Latest LQ Deal: Latest LQ Deals
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 09-03-2007, 11:51 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 0
Basic Doubts In Installing Linux

I have a Dell Inspiron B130 Laptop with Intel Celeron M Processor 1.60 GHz, 1.60 GHz 0.99 GB RAM and 60 GB hard Disk.

The hard disk is partioned into two - C Drive of 11 GB with NTFS file system and D drive of 49 GB with FAT32 file system. Windows XP SP2 is installed on C drive with all the programs. I use the D Drive only to store my data.

I want to install a Linux distro. At present on dual-boot mode and then subsequently I will want to completely remove Windows XP SP2. Please guide me on :-

1. Can I install Linux on a separate partition of say around 5 GB creating it out of D Drive so that Windows XP is on C Drive, Linux on D Drive and all my data accessible by both the OS on E Drive?

2. Should I use PartitionMagic to carry out partitioning of my D Drive or can I do it while installing Linux?

3. If I do the partitioning before installing Linux - how will Linux during its installation process identify the D Drive on which I want to install it - /hda, /hdb, /hda1 or /hda2?

4. Will the file system of D Drive change from FAT32 to Ext2 or Ext3?

5. Will Windows XP SP2 recognise D drive with Ext2/Ext3 file system? If I want Windows XP to do that - How can I go about it?

5. Will any of the Linux distro recognise and mount E Drive which is on FAT32 file system and on which all my data will be stored?

6. Which distro will be best for me - Simply Mepis, Ubuntu/Kubuntu, Open SUSE, Red Hat Fedora or Debian? I like both KDE and Gnome.

7. After installing Linux, how do I go about removing Windows XP and its dependent programs completely from my laptop?

8. After removing Windows how do I merge C Drive with either D or E Drive?

9. And lastly, since I use iMate-JAM with Windows Mobile 2003 Second version 4.21.1088 (Build 15045.2.6.0) and Intel PXA272 processor to access the internet through GPRS by using it as a wireless modem and keep the data on it synchronised with Microsoft Outlook - how can I continue to do so after switching over to Linux?

My email address is
Old 09-03-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Valencia
Distribution: slackware64-current
Posts: 67

Rep: Reputation: 15
Wow...what a post man!
And what questions!
Let's reply to some of them, but, for starting, just a suggestion: don't try to do all in once, just a step by step if u have not ever tried Linux.

1,2,3,4,5) You MUST install Linux on a separate partition (to preserve your data), with a different filesystem than you are used to in Windows.
My suggestion is to shrink your actual D partition of about 8 GB (depends a lot on the distro and about how much packages are you going to install of it).
You can use Partition Magic to do such a task, but don't format the new space given from D, just leave it unformatted (in the installation process you will choose to format it in ext2/ext3/reiserfs/whatever-you-want).
However you can do all the partitioning tasks in the installation process (Mandriva, for example, has a great partitioning tool in the installation).
So you are going to shrink your 2nd partition to make space for at least 2 more partitions (/ and swap), it would be obviously better to create more partitions to distribute the fs hierarchy in a smarter way [ for example: / /boot /home /usr ], but to do such a thing you need an extended partition [the maximum number of primary partitions is infact only 4]).
Linux Kernel is provided with drivers to support Windows filesystems also, this means you can read and even write from/on your C NTFS and D FAT32 partitions from Linux.
Reading Linux partitions from Windows is not so comfortable though :S (I use explore2fs for little reading operations on my ext3 partitions [very slow]).
6) About the distro is a matter of taste: a lot of people will tell you different things about different distros.
However some of them are better for starting: a distro like Slackware is NOT absolutely the best choice for a beginner, but is maybe the best one if you want to know deeply the world of Linux.
7) Ahhhhhhhh sweeetttt questtiiooonnnnnn =P.
The answer is very simple: just delete the partition which Windows is installed on.
However, if u do that, watch out for the partition order (hda1 hda2 hda3 etc), in fact you are going to merge the deleted partition with an existent one not to waste hard disk space =D
8) To merge the deleted partition with an existent one you can use a lot of Linux tools.
I suggest parted with its user-friendly gparted gui =)
9) For a Linux newbie is not so simple to make work such a device; when I have a little time I'll try to search you a guide to install and connect with that device.
Just forget about Microsoft Outlook for this reasons:
1 -- You can run a lot of Windows programs under Windows with wine, but I think that's not worth.
2 -- There are a lot of Linux Open Source programs better than Windows ones: such as Sunbird (to replace Outlook for its calendar feature).
3 -- Microsoft Outlook sucks xD.

