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Re: Adventures in 64-bit land

__/ [ Larry Qualig ] on Friday 05 May 2006 13:49 \__

Greetings, Larry...

> So last week I took delivery of a new 64-bit machine. It's fast, lots
> of memory, large amounts of SATA storage and all that. Decided to
> install a couple of 64-bit OS's on it. One peculiar thing did happen.

Peculiar from whose perspective? *smile*

This lights a particular lighbulb, in fact, which goes back just 3 days back:


> I downloaded the 64-bit edition of Ubuntu and ordered XP-Pro64. While
> XP was in the mail I installed Ubuntu just to have something to play
> with on the system. I didn't bother installing the updates because I
> knew that I would be repartitioning the drive and reinstalling over
> again once XP64 arrived.
> Installing Ubuntu was a no-brainer. Boot from the CD, click a few
> selections. One reboot and the OS is done. Played around with it for a
> few days but then XP64 arrived.
> Go to install XP64... go through the initial install screen then the
> installer stops telling me it couldn't find any disk drives (there's
> two SATA drives in the box). Hmmm; check on Dells site to see if
> there's any 3rd party drivers that I need (press F3 during setup) but
> none appear. I do find a knowledgebase article that says that I need to
> change the BIOS to present the drive(s) in a different manner. This did
> the trick.

To be fair, a new computer that I got in September needed BIOS settings for
on-board video to be altered before I could get full colour, as opposed to
VGA. This involved something like extending the amount of RAM or maybe
changing a particular mode, if I recall correctly. I imagine this would have
had the same effect on all OSen as I tried both Ubuntu and SuSE, just to see
the effect of this BIOS setting on this blank machine.

> XP64 goes about its thing, installs everything, reboots once during the
> setup, goes into the graphical setup and then the screen goes blank and
> stays blank. Oh-oh... I wait a reasonable amount of time then reset the
> machine. Setup starts, tells me it's going to resume the install and
> things work fine from there. I answer some more questions, do a final
> reboot and I'm done with setup. Go to Windows update... there are 25
> updates that I need. They all get downloaded and I need one single
> reboot at the end. The lock-up/blank-screen during setup was a bit
> scary but it all worked out in the end. Graphics, network, sound,
> everything works.
> Now that XP is installed and fully up to date I install Ubuntu 64. It
> had no problems with the SATA drives the first time and making the
> change in the BIOS didn't bother it either. It installed fine, did a
> single reboot during setup, I answered some questions and it's done. I
> see there are some updates (145 to be exact)  I download them, it tells
> me I need to reboot and I'm done.
> Both XP64 and Ubuntu64 work fine. All the hardware (graphics, network,
> sound, etc.) work fine. I can dual-boot into either OS.
> Final score:
> Setup:
> Windows = A total of 2 reboots. One stall/hang that corrected after
> reboot.
> Ubuntu = 1 reboot.
> Updates:
> XP = 25 updates + 1 reboot. (Don't recall total megs downloaded)
> Ubuntu = 145 updates + 1 reboot.

Quantification of updates seems odd to me. An update may contain varying
numbers of patches of various levels of severity. Moreover, the number of
packages (sub-components, e.g. GIMP) in each of the above is very different.
Hence, I would never gauge user experience or reliability base on this

> Both OS's work fine and setup was relatively painless for both. I image
> that Ubuntu counds the number of updates  with a "finer granularity"
> than XP does because the amount of time I spent downloading these
> updates was roughly the same for both OS's. (The total megs were in the
> same ballpark.)
> Later... it's going to be 80 and sunny today. Time for some golf.

Enjoy. By the way, installation of SuSE is similar to that of Ubuntu, but I
haven't much experience with the partitioner and I am sure that SuSE gives
more options and prompts the user for more input. It assumes that its
vocation is rather technical, e.g. a server.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    "In hell, treason is the work of angels"
http://Schestowitz.com  |  GNU is Not UNIX  ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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