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install/reinstall guidelines?

Since it is clear that reinstalling is a sure-fire way to clear up any
problems in cygwin (or any other package for that matter but we're only
talking about cygwin here), I'm wondering if maybe we shouldn't add some
guidelines in the FAQ:

  Q.  I need to reinstall Cygwin to fix some problems.  Can you help?

  A.  Yes.  Here are some guidelines on how to fix various problems in Cygwin.

  - cron problems

  Fixing cron problems requires uninstalling and reinstalling seven (7) times.

  - problems finding a /home directory.

  Please uninstall and reinstall cygwin three (3) times to correct any /home
  directory problems.

  - ssh not working

  ssh problems succumb to a couple of different debugging methods.

  First consult with the internet for help.  Try the advice on the first
  few sites that you come across.

  If you are still unable to operate ssh after following the directions
  on, e.g.,,
  then it may take as many as nine (9) reinstallations to get a perfectly
  functioning ssh installation.

  If you still have problems with ssh after nine (9) reinstallations, then
  send email to the cygwin list and mention that you've "tried everything
  but nothing worked".

  - unable to install cygwin using a specific mirror in setup.exe

  Most inoperative mirrors require six (6) attempts before they will rectify
  their behavior.  Make sure that you uninstall any partial cygwin installations
  any time you have a problem.  Don't make the mistake of trying other mirrors
  since most mirror sites value loyalty above all else and any attemp to switch
  may end up with a costly mirror site blacklisting.

  - can't install a package from other releases beside the one distributed from

  Don't even bother trying to uninstall or reinstall anything.  Just immediately
  fire off a message to the cygwin list.  You need help from the Cygwin "gurus".

  - can't build from source due to a "compile error".

  If the compile error is similar to "gcc: command not found" then remove the
  cygwin distribution from your hard drive and install it again, this time
  selecting "gcc".

  If the compile error is similar to "make: command not found" then remove the
  cygwin distribution from your hard drive and install it again, this time
  selecting "make".

  This can be quite tedious for long builds which require both make and gcc
  to be used in tandem.  PTC.

  - general guidelines

  * Make sure that you wait at least an 1.5 hours between uninstalling and
  reinstalling cygwin to give your computer time to collect itself and "cool off".

  * It is often a good idea to click randomly on any available controls on
  when stepping through the installation as a way to "shake out" any stuck
  bits in setup.exe.  Like most computer programs, setup.exe is very forgiving
  of end user ignorance so there is no reason to be concerned if you are unclear
  on what, exactly, the bits you are clicking on do.  Even if clicking on something
  does seem to cause unexpected behavior, it is nothing that can't be solved by a
  reinstallation of cygwin/windows or the purchase of a new PC.

Are there any other common problems which are easily solved by reinstallation?

Wait.  What am I saying?  ALL problems are solved by reinstallation.  It's just
hard to know how many times you have to do it.  In fact, you can probably teach
your computer true AI if you uninstall and reinstall cygwin enough...


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