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Old 01-21-2004, 07:58 AM   #1
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Can I just replace Windows with Linux WITHOUT repartitioning the disk??

I replaced Internet Explorer with Mozilla on my Win/ME machine and it works great. Furthermore, it was easy - just download one file and install it. Same thing with OpenOffice replacing MS Office. Fast, easy, and it works. Now can I do the same thing with Windows itself???? Just replace it with Linux WITHOUT repartioning the disk, changing the file system, etc. Judging from other comments, I suspect the answer is no, but thought I would ask anyway. Is there any EASY FAST way (that works) to replace Windows with Linux???? Thanks for any response.
Old 01-21-2004, 08:16 AM   #2
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And save your existing data?
I don't think so. Maybe you could back off your docs and mail settings to CD
and then install Linux. The basic format is different so you can't 'upgrade'
Windows; but it is a step in the right direction

If your drive is already partitioned you could install Linux as a dual boot on
one of the partitions.
Hope this helps,
Old 01-21-2004, 08:17 AM   #3
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There are some smaller distributions that can run off of a loopback file system on the Windows partition. You would create a big file (1GB or more) and have the Linux file system live entirely inside that file.

Another neat way is running a distribution like Knoppix which runs completely off the CD. You can set up a home directory for Knoppix on your Windows partition too, if I'm not mistaken, so you won't lose everything every time you reboot.

Old 01-21-2004, 08:23 AM   #4
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Most distros use a linux file system. There are some like zipslack that can be installed on an existing FAT partition.

But to answer your question distros like Mandrake are very easy to install if you want nothing but linux on the PC. Just select auto partition using the entire disk. See the documentation at for help.

Another suggestion would be to run a liveCD version like Knoppix. You can save settings to the disk.
Old 01-21-2004, 08:31 AM   #5
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The short and correct answer to your question is YES!!!!!!!(and NO!!!!!!!) Linux is perfectly happy to NOT coexist with another OS. You can do so by simply sticking in the CD (or boot floppy, if you're doing a network install) and choosing to use the whole disk. If you do that, save yur stuff (pics, files, docs, songs, etc) and let 'er rip! Bye bye Windows. Most ppl recommend that you dual boot so you can ease into Linux and still have the safety-blankey of your familiar environment. If you're feeling adventurous and don't mind thinking a bit differently, then just replace Win. The replacement is easy, and many distros will have you up and running with every application you ever imagined in about 20 minutes or so. All traces of Windows (or any OS) will be gone, though, and a new filesystem will have replaced it (BTW, I suggest ReiserFS - faster). No harm in that if you wanna replace Win. But, back up your files!


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