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Old 08-16-2005, 02:40 PM   #1
sundialsvcs
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Thumbs down Hint: Wanna try Linux, so wanna rig your Windows system to dual-boot?


Uh huh. Here's my suggestion: don't.

If you are "first learning Linux," and you have a nice, stable Windows system running just fine, then it is vastly easier to leave that system exactly as it is, grab some other computer (perhaps the last one you had before you started using this one .. you know, the one that's still in the closet 'cuz no one wanted it? ... yeah, that one! ...) and install Linux on that. You can literally find these things at any Goodwill store, if they don't automatically throw them away.

Start with a commercial distro of recent vintage. You can download images from a variety of on-line sources and burn your own CD-ROM ... using your existing Windows system to do it. Don't pick up a copy of, say, "Red Hat Linux 7.1 Unleashed!" from the used-book store, which you notice still has a CD-ROM in the back, and install that. Instead, get a recent flavor.

Do a complete, blank-the-hard-drive-and-start-from-scratch install on this "old" computer. ("Boys, say goodbye to your memories!" -- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) Now you have a computer that you can learn with, that you can completely trash if you wish, and you won't hurt anything.

This is vastly easier, and safer, than what usually happens ... where people "get stuck" (or worse!) while trying to muddle with the partitions on their Windows system, and/or futz-up the boot loader and can't boot anything, and panic (of course) and spend twice that amount of time just trying to get something working again. ... It happens all the time.

Linux can run, and run well, on "just about anything." It's a great system to put on the hardware that Windows has proclaimed to have "outgrown," and it will breathe new youth into it. But it's much easier to work with this system and to learn Linux if you have another system, completely untouched and untouchable, always at your disposal e.g. to access linuxquestions.org.

---

Incidentally, this "use a spare computer so there's nothing to lose" strategy is a great one to use when updating Windows systems, too! Oh sure, Micro$oft promises that everything will go smoothly and all-of-that... but if you can try it out first on a system that you care nothing about, you can be sure.

Another very handy thing to have is one of those pocket-sized USB hard drives that will literally fit in your shirt-pocket. (And, hint hint, in the safe-deposit box in that nice and friendly bank that's right next door to a great coffee-shop on the way to work...) Mine are from DataStor and cost less than $150 and they hold something like 40 to 80 gigabytes. The ultimate backup-device.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-16-2005 at 02:45 PM.
 
Old 08-16-2005, 02:55 PM   #2
aysiu
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Re: Hint: Wanna try Linux, so wanna rig your Windows system to dual-boot?

Quote:
Originally posted by sundialsvcs
Start with a commercial distro of recent vintage. You can download images from a variety of on-line sources and burn your own CD-ROM ... using your existing Windows system to do it. Don't pick up a copy of, say, "Red Hat Linux 7.1 Unleashed!" from the used-book store, which you notice still has a CD-ROM in the back, and install that. Instead, get a recent flavor.
Your profile says you use Red Hat 8, but 7.1 is too old to use? Shouldn't you be using a more recent flavor, like Fedora Core 4?

I like your plan, but finding a spare computer isn't always so easy. Does that mean you have to find a spare monitor and working keyboard, too? Or will you keep switching peripherals between the two computers?

I admit that for some people partitioning is difficult (with QTParted, I had no problems at all--but maybe that's just me). So another alternative, besides getting a new computer is trying out a live CD: Knoppix, for example. If you like Linux enough on a live CD to install it to your hard drive, then you have two options (apart from the aforementioned): dual-boot or just get rid of Windows completely.

Just know that some people have had difficulties setting up dual-boots. They're not that hard, though. If you have a basic understanding of how computers and partitions work, I say "Go for it!" If not, keep using the live CD or wipe out Windows completely...

...uh, after backing up all your data first, of course.
 
Old 08-16-2005, 02:56 PM   #3
[ToXiC] DuCkY
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OR

Get a new hard drive.

I got a Western Digital, and it took my whole Windows partition and all files and copied it to the new drive. Then I just installed FC4.
 
  


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