I hope that I've helped you

Old 09-03-2007, 12:48 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 and CentOS 5.5
Posts: 3,873

Rep: Reputation: 335Reputation: 335Reputation: 335Reputation: 335
Karimo's post is an excellent response. I just want to add a couple of bits.

PCLinuxOS 2007 has a setup applet for GPRS network hardware. I don't know how well it works but their other system administration setup utilities work great.

I would wait a long time before removing Windows. Many of us run Windows for one reason or another along with Linux. You can run Windows under Linux by using a VM application like Virtual Box or VMWare.

There is a Windows driver to allow Windows to use an ext2 or ext3 file system. I don't know the name of it. You can ask about that in a new post after you have got Linux running.

Have fun. Learning Linux can be very enjoyable.
Old 09-04-2007, 06:55 AM   #4
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Romania
Distribution: Suse 12.0, Slackware 12.1, Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo
Posts: 301

Rep: Reputation: 30
There have been great posts so far, but to make sure you got all your answers:

1. Regarding the space for the Linux distribution: While you can have a Linux boot and run from even a 50Mb partition, if you like installing lots of programs and experimenting with it, I would recommend it being 8-10Gb. You will also need a swap partition, which should be about twice your RAM.

Windows, by default will only see C as C and the remaining D as D. It won't see the Linux partitions at all, unless you install some aditional programs that don't work too well.

Linux, on the other hand, will be able to read and write from both C and D.

2. Advice: Always make a BACKUP of your valuble data on a partition before resizing it! There are a lot of things that can go wrong (e.g. a power outage during the resize process, or something). Also, it might be useful if you defragment the drive before resizing.

You can use Partition Magic, remember you need both an ext3 (8-10Gb) partition and a Linux Swap partition.

You can also do this during the install process. Most distros have a nice graphical interface for this, so if you stick with distros such as Ubuntu or Suse, there won't be any problems. With Slackware you can do this as well, but you have to do it from the command line.

You could also get yourself a Live CD, with, for example, Knoppix or Ubuntu Live CD, and do the job with those. You can also see what Linux is like with them, before you actually install anything.

3. /hda is your primary master. hda1 is the first partition (or C). Now it depends how you resize your old D, if you put them before or after D. Anyway, with Linux, it depends on the order they are on the drive. The second partition is hda2, the third hda3, etc. But with every installer, you will be able to see it's filesystem type, and you will know to choose the ext3. The installers are quite user friendly in most distros.

4. Your old D will remain as it currently is. The newly created partitions will be ext3 and Linux Swap.

5. There are programs that will do that, but I wouldn't recommend them. If your data is stored on the old D, then you won't ever want to access the system files on Linux from Windows.

5 (2). Most, if not all, of the distros will recognise your old D, and you will choose where to mount it during the installation process.

6. Any of them will do. This is subjective. Check out online reviews, feature listings, etc. But they are all Linux, and all distros you've mentioned are quite user-friendly.

7. You just remove the partition, and erase the entry in GRUB. Post back when you decide to do that. But remember, do this only after you get the hang of Linux. There always are some programs that don't have a 100% compatible equivalent of Linux, but most of them do.

8. You can only add it to the partition it's next to. After you delete it, resize the partition next to it to cover the unused space as well.

9. Not really sure. I'll google a bit for it and post back. But I'm sure there is a fix for that too.


dell, installation

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Questions from a new linux convert... the doubts wedgea18 Linux - Newbie 8 02-08-2006 02:47 PM
some basic doubts in installation of suse 9.1 selpra Linux - General 1 12-05-2005 09:40 AM
Basic Questions About Installing and Using Linux genyes Linux - Newbie 6 07-03-2004 03:34 PM
Linux shell doubts pongsu Linux - General 5 09-25-2003 03:51 PM
Linux server and clients Win and Linux, some doubts... geraldomanaus Linux - Networking 1 03-14-2003 07:11 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:21 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration