So, to continue the story, I got around to installing the SATA disk yesterday. At first I disconnected the IDE hard disks to prevent damage. Then I connected the SATA disk using the instructions I found on the wikipedia - it's much easier than an IDE disk. Then I tried to boot the Mandriva Ehad 2006 installation CD, which I prepared in advance.
What happened? Nothing. The computer did not recognise the CD (but it recognised the SATA disk - yay!). However, a poweroff and poweron solved this and the installation proceeded. I selected all the usual options. There were a few glitches during the installation. At one point, it complained about a bad file or something like that. Then, the bootloader installation completely confused it. To resolve this, I rebooted the CD and selected the restore bootloader option. It refused to install LILO, but installing GRUB was successful, and I was able to boot the system.
This time I made sure to put /home under a separate partition, to later facilitate re-installation, or dual-booting. The Internet worked out of the box, and I was able to get Samba working. What I did afterwards was (in a rough chronological order):
- Re-enabled the IDE disks. This just involved connecting them again.
- Recreated my home directory from my backup archives, which I backed up on a Windows machine.
- Upgraded to Mandriva 2007.
- Configured /etc to my liking.
- Installed and configured Apache 2.2.x, rsync, slocate, SpamAssassin, several Perl modules, and other packages that were absent in the default Ehad installation.
- Tried to build kernel 2.6.18. However, booting it using grub caused a blank screen to appear, and before that make install complained about a missing module, which I couldn't find. I resorted to installing kernel "220.127.116.11-mm-desktop-1mdvsmp", which is the Mandriva Multimedia kernel (up to 4 GB) with SMP support.
- Moved some files from the old hard disk to their rightful place.
Now, I'm on the SATA disk. df reads:
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/sda1 40G 2.7G 37G 7% / /dev/sda2 83G 38G 46G 46% /home /dev/hdb3 5.2G 4.4G 815M 85% /mnt/kubuntu /dev/hdb1 69G 38G 31G 56% /mnt/old-mandriva /dev/hda1 26G 23G 3.7G 86% /mnt/win_c /dev/hda5 49G 49G 377M 100% /mnt/win_d
The SATA disk seems very fast. It took me under a minute to unpack the latest Linux kernel. So now I'm now hopefully back on track. In the meantime I was able to do some Test-Run hacking, as well as catching up with my email and RSS feeds.
Finally, here's a joke I told to my dad: "The bad thing hardware is that it sometimes work and sometimes doesn't. The good thing about software is that it's consistent: it alwaays does not work, and always does not work in exactly the same way".