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Old 04-09-2014, 09:15 AM   #1
Scup
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What to do?


I have defrag my XP Pro drive C, and booted up Linux Mint 16 "Petra" Cinnamon Edition 32 Bit DVD to see if I like using Linux. Looks very good; only one minor problem was when my Canon Pixma MP450 was configured by the "Linus configuration utility" it printed a test page perfectly, in actual use the printer hung up in not completing the print cycle. The page just did not spit out. I suspect that whoever included the MP450 driver in the utility never tried such with an actual MP450. Not a major problem, since printers are cheap, and it still works fine using windows.

I decided to load Linux onto Drive C: but being a chicken, I opted for the dual boot installation arrangement.

Everything went well in the first part installation process i.e. I am now hung up on "Installation Type":
1. Erase disk and install Mint (this will delete all programs photos etc.)
2. Encrypt the new Mint Installation
3. Use LVM (note when selected, erase disk remains evoked)
4. Something else (read somewhere this is for advance users)
There is no selection for a side by side choice.

My current computer is a 32 bit Dell, CPU speed 2.8 Ghz, 2 GB of ram. with 23 GB free space on C:

So now what?

Understand, this is still going to be a trial seccesion for me, as I wish to get used to Linux before finalizing my choice, but I am very close to choosing Linux.

My preference would be to be able to dual boot my current computer if possible for a temporary but lengthly introduction period but I am confused right now as how to continued my installation.

My second choice would be to unplug my dated computer from the internet and just use it as is with a handful of installed win programs and retaining the existing Canon printer. Then acquire a customized Linux computer system pre-loaded with Linux and a suitable (compatible) printer.

My wife has an ipad, so I can still get to the internet in the meantime.

I thought about purchasing a Mac, but then I would still have to learn a new operating system, and the minimum expense of purchasing such is $1300, far more than my latter option, not to mention additional software expenses and I would still need printer. The open source software contained in the Live Linux disk exceeded my word processing needs and was extremely easy to use.

Understand that I am past 75 years old, and really do not like to be jerked around by microsoft. I can understand and live with hardware failures, but have little patience with Microsoft for dumping Xp pro, when many claimed that this just might have been the best windows operating system ever.

Comments on how to continue my linux installation would be welcomed, as well as a critique of my reasoning processes.

Thank you!
 
Old 04-09-2014, 10:00 AM   #2
sag47
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You want to choose the advanced option because you don't want to overwrite your old Windows installation. You'll want to read about the different partitions.

At the very minimum you need a root partition (designated with '/' character) and a swap partition (similar to Windows virtual memory or page file). The root partition '/' for all intents and purposes can be considered like the 'C:' drive in Windows. In Windows in particular multiple "drives" can be on the same disk, they're partitions too.

One thing to note is drives in Linux can be mounted inside of other drives. e.g. you have the root partition on one drive "/" but you can also mount a drive in "/mnt/cdrom" for example for mounting a CD from the CD drive. Windows operates the same way but they abstract that away from the user with the concept of drives in My Computer (though Windows supports mounting drives and partitions in folders just like Linux if you go into the disk management utility).

In any case, read the tutorial on partitioning and read about the different types. Then use advanced partitioning on the installer to partition your disk for Linux. You should back up all of you Windows data to an external disk before attempting installation. Remember, if your computer can't boot it doesn't mean that everything was erased there just might be a problem with the master boot record so don't assume that all of your data is lost (just try a live disk to see if it still exists on the drive). As always keep a backup

Last edited by sag47; 04-09-2014 at 10:07 AM.
 
Old 04-09-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
Scup
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I only have four options to choose from:

1. Erase Disk and install linux mint
2. Encript the newm Mint for security
3. Use LVM with the new Linux Mint installation
4. Something else

No option to choose an advance option is presented. In other words, this installation is not going to go anywhere until I choose one of the four choices above. Perhaps "Something else" could be the avdance option you might be thinking about. If so, I am sure there is going to be some more questions forthwith.

I never partitioned a drive before, so much of what you are describing means little to me at this point in time. I will read up on the link you suggested to see if I canunderstand what they are talking about.

While I am old, when it comes to computers I have the mind of a child (no insult intended toward any children).
 
