replies to Chinaman (and Ranger Nemo)
I tried to do an Affero, that button finally appeared! But I haven't got that right yet either, so I'll make my replies in the forum for now. Also, I couldn't find the reply button, next to your reply, unlike a previous time, where it DID appear.
Purchase another INTERNAL hard drive? I didn't even know one could do that. I thought all additional hard drives would be external. I certainly wouldn't want to mechanically remove the hard drive from my laptop. Perhaps I didn't understand what you meant.
Anyway, my next concern will be not to make the same mistake with Linux, as I have made with Windows. Since I never got into partitioning, copying the OS etc. I've had to live with complete reinstalls, which uses a lot of time. Its especially a pain, to have to reset everything again, especially the display options, and there should be utilities for doing this. I found a couple on the web, but couldn't get them to work, for example DrvClonerXP, and Ranish Partition Manager. Perhaps I just don't know enough about DOS, and MSDOS. For example, I don't even know how to find out what version of DOS or MSDOS my computer is running. Lots of very tough nuts to crack.
In summary, it might be unwise to try to install/use Linux, before I have made considerable progress with partitioning, and reinstalling and restoring, since I would have to learn about it anyway, especially since Windows wants to be in the first partition. Do you agree? All comments appreciated.
Re: replies to Chinaman (and Ranger Nemo)
When using Windoze, the only utility that I use is Symantec Ghost. (Of course, you must format your partitions other than NTFS to use it.) Once you have the OS installed and patched, and all your software installed, and your data placed, just Ghost the drive. Then, when Windoze bites the dust, you can run Ghost and be right back where you started. However, remember to back up your data on a regular basis, for this Ghost image will only have what was on the partition the day you made the image. If you have FAT32 partitions, and you purchase Ghost, and you can't do it from the documentation, I will post a How-To on the web that you can use, complete with screen shots.
And for a Linux OS, what is it that caused you to do "complete reinstalls?" This isn't like Windoze, praise God! To tweak your system, the first thing you should do is get the latest kernel and recompile. That is to remove support for all the hardware that you don't have. In the process of recompiling a kernel, you will first keep the old kernel config. That way, if you mess something up, you can load that old kernel and then fix the new one. This is how you keep upgrading and configuring your Linux system until you get it just the way you want it.
The other thing you do in Linux is to add and remove applications. These are called programs in Windoze. There is no need to rebuild the kernel concerning these. The kernel is for your hardware, not for software. Adding applications, or packages, can be quite easy, or a royal pain, depending upon the distribution you use (you didn't put that in your profile or state it in your post). I first tried RedHat, but that distro is so bloated I had to get rid of it! RH caused me to look for a more pure Linux distro, and that lead me to Gentoo or Debian. After much reading, it seemed that Debian's APT system of getting packages seemed the way for me. NB: RH's RPM (RedHat Package Manager) is a piece of junk! It creates more problems, can't find all the dependencies, and generally messes up the applications you already have. That's where you learn to become a guru the hard way. Installing with RPM will have you learning every single package that a particular application uses, and tracking down where to get them. But, who wants to spend all their time fixing a broken system such as RPM?
And no, I for one don't agree that you need to learn a lot about partitioning, reinstalling, and restoring. That is one of the beauties of Linux. You can do so many things to your system and you don't even have to reboot. There is really no need to "reinstall and restore." If you keep the last good kernel image linked in your bootloader, you can always go right back to it, with no effect from a new one that doesn't work properly. Linux is NOT like Micro$loth Winblows! The kernel, the base of the OS, is NOT linked with the applications (programs), so it doesn't require you to reinstall because you have messed up.
Post back if you have more questions. There is a lot I don't know about Linux systems, but I am learning. Excuse me if this stings, but you don't have enough Windoze knowledge for that to get in your way learning Linux. I have been using Windoze for over a decade, and I build and repair computers, so this knowledge (or lack of real knowledge) sometimes gets me crossed up. This is how I look at it.
Last year we moved to China, and had to learn not only a new language, but also, a new culture. That has been hard at times, but when I can get in a taxi, and tell them where I want to go, and they understand; then, at the computer store, I can tell them which particular parts I want, etc., there is a great sense of satisfaction. When I understand some of the ways the culture works, it makes getting stuff even easier.
It's the same with Linux. This is a whole new language, and these forums are a different culture than the Windoze culture. The guys in here who really know there stuff, like Finnegan, won't give you a reply if you come in here whining and complaining because "Linux doesn't work like Windoze." And if you don't give good information in your post, they can't help you without asking you a lot of questions, so they skip your thread and go on.
Since your Windoze knowledge is basically nil, you are in a great position to learn Linux. Why don't you start over, and read in the Hardware forum the first three posts by Finnegan, which are informational. And in someone's sig, I think Acid_Kewpie's, there is a link called something like "How to get good answers to your questions," which tells you what information to put in your post to get a good reply. First of all, you should go to your user control panel and update it by adding your distribution, especially the Linux distro you use. If you don't have Linux installed, just put the Windoze OS there. Then, search for what you want to do, in here, and in www.google.com/linux and you will get plenty of answers.
thanks to Chinaman,
I appreciate your very long replies, which I just read through (Oct 17th, 2003)...however...there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding. A tiny few of the problems I had at my last posting have been solved, but most remain. I'll just mention them briefly.
