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Old 02-20-2008, 04:12 AM   #1
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Question Switching from Windows Xp to Linux. NEED HELP!

My Window Xp, has crashed 5 times since the past 15 days and i am fed up with this annoying OS.
My friend suggested me to switch to linux, as its a very stable OS.I would love to switch to linux but only if it could satisfy my conditions which are :

1. The OS should have good looks, i don't think this is a prob coz i could install transformation packs for the linux OS from sites similar to I want similar looks with transparency n stuff!

2. I have approximately 9 GB of software's installations files for windows on my HDD which i dont want to lose, and i want all of them to run on my linux OS.
For example i want to install software's like - MS office'07, Word web, Orbit flash video downloader, Game gain [To run games faster!], SRS audio sandbox, Azereus torrent, GOM player, foxit pdf reader etc...I know i could find similar softwares for linux too, but i dont want to download them all over again as i don't have much space on my HDD as its already filled with music n movies!

3. I want to play games like NFS,Max payne,Counter strike etc...n my comp's configuration i not that
great . I am running a Celeron 1.7 GHz PC with 640 MB of RAM. So i don't want linux to hang or crash while running any of these games n software's

Now can you suggest me a Linux OS that could satisfy all my condition,s. My friend suggested me to install Thorhamer 5. something i guess, and install Cedega the latest version to satisfy all my conditions now can Thorhamer with Cedega fulfill my conditions? If not Please suggest me any OS that would fulfill all my conditions.

Old 02-20-2008, 06:49 AM   #2
Registered: Mar 2007
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Cool Go Italian

I don't know what Thorhamer is or recognize these games you mention, but you sound like you want a distro that's heavy on the eye-candy (Compiz, Beryl etc.)
If that's your bag, I'd recommend Sabayon, a rich, dark Italian distro. It includes many games of its own, including the excellent Battle for Wesnoth. Download the iso from:
Old 02-20-2008, 06:59 AM   #3
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You can check out PCLinuxOs or one of the other LiveCD distros to see how you like them.

Keep in mind that Linux is not Windows and for the most part Windows software does not run in Linux. There are some emulator applications and virtualization applications that will run some of your Windows stuff but there's no guarantee that you'll be able to use your stuff in Linux.

If you're going to make the switch to Linux you should be prepared to find Linux equivalents to what you're used to using.
Old 02-20-2008, 07:02 AM   #4
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Also checkout Wine and Cedega once you've settled for a distro. I think those titles should run on them.

Note that running Windows software on Linux is not always possible and you should consider some free alternatives for them.

Checkout OpenOffice for office. Adobe Acrobat has Linux version available as does Azureus.
Old 02-20-2008, 07:33 AM   #5
Registered: Jun 2006
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I'm a fairly new boy having recently tried the move across. Although I've had a few minor problems, I'd suggest you look at Fedora 8 for business work. None of the distros I've looked at scream "games" at me and I don't think you should consider Linux as a games focused system. However others probably would agree to differ with me )

I've failed miserably to get Wine to allow me to run any Windows packages and I haven't dared to consider any graphics intensive games.

OpenOffice does a reasonable job of replacing Word and Excel but I notice you are using Office 2007. OpenOffice can't (as yet) handle the new file version, so save any essential files as Office 2000 format (i.e. as .doc rather than .docx) That might cost you some minor enhanced features although I've yet to find any that I've lost.

If you use Outlook, save your address book as a comma separated file for import to your email package in Linux and export your favorites from Internet Explorer so Firefox can pick them up.

You might want to consider dual booting for a while and if disc space is an issue treating yourself to an extra hard drive leaving your present drive as Windows until you're completely happy with the changes. Most of the distros I've looked at handle dual booting fairly neatly and painlessly but if you stay away from re-partitioning the Windows drive you reduce the risk of a disaster.

However before you start, can I just say - please make sure you've backed up all essential files and verified your back up.

Good luck,

Old 02-20-2008, 08:36 AM   #6
Registered: Sep 2006
Distribution: Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron LST
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Some light reading.

Check out Distro Reviews to see the pro's and con's of some of the distro's.
Old 02-20-2008, 09:33 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your answers. I came to know that linux is very much different from Windows, but wished linux was as simple as Xp,i think i cannot have all my conditions satisfied, and run all the windows application on linux.But my intrest for linux is not that evanscent.I think i will consider Jhon-in-France's and buy a new external hard drive and have a dual boot for Xp n linux.

