Couldn’t Resist: Linux on my Aspire One

I couldn’t wait so I went ahead and installed PCLinuxOS tonight from my USB pendrive. All seemed to go well until I rebooted and removed my USB stick from which I installed.

Rather than being greeted by a GRUB menu giving me the three options I’d seen set up, I saw the old Acer bootsplash with the function keys to hit to edit BIOS settings or change the boot order. No, that’s not right. I went straight to XP.

WTF…

I ended up rebooting with the USB stick inserted again. That’s when I realized something wrong happened along the way: the new GRUB from the installation was installed to my USB stick.

I know how this could happen, if it did happen the way I think it did. I don’t know for sure because (a) I was never prompted where to install GRUB and (b) I haven’t gone through the install script or scripts to figure out if that’s indeed where the “problem” is. The first point is one of the reasons I was nervous during the install; I have a fervent distrust of distros that make all kinds of presumptions when it comes to setting things up without user intervention, especially when it comes to writing to MBR without interaction. I’ll deal with  the second point soon enough (I’ll update this entry if I can trace it down to the install script).

What do I think could’ve gone wrong? My Aspire One’s hard drive is SATA and I’d booted from USB. The USB stick from which I’d been running PCLOS before installing was /dev/sda. The SATA drive was secondary: /dev/sdb.  After installation, those went back to “normal” — in which case the hard drive should be /dev/sda and the stick /dev/sdb.

Shouldn’t take long to confirm that’s where the problem lies. Not a major problem. I’ll install GRUB manually or else see if I can remember how to boot Linux from boot.ini (hmm, don’t I need GRUB or LILO installed on the Linux partition to do that?). Or I can boot using the USB stick. Whatever. I just want to make sure I can dual-boot with Windows either way, and I can.

It’s way past my bedtime and the next couple days are going to be hectic. I’ll update ASAP.

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