[ubuntu-uk] Upgrading to 12.04 ....

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Sun Apr 29 19:54:21 UTC 2012

On 29/04/12 18:55, Barry Drake wrote:
> I've spent quite a bit of time on Ubuntu Help today as the questions
> were overwhelming the regular folk so I took a few on board.  There are
> a vast number of folk who have virtually trashed their system by trying
> to do an upgrade.  This is exactly the problem I had when upgrading my
> netbook, so I did a clean install.  But I'm fairly paranoid about
> backups so this was easy.  Can we press for much bigger warnings in
> future telling folk that if they go any further with the upgrade, they
> risk losing everything?  The live-CD gives a low key warning of sorts,
> but the updater just gets on with it and thus trashes stuff.  I think
> the word 'sorry' has got into more of my replies today than ever before.
> Regards,        Barry.

Bad news Barry, thank you.
I believe that a clear, offered option of some sort of backup as part 
of a preliminary to install or to version upgrade is an important 
missing feature. My guess is that few if any devs get vulnerable to 
the sort of issues a non techie Windows user faces. Most novices 
respond to a backup question with a blank look.

Use of a CD to install is probably daunting enough to warn off the 
less confident users, but the online upgrade is SO beguiling, and is 
also very assertively advertised, that vulnerable novices can make 
significant mistakes or worse. I know that one vulnerable guy I helped 
did a version upgrade by mistake when all he thought he doing was a 
regular update. It had unfortunate consequences, it was going from 
Kubuntu (kde2) to Kubuntu (kde3) and the gui shock he experienced - 
with me not being present to help or explain - was enough to keep him 
away from K/Ubuntu and he quietly then stayed on Windows from then 

As Ubuntu rolls out to a greatly expanded user base, I believe it is 
important to show a  more prudent face about version upgrades - and 

In a related experience, I am still aware that a while back,  the Wubi 
based Ubuntu systems were occasionally vulnerable to some grub updates 
(grub2 maybe? less so for grub 1), for some reason, I  am not sure 
what. But a non booting Wubi system is not something I would want a 
novice to risk, and afaik, wubi is *aimed* at novices. I sometimes 
check  what the latest information is about this weakness, and I think 
it still exists. Unfortunately, I know people who have chosen to use a 
wubi install, and treat it as if it is enduring, not a temporary easy 
trial. I do hope they have a backup.

alan cocks

More information about the ubuntu-uk mailing list