Author Topic: Operating system recomendations.  (Read 8931 times)

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Offline lam47

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Operating system recomendations.
« on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:23:07 »
Hey.
Well Vista pushed me over the edge today so I killed it.
(uninstantiated I'm just being dramatic)

I installed Ubuntu with wine and have been having a reasonable experience.
The thing thats bothering me is that I built my PC with its 8800Ultra after the first DX10 Crysis videos were shown (and since proven to be fiddled about with)

I used to use only macs and still love OS but will not use their hardware again after some awful customer service and hardware issues.

I could just re install Vista but it might do the same thing again.
(was getting 'unrecognized file system on drive 80 etc.)
I tried a lot of fixes and commands but could not get it to boot and stay activated with my serial. I even tried a downloaded activator with no luck.

Anyway. What else id there to try?
I like Linux but without the support for my GPU it seems a bit silly.
I have had little luck dual booting but would give it another go if anyone could recommend a good way of doing it.

Basically I want to be told what to do because I don't know anymore.
I've been messing with this all day and I have had enough.
x
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Offline wellington1869

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« Reply #1 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:27:28 »
if your computer is on warranty why not call MS about that error? It sounds like something out of the ordinary. We have tons of vista machines at work and the only issue we saw was that issue with the nvidia card drivers that originally afflicted 30 percent of vista machines (thanks to nvidia's crappy driver) but thats been fixed for a while and we havent seen anything out of the ordinary with it.  Might be worth a call to MS.

And if not, how about going back to winXP? I've had it on my laptops for last 6 years and its been a champ of stability actually. You can still find install cds being sold on ebay, last time I checked.

I know people have strong feelings about OS's, I'm actually fairly agnostic. Whatever works for you. If you're getting really strange or weird or persistent errors with any of them, chances are its something unique to your system and if its under warranty the support line should take care of it...

You know especially if your error is related to activating the serial, MS has a special phone number just for that. In the course of my work I've called that number a few times and they've always simply given me a new serial to type in and its always worked. I believe the number should be on their website, fairly easy to find tho I forget where it was exactly...

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Offline lam47

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« Reply #2 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:31:43 »
No warranty for the machine as its built from parts from all over.

And the Vista CD is OK.
:(
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline wellington1869

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« Reply #3 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:38:57 »
But if the vista cd is okay, MS may give you a new serial if you tell them the old one... (you could even suggest to them that it may be damaged actually to shortcut the process). IN other words, this isnt a bootleg copy, right? And if its not, I think MS would offer you a new serial to try.

p.s., it looks like the Borg. ;) I hope you've named it "seven of nine".

"Blah blah blah grade school blah blah blah IBM PS/2s blah blah blah I like Model Ms." -- Kishy

using: ms 7000/Das 3

Offline lam47

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« Reply #4 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:41:48 »
Its official yeah but the vista is not the issue I'm sure.
Its possible that something got corrupted and a fresh install could be all I need to do.
I don't know I'm kind of sick of Vista.
Oh my PC is called Jenny.
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline wellington1869

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« Reply #5 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:43:12 »
by the way, did you make any hardware changes to it recently? That also may have triggered the serial to be rejected. Has to do with the way the serials are checked, there is some kind of hash value the OS generates based on your hardware configuration; this is so that you cant use the same OS on multiple machines. If hardware has changed enough, the serial is rejected. We've seen this often too and when we call MS we just tell them we installed new hardware and again they've just given us a new serial...

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using: ms 7000/Das 3

Offline wellington1869

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« Reply #6 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:44:18 »
Quote from: lam47;13375
Its official yeah but the vista is not the issue I'm sure.
Its possible that something got corrupted and a fresh install could be all I need to do.
I don't know I'm kind of sick of Vista.
Oh my PC is called Jenny.


you mean like a hard drive corruption? Thats always possible too...

"Blah blah blah grade school blah blah blah IBM PS/2s blah blah blah I like Model Ms." -- Kishy

using: ms 7000/Das 3

Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #7 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:45:41 »
It sounds like you have some bad hardware; I seriously doubt this is a Vista problem.  It seems like one of the devices has a bad BIOS/EEPROM or something that is causing Vista to detect new hardware or is causing hardware errors; thus preventing activation.  While the whole activation thing is stupid, IMO, I think you are going to have some sort of problem no matter which OS you use.  I would start by identifying the cause of the issue and go from there.  As far as OS recommendations, I would go with Vista or Ubuntu.  I, personally, use Vista as I need a Windows OS to run some of my software.  OSX would be a good fit for me, too, but I do not want to buy Apple hardware or build a Hackintosh.


