can't boot into windows xp on a dual boot system after upgrading to 10.04

Asked by Jonathan Hamelin on 2010-04-22

I recently upgraded my OS to 10.04 (because I found out it works with iPod Touches, and it does!) but now I can't get into my Windows XP system.

My Windows partition is definitely still there and I can see all my files, etc from Ubuntu, but when I select Windows on the GRUB menu, I get a blank screen with the cursor in the top left corner. It just hangs there and nothing happens. No Windows logo, nothing.

I thought maybe that it was a problem with the GRUB menu and someone suggested that I update the GRUB, which I did but it doesn't seem to have changed.

Any ideas? I really want to get into Windows so I can run a firmware update on my BT3030 headset and the WINE in Ubuntu just doesn't work for it.

Cheers,

Jonathan

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Tom
Solved:
2010-05-02
Last query:
2010-05-02
Last reply:
2010-04-30
Jim Bauwens (jimbauwens) said : #1

Hello, could you post
- the content of /boot/grub/grub.cnf
- the output of the command 'sudo fdisk -ul' (prints the partitions of your computer)
And also try running 'sudo update-grub', might help.

--Jim

delance (olivier-delance) said : #2

Can you also provide the version of Grub ?
grub --version

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #3

Yes, of course!

Well, there was no grub.cnf file, but I found a grub.cfg file which I'll post.

#
# DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE
#
# It is automatically generated by /usr/sbin/grub-mkconfig using templates
# from /etc/grub.d and settings from /etc/default/grub
#

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/00_header ###
if [ -s $prefix/grubenv ]; then
  load_env
fi
set default="0"
if [ ${prev_saved_entry} ]; then
  set saved_entry=${prev_saved_entry}
  save_env saved_entry
  set prev_saved_entry=
  save_env prev_saved_entry
  set boot_once=true
fi

function savedefault {
  if [ -z ${boot_once} ]; then
    saved_entry=${chosen}
    save_env saved_entry
  fi
}

function recordfail {
  set recordfail=1
  if [ -n ${have_grubenv} ]; then if [ -z ${boot_once} ]; then save_env recordfail; fi; fi
}
insmod ext2
set root='(/dev/sdb,5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef
if loadfont /usr/share/grub/unicode.pf2 ; then
  set gfxmode=640x480
  insmod gfxterm
  insmod vbe
  if terminal_output gfxterm ; then true ; else
    # For backward compatibility with versions of terminal.mod that don't
    # understand terminal_output
    terminal gfxterm
  fi
fi
insmod ext2
set root='(/dev/sdb,5)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef
set locale_dir=($root)/boot/grub/locale
set lang=en
insmod gettext
if [ ${recordfail} = 1 ]; then
  set timeout=-1
else
  set timeout=10
fi
### END /etc/grub.d/00_header ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###
set menu_color_normal=white/black
set menu_color_highlight=black/light-gray
### END /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.32-21-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
 recordfail
 insmod ext2
 set root='(/dev/sdb,5)'
 search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef
 linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-21-generic root=UUID=2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef ro quiet splash
 initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-21-generic
}
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.32-21-generic (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
 recordfail
 insmod ext2
 set root='(/dev/sdb,5)'
 search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef
 echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.32-21-generic ...'
 linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-21-generic root=UUID=2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef ro single
 echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
 initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-21-generic
}
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.31-20-generic' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
 recordfail
 insmod ext2
 set root='(/dev/sdb,5)'
 search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef
 linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-20-generic root=UUID=2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef ro quiet splash
 initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.31-20-generic
}
menuentry 'Ubuntu, with Linux 2.6.31-20-generic (recovery mode)' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
 recordfail
 insmod ext2
 set root='(/dev/sdb,5)'
 search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef
 echo 'Loading Linux 2.6.31-20-generic ...'
 linux /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-20-generic root=UUID=2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef ro single
 echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
 initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.31-20-generic
}
### END /etc/grub.d/10_linux ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+)" {
 insmod ext2
 set root='(/dev/sdb,5)'
 search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef
 linux16 /boot/memtest86+.bin
}
menuentry "Memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200)" {
 insmod ext2
 set root='(/dev/sdb,5)'
 search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set 2d09421f-6a33-4f88-aa28-9293d7ea10ef
 linux16 /boot/memtest86+.bin console=ttyS0,115200n8
}
### END /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+ ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###
menuentry "Microsoft Windows XP Professional (on /dev/sdb1)" {
 insmod ntfs
 set root='(/dev/sdb,1)'
 search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set b674692a7468ee95
 drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
 chainloader +1
}
### END /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober ###

