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-   -   Your advice on installing SUSE on a Toshiba Dynabook. (

kenneth_phough 06-14-2006 12:45 AM

Your advice on installing SUSE on a Toshiba Dynabook.
I'm debating wether or not to install SUSE linux on my Dynabook. It currently has Windows XP Home Edition. Currently I can only think of two reasons why I wouldn't want to install SUSE linux and they are the following:
1) It has a Atheros 802.11 g wireless card
2) It has a SD card drive
There is also a third reason which is I installed Microsoft Visual Studio .Net and lost the installation disk or maybe I haven't looked hard enough.
One of my major reasons to switching from XP to SUSE is I need to write an operating system and I don't think XP is a great OS to do that on. My other alternative is my Mac but its a PowerPC and I need to write an OS for a Intel x86 arch. computer.
So if I do install SUSE I would like to be able to use the wireless and the SD drive.
Should I install SUSE and if I do does anyone know where I might be able to get drivers for the 2 pieces of hardware I would like to keep? Any piece of advice is appreciated.


Cogar 06-14-2006 01:12 PM

SUSE has the option of installing such that the computer will be dual-boot. You would reduce the size of your Windows partition and use the remaining space with SUSE.

Incidentally, the Atheros chipset should be a non-issue. I installed SUSE 10.0 on a couple desktop computers that used that wireless chipset and the installations proceeded flawlessly. (Note: even though they use the same chipset, not all manufacturers' products are equal in performance.)

Crito 06-14-2006 01:33 PM

Make sure you defrag the Windows partition 3-4 TIMES before attempting to shrink it with SuSE's installer. Though it makes your files contiguous, the XP defrag prog only spends a little time compacting, which is what actually frees the space that'll be used for your new Linux partition.

kenneth_phough 06-14-2006 09:14 PM

Thank you very much. I also have another question about dual booting. Is there a way to dual boot without erasing the current data? My dynabook has a special partition which acts like a recover disk (that is why I don't have a seperate recover disk) and I was woundering if I could re-partition my disk by booting from that recovery disk partition and set my hard drive to dual boot. Is this possible?

Cogar 06-15-2006 10:34 AM

Although you need to be careful, a new dual boot install should not lose any data or change any partitions without specifically telling you it plans to--and then you have to accept the change before it will be written to disk. The installation program will recognize existing partitions and you control what it does with them. The only thing that can mess things up--outside of a blatant mistake--is a power failure during the installation process. On a laptop that should not be an issue if you are running off of AC power. If you lose that, the battery should take over.

Since you are new, I would recommend picking up the retail (boxed) version of SUSE. It is relatively inexpensive ($60 or less), it includes more software in the installation disks than the downloadable versions, and has both DVD and CD media. More importantly, it includes a rather thick user's guide, and phone/internet support from Novell. The user's guide has a reasonably large section (perhaps a half dozen pages--I do not have a copy in front of me to check) dealing with the partitioning and booting options and should make the process virtually risk-free.

Let me add two suggestions: although you may not know now what they are, I recommend using GRUB as your boot loader and writing it to your MBR. (You will see these options during the installation process.) Good luck in any case. :)

kenneth_phough 06-17-2006 07:18 PM

It helped a lot. Thank you very much!


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