Offline lam47

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« Reply #8 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:48:45 »
This is interesting. Ubuntu is saying it cant read all of my main HD.
It could be the problem.
I'm going to format it and re install something to try again.
If only Apple would release OSX for everyone.
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline andb

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« Reply #9 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:49:21 »
Well, DX10 isnt going to work with XP iirc, so you'll need vista for gaming. Best bet is dual booting. Use Vista when you game, a linux flavor when you work. Ubuntu should be the easiest to start with, ubuntuforums.org is a great starting resource. You could even dual boot vista and XP if you are happy with XP.

Don't expect Linux to be as easy as using Vista. After all, you used XP for a while and Vista was just a small shift, not a paradigm change. Linux is very different and you'll feel like a fish out of water. Stick with it.

I don't see the need to pirate software, but its possible to put MacOS (which I recommend highly) on normal i86 hardware. You'll miss support and optimizations, but people often use it to decide if they want to move over.

There is no perfect OS. Find the one which inconveniences you least.

For the braver people out there,  try OS/2, Plan 9 or BeOS(Zeta). Get extra geek points for using an OS that most people have never even heard of, let alone used.

If I had to tell you what to do: triple boot. 20gb XP 20gb Linux, rest vista for games. Try linux, if you get frustrated you can fall back on xp.

Offline lam47

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« Reply #10 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 03:53:06 »
You know I missed XP all together I was still on leopard when Vista was becoming popular (or should I say forced up peoples asses)
Im going to try something to see if its my HD thats the issue.
Might be back later god willing.
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline zwmalone

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« Reply #11 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 04:05:10 »
If you're still after a new OS, I recommend
Windows 7 prebeta.  It's easy to install a licensed copy if you are lucky enough to have a Windows Vista Beta key.  I'm loving it so far.  It's so much faster than vista AND XP on the same hardware...  DirectX 10 support, WMP12, IE8 (which I only use for browser compliancy testing, but it's standards compliant now!!!) and a whole bunch of other new features...   It's only good to like August '09 though because public beta will be available then...
Can't get enough of them ALPS

Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #12 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 04:07:20 »
That's intriguing.  I still have my Vista Beta discs with the keys.  I'll probably have to try it out.


Offline wellington1869

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« Reply #13 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 04:08:15 »
lifehacker recently had rave reviews of the win7 prebeta...

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Offline lam47

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« Reply #14 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 05:04:25 »
I was dual booting vista and 7 until it all went wrong today.
I liked 7 but it did have some compatibility issues mainly with my sound card but others too.
I had a lot of graphical errors all over the place.
Come 2010 Im sure it will be great though.

Just installed Linux mint and still having issues with boot files.
It seems I can only boot an OS (any OS) with the disk in the drive.
Anyone know what that could be about?
Also Linux still says that some parts of the logical drive are unreadable.

I might try putting Vista on a second partition and see how we do.
I hate computers some times.
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #15 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 05:10:36 »
Sounds like a bad HD.  Do you have another to test with?  You could use something like Partition Magic to try to partition off the bad part (unless you bad clusters all over the place).


Offline zwmalone

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« Reply #16 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 05:19:21 »
Quote from: lam47;13398
I was dual booting vista and 7 until it all went wrong today.
I liked 7 but it did have some compatibility issues mainly with my sound card but others too.
I had a lot of graphical errors all over the place.
Come 2010 Im sure it will be great though.


That's my screenshot :D  I had issues with my sound card as well until I used Kx Audio drivers for my SoundBlaster Live 5.1...  Generally Vista drivers work for everything else though.  I don't know why you'd have graphics issues, I have this on a ~3 year old machine and it's still working wonderfully (Radeon x700), did you install the Forceware drivers for your 8800Ultra?  The MS WDM drivers don't work very well and don't support the range of resolutions that the official nVidia & Ati drivers do.  (ATI has official Win7 drivers already, I recommend the Vista Forceware drivers for nVidia cards)
Can't get enough of them ALPS

Offline lam47

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« Reply #17 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 05:43:32 »
Right. Just Got Ubuntu installed again and everything worked.
Is there a Linux tool to check for bad sectors?
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Offline zwmalone

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« Reply #18 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 06:00:16 »
I think fsck can do it...
Can't get enough of them ALPS

Offline bigpook

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« Reply #19 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 06:51:25 »
Quote from: zwmalone;13406
I think fsck can do it...


