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Old 12-25-2008, 04:21 PM   #1
Shinyu
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Registered: Dec 2008
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New to linux.


Hello,
I've always heard about linux, my grandpa uses it and i've always wanted to try it out. I just got an external Hard drive for Christmas
WD Passport 500gb hard drive, which ill be formatting soon. I was wondering if i could get help, or if i can even run linux. I was thinking of booting linux up from my External hard drive. I'm not very knowledgeable in the world of linux (yet).

Here is my system info:
Microsoft Windows XP
Tablet PC Edition 2005
Version 2002
Service pack 3

Toshiba Portege M400
Genuine Intel(r) CPU
T400 @ 1.83GHz
1.83GHz, 0.99GB of Ram

i hope you all can help me.
thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge. Any advice you might have would be appreciated as well.

Last edited by Shinyu; 12-25-2008 at 04:22 PM.
 
Old 12-25-2008, 04:47 PM   #2
r1d3r
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Dear Shinyu,

First you have to make sure your pc can boot from usb,
then set it to boot from it,
then format your drive with a linux filesystem like ext3, because linux cannot boot from ntfs filesystem(actually possible with some workarroud),
then go to distrowatch.com and pick a linux distribution (i recommend ubuntu for its newbie-friendliness) and burn it to cd and install it.

Thats all, any other questions?
 
Old 12-25-2008, 04:50 PM   #3
i92guboj
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As long as your box can boot from USB, there should be no problem. Just download whatever distro you prefer, burn the iso image into a cd, boot from it, and follow the instructions. You shouldn't need to format the drive beforehand, most installers should be able to partition and format the drive for you.
 
Old 12-25-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
Shinyu
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How do i tell if i can boot from my USB?
also could you go into more information about formatting? I know as the drive is, its formatted as FAT32.

So if i'm understanding you correctly, first off, i should god download the linux os from distrowatch.com, burn it to a cd. Then tell computer to boot from usb, then tell my computer to format my Harddrive in a from compatible with linux. Or am i formatting before i tell it to boot from HD.

are there disadvantages to running it from my external HD?

forgive my ignorance.
 
Old 12-25-2008, 08:46 PM   #5
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinyu View Post
How do i tell if i can boot from my USB?
You can look that in either your BIOS configuration or your motherboard/laptop manuals. The BIOS setup can be accessed at boot time. Usually a message during boot time will tell you to press ESC, Del, F2 or whatever to enter the setup of your BIOS. Somewhere there, you should be able to find a menu with a list of bootable devices. Usually you can add devices here and alter the order in which they are considered when searching for an OS at boot time. If your motherboard is capable of booting from USB, you should be able to set it up here. The same to boot from CDROM.

Quote:
also could you go into more information about formatting? I know as the drive is, its formatted as FAT32.

So if i'm understanding you correctly, first off, i should god download the linux os from distrowatch.com, burn it to a cd. Then tell computer to boot from usb, then tell my computer to format my Harddrive in a from compatible with linux. Or am i formatting before i tell it to boot from HD.
Almost. The thing would go this way:
  1. download an install cd iso image for the distribution of your choice
  2. burn it as image, not as file, into a cdrom
  3. setup the bios of your box to boot from cdrom
  4. insert the cdrom into your drive and boot from the linux installation disk
  5. then just follow the instructions
  6. ..........................
  7. when the installation is over, now you need to setup your BIOS to boot from usb

I also recommend you to look into the site of the chosen distribution for more concrete indication on how to install it. You only have to pay attention at the stage where you are partitioning your disk(s). You need to tell linux that it must be installed into the external drive. On most distros this should be easy to do. Without knowing which distro are you going to use we can't give more concrete instructions.

The installer should offer you the options to partition and format the drive (I advise you to chose ext3 as your filesystem).

Also, most BIOS let you specify four devices (or more) to boot from. You can use cdrom as the first device, usb as the second, and your internal hd as third. This means that it will look in this order. If there's no bootable cdrom nor usb drive attached, then it will boot the hd. If there's anything on the cd drive that's bootable, it will be used instead. If not, it will look into the usb drive. If neither of them is bootable, it will boot as always from your main hd.

This all depends on your BIOS, so check it and look yourself.

Quote:
are there disadvantages to running it from my external HD?
It depends on the drive and the usb interface of your box. Most usb interfaces nowadays should work acceptable well. However an internal SATA disk should always work faster.
 
Old 12-25-2008, 08:52 PM   #6
hoodooman
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If you are new to this I would recommend either mandriva or pclinuxos to install first as the partition tool is very user friendly.Even if you do not decide to keep any of these distros installed they will do the partitioning for you.You can then install any distro that you want and use the partitions that were created in your previous install.
 
Old 12-27-2008, 10:50 PM   #7
mplark
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Booting from USB

I've heard of this, but isn't this a newer feature of BIOSs? I remember when booting from CDROM was new and exciting.
 
Old 12-27-2008, 10:54 PM   #8
i92guboj
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Booting from usb is almost as old as usb itself. Once the device is there, you just need to reprogram the BIOS to support the feature. To become mainstream takes a bit longer, but not so much. If my memory serves correctly, usb was created around 96, so, it's anything but "new".
 
  


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