Bill’s Grand Adventure

I finally got motivated to resuscitate my Ghettobox2006. It took me a little debugging but I finally got it to recognize my SATA drive. My plan was to use this box as a general purpose Linux box running several VMware guests. The problem was that I could not get the box to boot. This was a strange problem. I had the motherboard working in another case with an IDE drive and a SATA. I moved the motherboard and the SATA drive to a new case and it would not boot. The SATA drive was not recognized by the BIOS and the drive acted like it was not getting power. I wasted a fair amount of time trying to figure out the source of the problem but eventually had to go work on higher priority tasks.

Last weekend I got an idea on how to fix the problem and went back to working on the box. My idea did not work but I did find the problem. The BIOS had the SATA controller turned off. How did that happen? Well, it boots now!

So I was off to the races. Awhile back I decided to use Centos for the host and I had already downloaded a version 5 DVD. I did not have a big reason for selecting Centos besides that I am slightly more familiar with Centos/Fedora/Redhat than I am with Ubuntu and Suse. My installation was a little unusual since I had three partitions on the disk I wanted to keep, a W2K partition, a partition with several existing virtual machines, and an empty partition for a future operating system. I had about 60 GB of free disk space left for Centos. I chose to install the standard Centos Desktop.The installation went smoothly. I was pleased to find out that I could still boot to the W2K partition from GRUB if I wanted to. Dual booting Linux and Microsoft used to be so funky.

Along the way I found a solution for an interesting Java problem. After I finished installing the operation system, I cranked up the web browser and Firefox told me that I needed the Java plugin. Reluctantly I downloaded the plugin and installed it. The Java plugin installation is about as dorky as it comes. Been there…done that…you mean I have to do this again. This is one area that Windows really shines over Linux. Surprise…surprise the Java plugin did not work. To complicate the matter there was no error message either. I was a little annoyed so I tried to open the Java control panel. It did give me an error message. It could not find libstdc++.so.5. A quick search of the Internet found two potential solutions. I could either install a symbolic link to libstdc++.so.6 or install compat-libstdc++-33. I installed the compat library since it may fix other problems I do not know about yet. I just want the standard stuff to work without a lot of fiddling. Sometimes that can quite a challenge. Now when I validate the plugin at the Java site, it worked as expected.

I will talk about my adventures with VMware in another post. I still have some kinks with the networking to work out. I was pleased to find out that all of my virtual machines worked. Even the W2K virtual machine I created using VMconverter worked.

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