You can use fsck to check but the volume cannot be mounted.

From the command line type df -h, this will show you your partitions.

Boot of of a live CD, something like knoppix, or system rescue.
Your hard drive will not be mounted, you can run fsck  on the drive then.

man fsck for more info.
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Offline D-EJ915

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« Reply #20 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 07:22:39 »
with this much trouble with a drive I would get a replacement from the manufacturer or just chuck it

Offline bigpook

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« Reply #21 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 07:35:12 »
Quote from: D-EJ915;13410
with this much trouble with a drive I would get a replacement from the manufacturer or just chuck it


Maybe. But its no big deal to download an iso, burn it to cd and boot it.
The drive could very well be hosed, but I would want to know for sure before I tossed it.
How old is the drive? I have had bad luck with most of them in the past but seagate has done well for me. I haven't lost one yet and the oldest is getting on 3 years now.
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Offline lam47

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« Reply #22 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 07:39:53 »
I have had bad luck with WD, Maxtor, WD again expensive raptor drives, Samsungs are really bad I don't know why Custom PC recomend them. I only use Seagate and have a 320 and a 500. The 500 is about 2 months old. I think it could have been something nasty as the re install of vista has gone fine. Im just sorting out a dual boot for Linux.

Only issue Im having is my monitor keeps turning itself off during startup?
Well not off but the screen goes black (no back light) and I have to turn it off and on again.

Thanks for all the help everyone :)
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #23 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 07:51:06 »
Quantums suck, Maxtor suck, WD suck, Samsung suck and let us not forget the IBM deathstar drives, they sucked too. Don't mind the bitterness, I've gotten over it (blah).

I use Seagate drives and have 2 raid 5 arrays and 2 raid 1 arrays for the important stuff.
Just in case Seagate disappoints me.
Yes, I have lost data to dead, clicking, chirping drives.
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Offline andb

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« Reply #24 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 12:57:28 »
I personally use Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620A - 320GB in all my desktop computers. Yes, the .11 is faster, but has a worse reliability record. I use the 320s over the larger ones because at the time they were the most reliable and the fastest, now I just stick with them as a standard. Also, all my computers (except laptops - and they are backed up daily) use raid mirroring. How much does a disk cost? About $80? And WHEN (not if) your disk crashes, how much is the day you spend fixing it and the week of work you forgot to back up worth? Use raid, disk fails, slap in another. 1 hour. Yes, I keep a spare on hand. I consider it very cheap insurance.

If a drive starts acting odd, chuck it. Its not worth the risk. Disks are cheap. Your time and work aren't.

note: its good advice to never use the same type of disks in raid. If there is a manufacturing problem, you may reach end of life at nearly the same time. I ignore this rule though :)

Out of curiosity lam47, how much time have you put into fixing this rig? Now, if you were working as a consultant, billing an hourly rate, how much money have you put into this? When you look at it like this, buying a computer with a good warranty makes sense... Also this is why I gave up on the "reinstall windows every 9 months when it starts to slow down again" ritual.


Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #25 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 16:03:30 »
Segates are nice, and I have some pre-Segate Maxtors that are still running strong.  I also have several Hitachi (used to be IBM) Desk/Deathstars that are also running great.  That said, Samsung and WD, reliablilty-wise, are crap.


Offline lam47

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« Reply #26 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 18:12:59 »
It was all going so well.
Grub error 17 is all I get now.
Bloody Linux, and vista was working.
You all make a lot of sense but spending money is out of the question at the moment.
I will raid next year for sure.

Wish me luck :)
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Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #27 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 18:25:41 »
The only recommendation I can give you at this point is to create a DOS boot disk, fdisk the drive, and run a chkdisk.  Back in the old days, I had some DOS software that would read the drive, and try to fix bad sectors.  Most drive manufacturers these days should have downloadable tools (or even a disk that cam with the drive) that have similar diagnostic/repair tools.  My Hitachi drives came with suprisingly robust tools, but they were made specifically for Hitachi drives.


Offline lam47

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« Reply #28 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 18:31:44 »
Im downloading ultimate boot cd which seems to have every tool on it. Will see what happens.
Thanks again all.
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #29 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 18:52:06 »
You are trying to boot off of the hard drive, right?
Did you install vista after linux, if so, the MBR got changed(MS likes to think its the only one on the drive). Linux will not boot, grub can't find the partition.