P.S.- Those who have not yet answered please post your answer, i would love to hear as many asnwers as possible.

Once again thank you all for your answers.
Old 02-20-2008, 06:33 PM   #8
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Definitely dual-boot and see this page:
Old 02-20-2008, 11:54 PM   #9
Registered: Feb 2008
Distribution: Mandriva One 2008.1, Vector 5.8 SOHO, Knoppix 5.1.1
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prashb, here ya go, man.

Check out my thread (that I spelled wrong.)

Also, consider Mepis 7.0. I just installed it today and am pleased with it, yet I am still looking around at other distros.
Old 02-21-2008, 12:25 AM   #10
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Windows XP is a robust OS. If you are having problems with crashes, I would strongly suggest you sort out why before trying to move to linux.

It is entirely possible that your XP installation has become corrupted by trojans and/or viruses; should this prove to be the case then of course a move to linux will have the effect of immunizing you.

But it is also very possible that your Windows installation has a corrupted filesystem. In this case, running chkdsk could fix you right up and remove the urgency of the move. If you still want to move to linux, that is fine, but you could take your time doing it and dual-boot with your XP system. This approach, IMHO, is the one that works best.

But you also could have a hardware fault in your system which is behind the crashes. In this case, a move to linux would be a serious mistake. You could wind up with a confused, unbootable, unrecoverable mess.

So, I strongly suggest that you diagnose your XP problem FIRST. Once you know why you are crashing, then you will have a much better idea of how to go about a migration to Linux...that is, if you still want to.
Old 02-21-2008, 12:57 AM   #11
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Hello all,
I have one more doubt, i have 8.6 Gb of partitioned space on my Hard disk on which windows is installed, now if Windows consumes around 4 Gb of the drive, can i install an OS like fedora 8 [or any other OS] in the left over 4.6 Gb of the drive after creating a separate partition for it? How much of disk space would an OS like Fedora 8 take?
Please help me with you answers and suggestion's for this one also.

Old 02-21-2008, 01:16 AM   #12
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Unhappy I am not quite sure why windows has crashed so many times!

I am sure that i have no virus on my computer, as i use Bit defender which is one of best anti virus available, i update it every 6 hrs or so.. and run a daily scan.
So i am not sure about the cause for windows to crash. If it's a hardware problem then how do i come to know its because of a hardware problem? How do i analyze the problem?
Please guide me with this.
Old 02-21-2008, 08:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by prashb View Post
I am sure that i have no virus on my computer, as i use Bit defender which is one of best anti virus available, i update it every 6 hrs or so.. and run a daily scan.
One of the most common errors made by Windows users is saying: "I know I am safe because I use this tool..."

Unfortunately, t'ain't so. There is no single product that catches all of the threats; many catch fewer than half. Further, the Windows threat environment is a rapidly moving target; today's best product is next week's also-ran.

You should view security as a journey, not a destination. There is no single "magic bullet", just an assortment of best practices. I am not going to go through all the things you should be doing in this post; off topic for the board and also would require me to write a full article.

However you should investigate carefully exactly what Bit Defender can and cannot do, and you should look at a number of freeware packages such as ad-aware, spybot search and destroy, and spywareblaster.

Also - and this is important - you should use multiple layers of defense, and multiple products from different vendors to provide that defense.

All that said, I do not know that your system is infected; I merely suggest it as a very likely and very common possibility.

So i am not sure about the cause for windows to crash. If it's a hardware problem then how do i come to know its because of a hardware problem? How do i analyze the problem?
Please guide me with this.
The very first thing you do is make sure your filesystem is in good condition. To do this you run chkdsk. If you don't know how to run chkdsk, then go here for instructions. That is my site, that is my article, and there are a few other articles on the site about maintaining Windows computers. Read those articles, follow the instructions, and you will have a healthier Windows computer.

After you are satisfied that your filesystem is in good repair, the next thing you do is eliminate all likely software issues. To this end, you demonstrate that your system is NOT infected, you do not merely assume it. You can do this by obtaining a copy of hijack this and running it per the instructions, then analyzing the output.

