won't help you, but it's worth a shot.

            Beyond that, you'll probably have to remove the drive. I know on mine,
            it's not too hard to get to the drive behind the slot... just a couple
            screws, IIRC. It was made to be easily removable so you could swap it
            out later for the Blue-ray burner.

            HTH, and good luck!

            Jeff
          • Darksyde
            ... Thanks, Jeff, but I ve tried holding the eject button (on the top) and that didn t work. The real bitch is that, since mine is a laptop, the drive is
            Message 5 of 30 , Oct 9, 2010
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              --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, J <dreadpiratejeff@...> wrote:
              >
              > On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 13:31, Darksyde <m_alexander61@...> wrote:
              > >  Unfortunately you were right...it didn't.  Why would MS have stolen any good ideas from Mac > when designing their PC?  lol
              >
              > In keeping with Scott's line of stupid questions ;-) I have my own...
              > does your Dell have the eject hotbutton at the top of the keyboard?
              > The Alienware I mentioned before that has the same kind of drive setup
              > (the slot load deal) had an eject button next to all the hot buttons
              > at the top (where the media play, wireless on/off, etc are) and the
              > only time I've run into where the OS eject command or the eject disk
              > option from context menus failed, holding pressure on that eject
              > button worked.
              >
              > It even works during startup (the POST phase) once things start coming online.
              >
              > Probably won't help you, but it's worth a shot.
              >
              > Beyond that, you'll probably have to remove the drive. I know on mine,
              > it's not too hard to get to the drive behind the slot... just a couple
              > screws, IIRC. It was made to be easily removable so you could swap it
              > out later for the Blue-ray burner.
              >
              > HTH, and good luck!
              >
              > Jeff
              >
              Thanks, Jeff, but I've tried holding the eject button (on the top) and that didn't work. The real bitch is that, since mine is a laptop, the drive is integrated into the machine, not quite as accessible as one on a desktop. If it were a d'top I would probably (after a couple of vodka's) get pissed (no pun intended here...I wouldn't have to get pissed ((UK definition)) to get pissed-off enough to tear into it) and be willing to try to remove the little bugger. Maybe I'm just looking for a good excuse to buy a new computer, though I can't reasonably afford to do that.
              OK, Jeff, and everyone else who wishes to comment-- weighing the options, is it better to repair or replace? The machine is out of warranty, of course, and probably only needs to have the drive removed. Its construction was shabby from the beginning so the alignment of existing parts could be accomplished at the same time. The screen is a perfect 17 inches, RAM is adequate, and I can live with 4 USB ports, though I would like more.
              On the other hand, should the repair cost more than, say $500, it might be better to get a similar machine without the CD drive (buying an external one of course) with a couple more USB ports (can you ever have too many? lol) and more RAM. Also to be considered is the question of whether or not to have a Dell repair facility do the work.
              Mark
            • loyal_barber
              ... Thanks, Jeff, ... It depends. If I had a machine I really liked, I might repair. That said, I never have. ... But really, you don t know that. ...
              Message 6 of 30 , Oct 9, 2010
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                --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, "Darksyde" <m_alexander61@...> wrote:
                > <snip>
                Thanks, Jeff, <snip>
                > OK, Jeff, and everyone else who wishes to comment-- weighing the
                > options, is it better to repair or replace?

                It depends. If I had a machine I really liked, I might repair. That
                said, I never have.

                > The machine is out of warranty, of course, and probably only needs
                > to have the drive removed.

                But really, you don't know that.

                > Its construction was shabby from the beginning

                Which is a huge reason to get rid of it. The best you can hope for
                from a repair is that it would be as good as day one.

                > so the alignment of existing parts could be accomplished at the
                > same time. The screen is a perfect 17 inches,

                If it is high resolution and you don't mind carrying the weight
                around, 17 inches is pretty cool so we put a mark in the fix it
                column.

                > RAM is adequate,

                If it is 2 GB or more, you should be good to go.

                > and I can live with 4 USB ports, though I would like more.

                This is why God invented small 4 port hubs for laptops!

                > On the other hand, should the repair cost more than, say $500, it
                > might be better to get a similar machine without the CD drive
                > (buying an external one of course) with a couple more USB ports
                > (can you ever have too many? lol) and more RAM. Also to be
                > considered is the question of whether or not to have a Dell repair
                > facility do the work.
                > Mark
                >

                On ebay with a "buy it now" I found more than 15 dells with 17"
                monitors for less than $500. These were all used machines but
                so is yours. I don't think I would pay more than $200 to make it
                right. I would rather have a known working machine and look for
                some of the other features you want.