Dont' know what you want to do, one way out is to download a live cd ( the ubuntu cd you have is probably a live cd) and boot off of that.
Nuke the drive. Install Vista first then install Linux. Linux will see the vista partition and accomodate for it.
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Offline lam47

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« Reply #30 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 19:25:32 »
No I had vista installed first and followed all the instructions to dual boot.
Grub still wouldn't load and wont allow me to boot an OS from the drive even from the CD.
I am going to wipe the drive thoroughly and install vista on one drive and Ubuntu on the other.
Last try before I chuck the thing out the window.
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Offline bigpook

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« Reply #31 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 19:45:26 »
Quote from: lam47;13478
No I had vista installed first and followed all the instructions to dual boot.
Grub still wouldn't load and wont allow me to boot an OS from the drive even from the CD.
I am going to wipe the drive thoroughly and install vista on one drive and Ubuntu on the other.
Last try before I chuck the thing out the window.


I have not used vista so I don't know if it is doing anything to the MBR to keep other OS's from being installed. That would be bizarre.

If I had a drive in question, I would boot from a live cd. fdisk the drive as one volume, format it as ext3 and then fsck the drive.
You need to rule out a bad drive before going any further.
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Offline itlnstln

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« Reply #32 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 20:04:13 »
If all else fails, there's always DOS. :)


Offline bigpook

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« Reply #33 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 20:22:37 »
Quote from: itlnstln;13485
If all else fails, there's always DOS. :)


 ; ) Only if I am desperate.
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Offline Eclairz

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« Reply #34 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 20:44:46 »
Nice system I am too scared to run a water cooled system. Anyway I think maybe streamline(updating your vista disc to sp1) your vista cd with sp1 and try reinstalling it again.

Reset Bios back to default settings remove any unnecessary hardware and slowly plug them in one by one isolating the problem part. You might even consider removing the watercooling too (watercooling only really effects powersupply and judging by your system you have more than enough power with a 850W psu).

Might be an idea to check forums to see if any of your hardware needs firmware updates and as an idea make sure your router firewall is allowing you to send activation key(I doubt this is the problem though)
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Offline bhtooefr

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« Reply #35 on: Wed, 03 December 2008, 21:15:40 »
I'd buy a new hard drive, myself. All signs are pointing towards the drive being hosed.

Anyway, you could always rebuild the system specifically for Mac compatibility (pick your mobo carefully, and all that stuff,) and then run one of the various OSx86 distros.

Offline lam47

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« Reply #36 on: Thu, 04 December 2008, 15:05:57 »
Right.
Both are installed and both will boot BUT! I can only get to the boot menu by pressing F8 at startup.
If I just leave it the screen goes black and it just hangs there.
Any ideas my friends?
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline ch_123

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« Reply #37 on: Tue, 23 December 2008, 06:27:21 »
Quote from: lam47;13412
Samsungs are really bad I don't know why Custom PC recomend them.


Odd, I have had three and they all work great. I've used them when I upgraded some people's PCs and they have had no problems. I think theyre a very good brand of disk!

I would think the drive is dead too, the only thing that I can think of to fix up your current problems is to wipe it with Gparted or DBAN and reinstalling again. When you said you tried Windows 7, which build did you use? Was it 6801 or 6956?

Offline lam47

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« Reply #38 on: Tue, 23 December 2008, 06:58:53 »
I did a full wipe of the disk (about 10 hours) and a re install and it seems fine now.
I tried the 6801 build. I had no sound bet everything else worked well.
Its more Mac like than ever.
Keyboards. Happy Hacking pro 2 x2. One white one black. IBM model M US layout. SGI silicone Graphics with rubber dampened ALPS. IBM model F. ALPS apple board, I forget what it is. And some more I forget what I have.

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Offline ch_123

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« Reply #39 on: Tue, 23 December 2008, 07:50:54 »
I'm currently using the 6956 build, which I find to be much more stable than the 6801 build. If it weren't for the fact that the nVidia drivers for Windows 7 are terrible, I'd switch over to it as my main OS for my desktop! I think I'll wait for the actual Beta to come out before I do that though.

