Monday, August 30, 2010

Restore Grub After Installing Windows 7

Dual booting. It can be a wonderful thing or a horrible nightmare. With Windows 7, users may have more than one reason to want the ability on their HTPC machines. Especially if several pieces of hardware just don't work as they should in Ubuntu.

The trick is, Windows 7, by default, wants to be the ONLY OS on your computer, even if you've already installed other OSes. My recommendation? Install Windows 7 first, in a carefully planned partition (create using Ubuntu LiveCD and GParted, of course), and then install Ubuntu.

But what if you just HAD to install Ubuntu first in that secondary partition and now need to install Windows? Windows will erase your Grub settings from the boot sector. This means no more ability to boot into Ubuntu. Oh No!

Not to worry, there's an easy way to recover from said disaster. I found this excellent post and here are the details for archival purposes:

This post discusses the easy way of restoring Grub2 using Ubuntu Live CD. First, boot with the Ubuntu Live CD. Now mount the partition, which has Ubuntu installed on it. If you had a separate partition for /boot, then you would have to mount that too. Mounting the partitions is super easy. Just go to Places in the top Gnome menu and try browsing to your corresponding partition by clicking on it. It would automatically get mounted and open in nautilus.

Now just run the following command to install Grub2 in the Master Boot Record (MBR) of your first booting hard drive.

sudo grub-setup -d /media/XXXXX/boot/grub -m /media/YYYYY/boot/grub/ /dev/sda

Where XXXXX represents the name or UUID of the partition that you have mounted. If your /boot partition is separate from your / partition then YYYYY above would be different from XXXXX, else both of them would be identical. The command above assumes that /dev/sda is your primary or first device in hard disk boot order. If not then replace it with /dev/sdb or sd_ fill the blank with appropriate letter.

After you have run the command, reboot and you should be able to boot in Ubuntu but not in Windows, to fix it run the following command in a terminal and Grub boot list would be updated to include Windows in it. Also if you want to change boot order read this.

sudo update-grub

Now reboot and you should have the choice to boot in both Windows and Ubuntu.

Getting the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 to work in Ubuntu 10.04

Really just posting this for my own reference later, but here's the link and the details:

Enter this into your Terminal it is the code for the firmware and to install it
sh;sudo cp *fw /lib/firmware
you need to install mercurial and build essential for the next steps
sudo apt-get install mercurial libncurses5-dev
then we need the driver using this command to fetch
hg clone
now change to the directory
cd saa7164-stable
then run make
that will take some time, go grab a drink and wait it out, when it completes run this command
sudo make install
wait for that to complete and reboot
from the command line
sudo reboot
Note that an application like TVtime will not work, TVtime only works on Analog signals, and so far this driver only gets the digital stuff working.

then install MythTV using whatever method you like, I personally went into synaptic and installed the frontend and backend and extra plug-ins

once installed and you set up your passwords go to
System> administration> MythTV backend setup

once there go to Capture Cards, Should be choice #2
choose new capture card, you will ave to do this step twice (this card has two tuners)
At card Type, pick DTB DTV
the first will be device number 0,
repeats choosing capture card to add the second tuner
the second device will be #1 (Linux starts counting at 0, good thing to know, especially for hard drives)

then go to video sources, pick your options, will vary so mine will not work with yours most likely, so I dont want to post something I dont know)

then go to Input Connections, again you will have 0 and 1, configure both

then edit channels and directories as needed.

close let it fill database, for some reason mine keeps running in a loop, just exit after you see it finish the first or second time

now go to Applications > Sound & Video > MythTV Frontend

And you should be able to watch TV

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Black Cursors on Win7/2008 R2 Using rdesktop for Ubuntu 10.04

I recently setup a Win 2008 R2 VM and proceeded to remote connect to it from Ubuntu 10.04. Everything worked perfectly except the mouse cursors were black (and some were corrupt). Solution? Use a newer version of rdesktop that doesn't ship with Ubuntu. There is a handy PPA that can be added using the following command:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ricolai/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rdesktop

It appears ricolai may have removed the package from his PPA. To remedy the situation, I've uploaded the working binaries for x64. Sorry, I don't have the x86 any longer.

More information on the bug can be found here: