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Old 08-02-2008, 10:21 AM   #1
redhat_newbie
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Which distro suits


Hello everyone,

I am a newbie to Linux and have tried to install linux and windows for dual boots. However, for a number of times only since installed, the window can no longer be booted up again, and showing window in protected mode and deep-blue screen. Did I do something wrong during installation or there is malfunctioning of my machine? In the long run, which distro to choose if I want to keep the dual boot working?
Many thanks in advance.



Kind regards


Newbie
 
Old 08-02-2008, 12:51 PM   #2
hoodooman
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Did you defragment the windows partition before installing Linux?Did you run the chkdsk -f command in Windows after installing Linux?It could be related to these things.As to which distro you choose,I think that any of them will allow you to dual boot with windows.As you are a newcomer to Linux I would recommend that you try a few distros and keep the one you like.
 
Old 08-03-2008, 01:11 AM   #3
ehawk
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Use Fedora 9 if you think you would like something Red Hat-ish best

Your name suggests you are using Red Hat. That is probably too old to work well with your machine. You can try to download and burn a booting CD for Fedora 9. It is the most modern distribution of linux which is from the same community that developed Red Hat. It should allows to you boot from the CD in what is called live-evaluation mode. This lets you see what the linux distribution is like without changing what is stored on your machine's hard drive. If you like what you see and the things it allows you to do, you should be able to easily install it on its own partition and dual boot with Windows. Here is a helpful site from them:

http://fedoraproject.org/

Notice it has a get help link. You can talk to the people who develop and use it there.

There are many other live-evaluation linux distributions. You can go to the site:

distrowatch.com

and look at the right hand side for the most popular ones and try several out.

Sorry I am not able to help you specifically with your errors. Keep posting what you do and what the response is. People will ask you questions and suggest things. As you keep conversing here, people can narrow down what your problem is.

Hope this helps.

It may also have something to do with your BIOS boot option settings. But try a more modern linux distribution than things such as Red Hat 8 or 9....they are ancient by now and and not supported very well for any modern hardware.

If setting up a dual booting linux partition is causing problems, you can try using using wubi:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wubi_(Ubuntu)

This installs linux within your currently existing windows partition and does not even require you to burn a CD to use. You start windows normally, then there is an option in your windows start menu to enter into the linux distribution installed on your windows partition.

Also consider unetbootin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unetbootin

This allows you to install many different linux distributions over the internet. It is opened like a normal windows application wizard. This method does a full installation of a linux distribution on its own partition, but again does not require burning and booting from a CD. Its starts a net-installation routine.

To repair your boot options for windows, you can use your windows installation CD to rewrite the MBR, then delete the linux partition and reclaim the space for windows. Then you can try to install linux again using one of the options above.

Again write back if you have more questions or problem.

Last edited by ehawk; 08-03-2008 at 01:22 AM.
 
Old 08-03-2008, 10:19 AM   #4
redhat_newbie
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Many thanks for all,


You all have given me some very valuable information on my problem. Indeed, I did try to defrag or rescue my window as well as the information it contained. But the problem was the window could not even finish booting before it hanged and fell into the deep-blue screen.

I had partitioned my hd (80G) into 2 halves, one with linux and the other with window. I am not too sure whether the problem was caused by my hd (hardware) or the partition, or the worst, the OS. I have just format (low-level) of my hd and re-installed window, the only OS now.

In future, which distro will you all suggest, suse 11 or fedora 9 or even some compressed version e.g. DSL. Many thanks in advance.



Kind regards


Newbie
 
Old 08-03-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
ehawk
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I am very sorry you lost the data on your windows partition. I was hoping you could boot from your installation windows CD to repair things. Also remember in the future that it is normally possible to boot from a live-evaluation linux CD even if windows will not boot, and then access the files on the windows partition from within the running live-evaluation linux session, to copy the important data to some other media like a CD or USB stick or floppy, or even send it to yourself in something like internet mail or another computer using secure transfer protocols like ssh or scp.

