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Old 08-19-2015, 12:12 AM   #1
ninian
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Make the switch?


I am thinking of switching from Win7 to Linux Mint. Since this looks like a big project, I have a few questions. Do I have to set up a partition and run Linux from that, or can I just wipe Win 7 and start with a blank slate? Outside of downloading Linux and backing up files what do I do first? Which files do I need to back up?

Ninian
 
Old 08-19-2015, 12:38 AM   #2
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninian View Post
Do I have to set up a partition and run Linux from that, or can I just wipe Win 7 and start with a blank slate?
Hi...

Welcome to the forum

You can do both. Either one. However, if you have any reason to believe that you will needing Windows for anything (such as software that is unavailable in Linux,) then you should set up a different partition and run Mint alongside Windows 7. I'm guessing Mint should be able to do this with ease.

Also, make absolutely sure your hardware is supported before you install Mint to your hard drive. If you want to give us the brand and model (and model number) of your system, we might be able to give you a better idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninian View Post
Outside of downloading Linux and backing up files what do I do first? Which files do I need to back up?
I would back up your files first. Any word documents, e-mails, pictures, browser bookmarks and music files (to name a few) that you want to keep should be saved.

Hope this helps...

Last edited by ardvark71; 08-19-2015 at 12:44 AM. Reason: Correction.
 
Old 08-19-2015, 03:01 AM   #3
pan64
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you do not need to install anything, but you can try some distros from usb (live system) and you can check if you like that.
 
Old 08-19-2015, 08:18 AM   #4
jkirchner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninian View Post
I am thinking of switching from Win7 to Linux Mint. Since this looks like a big project, I have a few questions. Do I have to set up a partition and run Linux from that, or can I just wipe Win 7 and start with a blank slate? Outside of downloading Linux and backing up files what do I do first? Which files do I need to back up?

Ninian
One very big thing you may want to check on first is if the things you like doing on your PC are available in a Linux version. For example, if there is a piece of software you use all the time and it is only available for Windows, you may want to see if there is a Linux equivalent or a way to get the windows version to work for you.

I agree also with the other advice you were given, try running a live distribution for a while and see if you like it.
 
Old 08-19-2015, 08:59 AM   #5
biosboy4
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VirtualBox

You can always install virtualbox and install Mint into a virtual machine. This way you can see if you even like it before you install.
As suggested, Live CD's may work even better for this testing purpose as it will tell you about hardware compatibility.
 
Old 08-19-2015, 09:59 AM   #6
ninian
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Linux compatible?

I looked at Linux many moons ago and decided on something else due to compatibility issues. That seems to have improved quite a bit. I was thinking about the dual boot and I'm still in the process of checking software that runs with Linux and does what I need. Took a look at Win10, not impressed, so I'm jumping ship. I don't do gaming or graphics-type stuff, so I was thinking that would be a much simpler switch. I have a printer and scanner that I use that are fairly old (Canon i860 and Microtek i320), I like both of them. In other words, the dual boot seems the best idea for now, until I can replace my peripherals with the Linux compatibles. How big a partition do I need for Linux to run? I have over 500GBs on my hard drive that are free, but I don't want to short change either OS. Is there some kind of rule of thumb to figure out how much space is optimum for both? With Win7, I ended up with a lot of software I don't use and don't even know what it does, I could probably eliminate some of those if necessary. Once I get the Linux set up the way I want, how hard is it to get rid of Win7?
 
Old 08-19-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
pan64
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20 GB is enough for the base linux system itself, but if you need anything else you will need more space. There is no general or optimal answer, we need to know at least what do you want to do with it (usually windows needs more, but probably it is not always true).
Quote:
Once I get the Linux set up the way I want, how hard is it to get rid of Win7
it depends on you only.
 
Old 08-19-2015, 07:02 PM   #8
ninian
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Most of what I'm currently doing is: wandering around the internet, recording/watch TV programs, scanning old family photos for DVDs, managing my out-of-print book library, paying bills, emails and some miscellaneous domestic stuff. Further down the road (6 months?), I plan to start putting some VHS tapes onto DVD. From then on I'll do whatever interests me. Since I'm retired, I have plenty time to tinker.

My desktop is an HP6510, but at some point in time I want to downsize to a laptop. After reading thru a bunch of Linux forums, I'm leaning toward running Linux Mint from a flash drive and using my external hard drive for the data files. Can that be done? That looks like the path of least resistance when I move to the laptop. I might keep the HP for a time if I can't do everything on the laptop. The ultimate goal is to get rid of the HP/Win7

I already know my library software offers a Linux option, no sweat there. As far as the VHS project goes, I got somewhat confused with all the tuner/receiver info. I already have Hauppage HVR850 and the Roxio Video Capture USB, not sure if that will work, but I need to do way more research on that.
 
Old 08-20-2015, 05:24 AM   #9
fatmac
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Usually best to try your preferred distro 'live' on your hardware to check that everything works, before thinking about installing.

Depending on how many extra programs you want to install, 10~20GB for the / (root) partition should be ample.
As you intend doing video conversions, you'll want a good processor, lots of ram, & a large swap partition (equal or more than your ram).

When you come to installing, you can resize your Windows partition, leave it as is, or delete it completely, only you can decide.

The main thing that I always recommend is having a seperate /home partition, it makes updating or re installing so much safer, or you could change distro without very much trouble.
 
Old 08-21-2015, 05:28 PM   #10
ninian
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I think I'm going to try the flash drive first, see what happens. If that won't work, I'll do the partition.

I've also been reading some things about security and I have a question. No one seems to think an antiviral is necessary, but most of the articles are at least a year old. Is that still true? In all likelihood I will eventually be paying my bills, so if I need one, I can get it ahead of time.

Also, can someone give me some recommendations for a good book on Linux? Sort of a 'Linux for Dummies' type thing?
 
Old 08-21-2015, 06:54 PM   #11
yancek
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Since you are discussing using Linux Mint, the site below has manuals specifically for Mint in various languages. If you decide not to use Mint but use one of the other major distributions, you can probably find something similar.

http://www.linuxmint.com/documentation.php

There are various opinions on using anti-virus on windows. The link below to the Ubuntu site discusses some of them. Basically, what we refer to as a 'computer virus' is an executable file which does something we don't intend/want it to do. A windows executable will not do anything on a Linux system. The reverse is also true. Malware and ransomware is probably more of a worry. You will get a variety of opinions on using antivirus on Linux, matter of opinion.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Antivirus

With regard to your paying bills online, antivirus is not going to solve that problem. If your bank or other business you deal with is hacked, not much you can do about it on your end (Target, Home Depot two examples recently). It's basically a matter of choice and there are a lot of articles about it online voicing opinions.

Last edited by yancek; 08-22-2015 at 08:36 AM.
 
Old 08-22-2015, 05:28 AM   #12
fatmac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninian View Post
Also, can someone give me some recommendations for a good book on Linux? Sort of a 'Linux for Dummies' type thing?
http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
 
Old 08-22-2015, 08:51 AM   #13
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Something not mentioned is that if you're installing on a laptop and/or usually use wireless to connect to the internet it's probably a good idea to connect via an ethernet cable for the install until you can be sure you've the relevant wireless drivers installed. I think Mint does come with wireless drivers and you can be lucky and find they're installed by default but if they're not you then have to resort to downloading packages on another machine and using a USB stick or similar.
 
  


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