Old 04-09-2014, 01:16 PM   #4
Germany_chris
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4. Something else is the "advanced option"

The idea is that you will go into number 4 and partition your hard drive leaving one for Windows and one for linux. When you boot the computer you'll get the choice of Windows or Linux I am probably the only person on earth that thinks that new folks shouldn't dual boot simply because IF the boot loader doesn't work right you're reduced to a command shell to fix it because you won't be able to access either partition.

If you're handy with a screw diver hard drives are cheaper than printers get your self a cheap one, put it in (they can't be installed incorrectly) and install using the whole drive. It gives you the comfort of being able to go back to XP if you need it desperately, to it'll kind of make you learn Linux, and three the security of using a new hard drive. Hard drives have motors and yours has been spinning for years catastrophic hard drive failure = very expensive data recovery.

I haven't used an Ubuntu based distro since '08 or I would step by step guide you but my knowledge is to old to be meaningful.

I truly wish I had the magic bullet but I don't
 
Old 04-10-2014, 01:02 AM   #5
Scup
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Chris,
I like your response! You are definitely not the only one that thinks the way you do. Let me see if I understand exactly what you are saying:
1 install a new second hard drive in my Dell tower.
2. Hopefully, my bios will recognized the new second drive.
3. Place the live Linux disk in the new drive.
4. Turn the machine on and get to the Boot Menu
5. Boot up on the new drive and then perform a simplistic Linux Mint install.

If my understanding is correct, I will not have to worry about partitions and all of that advance stuff as the live Linux disc will take care of all that if I go with the first option i.e. "Erase disk and install linux".

If our reasoning is correct, then there could be a forth benefit in I do not to worry about trying eek out a few more gigabytes on the old drive for Linux.

Please get back to me to confirm the above, and a definite thank you!
 
Old 04-10-2014, 02:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scup View Post
Chris,
I like your response! You are definitely not the only one that thinks the way you do. Let me see if I understand exactly what you are saying:
1 install a new second hard drive in my Dell tower.
2. Hopefully, my bios will recognized the new second drive.
3. Place the live Linux disk in the new drive.
4. Turn the machine on and get to the Boot Menu
5. Boot up on the new drive and then perform a simplistic Linux Mint install.

If my understanding is correct, I will not have to worry about partitions and all of that advance stuff as the live Linux disc will take care of all that if I go with the first option i.e. "Erase disk and install linux".

If our reasoning is correct, then there could be a forth benefit in I do not to worry about trying eek out a few more gigabytes on the old drive for Linux.

Please get back to me to confirm the above, and a definite thank you!
That is correct, but take the old drive out first just in case you select the wrong drive to erase. Once your install is working the way you want put the old drive in the new drives static bag (grey) and box and put it in the closet. When you go to get a new drive take the old one with you, it's likely an IDE drive but could be SATA. It's easy to tell because one has a very wide and flat connector and the other uses a small cable and smaller flat connector but mistakes do happen.
 
Old 04-10-2014, 03:19 PM   #7
Scup
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Chris,

A world of thanks to you!

Found a simpler way to get to work with Linux that maybe is even simpler for a Newbie. Weeks ago, I made a bootable 4G Mint thumb drive that I could not boot up on. I had thought I screwed up somewhere in making the bootable drive. Well, thanks to someone on a Dell form, they mentioned that only one usb port on my Dell dimension is bootable and likely it is on the rear of the computer. Well, I tried my bootable thumb drive on a rear port, and up she came! I had previously tried to install "Opera" when I had booted up on a DVD with no luck. With the thumb drive it installed nicely.

All I have to do now is get a bigger Thumb Drive, make it bootable, and I am off to the races. I will save the old bootable 4 G thumb drive since I know it does not take much for a thumb drive to lose stuff but no problem as I have no intentions of saving anything of importance there anyway. I just want to see what works for me, and I am already very impressed.

The more I use Linux, the more I seem to like it, as the mint 16 version looks a lot like Xp pro. A lot of the procedures like the Software Manager seems to be far better than what I had with Xp. There are so many open source program listed that it will take months for me to try all of the interesting ones out.

I am really starting to think that Microsoft just may have made one of their biggest blunders ever! One now has to wonder just how much it is going to cost Microsoft in the long run by dumping Xp. There has to be millions of inept computer idiots like myself out there who were content to stay with Microsoft, if they were not forced out. If I could use Linux, then anyone could. Would seem logical to me that Linux just might be on the fast track in popularity which means other operating systems will have to suffer.

