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

Alan Bell alan.bell at libertus.co.uk
Sun Apr 29 20:04:20 UTC 2012

On 29/04/12 20:54, alan c wrote:
> 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.
well about the only thing we do actually know about people facing an 
upgrade is that they are not fresh from Windows and have been using 
Ubuntu for a bit! I am just doing an upgrade on my son's laptop, it 
popped up a dialog telling me there was an upgrade and a heap of stuff I 
didn't read. It then told me something about third party sources, but 
there was only a close button on that so I didn't have to understand it.
What would be the point of adding a backup option if novices wouldn't 
take it? What would such an option do? Where would it back stuff up to? 
What would be the procedure for doing a restore from this backup? Would 
that reliably work?

> 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.
it says "do you want to upgrade?" and you can say yes or no to it. 
Clearly "yes" is the preferred option, but why shouldn't we encourage 
people to upgrade to new cool stuff that will make their experience 
better (which is the aim of it, sometimes that doesn't work out so well)?
> 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 onwards.
yes, but the upgrade worked, he just didn't get on with the new features 
he upgraded to.
> 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 
> installs.
> 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.
yeah, wubi is a bit of a worry, unfortunately with bad practices of 
using all 4 primary partitions by OEMs it remains one of the easiest 
ways to get Ubuntu to coexist with Windows on a single drive for people 
who want that.

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