Yep, I'm a newbie who wants to install Linux. I've decided on Mandrake, the PowerPack release. Whether it's 8.2 or 9.0 has yet to be decided:
I have more than one machine I could attempt this with. I can't say I have two because the older one was cannibalized/upgraded into the newer one.
Older machine: aka Reject
AMD 450MHZ (Either a K6-2 or 3)
VooDoo3 3000 graphics card 16Mb RAM iirc
Newer Machine: aka Sweet
AMD Athlon 1.4Ghz 1600+ XP
256Mb DDR RAM
GF3 Ti200 128Mb DDR RAM graphics
~40Gig hard drive in 3:3:31gig partitions. First is Win98SE, second is currently home to my win swap file and temp internet files, and 3rd is all my vital data, games, main proportion of programs etc.
Sweet also has Reject's old 10gig hdd, with a Win98SE install that was for Reject, but has been booted into while in Sweet. This has been achieved by switching boot options in the BIOS. All vital data has been copied to the 31gig partition.
Sweet also has Reject's speakers, mouse, monitor, modem , cd and floppy disk drives!
The modem might be a 'winmodem', not sure. It's only 56k, v90 so the burner and Power Pack cds may come in useful.
Both have their own keyboards and sound cards, due to a change in connector size, and driver problems iirc.
I've just brought, and have yet to have had installed in Sweet, a new CD-RW (48x16x48 2mb buffer underrun protection).
I have brought a new 25gig hdd to install mandrake on. I will either:
Remove Reject's hdd from Sweet, put in the new one, and then have to dual disk boot between linux and windows. I'll need to be sure I can do this and any problems won't wreck my only working system. Also security of my current data is vital.
Put the new hdd in Reject and just have it running linux. This may also involve buying more hardware.
I'm unsure about using my old pc as there are problems mentioned with the K6 series of processors. That and the fact it's lacking many pieces. Advantages would include getting a non-win modem, not being able to fuxxor Sweet, and having 2 pcs.
Major fear of using Sweet is that if I just slap in the first install cd, it'll write over my current hdd, which I think I want/need as master, instead of only mess with the new secondary hdd.
Both methods might require me to format the new hdd to have a ext2 file system, via Partition Magic/other program I'll have to download.
Also, apparently Mandrake 8.2 has more support for the newer hardware of Sweet, while 9.0 is slightly buggy and may lack vital drivers etc. If so I'd need to have an intact win98SE boot to go online and get drivers etc.
This seems like a good point to wait for feedback. FYI I've also read about a bit, so I think I'll know what you mean when you remind me to: get monitor specs for X; fuxxor with LILO; or remember to type startx
after the install