                Loyal
              • Darksyde
                ... You had several good points there, Loyal. I do somewhat like the machine, though I don t care for the feel of the keyboard (I can type wildly on my
                Message 7 of 30 , Oct 10, 2010
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                  --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, "loyal_barber" <loyal_barber@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > > <snip>
                  > On ebay with a "buy it now" I found more than 15 dells with 17"
                  > monitors for less than $500. These were all used machines but
                  > so is yours. I don't think I would pay more than $200 to make it
                  > right. I would rather have a known working machine and look for
                  > some of the other features you want.
                  >
                  > Loyal
                  >
                  You had several good points there, Loyal. I do somewhat like the machine, though I don't care for the feel of the keyboard (I can type wildly on my 'shiba). Actually, Wallyworld has a Toshiba Satellite L675D for $578 and it looks pretty good. 17.3" display, 4 Gig RAM, 320 Gig SATA, but, alas, only 3 USB's. I'm planning on getting a "Squid" from ThinkGeek anyway, a company with some of the coolest shit you don't really need but can't live without, FYI.
                  Question: Is it my imagination or have I heard that Win 7 did not particularly like sharing with other OS's (as in a duel-boot)?
                  Mark
                • loyal_barber
                  ... If you search for it on Ubuntu forums, it seems to be an issue with Grub2. Grub2 takes more room than grub and it seems that certain Windoze programs will
                  Message 8 of 30 , Oct 10, 2010
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                    --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, "Darksyde" <m_alexander61@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, "loyal_barber" <loyal_barber@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > > <snip>
                    > > On ebay with a "buy it now" I found more than 15 dells with 17"
                    > > monitors for less than $500. These were all used machines but
                    > > so is yours. I don't think I would pay more than $200 to make it
                    > > right. I would rather have a known working machine and look for
                    > > some of the other features you want.
                    > >
                    > > Loyal
                    > >
                    > You had several good points there, Loyal. I do somewhat like the machine, though I don't care for the feel of the keyboard (I can type wildly on my 'shiba). Actually, Wallyworld has a Toshiba Satellite L675D for $578 and it looks pretty good. 17.3" display, 4 Gig RAM, 320 Gig SATA, but, alas, only 3 USB's. I'm planning on getting a "Squid" from ThinkGeek anyway, a company with some of the coolest shit you don't really need but can't live without, FYI.
                    > Question: Is it my imagination or have I heard that Win 7 did not particularly like sharing with other OS's (as in a duel-boot)?
                    > Mark
                    >
                    If you search for it on Ubuntu forums, it seems to be an issue with
                    Grub2. Grub2 takes more room than grub and it seems that certain
                    Windoze programs will overwrite part of it leaving your system
                    unable to boot until you repair grub. That said, I have been
                    dual booting Win 7 64 bit with Mint 9 64 bit without issue. I
                    honestly don't know how widespread the issue is. I do know that
                    people have reported the same issue with grub2 and XP.

                    Loyal
                  • dbneeley
                    Mark, I hope you never need warrant work on a Toshiba--unless they have changed dramatically, the tech support from Toshiba America is among the worst. I now
                    Message 9 of 30 , Oct 11, 2010
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                      Mark,

                      I hope you never need warrant work on a Toshiba--unless they have changed dramatically, the tech support from Toshiba America is among the worst.

                      I now use an ASUS ultra-portable. It has a very nice keyboard, although I mostly use a full-size wireless keyboard and mouse here at home. Those are from Logitech and are pretty good. If I had had the room, I'd have bought a new Happy Hacker Keyboard Lite 2--but I was so full for the trip back here that I had no more room at all in my checked suitcase, my carry-on or my laptop messenger bag this trip. (I live in Ukraine, and such things are hard to get or very expensive over here).

                      That said, you might put on a keyboard you like for use at home, and only deal with the laptop keyboard when you are away from home.

                      This machine came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; it has no trouble dual booting with Grub 2 into Linux or back into Windows. Windows has never liked working with another OS if you load Windows after the other--in that case, you have to reload Grub at the very least.

                      There is a method, IIRC, that you can use the Windows boot loader for multiple OS instances--at least, there was with XP--but I have not done it in many years and do not remember the particulars. Nor, in fact, whether this is still possible with Win 7 as I haven't explored it.