### BEGIN /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###
# This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries. Simply type the
# menu entries you want to add after this comment. Be careful not to change
# the 'exec tail' line above.
### END /etc/grub.d/40_custom ###

Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x24b8b387

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 60800 488375968+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 60801 121601 488384032+ 7 HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000bc614

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 * 1 13026 104631313+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sdb2 13027 121601 872128687+ 5 Extended
/dev/sdb5 13027 120215 860995611 83 Linux
/dev/sdb6 120216 121601 11133013+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

grub (GNU GRUB 0.97)

Tom (tom6) said : #4

Hi :)

Please can you get to a command-line
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UsingTheTerminal#Starting%20a%20Terminal

and copy&paste into here the output of this command

sudo fdisk -l

where "-l" is a lower-case "-L"? It will ask for your normal user password, not your SuperUser/Root one and wont give you any stars while you type but it will accept your normal password.

I think that simply reinstalling just the grub2 might be enough to fix this problem
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#Reinstalling%20from%20LiveCD
I think the important thing is getting access to the command-line. You are in the unusually lucky position of being able to do that without using a LiveCd session.

Good luck and regards form
Tom :)

Tom (tom6) said : #5

Hi :)

Superb, thanks :)

Tom (tom6) said : #6

Hi again :)

Ok, please try re-installing grub2 to see if it gets it right 2nd time (as often happens). So, on a command-line try step 4

sudo mount /dev/sdb5 /mnt

Note there are 3 spaces separating the 4 sections of that command. Then try

sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sda

Now, hopefully, a reboot should be able to get you into Windows. Aaargh, what am i saying?!?!! But yes, Windows should be able to boot now.
Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #7

Oh, I just went to check and see if anything had changed (it hasn't) and I noticed something else that has been happening which I think is related.

Everytime I try to get into Windows, it hangs. When I go back and boot up Ubuntu, it has a small fit too and eventually says that it can't mount one of my drives. I can't remember which one. However, I can still mount it manually. However, other programs that access that drive on a regular basis (such as Bittorrent Client) will no longer recognize the path, etc.

If I reboot once again everything boots up normally.

Thanks again!

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #8

Thanks Tom!

I'll try that after work! I have to run off right now.

Cheers!

Jonathan

Tom (tom6) said : #9

Hi :)

Don't worry about responding until you have a question or comment you want to make. We have plenty of other questions on and this whole thread layout is really good for working out where we are in each question. A lack of response is not thought of as rude in these forums (usually), it is just appreciated that people have other stuff to get on with and might not be able to try out the ideas for a while.

It sounds as though hard-drive failure is on the way! Please try to back-up your data and do fsck checks of all the partitions on that drive. To find out how get to a command-line and type

fsck -h

Linux data is all stored in the /home folder (and sub folders) so don't worry about the rest. This guide suggests moving the /home using rsync. i would ignore the rest of this guide right now tho
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Partitioning/Home/Moving#preview

Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #10

I finally have some free time, but unfortunately, that solution didn't seem to work. Perhaps I did it wrong?

The message I get after typing in the line sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sda was:

/dev/sdb5 does not have any corresponding BIOS drive.

