Here is my challenge: Install Linux, set it up how you like it, and run it for a week or so â€“ and I'm talking really run it (this is the important bit) â€“ do not boot Windows unless you really have to (so for games, or whatever). If you find that OK, continue running it for up to a month â€“ then go back and try out running Windows again. Which do you prefer? I guarantee you will prefer Linux. The big problem is the first step, once you are running Linux, Windows is an unattractive offer.
I've tried three distros on my laptop now, only one worked. Arch worked fine, because I got to set it up myself. Getting this to work on the sig rig through a USB drive was easy peasy, with xorg and xfce up and running, it was all sublime. However, I decided I couldn't be bothered picking everything myself because I just wanted a functional laptop quickly. I then decided to download a few 'simpler' more 'streamlined' distributions - in this case Debian and openSUSE.
Both of them have the same issue. They will not boot. After initial booting they will go into what seems like 'sleep mode' but isn't, it's just hung. Turning the laptop off lets me see that its in bootup phase just long enough before it shuts off again. I had this same problem in Arch with ATI's drivers, I tried unofficial drivers and it worked.
openSUSE boots in 'failsafe mode', but won't let me log in as regular user, it just returns me to the login screen again. It lets me log in as root (which is undesirable obviously) but then rebooting it will just hang it again.
On top of it all booting from cd no longer works, it just brings me back to the god damn grub screen again where i get to choose from openSUSE that doesn't work and openSUSE that almost kinda works in a way.
To put it simply, I took your linux challenge and I'll just say that maybe I'll bother once I have a spare pc to play with. I need my laptop to actually work, and now the god damn thing won't even let me boot from the xp restore disc.
I realise ATI's drivers for linux are utterly completely useless, but why oh why would these distros decide to use them then? I mean, they're so dumbed down they won't even tell me which drivers they are installing but seeing as I am experiencing the same problem I can only assume it's the same as the first time I tried it.