At least, I think it was the dual boot linux install that caused the problem. The drive is no longer visible under Windows, and it did work just before I installed Ubuntu.
Because I had to replace the hard disc in my laptop, and reinstall everything, I reserved 20G for another OS, and installed Ubuntu in it.
Yesterday, when I wanted to write a CD of slides I had scanned for use at Oxonmoot, I discovered that the cd drive was not listed in Windows file mangler, nor inthe device manager. I have run out of bright ideas about how to fix it, except reinstall windoze and don't dual boot. That would be another 2 days wasted, AND I'd lose linux on this machine. I had been hoping (gradually) to migrate away from Windows, at least partly.
What I have found out/tried so far:
- The CDROM works fine under Linux, and wrote the needed disc OK
- The CDROM is listed as the second boot device, after a USB floppy drive I haven't got, but if I leave a bootable CD in it, grub loads linux unless I take other action. I am not sure if it is even possible to boot to a CD. I need to test that, but I doubt it.
- Searching for problems with Win XP losing ythe cd drive, I found mentiion of a registry key under current control set, with an upper filter value. I removed it as instructions suggested, and now Windows lists the linux partitions as unformatted drives, but still does not see the cdrom drive.
- I first tried restoring windows to an earlier configuration with the system restor functin. The earliest one available, when the cdrom was definitely working, did not restore the functionality.
- I also tried fitting a cdrom drive that works in another computer, but that made no difference. Hardware failure is pretty much ruled out.
Can anyone figure out what I can do to make it work again?
The cause of the very slow "save as" dialogue box is clear at last. It appears that, when you click on the pulldown box on the "save as" box, Microsoft Office insists on making a connection with every network drive that is mapped. That doesn't waste too much time if the only mapped drives are on a server that is never switched off, but in a network where shared directories are mapped on a peer-to-peer basis, and not all computers are switched on all the time, this is not viable.
The solutions proposed by Microsoft are not to map the network drives, or, on the assumption that they are on servers that might have a slow WAN connection, mirror WAN servers locally. Then there are workarounds like running a script on startup to map only those drives that are present at the time - which won't help much here because machines get switched on and off at need.
Open Office does not seem to suffer from this problem, so Hibernia has three obvious choices:
- Live with it, now she knows what the problem is.
- Unmap all shares, and go through "My Network Places" to get at any share she wants.
- Use Open Office.
I would use the last solution if it was my computer this was happening on. It does happen on mine, but I rarely use the "Save As" dialogue, preferring instead to right click and create a new empty document with the correct name in the directory where I want it, then open the new document so that it will always save where I expect it. However, because I am insufficiently rich not to care, the laptop I bought earlier in the year is set up with Open Office - saving an extra cost of over half the price of the computer. Because Open Office can open and save to MS office file formats (though I doubt it translates any macros that may be present) and can also save to pdf, I my decide to change to that on this computer. The only macro that runs on startup is one to add a button to save in PDF form, and that hits me with a series of dialogue boxes when Word opens because it has not been signed by an authority that MS trusts, so switching to OO as the default might be best, assuming there is not too much consumer resistance from Hibernia.
She was very iffy about Firefox for a short time, but now would not wish to go back to Internet Exploder.