Tom (tom6) said : #11

Hi :)

It sounds as though 1 of the drives is not working properly and is dragging the others down with it. In similar circumstances i found that unplugging the drive i was most suspicious of magically fixed the ones that i had been getting weird errors from.

But first ...
Please can you try to "umount" all the partitions that your current login doesn't need and do fsck scans on them?

Don't bother to scan the swap[ tho. For the swap just use GPartEd to "Swap Off" & then delete it and create a new one in the same place to replace it and then do "Swap On" again. That does roughly the same job (of marking bad blocks) but none of the data in the swap needs to be kept so it's much faster to just do it this way.

To fsck the other partitions try, for example for sda1

sudo fsck /dev/sda1

Errrr, to umount partitions i find it easiest to use GPartEd. So, on the top taskbar click on

System - Administration - Partition Editor

and then right-click on a partition to choose "Swap Off" or "Umount"
Good luck and regards from
Tom )

Tom (tom6) said : #12

Hi again :)

Lol, it just occurred to me that i don't know how much of a power-user you are. Just in case you are not i thought it worth warning you not to unplug hard-drives while the machine is powered one!

Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #13

Hi Tom,

Okay, I seem to be having problems with the sudo fsck command. Anyway, I tried disconnecting one of my hard drives but then Ubuntu wouldn't boot up at all because it seems that the fstab was trying to mount the unplugged hard drive and mount it and got caught in some sort of loop.

Anyway, I decided to scrap that idea so I'm now trying to scan the disks with the Ubuntu CD so that all my drives are unmounted. To be honest, I don't know if the hard drives are the problem. First, they're both new and I haven't seen any red flags concerning the drives at all.

I actually bought a new hard drive because my old one started getting bad sectors and I thought I better nip that in the bud right away.

I'm scanning both of my hard drives now and I'll post the results.

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #14

*sigh* no luck yet. I'm having problems scanning one of my drives (I believe it's because it's an NTFS system) but the other drive seems to have checked out just fine.

Anyway, I realized I hadn't included my drive information so I'm including that now:

Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x24b8b387

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 60800 488375968+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 60801 121601 488384032+ 7 HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000bc614

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 * 1 13026 104631313+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sdb2 13027 121601 872128687+ 5 Extended
/dev/sdb5 13027 120215 860995611 83 Linux
/dev/sdb6 120216 121601 11133013+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Cheers

Tom (tom6) said : #15

Hi

This is sounding quite odd then. Please can you reboot the LiveCd and do a Memory Test? If the Ram is going wrong then that could explain a lot! I assume your machine is adequately cooled?

Regards from
Tom :)

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #16

Hi Tom,

I can do another memory test. I remember doing a test before I installed Ubuntu and everything checked out fine. I left it on all night testing it actually but it wasn't with the LiveCd. As for my machine being adequately cooled, yes it is! I have this huge CPU heat sink with an extra large sized fan and the temperature is pretty low.

Anyway, I am pretty sure it has something to do with the Linux installation because the problem popped up right after I upgraded my computer to 10.04. Before that I was able to dual boot with no big effort. Actually, everything was a clean install.

I only recently started using Linux. I installed a fresh copy of Windows XP on my hard drive first and then set up Linux (Karmic Koala) afterwards. Everything worked fine (after some tweaking of course). I was having a problem with iTunes in Windows not recognizing my iPod properly and was getting a bit frustrated with that when I heard that the new Linux would read an iPod Touch. So, I tried upgrading my system. On a side note, my iPod can be recognized, but unfortunately, I still can't update my iPod programs (just the music).

That's why I wanted to go back into Windows and try and deal with that problem. However, after updating to Lucid Lynx, I found that I can no longer get into Windows even though my partition is still present and accounted for. I can see all the files just fine within Linux which leads me to believe that the Boot record is corrupted or something like that. I'm comfortable around computers of course, but I'm no tech wiz, so I definitely need help figuring all this out. I'm also really new to Ubuntu, which means I barely understand most of the commands.

