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Old 04-01-2009, 01:35 AM   #1
sittykitty
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Where to start?! Erase Hard Drive. Install Ubuntu.


First of all, I'm a complete linux virgin.

*Asus Motherboard- Intell 865G Chipset Series support CD
*Software kit Modem Series - drivers, manual, bvrp CD

Windows XP to Ubuntu

Basically, my main desktop needs to be euthanized, as I've seen it try to eat itself 3 times, right before my eyes. (This was even after an attempted reformat. Not sure why but it failed, all of my documents remained right there on my computer.) It was custom built by my cousin, who is no where around. I've tinkered with the insides a few time (more ram, fan, power supply, etc), but my IQ drops 20 points once you start talking about programs.

I considered a new hard drive, but would rather wait until I can afford to rebuild the entire system myself the way I want. (Slow, but determined).

So, my first question is: how do I completely erase my hard drive to prepare it for it's first installation of linux?

My second question is about the drivers and so forth. Aside from Nero and a DVD program, those are the only 2 discs he gave me. I don't know anything about drivers but imagine they would have drivers for audio, video, or something? It doesn't have a company name on it or anything, and I have no clue where I would get anything I may be missing from the internet considering.

As for looking for drivers on the PC before wiping it out, I wouldn't know where to start.

If anyone out there could help me out in layman's terms I would be eternally grateful!

Thanks!

Last edited by sittykitty; 04-01-2009 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Sorry, I think I may have posted in the worng forum.
 
Old 04-01-2009, 02:34 AM   #2
Mr-Bisquit
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I'm a BSD fanatic, so I'll be gentle.
Okay.
You need someone to burn you a copy of Knoppix. Must burn as iso/disk image and not as data.
This quick howto is written by commands.
Test the knoppix cd from the computer it was burnt to by rebooting the box.
Ok. If it works.
Boot the computer.
Put disc in drive.
Reboot if it doesn't come up, if windows starts too fast.
Check bios for boot sequence.

ok.
let knoppix boot.
Look on bottom of screen.
Click the k.
Go to control panel.
Click.
Oh. Single click everything.
Choose peripherals.
Choose keyboard.
Set repeat rate at 15 sec.
Apply/close.


Look on task bar on bottom.
Single click term icon. It looks like a tv.
When it comes up, type sudo su.
then type qt parted.
Your disk will be /dev/hd? or /dev/sd?
You can choose this by a small drop down menu.
Click on disk.
Right click.
Resize.

You may need ntfs programs.
Save.
Should be under edit or file. There is an option called commit. Do such.
Exit.

Click the k.
Choose shutdown.
When disk ejects switch knoppix with ubuntu.
manually reboot.

2 To save documents.
Do as above for starting.
Right click on the usb/harddrive icon on the desk and mount as read write.
Attach a usb device. Do the same. Mount as read write
Click on usb device. let the browser window open.
Click on your hard drive. Let the browser window open.
Drag files you want from hd folder to usb folder. Choose copy here option.
Closer usb folder. Close hd folder.
Unmount- right click. safely remove option should be with usb. Choose it.
b. If you want to save the windows drive, follow up with above in first part.
c. if you don't follow below.

3) Make a list of all of your hardware. You may need it.
Insert the ubuntu cd.

Follow the directions.


You may also visit the ubuntu website for a better and more detailed instructions.
 
Old 04-01-2009, 04:50 AM   #3
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sittykitty View Post
So, my first question is: how do I completely erase my hard drive to prepare it for it's first installation of linux?
There's no need to erase before installing.
When you get to the partitioning stage of Ubuntu's installation, choose the "use whole disk" (or whatever it's called) option. Or just delete the XP partition and create a new one of whatever size you want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sittykitty View Post
My second question is about the drivers and so forth. Aside from Nero and a DVD program, those are the only 2 discs he gave me. I don't know anything about drivers but imagine they would have drivers for audio, video, or something? It doesn't have a company name on it or anything, and I have no clue where I would get anything I may be missing from the internet considering.

As for looking for drivers on the PC before wiping it out, I wouldn't know where to start.

If anyone out there could help me out in layman's terms I would be eternally grateful!

Thanks!
Ubuntu is pretty good at hardware detection, any extra drivers can be downloaded and installed easily.
 
