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reformat Windows! Install which Linux?

http://www.linuxhelp.ca/isos/

Which ones do you like?  I've been downloading some (Mandrake, Yellow Dog, and Knoppix).  I have a Windows XP hard drive.  Basically, the 30-day trial expired and now I have a stuck hard drive.  It's an amazing Seagate 80GB 7200rpm 8MB cache hard drive and I can't do anything with it.  Can I get an ISO image to install onto a hard drive and delete Windows?

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic
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radomirthegreat
Asked:
radomirthegreat
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5 Solutions
 
shivsaCommented:
redhat 9.0.
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radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Yes, I still have the NTFS file system.  What do I do?  I have another hard drive with a registered Windows (120GB, same system as the 80).  Can I make a start-up floppy disk with that?  Do I need to?
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shivsaCommented:
format the disk if u are not gonna use that windows os and do not have any important document onthat disk.

then u can just fresh install linux on that disk.

if u want to dual boot u can do that too.
on NTFS disk u can have linux and other disk u already have windows.
so take help of partition magic kind of siftware andmake your system dual boot.
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psimationCommented:
radomirthegreat , you don't need to format the drive first, it's a waste of time...

First: Determine which flavour of Linux is best for you. For years, I've been using RedHat, and currently all my machines rnu RH9.0 ( download it for free from www.redhat.com). However, lately, RedHat has decided to no longer actively develop the "free" version themselves, and have released the project to the community and called it Fedora Project. In essence, Fedora Project is still "RedHat", but RedHat the company is no longer in full controll of it. So, for most people out there, Fedora will be a good choice still, but if you want company backing for your OS, then look at one of the others.

Most new comers to Linux find Mandrake easy and intuitive. Mandrake has been around for a long time , and they focus on the stuff the average Windows user will focus, ie, desktop, and multimedia etc.

Others that I know of and impressed me are SuSe Linux and Debian, both with strong "company backing".

The choice is yours, generally, none of the distro's can do something the other can't, they are all based on the same kernel, so the differences are mainly cosmetic.

Make your choice, download the ISO images and burn them to CD.

When you have them on CD, simply boot your PC with the 1st CD, and you will be able to install Linux with little problems. You will be able to create ( remove the windows partition) etc during the install phase, and most of the distro's installers are very easy to follow. With most of them you won't even need to worry about which partitions to create.

Dual booting between Linux and Windows ( as long as windows resides on Fat16 or FAT32) is usually done for you by the Linux installer, but if Windows is on another disk, or resides on NTFS, then it becomes a bit more difficult. Most distro's use GRUB as the bootloader for Linux, and I havn't had much joy with getting it to boot WIN NTFS partitions on other disks, but to do the reverse, ie. use Windows bootloader to boot Linux, is not that difficult.

You must basically make sure that your "working" windows disk is the primary master ( ie, the default boot disk), and then install Linux on the "slave". During the Linux install part, you will come to a stage where it asks you where to install the bootloader to. You should NOT select the MRB of the boot disk, as that will overwrite the NT Bootloader. Rather select to install to the bootsector of the Linux drive. That will mean that the Linux disk would not be bootable, but you MUST create a boot floppy for the Linux installation ( you will be prompted for that during install).

Then it is simply a case of transfering that Linux boot image to the root of your Windows disk, and edit the boot config file for windows to include the Linux image.

One thing that you can also try; before you transfer the images is to see if the linux disk will boot if you change the boot sequence in your CMOS, but most people don't like to have to do that...

For a bit more detail on the transfer of the image etc, you can go to this site:

http://www.littlewhitedog.com/reviews_other_00011.asp 

Good luck
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pjedmondCommented:
Yes you can certainly install an Linux that you want onto the hard drive.

There is a nice list of Linux versions available to browse through that can be found here(complete with links to download sites/home page etc):

http://www.distrowatch.com/

I used to be a Red Hat fanatic, however, they have recently dropped the development and support of the 'mainstream' distribution so that they can concentrate on the more lucrative server versions of the software.

If you wish to be able to try out linux before installing you can run some distros directly from a CD:

http://plug.twuug.org/articles/cddistro.html

Of course bear in mind that the CD 'live' distro will always be a little behind the mainstream distribution on which it is based.

Personally I am now installing Mandrake, and using Knoppix and BBC as a 'live CD' distribution for trouble shooting.

Essentially the distros are fairly similar, it's just a case of presentation, and a few tweaks to provide a different feel to the install or feel to the desktop.

Try more than one distro and see what you prefer. Unless you are reasonably proficient with linux I recommend going with a 'mainstream' distribution in order to guarantee that you can get support in various forums if required.