Anyway, I just thought maybe a bit of history may help solve the problem.

I'll let you know how the memory test goes.

Tom (tom6) said : #17

Hi :)

Ok, if you have done a memory test recently then that is probably not the issue.

Lets try to re-install grub2 and hopefully that should sort the problem using this guide.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#Reinstalling%20from%20LiveCD
So, on a command-line try

sudo mount /dev/sdb5 /mnt

sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sda

Note that both commands have 3 spaces separating th4 sections. People often forget to put a space before & after "/dev/sdb5" & "--root-directory=/mnt/". Hopefully then you should be able to reboot with no troubles

Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #18

Hi Tom,

Thanks again. I'll give that a shot tomorrow. I think I need to read it over first because it doesn't look like something I can do easily and it's late so I'm off to bed. However, do you really think it's a grub problem? I mean, I don't seem to have any problems booting up in Ubuntu at all.

Anyway, I'll try it tomorrow.

Cheers

Tom (tom6) said : #19

Hi :)

Yeh, there have been a few other cases where grub2 has not initially picked up the presence of other operating systems. With the original grub if the same thing happened it was easy to just edit the menu.lst text-file. We have taken a while to figure out how to even re-install grub2 let alone treat it with any finesse.

Reinstalling does often fix the boot menu problems that you have had but my first thoughts about this particular case were that other hardware problems were the root cause.There does seem to be something a bit wrong with the hardware as you describe it but it's difficult to pinpoint.

Even though your cpu fan is large i still think you need a couple of silent(ish) reasonably large fans . At least one at the back top of your case, probably just under the power-supply to exhaust hot air out of the case. Another fan low down inside the front of your case to draw cooler air in & hopefully to blow cooler air around your hard-drives. 1Tb drives tend to need a lot more cooling than the old 80Gb drives

Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #20

Hi Tom,

I do understand the importance of keeping the computer cool. I only mentioned one fan, but in fact I do have 3 in my computer to keep everything cool. They are all rather large sized because I wanted to keep things a bit quiet, however, they do a good job of keeping things cool.

I don't discount that there may be something wonky with the hardware, but so far everything seems to check-out. Also seeing as I only had this problem right after I upgraded my system, I do believe it to be a software issue.

Anyway, I did update the grub, but to be honest, I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to the Linux stuff.

It seemed to update just fine.

So, my computer works just fine, but I'm still unable to get into windows. Any other tips on what I can do? Maybe I need to fix the boot record or something (on the Windows partition). As I said before, the partition seems to be fine and in order, but it just doesn't boot.

Tom (tom6) said : #21

Hi :)

Ok, so that's all good then :) you had me worried for a while there. Have you tried these 2 commands on the command-line?

sudo mount /dev/sdb5 /mnt

sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sda

Regards from
Tom :)

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #22

Yes I did!

Sorry, I didn't report back properly :-)

um, the message it returned was:
Installation finished. No error reported.

I did try rebooting after that and everything was the same. I'm thinking about trying to fix the mount boot record on windows with the windows command. Do you think that might work?

The only problem is that in order to do that I will probably have to boot up the computer with the windows installation disk.

Best Tom (tom6) said : #23

Hi :)

Ahah, you have the Windows Cd? If so definitely try "repair" mode from that! Sorry i was getting nowhere & slowly. It will "fix" the Master Boot Record but it will also hopefully be able to repair whatever the Windows problem was.

Afterwards you will only be able to boot into Windows so just LiveCd Ubuntu again and repeat the commands to "fix" the MBR back to pointing at Ubuntu again. Note this is NOT the usual meaning of the word "fix" because nothing was broken. This usage of the word "fix" is much the same as it's usage in photography where one of the fluids a photographs is soaked in "fixes" the image on the paper. Or in horse racing sometimes people get accused of "fixing" the race to make sure 'their' horse wins.

