Installing Linux with WinXP Home Edition

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Mikester71, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. Mikester71

    Mikester71 Guest

    I have always been a Windows user but have been wanting to give Linux a
    try after hearing good things about it on Call For Help on G4Tech TV
    here in Canada. I have downloaded and burned onto 3 CD-R's the ISO
    images for Linux Mandrake and was going to load it on an older P1
    computer I had laying around. I wanted to load it on the 2.5gb hard
    drive in this machine but couldn't get the CD drive to be recognized in
    order to load Mandrake from the CDs, even after changing the BIOS
    settings. The machine is really old and has nothing but basic &
    outdated hardware installed in it, but I thought it might be okay for
    trying out a new OS.

    I am just wondering if I wouldn't be better off taking the 2.5gb hard
    drive out of this crappy computer and putting it in my main system and
    loading Mandrake on it there. I have a P4 1.5mhz system with an 80gb
    hard drive with lots of hard drive space to spare and an excellent
    sound and video card, but was thinking that I might be better off
    loading it on its own seperate hard drive in case of conflicts or
    complications.

    Does this sound like the way to go or am I better off partitioning my
    main hard drive and installing it on there? Is there any advantage or
    disadvantage to putting another OS on a machine on a seperate hard
    drive (if I run into problems with Linux on drive D, can XP be affected
    on drive C)? Will WinXP and Linux play well together in this
    environment or am I just asking for trouble?

    Any thoughts, recommendations, or personal experiences would be much
    appreciated!

    TIA,
    Mike
     
    Mikester71, Sep 13, 2005
    #1
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  2. Mikester71

    Gordon Guest

    Mikester71 wrote:
    > I have always been a Windows user but have been wanting to give Linux a
    > try
    >
    > I am just wondering if I wouldn't be better off taking the 2.5gb hard
    > drive out of this crappy computer


    You will be hard-pushed installing and running Mandrake on a 2.5 Gb HDD.

    --
    Registered Linux User no 240308
    Ubuntu 5.04 and Open Office
    Was Windows XP SP2 and Office 2003
    gbplinuxATgmailDOTcom
     
    Gordon, Sep 13, 2005
    #2
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  3. Mikester71

    Klaus Guest

    Hi,

    1) In order to be able to select the required OS during the boot process you
    either need a BIOS which allows you to select the Disk you would like to
    boot from or you make use of a boot manager like LILO or GRUB.

    2) Placing Linux on an old 2.5 GB Disk is not the very best idea as you
    might have only 2GB for Linux data left after assigning a 500MB swap
    partition. Depending of which kind of services you would like to run this
    is way to less for a graphical based Linux.

    I would suggest you use your existing disk (dual boot with GRUB) and maybe
    just use your old disk as swap partition for Linux. If you just like play
    around with Linux without really installing it you can use KNOPPIX. You can
    find a download site at http://www.linuxiso.org/. If you really like to
    install Linux

    I would recommend to use the latest SUSE beta4 version 10 (easy to install
    latest available code, pretty fast). You can download this version from
    "ftp://ftp.opensuse.org/pub/opensuse/distribution/SL-10.0-OSS-beta4/iso/"

    HTH

    Klaus


    Mikester71 wrote:

    > I have always been a Windows user but have been wanting to give Linux a
    > try after hearing good things about it on Call For Help on G4Tech TV
    > here in Canada. I have downloaded and burned onto 3 CD-R's the ISO
    > images for Linux Mandrake and was going to load it on an older P1
    > computer I had laying around. I wanted to load it on the 2.5gb hard
    > drive in this machine but couldn't get the CD drive to be recognized in
    > order to load Mandrake from the CDs, even after changing the BIOS
    > settings. The machine is really old and has nothing but basic &
    > outdated hardware installed in it, but I thought it might be okay for
    > trying out a new OS.
    >
    > I am just wondering if I wouldn't be better off taking the 2.5gb hard
    > drive out of this crappy computer and putting it in my main system and
    > loading Mandrake on it there. I have a P4 1.5mhz system with an 80gb
    > hard drive with lots of hard drive space to spare and an excellent
    > sound and video card, but was thinking that I might be better off
    > loading it on its own seperate hard drive in case of conflicts or
    > complications.
    >
    > Does this sound like the way to go or am I better off partitioning my
    > main hard drive and installing it on there? Is there any advantage or
    > disadvantage to putting another OS on a machine on a seperate hard
    > drive (if I run into problems with Linux on drive D, can XP be affected
    > on drive C)? Will WinXP and Linux play well together in this
    > environment or am I just asking for trouble?
    >
    > Any thoughts, recommendations, or personal experiences would be much
    > appreciated!
    >
    > TIA,
    > Mike
     