HTH:)



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radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
My 80GB hard drive's jumper is stuck on master.  The wall right next to the jumper is too close, so nothing as of yet has been able to get a good grip on that.  I think I'll have to reformat or something.  I downloaded all 3 ISOs of Mandrake from some great servers - 350kb/s!  I put in the first CD and windows started up.  Even after tinkering with CD, floppy, then hard drive booting, I still get Windows to boot up and tell me I need to register it.  I have it registered on another hard drive, though...

I'll try burning another first CD to see if maybe the first one was just bad.  I had already tried Knoppix before this thread, and it didn't recognize my 802.11b PCI card at all.  Therefore, I can't do anything at all with it except Galaga and such.
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paullamhkgCommented:
Have you try to use other partition tools to remove your partition like partition magic or partition manager (both are not free), or you can try this http://www.europe.redhat.com/documentation/HOWTO/PLIP-Install-HOWTO-11.php3 to remove the partition, although this from RH site, but it for every linux distro.
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radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
I decided to take the easy way out.  I put in the XP CD and reformatted the hard drive to a FAT partition.  Then, I shut off the PC and took out the XP CD.  Finally, I could start up Mandrake (I don't know why I couldn't before) and I reformatted again, this time to whatever Mandrake uses.  I have successfully installed the first disk of 3.  The problem came when the 2nd could not be read.  Now I've reburned them and await tomorrow because then I'll be less tired.  I just read that SuSE is the only Linux that recognizes wireless LAN cards.  I asked a friend for a copy and should be getting one next week.  Does anyone have any suggestions?
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psimationCommented:
Suggestions regarding?

Firstly, I suspect that you do not have the CDROM listed as the first boot device in your CMOS, that's why XP kept booting and only when it was removed, did your CMOS try the next device...

Also, it is ALWAYS a good idea to test the CD's after you burn them, the best way is of course to verify the MD5 sum, but for that you need to have Linux on a machine ... ( catch 22)
BUT, RH has a CD-test util as part of the install step, not sure about other distro's tho.

Regarding your wireless lan.  That is the general idea behind selecting an OS, ANY OS for that matter. You and only you will know what your needs are for the OS you wnt to install. If you absolutely HAVE to have wireless lan, then obviously, it is top priority to find an OS that can do wireless LAN. However, I don't really want to folow this road too much, because it may sound as if I'm saying some distro's can do wireless and other cannot. Generally that is NOT true. If you can get a wireless lan to work on SuSe running on kernel version 2.4.x, then it is almost certain that RH and Mandrake running on similar kernel versions will also be able to do it. It might simply be that SuSe has some intuitive installers for wireless lan that makes it a bit easier to install the wireless lan than on other OS, but most Linux guru's would be able to make it work on any distro. Haviong said that, if you want the wireless lan to work, without having to read up on installing it etc, and you know for a fact that SuSe does it for you, then it should make your decision much easier as to which distro to use, shouldn't it?

My suggestion would thus be to make a list of the things you want to be able to do DEFINATELY, and a list you would LIKE to have. Then go read up on the distro's and match as many on your list as possible. I'd just like to warn you, you may find that the lists will be almost identical, so in the end, it really comes down to this: pick a distro, any distro, and stick with it... You will never know all the distro's out there 100%, but you might learn one distro well enough to do almost anything on it...



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paullamhkgCommented:
well if your kernel support the wireless lan any linux distro can do, and I know that kernel 2.4.0 or above already included the wireless lan, only whether the hardware driver is/are support or not. anyway, have a check here for the wireless lan for linux to see this can give you more idea

http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Jean_Tourrilhes/Linux/
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radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Thank you.  It's late, so I haven't done anything.  I'm just responding to thank you very much for all of your efforts.  My friend, it seems, has burned 2-3 versions on the latests kernels.  He lives a state away, however, so it might take a week for the mail to arrive.  Tomorrow I'll be reading up on wireless lan for Linux.  Thanks for the link.
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radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
I got SuSE 8.2, and it couldn't connect to the LAN because I have 64-bit WEP encoding.  How do I type in the code in SuSE?
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PalinfCommented:
Linux are not dependant to distribution. But some of them are better.
Don't expect to use latest innovation and latest hardware with linux distribs for common people.
I consider 'Gentoo' is the best one because you don't need distribution proprietary packages, so you don't need to wait until peolpe packages new softwares.

Your last post is another question, nothing to see with distribution, i'll be glad to answer it.
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radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Does that mean I should disregard my networking comment, accept some answer(s), and then open another question?  I'll gladly open up another thread if so.
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PalinfCommented:
I think so.
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radomirthegreatAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot!  All of the answers were good, and psimation suggested that I make some lists so I picked that as the accepted answer.
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