Thought I’d put out a couple of help requests here, which I’ve also posted at Ubuntu Forums. (If you want to find me there, the user name is ‘davefaulkner’.) But I thought I’d mention them here, in case any techie readers can help.

The back story is this. I’ve given up the idea of trying to get a dual-boot computer between Windows Vista and Ubuntu Linux. (Despite checking the MD5SUM, Ubuntu has never installed properly on the hard drive.)

So I decided that since I wanted to experiment with Linux, I’d run it inside Sun’s VirtualBox 2.0.4. Well, it installs fine, and runs fairly fast in much less memory than Vista – surprise, surprise. But there are a few problems:

1. I can’t get any sound – e.g., if watching a video on YouTube. Error messages tell me I might need a Gstreamer plugin. I’ve googled ‘Gstreamer’, but the results are not the sort that a newbie to these things can understand.

2. Ubuntu only shows up in a monitor resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. It won’t detect my monitor (a Dell 1907FP Digital, if you’re interested). The card is an NVidia GeForce 7900 GS. So I’m stuck with a ridiculously small window for a 19-inch monitor. It’s useless for looking at most websites, for example. I need 1280 x 1024 or at very least 1024 x 768. I also can’t change the refresh rate from 61 Hz. 

I dearly want to like Linux and have a usable alternative for the times when Vista increases my rate of hair loss. I understood Ubuntu was about the most user-friendly, but these are not the problems I’d even expect to encounter with badly behaved Microsoft products.

If anyone has any constructive ideas, please leave a comment, or email my ‘personal’ or ‘backup’ email addresses as listed on the Contact page of this blog.


About Dave Faulkner

I'm a British Methodist minister, married with two children. I blog from a moderate evangelical-missional-charismatic perspective, with an interest in the 'missional' approach. My interests include Web 2.0, digital photography, contemporary music and watching football (Tottenham Hotspur) and cricket.

Posted on October 31, 2008, in Web/Tech and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Dave, I would like to help as I use Ubuntu as my main operating system and have done so for 3.5 years.

    But I have hardly ever used dual boot and have not used virtualbox at all.

    My only suggestion is to look at a separate hard disk. eg could you boot ubuntu off a USB external drive.



  2. bigcircumstance

    Thanks, Dave, no worries. I’ve had a couple of suggestions on the Ubuntu Forums suggesting I need to install the ‘guest additions’ in VirtualBox. If none of the advice there comes to nothing, then I may well postpone this until I can stretch to a decent-sized external drive.


  3. Dave,
    I duel boot with XP and Ubuntu. I’m disappointed that Vista and Ubuntu aren’t working as well together as XP and Ubuntu. I don’t have any real experience with Vista, and I think my wife might kill me if I were to try it on her new computer (lol!), but I will keep my eye out for some ideas as I have an Ubuntu user ID in the forums too.

    Dan Smith


  4. Thanks, Dan. We have a second PC that is XP – we retained it for the kids when we bought our new one last year. I’ve put VirtualBox on that, but haven’t yet installed the Guest Additions. I don’t think I dare go for a dual boot on that machine, as it will confuse the children, who use XP at school!


  1. Pingback: Ubuntu · www.news-hair-loss.com

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