New here and new to Linux - Help

This is a discussion on New here and new to Linux - Help ; I've been reading some of the posts here and I think I'm in the right place. I purchased the July 2005 issue of "Linux Format" magazine today. They had several distros of Linux on the CD's, including something called Damn ...

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Thread: New here and new to Linux

  1. New here and new to Linux

    I've been reading some of the posts here and I think I'm in the right
    place.

    I purchased the July 2005 issue of "Linux Format" magazine today. They
    had several distros of Linux on the CD's, including something called Damn
    Small Linux, several other small distros, and Ubuntu 5.04.

    I have a Dell Dimension system, running WinXP SR2 with plenty of RAM (512
    meg) and about 50 gigs of hard drive free. Should be enough to run Linux,
    eh?

    My problem: I'm terrified of the "disk partioning" thing. When I got to
    the point in the install of Ubuntu (the only one I've tried so far), it
    started asking me all kinds of questions I couldn't answer.

    Are there some easy rules about partioning? Last I remember, I could
    easily erase some of my Windows data by messing up the partioning stuff.

    I appreciate any help I can get.

    Incidentally, the other distros on the CD's are Feather Linux, INSERT,
    muLinux, Poppy LInux and ZipSlack.


    --
    --------------------------------------
    Jeffrey Needle
    jeff.needle@gmail.com

  2. Re: New here and new to Linux

    Jeff Needle wrote:
    > I've been reading some of the posts here and I think I'm in the right
    > place.
    >
    > I purchased the July 2005 issue of "Linux Format" magazine today. They
    > had several distros of Linux on the CD's, including something called
    > Damn Small Linux, several other small distros, and Ubuntu 5.04.
    >
    > I have a Dell Dimension system, running WinXP SR2 with plenty of RAM
    > (512 meg) and about 50 gigs of hard drive free. Should be enough to
    > run Linux, eh?
    >
    > My problem: I'm terrified of the "disk partioning" thing. When I got
    > to the point in the install of Ubuntu (the only one I've tried so far),
    > it started asking me all kinds of questions I couldn't answer.
    >
    > Are there some easy rules about partioning? Last I remember, I could
    > easily erase some of my Windows data by messing up the partioning stuff.
    >
    > I appreciate any help I can get.
    >
    > Incidentally, the other distros on the CD's are Feather Linux, INSERT,
    > muLinux, Poppy LInux and ZipSlack.
    >
    >


    You shouldn't be terrified. Not because something awful can't happen:
    it can. But any system you run is constantly at risk of being destroyed
    by user error or hardware failure. Therefor, whether you are installing
    Linux or not, you should have backups of important data and whatever
    media you need to reinstall.

    Second : There are many "Live CD" distro's available. You don't have
    to install it, just boot and run it.

    Finally: Hard drives are dirt cheap, especially so for older stuff you
    might find at eBay or a yard sale. If you are really afraid of
    destroying your disk, disconnect it and use a different drive to install
    Linux. Yes, that's a major pain, so the other thought is to buy a whole
    cheap machine. Nowadays, people routinely throw away machines perfectly
    capable of running Linux.. you or your neighbor might even have one
    gathering dust in a corner. Give it a new life.

    --
    Tony Lawrence
    Unix/Linux/Mac OS X resources: http://aplawrence.com

  3. Re: New here and new to Linux

    Jeff Needle wrote:
    > I've been reading some of the posts here and I think I'm in the right
    > place.
    >
    > I purchased the July 2005 issue of "Linux Format" magazine today. They
    > had several distros of Linux on the CD's, including something called
    > Damn Small Linux, several other small distros, and Ubuntu 5.04.
    >
    > I have a Dell Dimension system, running WinXP SR2 with plenty of RAM
    > (512 meg) and about 50 gigs of hard drive free. Should be enough to
    > run Linux, eh?
    >
    > My problem: I'm terrified of the "disk partioning" thing. When I got
    > to the point in the install of Ubuntu (the only one I've tried so far),
    > it started asking me all kinds of questions I couldn't answer.
    >
    > Are there some easy rules about partioning? Last I remember, I could
    > easily erase some of my Windows data by messing up the partioning stuff.
    >
    > I appreciate any help I can get.
    >
    > Incidentally, the other distros on the CD's are Feather Linux, INSERT,
    > muLinux, Poppy LInux and ZipSlack.
    >
    >


    Hi. I had the same problem one year ago when trying to install Suse
    Linux in my laptop (second hand), which came with Windows XP installed
    already. I had done disk partitioning before on an already formated hard
    disk with Windows 98, and it is quite easy and safe. The two major steps:

    Step 1: Defragment your existing partition in such a way to put all data
    at the beginning of the disk

    Step 2: (immediately after step 1) Create the new partition(s) (Linux
    installation booteable CD should be able to perform this task safely).

