I have been trying to Install Linux on my computer for the last four days, with no luck. Does anyone know what my issue is and can anyone help me?
Here's what I tried...
-First, I tried dual booting Ubuntu 11.10 from a Live CD. I wasn't able to progress in the installation because it wouldn't show any partitions or partitioning options - just a blank table. I could see them in GParted, just not in the installer. Everything on the trial version worked fine (it was all a little slow, but I figured that was because I was running off the Live CD), but I couldn't install it as far as I could tell.
-My first attempt at fixing this was to try a different version of Ubuntu, so i made a Live CD for 10.04, and got the same issue.
-After doing some research, I discovered that typing
sudo apt-get remove dmraid in the terminal let me see my partitions. The command actually returned an error, but did what I wanted anyway. Unfortunately, it wouldn't show that I had Windows 7. When I got to the Installation Type screen, it just showed "Erase Windows 7 and Install Ubuntu" or "Something Else". When I went with "Something Else", it just showed a 450 GB partition where Windows 7 should have been, and I couldn't go any further because creating any partitions in that space risked deleting Windows.
-I did some more research and discovered there was something called "Wubi" that supposedly made installing Ubuntu alongside Windows a lot easier, so I gave it a shot. Everything in Windows went fine, but when I tried booting in Ubuntu, I got the error:
NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it's a SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware.
In the first case, it advised me to run
chkdsk /f on Windows and then reboot twice. I did that and nothing happened, so I guessed that I must have SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware, although I did some research and couldn't figure out how to tell. In the second case, it told me to
Mount a different device under /dev/mapper/, see dmraid documentation.
It also gave the error
mounting /dev/disk/by-uuid/(a bunch of numbers and letters) on /root failed: No such device with
file system = ntfs, error code = 13. Anyway, I didn't know how to mount a different device under /dev/mapper. The dmraid documentation wasn't much help, and nobody answered my question on Askubuntu or on the Ubuntu forums, so I went to the #ubuntu IRC channel. Someone there told me that I needed to figure out if I had RAID or not, although it didn't make sense for my laptop to have it, and said not to trust what Windows said and to use the BIOS. We couldn't figure it out, so he said to call HP customer support, and then while I was talking to customer support told me the HP guy I was talking to didn't know what he was talking about and that the whole situation was really bizarre.
There was also the strange problem that I seemed to have two hard disks, because when I went back to Ubuntu and opened up GParted again, I had /dev/sda and /dev/sdb. The former was 30 GB of unallocated space and the latter was about 500 GB and had a couple partitions, although none that distinctly said "Windows", just "SYSTEM", "HP_TOOLS", and "Recovery". At this point the #ubuntu person who was helping me asked if I had two physical hard drives, I said Windows said I only had one, and I asked the HP guy and he said I only had one, and the #ubuntu guy said the HP guy didn't know what he was talking about and Windows was lying, and then told me to figure it out myself or something like that, so I gave up.
Next, I thought that maybe I could just use a virtual machine to do what I wanted. It didn't feel as legitimate, and I was afraid that I wouldn't have access to everything I wanted/needed to, but I gave it a fair shake. Ubuntu was running incredibly slowly and things were crashing left and right in both VMWare and VirtualBox, so I ditched the idea, I'm about to try it again with some different distros though.
After all this, I got really frustrated and posted this question on StackOverflow:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/9660891/switching-to-a-unix-environment/9661048#comment12270053_9661048 One of the answers suggested using Linux Mint, because it had an excellent IRC channel, so I went to Best Buy to get some DVDs, made Windows recovery disks, and made a Mint Live CD. I was planning to delete Windows if things came to that, wipe my whole hard drive, install Linux, and then install Windows again. I wasn't willing to give up and have someone else do it for me yet, but I asked Geek Squad for a few tips while I was there and they were all really confused and unhelpful.
My experience with Mint was exactly the same as in Ubuntu - no partitioning options appeared at all until I removed dmraid, and then I had a nebulous 450 GB space that should have had Windows in it somewhere. After a lot of discussion with the Mint IRC, I ended up formatting the entire space. Then someone told me that I should reinstall Windows first, because if I installed Linux Mint and then installed Windows, Windows would override Linux Mint. So I did (out of curiousity, I first booted into Windows, and found that I could see all my files but got errors whenever I tried to access them), and the "SYSTEM" partition mysteriously disappeared. Reinstalling Windows didn't help, however, so we first talked about dmraid and someone determined that I must have Raid on my computer. We tried
sudo get-apt install dmraid, which returned the same error as removing dmraid, but then wouldn't let me proceed with installation, so we removed it again. Finally, we just decided to go ahead and try to install Linux Mint at the end of the 450 GB empty space, and to see what happened, and if I had to reinstall Windows again so be it. So I made a 250 GB partition on ext3 for the root and an 8 GB partition for swap space (http://imagebin.org/203195), and then continued. After about half an hour, however, the installation process killed itself, telling me that it couldn't put the bootloader on any of the partitions I made. We couldn't figure it out. That's when I gave up.