I rebooted from Windows into Ubuntu yesterday and watched in horror as it said various essential files didn´t exist. It was one of those ¨heart in your mouth¨ type moments that tend to preceed really bad events. This was no exception.

The machine eventually booted into Ubuntu but with a read-only file system and some damaged files. Consulting with people who know it seemed as though it was a hardware problem rather than just a file system error. Looking at the SMART logs seemed to confirm this. The machine is around 2 years old, so the hdd having failed seems a bit soon, but then they don´t last as long as they used to and the machine has seen a lot of use and abuse.
I ordered a new 60Gb hard drive this morning so when I get back from Seattle I´ll be able to install it and get the machine running again. The next question is what do I need to install the hdd? Not physically – that part looks straightforward – but partition wise. IBM laptops come with a recovery partition at the end of the disk – do I need to copy that onto the new disk? Also the X40 is the only windows machine I now have and while it´s often weeks between visits to Windows it is the only way I have of using Skype (something I´ve used for more than one FeatherCast interview in the last year).

I doubt I really need Windows these days, but having it has proven useful in the last year. Maybe I´ll finally make the break and just use the entire disk for Ubuntu. I guess I don´t really need to decide until Wednesday when the new drive should arrive.
Anyone have any experience of doing this and care to offer suggestions?