maandag, mei 05, 2008

Upgrade lesson: wait some time!

(before turning people off: i recommend you try Ubuntu: it's great! But like with any OS-upgrade: be sure you have a backup. The newest Ubuntu has a great feature: Wubi: you can install Ubuntu on top of Windows, like any usual application: a great way to try it out (and see if all of your hardware already is supported with the right drivers))
My Ubuntu (version 7.10, Gutsy) told me a new version of Ubuntu was available: 8.04 (Hardy Herron). Since i loved Ubuntu, i thought: lets try it, it can only get better, right? Wrong! Having done lots of operating system upgrades before and knowing you can get lucky with a smooth install, but more often you'll run into problems, i should have known better. Why would ANY OS be any better than another when doing upgrades?

You guessed it: upgrading my Acer Travelmate 4001WLMi (with Ati Mobility Radeon 9600 / 9700 graphics card) ran into some problems :-). First of all i had problems with graphics (like an almost completely white screen where you couldn't see the mouse anymore). I managed to solve that, but i wanted at least a system doing what i had gotten used to: Ubuntu with Compiz (Vista Aero effects etc) and Cairo Dock (Mac OSX dock effect). But i was unable to get both running. I looked around the internet, tried al kinds of tricks, reinstalls, de-installs etc, but finally ended up with a system which didn't even boot the GUI (X) anymore, whatever i tried...

So i wanted to downgrade to Gutsy, which worked perfect for me. But how, when you're on a machine with broken DVD drive? Looked around and found this article about booting Windows (my laptop is dual boot, which by the way is great, especially when you screw up one of the 2 ;-)) and running the Ubuntu installer (and other flavours) from within Windows. The 1st worked for me. So i'm back on Gutsy, waiting for Hardy to get better in supporting my config (apparently Ati and Nvidia configurations can run into problems).

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