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Old 01-07-2007, 03:02 PM   #1
tsunamidave
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If I load Linux on to a computer will i be able to switch back?


I'm exparimenting with different Operating Systems, and i want to try Linux on my WinXp Desktop. but i want to revert if i dont like it.

Is there a way to do this? I could also use a link to a good "how to" for switching to Linux.

thanks
 
Old 01-07-2007, 03:11 PM   #2
kernel_geek
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Switching do you mean uninstalling ?? You can have more than one operating system on one computer if thats what you mean ??
 
Old 01-07-2007, 03:13 PM   #3
tsunamidave
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How do i set it up so i can run Linux and XP?
 
Old 01-07-2007, 03:14 PM   #4
anubis26
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Yes, you can have what is called a dual boot, in which you chop off some free space off of your windows hard drive and install linux onto it and have both at the same time. You can also try a live cd, which Knoppix, Kubuntu/Ubuntu, SuSE, and many other distributions have. It runs without installing, using your ram (which is erased every time you turn off your computer) as a virtual hard drive, so it makes no pernament changes. In fact, it is impossible to tell if a computer has ever run a livecd; it leaves nothing behind.
 
Old 01-07-2007, 03:17 PM   #5
tsunamidave
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by anubis26
Yes, you can have what is called a dual boot
how do i set up a dual boot
 
Old 01-07-2007, 03:30 PM   #6
2damncommon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunamidave
I'm exparimenting with different Operating Systems, and i want to try Linux on my WinXp Desktop. but i want to revert if i dont like it.

Is there a way to do this? I could also use a link to a good "how to" for switching to Linux.

thanks
Installing Linux to a hard drive includes creating it's own filesystem which has the same result on data as running a format command in Windows. That is to say, in neither case would you want to format over needed files. Then the Linux installation writes Linux files to the computer just like a Windows installation.
So it is obvious that running a format and writing new files would leave nothing to "roll back" to.
Dual booting is usually the answer. You can purchase a second hard drive and install Linux on it or you can resize your Windows partition to leave free space for the Linux install. When set up correctly with a boot manager you will be able to choose which OS to use when you start your computer.
Linux is also available on "live" CD's. That is it can be run from the CD without installation to your hard disk. There is a performance hit due to running from the CD but it is enough to see what Linux is about.
So no you cannot "roll back" to a previous Windows installation after installing Linux but you can always decide which you prefer to use.
Good Luck

Last edited by 2damncommon; 01-07-2007 at 03:31 PM.
 
Old 01-07-2007, 03:34 PM   #7
anubis26
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I don't know what partitioning layout you have, but here are the steps:
0) Make some free space on your hard drive(C:\). At least 6gb
1) Defragment your Windows drive. You should know how to do it.
2) In the Partitioning part of the Linux installer (Note: not all have this), choose to resize the windows partition. (make it 6gb's smaller).
3) You should now have unallocated space on your hard drive. This is just "unassigned" space.
4) Create an ext3 partition, size 5gb in the free space. The mount point, if it asks, is / . Just a forward slash. This is where linux will be installed to.
5) Create a swap or linux-swap (different distro's call it different things) size 512mb. This is like the page file in windows, but linux will use it.
6) Follow the on screen instructions.
7) Later on in the installation, it should ask whether or not to install a boot loader, and to where. Pick GRUB, and choose to install to MBR (master boot record).
8) Start the installation and get a cup of coffee, its going to take a bit of time depending on your options.
9) Follow the on screen instructions again.
10)Your computer will want to restart. Let it.
11)Now, when you turn on your computer, it will give you a menu: Linux and Windows. If you want to change the way the menu acts, search google for "configuring grub".

Note: Steps 7 and 8 may sometimes be in a switched order (ie. 8 then 7)



Hope it helps and good luck with linux!
-anubis26
 
Old 01-07-2007, 03:40 PM   #8
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunamidave
how do i set up a dual boot
Pick a distro - using the earlier suggestion of ones that can be "tried" as live CD distro - because you don't install anything to your hard drive.

Once you have an idea what you wanted to try (don't forget, theres also ones that are considered "easy" for the new user - Mandriva, or maybe PCLinuxOS are excellent, and dispite the reputation as newbie distros, they are complete and fully featured).

One hard drive or two ? Well mandriva has the ability to make some space on a 1 hdd system, if you have 2, then make sure that whichever hdd you wanted to use has all the files copied over to the main windows one i.e. the one with the XP system files is a sensible place to keep all the windows stuff.

Erm I'm thinking Mandriva here, because having used it a while ago and found it very good, I learned the other day that it will also set up a default partitioning scheme of /swap, / and /home (and no, you don't need to worry about that yet, but it's a good thing anyway).

If you have access to a partitioning app like Partition Magic or similar, then it just takes one of the things away that the installer will have to do - Unallocated space for the distro is often handy as it makes it a "no brainer" decision as to where to put the linux.

then, put the install disc in and boot it.

The default options for Mandriva always worked fine for me when I was using it (oh, and if the system starts but doesn't touch/look at the disc then it's probable that you need to change the boot sequence in your BIOS so that it's looking at a CD/DVD drive before the hard drive(s)).

You will need to remember to put the bootloader onto the first section of the first hard drive (yes that does overwrite the windows bootloader, but if you don't then if makes booting the linux so much more of a PITA). Then when you've installed and rebooted, the bootloader offers you a choice of which OS to boot.

In fact, I'm presuming that "it" (mandriva) still has a nice little preview/tutorial thing on the disc(s). You'd have to obtain (download/burn and/or buy) the disc(s) and then stick the first CD (or DVD) into a drive and then just search it under windows to see whats there (mandriva used to have it with a nice "autorun" for the preview/tutorial).

Other distros might have this facility, but the only one I've used that does is Mandriva.

HTH

regards

John
 
Old 01-07-2007, 05:15 PM   #9
rickh
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Actually, once you install Linux on a computer, you're trapped. You can never go back to Windows.
 
Old 01-07-2007, 07:02 PM   #10
Emerson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickh
Actually, once you install Linux on a computer, you're trapped. You can never go back to Windows.
Additionally, you'll starting to see everything differently, there will be a change of mentality (your relatives may not recognize you any more) - and there's no way back. You are warned!
 
  


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