Was a long time coming, seeing as I purchased the 1.5TB drive back in February. Pre-upgrade I had a 500GB drive partitioned into two partitions. The 100GB partition housed Linux (Ubuntu 8.04 upgraded to 8.10 upgraded to 9.04) and the 400GB partition was Windows XP. Wait, what? To clarify, I still use Windows XP for audio production. The larger partition size was to accomodate massive amounts of audio in raw formats. In addition to my internal storage, I have a 120GB external Seagate which housed music, audio samples, VST Plugins, software installers, and a mess of other things.

Before I proceed with discussing the upgrade and issues I ran into let me tell you a little story. It’s only since my latest computer purchase that I have had a computer that didn’t use IDE drives. That being said, I don’t have SATA cables lying around or even know much about them. The same day I made mention to a coworker that this would be my first SATA drive upgrade and that I would need to purchase a cable from the store, he offered to bring one to me the next day as he a whole box of them. So began my issues.

Initially I went ahead and removed the old drive and installed the new drive in it’s place. The old drive was moved to the second drive slot and I hooked up the power to both drives, the original SATA cable to the new drive, and my coworker’s cable on my old drive. Rebooted, checked the BIOS, only the new drive was showing up. Weird. After a few reboots and reseating of the cables I ended up moving my coworker’s cable to my DVD burner, the cable from the burner to my old drive and rebooted. Everything showed up fine so I p roceeded to partition the new drive into 3 500GB partitions.

The act of partitioning ended up being a bear as Windows wasn’t too fond of the partitions I had made with fdisk. Sadly, Windows XP saved the day and I set up my 2 Windows (XP and Vista) partitions and left the rest for the Ubuntu install to manage.

After the partitions were set up I had to make a decision about what order I should install the operating systems. First pass I went ahead and decided on Vista, then XP then Ubuntu. This didn’t seem like much of an issue until I learned that the Vista Bootloader was new and improved, and that XP killed it when I installed it after Vista.

At this point, I couldn’t boot into Vista and figured, “might as well give the Ubuntu 9.04 Live CD a shot”. A previous post of mine was a rantfest concerning the Ubuntu upgrade process and how Compiz stopped working after my upgrade to 9.04 due to a faulty driver. Well guess what, Live CD worked flawlessly. I suppose I could appologize for what I directed at Mark Shuttleworth but in all actuality the Ubuntu upgrade process is still pretty immature IMHO.

It was around this time that the fun really started. I was going to start reinstalling my two Windows partitions (XP and then Vista) when I started having drastic issu es reading my installation media. After multiple attempts with different [Dell certified] copies of Windows I decided to start messing with the SATA cables again. At this point my DVD-ROM was using my coworker’s SATA cable. I said to my wife “I bet if I swap the cord back to the original cord Vista will install properly.” Sure as shit that was how it went.

Windows Vista installed, Windows XP installed, and now on to Ubuntu. Surprisingly the Windows installed went relatively smooth after the cord swap compared to the Ubuntu installation. Ubuntu would crap out at seeminly random places during the install bitching about how it was unable to read the disc. A few retries and it finally installed without issue.

Wonderful! So now I’m sitting on a wonderful triple boot system. Unfortunately the story doesn’t stop here. At this point I decided to test the DVD-ROM under different circumstances. I cycled through all 3 cords, different connections on the motherboard, different power cables I even completely restored the configuration back to the original. Just for reference, I was all sorts of pissed off at this point, specifically because the coworker that OFFERED me the cable without any solicitation had something insightful to say to me when I told him the situation. He said, and I quote, “beggars can’t be choosers”. To say the least I gave him a huge piece of my mind, and subsequently decided that I will never take anything from said person in the future. Long story short, the drive was unable to burn DVD’s, CD’s were sporadic (1 out of 3 successful) and eventually, the drive just flat out stopped showing up if I was using the coworkers cable. So $6.99 (plus tax) at the recently re-opened CompUSA later I owned a new cable, and all 3 drives were showing up correctly. Unfortunately, the DVD-ROM still won’t burn discs correctly and I eventually gave up on it.

Stay turned for Episode 2: Migrating Data to the New Drive or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love NTFSProgs.