                      David


                      --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, "Darksyde" <m_alexander61@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > You had several good points there, Loyal. I do somewhat like the machine, though I don't care for the feel of the keyboard (I can type wildly on my 'shiba). Actually, Wallyworld has a Toshiba Satellite L675D for $578 and it looks pretty good. 17.3" display, 4 Gig RAM, 320 Gig SATA, but, alas, only 3 USB's. I'm planning on getting a "Squid" from ThinkGeek anyway, a company with some of the coolest shit you don't really need but can't live without, FYI.
                      > Question: Is it my imagination or have I heard that Win 7 did not particularly like sharing with other OS's (as in a duel-boot)?
                      > Mark
                      >
                    • J
                      ... What Loyal said :-) TO be more specific, the programs in question seem to be the recovery programs used by various manufacturers to do System Recovery or
                      Message 10 of 30 , Oct 12, 2010
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                        On Sun, Oct 10, 2010 at 14:43, loyal_barber <loyal_barber@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, "Darksyde" <m_alexander61@...> wrote:
                        >>   You had several good points there, Loyal.  I do somewhat like the machine, though I don't care for the feel of the keyboard (I can type wildly on my 'shiba).  Actually, Wallyworld has a Toshiba Satellite L675D for $578 and it looks pretty good.  17.3" display, 4 Gig RAM, 320 Gig SATA, but, alas, only 3 USB's.  I'm planning on getting a "Squid" from ThinkGeek anyway, a company with some of the coolest shit you don't really need but can't live without, FYI.
                        >>   Question: Is it my imagination or have I heard that Win 7 did not particularly like sharing with other OS's (as in a duel-boot)?
                        >>   Mark
                        >>
                        > If you search for it on Ubuntu forums, it seems to be an issue with
                        > Grub2.  Grub2 takes more room than grub and it seems that certain
                        > Windoze programs will overwrite part of it leaving your system
                        > unable to boot until you repair grub.  That said, I have been
                        > dual booting Win 7 64 bit with Mint 9 64 bit without issue.  I
                        > honestly don't know how widespread the issue is.  I do know that
                        > people have reported the same issue with grub2 and XP.

                        What Loyal said :-)

                        TO be more specific, the programs in question seem to be the recovery
                        programs used by various manufacturers to do "System Recovery" or
                        whatever they want to call it. These programs use that bit of your
                        hard disk that is wasted on storing a backup copy of Windows and all
                        the crap the manufacturer pre-loads. This way they don't have to
                        actually give you a recovery disk.

                        What happens is that grub2's first stage is larger than the older
                        grub, and when you boot windows, the recovery software sees that grub2
                        has overwritten some of the recovery software data that is also stored
                        in the MBR, and does it's own automatic recovery to save you from the
                        evil infection in your MBR.

                        This was confirmed repeatedly on Dell systems, though I'm not sure if
                        Toshiba systems also displayed this behaviour. But to be honest, I
                        delete that recovery partition anyway and remove the software from
                        inside Windows after being bit by this. Unfortunately, this isn't a
                        bug in Ubuntu, or Linux in general, it's a problem with the recovery
                        software and thus will most likely never get fixed.

                        BUT, deleting the software at least (e.g. using the "Add or Remove
                        Software" tool in the Windows control panel) will keep it from
                        happening again (though you will have to rebuild grub at least once in
                        the process).

                        But other than that, Win7 has no issues living with another OS.

                        Cheers,
                        Jeff
                      • Darksyde
                        ... ... Cool, thanks for the info. There are certainly plenty of reasons to bash M$ so it s good to be able to avoid one erroneous idea, and that will
                        Message 11 of 30 , Oct 13, 2010
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                          --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, J <dreadpiratejeff@...> wrote:
                          <snip>
                          > What Loyal said :-)
                          >
                          > TO be more specific, the programs in question seem to be the recovery
                          > programs used by various manufacturers to do "System Recovery" or
                          > whatever they want to call it. These programs use that bit of your
                          > hard disk that is wasted on storing a backup copy of Windows and all
                          > the crap the manufacturer pre-loads. This way they don't have to
                          > actually give you a recovery disk.
                          >
                          > What happens is that grub2's first stage is larger than the older
                          > grub, and when you boot windows, the recovery software sees that grub2
                          > has overwritten some of the recovery software data that is also stored
                          > in the MBR, and does it's own automatic recovery to save you from the
                          > evil infection in your MBR.
                          >
                          > This was confirmed repeatedly on Dell systems, though I'm not sure if
                          > Toshiba systems also displayed this behaviour. But to be honest, I
                          > delete that recovery partition anyway and remove the software from
                          > inside Windows after being bit by this. Unfortunately, this isn't a
                          > bug in Ubuntu, or Linux in general, it's a problem with the recovery
                          > software and thus will most likely never get fixed.
                          >
                          > BUT, deleting the software at least (e.g. using the "Add or Remove
                          > Software" tool in the Windows control panel) will keep it from
                          > happening again (though you will have to rebuild grub at least once in
                          > the process).
                          >
                          > But other than that, Win7 has no issues living with another OS.
                          >
                          > Cheers,
                          > Jeff
                          >
                          Cool, thanks for the info. There are certainly plenty of reasons to bash M$ so it's good to be able to avoid one erroneous idea, and that will definitely be some good info to keep in mind if/when I purchase a new machine. Of course, who am I kidding...we all know how these thoughts pan out, right? lol
                          Mark
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