We had some pretty good storms go through here about a month ago, and took out the transformer right around the corner from the house. As luck would have it, it fried the onboard NIC on the motherboard. No biggey, right? Just go the the parts bin, and snag another NIC.
On a whim, I was digging around Dell's site the other night, and saw that my warranty was still good on the PC. Hmmmmm, says I, I think I'll get the motherboard replaced since it's still under warranty.
Got the bugger replaced yesterday AM, and since I was rushed, didn't really have time to test it, other than to see that it was NOT going to boot into Winderz. **sigh** Ducky, I know what I'm doing when I get home from work.
Get home last night, fire up the box, and instead of selecting the XP install, I want to see if the VL install works. BOOM! Flies right in, fires up, and I still have a working system. PERFECT! Now for the Winderz side. Nada, zilch, zero. Can't even get in. Hmmmmmmmmm, check the BIOS, change the drive setting, and now it boots into XP. But wait.. No keyboard, no mouse, no other USB device is loading. GAH! I feel the first pangs of panic starting to set in, as I'm thinking of things on that partition that I can not loose, and am wondering just how the heck am I going to get it backed up.
Try another restart, and as it's booting, think I can just copy critical data from the NTFS partition into K3B and burn it to a DVD. Panic feeling goes away, and as XP boots, the Plug n Pray system kicks in and starts installing the USB drivers. WHEW! Back to normal.
Guys, if it hadn't been for the VL distro on this system, I'm not sure what I would have done. Sure, things kinda fixed automatically, but if it hadn't been for VL, and it's rock steady performance on this machine, I wouldn't have had that "lifeline" to save the data on the NTFS side of the machine. So, again, I say a job well done, and thank you for a solid performer that will always get more use on this box than Winderz.