Offline CaptCarrot

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« Reply #40 on: Tue, 30 December 2008, 16:48:37 »
if it is your HD it might be worth dropping some $$$ and using spinrite http://www.grc.com/

Offline cmr

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« Reply #41 on: Wed, 31 December 2008, 01:41:56 »
a little late here, but as far as i know all 8-series nvidia cards are supported by the nvidia proprietary drivers on linux. if you want to play games, set up a dual-boot configuration.

of course, if you want to play crysis you'll just have to wait a few years. as far as i know there is not any hardware that can actually run crysis.

Offline Therac-25

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« Reply #42 on: Wed, 31 December 2008, 08:57:46 »
Quote from: cmr;16719
a little late here, but as far as i know all 8-series nvidia cards are supported by the nvidia proprietary drivers on linux. if you want to play games, set up a dual-boot configuration.

of course, if you want to play crysis you'll just have to wait a few years. as far as i know there is not any hardware that can actually run crysis.


Except for the fact that they're buggy, and don't implement stuff properly, and are apparently responsible for the bug he was having over here.

I'm really looking forward to the radeonhd drivers getting to the point where I can trust them, so I can stop buying nVidia's stuff.  The nouveau drivers do look interesting, but without nVidia's blessing, I'm not going to hold my breath for that being a long-term solution.
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Offline bhtooefr

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« Reply #43 on: Wed, 31 December 2008, 09:05:09 »
You know, what's the fastest graphics card with officially supported open source drivers?

I'm gonna suspect it's the Intel GMA X4500?

Offline Therac-25

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« Reply #44 on: Wed, 31 December 2008, 09:06:47 »
Quote from: bhtooefr;16758
You know, what's the fastest graphics card with officially supported open source drivers?

I'm gonna suspect it's the Intel GMA X4500?

The radeonhd drivers are officially supported -- several developers from Novell and AMD are paid to work on them, and AMD released all of the hardware specs so they could be written properly.

They just aren't done yet.  When they are, choosing a graphics card on Linux will be no contest.
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Offline cmr

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« Reply #45 on: Wed, 31 December 2008, 19:21:36 »
i support a lot of machines at work running linux with both nvidia and ATI cards.

i hear occasionally from people who have problems with the nvidia proprietary drivers, as well as from people who claim that the ATI fglrx drivers work fine. i am utterly baffled by these claims. i've seen a couple of odd problems with the nvidia drivers, but on the whole they work fine. the ATI drivers are quite simply utter crap.

Offline Therac-25

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« Reply #46 on: Wed, 31 December 2008, 22:09:24 »
Quote from: cmr;16834
i support a lot of machines at work running linux with both nvidia and ATI cards.

i hear occasionally from people who have problems with the nvidia proprietary drivers, as well as from people who claim that the ATI fglrx drivers work fine. i am utterly baffled by these claims. i've seen a couple of odd problems with the nvidia drivers, but on the whole they work fine. the ATI drivers are quite simply utter crap.


The nVidia drivers have issues.  You can't pretend they don't.  As long as you colour within the lines, and don't try and do anything too weird, they're okay.  But they have bugs, and support for any kind of extensions is at nVidia's whim.  Some people manage to get by with the nouveau drivers, and in certain use cases they can be alot better than the official ones, but I've never tried them yet.  

ATI's fglrx drivers are generally crap, but you can luck out with them depending on your setup.  The radeonhd drivers are going to kick their ass once they're done, though, and ATI is going to pretty much own Linux.
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Offline cmr

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« Reply #47 on: Thu, 01 January 2009, 16:53:27 »
fair enough.

Offline lodc

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« Reply #48 on: Thu, 01 January 2009, 17:21:29 »
Quote from: CaptCarrot;16689
if it is your HD it might be worth dropping some $$$ and using spinrite http://www.grc.com/


steve gibson is one kooky bastard. wouldn't trust him or his products to recover a wet fart, much less my data.  just my $0.02.

Offline Repoman

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« Reply #49 on: Mon, 05 January 2009, 15:25:03 »
Just thought I'd chime in as one happy Hackintosh user who triple boots OSX with Vista on a Dual 500GB Seagate RAID0 array. I have Ubuntu installed on it'd own 250GB drive and all 3 operating systems run beautifully.

Using the preboot method it's possible to get an unmodified OS X DVD up and running so you can install from a retail copy using a relatively simple boot disk. Once in place, reformat the hidden EFI partition and install a bootloader and you can use this space to store whichever kernel extensions are needed to make your hardware sing - I need 4 currently, but that's down from 6 or 7 due to some of the inspired work the OSX86 guys do.

And why Vista? Well if you are going to have a gaming partition it may as well be DX10.