Lady in distress

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by nobody760, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. nobody760

    nobody760 Guest

    Have just received the following message from my girlfriend concerning her
    home comp. She is obviously e-mailing from her office. Any help would be
    appreciated.

    History is..

    Using IE ok, then it would not work, it invited me to send an error report
    to Microsoft, which I did (about 20 times!!! I think I'm on their Christmas
    card list now)

    Found disc with IE 6 on so figured it was ok to uninstall the one
    on PC and re load it. Uninstalled, but whilst trying to install PC went
    kaput.

    Kaput means: press 'on' button, usual black screen with masses of writing
    on then 'scans disk' opens and does it's stuff to C drive, then 'password
    box' comes up (all as normal) click to exit that screen and then nothing...
    just sits there. Have to ctrl+alt+del to close down. Have repeated this
    over 20 times now. Have found how to start in safe mode and a help screen
    sort of opens, but not properly and not so that I can do anything with it...

    She is running Windowsw ME.
    nobody760, Dec 2, 2003
    #1
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  2. nobody760 wrote:
    > Have just received the following message from my girlfriend concerning her
    > home comp. She is obviously e-mailing from her office. Any help would be
    > appreciated.
    >
    > History is..
    >
    > Using IE ok, then it would not work, it invited me to send an error report
    > to Microsoft, which I did (about 20 times!!! I think I'm on their Christmas
    > card list now)
    >
    > Found disc with IE 6 on so figured it was ok to uninstall the one
    > on PC and re load it. Uninstalled, but whilst trying to install PC went
    > kaput.
    >
    > Kaput means: press 'on' button, usual black screen with masses of writing
    > on then 'scans disk' opens and does it's stuff to C drive, then 'password
    > box' comes up (all as normal) click to exit that screen and then nothing...
    > just sits there. Have to ctrl+alt+del to close down. Have repeated this
    > over 20 times now. Have found how to start in safe mode and a help screen
    > sort of opens, but not properly and not so that I can do anything with it...


    Heh thanks for the laugh, I especially enjoyed the bit about her
    repeating the same things 20 times. You are a bit mean taking the piss
    out of your GF here though, but I guess she deserves it.

    > She is running Windowsw ME.


    So its all running as normal then. I take it this is about to be her
    first regular reinstall?
    Kurt Häusler, Dec 2, 2003
    #2
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  3. nobody760

    Evil Bastard Guest

    On Tue, 02 Dec 2003 21:30:30 +0100, Kurt Häusler wrote:

    <snip>
    > So its all running as normal then. I take it this is about to be her
    > first regular reinstall?


    Wow, that takes me back.

    When running windows, I had to reinstall often, usually when some software
    I installed had messed with a bunch of system DLLs in a manner
    incompatible with the way other pieces of software were molesting the
    system DLLs. At worst, it once got to a point where i was reinstalling the
    OS once or twice a day.

    Tried a few different Linux distros, settled on Debian, which I've had now
    for close to two years. Haven't had to reinstall once.

    Thousands upon thousands of quality free software, all available on tap,
    getting better virtually by the day.

    These days, to me, the words 'OS install' means something you do when
    getting a whole new box ready for installing applications.

    EB
    Evil Bastard, Dec 2, 2003
    #3
  4. nobody760

    T.N.O. Guest

    Evil Bastard wrote:
    >>So its all running as normal then. I take it this is about to be her
    >>first regular reinstall?


    > Wow, that takes me back.
    > When running windows, I had to reinstall often, usually when some software
    > I installed had messed with a bunch of system DLLs in a manner
    > incompatible with the way other pieces of software were molesting the
    > system DLLs. At worst, it once got to a point where i was reinstalling the
    > OS once or twice a day.


    That must have sucked, Im so glad that I have had none of the trouble
    that you had, sure a few bad experiences, but no worse than any other OS.

    > Tried a few different Linux distros, settled on Debian, which I've had now
    > for close to two years. Haven't had to reinstall once.


    Debian is great, but a steep learning curve, a tad too steep for me, I
    played with Mandrake, too easy, got Redhat, and like it(and now it is
    gone :( well, mostly gone). I think I'll try triple booting with Debian.

    > These days, to me, the words 'OS install' means something you do when
    > getting a whole new box ready for installing applications.


    heh, me too, since I have begun doing backups regularly, there has been
    no hassle with doing stuff.
    T.N.O., Dec 2, 2003
    #4
  5. nobody760

    Evil Bastard Guest

    On Wed, 03 Dec 2003 12:10:32 +1300, T.N.O. wrote:

    > Debian is great, but a steep learning curve, a tad too steep for me, I
    > played with Mandrake, too easy, got Redhat, and like it(and now it is
    > gone :( well, mostly gone). I think I'll try triple booting with Debian.


    Wise move.

    Learning 'pure' Debian can feel a bit like settling into a large foreign
    city where you don't know the language.

    Always smart to have it as a secondary boot option, until you're familiar
    enough with it to get yourself out of any difficult situation.

    Most people take 3-5 attempts to get their Debian installation just right.
    Bit of a shit, sure. Who wants to 'geek out' on fiddly shit when they just
    want to get up and running? But this small effort is rewarded hundreds of
    times over, as one from then on enjoys an OS of classical enduring beauty
    and utility.

