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Old 04-14-2004, 05:53 PM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: SlackWare 9.1
Posts: 23

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Getting linux on my machine

I have a pentium 4 tower pc that stopped working recently, it will get to the login page and wont go any further.

As i have nothing of too much importance on that pc, is there a way to get rid of everything from the hard drive and install linux bearing in mind i am kind of a newbie to all of this.

I hadnt recently installed any new hardware so its probably a problem with windows or one of the programs (it was not connected to the net so cant be a downloaded virus)

If this is possible can someone point me to which distribution to use and where i can download it.

Also if his just seems like a bad idea, then tell me

Thanks for your help

edit: installed hardware includes a dvd drive, a cdrw drive and floppy drive

Last edited by TheFirefly; 04-14-2004 at 05:55 PM.
Old 04-14-2004, 06:19 PM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
Posts: 12,612

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Welcome to LQ

My personal thoughts on this would be that you should re-install windoze, assuming that is the OS you currently have. At the time of install, leave a certain amount of space unpartitioned or unformatted, or at least seperate from the large partition you will install windoze to. Then, feel free to install Linux to the second partition and learn from there. This will allow you to continue using your PC in your familiar environment while learning Linux.

Old 04-14-2004, 06:24 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: SlackWare 9.1
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Hi would but i don't have anything to reinstall windows with, didn't come with any disks when i bought it. I don't mind if i have troubles as i can do fine without the other computer for a while, thats why i decided i might try linux.

I have this computer available so even if i get completely lost in linux and am not able to fully use my other PC for a while i will be fine

Oh and Thanks
Old 04-14-2004, 06:37 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 927

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well, you can just go to

and d/l the distro of your choice - instructions on md5sums and burning are on that site as well - Mandrake might be a good choice with regard to newbie-friendliness, but here's a good starter guide to picking a distro:

once you burn the distro, make sure the BIOS is set to boot from CD, and boot with CD inserted

be sure to bookmark this site, as you will probably have a question or two after that

good luck

PS: great install documentation is available free on the mandrake and redhat sites, among others....

Last edited by Genesee; 04-14-2004 at 06:39 PM.
Old 04-14-2004, 07:14 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2004
Posts: 40

Rep: Reputation: 15
If you want to get info on your components, display settings, and general Linux compatability I suggest burning a Knoppix , and perhaps a Mepis CD and booting them first.
You can practice all your moves without touching the hard disk, including network connections and web browsing to learn even more. On such a recent computer live distros will run nicely.
Old 04-14-2004, 07:15 PM   #6
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Registered: Oct 2002
Distribution: Slackware, Windows 7
Posts: 1,253

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I would also like to suggest that you definitively determine that the reason the computer does not work now is a software issue and not a hardware issue. Nothing is worse that spending a HUGE amount of time and effort trying to get linux to run only to find out that The HD, mem, or motherboard was borked the whole time.

Yes I speak from experience ;-)


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