1) Solved. I cannot use my Windows Recovery CD (Windows Millenium) with partitions, because it will simply reassign its own partitions. So that's hopeless. However, I have been told there are at least 3 alternatives, in order to achieve dual boot, Linux and Windows. Still others have told me those alternatives do NOT exist. At this point, I just don't know.
2) Unsolved. How to make a boot floppy that will cause an OS CD to boot up...wether its an "image" CD, or "iso" CD, or HD backup CD, or whatever. I just can't seem to do it....I've tried numerous downloads to do it, but I just don't know the "basic trick", and I'm SURE THERE IS ONE.....this business of the freeware boot floppy is VERY USER UNFRIENDLY...I don't know how long it will take to break through...but its a personal challenge....and I don't mind asking for help to try to "speed it up".....even though it might still take years to do it. For example, after looking at a site that gives all the DOS commands, there does not appear to be a command that is simply "boot" and tells the CD to boot up! If there is one, I certainly don't know what it is.
3) Unsolved. It is possible that my laptop (Hewlett Packard) has simply been designed, so that IT JUST WON'T ALLOW any CD other than the Recovery CD, to install...or at the very most, a paid for dedicated Windows Installation CD. Put it this way...I could do a huge amount of work to do something that they don't want to be done!
4) otherwise unsolved: the 3 alternatives are: 1) resize the partitions AFTER installing windows....2) Copy the cabinet and setup files AFTER installing windows, THEN do the partitioning and formattting, and try to boot up from the copy CD....and 3) make an image CD of the ENTIRE installed OS, or HD....and then continue as in 2.
To sum up, the basic challenge is to achieve dual boot with this computer...but it may be impossible to start with...and that's another challenge, to see if I can find out in advance.
Ok, I don't know what your original post was but I'm assuming that you're trying to install linux on a machine that already has windows on it and be able to dual boot. That really should be no problem. First, defrag your harddrive from inside windows.
Then get hold of mandrake (I suggest mandrake because it's installer is the easiest). It will give you the option to shrink the windows partitions so that there will be room for linux. Let it shrink the partition and proceed with the install on the freed up space. At the end, it will install a new boot loader that will allow you to dual boot. Of course, you should always backup whatever files that are important to you b/c there is always a risk of hosing the system (one point of defrag is to make this less likely).
Now I suspect what you are doing is download the iso files and then copy them onto your CDs. If you see one file on the CDs named something.iso then that is wrong. You must choose to burn an image. All modern cd burning programs have this option. If you can't figure it out, look around in the forum.
First, have you tried what quatsch advised?
Second, if not, do you have some type of partition manager, such as Partition Magic? If so, first backup all your valuable data. Then make a boot floppy (if you don't already have one) so that you can boot your Windoze machine to a DOS prompt. Then, when you boot to a DOS prompt type for each of your partitions:
A:\> format C:/q
Change the C to the name of your other partitions. Do the highest partition first, ending with C:
Then remove the boot floppy and put the Partition Magic floppy (or CD) into the appropriate drive and load it (something like pq7.exe). Now you can make a partition. Make only one partition for Windoze ME, and then leave the remainder of the space free for Linux. The size of your ME partition depends upon how many programs the recovery CD will install, the size of your hard drive, and other factors. I couldn't advise without knowing more. However, if your hard drive is at least 20GB, you're probably safe giving ME 10GB and leaving whatever is left for Linux.
Now, remove the Partition Magic floppy (or CD) and put the Windoze boot floppy back in the drive and Ctrl+Alt+Del to reboot the machine to reset the drives.
Now, boot with the recovery CD's. I've never used a Windoze ME recovery CD with a HP machine, but it should give you the option of installing on one partition (C:\) or more than one. Choose the option for installing on one partition, and let Windoze have C:
Once Windoze is through polluting your C: partition with the worst ever Windoze OS (ME), then you can reboot and see if it works. Check to see what size the C: drive is, and then you'll know if it left the rest free to install Linux.
Now, for the fun part. Get the Linux distribution of your choice and install it into the free space. I've only tried a few, but they all install pretty easily. It's best to let the Linux CD partition the free space for it's use.
If you don't know which Linux distro to try, read the reviews here. You can download the Knoppix Linux Live-CD from http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-old-en.html and try it out. Read that page first, and then select [Download] to actually get the .iso image. You can burn a CD and it will run from your CD-ROM and not even touch your hard drive. If you like it, you can then install it into that free space on your hard drive. In less time than with Windoze, you can have a Debian installation of the latest packages running on your computer and ready to go. Knoppix will probably detect all your hardware, and will be easier for a beginner to learn Linux than installing another distribution and trying to get things configured. It's not perfect, though, so you will get to configure some stuff and learn.
Okay, there's probably a lot of stuff I left out, but I'm working on 2 comps right now, and so if you can use this post and need help post back and ask some questions.
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