Old 04-01-2009, 05:29 AM   #4
sittykitty
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Thanks for all the info, Mr-Bisquit. I think I just figured out what that torrent program does! I know I had it years ago, probably when I was considering red hat or something, but I don't think I ever figured out what I was supposed to do with it.

I also just learned why there was never an image on the disk when I "burn[ed] image to disc"... the first time I burned a dvd I was expecting a label. I never had any clue what that meant. I still don't but I think I kinda know what it's used for now.

I just tried to burn Ubuntu to a CD while I figured out what to do with that torrent file. Ubuntu failed to burn to the CD and to the DVD. Could they both have been damaged or do I need a certain type of disk? I'm using CyberLink DVD Suite on my laptop, running Vista. The desktop has Nero and some other program and XP.

(I really wasn't exaggerating about my IQ dropping 20 points.)

With knoppix, is this checking my computer for viruses or helping me save drivers, or what?

Any idea what is safe to save from an infected computer?

I've already transferred important docs and photos to an external hard drive, but I was hesitant to transfer any other files, fearing they might be infected. There are still a couple of programs I would like to save if possible.

I have McAfee running on the desktop, and I've scanned with Avira, AVG, and a couple of other things. I caught a keylogger at least, but my pc is still obviously ill.

Last edited by sittykitty; 04-01-2009 at 05:42 AM. Reason: updated
 
Old 04-01-2009, 05:38 AM   #5
sittykitty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
There's no need to erase before installing.
When you get to the partitioning stage of Ubuntu's installation, choose the "use whole disk" (or whatever it's called) option. Or just delete the XP partition and create a new one of whatever size you want.

Ubuntu is pretty good at hardware detection, any extra drivers can be downloaded and installed easily.
Thanks! So will "use whole disk" get rid of any deeply embedded worms, or whatever they are, hiding in my computer?

**EDIT**

As for the XP/Ubuntu partition, I actually have the hard drive from a PC that I just tossed a few months ago. I was considering running it in the sick desktop as well. I still have to figure out how to partition them, but in that case would I be putting XP back on one and Ubuntu on the other? I just remember something about master/slave...

Last edited by sittykitty; 04-01-2009 at 05:52 AM.
 
Old 04-01-2009, 06:39 AM   #6
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sittykitty View Post
Thanks! So will "use whole disk" get rid of any deeply embedded worms, or whatever they are, hiding in my computer?
It should do, yeah. There's tons of information on the 'net about installing Ubuntu (anybody would think it was the only Linux distro).
 
Old 04-01-2009, 09:44 PM   #7
sittykitty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr-Bisquit View Post
Look on task bar on bottom. Single click term icon. It looks like a tv.
OK, I was able to burn Knoppix and ran it on my laptop to check it out. I wasn't able to access the internet to ask this while I was looking at it, but I'm not sure which TV screen you're talking about.

I saw a black area with ... bright green readings, and then I saw something that said something about the monitor when I hovered over it. The only other thing I remember seeing that looked like a TV was the internet connection icon. This is to be found on the right side, correct?

Quote:
When it comes up, type sudo su. then type qt parted. Your disk will be /dev/hd? or /dev/sd? You can choose this by a small drop down menu. Click on disk. Right click. Resize.
Right here is where I was totally lost. What do you mean by type qt parted? As for dev/hd or dev/sd I'm not familiar with those terms.

My understanding then is that knoppix will help me safely download all of my drivers and such, correct?

Thanks again for the help!
 
Old 04-01-2009, 09:51 PM   #8
irishbitte
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sillykitty, what mr bisquit is trying to get you to open is a terminal or konsole screen. you should find konsole somewhere in the menu items in knoppix.

secondly, qtparted is a program. you run it by typing:
Code:
sudo su
in the konsole window, hitting return, then typing:
Code:
qtparted
in the konsole window, and hitting return.

qtparted is a program that gives you an overview of your hard disk drive(s) and allows you to change the partition sizes, or format the drive completely.

I hope that has been of some help!

Last edited by irishbitte; 04-01-2009 at 09:53 PM.
 
Old 04-01-2009, 09:57 PM   #9
linus72
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It can be easier-just as BrianL said-
Insert Ubuntu CD and reboot
Choose "Install Ubuntu"
Let Ubuntu have the whole disk-it will automate making a swap partition too.
Follow the prompts and reboot into Ubuntu 8.04/8.10
I think you guys are making this kinda complicated...but I'm a newbie too.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 03:34 AM   #10
sittykitty
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Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply.