There are lots of sites where people will help you analyze the output; I recommend you visit You will find a lot of people there that are willing to help. I can analyze a hijack this log, but as I say Windows threats are a rapidly moving target and there are people on techguy that stay on top of that subject and can do it a lot easier than I can.

You also should perform basic system maintenance. Remove the covers from the machine and clean it out. Get rid of all dust bunnies; make sure the cards are not coated with dust, make sure the heatsinks are not clogged with dust, make sure all the fans are running. Very often, just taking this step gets rid of mysterious crashes.

After doing all these things, run the machine. If it continues to display unreliable behavior, then we can get into more involved things pertaining to hardware.
Old 02-21-2008, 08:52 AM   #14
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If you want to test out Linux without installing, you should check out VMWare or Virtualbox. This will allow you to run Linux from inside Windows. While it is slower than a hard drive install, it is more than adequate for testing out distros.

I would recommend that you try some of the following distros, in no particular order: Mint, Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Mepis, Mandriva.

There is also the Wubi installer

that allows you to install Ubuntu without modifying your partitions. That would be a regular hard drive install, from which you could attempt to use Wine and do the other things you want, and you could also post questions in the Ubuntu forums.

There's a lot involved with moving to a new OS, so I recommend to newbies that they take it slowly, try to move in small pieces, find the distros documentation, and be prepared to post questions in forums.

As for Wine, the quality is improving rapidly, so you might be surprised how well it works. And if it doesn't work for something now, good chance it will work in a couple of months.
Old 02-21-2008, 02:21 PM   #15
Registered: Aug 2006
Location: Near Binghamton, NY-the recent FLOOD zone
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Exclamation Run HD diagnostics. Review fdisk, cfdisk, sfdisk in Manual

We are similar/ same, except i was in your position about 18 months ago, then I went 6 months w/o a computer. Quick preview of Jim Locker's remarks looks correct/spot on, but as stated is limited to SW diagnostic repairs. Open up the box & VACUUM it out, then brush all heat sink surfaces while sucking up the dirt, only then BLOW air into the box to loosen remaining dust!
My comments are to be followed only after his! Please list All your HW specs in your signature !*!
Originally Posted by prashb View Post
SNPD/EDTD Not sure about the cause for windows to crash. If it's a hardware problem then how do i come to know its because of a hardware problem? How do i analyze the problem? Please guide me with this.
Made notes on another recent thread in new forum
Below is a step-step IMHO of HW T/S. A review of my LQ THREADS will reveal ALL the problems I had, which now appear to have actually been HW related.
An infected HD was part of the cause, one that also had defects (is NOW defunct)
What type HD in your system??
BACKUP All the data you want to save! Do NOT store your backup on this HD
1st. Download the mfr diagnostics (if SeaGate; great, other I have used but am not thrilled with).
2nd. Download System Rescue CD
3rd. While diagnostics are running. READ the manual pages irt to .disk!
4th. With Windows still on your HD & diagnostic results PRINTED out or written down. Run fdisk -l, (& PRINT results), use up arrow, prefix w/ a s, Repeat up arrow delete s & prefix w/ c.
5th REVIEW what each disk partitioning tool tells you, NOTE the differences.

When you feel comfortable w/ your knowledge gained. run chkdsk, then repeat diagnostics. step(s) 3, 4 & 5 [comparing results w/ 1st set of information.]
By now you will be understanding more of the problem w/ your file system & HD bad sectors. If you want you could defragment the M$ HD, then repeat HD diagnostics.

Bottom line= Perform LOW level format, rerun diagnostics (see drive is finally clean, most of the prior tools/actions can/did/would NOT clean out all the problems!).

RE-install windows, but PARTITION your system HD properly for dual booting; a BOOT part(~50MB formatted FAT 16/32), XP part {formatted NTFS}, and remaining space for a GNU/Linux part that is formatted during that install. My preferences/recommendations; oSUSE 10.2, FC7 &/or Kubuntu, then later Slackware 11 to tailor your setup. IMHO as a newb; avoid latest stable releases, go w/ previous until a couple of distros under you belt!
Place all your Data on a new Ext HD. that is partitioned w/ the 1st as your swap & then Virtual Memory (M$ Page File), then all your data.

Last edited by digital8doug; 02-21-2008 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Added link for EeeUser. Good info by `rtreffer' on using Linux HD monitoring tools (SMART)


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