    The problem with Win XP is that almost none disk defrag application can
    do the job completely because Windows XP stores the FAT in a huge block
    somewhere in the middle of the disk, and sometimes in more blocks
    scattered along the disk, including a block at the end. This causes that
    normal defragmenters only defragment the files, and relocate them as
    close to the beginning as possible, but leave the FAT blocks right where
    they are, making it impossible to create a new partition.

    However, it is still possible to defragment the disk completely (this
    is, including the relocation of the FAT blocks). I did it with a very
    powerful defragmenter application I downloaded for free (shareware) from
    the net, but I don't remember the name (I think it may have been Disk
    Doctor or Partition Magic, not sure). After that, the rest is a piece of
    cake.

    One remark: as opposed to win98, win XP partition is (or was for Suse
    Linux 9.1 at that time) not writable from Linux, although you can read
    it without any problem.

    Sorry for the fuzzy information but I hope it helps.

    Regards
    Milan

  4. Re: New here and new to Linux

    On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 02:25:04 -0700, Tony Lawrence wrote:

    > Jeff Needle wrote:
    >> I've been reading some of the posts here and I think I'm in the right
    >> place.
    >> I purchased the July 2005 issue of "Linux Format" magazine today.
    >> They had several distros of Linux on the CD's, including something
    >> called Damn Small Linux, several other small distros, and Ubuntu 5.04.
    >> I have a Dell Dimension system, running WinXP SR2 with plenty of RAM
    >> (512 meg) and about 50 gigs of hard drive free. Should be enough to
    >> run Linux, eh?
    >> My problem: I'm terrified of the "disk partioning" thing. When I got
    >> to the point in the install of Ubuntu (the only one I've tried so
    >> far), it started asking me all kinds of questions I couldn't answer.
    >> Are there some easy rules about partioning? Last I remember, I could
    >> easily erase some of my Windows data by messing up the partioning stuff.
    >> I appreciate any help I can get.
    >> Incidentally, the other distros on the CD's are Feather Linux,
    >> INSERT, muLinux, Poppy LInux and ZipSlack.
    >>

    >
    > You shouldn't be terrified. Not because something awful can't happen:
    > it can. But any system you run is constantly at risk of being destroyed
    > by user error or hardware failure. Therefor, whether you are installing
    > Linux or not, you should have backups of important data and whatever
    > media you need to reinstall.
    >
    > Second : There are many "Live CD" distro's available. You don't have
    > to install it, just boot and run it.
    >
    > Finally: Hard drives are dirt cheap, especially so for older stuff you
    > might find at eBay or a yard sale. If you are really afraid of
    > destroying your disk, disconnect it and use a different drive to install
    > Linux. Yes, that's a major pain, so the other thought is to buy a whole
    > cheap machine. Nowadays, people routinely throw away machines perfectly
    > capable of running Linux.. you or your neighbor might even have one
    > gathering dust in a corner. Give it a new life.
    >



    Good advice. Yes, I do backup those things that really matter -- I've had
    my share of crashes that made my life difficult.

    I already have an old PC sitting around here that I never use. Maybe I
    should just crash it and install Linux on that system. It's old and low,
    but it will at least give me some idea of what it's like.

    Thanks.





