All revved up, not sure where to go…

I spotted a good deal on a 500GB external USB 2.0 drive, and decided to pick one up this morning. It’s an IOMagic drive and cost me $170 CAD (plus taxes of course). While I know kind of what I plan to do with it, I’m still mulling over the finer points. If you’ve got suggestions I’d love to hear them. Here’s what I’m thinking:

My machine has been a mess ever since I set it up as dual boot XP/Linux box. I’ve never been fully pleased with the performance of linux on this box and I think part of the reason is that the boot drive is a SATA drive, which caused weird problems with early versions of Ubuntu. I could never really get the dual boot setup working right, and performance on the machine is quite spotty.

Since upgrading to Feisty, things have been much better, but still at times it feels like it’s got a P3-800 chip on it and not the P4-3Ghz chip that’s actually on there. Processing operations are sometimes slow and other times rebooting seems to cure the problem – something that should NOT be a problem on a Linux box.

Anyway, I plan to use the new drive to back up all of my data that resides on my XP and Ubuntu partitions and wipe everything clean, starting from scratch. I’m going to install a fresh copy of Feisty on it, and then run XP in a virtual machine – yes, there are still a couple of things I need XP for… 😦

So here’s where my questions begin – pardon any stupidity:

1. Do I have to format this 500 GB drive? I’m assuming that I do. Should I do it in multiple partitions? And what type. I was going to do the whole thing in ext3. I can see all my XP data from within Linux now, so I’m assuming that’s the best route.

2. Once the backup is done, is there a definitive ‘best’ partition setup to use for the fresh Ubuntu Feisty install on my internal drives? I’ve got 2 – 160GB internal hard drives. One is SATA the other is IDE. I can let Ubuntu do it’s thing automatically. Is this the best way? Anybody got any pointers on this?

3. Is there any point in trying to preserve the various app settings and configurations that I have? I was just going to really start fresh. And that means reinstalling and configuring a lot of things from scratch. I’m a bit worried that if I try to migrate system settings that my past performance problems might follow me.

4. Is there anything I definitely need to save before wiping out my existing system? I’ve got all my ISP info on paper, and I generally don’t use saved passwords and logon info from my browser so that’s likely not a problem. But should I grab device info (like hard drive info) before starting the install? Is there a way to easily get this data? (maybe the dmesg logs?)

Those are my main questions right now. I will be taking the plunge this weekend whether or not I get any suggestions or advice. I’m far too impatient, especially when it comes to geeky stuff like my pc, to wait ;).

One Response to “All revved up, not sure where to go…”

  1. Nate Says:

    In response to your 4 questions, here are 4 pretty meager answers. 🙂

    1. I’m not sure how you’re going to use the external drive, but I don’t think it’s something you need to format during the install process. It’s probably very easy to format it later. (But really I’m just guessing.)

    2. Usually the defaults are pretty good, giving most of the space to / and /home. Just keep in mind that when you add a virtual XP you’ll need to create a virtual partition which will take a chunk out of one of the partitions you create. On my setup I did a virtual XP partition in the /home partition, which used up some space….so factor that into your calculations. (By the way, running xp that way is so neat.)

    3. I agree that if you’re willing to start from scratch you may as well go for it. Re-tweaking usually isn’t too annoying, and it’s a good way to remind yourself of some of the options you have.

    4. I’m not sure if there’s anything critical….but hardware device info from your current install might be useful, like you said. I think a search on google will get you what you need pretty quickly…I forget which command lists that stuff.

    I know this was pretty uninformative….I really only wanted to answer question 2 but I had some time to babble. 🙂

    BTW, I’m glad to see your new site with heathenx!

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