Take care to make sure the Windows Cd doesn't try to reformat anything! Normally i would warn people to make sure they had taken adequate back-ups of their data but somehow i think you know the risks here.
Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

Tom (tom6) said : #24

Hi again :)

i think you did report it properly. I had a few distractions at this end so i missed it. Thanks for the apol tho. It was very kind :)

Regards from
Tom :)

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #25

WooHoo!!

It worked!

I booted up with the Windows installation CD and when the message came up about what I wanted to do, I selected Repair using the command line.

I first checked the hard drive using the chkdsk /r command, (which takes about 20-30 minutes by the way for a large drive) and then when no errors came up I used the fixboot command. Presto bingo, Windows booted up right after that with no problems.

I thought that I would then need to use the Ubuntu CD to re-install stuff, but it booted up just fine as well. I think the trick was that I didn't re-install Windows, just fixed the boot record.

*sigh* What a long fix!! Well, thanks for all the help. I think that I've really learned quite a bit about Linux along the way. I've already convinced my boss at work that Linux is much better than Windows, but I won't let him switch since we just have too much invested into the Windows front and I can't even imagine the pains we would have converting everything.

Actually, one of the reasons I'm sticking with a dual boot and not completely going with Ubuntu only is because I still need to run a few Windows programs for compatibility. The other reason is so that I still need iTunes since Ubuntu still can't use that program and I need to back up all my software programs on my iPod Touch. I'm still cringing at the thought of fixing THAT problem!

Once again, Tom, thank you very much!

Tom (tom6) said : #26

WoooHooo :) Congrats :)

Welcome to linux-land, especially the Ubuntu corner of it :)

The long part was trying to work out what resources we had and narrowing the question down to the real problem. The real fix didn't start until 18 hours ago & appears to have taken you just over 20-30mins!

Trouble-shooting/diagnostics can be really frustrating like that! Something i need to get a LOT better at. Fortunately a lot of problems tend to fix themselves with a gentle vague nudge and with sound we have a superb guide to follow thanks to Mark Rijckenberg.

I think the time taken to check the drive is dependant on 3 crucial factors; cpu speed, ram size and drive-speed. The drive's read/write speed would seem to be the number 1 factor but the other 2 factors are likely to be more crucial especially since we are talking about Windows here!

Before even considering an install on any machines i always try a LiveCd session just to check how well things are likely to work in practice. Each machine tends to have it's own unique quirkiness and the LiveCd just checks there's no "blocker" or awkwardness.

LiveCd is also great just as a quick demo. The crucial factor here is that rebooting after using a LiveCd session leaves no trace or hint that linux has ever been used on the machine. It would be a great idea to try this at work on one of the older machines to avoid scaring the boss too much. Then if it works show Ubuntu off to him. Probably the Office packages are more likely to impress than showing your own command-line skills.

If LiveCd goes fairly smoothly then consider doing a few dual-boots for people & please try to make links (short-cuts) to the Windows "My Docs" and such like so that people can easily use data/files/documents on the Windows side.

To get OpenOffice using MicroSquish Office formats open any of the packages, Writer is a bit like Word and worth having a look at. Go up to the menus and click on
Tools - Options - Load/Save - + - MicroSoft Office - tick all
then still in Load/save click on "VBA Properties" and tick all those too!
still in Load/Save click on subsection "General" and use the bottom 2 drop-downs to change to these formats

Text Document - Microsoft Word 97/2000/Xp
Spreadsheet - Microsoft Excel 97/2000/Xp
Presentation - Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/Xp

To get all the multimedia sorted out go through the medibuntu worksheet
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Medibuntu

I think if you use MicroSoft Office a lot at work it might be worth installing OpenOffice for Windows on a couple of machines so that people can get used to the different ethos. Also FireFox and perhaps Thunderbird. Then when people boot into Ubuntu they will already be familiar with those packages so it will all be a little less strange.