Understanding that I am too inept to screw around much with computers, I am pretty sure I just might end up going to an outfit that offers ready to go desktops pre loaded with Linux.

In any event, thanks again Chris as your encouragement made me stay the course and I am now elated.

Last edited by Scup; 04-10-2014 at 03:20 PM.
 
Old 04-10-2014, 03:35 PM   #8
Germany_chris
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If you do like it and want to replace you old computer I like system76 good folks with good customer service. I'd play a little bit more before you commit completely to Linux.

https://www.system76.com

Linux like Windows and OS X has it's flaws but if you are in the bell curve you should be ok. All the stuff most people do on a computer can be done on linux without to much effort, but it's not Windows and doesn't work like it. Keep an open mink and give it an honest go.
 
Old 04-10-2014, 04:00 PM   #9
yancek
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Depending upon how you put Mint on the thumb drive, it may only be a Live CD which is read-only and doesn't save any changes. Software such as LiLi and pendrivelinux (universal usb installer) are like that. You might be able to create a persistent partition. If you are just using it to test Mint, it should not matter. If you try to install something and it doesn't this is probably the reason.
 
Old 04-10-2014, 04:17 PM   #10
selfprogrammed
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This machine is XP and Linux 2.6 in dual boot. The user is in your age bracket and is used to the Windows email, so I cannot get them switched over to Linux.

I do not like the choices given to you by Linux Mint. There ought to be a choice for partitioning into a dual boot machine. DO NOT choose any of those, as keeping the XP around is much too useful. It is not much good taken out of the machine.

First choice: Get a different distribution of Linux.
There are tools for partitioning the drive, but you pay for the distributor to make a nice packaging with menus to start the right tools.
I pay $50 to get Slackware, but that is not a hand-holding as some other distributions.
I will let other say what are the easiest partitioning distributions.
It should come with PARTED (partition editor).

Second choice: Get a second drive and install it as a second drive. Then go into BIOS and change the boot drive to either select Linux or Windows. You might think that taking out the Windows drive while installing Linux would be safer. It is safer, but the Linux will have severe problems if the drive it is on is moved to a different drive number after the installation of Linux. So it is easier to keep both drives connected while installing Linux.
You have to select the B drive (install only to sbb1 (partition 1 of second drive), NOT sba1 (partition 1 of first drive is your XP).

The better installations will notice that there is Windows XP on the first drive and will not destroy that drive without warning you and asking permission. I do not like those Linux Mint choices in that regard as they seem to fold that question into the menu (too easy to destroy the XP by mistake). So again I recommend a different distribution with better installation menus.

After getting Linux on the second drive it will happily run from there.
Later you can install LILO (comes with Linux) or GRUB to get the dual boot.
I have installed LILO on the first drive in place of the Windows MBR. Then leave the BIOS to boot the first drive and it will boot LILO instead. LILO will give you a menu that lets you select Windows XP or Linux. You do have to setup a lilo.conf file to do this, which is the hardest part of getting dual boot to work. GRUB may be easier in this regards as it is a newer and more comprehensive boot program with many builtin tools for error recovery.
LILO is smaller and fits in the original MBR size.

I would not ever select a menu choice that starts out with "Erase the" or similar.
You want a menu choice that can install alongside an existing XP, and offers to preserve it.

Last edited by selfprogrammed; 04-10-2014 at 04:24 PM.
 
Old 04-10-2014, 05:05 PM   #11
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selfprogrammed View Post
Second choice: Get a second drive and install it as a second drive. Then go into BIOS and change the boot drive to either select Linux or Windows. You might think that taking out the Windows drive while installing Linux would be safer. It is safer, but the Linux will have severe problems if the drive it is on is moved to a different drive number after the installation of Linux. So it is easier to keep both drives connected while installing Linux.
I haven't seen or used a distro that has this problem in many years. They all use UUID or similar now, and are immune to drive rearranging.
 
