After using XP on my Toshiba NB205 netbook for a while, I decided to finally spent some time getting Ubuntu Netbook Remix to work correctly on it. Things went bad. Very very bad… The first thing I did was use gparted to shrink my XP partition, and then created a new partition and installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix from a USB drive.
First off, the following will not work correctly without a lot of fighting in Ubuntu on the NB205 right now,
- Wireless (easy fix)
- Bluetooth (not so easy fix)
- Sound (speakers will not work without throwing away ALSA and using OSS sound system)
- Hibernation (couldn’t find a fix)
- Hard Drive Shock Protection (no fix exists right now)
- Battery life goes down over an hour, I believe because of the CPU scaling not being enabled
I’m used to tweaking Linux to work, so fine. The bad things happened when I attempted to pick Windows XP from the Grub boot menu and was greeted with a blue screen of death and reboot. To stop the reboot when you get a BSOD in XP, you can hit F8 when booting and there is an advanced option to disable that. After that I managed to figure out the error,
STOP: 0x00000024 (0x00190203, 0x85BD2490, 0xC0000102, 0x00000000)
Lovely error, isn’t it? Spending some time Googling revealed this,
This issue can occur if a problem occurred within the Ntfs.sys file. The Ntfs.sys file is the driver file that enables your computer to read and write to NTFS partitions. Damage in the NTFS file system, damaged portions of your hard disk, or damaged SCSI or IDE drivers can also cause this issue.
It looks like Gparted inside the Ubuntu installer, for whatever reason, messes up the NTFS partition. The fix seems to be easy, you just run CHKDSK. Only problem being, this netbook doesn’t have a CD drive, a floppy drive, and I also don’t have the recovery disks because Toshiba does not send them.
First idea, look for Linux tools. This didn’t go anywhere, Linux can hardly mount NTFS, no less fix it.
Second idea, use a BartPE disk on a USB drive. I got this to boot, but I can’t get the drivers to see the hard drive on the netbook. I even dumped all the drivers from the recovery partition onto the BartPE build, but it still will not see the hard drive.
Third idea, NTFS4DOS. This just sits there at a blinking icon like this guy said.
Fouth idea, use the recovery partition option in GRUB and just give up on Linux for the day. This gave me the following errors,
“Windows cannot find C:\Bin\ErrorDialog.exe”
“Windows cannot find C:\BootPriority.exe”
Fifth idea, there is a file on the recovery partition (which crashes just like XP) called base.iso. I pulled this out and extracted the files. Using a combination of PE2USB and 7-zip I tried to get this to boot off a USB drive, but for whatever reason I couldn’t get it to boot properly.
Finally, I managed to get it to boot into the recovery partition. I was so excited that it actually booted into it after 6 hours of trying to get my laptop to boot that I did a full system restore and didn’t tempt fate by experimenting further. What I did was, remove the “savedefault” option from the grub entry on the recovery partition. Why did this work? I haven’t the faintest idea. The menu.lst file mentioned,
# WARNING: If you are using dmraid do not use ‘savedefault’ or your
# array will desync and will not let you boot your system.
But I wasn’t even using the saved option to begin with. Maybe I did something else before and this wasn’t actually the solution, because I can hardly believe such a GRUB option would cause the troubles getting into the recovery partition. Whatever the cause of this entire mess between XP and Ubuntu on the NB200/NB205, I’m not alone. The following posts show other people with the same problem and no solutions,
At the moment, I’m just glad XP is back to running… and would NOT recommend trying to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix on a Toshiba NB200/NB205 without backing up the hard drive, especially the recovery partition, and be ready to run into a lot of issues.