The Mistress can be cruel!
As I have stated before, the MIstress can be wonderful but she can hand you a cruel wake up call and that is what happened to me about a month ago. This was one of the reasons why I haven’t been on here posting. I will keep this as brief as I can I promise!
Here’s what I get for thinking!
You’d better believe it! Here is some background. I’m an old school geek when it comes to quite a bit of things technology wise. I try to keep up but currently my financial situation doesn’t allow such to occur. The Mistress doesn’t like that. Guess she is high maintenance!
When I learned about PC’s, it was back in the DOS/Windows 3.1 days. Ahhh yes the time when you played with jumpers and different files to get your soundcard and the like to work. No plug and play or as we call it when it came out plug and pray. Life was simpler back then. So was how the computers used hard drive space. The filesystem type was FAT and you had BIOS in control over the disk. The section of code that allowed your operating system to start-up was called the Boot loader and it was a very simple code (compared to now) and it did take some knowhow but one could easily find out how to fix the issue and keep on moving.
As the years went by, technology in this advanced. To the point in which I went blind to the changes involved. Modern day systems now have UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) and it is still something that I’m still researching to understand. It basically is the upgrade to BIOS and controls not only what size of hard disk the system can use but also in part controls the boot loader.
Me still being blind to how this works didn’t do my homework and well I had some issues.
The Mistress will now punish me for my insolence!
Boy did she ever!!!! Let me explain briefly how I got myself into the mess.
First off, I still don’t understand UEFI so that really didn’t help! I’m still getting my head around it. Then I got all nostalgic. I decided I wanted to try a distribution of Linux again. I actually ran a flavor of Linux for a few years many decades ago called SuSE now referred to as OpenSuSE. I was able to work with its bootloader and was even able to convert the system back to Windows with no issues. Because I understood the BIOS/boot loader relationship. Fast forward to the present day with UEFI in control and my lack of knowledge of it made for a HUGE mess!
The first thing that occurred is I had trouble getting the Linux distribution to work correctly. I choose Ubuntu to try. After fighting it and getting it working, I noticed that Linux has come along way since my SuSE days! Yay! Then because of the things that I have to use my computer for, I needed to put in a graphics card. The Windows side of things was tooling along with the change not even breaking a sweat. Things weren’t so rosy on the Ubuntu side. It took me FOREVER it seemed to get my Ubuntu to play nice and work again! But I was able to do it and the world was good once more.
My wife then tells me that she might need the machine to do some side work and I didn’t want her to keep rebooting the machine each time she needed to get on it, so I decided to get rid of Ubuntu.
NOW THE TROUBLE”S START!
Using Windows, I was able to quickly and effectively get rid of the Linux partitions easy enough. Thinking I was being smarter than the computer and the average bear, I wrote down a command that switched the boot loader from Windows boot loader to the one that Linux was using called GRUB. Then I had to reboot….OH S***!
The machine was now stuck inside of GRUB’s emergency boot environment which would have been OK except that there was NO KERNEL for it to load so I could not get the system to restart back into Windows!
Here starts the looking at my phone and researching how to get myself out of the mess! I tried and retried several methods that I found on the internet trying desperately to get rid of GRUB and get Windows to replace it with its bootloader. The troubles got worse and worse! Following directions, the problems over the next few days got worse and worse til finally I was able to get rid of GRUB however, now I was facing the dreaded No Operating System Detected message.
Getting more desperate, I kept on working with the system. Well it finally came that I was defeated. I’ve tried all free resources and needed to find a paid solution to the issue. Maybe the Mistress might at least soothe my behind from the butt whoopin she administered if I shelled out some cash.
The Mistress lends me a helping hand
Reaching the end of the free rope, I started to research any method that can get the machine to boot back up. Searching a few forums, I found that a user used a disk from a company called NeoSmart Technologies to solve his woes. Looking at their site, I saw a demo on how their software worked. They have different recovery software disc images for different Windows versions so I broke out the plastic and ordered the image. Burned it to a disc and put it into my machine. Got my machine to boot from the DVD drive and waited.
I started to see all sorts of code fly by. I was thinking “Oh NO!” really! Linux was going to help me here. But it wasn’t Linux, it was FreeBSD. I was really feeling skeptical now but still was hoping. After what seemed like an eternity, the system showed me a graphical interface. Nice! However I still wanted to recover my boot loader or whatever was wrong with the poor hard drive now. A moment more, the choices popped up for what do I want to do. I selected the choice and the partition that had my Windows in it and prayed. I allowed the program to do all the checks.
Then the message popped up for me to reboot. Well here is where the rubber meets the road.
Reboot. LO AND BEHOLD, I SAW WINDOWS BOOTING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ABOUT 9 DAYS!!!!
Went in and change any setting back to the way they were before the dual-boot odyssey and rebooted again. JOY TO THE WORLD THE THING BOOTED UP AGAIN!!!
I can tell you this, I don’t care what they used on that disk, it was able to get my system to restart!
Tail between my legs
That was an eye opener! I now need to research and FULLY UNDERSTAND how UEFI works before doing something like this again. I learned a lesson from all of this.
Don’t walk away from this thinking that Linux is evil or anything like that. I was the idiot that didn’t keep up with the flow of technology and because of it, I had to learn the very hard way.
I guess what I was trying to show in this blog post is if you don’t quite understand the technology you are about to mess with, then you might want to leave it well enough alone and research it before making any drastic changes. I know that I will have some “light” reading for a while on this subject. UEFI and the new Windows boot loader.
That might cure my insomnia!