Tag Archives: windows

Rebuilding a Linux System

I meant this to be “Reconfiguring a Linux System,” but that is not how it turned out. I had followed the default Ubuntu installation process when I set up this system. I wanted to change it so that the swap area and /home would be in separate disk partitions, as decribed in these articles in How to Geek and Make Tech Easier. The first step in this process is to create the new partitions using GParted, which I have used before. GParted always gives dire warnings about the need to back up your files before using it. I have always heeded these warnings, but this was the first time the reason for them was brought home to me.

“Failure is always an option.”-Adam Savage

Replacing another hard disk

Following my success in Replacing a hard disk I decided to do the same for a Lenovo ThinkPad X130e, which I had purchased for about $250 (again) from Micro Center. The BIOS on this system dates from 2011, not quite as ancient as the Optiplex I had modified before. This replacement was somewhat more risky, since I had installed Linux on it in addition to the Windows 10 home edition it came with. Would the GRUB dual boot system survive the cloning process? I also used a 512GB SSD to replace the 320GB hard drive, hoping to install an additional Linux distribution or two.

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Replacing a hard disk

I have a Dell Optiplex 780, which I bought used from the Box Shop some years ago for about $250. The date of the BIOS is 2008, so it is quite ancient. However it is a 64 bit system, with 4GB RAM, and virtualization support. It must have been considered a fine machine in its day. It still works. I have installed Windows 10 on it, even that OS is not officially supported on it, and before that two varieties of Linux. It is no longer my primary system, but I am not yet ready to part with it. Hence How to Copy Your Windows Installation to an SSD caught my eye, since replacing a hard drive by an SSD is a good way to speed up an old system.

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WSL: Files and Environment Variables

Continuing from WSL: Directories and Files.

The Ultimate Guide to Windows Subsystem for Linux (Windows WSL) points out that with WSL2 the Linux file system is a virtual disk. In my case

C:\Users\Glenn\AppData\Local\Packages\CanonicalGroupLimited.Ubuntu20.04onWindows_79rhkp1fndgsc\LocalState\ext4.vhdx

I hope there is a way to relocate this file into a directory format that is fit for human consumption.

The Ultimate Guide goes on to consider environment variables. Opening an administrator command prompt as in the example:
“Failure is always an option.”-Adam Savage

The United States-International keyboard layout

I have used the United States-International keyboard layout for years to enter Irish Language accented letters (á,é,í,…) and occasionally German letters with umlauts. I have done this with dead keys: In this layout ‘, `, “, ~, and ^ are dead keys. Nothing happens until you type certain letters following the dead key, at which point the letter appears with the appropriate accent, umlaut, etc. This has worked very well for me. TIL that you can do much more with that layout. How to use the United States-International keyboard layout in Windows 7, in Windows Vista, and in Windows XP explains all of this. Using the Right-Alt key and the Right-Alt-key with the shift key let you enter all sorts of wonderful things, e.g. ß (for German), € (Euro), ¥ (Yen), þ, ð, ø, Ø, ©.

Some of you may know this, but I suspect the vast majority of Windows users, and a lot of Linux users, do not. The link above refers to older versions of Windows, but the layout works on Windows 10 and on Linux. The process of installing the keyboard will depend on your OS. Look for “keyboard layout” in the documentation.

Networking with the Windows Subsystem for Linux

Networking was built in on the Ubuntu WSL install. WSL Ubuntu under Windows has an IP of 172.17.xxx.xxx, but it can see my local 192.168 network, and the entire internet. WSL Ubuntu says it uses a DNS Server on the 172.17 network. Since WSL uses NAT, I expect that translates to my router on the 192.168 network, which in turn accesses the DNS servers of my ISP. IP addresses in the range 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255 are private, so apparently WSL creates its own network.

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A Note on Computer BIOS Settings

Enabling VM features on a computer is a BIOS feature, so do to it you have to interrupt the startup with the Escape or some other key, depending on the machine. My HP EliteDesk uses the Escape key, but the boot started so fast that my 70 year old fingers could not hit that key fast enough to prevent Windows from starting. A web search suggest that I use the Windows power settings to disable the “quick boot” and actually do a full shutdown and restart rather than a simple reboot. This worked and I could click Escape in time and get to the BIOS settings. After a little searching I found the VM setting (Every BIOS is different) and turned it on. I also added a 5-second delay to the boot settings to make the next time easier.