    Klaus, Sep 13, 2005
    #3
  4. Mikester71

    why? Guest

    On 12 Sep 2005 23:15:41 -0700, Mikester71 wrote:

    >I have always been a Windows user but have been wanting to give Linux a
    >try after hearing good things about it on Call For Help on G4Tech TV
    >here in Canada. I have downloaded and burned onto 3 CD-R's the ISO
    >images for Linux Mandrake and was going to load it on an older P1
    >computer I had laying around. I wanted to load it on the 2.5gb hard


    a CD boot floppy from www.bootdisk.com

    a live distro Linux, lets you boot from CD without installing anything.
    There are many to choose from.
    (you may need to set the BIOS option to boot from CD and / or buy a
    newer CDROM drive)

    There are many 'tiny' linux distros for low end systems , like a PI with
    192MB RAM, or booting from memory sticks.

    Try
    http://groups.google.com/group/24hoursupport.helpdesk?
    for previous info on the subject.

    <snip>

    Me
     
    why?, Sep 13, 2005
    #4
  5. Mikester71

    Whiskers Guest

    On 2005-09-13, Mikester71 <> wrote:
    > I have always been a Windows user but have been wanting to give Linux a
    > try after hearing good things about it on Call For Help on G4Tech TV
    > here in Canada. I have downloaded and burned onto 3 CD-R's the ISO
    > images for Linux Mandrake and was going to load it on an older P1
    > computer I had laying around. I wanted to load it on the 2.5gb hard
    > drive in this machine but couldn't get the CD drive to be recognized in
    > order to load Mandrake from the CDs, even after changing the BIOS
    > settings. The machine is really old and has nothing but basic &
    > outdated hardware installed in it, but I thought it might be okay for
    > trying out a new OS.


    2.5GB is really too small to do anything useful with any current 'big'
    operating system; but the rest of the hardware on that machine would
    probably be fine for Mandrake (now called Mandriva), so could you fit a
    larger HD? 4GB would be 'enough', if the BIOS can cope with something that
    big. Bear in mind that things will run slowly if you use a 'big' desktop
    environment such as KDE or Gnome, but there are several 'lighter'
    alternatives that run more quickly on less powerful machines; I like
    "XFce".

    Try looking up whatever 'error messages' you got when trying to install
    Mandrake, to see if there is a solution. The newsgroup
    alt.os.linux.mandrake is an excellent resource (and there's a new group
    reflecting the changed name: alt.os.linux.mandriva).

    If the BIOS doesn't have a setting for 'boot from CD' then you could try a
    'boot manager' program such as "GAG" <http://gag.sourceforge.net/> - which
    I also use to manage my 'dual booting', with the 'boot loader' for each
    operating system installed in its own partition instead of using one of them
    as a 'boot manager' in the MBR.

    There is no reason for not putting Mandrake on both machines; it's perfectly
    'legal' - this isn't Microsoft!

    > I am just wondering if I wouldn't be better off taking the 2.5gb hard
    > drive out of this crappy computer and putting it in my main system and
    > loading Mandrake on it there. I have a P4 1.5mhz system with an 80gb
    > hard drive with lots of hard drive space to spare and an excellent
    > sound and video card, but was thinking that I might be better off
    > loading it on its own seperate hard drive in case of conflicts or
    > complications.


