Well, it was bound to happen sometime.  The old hard drive in my desktop finally died.  I tried the freezer trick.  Lowering the temperature can sometimes nudge a hard drive back to health — long enough to grab some data off of it.  That did not work.  So, I will have to live with my full back-up, which was about 10-days earlier.

Here are the steps I’ve gone through (so far) to reconstruct a working system:

1) Replace defective drive with another old IDE drive, with 300GB capacity. 

2) Boot the computer using the Mind 12 live DVD, which I still had from my first install of Mint 12.

3) After the boot up, I clicked on Install.  When it got to the question about how to install, I selected the option to reformat the HDD and install Mint alone using the entire disk.

4) Once installed I re-booted the computer.  Mint informed me there were Updates waiting, so I installed them all.  This process actually took longer than the Mint initial install.

5) Went into System Tools > System Settings > Displays to configure my dual displays from Mirror (the default).

6)  Launched Software Manager and installed several programs that do not come automatically with Mint 12:

  • Wine (to run Windows programs)
  • Shutter (nice screen-shot program)
  • Lucky Back-Up (program to keep files backed-up)
  • Screenlets
  • Picasa (for photo adjustments and management)
  • Chromium Browser
  • DeVeDe (DVD authoring program)
  • Gweled (cute game)
  • MeTV (software to drive my TV card)

7) Launched Thunderbird.  Then killed it, copied over my files from backup, and re-launched it.  I’ve got all my old email back (except for the past 10-day after my last back-up).

8) Launched Firefox.  Then killed it, copied over my configuration files from backup, and re-launched it.  I’ve got all my bookmarks and preferences back.

9) Copied all my files from backup disk onto my main disk, using the default folders provided by Mint:  Documents, Pictures, Downloads, etc.

10) Set up a few screenlets using Screenlet Manager.

11) Launched Me-TV and ran through the HDTV channel search.

12) Launched Picasa and let if find all my photos.

That’s about all I have time for this weekend.