I think the key is
1. LiveCd to have a look
2. Dual-boot 1 or 2 machines at first to show-case
3. Dual-boot more machines so people can begin to adapt at their own pace

Obviously getting people to use the forums to ask for help is the best plan but there are professional/traditional support options that can be added to that
http://www.ubuntulinux.org/support
One years paid support would be an ideal start

Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #27

Thanks Tom, that solved my question.

Jonathan Hamelin (jonobugs) said : #28

Hi Tom,

Thanks again for all your help. I've been around the Windows environment for a long time, so I'm well aware about the long and sometimes impossible troubleshooting road. The problem with Windows is that when you really just can't figure it out, there aren't any places to really turn to and it's just easier to do a complete re-install. In the end you often don't figure out the problem, so not much is learned.

That said, I would LOVE to convert my office into a Ubuntu only zone, but that will never happen. The problem is that our photocopier/printer/fax has proprietary software that works with Windows and Macs only. Support would be difficult as I'm the only 'technically minded' person there and everything is in Japanese. Not only that, but we have a ton of documents which I would not like to have to convert. I'm sure that most of the conversion would be seamless, but I just KNOW that there would that one important document that doesn't translate over very well. We also have Photoshop and Microsoft Publisher. I'm aware that there are other versions for Ubuntu that do the same thing, but no one knows how to use them so learning whole new software is just not feasible.

If I ever figure out Gimp and a comparable desktop publishing program, we'll be one step closer, but it's a small step!!

Thanks anyway.

Jonathan

Tom (tom6) said : #29

Hi :)

There is no reason to feel you have to convert the rest of the world to linux. Just settle in and gradually get used to the different ethos yourself. Inevitably some people are resistant to a world without viruses or slow-downs. Just feel smug that you have been able to start the migration in such a strong way already.

However, to counter your concerns ...

Yes, most of us keep a working Windows as part of a dual-boot for a long long time after installing linux for exactly the reasons you describe. Being able to dip into Ubuntu occasionally is better than being forced to use something. Eventually that becomes just dipping into Windows occasionally. Don't try to force change, perhaps offer it sometimes.

Don't think about switching the whole office and all the documents, procedures, manuals because there are much better routes to upgrading to Ubuntu. Documents and most things would not need to be changed at all. Your concerns are exactly why i suggested using dual-boots on just 1 or 2 machines to start with. Dual-boot offers the option of using Ubuntu but still allows people to continue using Windows.

The aim is for seamless, gradual change so that productivity doesn't stutter before improving under linux. Windows talks about "the switch from Xp to Win7" expecting the change to be instantaneous and for workers to instantly adapt. We tend to talk about "migration towards" and prefer to ensure that workers have easy access to the tools familiar to them.

Yes, technical support is a serious issue. The forums go some-way to addressing that but to start with people, especially bosses, prefer traditional paid-for support so they can just ring up and demand answers.
http://www.ubuntulinux.org/support/services
There are also LoCo Teams offering support in local languages.

Regarding specific packages ...

OpenOffice can save files as pdf documents. But, i think something like LaTex might be more appropriate if you need something with more advanced features (at a guess). OpenOffice is available for Windows.
http://download.openoffice.org/

FireFox is, of course, available for Windows. Using the programs in Windows gets people used to using the tools so that changing the OS seems a lot less strange to them. Thunderbird as an email client.
http://www.mozilla.org/

Gimp is faster than PhotoShop and certainly safer but i think some of the more advanced features are missing at the moment. Perhaps i just haven't found history brushes and stuff yet. Again there is a Windows version
http://www.gimp.org/windows/

These sites detect which Operating System you are using and automatically provide the right download.

http://download.openoffice.org/
http://www.mozilla.org/
http://www.gimp.org/windows/

Oh, a couple of links about LaTeX if it's relevant
http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/help/tpl/textprocessing/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaTeX
http://www.latex-project.org/

Good luck and just enjoy the ride tho
No need to rush into things before you are ready :)
Many regards from
Tom :)