    Unless you use it just for swap space, or data storage, I don't think
    there's much point putting the old HD into the newer machine.

    > Does this sound like the way to go or am I better off partitioning my
    > main hard drive and installing it on there? Is there any advantage or
    > disadvantage to putting another OS on a machine on a seperate hard
    > drive (if I run into problems with Linux on drive D, can XP be affected
    > on drive C)? Will WinXP and Linux play well together in this
    > environment or am I just asking for trouble?
    >
    > Any thoughts, recommendations, or personal experiences would be much
    > appreciated!
    >
    > TIA,
    > Mike


    It's certainly possible to arrange a 'dual boot' between Windows and Linux;
    that's how I got started in my adventures outside the Microsoft bubble, and
    many people do the same. There's a lot of information 'out there' about
    doing this, and the Linux installation CDs usually give you the option of
    doing it automatically - Mandrake/Mandriva certainly does; its installation
    is particularly user-friendly. There can occasionally be a problem with the
    Windows XP boot-loader after Linux is installed, but it's not insoluble and
    you won't lose your Windows system unless you tell the Linux installer that
    it can be wiped (but do make sure you have working back-ups before doing
    anything else; you know it makes sense).

    --
    -- ^^^^^^^^^^
    -- Whiskers
    -- ~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Whiskers, Sep 13, 2005
    #5
  6. Mikester71

    Mikester71 Guest

    Thanks for the great info and advice guys. I think I may just put Linux
    on my WinXP Home system after hearing that they can co-exist peacefully
    together from you guys. The older system I wanted to try it on was a
    piece of junk I found at work and thought it might be good to put to
    use for something (don't think it would be worth even trying though
    really).

    One last question on the subject then. If I want to put Mandriva or
    SUSE, etc. on my existing XP Home Edition system, do I just put the
    CD's in and reboot (after changing the boot sequence to see CD-Rom
    drive first of course) or do I have to partition my existing C drive
    first to make room for the new OS? I have 40gb free on my current
    system.

    Thanks again guys for your Linux wisdom!

    Mike

    Mikester71 wrote:
    > I have always been a Windows user but have been wanting to give Linux a
    > try after hearing good things about it on Call For Help on G4Tech TV
    > here in Canada. I have downloaded and burned onto 3 CD-R's the ISO
    > images for Linux Mandrake and was going to load it on an older P1
    > computer I had laying around. I wanted to load it on the 2.5gb hard
    > drive in this machine but couldn't get the CD drive to be recognized in
    > order to load Mandrake from the CDs, even after changing the BIOS
    > settings. The machine is really old and has nothing but basic &
    > outdated hardware installed in it, but I thought it might be okay for
    > trying out a new OS.
     
    Mikester71, Sep 13, 2005
    #6
  7. Mikester71

    why? Guest

    On 13 Sep 2005 09:01:18 -0700, Mikester71 wrote:

    >Thanks for the great info and advice guys. I think I may just put Linux
    >on my WinXP Home system after hearing that they can co-exist peacefully


    There is an MS article(s) about removing Linux
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;247804
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;314458

    >together from you guys. The older system I wanted to try it on was a
    >piece of junk I found at work and thought it might be good to put to
    >use for something (don't think it would be worth even trying though
    >really).


    Then one of the tiny versions and make it a firewall.

    >One last question on the subject then. If I want to put Mandriva or
    >SUSE, etc. on my existing XP Home Edition system, do I just put the


    Look for Live CD versions of those, this will let you boot and run Linux
    off the CD/DVD and see if it detects your hardware, before doing an
    install.

    >CD's in and reboot (after changing the boot sequence to see CD-Rom
    >drive first of course) or do I have to partition my existing C drive


    Partition(s) are required , IIRC at least 2

    linux everything (2-6GB)
    and
    linux swap (say 256/512MB)

    >first to make room for the new OS? I have 40gb free on my current
    >system.


