As this post is supposed to be about Linux this will not be a long Blog but I just wanted to let my readers know how lucky I feel to have discovered Linux when I did. Occasionally I do a little freelance computer work repairing family and friends PC's (to say I'm freelance generally means 'free') as they know I have some knowledge and can fix simple hardware issues and reinstall Windows if needed.
Well last week a work mate asked if I would look at a laptop with Windows XP installed on it that was full of viruses, the task being to rescue the data and do a reinstall of Windows. Once I had my hands on the PC I booted it up with a Live image of Linux Mint 11 just to make sure all the hardware was working, which it was, and while in Linux I copied all the data that needed to be saved onto an external Hard drive.
That's when the fun started, I reinstalled Windows but it has taken me 2 days to find all the necessary drivers, partially as Toshiba have not put the correct LAN driver on the download site and having installed windows XP SP3 before I activated the sound driver, I found that this would not work with SP3 installed unless the driver has been installed with the SP2 instillation which is what the PC came with originally. This resulted in having to do the reinstall twice. At least the second time around I had all the divers so was able to do the whole job in about 4-5 hours, including copying the data back to the PC after virus checking it in both Linux and with MS security essentials.
If I had been doing a fresh install of Linux Mint on the same PC I would have had a fully installed and updated machine in less than 2 Hours.
Hence my gratitude to having found Linux