Murphy's law - or triple boot using a thumb drive

The good: Windows 7's partitioner is great.
The bad: I did some update on Saturday afternoon which completely fried my KNetworkManager (it keeps claiming "Network management disabled", no matter what I do) - which is not good, considering that the unstable university wireless keeps kicking me out and I have to run YaST's network settings every time to reconnect. Also, for some reason, 11.3's suspend to RAM feature which I had really liked before in terms of shutdown/wake-up speed, froze my system several times. Not exactly good, either.
This taught me how much I rely on a working KDE system. For most of my work needs I've found Windows 7 workarounds by now, but I kind of made my bed when I formatted my big external data drive to ext3 - apart from the aesthetic and practical unpleasantries related to Windows workarounds…
So, get an independent backup KDE solution like Kubuntu - until I've found time to sort out the SuSE trouble.
The ugly: Try downloading a live image over an unstable network connection. I opted for Bittorrent as a breakdown-resistant download manager and kept restarting the network connection occasionally for two hours.
Apparently, my CD drive is failing: it refused to burn on Windows and produced nothing readable on Linux - which brings me to the only constructive item in this harangue: running Kubuntu from an USB thumb drive. The place to go to is in this case www.pendrivelinux.com and their ISO converter, which is, ironically, a Windows app (no luck with wine, as wine doesn't support USB). I used it to extract the ISO onto a 4GB thumb drive, and, once I had found out that the drive was listed under "Hard Drives" instead of "Removable devices" in the Samsung BIOS, I was actually able to boot Kubuntu - with fully functional network handling. I had already resized one of my NTFS partitions from Windows - gparted wouldn't do it, while Win7 is apparently able to resize on-the-fly.
I installed Kubuntu from the live drive to the new free disk space - I probably still need to sort out the SuSE/Ubuntu grub chainloaders, but all OS's are bootable and Kubuntu networking works pretty well for now.


DaWuzzzz said...

Thanks for the post, I immediately tried the method out to create the "rescue pen drive" with a working Xubuntu 10.04, which works like a charme. Hope that saves me from a lot of headache in the future.
Bad luck still for you...

avocadohead said...

Yep, that part was almost fun :-) On the whole, it could be worse - system's up and running, my Python code works and the Ubuntu forums are a font of neverending wisdom.
I just miss good old YaST and did I mention this computer has to hold up until the New Year?

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René said...
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