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Can I Install Linux On A Laptop?

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#1 a_samuels


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Posted 30 September 2007 - 08:54 AM

Hi all,

I have 2 laptops (mine and the wife's) and would like to install Linux on one of them. Mine is a Compaq Presario 2521 and the wife has a similar aged Packard Bell. I have all the recovery discs, XP discs etc for mine but not for my wife's. I also have an external harddrive which is 100 gig or so. Can I install onto one of the laptops or the external hd? If so any guidance would be most appreciated.



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#2 BlackSpyder


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Posted 30 September 2007 - 10:27 PM

Welcome to Bleeping Computer a_samuels. Linux could be installed to the internal Harddrive on either machine or to the external Hardrive. I would suggest trying a Live Cd Distro first. Ubuntu and PCLOS2007 are some of the top choices for Live/install Distros (they run as a live CD and then let you install from inside the OS).

Before installing the golden rule is BACKUP! all important data (it can and will wipe your hard drive if you are not careful). Feel free to ask for help for anything you get stuck on. Once you get a distro you like we can guide you through the partitioning of the hard drive (as every distro is a little differant)

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#3 Joedude


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 02:25 AM

First, create a complet disk image of your laptops hd on your external.

The figure out which distro is for you...there are hundreds, but the handfull at the top are Fedora, Debian, Suse, Ubuntu, Puppy, PCLOS. You may ask how you know if you're going to like something? Try them, on live cd, do a trial install for the ones that don't, if you like it, keep it. If you don't like it, just replace the disk image over the top of it. BTW, PB has a program to get your system disks back, as does Compaq. Just go to their web site.
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#4 Bugballou


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Posted 01 October 2007 - 11:12 PM

I am using a Presario 2100 to dual boot PCLinuxOS and XP Pro using GRUB as the bootloader. On the emachine 1221 desktop I am dualbooting PCLinuxOS and XP Home using the Windows NTLDR as the bootloader with lilo installed on the Linux partition to load Linux after NTLDR points the way. I recently canned an old Packard Bell that had Windows 98 on it. It really wasn't up to the task of any of the recent Linux distros. Either the sound wouldn't work, or the wireless USB wouldn't work, or I just couldn't get the live CD to load. XP Home ran on it but with a 300 mHz processor it was slow, even with pumped up RAM.
The Live CD List is a good place to start:
Being a WIndows user you will be more accustomed to the KDE desktop and probably like Kubuntu, Mandriva, or PCLinux which is a Mandriva offshoot.
Burn the ISO with IMG Burn and check the Verify box. If at first you dont succeed lower the write rate. Use rewriteable disks so they can be erased and you can try again.
There is also a way to create an XP disk if the Packard Bell system has an i386 file, using IMGBurn, but the correct way took some doing as the tutorials I read weren't exactly on the mark with the instructions, and slipstreaming SP2 and using Joliet instead of 9660 were the two main hurdles to over come, but now have a Windows disk for a computer that didn't have one. If all else fails have a backup of the system so there are ways to get back to where you started. Good luck, Linux is a breath of fresh air, and to think if it weren't for Vista, I may have never gotten the nerve to give it a go.

#5 frankblourtango


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Posted 09 October 2007 - 10:08 AM

I have Ubuntu on a Dell Latitude 1100. I used NDISWRAPPER to get a wireless card working and I'm happy as can be.

I was also able to get Ubuntu on a Thinkpad A22 and added a wireless card the same way.

I've made several tries at getting into Linux over the years and had some success with Fedora. But now I'm a hard core Ubuntu fan. It has some GUI based software install and update tools so that you can get rolling while you learn the nuts and bolts.

Edited by frankblourtango, 09 October 2007 - 10:12 AM.

#6 fleamailman


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Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:27 PM

I am on kubuntu linux, great starter linux I believe, gui install but whichever disto you choose you need four things, the ISO burner as pointed out in the other post, the distro, the forum of the distro and an understanding that if it doesn't work out it is just the wrong distro and another should be tried, in fact even if you install the right distro, most linux users still try out other distros after a while and with over 350 to choose from....
everyday is a gift

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