I wasn't sure if I would have any problems with the drivers or not, considering it's a homemade computer. I think that's how the knoppix came into play.

I ran knoppix again, and I still couldn't connect to the internet, but I now see the TV screen. So, thanks!

After all anti-virus, etc scans are complete, I'll give knoppix a try on the desktop. However, I'm still trying to find out if Ubuntu 8.10 works with Uverse before I install. (If it doesn't that would sort of defeat the purpose for me.)
 
Old 04-02-2009, 03:51 AM   #11
Crito
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Quote:
So, my first question is: how do I completely erase my hard drive to prepare it for it's first installation of linux?
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

Will blow away the MBR and partition table, making it look like a completely new drive. That's really all you need to do for viruses. If you want to make the fascist police state's job harder then random the entire drive, but that'll take a while.

dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda
 
Old 04-02-2009, 04:37 AM   #12
sittykitty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crito View Post
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

Will blow away the MBR and partition table, making it look like a completely new drive. That's really all you need to do for viruses.
Thanks Crito!


OK, so... MBR, would the command above take care of a second partition if there is one? (My last attempt to fix XP Pro failed, so I'm not entirely sure what the situation is)

Next question: Would I boot knoppix from disc and then enter the above command in my terminal window? Then install Ubuntu afterward?

Quote:
If you want to make the fascist police state's job harder then random the entire drive, but that'll take a while.

dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda
Thanks for that tidbit. I'll save it for later, considering I just had to google everything you said.

Thanks for all the help, everyone. I've been searching and searching a lot, but it seems that when I do find something that answers my questions, it's always a conversation between two people using terms I'm totally unfamiliar with. Thus, I don't understand the vast majority of the info coming up in my searches.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 06:06 AM   #13
chrism01
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If you've really backed up all data you want to save, then get one of the top 10 distros (versions of Linux) from http://distrowatch.com/ (see the ranking list on the right hand side) as a bootable CD or DVD (usually the latter) and at boot off of it.
At some point it'll ask if you want it to use all the Hard drives; say yes and it'll wipe out everything and install for you.
The Knoppix approach above is overly-complex for someone in your position just now.
Later, it'll make sense.
I've see Fedora, Mandriva and Ubuntu recommended for newbies.
Check the many(!) qns on the subject here.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 06:47 AM   #14
sittykitty
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Well, as the average Jane type of user, I have everything I would want aside from Microsoft Office. There's some SoundMax thing, do you recon I would need that? The drivers were my main concern since I don't know the manufacturers. I have a CD that says drivers on it, but I wouldn't know where to go for further updates. I couldn't save MSOffice onto my WD My Passport (it started and then gave me an error message half way through), and I'm not sure if I need to keep this WS_FTP Pro. Otherwise, yeah, I'm positive that I have everything I'd want.

My main concern about trying to save anything at all was the possibility of it being infected with something.

I have Ubuntu burned already... my pc just tried to eat itself again. Could it be the actual hard drive? ( I do know that there's some COMM Port 5 error that pops up everytime I load windows, making it impossible to sync my palm on the desktop now.) I found a keylogger and some other things before, but I found nothing when I scanned the system with... just about everything I've got... in safe mode, just now. It's not over stuffed, and it shouldn't be over heated. Other than the above and making sure I'll have an internet connection with Ubuntu, I'm ready to go! lol

Last edited by sittykitty; 04-02-2009 at 06:55 AM.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 06:55 AM   #15
chrism01
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You need to differentiate between data (files like word docs, ie data files) and programs like ms office etc.
For all the programs, you'll prob find equivalents for Linux: http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/...ndows_software

Don't try to run MS progs in Linux, they won't (at least not natively). Later you'll learn how to fake a MS environment if needed..

As I said, let Linux take over the whole machine and it'll wipe out everything there before installing.
Take comfort in the fact that progs designed to run on MS won't run on Linux (as I said) above.
Its not perfect, but at least the MS viruses/malware are not a worry on Linux.


PS Read this first: http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm explains why Linux is not a 'better' version of MS, but a completely different beast (underneath the surface)

Last edited by chrism01; 04-02-2009 at 06:58 AM.
 
  


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