My trials and tribulations with Windows are well documented on my Twitter account. The saga took an ugly turn a couple of weeks ago when we had a sudden power outage. I didn’t know it at the time, but it pretty much sentenced my hard drive to death.

After we got power back my comp was acting really strange. Freezing and hanging at random times, when it hadn’t done so before. I was also have start up problems and receiving sporadic I/O errors. I tried repairing my Windows installation but it kept telling me that I needed drivers and wouldn’t accept the ones I was offering up. I began to pull my weave out.

A few times, there were glimmers of hope. I’d get Windows to load and get to browse around. I even wiped my disk and reinstalled Windows successfully. That only lasted a day, however.

Frustrated, I declared my desktop computer, Butch, dead.

The computer Gods have forsaken me. Desktop is dead & laptop has big crack in screen. I’ll be rollin’ w iPhone until further notice. #pcfailless than a minute ago via TwitBird iPhone

I let him sit for a day and think about what he did and how he was going to make this up to me. Then I thought about how I didn’t want to give up on fixing this because it would be a while before I could afford another computer since I just got this one in October. I was contemplating selling one of my prize telephoto lenses, Bessie, to give me some cash.

Then I remember that Ubuntu was much more friendly to systems than Windows and would probably buy me some more time to figure out what was wrong with Butch. I loaded the live CD and installed it over Windows as my primary (and only) operating system. After everything was all configured Ubuntu flashed a warning alert after booting up that let me know that my main hard drive was thisclose to failing! Its exact words were “DISK FAILURE IS IMMINENT!” — and yes, it was in all caps!

So was this why I’d been having so many problems? The hard drive? I thought it was something more serious like the motherboard. Getting a replacement hard drive was a piece of cake solution! I went to Best Buy today and picked up a nice Western Digital Caviar Green 500 GB drive. I spent the better part of the evening installing it and Windows.

And now, I am writing this post from my desktop that has returned from the dead! And it’s all thanks to Ubuntu! Don’t sleep on it if you’re having Windows problems and can’t afford to upgrade to a Mac! I probably would have kept it, even on this new drive, if it weren’t for the fact that I need to be able to use iTunes for my iPhone. (Ubuntu isn’t compatible without jumping through a lot of hoops, and even then it’s not guaranteed to work)