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Old 05-07-2014, 07:48 AM   #1
FREPHEMERAL
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Removing Linux from XP, to allow fresh install of another distro


Bit of a tangle - living proof "when you make something foolproof they will come up with a newer and better fool".

XP ended, wanted to keep old laptop running while thinking over replacement. Got Puppy on DVD, and installed it in the same partition as windows XP which (I thought) was an option.
(I thought) I'd done a full install. But Puppy boots only from the DVD, so maybe it didn't. Worst, it won't connect to internet over wireless router, nor see my Windows files. Which are the only two things I really want
I've tried the internet configure dialogues a lot, no luck
There's only one partition showing and its already mounted.
Back in XP it does still connect to internet.
XP Disk Manager identifies only one partition.

All up I thought I'd reverse out, remove linux Puppy completely and re-install with Mint and properly partition first.
Most forum answers on how to get rid of Linux are either about removing programs, or say to delete the partition its on, but Disk Mgr says there is only one.

So, lots of hows:
How do I find what kind of Puppy install I actually did?
Second how do I get rid of it. Does it matter (will Mint just overwrite so no bother)?
Lastly, can I leave it up to Mint to do all the partitioning on install? If not,what format (NTFS or fat 32)does Mint prefer, and if its Fat32, can I still access my NTFS files from the XP partition?
 
Old 05-07-2014, 08:05 AM   #2
chrism01
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I haven't used MSWin in years, but here's a few things..

Quote:
installed it in the same partition as windows XP
doesn't make sense; a partition can only have one(!) OS in it.

VMs are a sort of exception (see also wubi).


First you need to check exactly what partitions are really there. Are you sure XP disk Mgr shows ALL partitions, not just MSwin ones?
Try a LiveCD and run
Code:
fdisk -l
that's a lowercase L there.

The usual approach is to shutdown all MS progs/services you can, then Defrag, then use the MS tools to shrink the MS space to create free space you can use for Linux.
Note that you'll need minimum of 2 partitions for Linux: '/' (aka root) and swap.
Linux can use a swap file instead, but usually its a partition.

Definitely Backup all your stuff first!

Last edited by chrism01; 05-20-2014 at 07:21 AM. Reason: typo
 
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:09 AM   #3
TroN-0074
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What computer model do you have? Some computer have the broadcom wireless card. With that brand of wireless card you wont connect to the internet in any distro until you download and install the driver for it. Which you have to connect to the router using a wire first, then download the driver.

If you want Linux Mint it will format the partition during installation so you don't have to worry about formatting first, however you need to create free space in your hard drive for it.

I usually use Gparted to reduce the Windows volume and install a Linux distro in the unallocated space. Leave about 30 or more GB space depending on how many files you are planning in use plus keep in mind additional downloads that you might want to do in the future. Gparted is included in the Ubuntu Live image or you can created a gparted bootable CD.

I don't know if Poppy is not booting because you didn't install GRUB which is required to boot but puppy doesn't install it by default.
 
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:28 AM   #4
JeremyBoden
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It's easy to remove Linux.
Just use gparted from a CD (from your new install CD) to delete any partitions you know to contain the Linux to be deleted.

Your new install will sort out GRUB and your old Linux will be completely gone.
 
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:03 AM   #5
yancek
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Puppy is a little different. After you install it asks you if you want to save a pup_save file and if so, where. You can save it to a windows partition and when you reboot to Puppy it will look for that file and usually find it. You would be better off running the fdisk command to verify partitions as windows usually shows Linux filesystems as unallocated or free space. By doing that, you will be able to know whether you actually have a Linux partition and whether Puppy was installed.

If you can't boot Puppy without the DVD, then the Puppy bootloader was not properly installed and/or you did not configure the xp boot files to boot Puppy.

If you decide to go with Mint, you should first determine whether you actually installed Puppy and if you did, where. Also when installing Mint, you will see and "Installation Type" window near the begin of the install. If xp is on a partition and detected by Mint (which usually happens) you will be given several options. One is Install Alongside which is sort of an auto install. You don't need to make many decisions/choices and like a windows install, you keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best. If the best doesn't happen, you will have little idea of what went wrong. Another option will be 'Something Else' and if you select that option you will have more control and will see more of the install process. If you are unfamiliar with Mint and its install process, I would suggest googling for tutorials on installing it. There are numerous tutorials as Mint is very popular and widely used. The link below is to a tutorial on installing Mint 16, the current release and the tutorial is very detailed. I would suggest reading through it several times to get an understanding. It will save time in the end.

http://itsfoss.com/guide-install-lin...-boot-windows/


Quote:
If not,what format (NTFS or fat 32)does Mint prefer
Neither. You need a Linux filesystem type on which to put a Linux system. The default for Mint is ext4. You might do a quick search on Linux filesystem as well as Linux partition naming conventions as you will not see the archaic C:\, D:\ convention used in windows.

You should be able to see the xp partition files and directories from Mint. You won't be able to see anything on Mint from xp unless you install third party software on xp.
 
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:41 PM   #6
maples
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If you actually installed Puppy to the same partition that your Windows was on, you might have lost all of your files. On the other hand, it might have put all the Linux files in there without formatting the partition, meaning that you should still be able to at least recover your files.

When you attempt to boot the machine without the DVD in, what happens? Does Windows load? Does Puppy load? Do you get a prompt asking which one you want to use? Does it give a message like "No operating system" or "No bootable disk"?

If you boot into Puppy, open a terminal and type
Code:
ls /
If there are folders that are obviously from Windows (e.g. "Program Files" "Windows" "Documents and Settings") then your Windows files are still there, but I doubt that the OS is bootable.
 
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:14 PM   #7
EDDY1
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The linuxmint cd is a live-cd & also has gparted in it's menu.
Just plop it in, run gparted to shrink the windows partition & install mint to the free space.
 
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:11 PM   #8
FREPHEMERAL
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Thanks - sorted. I just made another partition and touch wood its worked, Mint in. No idea where puppy or any fragmetns went but it all works boot-wise. Now to see if I can get online...

Thanks again
EDDY1 maples yancek JeremyBoden TroN-0074 and chrism01. Heavenly credits are yours.
 
Old 05-19-2014, 11:19 PM   #9
TroN-0074
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If you refresh your GRUB you might get a boot menu asking you what OS you want to boot. I mean in case your Poppy and XP are still there. To refresh GRUB you have to type in terminal
Code:
sudo update-grub
If you can't get online check for aditinald drivers and install the drivers found by the drivers manager
 
Old 05-20-2014, 07:24 AM   #10
chrism01
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Try getting a cli / terminal session as root user and run 'blkid'; that should show how the disk(s) are partitioned.
 
  


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