    If that free space is in the Windows partition, it's
    backup files
    any ISP data
    any important data
    backup again
    test backups doing a restore
    resize partition

    Be prepared for the worst.

    During the Linux setup be careful when selecting partitions / setup
    options , don't pick the erase all partitions option :)

    >Thanks again guys for your Linux wisdom!


    There are lots of notes and Mandriva / SuSE forums, do some browsing
    through the questions / answers beforehand.

    Another option is add a 2nd hardisk for Linux.

    Or even maybe, backup your current HD , to another HD , DVD using
    something like Norton Ghost (remember to test it works) , then if
    anything goes wrong you can restore.

    One thing that appears to be an issue is after having used Linux for a
    while is removing it, rather resetting the MBR to boot with Windows
    without the Linux boot menu. With RedHat versions it's was possible to
    install without the boot loader, this way the PC always booted Windows
    as normal, unless you use the Linux boot floppy (having made 3 or 4
    copies of the floppy for safety), a bootable USB dongle should also
    work.

    Linux has a great set of documents called HOWTOs, on the LDP
    The Linux Documentation Project
    http://www.tldp.org/
    the Mandriva set is mentioned
    http://mandrivalinux.com/en/fdoc.php3

    >Mike
    >
    >Mikester71 wrote:
    >> I have always been a Windows user but have been wanting to give Linux a
    >> try after hearing good things about it on Call For Help on G4Tech TV
    >> here in Canada. I have downloaded and burned onto 3 CD-R's the ISO
    >> images for Linux Mandrake and was going to load it on an older P1
    >> computer I had laying around. I wanted to load it on the 2.5gb hard


    <snip>

    Me
     
    why?, Sep 13, 2005
    #7
  8. Mikester71

    Whiskers Guest

    On 2005-09-13, Mikester71 <> wrote:

    snip

    > One last question on the subject then. If I want to put Mandriva or
    > SUSE, etc. on my existing XP Home Edition system, do I just put the
    > CD's in and reboot (after changing the boot sequence to see CD-Rom
    > drive first of course) or do I have to partition my existing C drive
    > first to make room for the new OS? I have 40gb free on my current
    > system.


    You should do some 'housekeeping' on your Windows system first; remove any
    'junk', and use your usual tools to 'clean up' and 'repair'. Then, if your
    Windows is on FAT32 file system, defrag so as to move all the files to the
    'start' of the disc. If you have tools that you trust for repartitioning,
    make the Windows partition smaller so as to leave some empty space for
    Linux. This is the part of the operation where your back-up is most likely
    to prove its worth.

    If your partitioning tools refuse to leave any empty space, then by all
    means create a new partition in the new space. You don't need to do that
    for the Linux installers to work though (they can remove it anyway).

    Windows-based tools cannot be relied on to create or maintain non-Windows
    partitions; the Linux installer will offer to 'use the empty space' or
    'replace an existing partition' (or words to that effect), and you should
    let the Linux installer create and format the partitions for itself.

    The Linux installer will include tools for re-sizing a Windows partition to
    make more room, so it isn't essential to do that from Windows.

    Linux can read, write, and format, FAT32 file systems, and can read NTFS
    file systems (but don't depend on Linux to write to or format an NTFS
    partition; Microsoft keep changing the detailed specifications and no-one
    else can keep up). Windows operating systems normally can't work with, or
    even 'see', non-Windows file systems, although there are apparently third
    party tools that can get Windows to read Linux file systems.

    You will need at least two partitions, one called / and one called swap;
    the Linux installer will probably default to that arrangement if you choose
    'automatic' or 'default' options. Linux usually has a separate partition
    for swap, and the recommended size is usually 'twice the installed RAM'
    although some say '1MB' - I say, better too big than too small, if you have
    the room :)) A big swap partition won't slow anything down, but one that's
    too small certainly will.

    --
    -- ^^^^^^^^^^
    -- Whiskers
    -- ~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Whiskers, Sep 13, 2005
    #8
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