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I think that part of what you mean by user-friendliest also includes hardware compatibility. Probably look at Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mandriva, SuSE or Fedora Core. I've tried FC in the past but went back to SuSE because I favor the KDE desktop over Gnome. In the early days I would alternate between Mandrake (now Mandriva) and SuSE. When one had a problem with hardware on a new system the other would install fine. If you use wireless, there probably will be some work ahead no matter which distro you use.
(1) I nominate Kanotix. 12 minutes from CD loading to a fully insatlled Linux.
(2) Same as (1) as I installed in in a Sata
(3) Too many to list but I would use Kanotix as a Live CD as follow
(i) Get a XP-based software to resize Sata to get 11Gb space out. Partition Magic is the popular choice. If the partition has been defragged Kanotix can also resize a NTFS partition but for a newbie my advice is to use a XP-based software.
(ii) Run Kanotix terminal mode to use its "cfdisk" to partition the 11Gb into two partitions. One 10Gb for Kanotix and one 1Gb for swap. Partitions created by a Linux will be automatically suitable for Linux installation. It is however best to use cfdisk to alter the 1Gb partition to Type 82 which is for swap so that it will automatically picked up in any Linux installation. Partition creations will only be final if you click "write" before exiting from cfdisk program. If there is only one partition in the existing Sata then XP will occupy sda1, 10Gb partition sda2 and the 1Gb partition sda3. They are all primary partitions. If the two Linux partitions are created in logical partitions they always start from the 5th position and so they would become sda5 and sda6. Linux can be installed and booted from either partition types.
(iii) Run the installer in Kanotix. "Instruct" the installer to install Kanotix in the 10Gb partition just created. Kanotix is so simple that all the questions are asked in just one page.
(iv) I would put Kanotix boot loader Grub in the MBR and let the installer arrange the dual boot automatically. If you have an issue with the XP's MBR take a peep at the 2nd link of my signature.
When done right I expect both systems ready for booting after the 12 minutes installation. Let us know if you run into trouble.
Just a reminder -- A system always resides inside a partition of its own in a PC and 99.9% of the time it is impossible to damage. Thus if a system doesn't boot do not re-partition it. Find out how to rescue it! If you lose a partition or any data it is certain that the loss is self inflicited.
MBR is just the first 512 bytes of the hard disk. Every OS has a command or two to restore (or regenerate) it as often as you want. The last link of my signature has a full list to restore all the common MBRs.
A Sata disk can't turn into a PATA simply by specifying it in the Bios. That is a crazy thing to do. Their connections are different and the user interfaces. If it works it could only do so by corrupting the data in the hard disk.
If one can turn a Pata disk into a Sata disk from the Bios would the manufacturers need to invent the Sata disks in the first place? A Sata II disk can transfer 300Mbps whereas Pata peaks at 133Mbps. People would pay top money for your Bios.
Debian is a stable distro that got its stability by letting others make all the mistakes first by sticking with the older kernel. If you want to install it remove the Sata and put a Pata disk in.
I did hear users running Sata as Pata disks (via complaints of slow performance mainly) and there are controllers to convert a Sata to run as a Pata disk too. Must admit I did not know it is a workaround option despite its limitation.
Well first of all LINUX IS NOT WINDOWS but like anything ELSE , its the version that matters , windows 3.1 for isntalnce would not run sata drive why ? its firggin OLD. Any NEW version of ANY distro should solve the SATA problem, i am quite shocked , debian sharge couldnot.
Try PCLINUXOS , MEPHIS they are quite easy tooo.
And it would be good if you mentioned specification of your system
I believe any distro with 2.6 kernel is supposed to work with Sata but the implementation can be different. For example Slackware 11 below modifies the kernel to accept Sata as it has a 2.4.33 kernel.
These distros are in my two Sata; Kanotix 2005-4, Paipix 5, Frugalware 0.4, Quantian 0.7.9.1, Suse 10.1, Slackware 11, Knoppix 4.2, Mandriva 2006, GeoLive 5, Ututu 2005.1, Helix 1.7, MagicLinux 2, Zenwalk 1.2, Median Linux 4, NetBSD 3.0, Arabian 0.6, Mepis 3.3.2.
There are plenty more modern distros that will accept Sata. I think Debian is pretty old. I still keep Debian Woody and Sarge in the box but their kernels are 2.2.20 and 2.4.27 respectively. The former is the oldest kernel I have come across.
Distribution: Laptops: Linux Mint 18 XFCE, Debian Jessie XFCE, NAS: OpenMediaVault 3.0
First, what type of internet connection are you using? 2 Days? Dial Up modems can sometimes be problematic under Linux. Are you trying the 64bit distros? I've never had any luck with them, and have always just stuck with the 32bit i386 versions. Even though my PC is capable of using the 64bit OS. Hopefully you find Suse works well for you, my experience with OpenSuse was just the opposite. I can say that for a lot of Distros that a lot of people like, Mandriva 07, PCLinuxOS, and many others. Bottom line, its going to boil down to finding one, that you can get all your hardware to work.
Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu 6.10.... Depending on the interface you like. Search for screenshots on the 3 to determine which Desktop environment you want, but the OS will work pretty much the same way. I personally like Gnome(Ubuntu)..
And install EasyUbuntu, which will install several programs that everyone uses with little to no effort.
Then if there's something you need that EasyUbuntu doesn't install, 99% of the time, you'll find a program in the repositories using Synaptic, which will resolve dependancies and again, make things easy to install...
It can be frustrating, this is true. I'd find a distro that I liked, but then would find something that didn't work(sound), would spend a few days messing with it with no success, then back to M$. Then I'd download some, that I couldn't even boot. Then I'd find one that completely worked, but I'd have a helluva time installing Windows Codecs, MP3 Codecs, DVD Playback, etc, and again, it would make me give up. When I finally tried Ubuntu, I personally knew I'd found the distro for me. Worked out of the box, the FAQ showed me how to install all the media codecs I needed so I could listen to my MP3 collection, and also showed me how to set up DVD playback, among other things.
After a month or so, I finally completely did away with Windows. I'm going on about 3mo of being Windowless, and couldn't be happier.
Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 12-11-2006 at 10:35 AM.
Arch works flawlessly (i have a similar setup but an athlon CPU and nvidia 7800, aswell as it on a fileserver, and my laptop). You can download a base ISO @ about 120MB and then optionally install other packages via the net.
however it is not as user-friendly (out of the box) as say ubuntu (which will handle SATA) and you have to setup X etc. Whic his extremly simple, and almost everything is detailed on the wiki.