    --
    --------------------------------------
    Jeffrey Needle
    jeff.needle@gmail.com

  5. Re: New here and new to Linux

    >
    > Hi. I had the same problem one year ago when trying to install Suse
    > Linux in my laptop (second hand), which came with Windows XP installed
    > already. I had done disk partitioning before on an already formated hard
    > disk with Windows 98, and it is quite easy and safe. The two major steps:
    >
    > Step 1: Defragment your existing partition in such a way to put all data
    > at the beginning of the disk
    >
    > Step 2: (immediately after step 1) Create the new partition(s) (Linux
    > installation booteable CD should be able to perform this task safely).
    >
    > The problem with Win XP is that almost none disk defrag application can
    > do the job completely because Windows XP stores the FAT in a huge block
    > somewhere in the middle of the disk, and sometimes in more blocks
    > scattered along the disk, including a block at the end. This causes that
    > normal defragmenters only defragment the files, and relocate them as
    > close to the beginning as possible, but leave the FAT blocks right where
    > they are, making it impossible to create a new partition.
    >
    > However, it is still possible to defragment the disk completely (this
    > is, including the relocation of the FAT blocks). I did it with a very
    > powerful defragmenter application I downloaded for free (shareware) from
    > the net, but I don't remember the name (I think it may have been Disk
    > Doctor or Partition Magic, not sure). After that, the rest is a piece of
    > cake.
    >
    > One remark: as opposed to win98, win XP partition is (or was for Suse
    > Linux 9.1 at that time) not writable from Linux, although you can read
    > it without any problem.
    >
    > Sorry for the fuzzy information but I hope it helps.
    >
    > Regards
    > Milan



    Yes, it does give me some additional information I didn't have before,
    especially about the FAT table. I'm familiar with Partition Magic.

    Thanks so much!


    --
    --------------------------------------
    Jeffrey Needle
    jeff.needle@gmail.com

  6. Re: New here and new to Linux

    Jeff Needle wrote:
    >>
    >> Hi. I had the same problem one year ago when trying to install Suse
    >> Linux in my laptop (second hand), which came with Windows XP
    >> installed already. I had done disk partitioning before on an already
    >> formated hard disk with Windows 98, and it is quite easy and safe.
    >> The two major steps:
    >>
    >> Step 1: Defragment your existing partition in such a way to put all
    >> data at the beginning of the disk
    >>
    >> Step 2: (immediately after step 1) Create the new partition(s) (Linux
    >> installation booteable CD should be able to perform this task safely).
    >>
    >> The problem with Win XP is that almost none disk defrag application
    >> can do the job completely because Windows XP stores the FAT in a huge
    >> block somewhere in the middle of the disk, and sometimes in more
    >> blocks scattered along the disk, including a block at the end. This
    >> causes that normal defragmenters only defragment the files, and
    >> relocate them as close to the beginning as possible, but leave the
    >> FAT blocks right where they are, making it impossible to create a
    >> new partition.
    >>
    >> However, it is still possible to defragment the disk completely (this
    >> is, including the relocation of the FAT blocks). I did it with a very
    >> powerful defragmenter application I downloaded for free (shareware)
    >> from the net, but I don't remember the name (I think it may have been
    >> Disk Doctor or Partition Magic, not sure). After that, the rest is a
    >> piece of cake.
    >>
    >> One remark: as opposed to win98, win XP partition is (or was for Suse
    >> Linux 9.1 at that time) not writable from Linux, although you can
    >> read it without any problem.
    >>
    >> Sorry for the fuzzy information but I hope it helps.
    >>
    >> Regards
    >> Milan

    >
    >
    >
    > Yes, it does give me some additional information I didn't have before,
    > especially about the FAT table. I'm familiar with Partition Magic.
    >
    > Thanks so much!
    >
    >


    Hi. I have just found a CD with the programs I used to defragment and re
    dimension the windows XP partition. The programs are:
    - Acronis Disk Director Suite:
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing.../diskdirector/
    - BootItNG:
    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html
    - Partition boot manager:
    http://www.sadevelopment.com/more_pbm.htm

    I don't remember more details, but you will surely find your way with this.

    cheers

    Milan

  7. Re: New here and new to Linux

    >
    > Hi. I have just found a CD with the programs I used to defragment and re
    > dimension the windows XP partition. The programs are:
    > - Acronis Disk Director Suite:
    > http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing.../diskdirector/
    > - BootItNG:
    > http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html
    > - Partition boot manager:
    > http://www.sadevelopment.com/more_pbm.htm
    >
    > I don't remember more details, but you will surely find your way with
    > this.
    >
    > cheers
    >
    > Milan



    Great -- thanks!


    --
    --------------------------------------
    Jeffrey Needle
    jeff.needle@gmail.com

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