Any of the distributions you named are fine for a beginner (fedora 9, suse 11 or opensuse). Also consider Ubuntu. It is very newbie friendly and has a lot of online support. Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, and SimplyMepis are also great for beginners. It is difficult to say which is best. I think Ubuntu is perhaps the most newbie friendly, but I am sure others might disagree. Ubuntu is great in that for quite some time now, it has been possible to easily upgrade from one release to the next without reinstalling the distribution, or even using an upgrade CD for that matter. It is all easily done over the internet, and you are even prompted to upgrade when a new release comes out. This means that you only have to install it once, and then for years after, simply keep it up to date and even upgrade from one release version to the next using the internet. This is not a big deal for most experienced users, but other newbie-friendly distributions are still working on getting this to work smoothly and without editing and reconfiguring files, something a linux newbie might not be comfortable doing.

Whichever of the distributions listed above that you choose, you will be able to find a great deal of online information and support.

If you have problems, please let us know. Just try some live-evaluation CDs, or wubi or unetbootin if you are planning on reinstalling windows first (which you should do...install windows first, then linux....linux recognizes that windows exists, but windows does not recognize the pre-existing linux installation, which causes boot problems afterwards), and see which one best supports your hardware and favorite/necessary applications with the least effort.

Last edited by ehawk; 08-03-2008 at 08:31 PM.
 
Old 08-03-2008, 09:06 PM   #6
louieb
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Sorry you found out the hard way that the most dangerous part of setting up a PC to Dual boot is shrinking the Windows partition to make room for the other OS. (That happened to me too).

Vista has tools to shrink itself. For other windows flavors I now use GParted available on the PartedMagicCD and many others.

The good news is once you have created unused space and Windows still boots. Installing any of the distributions ehawk mentioned is pretty straight forward and safe.

For what its worth after trying a few distributions I now use Ubuntu.
Good Luck.
 
Old 08-03-2008, 10:43 PM   #7
redhat_newbie
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Thanks everyone,

Thank you for all of your suggestions and information. I'll try to install those distro that are suggested and see how they work on my legacy machine. Many thanks for you all.



Kind regards


Newbie
 
Old 08-03-2008, 11:27 PM   #8
ehawk
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Oh, I didn't know your machine was legacy. Other than the 80 GB hard drive, what are the specs? (processor and RAM). RAM is the big determiner in which distributions will run at all or run well.

If you have less than 256 MB of RAM, ubuntu may not be a good option. You can then try xubuntu, which is ubuntu configured to use the xfce desktop environment instead of the more RAM-intensive GNOME or KDE. If even that doesn't work out, consider simplymepis and the anti-x M7 series:

http://www.mepis.org/docs/en/index.p...m_Requirements

Damn Small Linux and Puppy Linux can be tried if these don't work.

Also keep in mind that RAM is pretty cheap these days and makes a world of difference in computer performance.
 
Old 08-05-2008, 03:44 AM   #9
redhat_newbie
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Hello ehawk,


Thank you very much for all your information and suggestions. My computer specs. are as follows:


Processor: AMD Sempron 2500+
Ram: DDR 400 512x2 + DDR 400 256x1
Hd: ATA100 80G

Could I also know that if I've chosen some compressed linux distro eg DSL, Puppy etc, could they be upgraded to a full linux version afterwards. Many thanks for all.



Kind regards


Newbie
 
Old 08-05-2008, 10:45 AM   #10
ehawk
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It looks like you could run any distribution of linux without difficulty. Yes, if you install damn small linux or puppy, you could add on any packages you wish afterward.
 
Old 08-05-2008, 12:06 PM   #11
redhat_newbie
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Many thanks ehawk,

I have tried to install some compressed linux distros into hd and upgrade it later. But usually, I could only download some basic packages, some commands like ping and others are still missing. I'll try again and hope it works. Thank you very much for all your information and help.


Kind regards


Newbie
 
Old 08-06-2008, 04:33 AM   #12
resetreset
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i love dynebolic,try it (it's live, no dual boot (but i think you can install too))
 
Old 08-06-2008, 12:48 PM   #13
ehawk
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Damn small linux is an debian-based distribution. It should be possible to add any software afterward using apt-get and its gui front end, synaptic.

To increase the number of available applications, you probably just have to add the debian repositories to the file

/etc/apt/sources.list

Last edited by ehawk; 08-06-2008 at 06:26 PM.
 
Old 08-06-2008, 02:14 PM   #14
redhat_newbie
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Many thanks for all suggestions! I'll try them later.


Kind regards


Newbie
 
  


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