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ok, so i am new to Linux. it seemed more attractive then the failure prone windows that i gave up on. i decided to try puppy, as research showed it to be simple and able to boot up just about anything. well, it did boot up a computer that one "expert" (as in the fellas you pay money to to fix something) said the "drive is corrupted or full" whilst another said"the motherboard is shot". Solutions by both were to reinstall windows? when the unit crapped out again, i decided to fix myself. windows tools did nothing. Puppy got me in, i can use the unit (as i am right now) but I cannot save a session, make puppy permanent, or add anything to it. downloads cannot be saved or used in any way. even tried to force an ISO image and still nothing. sure, i am beginning to like the Linux system, but having to boot from a disc every time, resetting configurations in BIOS, and not being able to change or add, or fix/delete old (windows) files on hard drive disc (now 2, one is new, ready to go, and has win 7 only on the damn thing). maybe i do not understand the programming, but it seems like even after using various shell commands and such (which i found on line, thankful for that) puppy is stuck as being a boot, reconfigure BIOS,stuck with it, unchangeable, look-here-are-your-old-files-that-you-cannot-do-anything-with-only-puppy-can-use-the-space-on-the-drives os. i may as well not even have hard drives, apparently not needed. today, i tried to get zorin to install...ha, fat chance. i just want something that works, or some clue to some "magic switch" i missed. i am fearful to shut unit down, since i would not be surprised if she never came on again. sigh... i want to have linux on this machine. even my frustrating experience with the puppy version is better than dealing with things that happen with ms win OS.
ugg and arr...now the pup killed my net connection...wtf? good thing my windows machines are working. it may be a futile effort to try linux, yet i am intrigued and becoming more and more driven to accomplish the task.
Your next step should be to install Linux on a hard drive. From your description I am not sure if you have a usable hard drive or not. Do you have a hard drive that you can install Linux to?
one hard drive is new, was working until boot mgr became "compressed" (?) and machine would not boot. the other is seasoned but is reported as good by puppy checks on the drive state. i can see the files on both discs. puppy offers to do things, but does not carry out the task (lacks the execution ability?) anyhow, the new one has win 7 ultimate and is basically interchangeable with the drive on this laptop. the old one, well, should work. it has a "modified" version of win xp ( meaning "somebody" had "win 7" a bit early ). yes, in case you are going to ask, the drive from the laptop works in place of the new one and might even be switched around from troubleshooting. now, i have had some "mysterious problems" with all of my computers... according to ip address i tracked, i was basically watching someone from sweden run my machine(s). virus or "swedish net pirates"? maybe ms mad at me? whatever source, it took over norton anti virus and used it to control my machine. i was left more or less poking screen shots ( the entire help part of ms was wrapped into a session program that auto started. it used media player and adobe flash. also, logs were used, especially app data, and added to itself) while the os did whatever it did or did not, since it is still there my confusion seems warranted. local computer guys would not listen when i told them that my entire os was compressed and triple encrypted and within the recycle bin ( which was quite a sight to see as it wobbled around on the desktop) before they both charged me to reinstall windows as a solution. i got my laptop back in order as well as a desktop. a lot of strange programming was involved in the windows os programming... kill commands, sections in swedish... ok, sigh... maybe it is no use trying linux. i will find a way to boot the unit or partition the drives. or ican just use puppy, which works fine on the unit as well as a stripped unit that has only mobo and ram cards. go figure, that one was supposedly a "shot" mobo as well.
Not sure if you are just venting or if you would like some help getting a linux system to work for you.
puppy is a good starting point. it runs in ram and will run without the need of a HD. for the most part it is a single click system rather than doubleclick so pay attention.
if you click the windows drive on the desktop and see your personal files lets say an image. now click the puppy file manager and click documents.
you will have two windows, now click hold drag the image from the windows folder to the puppy my documents folder and a popup will offer options. choose copy when finished close the windows and unmount the windows drive. right click the drive and select unmount if currently mounted.
when you shut down puppy it will ask if you want to save., this works well on fat32 partitions thus a thumb drive is ideal for installing puppy with a save file. this will allow you to retain settings and added programs and store files. if you have free space on your windows drive you can resize the partition(shrink it) and create a new fat32 partition for saving files. puppy includes gparted partition manager for the task but be very carefull as you can easily destroy you windows system if you take used space and format it.
If you would like to salvage a computer with windows xp for example, linux is the best alternative and many are very surprised to find an operating system that is simply better than windows in many aspects and turns a door stop into a perfectly usable internet workstation. keep in mind that some hardware is not compatable with linux but not to worry there is often a workaround.
many new users will ask what is the best linux or what just works but will not often get the single answer they wanted because there are hundrends of distributions and even more combinations of hardware, however I often recommend what works well for me on similar hardware so you can try or make your own choice from perhaps distrowatch.com.
it will be importand to get to know your hardware and when asking questions include as much information as is possible.
if you would like further assistance please post the make, model, hard disk size and amount of ram of the laptop. and what you would like to achieve.
Distribution: UBUNTU 5.10 since Jul-18,2006 on Intel 820 DC
If you attach the disk to an existing computer (even windoze) and back up all the files, then you can start with the confidence that your data is safe and usable. You might find that the fellas to whom you paid cash were correct. In which case, you have to get another box.
Anyway, installing linux in such a situation on a clean disk (no data) is simple.