Old 04-11-2014, 12:59 AM   #12
Scup
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I think I am going to stay with Chris' advice and keep on playing around a bit with Linux Mint booted up from a 4g flash memory for a while. I do have a Linux system monitor so I can see what is happening on these usb devices. The bootable flash drive is about 30% used, and the live DVD that I had previously used and left in its drive is 100% used (its a read only). I do see all of the usb hardware like SD cards, flash drives, (and the printer) that I had stuck in various USB ports and even saved a few Win Word doc files on them when I was booted up in XP. When I tried to open them up in Linux, they opened fine as far a I could tell.

I am not sure what would happen if I go through the same procedure that I used to make a bootable flash drive, but instead try it on an external usb drive.

Now I am wondering if I plugged an external drive into the the bootable Dell usb port, if I could basically perform the same sort of operation to make it bootable except after it boots up, install Linux Mint on the external drive. Not sure if my internal windows drive would be safe from being over written or not? I would choose the option to erase everything and let Linux do what it wants in setting up partitions on the external drive.

One thing I will have to try tomorrow is loading up a hefty piece of Linux software and see if the used percentage of the flash drive is increasing or not.

I went to the link Chris mentioned, and their hardware seems slighty more costly but not unreasonable. If I go this route I would definitely give them a call first. I liked Dell computers quite a bit in the past, but I am now just too old, too cranky, and have too little patience trying understand what these off-shore tech reps are trying to say. Bad enough I have a hard enough time with the technical stuff; I really do not wish to have to climb a language barrier as well.

Last edited by Scup; 04-11-2014 at 01:01 AM.
 
Old 04-11-2014, 11:14 AM   #13
Scup
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Well,

Yancek is right! The bootable 4g flashdrive is: /dev/sdb1 /cdrom and it used 1.1GiB (the same as the live DVD). I guess it really does not matter much which live way I boot up on, nothing is going to be saved once I shut down.

Read up on how to install Linx on an external hard and never saw so many differing viewpoints. More than half of the Linux users not only can do it, but some demonstrated their computers operating off an external hard drives on You Tube. Others believe it may not be easy to do so, especially if your BIOS does not recognize a bootable usb drive.

That was my problem with my old Dell 3100 Dimension. For some reason, only one of the rear usb ports is bootable from,
front faced ports do not work!

Then there seems to be all sorts of problems and possible cautions for a newbie trying to set up a dual boot arrangement on an internal or external hard drive.

I am pretty sure Linux Mint 16 is for me, but I now believe trying to mate Xp and Linux on the same drive is fine for the pros but life could be a lot simpler just to get a decated machine for each OS. Since Linux does recognize and opens my Win Word files, the few times I may wish to do something with a Win doc. file, I could just dump in on a flashdrive or send it to myself via email as an attachment (I always assume an email is like someone sending a postcard, anybody who wants to could hack into it).

Still, using a live disk sort of sucks since nothing is retained if one shuts down. I really need another computer with an installed Linus OS on it to make me happy.

Was thinking about purchasing a new low end computer for around $300 and just install Linux over the existing Win 8/8.1 OS but read that installing Linux on these Win machines might not always go smoothly for Newbies. I really do not like wasting money either on a Windows license for an OS that I will likely never use.

There is a one person computer shop a few blocks from my house whos owner is known to be a square shooter. I am thinking about going to his place with my 64 bit Petra DVD and explain to him what I want. I am sure he probably does not even need the disk! He must have a stash of used computers hidden away that he would love to get rid of. I will give it some time, and if it works out; System 76 will be hearing from me.

I belive most Linx users would belong to what I would consider to be do-it-yourself types, but being 75 years old, I just do not wish to die of old age before I get things up and running.

Thanks again guys as it does take some time for me to gets things squared away in my mind. At least now I have a game plan of where I am heading.
 
Old 04-11-2014, 03:04 PM   #14
Germany_chris
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Sounds like the best plan, get something inexpensive get it up and running and living with it then decide if it's worth it.
 
Old 04-11-2014, 04:39 PM   #15
yancek
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Installing to an external usb drive is no different than installing to an internal drive. You do need to understand Linux drive/partition naming conventions so you get the right drive.

Using your 4GB flash to test and try Mint out is a simple and easy way to learn. You never indicated what method you used to create the Live CD on the flash. You can use pendrivelinux (Universal USB Installer) and you can create a persistent partition on which to save changes and data. It's limited to 4GB but since that's all you have, should be no problem. Link below if you're interested:

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/univers...easy-as-1-2-3/
 
  


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