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Old 02-25-2004, 10:40 PM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2004
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Question How do I format my single, clean hard drive to Linux?

I have been given a really, REALLY old Compaq Presario with the CPU and monitor integrated, like an iMac. Anyways, the hard drive has absolutely no OS on it, and I would like to try to install SuSE's Personal 8.2. So how in the world do I format the hard drive in order to be able to install the complete system from the CD-ROM? Is it even possible?
Old 06-26-2006, 11:13 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Tennessee
Distribution: Devuan 3.0 (Beowulf)
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I use Fedora instead of SuSE, but I can't help but think the process must be very similar.

First, if the computer is really, REALLY old, it may not be up to the job. I've gotten Fedora Core 3 to load on a 200 MHz Pentium with 128 MB RAM, but it's pretty slow. You will also need at least a couple of gigabytes of hard disk space (although this can be spread over more than one hard drive).

Now to the point. The installation process in Fedora invokes Disk Druid. Disk Druid either automatically partitions or allows you to manually partition your hard drive. It then properly formats those partitions for Linux's use. SuSE must either use Disk Druid or some other partitioning program during its installation process.

If the drive with no OS on it is completely empty, you have absolutely nothing to lose but time, so just try it. If you let the automated process generate default partitions, you will very likely end up with a working computer. If Something Bad happens, download DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke), zero-fill the hard drive, and start over.

Good luck!

BTW, it really helps to use a high speed CD-ROM drive for the install. The one in that old machine could be ten or twenty times slower than modern units. If you have a late model spare, temporarily switching them may save you lots of time.
Old 06-26-2006, 11:24 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2005
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Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10
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if it is really old you might want to go with something like vector linux or knoppix. These seem to do better on slower older machines. Good luck


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