    For me, the huge gaps with the Debian setup/install process are:

    * No detection/setup of basic devices
    * Need to manually create /dev entries for certain things eg printer,
    scanner, etc
    * Lack of user-friendly disk-partitioning option
    * Need to do a merry dance with kernel SCSI emulation setup, boot options,
    creation of a fake SCSI drive, just to get the CDRW working
    * Some inappropriate package bundling with the 'tasksel' utility - choose
    the wrong thing and you end up installing the kitchen sink
    * Lack of an easily-accessible on-disk 'cheat sheet', outlining the
    necessities of Debian survival (eg 'apt-get install', 'dpkg-reconfigure')
    * A few other bits'n'pieces

    To me, Debian is like a modular luxury double-brick home - except that
    when the tradesmen get it to lock-up stage and hand you the keys, you walk
    in to find areas of incomplete paintwork/plumbing/electrics, but the paint
    cans and rollers are there, the plumbing/electrical tools and supplies
    are there, and they've left a phone number where you can ring up and speak
    to any of hundreds of experts for free who will walk you through the
    finishing touches.

    But once you get used to where everything is and how it works, you end up
    with an OS that completely redefines the meaning of the word 'solid'. You
    can customise to your heart's content, installing all manner of wild and
    interesting stuff without fear of breaking anything unrecoverably.

    With Mandrake, I found that the GUI installer and config menus are great,
    but the writers of the latter haven't covered all cases, and are cruelly
    broken in places. Sure - I stopped after Mandrake 8.1, but at that time I
    found it much more painful to go from the GUI utils to the scripts.
    Perhaps the best thing about Mandrake is that it now supports 'apt'.

    Cheers
    EB
    Evil Bastard, Dec 2, 2003
    #5
  6. nobody760

    harry Guest

    Debian was Re: Lady in distress

    Evil Bastard wrote:
    > On Wed, 03 Dec 2003 12:10:32 +1300, T.N.O. wrote:
    >
    >> Debian is great, but a steep learning curve, a tad too steep for
    >> me, I played with Mandrake, too easy, got Redhat, and like it(and
    >> now it is gone :( well, mostly gone). I think I'll try triple
    >> booting with Debian.

    >
    > Wise move.
    >
    > Learning 'pure' Debian can feel a bit like settling into a large
    > foreign city where you don't know the language.
    >
    > Always smart to have it as a secondary boot option, until you're
    > familiar enough with it to get yourself out of any difficult
    > situation.
    >
    > Most people take 3-5 attempts to get their Debian installation just
    > right. Bit of a shit, sure. Who wants to 'geek out' on fiddly shit
    > when they just want to get up and running? But this small effort is
    > rewarded hundreds of times over, as one from then on enjoys an OS of
    > classical enduring beauty and utility.
    >
    > For me, the huge gaps with the Debian setup/install process are:
    >
    > * No detection/setup of basic devices
    > * Need to manually create /dev entries for certain things eg printer,
    > scanner, etc
    > * Lack of user-friendly disk-partitioning option
    > * Need to do a merry dance with kernel SCSI emulation setup, boot
    > options, creation of a fake SCSI drive, just to get the CDRW working
    > * Some inappropriate package bundling with the 'tasksel' utility -
    > choose the wrong thing and you end up installing the kitchen sink
    > * Lack of an easily-accessible on-disk 'cheat sheet', outlining the
    > necessities of Debian survival (eg 'apt-get install',
    > 'dpkg-reconfigure') * A few other bits'n'pieces
    >


    The good thing is that learning a how to work it just takes some time and
    ~4G of disk space
    Heres some of the good links that have got me by with Debian
    http://tinyplanet.ca/projects/debian/html/
    http://www.spack.org/index.cgi/AptHelp
    Running Knoppix and having a look at what its choices were is also very
    helpful
    I have never had to manually create a device for a printer whether parallel
    or USB, hotplug or usbmanager etc looks after usb.
    Partitioning, again Knoppix is your friend with QTParted.
    Knoppix is a great debian learning tool, installing it with the
    knoppix-installer script gives a fine sample install to reverse engineer.
    Its a role model to see the cdr setup.
    My install goes from basic bootfloppies to the stable base install then
    upgrade to testing, add testing and unstable to sources.list, edit apt.conf
    for default release testing, then apt-get -t unstable install
    x-window-system kde gnome-desktop. I've currently got the experimental lines
    in too for xfree86 4.3.0
    There are debian based distros like xandros and lindows if thats what you
    want, the debian project is the keys to the whole cupboard though, and if
    you can't work your way through the installer, the rest of it is unlikely to
    be useful to you.
    harry, Dec 3, 2003
    #6
  7. nobody760

    Julian Visch Guest

    nobody760 wrote:

    > Have just received the following message from my girlfriend concerning her
    > home comp. She is obviously e-mailing from her office. Any help would be
    > appreciated.
    >
    > History is..
    >
    > Using IE ok, then it would not work, it invited me to send an error report
    > to Microsoft, which I did (about 20 times!!! I think I'm on their Christmas
    > card list now)
    >
    > Found disc with IE 6 on so figured it was ok to uninstall the one
    > on PC and re load it. Uninstalled, but whilst trying to install PC went
    > kaput.
    >
    > Kaput means: press 'on' button, usual black screen with masses of writing
    > on then 'scans disk' opens and does it's stuff to C drive, then 'password
    > box' comes up (all as normal) click to exit that screen and then nothing...
    > just sits there. Have to ctrl+alt+del to close down. Have repeated this
    > over 20 times now. Have found how to start in safe mode and a help screen
    > sort of opens, but not properly and not so that I can do anything with it...
    >
    > She is running Windowsw ME.


    From memory doesn't it have a recovery to last good config option?
    My mate uses it all the time.
    Julian Visch, Dec 3, 2003
    #7
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