Rescue Me….

It’s summer so I tend to spend more time outside. This means cutting the grass (natch…), visiting people and places, and reading.

I read both fiction and non-fiction. Last book was the latest Clive Cussler (yes, it is Harlequin Romance for guys) release called The Spy which isn’t one of the Dirk Pitt series. Based around the turn of the 19th century (you know you’re getting old when you think “turn of the century” you think 19th-to-20th century and the yunguns today will think 20th-to-21st. Again, Natch…. Anyway, it is an different time and I like it.


I’ve been running Ubuntu 10.04 (upgraded from 9.10) on my Dell Mini 10v (the original Inspiron 1011) for the last 9 months. I originally installed Windows 7 RC and then RTM and, I have to say, that Windows 7 is MUCH better than Windows XP. Those of you who have used both will agree; for those of you who haven’t you should at a least get the evaluation version and try it. The only complaint that I have is that no operating system for a general purpose PC or laptop is not worth more than $100 new. I’ll go further and say that an upgrade isn’t worth more than $50. So, because I didn’t way to pay for Windows 7 for the netbook and I didn’t want to use XP as my standard OS. I’ve used Ubuntu when it first became popular (I’m an old Red Hat fan but after Red Hat 9 I wasn’t fussy about Fedora – anyway…) and decided to try it again.  I remembered that you used to be able to buy a Mini with Ubuntu Netbook Remix so it looked like a good choice.

I didn’t want to waste too much space on Mini so I only put aside 10 GB for Ubuntu.  Of course, I liked Ubuntu better than Windows 7 on it!  It uses less memory (I still only have 1 GB because putting in a new 2 GB DIMM is, frankly, ridiculous – could this have been a sop from Dell to Microsoft to let them install Windows XP?  “If you make sure you can’t upgrade the Mini to 2 GB it will be fine to sell it with XP” – simply supposition  on my part!) than Win7 and I can get all the apps I need under Ubuntu!

However, as I was transferring some movies from DVD to the hard disk I quickly found I had run out of space.  The answer: simply shrink the Win7 partition and increase Ubuntu partition.  The truth is that I got lazy and tried to try the easy way out – boot with the Ubuntu 10.04 install CD (yes, still small enough for a CD!) and use the partition manager from the install to resize the partition.  Well, I could easily shrink the Win7 partition but the Ubuntu partition wouldn’t resize.

Oh well, reboot to think about how to resize.  Lo!  Grub’s black screen of death.  Obviously, I killed Grub and needed to re-install the boot loader.  Thankfully, I have far too many systems in the house (my wife would suggest that more than on computer in the house is two too many 😉 and it was just to drop down to the office and do a search.   Google, being your friend, gave me the answer and after manually running through the boot loader commands I had the Ubuntu partition up-and-running.

I still had the problem of being out of Ubuntu space.  Back to Google again.  I found the solution with the obvious: GParted (see  This is a GREAT utility no matter what OS you use.  Also on the GParted page is the link to the UNetbootin (see which is how you can create a bootable Live USB drive.  GParted has the instructions to create the boot USB drive.  Works like a charm – recommended as well!

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