Ubuntu 9.04 on My Main PC

Last month,I upgraded one of my PCs from Ubuntu 8.10 to Ubuntu 9.04 and everything went rather smoothly. Since my main PC is running Ubuntu 8.04 (LTS) and there is no option to upgrade to 9.04 directly without going through 8.10, so I decided to try a fresh installation.

I have a lot of important programs on my main PC and I wanted to be extra cautious, so instead of backing up the working harddrive and install Ubuntu 9.04 on top of it, I decided to install it on a new harddrive. This way, I could always fall back to my currently working Ubuntu 8.04 installation should something not working out the way I wanted.

The drive I chose to install Ubuntu 9.04 on was a Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS (1TB). The installation went smoothly and ten minutes later I was able to use the brand new Ubuntu 9.04 desktop.

It took me a while to customize the desktop, install the applications I needed and migrate the data over. But everything pretty much worked out-of-box. And it certainly feels a lot faster than Ubuntu 8.04.

The only minor “glitch” I ran into was my dual sound card setup. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I needed to use a second sound card because my on board Intel sound board does not have a MIDI/Game port. I needed that port to hook up my old MIDI keyboard. After the installation though, the sound playback would only go through the Sound Blaster sound card, not the on board Intel HDA sound card. There are various posts (1,2,3,4,5) suggesting how to fix this issue but unfortunately none of them worked in my case. No matter which sound card I initialized first, I always ended up with the Sound Blaster Live card working but not the on-board Intel sound card. Here is how I fixed it: I removed the Sound Blaster Live card first and booted up with just the on board sound. After making sure that the on board sound worked properly, I plugged in the Sound Blaster PCI card and then everything worked as desired (the sound now comes from the on-board Intel HDA instead of the Sound Blaster card).

As a side note, it seems that WD1001FALS does have some performance advantage over WD6400AAKS (which is the harddrive I run Ubuntu 8.04 on) even though their platter densities are quite comparable (333MB/platter versus 320MB/platter).

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