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2 May, 2008

Linux boot glitch solved

Last night, I almost went over to the brown side: I tried the Ubuntu 8.04 Linux distro.  I chose the Live CD non-installation because it claimed to leave Windows completely untouched, but it didn't mention that it would modify my boot log and BIOS startup procedure (probably obvious, in hindsight): each time I booted the computer, I had to choose which OS to load, even if the Ubuntu disc wasn't in the CD drive.

Considering I'd decided not to proceed with the Linux installation*, that was rather annoying, and I was a little depressed by the thought of having to manually select my OS every time for the remaining life of this PC: reconfiguring the BIOS and startup sequence is a little beyond my skills.

However, I discovered that Ubuntu had created a directory on my hard drive, simply called /ubuntu/. I presumed that was merely filestore for documents I worked on in Linux, plus config settings only applicable once Linux had loaded, but it seems not: having deleted that directory, my PC boots cleanly, straight into Windows.
If you've had the same problem, that's how it's solved.

*: It's just not what I'm looking for at present: I don't have the time or inclination to climb the learning curve and configure everything, it'd be awkward to install additional software via dialup (and besides, Ubuntu claims not to support many dialup modems) and open source software has no particular ideological attraction for me. I'm not ruling out another try once I have broadband and thinking time (the former probably more imminent than the latter), but for now I'll stick with WinXP, Photoshop & iTunes.

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