Saturday, November 21, 2015

Linux Mint, you did me wrong! and then ....

And then, it took me over nine hours to fix the f-f-f-f-f-mess! Shame on you, you Mesopotamian Munchkin, you! And what the hell's the idea of having something in your program that says "Unknown system - Grub Rescue" and then it just leaves me there to die! Not even the simplest Linux code that works everywhere else in Linux would work on that, even though your own experts said that it would.  Your own experts obviously aren't! And the only useful cure that wouldn't take a month of Sundays to apply consisted of a complete re-install of the operating systems on the drive - and none of those are now anything to do with Linux Mint !!!

The problem is deceptively simple. When a dual-booting situation is established using a Linux Mint flavor along with a Windows system, the only practical method of installing those seems to be to first of all install the Linux, which then naturally uses its own boot loader called Grub 2. Grub 2 is a very sophisticated booting device that can do wonders for your Linux systems, but it has a natural aversion to Windows and its NTFS formatting. It is only with the greatest reluctance that Grub lets a Windows installation use a portion of the Grub boot loader for its own Windows booting processes. And Grub maintains a total and complete control over those booting functions.

So, you install Linux and its Grub booting sector, and then you install Windows and its own Master Boot Record, which becomes a distant cousin in the Grub hierarchy and you finally have your dual-booting between Linux and Windows. And then you decide you want to get rid of Linux to make room for another Windows setup. You can remove the Linux, but you can't boot your Windows without that Linux Grub 2 boot loader which now tells you that it can't recognize a Windows installation which it immediately identified when you installed it alongside Linux a few weeks back. And you're left wondering "Who wrote this goddamned abortion anyway?" But cussing at it doesn't help. The only help consists of hours of re-formatting partitions, merging them into unused space, then re-formatting all that and converting it to a Primary Partition that can now accept your latest choice of Windows. And once back into Windows, immediately repairing its Master Boot Record and Boot Configuration Data Store to banish all traces of Grub 2 from the system, so that never again will you see this problem.

And when you're done all that, you're several hours older, and not nearly so enthused about Linux Mint 17.2, and you can bet your sweet bippie on that.  

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