XP PC Problem Solved

I stopped by INFOX this morning and Alex helped diagnose the problem with the XP PC. It was the hard drive. It was so simple, I should have already figured it out, but sometimes it just takes another set of eyes.

When I built the XP PC I had all my data on an IBM 40 gig drive. I put a new 80 gig drive in the PC for its primary drive and put the 40 gig drive for the secondary drive. It was the secondary drive that died.

Fixing the problem was as simple as removing the second drive. As soon as I get the scanner working on UBUNTU I am now going to install UBUNTU on the other PC and have all PCs running Linux and be completely moved off Windows.

I feel like I really made progress today and best of all the fix was as inexpensive as it can get.

As an update on my progress with Linux, I keep learning more each day. I am not as proficient with Linux, but I haven’t found anything I could do on XP that I can’t do with Linux. Of course I am not dependent on any Window’s applications. I can do all my word processing, spreadsheet, email, photo management, and blogging using Linux applications.

18 thoughts on “XP PC Problem Solved

  1. Don Ray and all oher Ubuntu enthusiasts;

    I am delighted to see someone else break the Windows addiction and leave the dark side. You will never regret it. After a few months, when you have to use Windows for whatever reason, you will realize just how disruptive and anti-productive Microsoft Crapware is. Congratulations!

    Now on to what may be a Ubuntu problem. According to a discussion I was having on another board, Ubuntu installs by default without a firewall. I can’t say whether this is true or not, but it’s hardly a cause for panic if you don’t activate any services, and the fix is dirt simple. Go to ‘Synaptic’ and search for ‘Firestarter’. This is a very simple to set up firewall manager, and you can control who gets access to whatever services you decide to run. I run a web server, ftp, and sshd, with access granted only to local computers, my office box and one client box. I’ve tested it and while I can access my computer from the others, I cannot access it from addresses not on my list. Even if you don’t run any services, you should install Firestarter, or another firewall manager, if you have a favorite.


  2. Oops, forgot to mention that Ubuntu 6.06 (the LTS version) does not install Synaptic automatically. After the install is complete, from a CLI type ‘apt-get install synaptic’ to correct.


  3. Hi Henry – Ok, I installed Firestarter, but now that it is installed, i don’t see how to access the program to configure it. What’s the secret?

  4. Don,
    Don’t forget to add Microsoft Core Fonts to Open Office. Go to applications, accesoires, terminal and paste: sudo aptitude install msttcorefonts It will then prompt you for your password. Type it, it’s there even though you think nothing is happening. Hit enter. After the files have been down loaded open up Open Office Word Processor and hello all the publicly available files will be there.

  5. I find it interesting when people give up an operating system in favor of another operating system. The point is? I guess to avoid pouring more money into Gates’ pocketbook.

    To me an OS is like an automobile. You can get there in any car but some choose Fords and some choose Lincolns.

    I don’t understand. I have had only a Mac operating system and all of the Windows systems and have had zero problems with them.

    Many years ago when I worked in research and development we had a guy, Joe M, who had to have a Volkswagon. He bought one and waited 6 months for his name to pop to the head of the line and get one. He drove it back and forth to work like he did in his old car. No difference. He got there just fine in his old car too.

    It sounds like everyone (here) has problems with the new OS too.

  6. Hi Abe. Well, I do have to say that I like the UBUNTU movement. You really need to read some about Mark Shuttlewirth and his foundation to appreciate what he is doing.

    Now for my particular case, part of it is because it keeps my mind active in new technology. Spending so many years in it, it is hard to get out of ones system. Second, my Windows XP system is one of the original and I have kept it up to day by religiously applying the updates that were needed for security. Over 4 years, that system is starting to implode.

    Some of the fixes have disabled my English/Spanish spell checker and thesaurus. It has been impossible for me to fix that problem. Then when I had a PC break, built a new PC and then went to install XP Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, said I had to call them to activate my software because it was already registered on a different piece of hardware. Do you know how hard or expensive it is to talk to Microsoft when you don’t live in the US and it is even worse when you live in Panama and have to call Costa Rica.

    Well, duh! The old PC died. If I could raise dead hardware, I would not be retired in Panama, but living in some mansion in the Swiss Alps.

    The new Vista software is getting so many well deserved bad reviews that moving to it at the cost of $300 for the operating system, another $3 or $4 hundred for new office software, plus $600 or more to bring you current PC up to Vista requirements makes one wonder if there isn’t a better way.

    So I downloaded UBUNTU for a cost of $.00 and have everything I had before and more. GIMP is proving to be a reasonable replacement for PhotoShop which I could never afford on the PC.

    Furthermore, to use your car analogy, it gets the job done. If there is one thing that is lacking it is that there are no game developers spending any money developing games for Linux. That doesn’t bother me since I don’t play games. If I did I would buy a PS# or wii. Notice I didn’t say XBOX.

    Oh yes, I am not spending any time or money searching for anti virus software either.

  7. Hi Allen. Thanks for the article. I had seen it. The Extreemtech site is one of my daily reads and I had been following this one. Thanks though. You may find one I will meis, but not this time.

  8. Don Ray,

    You had me worried about my ability to scan on Ubuntu. I moved the USB cable from my remaining Fedora Core 6 box to the Ubuntu print server, and xsane (with HPLIP on the backend) performed beautifully. [I have an HP Scanjet 54xx, don’t remember the exact model number.] I know replacing the scanner isn’t a choice you’d like, but purchasing a printer or scanner that HP is supporting on Linux is my approach.

  9. What version of UBUNTU and are you on a laptop? From what I have read on the UBUBTU forums it is all scanners that connect via the USB port. That included HP users.

  10. Don Ray,

    Maybe I wasn’t sufficiently explicit. I tested the scanner on my print server (mini-tower). Because of your question, I have now also tested it on my laptop. Both the print server and the laptop are Ubuntu 7.04 and both successfully scanned. The scanner is an “hp scanjet 5470c”. (I sent the previous post from work where all I had was my memory ;-).)

  11. Well I am not anxious to run out and switch scanners. I will assume in a month or so the support team will fix my problem.

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